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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Foiled Again

- I went to Belmont today and it was back to the usual weekday crowd after yesterday’s opening day 9,000. There was little changed other than the addition of unsightly, bright red “Fly Emirates” signs, that practically glow out from the green background of the lush park; I guess that was part of the deal in which they are sponsoring two Breeders Cup races, and the BC races will be at Belmont, which gets really cold by late October.

I hope nobody is anticipating me picking the Derby, because I suck; nothing’s going right. The 7th had only six horses going a mile, but there was a bad favorite, and wide open beside that with several with a chance at good prices. It was a tough call, I was actually going to pass, but with a few minutes left, I noticed that the 6 horse, Flower Flag, was getting pounded on the nose in the win pool. I’ve been mentioning this, it’s a Tom Ainslie pointer I picked up years ago which says that if a horse is getting bet in the win pool way more relative to the show pool, it means it’s “inside” money because the public doesn’t bet that way. It was his first start off the claim for the veteran Frank LaBoccetta, hitting at 28% off the claim.

In this case the betting pattern was more pronounced than I’ve seen in quite a while. He was 5-1 so I bet him to win and on top of some exactas, and sure enough, he comes bounding out of the gate, immediately opens up 4; but also, this guy starts screaming “C’MON SEAN-EE, C’MON SEAN-EE,” referring to rider Sean Bridgmohan. I can’t tell you how much of a kiss of death that is for me - the fat lady has not only sung, but she’s smoked half a pack of cigarettes and downed of fifth of Wild Turkey. I NEVER win a race in which the loudmouth yelling guy is rooting for my horse. Since he started screaming right after they came out of the gate, I rushed away as far as I could, hoping that could break the spell. Meanwhile, the horse is cruising around the turn, and I’m like, if I can’t win this race, with a hot horse loping into the stretch with an open lead, when am I going to win? Do I need to be up by 17 1/2 lengths? I guess so. Of course, it was the longest shot on the board, the 7-1 Merrill Gold, who got up and of course my exacta horses ran right behind the top two. Ugh.