05/23/2017 2:23PM

Goldfeder: What was I thinking? for May 23, 2017

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“It only takes one."

That is what one of the many players named George would tell me when I used to go to Belmont every day. For a grinder like me, sometimes I don’t have the patience to wait for just one race to bet. I like to stay active and hope I can get alive to "the one" and then when that race comes along, explore my options to maximize the opportunities.

This past weekend my list included more longshots than usual and after a few swings and misses, a prime contender ran well enough to win. It was the key to a day that was not as active as I might have hoped but it put me in the plus column. My other attempts fell short but with a few adjustments to my multi-race strategies, in the coming weeks, I hope to turn that around.

For the one horse that did come in, I didn’t see any real opportunities to get alive to him in the pick three, but looking back I should have been alive in the daily double. One of the basic tenets that I often need to remind myself of is to be aware of multi-race wagering opportunities. I preach this to those around me but sometimes I get caught up in race-to-race action and fail to follow my own advice. On May 20 with the "list" bankroll, I only played two daily doubles and in both cases I was trying to get alive to short-priced horses who looked very solid on paper but offered no straight value in the win pool. In both sequences my first-leg longshots went off at odds of over 10-1. Unfortunately, they both flattened out after giving me a tease as they headed into the stretch. These were still good bets because they would have turned odds-on into more than fair value for the horses in the next leg.

A quick review of a core approach:

I try to bet around 5% of bankroll on any individual race. If I have a strong opinion I will raise that to 10%. The initial approach is to try to attack with simple methods; such as betting basic win-place and then jabbing with exactas and DD’s. If I have strong keys I will go further and play DD’s, P3’s, P4’s…

I prepare a list of horses that I think have the chance to be potential keys and put them in chronological order based on post time.

I played 11 horses from a list that included 17 options. These were the plays:

 

Review of some key lays:

Pimlico 8: In a competitive turf race I landed on 10-Adonis Creed, as my key who went off at the generous odds of 10-1. In addition to Win and Place, I played a couple of small Daily Doubles to 4-A.P. Indian and 5-Whitmore who I thought were by far the best in the next race. In retrospect, I should have stayed true to my list pick and played a straight DD to just Whitmore who is clearly a rising star in the sprint division. Taking a chance, I played a whopping 11% of my bankroll on this race and fell short as my horse faded in the stretch.

Belmont 6: 2-Our Karma ran well first out for his new connections in his last race and it appeared that this savvy barn had him headed in the right direction. Based on his last race and the one two back on Feb. 25, I thought he fit well in this spot and had a chance to get loose. He did just that at 8-1 and I finally broke through with a winner. I kept the play under 10% of bankroll but did include a $10 exacta box with the odds-on favorite who came in second. That was a bit of a risk, given the conservative approach of this bankroll and given the high win odds, but it felt like the right play and it paid off.

Parx 8 & 10: In both cases I played the horses to win at odds of 2-1 or higher only to see the odds drop very late. Had they been that short when I made these bets I wouldn’t have wagered. That said, they did win and kept the bankroll churning.

Over the last few weeks I have left too much money on the table, either holding back, or not allotting my bankroll as efficiently as I should. While continuing to play within the parameters set down, I will be looking to be more cognizant of my keys by mapping out options well ahead of their races. That way I can structure some plays onto those horses and open up the door to better opportunities. With just one good-priced horse winning I was able to get through the day. I left a $70 daily double on the table. Had I been wise enough to be alive to that daily double I might have had a better day. It only takes one.

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