Just that kind of weekend, plugging away in the coal mine that the horsegame can sometimes be reduced to. I'm a horse racing fan and I'm also a horse player. At times I keep these two sides separate and one of the greatest skills I have is the ability to not feel the need for "action plays". I can be quite content just watching the ponies run for the wire. That said, I'm in horse player mode right now. There's good money to made on the undercards most weekends, but I prefer to blog about handicapping graded stakes and this time of the year you get what you get. What I got yesterday in the Cigar Mile and The Matriarch was a mixed bag of short priced chalks and small fields that the betting public were pretty hip to. To make money, sometimes you just have to be a coal miner; chip away at the stuff you think you can hit and keep your exposure low when you can't.
Before I get too far, I wish Summer Bird a speedy recovery. Lets Go!
The Cigar Mile Grade I at Aqueduct and The Matriarch Grade I at Hollywood Park
The Cigar Mile was a race I felt OK about the ability to make money on, especially the Exacta. I felt Bribon (Fr) would win, closely followed by Kodiak Kowboy. For a good paying trifecta, I believed Driven by Success had a chance to slip into the action. Just as I said prerace, I kept the exposure low, bet a boxed exacta on my base handicap and was rewarded with $45.20 on an $8 bet. My one trifecta busted out but the key was keeping the exposure low, which I did. The other good thing I did was identify that the coupled chalks, Pyro and Vineyard Haven would finish no better then Show. Vineyard Haven should drop back to 6 furlongs and Pyro, I dunno. Hat's off to Kodiak Kowboy, a solid run and a good win bet return for those who backed him.
Switching gears to The Matriarch, there really wasn't much you could do with this one. Ventura had a stirring stretch run and won convincingly. I had the top four locked up and with an engagement around the time the race went to post I bet a 10 cent boxed Superfecta for $2.40 based on my base handicap hours before post time. The $1 Superfecta returned $11.40 and my 10% variety returned a paltry $1.14. It doesn't happen often, but the bettors had this one dead cold and the order of finish was exactly, top to bottom, the order the bettors had them finishing. I kept the exposure low and if I would have followed my own rules I wouldn't have bet a nickel.
I received an email recently and the reader asked me my thoughts on exotic betting. I gave the simplest answer I know: 1.) Don't bother until you can pick winners on a regular basis and 2.) you can identify the toss-out horses regularly. If you can pick the winners, eliminate the horses who can't break the top four, and identify a group of horses that will slot out Place, Show and 4th, then you are ready. Bet responsibly and remember the best bets are often the ones you don't make.
Have Fun, Turk Out!