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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Saratoga Notes

- Two winners for trainer George Weaver on Thursday. Seems as if he has more than the four he's won (from 15 starters); but he's been in the money no less than eight times. So I guess he was due for a couple of wins. On days like this when I'm not playing the races and I see that a trainer I'm following had a couple of winners, I get that familiar "I woulda had it" kind of feeling. But I also know that I can never really make that assumption. I'm easily - to a fault - influenced by any number of factors when I'm playing the races, especially at the track. In fact, I'd say there's a significant random factor involved in my final decision, due to things such as where I am, if I'm standing or sitting, what I've been drinking, whether I'm alone or with a group, my general frame of mind. This is probably not good, and a likely reason for my utter mediocrity at the windows. I would think that a more accomplished horseplayer would be more consistent, limiting his/her deciding factors to things actually related to the race at hand.

Weaver took the sixth with New Member, beautifully spotted in a conditional starters allowance. He was eligible by virtue of a single start for a 40k tag, and his maiden win, earning a 92 Beyer, came in a key special weight affair at Gulfstream. He then ran second in allowance company, and was getting a fast track for the first time since his graduation.....$8.80, are you kidding me? I definitely.... might have had this one!

Robby Albarado provided Run Away and Hide with the most perfect trip imaginable in the G2 Saratoga Special; sitting behind a blazing early pace for these two-year olds - too close perhaps, I was thinking - and then just simply riding the rail to this colt's second consecutive graded stakes win; three-for-three overall for trainer Ronny Werner. This is a son of City Zip, out of a mare by the Travers winner Runaway Groom; he's inbred 4x3 to Blushing Groom. Lyin Heart, the 3-1 second choice for Asmussen, broke well, dropped way back, caught Durkin's attention when rallying on the turn, after which he quickly flattened out and faded to last, yuck.

Graham Motion lost with his first 16 starters at the meet, but he won with each of his lone starters on Wednesday and Thursday after missing by a nose with Burnished Copper in his prior race last week. This is definitely a barn to watch for the duration of the meet (Motion starts Better Talk Now in the Sword Dancer on Saturday). Silver Reunion, who took the 4th on Wednesday for the barn in his second start, is a 2yo daughter of Harlan's Holiday, currently second, to Proud Citizen, on the second year sire earnings list, out of a Silver Hawk half sister to the UK champ Lucayan Prince, and the La Derby winner Comic Strip.


Anonymous said...

Run Away and Hide is a damn fine animal. I was shocked to see him sitting @ 5/1 with about 15 minutes to post; i really thought he was going to be a solid favorite. Myself, i preferred Reynaldothewizard, who didn't have quite the trip that Run Away and Hide did. Suffice to say he took the overland route. Should make for an interesting Hopeful, where they'll likely face one or both of the Violette duo, Heir to the Stone and Cribnote. Personally, i think Heir to the Stone is the best 2yo i've seen this year. Shame he had to miss today's race.

Anonymous said...

Read this morning that Run Away and Hide's connections are passing on the Hopeful as they feel it is too soon to run him back. Probably a good decision to give a lightly raced 2 YO more than 17 days between races.

Anonymous said...

From Sunny Jim in Jersey -

Hi Alan.

Appreciate your honesty in discussing your betting exploits. We should maybe keep the dialogue going. It's something I rarely see discussed in any racing venue anywhere: Are there any horseplayers who make money when all is said and done? How much does the average person lose, say, over a year's time?

I have met people who lose what I consider extraordinary sums each year at the track. Some are definite problem gamblers who probably could have retired from their jobs if they didn't go to the track. I have also met those who keep their betting under budgetary wraps and from time to time do take something home with them. Then again, there are people who bring $25 with them, expecting nothing more than to throw it away by the end of the day.

For my 2-cent opinion, which of course no one asked for: Trifectas, Pick 3's and Pick 4's are exponentially much harder than exactas and doubles. Pick 5's and Pick 6's fuhgettaboutit. To make money on win bets TAKES a lot of money. If I see a horse like Weaver's in the 6th race on Thursday and I like his chances here is what I would do: For just a few dollars, maybe $3 or $4, I would $1 part-wheel a few horses in the race before with
Weaver's in the 6th in Daily Doubles. OR have Weaver's #1 horse in the 6th coupled up with a few in the 7th in the same way, i.e. $1 doubles. That's it. Call me a cheapskate? See if I care.

As it turned out, the 5th race winner paid $7 and the double paid $35, not a big payoff. But the 6th race/7th race double paid $63 with an $11 winner in the 7th, which would get you $31 and change. To me I'd be happy to collect this amount for a $1 bet - it would keep me going for a good part of the rest of the day.

I know people prefer exacta's as their bet of choice. Maybe we'll talk more sometime about betting, losing and collecting, and maybe some others here can chime in.