RSS Feed for this Blog

Monday, April 21, 2008

Go Go Go Go......

.....NO NO NO NO!!!!!

That's perhaps the worst 'getting beat' scenario of all to me. When you think you have the win spot nailed, and you're yelling for another horse to get up into your exacta or triple. Hope turns to exultation as you see your horse moving up for that minor award. But then, it all comes crashing down around you, when you realize that the horse isn't going to settle for the second or third spot, and it goes on to nail your top horse at the wire. Ouch.

Even worse is when, as happened to me yesterday, your exotics horse isn't even in the picture until the final strides. I was perusing the horses for the 8th at Santa Anita, and the name Skellytown sounded familiar to me; as if he was on one of those comprehensive watch lists that I'd compiled, but never get email notices for due to some problem regarding Yahoo that nobody at the Form or BRIS has ever really been able to explain to me. But I went back through the LATG archives, and found this post from just about one year ago. Since that post, Skellytown ran twice more last year before going to the sidelines in May. On Sunday, he was reappearing, for Mandella, and with a $32,000 tag attached. Pretty suspicious for a well-bred horse who was once pretty highly regarded.

But I figured I had stumbled upon him for a reason (one other than being crushed), so I used him on top in the triples, using, among others, Sacred Light. Here's a horse who was far more highly regarded than Skellytown, and, in fact, ran 9th in the 2006 Belmont Stakes for trainer David Hofmans. I recall that some fancied him as a Derby horse at one time. He's been laboring in the claiming ranks of late, and showed only one win in the last two years. That, however, was at this same claiming level, in a race on the Cushion Track. He was trying turf here, but seemed an overlay at his 16-1 odds.

So, when Skellytown ranged up inside favored Mt. Orient inside the sixteenth pole, Super Harmony, who I did not have, started to hang, and Trevor Denman noted that Sacred Light was coming on, I got pretty excited. "Go Go Go Go!" And indeed, his white head emerged on the screen, and I figured he could even get second! "Go Go Go Go!" But it didn't take long from that point for me to cry "No No No No," as he went whizzing by them all, for a most generous $34.40 mutuel. Watching it again, it seems obvious from the moment he entered the picture that I was finished. But time can slow down to a crawl in those final yards, and, in that split-second, I was already trying to calculate the possible payoffs, both for Sacred Light running third and second, and starting to make lavish plans for a big Chinese takeout dinner. Ugh.

Well, at least Foolish Bid won his race at Philly Park earlier in the day. The restricted 25K claimer carried a purse of $27,000! His regular jockey, Eriluis Vaz, was under suspension for his prior ride on the same horse, and double apprentice Alex Cintron was aboard. Cintron had already ridden a couple of winners for trainer Keith Lebarron, and here we saw why the trainer entrusts him - because he follows instructions. Cintron was told to not be in the lead - he broke well, but pulled back to track leader Sunnywin - and to use a left-handed whip because the horse tends to bear in when struck right handed - and you can see the way Foolish Bid responded late to hold off the oncoming Lookmeintheeye. So Cintron was a 'good boy,' an old track expression that I suppose one shouldn't really use anymore these days...

Highland Cat goes in the 7th at Calder today, but I can't bet the races from there, either at OTB or on the NYRA site. I suppose it has something to do with this.