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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cash In Pocket

- Since Saturday's Fire Island trip was a Father's Day thing, I was able to beg out of any further festivities - and driving - on Sunday. Well, mostly no driving, as I did slip out to Belmont for just a few races. As usual on this particular day, there was a relatively large crowd, some 11,558 in this case. Most of those people seemed to be in the backyard, where large family groups abounded and a festive atmosphere reigned. There was also the usual Sunday kids stuff and live music too.

In fact, there were two bands going on simultaneously, and I unfortunately didn't discover the one playing way out in the back until it was almost done. From a distance, I heard them playing My City Was Gone, which was cool enough to go take a closer look. There, I noted the similarity in appearance and dress between the singer and a young Chrissie Hynde herself.

Pretend Chrissie

Real Chrissie. Hmmm....perhaps not the right photo for this particular blog...

That's better.

But it was only after they then broke into Brass In Pocket and Back On the Chain Gang that I realized that this was an honest to goodness Pretenders cover band!! And a really good one too!! (Or a pretend Pretenders, as the Head Chef retorted with her usual quick wit.) They're called Talk of the Town, and we'll forgive them for playing Cars songs too. I mean, how totally awesome was this? I've seen a lot of different bands play at Belmont over the years, and this had to be the highlight. (Along with Ernie's Jorma covers, of course.)

Catching up a bit, Friday's twilight card drew a decent crowd of 5,142 on a lovely evening. Unbridled's Heart was 4-5 in his second career start, but Mint Lane dominated wire to wire, and yes, his performance does make that of Casino Drive in the Peter Pan a bit more impressive. Two nice price winners for Phil Serpe on the day; his first two at the meeting after 13 unsuccessful tries. This barn had a rough Saratoga meeting last year, and will be looking to recapture its successes of past years there when that meet starts late next month.

Colors of Art, my pick in Friday's 7th, had nowhere to run in the lane and finished a tough luck 4th at 12-1. Don't know if he could have won, but he certainly could have been another long priced in-the-money finisher for trainer Randi Persaud. And the trainer took the 6th at Belmont on Sunday with first off the claim Hedge Fund, also at 12-1, thus heading a $94 exacta score for me. Yes, once in a while I do listen to myself and actually bet on the trainers I write about here. Definitely a barn to continue to follow closely as long as the bettors continue to overlook its entries.

In the 8th, my pick was Akebono, who stumbled at the start and then had no shot versus an unfavorable pace scenario, dead heating for third. I had actually singled 9th race winner Debbie Fast Girl ($15.80) in some unsuccessful late Pick 3's employing the above two selections, but went off her by the time the finale rolled around, partly because she wasn't getting bet. Nice going there by me.

Back to Sunday, I know this is me talking after the fact; but in the 7th, Coastal Flare had to be the worst even money favorite of recent memory. If, before I'm done writing this blog, I can convince a single horseplayer to not bet awful favorites like this, then I will have done my public service. I mean, you just can't bet horses at prohibitive odds that have lost its three career starts by 14, 7, and 10 lengths! I don't care what the class drop is, and in this case, it wasn't even that drastic. And coming off over nine months away from the races too!! There are so many wagering opportunities every single day; bettors just have to be more selective than this! Coastal Flare lost this one by 20 lengths for Frankel.

The trainer later took the G3 Jaipur Stakes with First Defence; the four-year old son of Unbridled's Song was also even money, and I gotta say, despite the fact that he won, that didn't make a helluva lot more sense than Coastal Flare. It was his first try ever on the grass in a field with some decently accomplished turf runners. Even though he's a half to a French stakes winner, and his second dam is the great broodmare Toussaud, that still seemed like very meager odds to take.

(Funny, I thought that Frankel's Lovely Isle, who won the race in between the above two, was a bargain at 6-5 and could have legitimately been half that price!)

I was gone by the Jaipur though and headed back home for an intimate Father's Day dinner. It was a good betting day for yours truly; in addition to the exacta mentioned above, upon getting home I threw out all the favorites in the 6th at Hollywood, fooled around with a dollar exacta box, and came up with a $147 payoff when the 7 horse came from out of the picture at the very end to get second. That stuff never happens to me. It was a happy Father's Day indeed! :-)


Anonymous said...

Lots of VLT news updates this a.m.

forego is my witness said...

I plunked down $50 to win on Mint Lane! Yes, I was a very very happy man! He was my lock of the day.