- Kick, kick, kick. That’s me still kicking myself Saturday morning over not having a buck on the $654 Pick 3 for races 5-7 yesterday. In fact, all I would have had to do is follow one of my own little betting tips that I’ve repeated here many times. I had the hard part of the Pick 3 on my tickets – Just Say the Word ($18) in the 6th and Secret Troika ($16.80) for that man Linda Rice again. So what happened in the 5th?
Magic Alphabet was taking a big drop in class for Michael Hushion, quiet at this meet thus far, and looked like he’d be tough at 6-5. Nonetheless, I picked against him. Like reader Throwaway, I noted that Scott Lake’s So Phun had some fine internal splits while rallying 4 wide in his last to get second, and the slight drop in class seemed to fit him well; Lake has 4 seconds and seems ready for some wins. Just Thunder seemed like an overlay at 7-1 having won at the same level at Monmouth two back. Those were my picks, but looking at the tote board, I noticed the “smart” money coming in the win pool on Kohut, first time for Carlos Martin and shipping from Calder. The disparity in the show pool showed he was getting bet on the nose.
This is one of my favorite tote board angles as regular readers well know, but as with any angle, it’s not something that automatically means a bet. This colt had shown some fine form at Calder, even earning a field high 91 Beyer (that looked like a flukey number). But his only win was against maiden claimers, and he had 3 seconds in 8 starts. He lost his last two in allowance company by a combined 37 lengths when well-bet both times, and trainer Martin’s record with horses running for him first time is poor. Besides, he certainly didn’t figure to have the lead against the favorite and he looked like a “need to lead” type. So I watched as the money continued to pour in disproportionately on him to win and fretted, but I had already gone 3 and 4 deep in the second two legs and was hesitant to add another combo. Besides, I reasoned, the horse is coming from Florida with owner Joel W. Sainer and maybe he brought some friends and they were drinking Genny Cream Ales since 10 A.M. after boogying in town all night and if they all bet a few hundred on their buddy’s horse, then they constitute being the “they” in “they’re betting the 4”
Kohut surely, in my opinion, would indeed have finished second again even if Magic Alphabet hadn’t come in on him and caused him to take up sharply, leading to his disqualification. If that hadn’t happened and Magic Alphabet won, I’d likely be sitting here writing how much of an idiot I am for getting greedy and not using the favorite in the first leg when I had nice longshots in the second two. Bottom line is, I lost, and I’ve spent far too much time replaying the events. Why, you may ask, didn’t I have the 6th and/or 7th races if I had the winners on my Pick 3 tickets? I find it strange to go back to these races that I’ve already handicapped for 3 or 4 potential winners and have to look at them again from a different perspective – picking a winner of the race. While I had them on my exotic tickets, I had neither one anywhere on top. The 7th was particularly frustrating because I had second place finisher Classic Marilyn right on top at 13-1; she fought gamely while wide throughout with Fernando Jara, who seems to have an affinity for the outer portions of a racetrack, but succumbed to Secret Troika.
- Performing Diva was back after head-butting Jerry Bailey earlier in the week. But whereas the first time she was bet off the board, this time she lazily drifted up to the 7-2 3rd choice. Darley first timer Bemused (Maria’s Mon) was the hot horse this time. She’s a $300K yo in training purchase and got bet down to the 2-1 favorite, but it was second choice Win McCool (Giant’s Causeway) getting the win at 5-2. Win McCool was 3-5 in his first start but ran third in the mud, and made amends at a better price here. She’s a half to stakes winners Graeme Hall and Harmony Lodge. Performing Diva was 6th. This morning at the backstretch I overheard someone ask Darley trainer Eoin Hardy if he liked their first time 2 yo Testimony in the 5th today, and he replied “Yes I do. Just one thing..” Then I couldn’t hear anymore. For all I know, he could have said “Just one thing. He prefers the turf and we’re just using this as a tuneup so today I wouldn’t be Osama Bin Laden’s money on him.”
Edgar Prado had gotten off to a slow start, as did everyone, really, other than John Velasquez, but he had 4 winners yesterday, which gives him 22 to Velazquez’ 19.
The Head Chef needs a break from racing today – and she’s done a great job of putting up with me, except that she refuses to go to the harness track – so we’re going for a swim and will join the action at Saratoga for the 5th. Castle Village had their BBQ last night and it was a great affair – thanks to Steve and Jeanne Zorn for hosting and to NYRA’s Sam the Bugler for bringing his little ensemble and providing the music. The partnership has two horses running today, including Willfulness, who they like today in the 6th. He looks good on paper, and the race stays on the turf despite overnight rain. I may even suck it up and bring a pair of pants so I can go into the paddock. The track was wet this morning, but there was lots of activity and it looks like it should be fine for post time.
Highland Cat galloped on the training track this morning and here’s the little guy in action.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Posted by Alan Mann at 11:11 AM