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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Morning Notes

I'm still just getting back into the racing scene after a few months of distractions, but mostly regarding the local races. So it was with some surprise at the Big A on Saturday when I looked at the then-upcoming 7th at Fair Grounds and saw a couple of last year's Triple Crown participants running in the Louisiana Handicap. Considering Friesan Fire's disappointing return in December, and figuring that General Quarters was just a horse for a couple of courses, I immediately plotted my usual contrarian wise guy strategy. I liked Good and Lucky, and figured I'd slyly leave the two abovementioned horses out entirely and use Secret Getaway underneath.

But when I looked at the exacta pools, even though Secret Getaway was a distant 4th choice in the race at 4-1, the exacta with him under Good and Lucky was paying only $17, as opposed to $20-$21 with the other two, even though they were both hovering around 2-1 close to post time. The pools in exotics can sometimes tell a whole different story from the win pools. I remember those "chartist" guys who used to walk around the NYRA tracks and Roosevelt and Yonkers with clipboards, meticulously tracking the exacta payoffs to find some hidden trends. Don't know if they even bothered looking at the pp's. Don't see those guys anymore; probably home doing the same on their computers.

Anyway, due to those prices, I stayed away and was spared from both financial loss and humiliation, as Friesan Fire and General Quarters ran 1-2; so much for that! The winner earned a Beyer of 104, which equaled his career best, earned on a sloppy track in the Louisiana Derby; in fact, four of his five career wins have now come over the FG track. He had a pretty easy front-running journey against a moderate field; tab to bet against at underlaid odds when he steps back up to legitimate graded stakes company.

Rick Porter retains partial ownership of Friesan Fire (along with Vinery); and he had quite a day as his Winslow Homer took the Holy Bull at Gulfstream (and woo-hoo, let's hear it for that fat $31 exacta over favored Jackson Bend!). Porter seems to find the spotlight every year right about this time, doesn't he? Like his ill-fated Derby runner-up Eight Belles, this horse is by Unbridled's Song. He's out of a graded stakes-winning Summer Squall mare; and his second dam is a half to the Met Mile and Carter Handicap winner Wild Rush.

And by the way, a plug for my buddy DiscreetPicks, who gave out the well-bet Savemyspotimbeting on this site yesterday; he also, on his site, gave out the abovementioned Winslow Homer ($9.60), Annihilation ($12.80) at FG, and Art Currency ($5.20) at SA; four out of five on the day, not too shabby.

And that's it, four hours to kickoff, isn't it time for the pre-game show already?!?


jamesp said...

The Jets were a Cinderella team for the ages. No surprise that you are a longtime fan, Alan, given your proclivity toward longshots and underdogs. For those old enough to remember, how similar was Ryan's swagger to Namath's in '69? When today's score was 17-6, it damn well looked like the real deal, too.

Anonymous said...

Some idiot in the sports bar played the horrible "We Are The Champions" at halftime, knew it was over immediately.