Saturday, January 30, 2010

Post Race Analysis for Race Day January 30, 2010: The Sunshine Millions

Readers and friends of The Turk and Little Turk know that we only get together and smoke cigars with the lovely Dita on special occasions. The Turk turned $200 into $750 at today's Sunshine Millions, picking winners in five of the six races, hitting some big exactas and a few Super's as well. Just a damn fine day! Long time readers also know the Turk doesn't gloat or brag, as this is a humbling game and good times come and go. That said, it's important to celebrate the highs in daily life to remind you of where you want to be when you hit a low. I'm going to make time this week while I travel in Boston to have some King Crab Legs at my favorite seafood joint and then smoke a favored stick outside my hotel. Thanks to the equally lovely Mrs. Turk for not being jealous of Dita, she's just a horse player and not much to look at really.

Race 8 - Race 9 - Race 10 at Gulfstream Park and Race 6 - Race 7 - Race 8 at Santa Anita Park; The Sunshine Millions

The past few weeks I've been focusing on Pick Three race sequences. The handicapping approach for me when just looking for a single winner and a few back-up winners is a stripped down and faster version of how I approach single stakes races. In many ways, the elimination of the toss horses and a quick lookover of the field forced me to focus on what I consider the most important aspect of picking winners: Current form, success on the surface and at the distance, speed and class. It's most likely not a coincidence I found myself rereading two of my favorite handicapping books this month, Tom Ainslie's Complete Guide to Thoroughbred Racing and Brad Free's Handicapping 101. I'm a numbers handicapper, I like calculating final 1/4 mile times and I like to make my own running lines. Like anything we do in life, when you stop refining, when you stop respecting the process, you can go sideways, or worse, go backwards. For me, I like to keep my handicapping simple and I strive to be consistent in my approach. I believe its this consistency that has allowed me to keep a solidly positive ROI. So what am I babbling out? My approach to handicapping isn't super high tech: I use no computer programs, I like paper DRF Deluxe PPs and a cheap calculator and a red gelpen. I don't understand some of the terminology being used these days but I firmly believe that the same principles applied in Tom Ainslie's days are still extremely valid today. I keep it real, keep my risks small, and I always believe the best bets are often the ones I don't make. Today was an affirmation of my handicapping approach and days like this don't encourage me to change.

Today was a also a day when I can look in hindsight and see myself leaving money at the window. As much as I like playing pick three's, the risk/reward is really pretty poor when a bettor's top 1 or 2 horse wins two of the three legs. I'll save Pick Six's for another time.

Have Fun, Turk Out!


Anonymous said...

I take Dita if you are leaving her on the table! Good show! congrats on the wins

Steve Munday said...

Turk, great job hammering the Millions! That should get you feeling better. If not, the cigars & Woodford Reserve certainly will.

The Turk said...

Anon- She's a horseplayer, kinda homely, but one heck of a handicapper.

Steve- Thanks. I'm still under the weather but the bourbon and the cigar were a welcome respite from the sniffling.

Thanks for reading!

Amateurcapper said...


Great results...those exotic plays of yours are real science. Love the accountability w/ pre/post race spots.

Cut me an e-mail before you head out west again.

The Turk said...


Thanks for the kind words. i actually have a whirlwind trip to San Jose and San Diego next week but I'll be back for longer, and at a track, again soon. Thanks for reading and I enjoyed your last post re: sythetic surfaces. While I'm east coast based, I've always considered myself a west coast horse racing rebel!