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Friday, August 17, 2007

Tote Moves Pay Off

- I was watching the tote at work today. Super Tote on BRIS is my preferred online tote board. This particular client attempts to block gambling sites - of course, it's OK that they develop software that facilitates the kind of program trading that makes the stock market such a crap shoot - so I can't get on to But I can get, which leads to the same place. Ha ha. I know I said that I keep work and pari-mutuels separate, but hey, it was my last workday before finally heading for Saratoga. And besides, when I do picks for the Special, it's like I have action every single race of the day, which is pretty cool.

I like to set the tote board on 'Percentages,' which displays the betting in the win/place/show pools that way instead of by total dollars. That way, it's easy for me to see horses that are getting bet disproportionately in the win pool, and thereby detect horses that are getting the hot money; or at least in theory. To be honest, this hasn't worked for me at this meeting. The smart money hasn't always been that smart. However, I've identified a lot of live horses in this manner over the years, and besides, it's fun. It makes me feel like one of the wise-guys themselves when I get on board one that proves to be live on the track as well.

So on Friday, there were two horses I noticed that got pounded on the board. One was Prussian, Mott's first-timer who romped on the turf in the 4th - a couple of people already mentioned it in the comments. Prussian is from the final crop of Danzig, who, according to BRIS, hits at an amazing 22% with first-time starters; and 26% first-time turf. He's out of a European stakes-placed mare by Alleged who is a half-sister to the multiple group stakes winner Mubtaker. Prussian was 7-2 morning line, second choice to Nor'easterner, second in his grass debut. But Mott's colt was the favorite from the start, hanging around 5-2, before getting pounded on the nose to 9-5 at the end. He had 28% of the win pool, but only 18% of the show pool.

His backers had to feel good when he was in hand with the lead turning for home, with the closest pursuer a 33-1 shot under a drive. Desormeaux asked him for run and he promptly drew away before going back to a handride late, getting the last sixteenth in 5.95 seconds. The payoffs of $5.90 $3.60 $3.20, with the favorite finishing second, show how light the show wagering was. I was going to mention that Prussian will probably turn up in the Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont, and noticed that the race is only a week before that new Breeders Cup juvenile turf race. I'd think that NYRA will adjust that next year, if they're still doing the adjusting for the 2008 schedule.

An even more dramatic tote move took place in the 5th, a three-year old state-bred maiden race. Light Tactic, a first-timer for the hot Richard Schosberg barn, was 5-1 in the morning line. Stanley Hough had Sashay Renee, an extremely well-bred debut runner by Unbridled's Song, out of the graded sprint stakes winner Dancin Renee. He was 3-1 morning line, and I wasn't surprised at all to see him open at around 8-5, with Light Tactic 6-1. But the latter drifted down slowly but steadily as the minutes went by, and then got tapped late, from 4-1 to 3-1, and again, on the nose in the win pool. Sashay Renee, the 2-1 favorite, was a good thing too, and sped out to the lead in 21.78. But Light Tactic was a better thing, tracking the leader down, and drawing off by three despite drifting out, in a good time of 1:03.92.

Cave's Valley, a Michael Trombetta two-year old first-timer who won by seven in the second, covered the distance in 1:03.79. This trainer wins with nearly a third of his first-timers - he's 20 for 61 over the last two years. The stat in the Form, which I believe covers 18 months, was even better at 35%. It was staring us all right in the face right there in the Racing Bible, yet this 4-1 morning line was allowed to go off at 6-1, as the bettors turned to debut runners by Zito and McLaughlin instead.

Mott had two more winners after Prussian, including Sharp Susan in the Lake Placid, to give him the hat trick, and a meet-leading total of 16 as he draws away from the stone cold Toddster. Pletcher had three more losers today, leaving him with just nine winners from 67 starters, or 13.4%, pretty close to anemic by this barn's standards. But I'm going to be hoping that he breaks out with Panty Raid in Saturday's most excellently competitive edition of the Alabama.


Anonymous said...

The times, especially at 5.5f seem lightning fast.

Rail appears to be the place to be.

A number of stalker/closer types have made threatening rallies at the top of the stretch only to flatten out.

Anonymous said...

I have been a fan of using the win pool:show pool ratio to sniff out live ones for some time now. But, I didn't know about Brisnet's tote being able to be set to percentages. I will be checking that out this afternoon for Saratoga. Thanks for the tip.