Executiveprivilege returns

I think Executiveprivilege is the best two-year-old flly in America, but when we taped this week's edition of That Handicapping Show, I picked against her in the Hollywood Starlet (G1) for two reasons: her odds will be low (less than even money probably) and I don't know where this filly's head is at.

Executiveprivilege sustained her first loss in six tries when she drifted out badly in the stretch run of the Breeders' Cup and failed to run down Beholder (who ran a fast race and had the benefit of a strong inside speed bias).

In an effort to get Executiveprivilege's mind focused on things like forward motion and winning races, Bob Baffert will outfit her with blinkers on Saturday and has changed riders from Rafael Bejarano, who roder her in all six career starts, to Mike Smith.

Horses as good as Executiveprivilege usually don't need blinkers. This is a high-level filly that runs with a magnificent presence and focus. However, she tipped off the Breeders' Cup defeat in her final two workouts before the Cup. In one workout, Executiveprivilege failed to gat by her workmate (the talented colt Super Ninety Nine). In the other she outworked a much lesser horse in relatively slow time. They received mostly bad reviews from the California clockers.

When I want to figure out what is going on inside a horse's head, I consult Kerry Thomas, my boss at the Thomas Herding Technique, and an expert on equine communication. When Kerry watched the works, he said he didn't think there was anything wrong with Executiveprivilege physically, but he said something interesting.

"She is increasingly making her own decisions," Kerry said. "She is not listening to the rider."

That scenario played out in the Juevnile Fillies as Executiveprivilege drifted outward, against the urging of Bejarano, who had a terrible Breeders' Cup weekend. The switch to Mike Smith is a big wildcard, as he can give you a Hall of Fame ride one race and a puzzling one the next.

As for the blinkers, Kerry is anti in most cases. He believes they are a band-aid that attempts to cover up the underlying issue by limiting a horse's senses, instead of addressing it through training.

I have seen blinkers improve horses too many times to condemn them unequivically, but I have to admit the more I learn about herd dynamics and the horse's mind, the more I realize blinkers are over-used here in the U.S.

Executiveprivilege has worked four times since the Breeders' Cup. I haven't seen any of those works, but hopefully we will see her best this weekend. Then the debate over champion two-year-old filly can begin. I would love to see her train on at three.


As for betting, I really had to scour the nation to find my Locksmith Smart Plays this weekend. Many of my plays are based on talent evaluations of young horses, so I play a lot of maidens and NW1's. December is not a pretty time for those races.


Leave a Comment:


Pete : How do you evaluate horses transitioning from 2 to 3 ?  By that I mean, do you take into account their races, record, etc or do you solely base it on their current form / breed  / looks ?

07 Dec 2012 1:43 PM

I thought that how Bejarano was asking Executiveprivilege when he worked her before the BC was odd.  He was throwing the reigns at her while still sitting tall in the saddle.

There seemed to be speculation that Executiveprivilege was not going to fire after that work, which was not the case.  She was outrun by a very good filly on a track with a profound speed bias.

Executiveprivilege has never really been a speedball and I think blinkers on is a typical Baffert move with this type of horse.  Baffert typically trains his horses to show a lot of speed, and blinkers typically only boost a horse's early speed.

I'm certainly not going to bet Executiveprivlege to win, but I'm also not going to bet much against her.  I will probably play Pure Fun, as she looked awesome in her last, but I have some concern about her shipping from KY to CA.

I also like Miss Empire, as she should improve routing on the synth for her first time in her career.  I am hopeful that with the rider switch back to Krigger, that she will revert back to relaxing and coming from off the pace like she did with him in the past.

07 Dec 2012 2:31 PM

If I my chime in on JayJay's question to Pete, in my opinion, anyone that does not take all factors into consideration when evaluating a horse transitiong from 2 to 3 would be doing themself a great injustice.  Past performance, pedigree, training, and conformation are certainly the key components.

07 Dec 2012 2:34 PM
Pete Denk

Pedigree seems to play big role in terms of when a horse peaks, sire and dam.

Bot mainly I am looking at speed figure progression and visual impressions in terms of competitiveness.

07 Dec 2012 6:07 PM

Keymaster : I'm one of those that pretty much throws away any races/records etc from their 2 yr old season.  I've seen it many times where horses can't carry their form to their 3 yr old year  so I basically start from scratch.  This year is the first year I actually have followed 2 yr olds (Know More and Palace Malice).  I'll be looking at my TC horses after the first few races next year.  I still think Know More is a quality horse, I honestly think if they ship him to a different dirt track that he'll do well.  I'm still waiting for Palace Malice to re-surface, hope he's not injured (unless he's back and I just missed it hehe.)

08 Dec 2012 3:08 AM
Forbidden Apple

I thought this blog was named unlocking winners? I don't see anyone making any predictions on the Hollywood Starlet. In my opinion Hollywood speed has done well, but the closers/stalkers seem to be winning most of the races. I'll take Pure Fun to win. She needs to relax off from the pace and then pounce at the top of the stretch.

08 Dec 2012 9:30 AM

My best bet of the day is the 8 in the 10th at Gulfstream (not knowing about the weather or scratches).  

08 Dec 2012 9:57 AM

In years past there were not as many horses born in the US as today.Starting with a larger pool any 2yo race at a major track that has a full field or in some races not even that, will be harder to win than lets say in the 70s.A young colt or filly that trains and runs hard as a two old and wins the grade 1 races has already reached their peak performance induced by the training and racing schedule that it has taken.In the 2012 Kentucky Derby there were 9 starters from the Breeders cup juvenile unprecedented, and the best finish was third by a closer Dullahan who was racing on turf and all weather before the Derby.The 2011 Derby exacta was completed by a colt that ran as a two year old but then was rested for a long time, and a colt that only trained as a two year old and was not raced until three years old.I believe this is the state of the art for the American racing colt in todays racing, and that is how I will wager my money for the 2013 Kentucky Derby.As far as fillies which this article is about, I would guess the stress of training on hard dirt surfaces and racing in high level races would provide the same results, but I follow the colts more closely yearly.

08 Dec 2012 10:28 AM
Pete Denk

NYRA hasn't posted any changes yet, but I just receieved a text from an owner at Aqu who said they are going to come off the turf today. Yesterday they were saying they would try to stay on the turf through the weekend, but I guess they got more rain than expected.

Locksmith subscribers, that means no play on Run to Class in the 2nd, and (unfortunately) no play on Why Not Whiskey in the 7th.

08 Dec 2012 11:22 AM


I believe 2 year old form can be important depending on who the trainer is and also the pedigree of the horse.  

For example, many horses trained by Pletcher are cranked up to win early and clean up in the juvenile races, but then they don't show much progression at 3.

On the other hand, there are patient trainers like Carl Nafzger, who allow their horses to develop and very rarely win at first asking.  Street Sense is a decent example.  Carl Nagzger is one of the master trainers at allowing young horses to develop and progress, using prep races for what they are, and having the horse ready to peak on the big day.

I think it is important to look for juveniles that might not be lighting up the track at shorter distances, but then show improvement as more route races are written for juveniles later in the year.  Street Sense didn't win a graded stakes until he won the BC juvenile, but he improved in each race leading up to the juvenile as the distances incrased, and then was a monster on the big day.

Street Sense was then allowed to develop over the winter and only needed 2 prep races before winning the KY Derby.  I remember thinking after the Blue Grass that I was glad he lost, as this would inflate his price in the KY Derby.  Given his trainer, pedigree to get 10F, and move back to the dirt, you had to assume that Street Sense was going to improve off the Blue Grass and be a better horse at CD 3 weeks later.  Nafzger knew better than to crank the horse up for the $750K Blue Grass going 9F on the poly when the goal was the KY Derby 3 weeks later 10F on the dirt. Although Street Sense won the Derby as the favorite, he was very lukewarm at almost 5-1.  Had he won the Blue Grass, he would have been 5/2 or 3-1.

For juveniles this year, I think the horse to look to improve from 2 to 3 is Capo Bastone.  Altough I wouldn't call Sadler a patient trainer, Capo Bastone has a pedigree to improve with longer distances and he has been improving in each start.  I think this horse will progress and will be a factor at 3 next year, and will offer some value as he has been in the shadow of some other juveniles that may not progress.

08 Dec 2012 11:30 AM


Palace Malice is in Florida and expected to return to the worktab this weekend.

08 Dec 2012 11:31 AM
Pete Denk


I kinda like Tapit To Me in GP 10 as well. She's found a home on turf. Trip note last time and lost to a move-up first-time Calabrese. Johnny V up today.

08 Dec 2012 11:35 AM

Forbidden Apple-

Did you really read the previous posts before commenting?

I had already touted Pure Fun as the horse I think could upset the Starlet and Miss Empire showing an improved effort and being a factor today.

Good luck to you, as it appears we will both have some action on Pure Fun.

08 Dec 2012 11:37 AM
Karen in Texas

JayJay----To add to Keelerman's post--Palace Malice is pointed to an allowance race in February. I hope he's ready to get down to business!


08 Dec 2012 11:42 AM
Pedigree Ann


Actually it is easier to win a stakes race these days than in the 1970s because a) there are more black-type races/runner out there now, and b) horses in the 1970s ran more often - every couple of weeks during a campaign - so the fields were larger. No 4-horse Champanges in those days, even when Affirmed and Alydar were in it. Most of the big name trainers keep the top ones apart these days, rather than facing the best competition, which was the norm in the 1970s.

And it wasn't just in the 1970s when good 2yos made good 3yos. Silver Charm won the Del Mar Futurity (G2) at 2. Smarty Jones was a state-bred SW at 2; so was Funny Cide. Giacomo was G1-placed at 2. Street Sense won the BC Juvie at 2. Mine that Bird was champion 2yo in Canada. Super Saver won the KyJC at CD at 2.

That said, only a few of these good 2yos were among the top 2 or 3 on the Experimental Free Handicap. But they were on it somewhere.

08 Dec 2012 11:46 AM

The Keymaster;

I too feel that Capo Bastone will show improvement next year, but it is interesting to note that he has been transferred to the barn of Todd Pletcher. He is now at Palm Meadows, pointing toward a start in the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) on February 2nd.


08 Dec 2012 11:59 AM

Keymaster : I should clarify, I don't throw away the 2 yr old performances at all but I don't rely on those as a basis for picking the "best" 3 yr old coming into the TC crown trail until after I've see a few races in their 3 yr old season.  

I also think it's sad that most of the promising colts are trained by a very very few trainers (really, just baffert and pletcher, maybe mclaughlin.)  I would love to see them trained by the lesser known trainers who has patience, as you mentioned like Nafzger.

Keelerman / KiT : Thanks for the update on Palace Malice.  The fact that he's resting and not over raced as a 2 yr old makes me feel good about his chances.  I just hope he still likes to run after the long rest.  Sometimes they get used to being lazy :)

Hollywood Starlet : Exec is NOT SOUND, she drifted in her last race!!!!  DON'T BET HER!!!  She'll be retired soon !!!!  Listen to me!!  

Okay, okay, in all seriousness, this should be a one horse race.  If Exec gets back to business, I can't see her losing this race and should be a workout like race.  Pure Fun is intriguing and possibly be the one that could give her a run for her money.  I'm not giving up on Scarlet Strike, but this is not a good betting race for me.  At most, I'll probably do a tri box of 1, 3, 6.    I'm also making a note that Bejarano is on one of Miller's horses, I'm sure he'll be tryin' hard to get back at Exec's connections for the rider switch.

08 Dec 2012 2:07 PM
Plod Boy Phil

The Saturday Racing Flow Graded Report has opened on fire through the first 4 at AQ and the first 3 at GP,  producing 4 winners, 1 second, one $156 exacta and one $51 Daily Double, from a total of 11 upgrades.  Our first bold upgrade, Nebikon, ran 2nd in the opener at AQ to complete the upgraded exacta.

Our second of three bold upgrades on the Report is the 5 Admiral Perry in GP's 5th.

Since race 10 at GP is of interest,  the 2 Jilli's Trip rates as the only upgrade in the race.

08 Dec 2012 2:10 PM
Plod Boy Phil

GP 7th - a great example of a grossly under-layed big final time based speed figure horse (5) and an over-layed 'slow' Racing Flow upgrade (7). Flow players cash the 1x1 DD starting with Silver Rock.  P3 playing subs live to the 3 and 11 in GPs 8th.

08 Dec 2012 3:58 PM

Hollywood Starlet : Exec is NOT SOUND, she drifted in her last race!!!!  DON'T BET HER!!!  She'll be retired soon !!!!  Listen to me!!

JayJay 08 Dec 2012 2:07 PM

JayJay; I kept waiting for the word (PRO) to follow this type of statement. You know like another another has been doing!!!  

08 Dec 2012 4:34 PM

JayJay; Should read like another blogger is doing!!

08 Dec 2012 4:50 PM

Interesting to note in the Starlet that Pure Fun has never run with Lasix and it appears that Executiveprivlege will not run with Lasix, after racing without Lasix for the first time in her career in the BC.

08 Dec 2012 5:22 PM

Pedigree Ann I cant argue the fact that there are more graded races now but  I disagree on it being easier to win a grade 1 now as compared  to the 70s.We live in the information age and speed figures of all kinds are used by the connections of all the horses in training.There are 4 horse champagne stakes because the trainers are not going to run a promising colt against a buzz saw of a horse.They all have the figures nowadays and there is no question as to if a colt is exceptional or not.The colts you mentioned Super Saver,Street Sense and Mine That Bird all had long rest periods between 2 and three.Of the others you wrote about Silver Charm was a great two yo and was on the experimental free handicap list,how do I know I won the exacta with him and Captain Bodgit but that was back in 1997 15 years ago.If you start with a larger pool to begin with there will be a natural selection so to speak by the owners and trainers and even at the farm where they are born.By the time any of those three yos are in the starting gate for that derby they will have undertaken a lot harder road to get there.

08 Dec 2012 5:48 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Hol R8

8 is an upgrade at 16-1

7 is a downgrade from the same race at 5/2

08 Dec 2012 7:07 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Hol R8 post race comment:

Both the 7 and 10 (3-1 and 5/2 respectively) were Downgraded by Racing Flow having closed last out with the aid of a Closer favoring Flow.  In other words, each of their repsective races looked better to the public than they did to those using our information.  We eagerly bet against this type.  Despite a pace scenario that appeared favorable to their off the pace styles,  neither made a signicicant impact,  unless 5/2 runner-ups are your thing.

The winner of the Nov 11 race,  Tough n Dangerous, was a failed upgrade today.  However, as recently discussed on our site,  this type of win is very taxing and horses recording these 'vs Zip Wins' may require 'time' to return to their best.  We'll check the Flow figure for his race today,  though my gut tells me handicappers should keep an eye on TnD when next seen.

The 8 Chicsdigtheshark (19-1 today) was given modest upgrade status for his Nov 11 effort having been lapped on the rare w-w winner of a Closer's Flow.  Today's pace duel will only add to his appeal when next seen.  We'll leave the surface decision up to the trainer and follow him on either turf or the main.

08 Dec 2012 7:33 PM

My biggest problem is betting, not handicapping.  I played the Pick 6 and got the first 5 races right (on a $9.60 ticket) leaving my single in the last leg.  The #8 was threatening at the top of the lane but faded.  So I got nothing.  If I had played rolling Pick 3s, I would have been paid 10-1 for the day.  

08 Dec 2012 7:54 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Kevin -

This begs the question: Just how small is your bankroll?  

Seriously, most circuits, except SoCal, offer $1 DDs and $1 P3s.  If you are truly confident that your handicapping approach will provide you with enough winners over the long haul, then it seems absurd at best to be playing the game at all if you must choose between taking a shot at the P6 on $9.50 (really, why bother for $0.10) or playing some low cost rolling gimmicks,  or betting horse to Win/Place.

If your brain and bankroll require constant reassurance that you are 'good',  then do right by yourself and bet in a manner that feeds that need.  

Just my opinion.  I could be wrong.

08 Dec 2012 8:35 PM
Forbidden Apple

The Keymaster,

Yes, I did read your previous post. The word probably and then having concerns about shipping are not exactly a strong endorsement in my opinion.

Ken McPeek is in a great spot right now looking ahead to 2013. Pure Fun and Frac Daddy look like serious horses to me. Pure Fun is another example of finding a good horse without spending tons of cash, $22,000. I'm a bit tired of seeing so many overpriced horses that perform like donkeys. Owner'a like Lapenta, Repole, and even Darley seem to spend big money on average horses. But it's all part of the breeding/sales circus. Does anyone else think that Bernardini's stud fee is uncalled for?

09 Dec 2012 10:46 AM
Forbidden Apple

I forgot to mention Rajiv Maragh. Can ayone explain how he looks scared and not interested in winning races? After his dull effort in the Cigar Mile, I have lost what little respect I had for him as a rider. Groupie Doll would have won the race with a stronger NY rider, someone like Eddie Castro. Stay Thirsty plods along and now picks up a grade I for his stud value and marketing plan. He won one of the weakest Travers Stakes in my lifetime. It's smart to retire him now, because he might not find another weak group to beat up on in 2013. Bernardini is an overpriced sire and Maragh's career is sinking fast. The last I looked he was like 1 for 60.

09 Dec 2012 11:02 AM
Forbidden Apple

Any predictions on the South Beach today at Gulfstream?

I like Assateague at 12-1 with a switch back to the turf. Joe Rocco Jr. has been winning races and this filly could win if she can get to the front and settle in. So far she has not shown much late punch and has to have an easy lead to win.

I also like Unusual Way to win the Soviet Problem at Hollywood today. I'd like to see Bejarano sit back a touch from Home Journey and then take over down the stretch.

09 Dec 2012 11:25 AM
Pete Denk


You are under-capitalized to play the pick 6.

If horizontal multi-race bets are your thing, concentrate on pick 3s and 4s.

09 Dec 2012 11:59 AM
Pete Denk

That was a monster run by Pure Fun.

09 Dec 2012 12:02 PM
Plod Boy Phil

For passinate players with short bankrolls,  I still say the $1 DD, if offered, provides the opportunity to gain value with winning selections without the misery of the 3rd race failure.

This cost effective strategy still demands that the player remains opinion based and does not just add horses out of fear of being wrong,  a move almost inherant when dealing with $0.10 P6 bets.

If winning was just a matter of spreading in every race,  everyone would be doing it.  

09 Dec 2012 12:36 PM
Plod Boy Phil

re:  South Beach

We've upgradded the chances of the 5 Much Rejoicing (15-1) based on a better than looks turn move that was against a modestly speed favoring Flow.  Her March race was hopelessy behind an Extreme Race for Speed vs some serious horses.  Surface and distance well within her scope.

re: Soviet Problem

Concuer with Forbidden's opinion on the 1 Unusual Way, who recorded an impressive w-w 'vs Zip Win' despite the Closer favoring Flow of the race on a main track we deemed un-biased.  Having been given sufficient time to recover,  she should be set for another solid race.

09 Dec 2012 12:48 PM

Pete : yes, it was.  I had the tri and super in that race.  I just couldn't play Exec with that kind of odds.  I knew coming around the final turn that Gomez had it, I was paying attention to Exec in the stretch screaming in my head, hold 4th hold 4th!  It was a straight tri and super bet :  1 with 3,4,6.  Exec barely made it.  I'm not sure if it was the lasix thing but I just didn't see any excuse for her.  I don't think she's injured but I think your boss might be right, maybe she's "growing up".  Hope she's alright though.

09 Dec 2012 1:31 PM

Forbidden Apple-

My apologies, when you said, "I thought this blog was named unlocking winners? I don't see anyone making any predictions on the Hollywood Starlet." That made me curious if you had read my post saying that I would probably play Pure Fun, as that seems like a prediction to me.

I posted that prediction more than 30 hours before the race, and in my opionion, too much could have changed with the race race complexion between then and post time to make a bold statement prior to then.

Anyway, I wasn't having a very good day prior to the Starlet and I burned some cash using Executiveprivledge and Miss Empire underneath, who ran poorly with no excuse. So all I cashed on the race were win and show bets on Pure Fun.  Played the show pool as I used Executiveprivledge underneath in the exotics in case she hit the board, but then also played her to finish off the board because of the bridgejumper type of show pool wagered on her.

09 Dec 2012 4:53 PM

Pete the way your picking, the blog might be call :

     "Unlocking Losers"

Remember, its called picking the winner. Not trying to beat the winner at a price or value. Best way to bet, is box a few horses.

09 Dec 2012 6:55 PM


Really dumb comment.  Boxing is for people who can't pick the winner.

If you box 3 horses, you are automatically paying for 5 losing cominations to try for 1 winning combination.  If you box 4 in the exacta, it is 11 losing combinations to try and win 1 winning combination.  If you box 4 in the trifecta or superfecta, that is 23 losing combinations to try for 1 winning combination. And so on and so on...

I always do much better when finding the value play in the race and keying it with the other horses I like, rather than boxing a bunch of combinations to hope for 1 winning combination.  

09 Dec 2012 8:43 PM

Key Loser,

Your way of betting is dumb. Guess your value play wasn't working prior to the Starlet. It's too hard to pick a winner and put other horses with that one.

In the Starlet I boxed the 13456 for the Super [which happened to be the 5 favorites]. It paided $677.00. Cost me $120.00. Profit of $527.00. Not too bad. Learn how to bet the horses and you might win some money.

Boxing is what pays the high Tri's and Supers.

09 Dec 2012 9:18 PM

Key Loser,

Sorry that was a profit of $557.00, not $527.00. But what is $30.00 when your up $14,000+ for the year. And thats a FACT. Playing all supers.

09 Dec 2012 9:35 PM

woodshade :  So you use the Starlet as an example of your boxing bets but honestly, how often do you make a 500 profit on your box bets ?  If you play $120 5 horse bets everytime you make a bet, i doubt you make any profit at the end of the day, that is if you actually get to finish the day or have to left the track early.

I hit the Tri and Super with a $12 investment by singling the 1 horse.  I bet small to win big and I pick my races, the challenge is picking the winner AND actually making money to take home.  Boxing 5 horses in an 8 horse field is ridiculous.

09 Dec 2012 11:16 PM


The Starlet was my only bet of the week. Most of the time I don't bet races with 8 horses and a big favorite. Races with big favorites pay good if he run 3,4,or lower.

My usual bets are on Maiden Claiming on the turf. My biggest pay off this year was $4600.00+. Never bet more than 2 a week.

Usually box 5 for $120, or 3-3-5-5 for $36, or 3-3-6-6 for $72, or 4-4-6-6 for $144. I have boxed 5 and didn't have the 1st 2 horses in a field of 10. You never know. I did play 2 box 6 horses for $360 this year and luckily hit both. They paid $1100+ and $1200+. Good luck in how ever you bet.

10 Dec 2012 1:11 AM

Woodshade -

Your first comment you placed on the blod contradicts the way you bet... You said, "Remember, its called picking the winner."  Then in your next post, you say, "Its too hard to pick a winner..."

Is it really that hard for you to pick winners?  I had Pure Fun tabbed more than a day before the race.  Had you bet your $120 on her nose, you would have got back a return of $864 rather than $677.

It is always easy to come on a blog after the race has run and rant about what you supposedly won.  I imagine that if you posted your plays before the race, we would see differnt outcomes.  I guess you are just another "Pro"

10 Dec 2012 11:43 AM


Palace Malice breezed three furlongs in :39.96 at Palm Meadows this morning.

10 Dec 2012 1:30 PM


Thank you very much on the information regarding Capo Bastone.  I don't know how I feel about the trainer switch, but I guess we still have plenty of time to see how Capo Bastone is coming along.

10 Dec 2012 1:31 PM
Pete Denk


I had another profitable week on the Locksmith Smart plays, plus I personally hit the late p4 at GP singling 4-1 winner Tulira Castle.

I want to reply to two things you said, since you are giving out awful advice.

"Best way to bet is box a few horses."

Boxing is absolutely NOT the best way to bet. As Keymaster pointed out, it's a really inefficient way to bet. The only time a box makes sense as a primary wager is if you don't have an opinion on who is going to win, but you can boil the field down to 2-4 horses. Generally speaking, if you don't have an opinion on which horse is going to win, you shouldn't be betting the race.

"Boxing is what pays the high Tri's and Supers."

Boxing has NOTHING to do with the payout.

10 Dec 2012 2:18 PM
Pete Denk


Also, please post your picks in advance if you want to tell us how much money you won.

Coming on here after the fact and saying, "I unloaded on horse X..." is meaningless if there is no previous record of your selection.

Plenty of posters go out on a limb with their picks, and there have been some nice ones posted on this blog.

10 Dec 2012 2:21 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Handicapping talk anyone ?

A couple of Racing Flow notes on this past weekend's races of note in SoCal:

- Saturday's main track at Hollywood was modestly Closer friendly (not favoring). It was certainly not enough to discredit the impressive performance by Pure Fun. The race was fair for all.

- Those that supported Unusual Wave in the inaugural Soviet Problem on Sunday at Hol(us)should do so again when she next appears. The Flow of the race was favorable to closers. UW's early forward position and premature move into the teeth of the race deserves credit.  With back to back upgraded efforts at 7f, she looks like a good one from here.


10 Dec 2012 6:48 PM
Thoroughbreds are the best

Pure Fun was purely spectacular!  One of the most exciting races this year.  Man was she motoring round the turn into the stretch.  Loved how she was flicking her ears at the wire after she passed the place horse.  Very impressive!

10 Dec 2012 8:08 PM

Here is an interesting question to ponder: On Saturday at Hollywood Park, a first-time starter by the name of Flashback won a seven-furlong maiden special weight in impressive fashion. Trained by Bob Baffert, the son of Tapit settled into fourth early on before rallying to win by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:23.09. He received a Beyer of 93 for his effort.

However, the runner-up also ran quite well. A first-time starter named Mentor Cane, a John Shirreffs-trainee, showed speed from the start, setting fractions of :22.05 and :45.11 before staying on well to finish second. The colt, a son of Mizzen Mast, is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and was ridden by Mike Smith.

Now here's the question -- which colt do you feel will have the better career? Do you prefer Flashback, with his flashy victory and Baffert behind him, or do you prefer Mentor Cane, knowing that he ran much more sharply than most Shirreffs-trained first-time starters and could improve markedly in the future?


10 Dec 2012 10:20 PM

Plot Boy Phil: Not sure what you mean by your comment, "If my brain and bankroll require constant reassurance."  

Pete, agree I dont have the bankroll for Pick 6s normally.  I just thought it was an easy sequence so I took a shot.  Usually I do stick to Pick 3s.  

10 Dec 2012 10:34 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Kevin -

I highly recommend that you read Howard Sartin's 'The Psychology of Gambling'.

Best of luck.

10 Dec 2012 11:40 PM

Pete Denk-

With your record on THS and winning 1 out of 15 races in the handicapping contest. Your in "no" position to tell anyone about how to pick winners.

I'll keep boxing superfectas and winning money. Remember the old saying,"it uaually takes money to win money".

11 Dec 2012 9:24 AM


Pete has done much better than you.  You have NEVER touted a horse before the race has run and picked a winner.  Actually, your horse didn't even hit the superfecta, so you would have lost your $120+ box...

You are a joke.

11 Dec 2012 11:40 AM

She is nothing more than a 7-8 furlongs horse that we breed today.

That's my 2 cents!!

11 Dec 2012 4:08 PM

Good question Keelerman.

Flashback shoud indeed be the better 3 year old and will win more early in his career because Baffert will drill this horse to get him ready for the triple crown trail.  However, it will be a small miracle if Flashback ever runs past the age of 3.

Mentor Cane might end up being the better horse in the long run, as he has a better chance to stay sound in the Sherriffs barn.  Also, I think Mentor Cane might prefer turf given his pedigree.

So I will say that Flashback will be the better 3 year old, but will not even race past the age of 4. Mentor Cane might not be a factor in the triple crown, but he probably be winning races past the age of 3.

11 Dec 2012 4:24 PM

Plod Boy Phil:  I read your recommendation.  Little inight into me.  I cash about 40% of my tickets but like 98% of handicappers, I lose money.  Obvious I bet too many favorites and/or don't bet right.  

I "studied" under a great handicapper at Fairmount Park in Illinois for a year.  He was in it for the money, could watch a full days of races and not bet if he didn't get the odds he wanted.  But when he bet, he bet nothing but $100 (or more) to win and never accepted less than 2-1 odds.  

I learned after a few months that I'm not that patient.  I love the excitement of the race when I have money on it.  Same excitement if I have $2 to show or $20 to win.  I never bet more than $20 on a race unless its the Derby or Breeders Cup.  

To me its a hobby more than a money making adventure.  Sure, I want to be good at it and win more than I lose, but I'm not upset if I lose $100 a week (what it would cost to play golf or hit the clubs or whatever other hobby you can think of).

So good book, but didn't really apply.  

I'll continue posting my picks and learning from others who do the same.        

11 Dec 2012 9:04 PM
Plod Boy Phil


Howard Sartin:  The Psychologoy of Winning.

11 Dec 2012 9:06 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   Excellent response to an opinion about you that was wrong. I enjoy your posts and in your last post you brought up  some very important points. Yes, it is all about the personal mindset and personal betting goals. Some people have the patience to make certain types of bets, some don't. To some people it is important to make money, to others it is more important to have fun and to have a shot at a good score while not betting that much. There certainly is nothing wrong with a Pk6 stab, and your chances are probably as good betting $10 as $100 of hitting it. It's more fun betting the races as a losing hobby with some fun wins along the way than trying to make a living at it on a consistant basis. Most people need a fairly big score in a race to win over the long haul. I am a little bit shocked at how many people here are telling others how they should bet. If someone wins playing boxes than that is probably how they should play. However someone wins is how they should play. I definitely enjoyed the bet less to win more approach that JayJay has over the betting more for smaller gains approach. For most people in the exotics it is more cost effective to key a horse or two on top if they win. The key is what you win at but that can change from year to year. I had one year where I won a lot playing trifecta boxes, but haven't won anything playing them since. Have fun and good luck.

11 Dec 2012 9:35 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Kevin -

I had an incling that you wouldn't, or didn't, get it.

My recommending the book had nothing to do with your picks - win or lose.  Rather, it was an attempt to move you in the right direction to possibly eliminate a problem that befalls many - a losers mindset.  For those with it, more is gaied by sharing stories of failure thnn by actually doing what it takes to be successful.  

The public whining looking for strokes and reassurance is classic.  First with the Tournament Format post in which you degraded the winners and elevated your own performance - right out of Sartin's work. Most recently,  it was with the 'woe is me' story about the failed 192 combination P6 ticket in which you had 5 winners but your single lost. Text book 'poor me'.  

Best of racing luck.


11 Dec 2012 9:42 PM

Thanks for your reply, Keymaster! I enjoyed reading your thoughts!

Now, let's expound a bit on the original question and ponder this: On which surface will each colt excel on the most? Saturday's race was conducted on Cushion Track, considered to be the synthetic track most like dirt. Now, being a son of Tapit, I am inclined to think that Flashback will enjoy the transition to dirt -- Tapit's progeny have been successful on a variety of surfaces, but the majority of them have been best on dirt. They have also tended to be somewhat early-maturing, as the Breeders' Cup success of Stardom Bound (2008 Juvenile Fillies), Tapitsfly (2009 Juveniles Fillies Turf), and Hansen (2011 Juvenile) demonstrates.

Mentor Cane has a different sort of pedigree. His sire is Mizzen Mast, bred by Juddmonte Farms. As a racehorse, Mizzen Mast was moderately successful on turf, winning the group III Prix de Guiche at Longchamp and the ungraded Bien Bien Stakes at Santa Anita. But on dirt he was a different horse entirely, sweeping to decisive victories in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) and the Strub Stakes (gr. II) before retiring undefeated over the surface.

However, Mizzen Mast's progeny have been vastly superior on turf and synthetic than dirt. His leading runners include Mast Track, winner of the 2008 Hollywood Gold Cup; Mizdirection, winner of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint; Flotilla, winner of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf; Midships, winner of the 2009 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap; and Ultimate Eagle, winner of the 2011 Hollywood Derby.

So although Mizzen Mast himself seemed to be at his best racing on dirt, his progeny have lived up to their sire's pedigree and enjoyed great success on turf and synthetic tracks. Will Mentor Cane follow suit?

I think you're absolutely right in thinking that Flashback will be the better three-year-old, and Mentor Cane will be the better horse in the long run. I think their sire's records back up that thought.

So the question is, does Mentor Cane have a future on dirt? Or will his sire's tendency to produce good turf horses shine through? What about Flashback? Will he improve with the transition to dirt, or does the natural ability he showcased on Cushion Track signal that his future may be on the synthetics?

I look forward to your thoughts!


11 Dec 2012 10:27 PM

Keelerman :   Thanks for the update on Palace Malice, I'm really looking forward to seeing him again.  I'm hoping he'll be ready to go.  I'm starting to pay attention to the "maidens" coming out of the woodwork, been spending time in the Maiden Watch section of Bloodhorse.  I swear, I see so many 2 yr olds that when I see the breeding, I go "this horse is going to be a superstar!!"  then they run their maiden race and brings me back to reality.  I'm really enjoying that site though.

Plod Boy Phil : Posting thoughts about losing a bet doesn't necessarily mean the person is whining or that person has a losers mindset.  Remember, this is a blog.   People can post "I can't believe I lost that LAST RACE, I'm such a loser!!"  and you can read that as the person being depressed, or angry or gone postal but it's very possible that the person who posted it was actually laughing hard because they feel stupid for not having the right horse in the last leg.  Just curious, how do you "talk" to your members if they "whine" to you about their bets ?  Do you tell them to read that book ?  I'm going to guess that it's not your intention to degrade Kevin but I think it's how you worded your posts that makes people think that you were.

Dr. Drunkinbum :  You're the smartest blogger I know!  Have you started your Derby Dozen yet ?  I'm starting to get the feeeeeevahhhhhh!

11 Dec 2012 10:47 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


   I have 15 on my Derby Dozen list but am not feverish yet. Happy Holidays !!!! You're definitely a joy to follow on the blogs, fighting for truth, justice and the blogger's way. I never should have switched from scotch to martinis. My New Year's resolutions are to go back to scotch, bet  more for fun so I can win more and to get to live racing.

11 Dec 2012 11:27 PM
Plod Boy Phil

JayJay -

My intent was not to degrade Kevin, though clealy it came across that way. I will say that in my defense, I can guarantee that the next time he or anyone around him pulls out a losing ticket followed by the phrase, 'look what I just did', the content of my post will ring out.

My comments had nothing to do with being a 'pro' or betting style, or bet size - all irrelevant factors as far as I'm concerned.

Had Kevin written your words, "...I'm such a loser",  I never would have responded as I did.  While both are negative,  the 'poor me' content of his posts seemed clear.  It's worth noting that since I started reading this Blog,  I recall just two two posts that fit the profile.

I haven't told anyone to read the book in a long time.  I make a point of staying out of race tracks and simulcast centers despite betting horses five days a week.  I can't speak to the mental state of our subscribers, other than to applaud them for understanding the value of what we do.

For what it's worth,  I posted a pair for tomorrow on the site. Both are too slow and will be big prices.....just the way we like 'em.

I get Derby fever on the first Thursday in May.

11 Dec 2012 11:28 PM


You know your bloodlines very well.

I agree with your thoughts on Tapit, very useful sire on any surface, especially going a route on dirt.

Mizzen Mast is certainly on fire. I think he has too much turf in his pedigree to think that he would be a better dirt sire. Sometimes horses can freak in unexplicable ways and I guess Mizzen Mast's affinity for the dirt was the case. Also, being a Juddmonte homebred, he has access to one of the best turf broodmare bands in the world. So I assume Mizzen Mast's offspring will continue to excel on the turf and synthetics.

Speaking of broodmares, it is interesting to note that the dam of Flashback is by Mr. Greely who is by Gone West and the dam of Mentor Cane is by Gone West. Both good multi-purpose sires, but I think both are slightly better on turf.

However, the bottom side of Flashback's dam is Pleasant Colony, who I prefer slightly on dirt. The bottom side of Mentor Cane's pedigree is Dynaformer, who I prefer slightly on the turf.

So it does indeed seem that Flashback has a more dirt oriented pedigree and Mentor Cane has a more turf oriented pedigree.

I do not foresee any problem for Flashback to transition to the dirt. His full sister Zazu had no problem with it and he has had many works at Santa Anita.

With the CA circuit transitioning to SA in a couple weeks, I wouldn't be surprised if we were to eventually see Mentor Cane go down the hill. He went in 22 and 45 on Cushion track in his first start, so he should be able to easily go sub 22 and sub 45 down the hill.  I would also think that he should be able to carry his speed further on the turf and he could end up being a very good miler.

Will look forward to your thoughts.

12 Dec 2012 12:20 AM

Ploy Boy Phil:  Nice try at the psychology lesson.  But rest assured that I do not come to a blog to get reassurance from people I don't know.  If I post a "I can't believe I did that" its to get insight from others who might have done the same thing and how they reacted to or changed their approaches to improve next time.  

My blog about the handicapping contest was true to point supporting Pete's comment that in a contest format, every long shot will be covered and you only have to get lucky once to win.  Some are good handicappers and picked true winners.  Others are just taking stabs....case in point the national handicapping challenge where 1/5 of the entries finish with no money at the end of the event.  Some are just taking stabs and not handicapping.  

There is also a major flaw in this book.  Intent is to change mentality (which I got) so people wouldn't be part of the 98% losers.  But in a para mutuel system the majority is the loser.  So if enough people change, they become a new set of losers.

My wife always tells me if you don't run, they can't chase you.  So I will leave out all the "right back at you" criticism you tried throwing at me from incomplete information.  

I'll just leave it good luck to you as well.    

12 Dec 2012 8:50 AM
Rusty Weisner

Dr. Drunkinbum,

I had to smile when I read this:

"It's more fun betting the races as a losing hobby with some fun wins along the way than trying to make a living at it on a consistant basis."

I often comfort myself this way.  Were it so!  

But one day, and it will be soon -- May, in fact -- I'll stop being a "losing hobbyist" and with a stroke become a winning horseplayer.

Before then, I hope to make some forays starting in February.  

Until then, I'm really enjoying the thread, everyone.  Congratulations on this weekend to Forbidden Apple and THE KEYMASTER on a lucrative pick.  That will go into my mental file of which commenters comments here merit the most attention.

For those with Derby fever, a couple of the columnists at ESPN had Derby watch lists up already.

12 Dec 2012 10:44 AM
Rusty Weisner

Off topic -- for those who like to mock Andy Beyer (not usually me, by the way), I had to offer something, but held off on posting it until after the recent elections, not wanting to taint this blog, which is an oasis from politics for me.

In October the Washington Post asked twenty of its columnists, from all walks, what their predictions were for the winner of the Presidential contest and the electoral tally.  Only two picked the loser.  One of them was Beyer.

12 Dec 2012 11:09 AM
Forbidden Apple

Wow, Maragh finally woke up and won 4 races over the weekend. He's still ice cold and scared, a liablity for my account.

I thought Assateague ran a huge race on sunday at 20-1 while showing off a new closing kick. I only wish that Rocco would have placed her on the outside. If she gets a clean run next time, look for her in the winner's circle.

In the Soviet Problem Unusual Way beat another 2/5 favorite, but was no match for the winner on a closer friendly highway at Hollywood. I had a nice double going with Deacon Speakin'/Unusual Way, the track bias beat me. I can't complain since Pure Fun roared past the other 2/5 no show on saturday. Gomez has mastered Hollywood Park at the moment with well timed rides in abundance.


I agree with Dr. Drunkinbum, bet on races in which you often win money on. For me I love handicapping Stakes races and almost any turf race beyond 6f. I focus on 2 or 3 tracks and watch races daily, even when I don't bet on them. It helps me keep track of the hot trainers/jockeys and how each surface is playing. Having a horses to watch for list is also helpful for me.

12 Dec 2012 12:15 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Rusty Weisner

   Horse racing is the most complicated form of gambling, and I believe that is one reason we love it, for the challenge of it. I've had some sucessful years and have tried different approaches. Everyone's mind works differently, and a single mind works differently on a given day. Unless you have a boring fixed formula it is all about making betting decisions under pressure especially if you incorporate physicality much of the time as I do. Sometimes I'm hot and sometimes I'm not and it usually has to do with how my brain is working, although at times it is just good or bad racing luck. 99% of bettors can't master the betting game on a consistent basis because of a variety of factors but usually because of over confidence, under confidence or the inability to be flexible or to adapt to changing conditions of the horses, tracks, trainers or the individual betting mind. Public horse racing handicappers have very difficult jobs especially when trying to make picks well ahead of time when conditions may change in the meantime. Mst go safely with favorites tto attempt to keep thier percentage high while failing miserably at it. I only admire the public handicappers that take risks with longshots and incorporate physicality into their game. I think Pete is good and I would wager that many of his early picks are not his late picks and wager of choice. As Kevin said, you can win at 40% and still lose money. My best years were when I had a number of exotic scores at a win % of 20% or less overall. Some of my worst years were winning around 40%. I also think I win more when I am more reckless and don't take it serious and go for the good exotic scores. Good luck. Play what you win at but keep in mind that what you win at could change. How common is this: "If only I had played the super instead of the WPS, or I should have played the WPS on my longshot instead of the tri."  A lot of decisions and money management to deal with in this wild ride. Sometimes it's all about knowing the race or the track and getting in touch with your instincts as to what is the right decision, and that takes the brain working on an optimal trajectory as Forbidden Apple does when he is hot.

12 Dec 2012 2:12 PM
Rusty Weisner

Dr. Drunkinbum,

I had two winning years a decade ago.  The difference?  I went twice a week to live racing at the track (I even carried binoculars), whereas I now do maybe a half a dozen marquee dates and sometimes a few Saratoga weekends in a row.  I could "sit" on horses back then, and I had a good sense particularly of which winners were the ones to bet to win again (my nom de blog is an amalgam of the two horses that won me the most money).  Just as importantly, I bet less when I won more.  

Nowadays the game is different for me -- I really am, alas, that "losing hobbyist".  A lot of things will keep me playing the rest of my life:  love of the arcana of handicapping, the pageantry of the sport, the argot, the culture, the other bettors, and, above all, the action.  But I'm not going to kid myself: the only thing that matters is winning in the end.  For now I have the patience to wait between shots, not do crazy boxing, stake my few days at the track on picking a single winner or two, lay off the game for a couple months at a time, keep a budget.  Even if I'm not a winner for the time being, I still have the confidence that I'll be ready when the heavens align and the sky opens up, and I hit that Kentucky Derby or Breeder's Cup Pick-4 (white whales I've been chasing for three years now) or, intriguing me since last year: the Kentucky Derby superfecta.

I agree about Pete and his picks.  His first comment on his Ron the Greek post last month reminded me about one of the hardest things there is to do, psychologically speaking, in handicapping:  change your bet or lay off a horse you like in the face of a track bias or some other circumstance.

12 Dec 2012 3:33 PM

(I submitted this earlier today, but it never came up . . . so here it is again!)


Excellent points regarding Gone West, Dynaformer, and Pleasant Colony! Let me expound on your thoughts by adding that Mentor Cane's dam, Vixana, was campaigned entirely on turf and synthetic tracks with moderate success, further supporting the idea that Mentor Cane will be best suited to turf in the end.

I find it interesting that you should mention the downhill turf as a possibility for Mentor Cane this winter. The thought had crossed my mind as well, for Shirreffs campaigned Mr. Commons in a similar fashion during the winter of 2010/2011. After starting the colt off in a 6-1/2 furlong Cushion Track sprint, he switched Mr. Commons to the downhill turf, where he excelled and won by 5 1/2 lengths.

So it certainly wouldn't surprise me if Shirrefs campaigns Mentor Cane much like he did Mr. Commons two years ago. The question now is this: If you were the trainer of Mentor Cane, and in his second start he romped to victory in a downhill sprint at Santa Anita, would you give him a shot at dirt in hopes that he would take to it and emerge as a Triple Crown contender? Or would you keep him on the turf and hope to have a good Breeders' Cup Mile/Turf/Turf Sprint candidate later in the year, depending upon how much stamina he displayed during the summer?

Lastly, I would like to make note of the fact that Mentor Cane has absolutely no inbreeding within the first five generations of his pedigree. Any thoughts on that?

I've really enjoyed talking with you!


12 Dec 2012 4:17 PM


Nice post.  I know I can relate to a lot of what you stated, not all, but probably most of it.

12 Dec 2012 4:27 PM

For those who are interested, Zenyatta's half-sister Eblouissante is entered to race in Saturday's fourth race at Betfair Hollywood Park. It is a 1 1/16th miles allowance optional claiming race, and she will be facing just four rivals.

Here are the entries:


1 Glowing Spirit/Edwin Maldonado/A. C. Avila

2 The Only Key/Victor Espinoza/Dean Greenman

3 Eblouissante/Corey Nakatani/John Shirreffs

4 Include the Cat/Garrett Gomez/Julio Canani

5 Toomanytomatoes/Rafael Bejarano/Dean Pederson


12 Dec 2012 4:36 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Rusty Weisner

    Patience is a virtue that I don't have enough of to wait and pounce. I've tried it. Personality traits are a definite factor in how one plays and wins at the races. I'm going to stick to the JayJay School of Handicapping for the most part- bet a little to win a lot, and have fun. Someday I'd like to go to the track more like I used to to. 1986 to about 1999 I went quite often and had the time of my life. This century has been almost all online. I've come very close to The Derby superfecta, and will keep trying. That is definitely a good race to play the super. I hope you have continued success with your patience and pounce on some big scores. Betting within ones financial comfort zone is another good way to win. Getting out of the zone with much bigger than usual bets can sometimes effect the decision making process. It's a tricky business, so many variables involved.

12 Dec 2012 6:29 PM

Great comments Dr Drunkinbum and Rusty.  

12 Dec 2012 8:45 PM

Great stuff Keelerman.

I hope for the sake of the horse, that Mentor Cane improves by 10+ lengths on the turf, making the decision easy for Shirreffs.

I have grown very tired of the Kentucky Derby and even more so, Churchill Downs.  The point system that CD has incorporated this year is even more flawed than graded stakes earning system in the past. Now only 36 races get you into the KY Derby. CD should be burned to the ground for trying to cut Hawthorne's throat by not awarding the Illinois Derby any points on the road to the Kentucky Derby.

In my opinion, the Kentucky Derby is the most over rated race on the planet.  It has never been the best horses in the country anyway. Just a bunch of 3-year-olds, most of which have been rushed into trying to get 10F on the dirt in May.  It is only going to be worse now that CD has decided that a 7F turf race at Newmarket for juveniles has more creedence in producing a Derby contender than the IL Derby. CD has acted tyrannical yet again in pursuit of higher dividends for their shareholders while sacrificing what is best for racing.

In every other major racing jurisdiction in the world, turf racing is the prominent surface.  I wish racing in the USA would get with the program and focus more on turf racing and attracting matchups with what are really the best horses in the world.

So I guess by now, you probably know my answer to your question... I wouldn't even think about pointing a horse to the Kentucky Derby unless the horse took me there.

So in the case of Mentor Cane, the only way I would consider pointing him to the KY Derby is if he doesn't show any form on the turf and then he freaks when switched back to the dirt.

It is indeed very interesting that Mentor Cane does not have any inbreeding in the first 5 generations, especially with some very prominent sire lines throughout his pedigree.  Thanks for pointing that out.

There is some significant inbreeding deep in the dam's side of Mentor Cane's pedigree.  It is interesting to see the great influence of Nearco in her pedigree through Bold Ruler, Nashua, and Northern Dancer.

Also, it is interesting to notice that Mentor Cane is inbred 5S x 6D to Princquillio, the sire of Prince John and sire of the dam of Secretariat.

13 Dec 2012 12:01 AM

Dr. Drunkimbum : Yeah, to me personally, betting small and winning big is much more rewarding, and not just the money but being able to pick a longshot, beating the favorite is what gives me the thrill.  It's easy to bet the favorite and people do make money betting big on 2-1 or even 9-5 but  I don't like bringing that much budget to play that way.  If I bet small, I lose less throughout the day.  The hardest part for me is picking the races to bet but I try to pick the tracks that has good payouts.  Woodbine, Mohawk, Tampa Bay, Gulfstream, and night races at Remington , Delaware and Retama.  Sometime back, I got lucky at Mohawk with a .20 super bet that paid over 2Gs.  I spent less than $5.    The biggest hit I had this year was a Tampa Bay .50 P5 back in January.  I singled a 60-1 to start with and I did that handicapping the jockey, Angel Serpa, paid 15Gs for .50 cent.  I was in pain knowing I hit that much with an $8 investment, in pain because it took all my energy and brain power  trying not to wet myself and the walk to the restroom was like 1000 miles and I was going 2 MPH.  

I also like playing the big races, but unfortunately, I have not been lucky with hitting the big payouts.  I'll definitely keep trying, but my goal/challenge next year is to focus on winning A pick 6, doesn't matter which track.  I just want to be able to hit one lol.

Keelerman : Thanks for the info on Zen's sister.  I wonder what happened to her other half sister who was a vertigeneux/Henrythenavigator bred.   Foaled in May of 2010.  Last I read was that she was offered at the 2011 November Keeneland sale, maybe Pete knows about her.   Heck, maybe Pete owns her :)

13 Dec 2012 12:27 AM
Pedigree Ann

Dr. D - Patience is a virtue in general, but for me, it is a vice. I have lost more potential winning bets by chickening out of betting a horse I liked than I can count. Good paying bets, too. Not enough confidence in my own analysis. And even when I do bet, I will often cheap out - only $2 across the board on Calidoscopio, which I was praising to the skies as the obvious horse. I'm a child of folks who were young adults during The Real Depression and they taught me well.

But so long as I don't have to refill my betting account too often, I'm okay with having regrets. Sure, I like to win money - who doesn't? - but to have one's judgment vindicated is a win, too, even if I backed off putting money on it.

P.S. Lot of dissing of boxing horses in here. Make 8 bets to win 1. But don't folks who make multi-race bets do the same thing? If you don't single every race, you are going to have plenty of losing tickets along with any winner you might have. Why is it okay for horizontal bets and not vertical ones? Am puzzled.

13 Dec 2012 9:30 AM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

Remember Draynay, who used to bray about boxing superfectas in seven-horse races?  

That's the kind of boxing we're talking about, the kind where the person can't take a stab at who is actually going to win but is desperate for the juice of a winning ticket.

Me, personally, I'd lose more money if I boxed more than I single.  From both the perspective of both pyschology and bankroll, I feel I still have to "pick a winner" if I bet an exotic.  If I key the "1" in a 1-2-3 trifecta and it comes up 2-1-3 I can live with losing, because I was wrong; if I don't have a feeling about who I think the WINNER is I feel I shouldn't bet the race.  Betting $2 on a 1-2-3 keyed trifecta is just a better proposition for me than $6 1-2-3 box (my winning bet my first time ever at the track, incidentally).  Also, for my part, I feel like there's just too much randomness in exotics, unless I feel I really can visualize the race (as in something like the Preakness or Belmont). Afer all, how do you pick who's going to be third?

As far as multi-race bets go, you're right, of course.  But I play them for a couple reasons and with a condition. First, I keep a rule of singling one race on a ticket, and it can be chalk, as long as it's not too chalky (less than even money).  In the races I can't figure, I pick as many horses as I think can WIN, as opposed to hit the board.  The multi-race bet also gives you a chance to account for the race you can't figure out -- it makes sense to pick a lot of horses in the races that are iscrutable (or, better, not play at all), but is an especially good angle where there is a vulnerable, chalky favorite.  For me, personally, betting a few potential winners is more doable than figuring out who is going to come in third, but others will differ, and some of those others are probably a lot better at handicapping and betting.  There can also be another reason for multi-race betting a lot of people won't admit to, an insidious one that's crept into my betting the past couple losing campaigns:  a multi-race bet usually delays pain:  you can stay "alive".  When you're winning this can serve as a nice incidental money-management function, but when you're losing, it amounts to playing with scared money.  

All this reminds me:  when I did win consistently it was more because I was good bettor than because I was a good handicapper (I also enjoyed a long spell where my track regularly carded a MSpW in its Pick 4).

13 Dec 2012 11:11 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Pedigree Ann

   Boxing is OK unless you don't win overall. It's just that wheels are more affordable and you can even bet more for a bigger payoff. It's really all about what works for the individual bankroll and psyche and winning technique. Wheels take a lot of confidence in one or two horses on top. Boxes are easier but if you don't hit them you'll waste more money normally that you could use later for a more confident pick.

13 Dec 2012 11:29 AM

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