I posed this question on Twitter, on "At The Races" w/ Steve Byk, and in the Brisnet.com weekend preview, and still have not received a definitive answer: Does this
weekend (it's happening Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) mark the first time that Calder Race Course, Guflstream Park, and Tampa Bay Downs are conducting racing
at the same time?
If anyone knows, drop a comment, or at the very least drop a dime in the box and play a song about New Orleans.
This isn't the forum to debate whether there's too much racing, not enough good racing, or whatever derivative of the "why are Gulfstream and Calder running at the same time?" question you want to explore. We'll leave helping to answer that question to the fine people of The Blood Horse's new staff like Tom Lamarra and Frank Angst.
You'll never hear me complain about a quality racing and/or wagering product. I separate the two because I won't blow smoke up anyone's butt and say that Fairmount Park is top racing, but there were some compelling cards at that track this year, and I enjoyed looking at them on a Tuesday afternoon even though there was plenty of other racing that day and during the week.
This weekend in Florida is no different. The volume of racing there would be an easy target if they were running 6-horse fields of maiden and bottom-level claimers, but that's not the case.
Gulfstream has more than $1-million up for grabs as part of the Claiming Crown, Calder has a trio of Grade 3 races, and Tampa Bay has nearly all two-year-old races, including a stakes for each sex.
At TwinSpires.com, we're happy to celebrate the great racing at the crosstown rivals by providing a 1-million points promotion linking up the 11 stakes at Gulfstream (8 Claiming Crown races) and Calder (3 Grade 3s).
To win your share of 1-million points in the Miami Melee, place a winning $5 win bet on four of the 11 contest. Only one horse per race, so only your first $5 win bet counts toward this promotion, and combination straight wagers such as Win-Place or Win-Place-Show do not count. A qualifying wager is $5 to win. Hit four of those, and you split the pot.
If you bet a horse with a 32.3805% chance of winning in each of the 11 races, then you'll give yourself exactly a 50-50 chance of hitting at least four races, and if those horses each pay 2-to-1 then you'll be ahead of the game before you even cash in on your share of the million points.
The prudent thing, will be to mix in some value along with more likely winners even if underlaid. If you identify four races where the most likely winner has a 50-50 shot of getting it done, then you're 6.25% (15-to-1) to get all four, 25% (3-to-1) to get three, and 37.5% (5-to-3) to get two.
If you only get two of the four, then you have seven races to get the other two. If you take horses with a 25% chance of winning those races, then you're 55.5% to get at least the two you need, which means 20.8125% to get the bonus. If you get three in at 50-50 then you only need one of seven, and the chances of that are 86.65%, which is 21.6625%.
But what if you don't get any right at even money? Then you're left needing four of seven at 3-to-1, which sounds tough, but it's still more likely than a perfect four-for-four at even money with a 7% chance.
So, we have a 6.25% chance you get all four at even money and a 7% chance you get all four at 3-to-1. Then there's a 20.8125% chance that you get two each and a 21.6625% chance that you get 3 at even money and the last one at 3-to-1. Altogether, that's a 55.725% chance of hitting the promotion, which is 11.45% better than playing all fair-value 2-to-1 shots (i.e. the horse's actual odds may be higher or lower, but for the purpose of this exercise we're zeroing in on horses you think have about a 33.33% chance of winning. If a horse is 3-to-1 and you think its chance of winning are 33.3% then that is a prime wagering opportunity).
Thus, my advice is to look for the four most likeliest winners and play them to win. Then with your other seven races take the best bet that is in the $6-$10 range.
And let us know your progress in the comments.
ED'S SPICY SELECTIONS:
I haven't been through all 11 races yet, but for sure two of my "most likely winner" horses are going to be Winiliscious in the Iron Lady Stakes (race 3) and Ribo Bibo in the Express Stakes (race 5) both at Gulfstream.
The Calder treble is trickier because I actually prefer second choices Bad Debt in the Tropical Park Turf Handicap and Sr. Quisqueyano in the Fred W. Hooper Handicap.