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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday Morning Notes - April 20

- So I had the late Pick Three at Keeneland yesterday, though the $55 return didn’t make me rich. Gorella was as close to a sure thing as you can find, but I thought there’d be a little value created by going against In The Gold with Pool Land in the Doubledogdare. But the fans weren’t fooled at all, and she was a decisive second choice throughout despite being 7-2 morning line, eventually drifting up just a bit to 2-1. Even with Lady Pegasus scratched, Pool Land still looked as if she’d have to improve her game; and not only did she do just that, she did a fair impression of Sinister Minister in the process as she drew off to win by 12. Throw out her poor start sixth in the Shirley Jones, and you see four wins by daylight – a total of 30 lengths – three of those around two turns. She may be by Silver Deputy, a sire whose progeny win at an average distance of 6.25 furlongs, out of a Slew City Slew half sister to BC Sprint winner Very Subtle, but she sure seems to love going a route. Pletcher mentioned the Allaire duPont BC Distaff at Pimlico as a possible next start.

In The Gold was a no-threat 4th at 4-5.

I needed a longshot in the 9th to get a price – actually the 6-1 second place finisher, Archer, would have done just fine. Making his first start on turf, the Pick 3 will-pay was $155, as opposed to $88 on 5-1 Shawnee Dancer, one of the three logical ones on grass form. I love to see that, when my selection is getting bet in the win pool like that, disproportionately to how it was bet in the multi-race wagers; same theory as the show pool system, it means to me that the horse is live. And when you're locked into the will-pay price, who cares if it gets bet down to 2-1? Unfortunately, Archer settled for second after briefly leading late, and I settled for the lower payoff, oh well.

As for Gorella, Patrick Biancone indicated that she’ll now go right back to facing the boys, this time in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Derby Day at Churchill. "Why not.....She is very good right now." [Daily Racing Form]

- Keeneland officially OK’d the installation of Polytrack for its fall meeting in October. It was unanimous, and track president Nick Nicholson, after the track was soaked by a morning storm, called it "one of the last sloppy tracks that you'll ever see at Keeneland."

"I don't know how horsemen are going to react to the Derby," he said. "But I do know that horses are going to be safer and healthier and have fewer problems, and I know fewer riders are going to get hurt." [Louisville Courier-Journal]
If you’re already lamenting the end of the speed bias there, consider also that the track will be reconfigured to make it more symmetrical, which will result in a longer home stretch, by some 111 feet. In addition, in what is becoming a more novel idea these days, the grandstand apron will be enlarged, allowing more people to actually watch the races live.

- The Grand Slam is a new wager coming to New York when Belmont opens next month.
The idea is simple: get your picks to finish first, second or third in each of the first three legs and then get the winner of the fourth and final leg. In the first three legs, equal weight is awarded to winning selections; for example, a 10-1 winner has the same value as a 2-1 that runs second. But in the fourth and final leg, the selection must be the official race winner.

As an example of the Grand Slam's value, a bettor could construct a ticket by making two picks in the first leg; three in the second; a single one in the third and have two picks in the fourth and final leg for the $1 minimum and the total cost would only be $12 (2x3x1x2 x $1= $12). And, if all of his selections in the first three legs finish in the money and either of his fourth-leg picks wins, the bettor would be holding six winning tickets. [NY Daily News]
Seems the cost is the same as a regular Pick 4, but you could, as pointed out, be holding more winning tickets. Note that the writer said “all of his selections;” maybe he thinks the bet is too complicated for a woman. Perhaps the Quinella Queen wants to broaden her betting horizon to prove him wrong. She could be the Grand Slam Granny...the Grand Slam Thank You Ma'am...I guess Quinella Queen will still do just fine. While the bet presents more ways to win, it’s also just another way to lose. I imagine that those horses I bet on that usually finish second or third will now be finishing 4th and 5th instead.


Anonymous said...

If they're going to do this Grand Slam thing, I wish they'd just do the "twin trifecta"

Anonymous said...

Grand Slam Granny!?! Good grief! Why does everyone think librarians have buns? Here's a more accurate representation of the Queen after a quintuplet of quinellas.