The Turk and his sidekick, The Little Turk, have almost 15,000 reasons to smile after today's Late Pick 4 at Woodbine today. I'll be celebrating with a carmel colored cashmere top coat from Jos. A Bank and the Little Turk gets a new Itunes gift card. Mama Turk, well she gets anything she wants.
The Turk preaches modesty, as this game humbles even the best of handicappers regularly, and there is a big difference between celebrating and bragging. I hope this blog entry, while gleaming of celebration, is not interpreted as bragging. So much went right, so much else could have happened, and the results are truly a reflection of an approach I've been developing for nearly twenty years of handicapping. Let's get after it friends!
It's amazing how slowly I complete a post race analysis when I lose compared to when I win, but the one thing I always do is break down my betting effort, good, bad, and often ugly. As I was just saying two weeks ago after another good effort, I prepare my DRF Formulator PP's devoid of morning lines and I eschew pre race hype. Why? It influences me, and with races that are heavy with European runners, that sort of influence really throws me off. After I handicapped I went back and looked at the Morning Lines just to see how we lined up and I wasn't surprised I had a bit of a contrarian view overall. When you handicap and make your picks public, even with a very lightly read blog like this one, you never really want to be embarrassed. The temptation is to follow conventional wisdom and fall in line with what the talking heads are predicting. You've got to learn to not worry about what others think and you have to do your own thinking. No shortcuts.
Woodbine Race 8-9-10-11 Pick Four
The post race analysis told me I was really dialed in today, so much so I think I left behind an equal amount of money that I won still on the table. I try to avoid that type of thinking, that concept of what I woulda-shoulda-coulda did.
In Race 8, The Nearctic, I backed tepidly Amico Fritz (Ger) to win. He had a hard time crossing the Maginot Line in this one, but I had Grand Adventure and Fatal Bullet straight in the Place and Show spots and I had Field Commission and Serious Attitude(Ire) in the Triactor box to take $3,366.10 on a $48 box. A great way to start the day. As I said pre race as well, I was taking four horses in the Pick 4 no matter what and I needed my fourth.
In Race 9, The E.P. Taylor, I pretty much had the top six exact in what was a pretty straight forward affair. I correctly downgraded a horse I am partial too, Mekong Melody (Ire) and placed Miss Keller (Ire) properly above Shalanaya (Ire) and Contredanse(Ire), and had Reggane (GB) fourth while the betting public tabbed him for 6th. The same $48 dollar boxed Triactor this time grossed $526.50 for me. Still alive in the Pick 4 after two.
Race 10, The Canadian International, I had a darn fine handicap with the exception of Mores Wells (GB) flying into the blanket finish. That's racing, and I was correct in downgrading Marsh Side, Simmard, and Fifty Proof, all fine horses, from the top 4. Alive after three after including the Joshua Tree (Ire), the bettors third choice.
Race 11 was a $12,500 maiden claimer that made my head hurt handicapping, but no sense in spending $144 dollars on a Pick 4 bet just to screw up the maiden claimer. I identified three horses, with Disclosure winning as the bettor's second choice.
As I've been trying to illustrate pre race, there are many different ways to approach these multi race bets, with my method being to identify a bet risk I'm willing to take and cut it off there. My Facebook friends know I've been noddling on these races since Thursday morning and I had a $300 budget for the weekend. I built a 4 X 4 X 3 X 3 selection for the Pick Four and could have used almost my entire budget on a $2 bet but I instead placed it for $1. At $144 I was quite pleased to pocket $11,099.55 and I'm doing my best to avoid thinking about what I had planned to be a $2 bet. By staying at $144 I had enough room to place boxed Triactor Bets on the three main races, nearly placing Super bets that would have paid a bundle, but if I'm anything friends, I'm a very disciplined bettor.
Handicapping is an odd mixture of math, pattern prediction, art and feel. I reject the notion that the results are best predicted by computers analyzing pace and heavily modified speed figures. A red gel pen, DRF Past Performances with workouts embedded, fractional times, jockey and trainer stats, and some limited analysis is all I really need, no pre race hype and most definitely no morning lines, track handicappers, celebrity handicappers, bloggers, anyone. I love to read all of that, but after I've committed. A new tool I'm really utilizing is a Ipad App from Equibase that allows me to quickly get information and view video of specific races. Just incredible what information we have available to us now, it's important to keep it all in perspective that in these horse events, the same things happen over and over and over again.
Have fun, Turk Out!