TimeformUS Weekend Plays: The Jockey Club Gold Cup and The Awesome Again

Belmont, Race 10, Local Post Time 5:49 pm ET
The G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, 1 and 1/4 Miles, 3+, Dirt

By Douglas Salvatore

The Jockey Club Gold Cup is unquestionably the main attraction of this year's Super Saturday card at Belmont Park.

The eventual Breeders' Cup Classic winner has used the Jockey Club Gold Cup as his final prep for each of the last three years, and what makes this race all the more intriguing is that it provides us with our first true look at this year's top class three-year-olds stepping up and tackling older top-class competition.

Get Free TimeformUS PPs for the Pennsylvania Derby | Full Parx PPs - See more at: http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/unlocking-winners-handicapping/archive/2013/09/20/timeformus-weekend-plays-the-pennsylvania-derby-and-the-gallant-bloom.aspx#sthash.axpDRDgw.dpuf
Get Free TimeformUS PPs for the Pennsylvania Derby | Full Parx PPs - See more at: http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/unlocking-winners-handicapping/archive/2013/09/20/timeformus-weekend-plays-the-pennsylvania-derby-and-the-gallant-bloom.aspx#sthash.axpDRDgw.dpuf

Get Free TimeformUS PPs for the Gold Cup | Full Belmont PPs

Classic winners Orb and Palace Malice both step up and take on their elders for the first time. Meanwhile, course specialist Flat Out attempts to win his third consecutive Jockey Club Gold Cup, an achievement that hasn't been seen since the days of the legendary gelding Kelso a half century ago.

However, the key to this race should boil down to riding tactics and the pace scenario up front.

The TimeformUS Pace Projector indicates that the extremely talented Cross Traffic owns a clear-cut pace advantage.

TimeformUS Pace Projector for the Jockey Club Gold Cup

The only horse who we believe is capable of putting any real early pressure on him is stablemate Palace Malice, and we don't anticipate that will happen. If Cross Traffic gets loose, he will be very tough to beat.

TimegformUS PPs for Cross Traffic

However, if he is challenged early by a stablemate or Alpha, we definitely love what that will do for the chances of course specialist and dependable closer Flat Out.

Betting Strategy: Exacta Box of Cross Traffic and Flat Out


Santa Anita, Race 10, Local Post Time 5:30 pm PT
The G1 Awesome Again, 1 and 1/8 Miles, 3+, Dirt

By Justin Finch


The "Win and You're In" ticket to the Breeders' Cup Classic adds even more intrigue to an Awesome Again that would hold up just fine in any event. The deservedly popular Paynter, trained by Bob Baffert, has been established as the 5-2 favorite on the morning line. A couple of accomplished shippers add spice. The race gives handicappers much to contemplate. And a California Grade 1 for older horses will be run on the main track and won by a horse other than Game On Dude. Things could be worse.

Get Free TimeformUS PPs for the Awesome Again | Full Santa Anita PPs

As usual at Santa Anita (and this goes double early in the meet), bettors are advised to watch the early races carefully and make oneself aware of possible track biases. Santa Anita goes through periods where winning races from well off the pace is no small task.
With that said, let's take a look at the TimeformUS Pace Projector, keeping in mind that nine-furlong races at Santa Anita give the horses a comfortable run to the first turn:

TimeformUS Pace Projector for the Awesome Again
The Pace Projector shows the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Summer Hit with a clear lead after the opening half mile. The formidable shipper Mucho Macho Man projects to be in second, followed closely by Paynter and Chief Havoc. Then there's a short gap back to the red-hot (but ambitiously placed) Soi Phet, who is followed by one of the "other" Baffert horses, Liaison. The others fall in behind Liaison and would do well to hope that this racetrack is fair to deep closers today.
Now let's take a closer look at Paynter. The speed figure of 131 that he ran in his heroic comeback win would hit very hard in this field. However, he has regressed in his two starts since, albeit with plenty of excuses in his Woodward debacle. Paynter comes with a lot of positives. The talent is plainly there. He handles this racetrack. He handles this distance. We could spend half an hour citing positive stats on his trainer. But is there enough of an advantage here to justify taking him at a relatively short price in a field like this? Much as we admire this racehorse (and he is indeed a racehorse, in multiple senses of the word), our answer is going to be a reluctant "No."

TimeformUS PPs for Paynter
Our focus will be on two shippers: Golden Ticket and Mucho Macho Man.
Mucho Macho Man has obvious merits. He has powerful speed figures, including a 131 four races back and a 124 in his last start. He has run big over this racetrack in the past. He has gone toe to toe with top competition. One could go on.

TimeformUS PPs for Mucho Macho Man
Golden Ticket's merits are not quite so blatant, but he will be a bigger price, and he seems to be on the improve, and Ken McPeek (who gets a solid Trainer Rating of 82 when switching circuits) seems to have him sitting on a big race today. 

 TimeformUS PPs for Golden Ticket

Santa Anita, Race 5, Local Post Time 3:00 pm PT
The G1 Chandelier, 1 and 1/16 Miles, 2YO Fillies, Dirt

By Justin Finch

A paradox: The best way to get a good price on a Bob Baffert-trained horse is to take advantage of the fact that Bob Baffert-trained horses often get hammered at the windows.
In other words, find a race where he is saddling three horses and two of them look a lot better on paper than the third one. Then take a closer look at the third one.
In the Chandelier, Baffert is starting three horses: Fascinating (2-1), Awesome Baby (4-1), and Secret Compass (12-1).
Fascinating is making her fourth start today, and she comes in with a pattern of strong, improving TimeformUS speed figures: 71 73 and (most recent) 78. Her TimeformUS Pedigree Rating for this race, her first dirt route, is the maximum rating: a 100. Baffert's stats when he puts a horse on the dirt for the first time are ungodly, and in that category he gets another top rating of 100. Fascinating runs from off the pace, which means her style should be flattered by today's pace, which the TimeformUS Pace Projector projects to be both contested and fast. Needless to say, there is much to like about this filly's chances today, and the toteboard, alas, will reflect that.

TimeformUS Pace Projector for the Chandelier
Awesome Baby has even stronger speed figures than Fascinating. And a similar panoply of lofty trainer stats apply. But Awesome Baby's Pedigree Rating for dirt routes is less showy: a 76. And she, being a frontrunner, figures to be running into the teeth of the pace projection.
The third Baffert-trained entrant, Secret Compass, does not have speed figures that measure up in here. However, her running style figures to be flattered by the fast pace, and she has the look of a filly who has considerably more to give than she has given so far. An expensive purchase, she is in the perfect hands, and her breeding hints at the possibility of both a dirt jump and a distance jump today. At 12-1 on the morning line, she is our key, which means, in this case, that we will require her to finish in the trifecta for us to cash a ticket in this race.
We will protect with Antiquity, Fascinating, and She's a Tiger.
We will take our chances against Awesome Baby (even as we very much wish that we owned her).


Leave a Comment:

Rusty Weisner


I'm looking at the Form for Belmont and all I see is a bunch of names and numbers swimming in front of my eyes.  I barely have an opinion, and I usually do.  I don't feel lucky, either.

You'll probably get decent odds on Cross Traffic because no one will like him to get 10f until he's gotten it, me included.  I don't know about Graydar.  Didn't run well off last year's long layoff.  I would probably single Royal Delta, as she's replicating her campaign from last year and looks in form.

Good luck.

27 Sep 2013 11:21 AM

why isn't orb (the 2 horse) on the pace projection for the JCGC?

27 Sep 2013 12:03 PM

Papillon - Orb (#2) is noted as a "Deep Closer" on the Pace Projector for the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The Pace Projector displays the position we project the horses to be in at the opening quarter mile of a sprint, or the opening half mile of a route. So in the case of the JCGC, we're projecting that at the opening half mile, Orb will be significantly behind the rest of the field.

27 Sep 2013 12:17 PM
Rusty Weisner

"The only horse who we believe is capable of putting any real early pressure on him is stablemate Palace Malice, and we don't anticipate that will happen."

This is a little dismissive.  He beat Moreno and Oxbow easily, and neither is cheap speed.  Palace Malice has a few pluses -- he likes the distance, he's the third favorite coming off an unlucky loss, and he might move forward; as a 3-yo he's still an unknown quantity, which I'll take over the more obvious Flat Out.  

27 Sep 2013 12:57 PM
Monarchos Matt

Pick 4:

Bahamian Squall, Justin Phillip, Private Zone, Forty Tales, Strapping Groom/


Ramsey Entry/

Palace Malice, Flat Out

27 Sep 2013 1:06 PM


On paper the JCGC is really a head scratcher because a good case for a winning effort can be made for most of the starters. However the more I think about the pace scenario, the more I favour Cross Traffic to wire the field. Alpha is intriguing to upset the apple cart at a price because he has some pace and could really have "turned the corner" with his good victory over Flat Out in the Woodward. Otherwise, all the others will be in a futile chase trying to peg back Cross Traffic.

In the Vosborough, Bahamian Squall should be home and dried (pardon the pun) before The Lumber Guy and Justin Philips get to him.

In the Beldame, it will take a very brave punter to oppose Royal Delta, nevertheless Princess of Sylmar's performance against the reigning queen of the dirt makes for interesting viewing (not betting).

27 Sep 2013 2:18 PM

Authenticity to catch Beholder in the Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita.

27 Sep 2013 2:49 PM
Monarchos Matt

The only value in the race rests on beating Cross Traffic at those odds. I'm not sure why the prevailing thinking seems to be that Palice Malice won't be able to rate just off the pace and have plenty of gas left. It would be tough to argue that Cross Traffic is better suited for the distance in terms of either pedigree or performance. If he wires it he wires it, but there are enough proven 10f runners in here to try to beat him for the win at 5-2 odds.

I also like Bahamian Squall to win the Vosburgh but feel Private Zone will be sharp and get a sneaky good trip outside the speed.

27 Sep 2013 2:50 PM
Rusty Weisner


I will toss Alpha as a wet-track aberration, Strapping Groom, too.  The contributor's comment actually made me like Palace Malice more, as I think the pace setup for Cross Traffic is just as good for PM to latch on to him.

I think Palace Malice is the only 3-yo I really like tomorrow.  For example, you get some odds on Forty Tales because of his loss in a difficult trip last out, but I don't like him challenging older here.  

27 Sep 2013 2:52 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I think the Turf Classic is more wide open than the Vosburgh.  If Little Mike weren't lined up right next to him I would take a stab at King Kreesa to stretch out.  King Cugat was a good horse at this distance.  My biggest bet of the (losing) summer was Twilight Eclipse last out, and he was decisively beaten by BBK, but tables get turned.  Real Solution is big, Nutello ran well and gets lasix, Slumber could be a sleeper, etc., etc.

27 Sep 2013 3:01 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

We're on the same wavelength about the JCGC.  I like Private Zone, too, and I'm usually a little biased against CA shippers coming east, (and vice-versa).

27 Sep 2013 3:06 PM
Rusty Weisner

This is fun. Now I feel lucky again.

27 Sep 2013 3:08 PM
Monarchos Matt


I'm glad we agree on the JCGC, but I couldn't disagree more about the Turf Classic. I think Real Solution is the most certain winner on the entire card and I expect him to win by 5+ lengths. Of course, I could still be flying high from my Arlington Million Pick 4 and exacta scores!

27 Sep 2013 4:05 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

R7: Bahamian Squall, Justin Phillip, Private Zone

R8: paired entry


R10: Flat Out, Palace Malice (I might single him here instead of taking both -- I like them as an exacta, too)

27 Sep 2013 4:08 PM
Monarchos Matt


Those are also my top 3 in the Vosburgh, I'm just using Strapping Groom and Forty Tales defensively...the former because it would kill me if he wins at 5-1 and ruins my Pick 4, as he is very much in it on paper, and the latter because I've seen too many sprint races fall apart late because of faster than expected pace. But in all honesty I think he's better at 7f and has been beating weaker in those races anyway.

Regarding the Hirsch, I just think it really sets up for deep closers (I have the exact opposite opinion in the Flower Bowl). Joe's Blazing Aaron coupled with Real Solution and Big Blue Kitten might be the most obvious rabbit that I have ever seen. Add King Kreesa, Little Mike and Imagining to the mix and we're looking at a diabolical pace for a race of this distance. Real Solution towers over this field in terms of figures (besides Twilight Eclipse, but as you rightly noted, he appears to be on the down side of his form cycle) and I expect him to win handily. I just hope I get through the Flower Bowl, but that coupling actually helps me as I like Tannery second best anyway and I'll sacrifice lower odds for some extra protection and the ability to double my wager.

27 Sep 2013 5:07 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Fairplex Flow figures just produced lone upgrade winner Explain in the 3rd at Santa Anita.  That one attempted closing run behind the near w-w winner of a Speed favoring Flow and a surface that was playing kind to Speed on Sept. 7.

27 Sep 2013 5:08 PM
Plod Boy Phil

My win bet in the JCGC will be Ron the Greek who enters off back to back efforts on the wrong side of modestly Speed favoring scenarios.

27 Sep 2013 10:30 PM

Flat Out: It is highly unlikely that he will win the JCGC. Only three 7YOs have won the race.

1944 - Bolingbroke; 1964 - Kelso; 1999 - River keen

The Woodward was a very tough race for Flat Out. There was very little gallop out from him suggesting he was dead tired. He will have to travel an additional furlong. While he was sucking wind, Alpha was enjoying a long gallop out and returned to the winner's enclosure with lots of energy.

It was evident from his Woodward effort that he will have problems defeating the 3YOs & 4YOs who have combined for 71 victories in the JCGC.

4YOs 34; 3YOs 37

Orb: The last Derby winner to win the JCGC was Affirmed (1979). Prior to Affirmed’s victory, Derby winners Ponder and Citation won the 1948 & 1949 renewals. The JCGC has been won by 3 Derby winners in the last 66 years. This is not an encouraging bit of information for the fans of Orb. However, it should be noted that trainer McGaughey has saddled 3 winners of the JCGC.

Palace Malice: In the last 35 renewals of the JCGC, 7 Belmont winners have been victorious. This is very encouraging for the fans of PM. However, there should be concerns that Mr. Pletcher has never won the race.

Alpha: In the last 35 renewals of the JCGC, 7 Woodward winners have been victorious. As previously cited 4YOs have won 34 renewals. Alpha therefore has two positives.

Last Gunfighter, Victoria Opimpica & Cross Traffic are all 4YOs and fall into an age group that enjoys joint dominance of the JCGC.

Victoria Opimpica is a big strapping colt who won 9F Alydar at Saratoga in 1:49.10. It appears he will enjoy every inch of the 10F of the JCGC. He has tactical speed and I expect him to be challenging for the lead at the top of the stretch.

This colt is an unknown and could be dangerous. He is my selection to upset at a price.

27 Sep 2013 11:38 PM
Mary Zinke

Dear Timeform person("We"), please use names with the numbers. If you aren't going to, no reply necessary since I only want to hear, "Yes, we will."

r5. Beldame, #4 Royal Delta

r6.Kelso, 1a, 2(why did he do so poorly at Belmont?),3,5.

r7, Vosburgh, 2,3,4,5.  Like Justin Phillip sentimentally best. Think Lumber Guy is starting to come back.  Don't think speed of speed 8 likes to ship.

r8, Flower Bowl, 1 entry, but mostly 1a, 2,3.

r9.Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, 2 entry(wouldn't use the 2x otherwise), 5,7.

r10, Jockey Club Gold Cup, r10, 5,6,8.  Want Flat Out to three-peat, you know so the ladies can cry and songs can be written.  Think Alpha is over his babyish crap, and now a big boy, hopefully. Would not use the 3.  Only put the 8 in there because I would hate if he won and I didn't include him, plus "respect the speed". After those older three, the TC boys 7 and 2 next. Not sure about the wagers. I'm waiting for much more logical contenders to be sent in the a.m. by "The Brain".  

28 Sep 2013 12:49 AM
Mary Zinke

How many 7 year olds have won the Suburban, Coldfacts?

28 Sep 2013 12:52 AM
Pedigree Ann

Coldfacts - for how many years in that period you cite for the JC Gold Cup and its 3yo winners was it a 2-mile race in November? For how many years was it 12f? Need to be comparing apples to apples - the Woodward and the Marlboro Cup (at various times) were the big 10f tests for the largest part of those 60+ years.

28 Sep 2013 9:54 AM
Pedigree Ann

P.S. The Woodward as run at Belmont (1954-58, 1961, 1968-2009? 10?) was not the same race as the new race at Saratoga, in timing or surface.

Up until 1990, it was the big 10f race in September at Belmont most of the time. A few years it was 12f, and a few years the Marlboro Cup was the big 10f race with the Woodward was its 9f prep, but mostly, the Woodward was at 10f. And two weeks before the next race of the series, the 12f JC Gold Cup, shortened from 2 miles in 1975 moved from November at Aqueduct to October at Belmont.

If you are going to cite historical data, you have to check to make sure things have not changed over the period. And with the NYRA, that is not a good assumption to make; it seems to delight in messing up their best races - look what they have done to the Ladies H, once the G1 end-of-the-season championship for mares. Also at 10f.

28 Sep 2013 10:31 AM
Mary Zinke

"The Brain" likes 6Qushchi in the 8th. I liked her, too, and Somali Lemonade is a rather sentimental pick, so maybe 6,1,2 in the 8th.  

28 Sep 2013 11:09 AM

I think Palace Malice will run a good race, he likes Belmont and stumbled out of the gate in his last.Flat Out likes the track also so I would include him in my exotics as well as pacestters and pressers that start from the inside gates and Cross Traffic.

If the odds are good Palace Malice on top.

28 Sep 2013 11:46 AM

Pedigree Ann,

"If you are going to cite historical data, you have to check to make sure things have not changed over the period"

Many thanks.

There are portions of the historic data presented that changes of the period have not impacted. irrespective your point is well taken.

"how many years in that period you cite for the JC Gold Cup and its 3yo winners was it a 2-mile race in November?"

What difference does it make? A 3YO contesting either a 2 Mile or mile and a quarter race, is still a 3YO.

The Breeder Cup classic has been dominated by 3YOs and 4YOs. It has always been at a 10F race.

Game On Dude is 6YO and no 6YO has won the Breeder Cup Classic to date. He will probably be the overwhelming favorite to win and I will not be on board.

28 Sep 2013 1:09 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Thanks for the pace prediction on the Turf Classic.  Yes, I think you're right on that; not sure how to play it; might stick with ALL because predicting pace can be a crapshoot, especially on turf.  I I might play the BBK entry defensively as an additional P3 single.  In the JCGC I'm playing against a pace that favors either Flat Out or PBP's Ron the Greek; I'll single PM -- I'm willing to take a horse I'm fond of as the third favorite going against the favorite trying for a three-peat.

28 Sep 2013 1:20 PM

Mary Zinke,

How many 7 year olds have won the Suburban, Coldfacts ?"

I detects a little feistiness in you question. Maybe a little annoyance.

My research reflects three 7YOs have won the Suburban.

I never stated that Flat Out could not win. I stated it s highly unlikely based on what I consider to be his age and the tough race he had in the Woodward.

Why have you latched on to only the age portion of my post?

He could not get by Alpha who had been a moderate 4YO up to the Woodward. He is now expected to face the Derby and Belmont winners and a fast 4YO in Cross Traffic.

He was full out as a 6YO defeat Stay Thirsty in the 2012 renewal. Stay Thirsty did not win any of the TC races and a 7YO Flat Out is the ML favorite to win the JCGC.

What have I missed?

28 Sep 2013 1:23 PM
Rusty Weisner

I don't like it that both Strapping Groom and Alpha have their high figures off races where they ran on the lead in the slop.  I deprecate them both for that.  Speaking of figures, Palace Malice has just "paired" them, for what that's worth.

28 Sep 2013 1:30 PM
Rusty Weisner

I don't like it that both Strapping Groom and Alpha have both just run their highest figures off races where they ran on the lead in the slop.  I deprecate them both for that.  Speaking of figures, PM just paired them, for what that's worth.

28 Sep 2013 1:31 PM
Mary Zinke

Your feistiness detector is dead-on, Coldfacts, lol.

28 Sep 2013 2:17 PM
Plod Boy Phil

All Hail the Princess !

28 Sep 2013 3:12 PM

Surprise Palace Malice is the favorite.If the race falls apart behind him after he passes the pacesetter 7-135-135-135 if not a formful exacta with well payers and a posible horse on or near the front in 3rd and 4th 7-6-348-348

28 Sep 2013 5:53 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Boom !

28 Sep 2013 6:00 PM

Good pickin for those that had Ron over PM,I made more money back than I bet on the JCGC which I think is the object of the game.

28 Sep 2013 6:55 PM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

That one takes the cake.  Congratulations.  If you have the inclination, let us in on it:  Did you expect THAT?

That's the kind of performance I hope for out of an old veteran on Breeder's Cup day, but it was a bolt out of the blue for me yesterday.

29 Sep 2013 7:58 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Congratulations.  We handicapped that beautifully -- the race for second, that is.  

29 Sep 2013 7:59 AM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I hope this comment isn't taken the wrong way, but that P4 was very haveable -- I say that not gnashing my teeth and pulling my hair out, but with a sense of incurable optimism.  I ended up sticking with one horse in the JCGC for a $21 1$ P4, singled the same Laughing entry in a 1/ALL/7 P3 for $7, then made one $7 P3 where I took ALL/2/7.  So I can live for another day losing $35.

I liked RTG as a third pick here, just because he was salty and running in a 3yo/4yo mix, and figured him a likely garbage collector (WRONG).  The Laughimg entry, meanwhile, was an excellent way to anchor all tickets, in retrospect.  Same tickets $105 with RTG and the $1 P4 is like $3700.

That's the way would play it Breeder's Cup Day, betting profligately -- I have a $1000 profit left on the year to throw at it.  This was a BC-type result I just wasn't expecting yesterday.  Let's see if I have any luck Nov. 2.

29 Sep 2013 8:18 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty -


To be honest, I was confident he'd run his best race since the Sunshine Millions, but I certainly did not expect he'd destroy them.

The fact that he had won his two previous starts as a Racing Flow upgrade (2012 SA HDCP and the 2012 Stephen Foster) was cause for optimism yesterday.

Good times.

29 Sep 2013 8:45 AM

In retrospect Ron had a great trip stalking the pacesetters.The Equibase chart dosent even have PM in front but those that saw the race know differently.I look forward to what the speed figure boys assign the race.Ron would have won easily anyway but the over 6 length margin looks a lot better than it was because of the SIMPLE FACT that he ran the shortest route around the track.

A lot of punters think you have to pick the winner to be successful as a bettor, but if you can pick the exacta placers then it is an easy bet to play partial or entire wheels to win the exacta even if you use the $1 variety to cover other bets.

Show me someone that can pick horses that come in 1st and 2nd and Ill show you a consistently winning bettor.

29 Sep 2013 10:27 AM
Monarchos Matt


Ya, I actually feel pretty good about the way I predicted the pace in each of the last 3 races, but Little Mike apparently made the same prediction in the Hirsch, altered his running style completely, and threw me for a total loop. Although, given that I'm now an amazing 1-4 when trying to beat him, I suppose I shouldn't be so surprised. Credit his connections for seeing the obvious rabbit and calling the bluff. In retrospect, that race wasn't all that different for Little Mike than when he won the BC Turf rating off the pace at the same distance.

Real Solution was impacted by a wide trip but still looked like the winner coming for home before completely flattening out in the stretch. I expected a more explosive performance but he did post a career high Beyer stretching out and remains very playable on Nov 2, as does his stablemate.

Oh, and it wouldn't have mattered anyway for my Pick 4...after betting Ron The Greek to win last year's BC Classic and this year's Stephen Foster, I'd had enough of his inconsistency and didn't bat an eye when he went off at double his ML. Wish I'd seen Plod Boy Phil's post before then, although I was too shocked by the low odds of the 3 year olds at that point to even think straight...

01 Oct 2013 9:45 AM

Monarchos Matt I think you are giving too much credit to the human connections and the jockeys of the older horses.I believe after they know how to race and run these horses run differently in some races just simply because they are having days where they feel stronger and more confident and physically at a hundred percent.I dont think either Ron or Mike ran differently because of any tinkering by the trainers or jockeys they did it on their own.These are animals not machines and what you see on paper(PPs) is not the way they will always run.

A comment about a poster named Plod Boy Phil which you seem to follow and play what he suggests.I would like to see this Plod Boy Phil make a COMPLETE suggestion.In otherwords if he picks Ron then what will his actual bet be.I believe betting,and managing ones money is more than 50% of the task when you play ponies for money.

02 Oct 2013 8:16 AM
Monarchos Matt


Perhaps you have a point, but I think it has been pretty clear that Little Mike has not been successful going straight to the lead and trying to hang on at shorter distances in his prior six races this year. Given that Joe's Blazing Aaron could not have been more of an obvious rabbit for his deep closing stablemates if he were wearing bunny ears, I don't think it at all beyond the realm of possibility that the connections suggested a change in racing tactics to the jockey. I do not mean to take anything away from the horse, but there is indeed a great deal of money involved for the human element...suffice to say, there is at least some amount of strategy involved, which of course, makes it all the more fascinating.

I do not mean to suggest that I imitate the picks of Plod Boy Phil; I do not. However, that contributor has a methodology that has proven successful at times on this board as was the case Saturday, and at severely inflated odds to boot. And, I do believe that he specified above that his wager would be of the "win" variety.

02 Oct 2013 9:27 AM
Monarchos Matt

** Prior four races, I meant to type...

02 Oct 2013 9:39 AM

Monarchos Matt I know that poster PBP said win but if thats what he always says when posting a suggestion on here it still dosent specify an amount.

Some win bets will be for more units than others if someone implies the same win bet on all their picks then that someone probably dosent know how to bet very well.I am not making a negative comment about anyone on the blog but for anyone that knows anything about betting assuming that Ron as a more than 10-1 long shot would be bet the same as for instance an 8/5 favorite dosent make sense.

02 Oct 2013 11:42 AM
Monarchos Matt


I suppose that's one way to look at it, although doesn't that tend to get a bit personal in terms of the relative finances of individual posters? Kind of like asking someone how much money they made last year...some posters feel comfortable posting dollar amounts of wagers, and that's fine, but I don't see what difference it makes if the objective of participating on this board is to hear the opinions of others in order to work through, broaden and solidify your own wagering strategy. A winner is a winner is a winner...

Another way to look at it is in terms of multi-race wagers. To have singled Ron the Greek on a Pick 4 ticket and singled the Laughing entry would have allowed for considerable spreading across the other two races. That's how I play. And, considering that the $1 Pick 4 paid $3700 on a $1300 theoretical parlay based on win odds in the sequence, I'm not overly concerned with the unit size.

02 Oct 2013 12:20 PM
Rusty Weisner


Take it from me, PBP is a profitable pro.  I had a very sharp exchange with him some months back because I thought he held picks close to the vest and then offered opinions and claimed winners afterwards.  Since then I think he's opened up a little and his picks have consistently been the best on the site, and nearly always double figures; RTG was the not the first $44 horse I've seen from him.  So I feel I owe him that much to vouch for him.

I don't think the amount matters when you see that someone is a serious near-daily player.  Me, I'm real explicit in every aspect of what I bet.  It's probably a sign as much as anything that I'm an amateur.  I do it because I like having credibility with this community when I make the rare big score, and I also find it makes me really think through my bets more before I post them.  It's also therapeutic.

As I said, I'm up an even $1000 this year and that's the wad I'm taking to my season finale, BC (second) day.  

02 Oct 2013 1:53 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

That was the first time that Little Mike hasn't beaten me (nice analysis of the pace of that race, by the way).  Too bad it didn't amount to anything.

02 Oct 2013 3:06 PM

Rusty Weisner Im glad you are confident in his picks but unfortunately as an exotic player  without the amount of the bet I cant use it.

This is a blog for handicappers and we play with REAL money.Now if it were for contest play where each wager is the same amount then that is different.

02 Oct 2013 4:19 PM
Monarchos Matt


Thanks. Like I said, it wouldn't have mattered anyway, as I was only playing the race as part of the Pick 4 and wasn't live to Ron the Greek. But I still can't believe that Big Blue Kitten didn't get past him, or that Real Solution hung like that when it looked like he was going to devour Little Mike over the final furlong. Nice use of ALL there by you after all. Now we return to the cycle where Little Mike won't be 7-1 for another several races, which of course means I have to keep betting against him. NEMESIS STATUS.

Looks like a great card at Keeneland this weekend, although I may watch and learn in anticipation for BC Saturday. We'll see.

02 Oct 2013 4:20 PM
Monarchos Matt


I feel like I'm missing your point. First you say that you require an amount for an outright WPS bet, and now you are saying that you need it for exotics?

How does the amount of the bet matter to you for exotics? When playing an exacta or a trifecta the important thing is how you structure it. Do you want to box 2 in an exacta? Box 3? Key 2 over 3? Key 1 over 5? Key 1 over ALL? Box 5 or 6?(often a profitable strategy in a race like the Kentucky Derby). Once you have the bet structured you can bet as many units as your bankroll can withstand...but your profitability per unit is the same regardless of whether you bet $100 on an exacta box or $1. It's about deciding who can and who cannot finish on the board. Once you have that information you can bet to your heart's extent, can't you?

Please clarify your point...

02 Oct 2013 4:35 PM
Rusty Weisner


Take people's picks or leave them.  

Asking for exact bets and exact amounts isn't always a reasonable expectation.  Things change as circumstances change, conditions at the track, in the paddock, in the thick of action.  I'm the exception to the rule lately because I've had to make a lot of early bets and not been even online sometimes, much less at the track.

02 Oct 2013 5:07 PM

Wow two bloggers defending a blogger on a racehorse site.I wont get into any argument other than to repeat what I said Im glad you make use of his win picks but my goal is to make money from my bets.

I have to use the live odds and devise my bets so that whichever one of my bets wins I make more money than I bet for the entire race.There are however some races where I am sure of my key horse and my amount bet on the race will increase.

Without knowing how much Im betting in the win pool I wont be able to cover if for instance that horse gets nosed out at the wire and runs 2nd.It happens you know.

02 Oct 2013 5:55 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Brontexx -

There are a group of Unlocking Winner Bloggers here that have been exchanging correspondence here for many months, some for years.  Do you think you are in position to judge the value, or lack there of,  of anything any one of us offers?

Just how detailed a betting strategy is needed to profit from a $44 winner ?

02 Oct 2013 6:43 PM

Oh great now he appears, dont worry about it Phil I am not judging you.I just made ONE comment about  betting and it has ballooned into this.

I dont need any more details just give your fellow bloggers what you have been.

02 Oct 2013 7:07 PM
Monarchos Matt


I'm not so much coming to anyone's defense as much as I am genuinely trying to understand what point you are trying to make.

If you're saying that it's important to structure outright and exotic bets in order to assure yourself a worthwhile return in the event that your pick is correct, than I completely agree with that. Myself, I like to structure a W,P or S bet in at least equal proportion to my exotic wager and so that if that bet hits, I at least DOUBLE my return on the total investment. If I lose my exacta or tri bet, than I've still made 100% return if my top choice comes in, and if I hit the exotic wager, then that's just gravy.

However, the point that I and other posters are making to you is that it is not our job to do the math for you.

Plod Boy Phil gave out Ron The Greek to win before the race. The horse went off 21-1 after a 12-1 morning line. It isn't exactly rocket science, you could have played the horse any number of ways and done the math to assure a profitable outcome if he hit the board. Bet him to win, bet him to place, bet him to show, box him in an exacta with the two favorites, key him in an exacta over ALL, it doesn't matter. Any of these bets would have provided a very profitable return at those odds for any conceivable unit wager...well above and beyond the criteria that I described above.

To think I simply mentioned I wish I'd seen the post or alternatively just used my head considering I've been betting Ron The Greek all year at a quarter of those odds.. and this has come out of it? Haha, carry on.

02 Oct 2013 9:04 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Let's not digress guys - we know how quickly these communications can blow up.  It's just horses running around an oval.

Welcome Brontexx.

Lot's of good races this weekend every one.  Gets those Forms out.

02 Oct 2013 10:19 PM


You all make very good points!

Horse Racing can be exhilirating or a humbling game!

Two weeks ago I had the best day ever in 46 years of betting horses.

Ther was a deluge at Belmont and I thought I was not going to cash a ticket. I ended up betting rolling doubles and 4 horse exacta boxes and hit 7 races in a row. I also hit the late P4 at Belmont and the late P4 at Delmar. It was like the movie Let It Ride!

Last Saturday I was live in the Pick 4 to Palice Malice, Cross Ticket,Flat Out and ORB.I had a large exacta Royal Delta over Princess of Sylmar and a large P 3 using Those 2 and not using Graydar due to his layoff and loss at Belmont. Even though I had six winners in the P3 and P 4 I did not cash one ticket.

The point is sometimes you Win! Sometimes we Loose!and we are at the mercy of the Racing Gods.

I aproach this game as entertainment and enjoy it no matter the outcome.

03 Oct 2013 12:05 PM
Rusty Weisner

I think I'm going to try a longshot in the Champagne, Ride On Curlin.  I'll be surprised if odds aren't longer than the ML 12-1; I think bettors will gravitate towards favorites.  I'll do WPS on this one, not sure what else.  The Iroquois was interesting, as the two co-favorites were run down by longshots from far off the pace, while the third favorite faded worse than the other two.  The splits got progressively slower, so maybe it was just a lousy race and I should stay away from anyone in it (CD's 2-yo features were weak last year), but the co-favorite, Tapiture, chased Strong Mandate for second in his debut.

I'd like to play an exacta, too, but not sure who with, or even ALL.  Ordinarily I'd bet against a horse like Strong Mandate that romped in the slop last out, but that romp was no departure from form. Honor Code's race was fun to watch.  

04 Oct 2013 10:34 AM
Monarchos Matt

I'm looking at the Keeneland card and really like SAY at a price in the First Lady. She finished less than two lengths behind Dank, and we saw how much better that one was than the Americans in the Beverly D...Say was beaten third by less than a length in her last, a Group 1 race in Europe. She may romp here.

Thinking about a DD Say/4 in the Futurity...think I know which 4 I like but that race is a puzzler.

04 Oct 2013 10:58 AM
Plod Boy Phil

New Post up -

04 Oct 2013 11:15 AM

Recent Posts

More Blogs