There are so many things I would’ve rather written about than this, but here goes: Twice during Wednesday’s Pick Six sequence, horses scratched with roughly 10 minutes to post. Bettors who did not mark alternates on paper tickets (mostly everyone, since ADW’s do not have spots for alternates) were transitioned to the post-time favorites, who did not win. In a sequence with a $2 million pool, many people and groups who invested lots of that money got the short end of the stick.
Simply put, there has to be a better way to do this. It’s 2018, and protecting the betting public must be among the top priorities of any racing establishment. There are certainly better options that are technologically possible, and it’s up to the racing world to put them into place. Whether that’s reconfiguring data to allow ADW players to mark alternates, refunding invalid combinations, or implementing some other solution, people in power have a duty to protect those that keep the game going. It’s my hope that those people live up to it and bring about positive change.
WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS: Somelikeithotbrown ran well in the With Anticipation, but was second behind Opry, who I did not use in exactas. After scratches, we dropped $24.
THURSDAY’S PLAY: My wagers come in the third, where I think #5 RADIANT BEAUTY could sit a dream trip on or near a very slow early pace. I’ll keep it simple and play a $30 win ticket in hopes that she goes off at or near her 9/2 morning line price.
TOTAL WAGERED: $30
Best Bet: Mintd, Race 9
Longshot: Risp, Race 7
My Won Love
#3 SATIN SHEETS: Is a consistent sort that ran a good second in her first start after being claimed by Gary Gullo. That race came at this level and seems like a fairly strong one; #6 MY WON LOVE: Was third in the same race my top pick exits and would benefit from an early speed duel. She’s hit the board in all but one of her seven outings this season; SCIACCA ENTRY: I prefer #1A SCRIPTED, who drops back down in class and has run a few OK races on dirt in the past. She may not need to improve much off of that form to be competitive here.
End of Spirits
BROWN ENTRY: #1 FRONTIER MARKET could win, but #1A STRATEGIC OUTLOOK intrigues me most. He was a good second in his debut downstate, and it’s tough to make a first start going long like he did; #10 END OF SPIRITS: May have gone a bit too short last time out and stretches back out in distance in this spot. He was second in his lone two-turn effort to date and has shown a solid amount of tactical speed; #11 ARGONNE: Was DQ’d after crossing the wire first going longer at Belmont. He’ll likely take money today, but that race hasn’t come back the strongest and he’ll need to work out a trip from the far outside post. DIRT SELECTIONS: ILLUDERE, RAISING THE FLAG, RUCKSACK.
Fast Track Kathern
#5 RADIANT BEAUTY: Led every step of the way earlier in the meet and could very well get an easy lead once again in this spot. There isn’t a lot of other early speed in this race, and she could be tough to run down; #3 FAST TRACK KATHERN: Has won two of her last three starts and was much the best here earlier in the meet. That came against much weaker opposition, but when she wins, she wins big; #4 BRAMBLE QUEEN: Ships in from Arlington Park after defeating state-breds there earlier this month. She’s beaten open company many times before, and she’s tried stakes foes on several occasions.
What a Catch
#6 STONEY BENNETT: Draws a cushy outside post and figures to be the main speed in this spot. He romped in the slop last month and will be dangerous if left alone on the front end; #5 DEVINE ENTRY: May have needed his last-out effort at Laurel Park, where he tired a bit late. He could take a step forward second off the bench for a barn that’s gotten rolling late in the meet; #1 WHAT A CATCH: Hasn’t won in a while, but ran a decent second a few weeks ago after missing the break. The rail draw isn’t ideal, but these connections merit respect.
#13 QUIETLY QUICK: Comes back to turf, drops in class and cuts back in distance to a route she may have wanted all along given her pedigree. She needs a scratch to draw in, but I think she’ll be tough if she does; #14 ANDRETTA: Just missed downstate in her first start at this level, and like my top selection, needs some luck to run here. Jose Ortiz sees fit to ride back, and the versatility she’s shown is a big help; #9 TRULY COURAGEOUS: Seems like the main speed in this race and was second at this level and route last time out. This isn’t the strongest race for the level (especially if the AE’s don’t draw in), and she could be tough to run down if she gets away early.
Bad Student (MTO)
#7 SYCAMORE LANE: Takes a big drop in class to run here after knocking heads with some top turf runners earlier this season. The winners of each of his last two races are both Grade 1 winners, and these are much shallower waters; #12 NEOCLASSIC: Has won two of his last three starts and was claimed after the most recent victory by a barn that doesn’t fill out many claim slips. The post position is a problem, but he’s certainly a contender on his best day; #9 HIEROGLYPHICS: Was claimed by Linda Rice following a disappointing performance against much better foes. Rice can win with droppers first off the claim, but take note: Per DRF Formulator, while she’s 6 for 13 over the past five years with similar stock, all six winners were sent off at odds of even-money or lower. DIRT SELECTIONS: BAD STUDENT, HARDLY A SECRET, POSHSKY.
#3 TRUE GOLD: Has been working steadily ahead of his debut, and he’s bred to be a good one. He’s a half-brother to Gold for the King, a very sharp sprinter, and Charlton Baker means business when he enlists Joel Rosario; #9 RISP: Fetched $275,000 at auction and has an impressive series of works ahead of her debut. It’s been a long summer for this barn, one that doesn’t usually win with first-time starters, but this one may be well-meant at a price; #12 QUICK CHARGE: Needs a few scratches to draw in, but must be used in some capacity if he does. He’s a half to seven winners, including a few that won first time out, and the work tab looks sharp.
#12 STONEFACTOR: Returns to turf after a strong second in a race rained off the lawn earlier this month. Aggressive rider Kendrick Carmouche will likely send from the gate, and she seems to be the one they’ll have to catch; #13 HANNAH’S SMILE: Will almost certainly be favored if she draws in off the AE list. She’s shown a strong closing kick, and a repeat of her last-out effort (a second at this level at Belmont Park) would make her formidable; GENERAZIO ENTRY: I prefer #1 LULU’S POM POM, who graduated two back and comes back to the turf. She’s run well at this route in the past and could show some zip out of the gate.
#7 MINTD: Gets Lasix in her first start since coming to America and certainly merits respect. She was second in a stakes race before coming overseas, and her pedigree suggests that two turns won’t be a problem; #4 MISS TECHNICALITY: Won at first asking and did so while rating off of a slow early pace. The third-place finisher has since come back to win, and Rosario riding back is a plus; #9 VARENKA: Almost certainly needed her debut, when she was a one-paced third at Laurel Park. She’s bred up and down to go long, and these connections spot her ambitiously when she’s still eligible for maiden races.
#7 SUAS: Adds blinkers after veering out at the start of his most recent race. His two races at Belmont were solid, and he seems like the horse to beat, especially if he gets a cleaner trip this time around; #2 DARK OPS: Makes his first start since November and is working like he’s ready to run. The inside draw isn’t the best, but he could be sitting on a strong effort at a bit of a price; BAKER ENTRY: #1A READY TO ESCAPE seems like the more well-meant part of the entry. He’s been gelded since running second at this level in April, and he may not need to improve much off of that race to win here.