Sunday, April 18, 2010
Post Race Analysis for Race Day April 17, 2010: The Aqueduct Pick 4 including the Distaff Handicap
That good looking sire to the left is an A.P. Indy son, father of Pashito the Che and yesterday's Distaff Handicap winner, Tar Heel Mom, Flatter.
The Turk found success yesterday with the Aqueduct card. On a sloppy sealed track we "assembled" a Pick 3 and Pick 4 winner as well as an exacta and trifecta win and a handicap of the Distaff Handicap that we nailed the exact order of finish prerace. I made a point of discussing pre-race that the card at Keeneland with the Lexington and the Giant's Causeway, or Santa Anita with The Santa Barbara were more attractive but that I wanted to play the Big A card. Remember, don't be married to playing a particular place, look at the cards and pick the one you think you can win. Let's get after it!
Aqueduct Race 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 : The Pick Three and Pick 4 including the Distaff Handicap.
The bet construction followed my pre-race analysis nearly identical. Readers of the Turk know that I like to prepare my base handicaps and then use that base handicap to assemble my bets. Race 7's winner was the third shortest price on the board, Odessa's Hope. Our Special Effort had control to the top of the stretch but tired and with D. Cohen up, Odessa's Hope powered away to win by 2f.
Race 8 was won by the fourth lowest price, Positive Pitch. Two legs of the Pick Four were now in the books, won by my last horse included in the bet construction. Good stuff, let's keep going.
Race 9 was the Grade II Distaff Handicap. I really liked this field and this would have been a much more competitive field on a fast track, but it was sloppy and sealed and one horse stood out on the PP's as the one to beat on slop, a strong runner on her own, Tar Heel Mom. Taking control at the 1/4 pole, she fired off fractions of :22, :44 4/5, 1:10 1/5 and then brought it home at 1:24 2/5ths and was pressed just slightly at 1/2 pole and then not again. The Turk put all five starters in exact order pre race and I had a $2 exacta and $2 Trifecta win to show for it. Don't be influenced by hard talkin' handicapping types that would tell you that nailing chalky exactas and trifectas isn't worth the effort: $42.20 gross on $4 bet is always worth it!
Race 9 brought to an end the late Pick Three which the Turk took down for $119 on a $36 dollar bet. I took it but one race was left to complete my goal, a Pick Four win.
Race 10 almost got away from me. My pre-race chart excluded Ballast (Ire). It was a big field of 10 in a one mile turf claimer and as I wrote my blog entry I got more and more enamored with the experience of Ballast (Ire): This was the 9 YO geldings 47th Turf start, 25 of 46 in the money on Turf and recent steady turf efforts. 1 win in the last 13 efforts almost turned me away but I inserted and completed my day with the Pick 4 win. I did not expect Ballast to be the bettors top choice. In the vacuum of my office I had him slotted no better then 4th choice, but my top choices are still out there running as I type.
So what to take away from this? Today was about bet construction more then my ability to pick single winners of difficult races. The easiest of the bunch was the Grade II Distaff Handicap, and I nailed that exactly, a feat more rare then I would expect. The other three races were just the ol' Turk tossing most of the field and settling on the expected favorites and inserting some value as well. My rule of thumb is if I have three choices in a race, at least one has to be a reasonable price with a reasonable chance of victory. I got that and got decent payouts on my bets.
I'd be remiss to not mention Tuscan Evening (Ire). I first handicapped Tuscan Evening last November at Hollywood and was impressed, but what she did at Santa Anita this meet was really special. Congrats.
Have fun with your bet construction. Turk Out!