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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Getting It Out of My System

- The only time I get embarrassed about a horse that I pick on this blog is when it goes off way above its morning line and runs like it. If I select a 6-1 shot, and he goes off at 9-2, that in itself gives the pick some merit in my mind. But if it opens at 10-1, and goes off at 14-1, I often take it as a message that it was just a bad pick, and that I've been rebuffed by my fellow horseplayers.

The later was the scenario on Wednesday, when I picked Calagaitor in the 7th at Aqueduct. One reader immediately spotted the folly and attempted to save me from myself. Calagaitor ran a non-threatening seventh, and it was the latest in a long series of losing selections. Perhaps I should take a break.

Or I can follow the advice of my childhood friend Jake, who taught me most of what I know about betting races. When he would go cold, he would make as many bets as possible as soon as possible, under the theory that he could get all of his losing bets out of his system; after awhile, percentages dictate that things have to turn around, and the sooner the better.

That may indeed be absurd. But regardless, I'm going to forge on, and try to handicap one race here each day. In a perverted twist on NYRA's SHOWdown contest, I'll see how many races I can lose in a row. I won't pick any horse over 6-1 morning line so that you can't accuse me of trying to lose on purpose. But I'm not going to select any morning line favorites either. Looking for some nice 3- or 4-1 shot. That's not too much to ask, is it?

For Friday, I'll turn to Churchill, since who knows if the Big A will even be open? In the 8th - Link to My Heart (5-1) graduated at Hawthorne in her last, earning a field high Beyer of 81, after having shown improvement in her prior two on the grass. The second place finisher came back to win, albeit with a lower Beyer and against several other of the also-rans. It was more the way she won than who she beat, coming from dead last, and effortlessly cruising past the field to win by seven. Trainer Chris Block is a high percentage guy 23% this year) based on the Illinois circuit, but he's been shipping a few horses in for the fall meeting. Over this meet and last year's, he's had nine runners at CD, and although only one of them won, six ran third. Block has prepped this daughter of Starvinsky with similar slow half mile breezes as before that winning race at Hawthorne.

Love Buzz (3-1) is the morning line favorite for Dale Romans off a series of even 4th place finishes in stakes, and picks up Kent D., who rode her in her first two career races. Leparoux hops off and climbs on Creative Design for Tom Proctor. This filly made a nice wide run around the turn in her last, at this level, and led between calls. She was no match however for Pure Clan, an unbeaten filly who went on to win the G3 Pocahontas (on dirt) in her next race. Trainer Ian Wilkes has cooled off after his torrid start, but Seemingly woke up on the Keeneland Poly, and could take to the surface in her lawn debut with Calvin Borel aboard.


Anonymous said...

Breaking News!

Barry Bonds expected to apply for trainer's license.

Bonds, Major League Baseball's all-time home run king, who was recently indicted by the U.S. Government, is thinking of taking his Louisville Slugger to the backside of Churchill Downs and other horse racing meccas throughout the land.

"I figure if they let Cunningham keep an owner's share for Curlin's Breeders' Cup Classic crown, they certainly would allow this Sultan of Swat in on the action," Bonds might have said, but apparently did not.

"Yeah know, I have had it. I am clean as a Patrick Biancone trainee's post race sample," he could have added.

Will Bonds take away any action from the country's top two trainers, Pletcher and Asmussen?


And maybe not.

One thing is for certain. Both Pletcher and Asmussen have already done time for positives. The latter trains the Horse of The Year, that affable Curlin; while Pletcher was away from the game for over a month earlier in the year and was also able to garner a Classic win when the filly, Rags To Riches won the Belmont.

Who did she beat? Why, it was that Curlin.

Bonds is already entertaining ideas for any syndicates. "How about Riches To Rags?" the slugger could have said as his head grew another two inches.

"Wait until they get some of that flaxseed elixir that I got," he might have added.

steve in nc said...

Bonds wouldn't make a ripple. These horses are fed steroids like candy.

Alan, my cure for losing times is to cut the bet units down to $2 win and $1 exotics using a very small number of combos. Takes the pressure off -- like handicapping on paper. But I do have to take it seriously because I don't allow myself to start normal sized units again until the profit returns.

I don't do Churchill -- hope you're right there. AQ is running today (or at least they'll try it) -- but no turf -- I just spoke to the racing office.

Anonymous said...

In recent book tour interviews, Harvey Pack often makes reference to the fact that he thought his readers much more preferred that he lose rather than win. While part of me feels for anyone on a cold streak, the misfortune is more entertaining and less self congratulatory. No one likes an exuberant tout.
Call it Blog schadenfreude.


Teresa said...

KH: In Pack's interview on NPR's Only A Game last summer, he said that he would often lie about winning (saying that he lost when he hadn't) for the reasons you cite. It was a great interview; go to their website and listen if you haven't heard it. I linked to it in my first ever post.

Alan, you don't have to go that far...we want to hear when you win!

suebroux said...

Since this has become the site to deposit miserable picks and cold streaks, let me share with you my big pick from last weekend: Bee Charmer in the Red Smith H. If I remember, his morning line was something respectable around 6-1 and then drifted upward. I couldn't beleive they were letting him get away at 11-1 and I just kept putting money down on him. Did I ever get stung on that one.

Okay ... lousy pun, lousy pick.

Anonymous said...

Stay away from OTB!,0,1811737.story

"OTB parlors were the kind of places where -- how do you say it -- life's winners didn't exactly hang out there,"

Anonymous said...

I hope things go well for you with the picks but I couldn't disagree more with your comment 'If I select a 6-1 shot, and he goes off at 9-2, that in itself gives the pick some merit in my mind. But if it opens at 10-1, and goes off at 14-1, I often take it as a message that it was just a bad pick'.

Frankly, if I like a horse at 6-1 and it opens at 5/2 I am as annoyed as hell about it but I am jumping for joy if its 10-1. By no means does it always work out but I think you've got to have confidence in your picks. Of course, you are posting your picks online for all to see and I'm not so perhaps that would change how I felt? I certainly like to hear when you win too!

Alan Mann said...

Dave B - You may be totally right, but I just have a real toteboard mentality - that's the way I was brought up. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. It's fun for me though, guess it appeals to the conspiracy theorist part of me.