It’s opening weekend at Belmont Park, and Saturday’s card is a good one. There are 10 races on the program, and I’ve got a pair of multi-race tickets that I’m putting online. I think there’s plenty of potential for a few prices throughout the card, and hopefully, we can connect the dots. If we do, chances are we’ll get paid!
$0.50 Pick Five
84 Bets, $42
This is a bit more expensive than I’d like, and if you want to downsize to an early Pick Four or a smaller Pick Five ticket, that’s just fine. My listed ticket would make for an $6 Pick Four that starts in the second leg, so I get that logic. However, the first race is wide-open, and if we get a price home there, it could set the tone for a big payday. I’m hitting the “ALL” button there, and I’ll narrow things down elsewhere.
I’ll go with Triangulate and Devine Entry in the second, and I think both could improve in their second lifetime starts. I’ll also go two-deep in the third. Portfolio Manager makes his first start for new trainer Danny Gargan, while Conquest Sure Shot woke up in his first race on dirt last time out and may have wanted this surface all along.
I’m using three in the fourth, and while two are logicals, I’m also throwing in Indimaaj, who is bred to go a distance of ground and faded following a speed duel in his unveiling. That brings me to my single, which comes in the payoff leg. I loved Kahrumana’s last race, where she set a pretty fast pace yet hung on to finish a close-up third. There’s some speed signed on here, but she seems like the quickest of the quick, and I think the rail draw is a big plus.
$0.50 Pick Four
60 Bets, $30
The makeup of my ticket changed considerably when Far From Over scratched out of the eighth. He would’ve been a heavy favorite, and I’m left with a single in a four-horse field. Anyway, I’m using a price in the opening leg. Itsinthestars, Treatherlikestar, and High Jingo are all logical and will be bet, but I need to use Rock Ave. Road as well. She ran some solid races here earlier in the year, and the rider switch to Joel Rosario is colossal. She ran behind a few of these at Saratoga, but I think she’ll improve with the change in scenery.
The eighth is the Saturday feature, the Seattle Slew. Conquest Windycity seems like the lone speed in a small field, and I think he’ll be very tough. The ninth, though, is much tougher. I went five-deep, and I hope that’s enough. If Camelot Kitten is right second off the layoff, he probably wins, but there’s also the possibility he just hasn’t improved from age three to age four, so I want coverage.
I’ll go three-deep to close things out. Mineralogy scratched, and that opens up the field a bit. Tu Exageres was eased last time out at Saratoga, but he’s my top pick. That one didn’t do much wrong in three starts before that, and I’m willing to give him another chance. I’ll also use Peculiar Sensation and Real Creel in an attempt to close things out.
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OK, time for some stats before we go. Saratoga was a big meet for me in a number of ways. I put up a LOT of content on this website, and I was very curious as to the audience it reached.
I’d like to extend a special thank you to those who read and shared my stuff, because the analytics surpassed my wildest expectations. My website, and the content that was housed on it, received approximately 12,000 views from mid-July through Labor Day.
I started this website in large part because there were certain things I’d been permitted to do with a previous employer that I was stopped from doing about six months ago. I’ve never intended to make any money from this website (note that I’m not charging for picks or content!). This serves the purpose of scratching the writing/handicapping itch, while also giving people a handy reference point to find out more about me. I never once thought I’d ever reach THAT many people, and I’m floored that I did. Once again: THANK YOU.
Admittedly, a large part of that traffic was probably due to the fact that I had a very good meet. I wound up as the leading print handicapper at Saratoga, which is one of the greatest honors I will ever earn in my chosen field (not to mention validation for a chip I’ve had on my shoulder for six months!). My projected winners won 128 of 400 races where I had at least one top-three runner left after scratches, which is an even 32% clip.
Even is a good word in another sense. My father and I dove into the numbers, and we both concluded that, if you had bet $2 on every one of my top selections to win throughout the meet, you’d have, yep, broken even. In gambler’s terms, my $2 ROI was $2, which is pretty incredible considering I handicapped and provided selections for every single race, including ones where I didn’t necessarily have a strong opinion.
I’ll be back in 10 months to defend my title, and hopefully, next year’s meet goes as smoothly as the one before it did!