That handsome gentleman to the left, Mr. Red Auerbach, I didn't personally know. What I do know is the look of satisfaction with his cigar and the quiet reflection that comes when smoking one either in solitude or in the company of good men. The Turk had a major win today at the Fountain of Youth and he celebrated with a Rockey Patel Vintage 1999 Churchill. A very good cigar indeed and a handicap and constructed bet I'm quite estatic about.
Readers of the Turk know that he doesn't gloat and holds dear a handicappers creed that reminds him to stay grounded because for every good handicap there are several bad ones.
Without gloating I can say that today's win was about building a good base handicap, taking a stand on a horse to hit the top four that the betting public hated, and taking the time to construct a matrix of superfecta bets instead of relying on expensive boxed bets or 10 cent versions that return only 10% of the joy a person could receive.
Gulfsteam Park Race 8 - Race 9- Race 10
Fair Grounds Race 10
Oaklawn Park Race 10
The Gulfstream Park Pick 3 was an All Stakes Pick Three that ended up being won by two chalks and a bettor's third choice. The payout was pretty pathetic and clearly not worth the risk, but it's always better to win then loose and I strung together a winning pick three.
As I said pre race, I decided to bet the individual races as exactas. The D'funnybone/A Little Warm combo got the day started off on the right foot.
My Race 9 gamble on Rahy's Attorney did not pay off and I was left empty handed on the exacta but was still alive in the Pick 3 with the win by Courageous Cat.
Race 10, the Fountain of Youth, is where I did my good work today. It starts for me with the base handicap, devoid of as much pre race hype as possible. It's not easy to avoid hype of these Derby Trail contenders. This is the time of the year where 20 or so horses are treated/viewed as the next big thing. Some of the horses that lost today are very good runners, and the trainers know that the Derby is won in May and not in February, but being flat is being flat, and after each one of these prep races some stars will rise and some stars will fall. Buddy Saint's star fell and Eskendereya and Jackson Bend's stars rose or stayed high.
The bet was a matrix variety. It's the sort of bet I can construct in the quiet of my den but I could never pull off at the track. I took a stong opinion on the race; I thought that Buddy's Saint and Jackson Bend would both be either 1st or 2nd, I thought Aikenite could be anywhere from 2nd to 4th, I then placed Pleasant Prince in the 3rd and 4th spots and I settled on Eskendereya in all four spots. If Buddy's Saint finishes in the top two I'm writing about a nice $100 dollar superfecta and instead I'm writing about a $1400 dollar winner because I looked at the PPs and took a contrarian view on Pleasant Prince; A Wesley Ward trainee who had a nice progression of Beyers's, especially a last race 1 1/8 Mile 88 BSF and then three straight 5 furlong works over a 14 day period culminating in a handride at 1:00 1/5 seconds. I liked Ward's 21% off 31 day layoffs and 31% dirt score. Curent form, current form, current form! Buddy's Saint hasn't raced since November and his work isn't that impressive. Hype? Maybe, I think he's a quality colt and we'll see what he does when he runs back.
I was too giddy to do anymore serious betting and I had a Risen Star handicap that was a complete disaster and a Southwest Stakes handicap that was pretty good with the exception of Dryfly who just didn't feeling like driving for home when he should have been driving for home. Falling star, check.
Thanks to Mr. Tony Bada Bing for pointing out to the Turk the image I had choosen was Mr. Red Auerbach, it didn't occur to this old Celtics fan so shame on me.
Good Stuff! Turk Out.