New Year's Eve: the Ultimate Get Out Day

Although wagering on horse racing with any seriousness is better viewed as one, long grind versus a day-to-day/week-to-week/month-to-month/year-to-year venture, there's just something about turning the page that makes us want to check the scoreboard.

And to be honest, I'm getting blown out this year.

To finish in the black for 2013 would require a comeback on par with Auburn's field goal return against Alabama with the Stanford band thrown in while Franco Harris conducts and Doug Flutie on, well, flute.

But even if it's a one-in-a-million shot to turn this negative ROI, even Lloyd Christmas knows that means there's a chance, and it's with that spirit of optimism that we not only look forward to 2014 but try to close the books on 2013 on a positive note.

For those really looking to end with a bang there are must-win carryovers of $174,641 in the $.50 Pick 5 (races 5-9) at Laurel (normally a jackpot wager but not today) and of $93,867 in the $2 Pick 6 (races 4-9) at Aqueduct.

For a complete list of handicapping reports for Aqueduct, click here.

My primary focus today will be on the Laurel Pick 5, as I feel more comfortable taking a swing there, and I think the overlay potential is higher given the size of the carryover and some dollars being diverted to Aqueduct's must-win sequence as well.

The Laurel Pick 5 begins with race 5, a $40,000 maiden special weight race for two-year-olds going one mile. The 3, 4, 5, and 6 all seem logical to me, and at least one of my tickets will use all four, but I'll be paying attention to the odds on #5 Center On the Moon, who entices at his 9-to-2 morning line price retaining the bug, getting first Lasix from trainer H. Graham Motion (who is 24% w/ a +60% ROI in 104 starts with that move), and stretching out for sire Malibu Moon.

Race 6 features one of the shortest morning line prices in the sequence in #5 Junebugred, but I actually much prefer #6 Ethelred, who I figure to appreciate the distance better (no entrant in this race has contested 1 1/8 miles before). #4 Respectful Ed has the name angle going for him but not much else. With three of the six horses rhyming, though, this race could be the start of a new Tim Rice musical.

Race 7 is among the more straightforward races with #s 4 & 9 no surprise, but the "tricky" seven-furlong distance could help #7 Heart of Rome, who hasn't done well at a mile but handles six furlongs OK and has two wins and five seconds in eight starts at Laurel.

Race 8 is the feature and provides that age-old question for multi-race bettors: Is it worth doubling the cost of your ticket to add a horse (or tripling to add two, etc.). In this case, #3 Steady N Love looks best and will do so to everyone else with that 7-to-5 morning line, but #6 Aunt M is tough to ignore at a price coming off an eye-popping maiden win in the slop with the hot bug Victor Carrasco staying aboard. The thing there, though, is if I'm going to use the Aunt M, I'd want #4 Smart Number on the ticket, too, even at a shorter price, turning back to a one-turn race and going back to the jockey who got the job done two back.

Race 9 closes it out, and I'd be content to get to the race live to just #4 Midian and #7 All About Style.

Who's your best bet today (anywhere) to end 2013 and start 2014 off on the right hoof?


Leave a Comment:


Turning the ROI positive in the shadow of the wire of the year can happen.  Late PK4 at Santa Anita on opening day turned my bottom line from red to black.  I had to remind the newbies who were with me on the excursion that five figure payoffs on .50 cent PK4 is like the proverbial homer in the bottom of the ninth.

31 Dec 2013 1:31 PM
Mary Zinke

Head Heart Hoof

31 Dec 2013 2:08 PM
Mary Zinke

5th. Maybe next time on a fast track.

31 Dec 2013 2:28 PM

I like the way you think, Lava'sStilltheMan, though with the chalk getting the job done in leg 1 I'm really up against it now!

31 Dec 2013 2:51 PM
Little Bill

Aq 8) 3 Hackleton. Trying to wire a field with lotsa gate speed. Maybe not a good idea. Price is right, post is good, let 'em go!

31 Dec 2013 3:41 PM
Rusty Weisner

Happy New Year, everyone.  

My resolution: find some time to bet on some horses.

31 Dec 2013 4:02 PM

Here is a tidbit from the ex-poster on this blog that is still a friend of mine Keeneland Vet(yes hes a vet)

Pick the colts that take a dump on the track before the race,yes they feel lighter and will run that way.

31 Dec 2013 5:29 PM

Part Dos

Here is a tidbit from the ex-poster on this blog that is still a friend of mine Keeneland Vet(yes hes a vet)

Pick the colts that take a dump on the track before the race,yes they feel lighter and will run that way.

31 Dec 2013 5:32 PM
Plod Boy Phil

To quote a favorite movie of mine with regards to my being unaware of this new Post while I was blogging downstairs:

"Don't I feel like a jackass".  

"Not at all, sir".

HNY to all,  or Happy Wednesday as atheists say.

One of my resolutions is to start drinking again after 18 mos.  It's day to day whether or not I'll succeed.

My horseplaying resolution is to be less awful more often.  It's day to day whether I succeed.

Best to all in 2014.

31 Dec 2013 8:55 PM
Plod Boy Phil


CR1)  Gulfstream,  R8  Voodoo Dancer  4yo f 7.5f T

CR2)  Gulfstream,  R9  GP Derby  3yo  8f

CR3)  Aqueduct,   R8  The Interborough  F&M  6f

CR4)  Santa Anita,  R8  The Blue Norther 3yo f 8f T

CR5)  Any T'bred you choose running 1/1/2014

Standard $2 WP scoring applies.

Good times.

31 Dec 2013 9:12 PM
Mary Zinke

CR1 Voodoo Dancer: 3 Tapicat

CR2 GP Derby:  6 Pablo Del Monte

CR3 Interborough:  6 Baby J

CR4 Blue Norther: 1 Famous Alice

CR5 Santa Anita r2: 1 Fury Kapcori

01 Jan 2014 2:27 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Contest Plays

CR1)  8 Tokyo Time

CR2)  2 Gone as Wind

CR3)  2 Lion D N A

CR4)  1 Famous Alice

CR5)  4 Glance's Rule - SA R7

01 Jan 2014 10:06 AM
Little Bill

CR1) Triple Arch

CR2) Pablo Del Monte

CR3) Miss Mischief

CR4) Saintly Joan

CR5) Monteamira/Race 5GP

01 Jan 2014 12:16 PM

CR1: I aint gonna lie

CR2: Aarons Orient

CR3: Delightful Quality

CR4: Full Ransom

CR5: SA RACE5: Say Ow

01 Jan 2014 12:27 PM
Pedigree Ann

Unlike quilting or crocheting, it seems that handicapping skill atrophies with non-use. I've not done much for many many months, as poor health and *Skyrim* have combined to distract me. However, I will make attempts for the 4 designated races (even though the Twilight Zone New Year's Marathon has my attention now) -

CR1 - Tokyo Time

CR2 - Enthrone if sloppy, Pablo del Monte if not

CR3 - Baby J

CR4 - Sushi Empire

01 Jan 2014 12:42 PM

I think Ill sit this one out as its not live and thats where I play best, like with real money,plus theres no purse(for us playing) and thats why they run the races for the purses to pay the bills and to build credibility so then they can either sell the breeding rights or live off of breeding(so to speak)as Ramsay has done with Kittens Joy.Thats where the owners get paid the big money in their point of view.

01 Jan 2014 1:08 PM
Little Bill

"You know what they say, nothing ventured, nothing......ventured".

-Jennifer Tilly

01 Jan 2014 1:58 PM
Mary Zinke

Famous Alice scratched from the Blue Norther. I'll take TBG's 7 Rever De Vous

01 Jan 2014 2:10 PM

Good Luck to all you playing in the contest in pre-chosen races which would probably mean you are using PPs to try to predict the future(todays race)thats why most players that rely on ONLY PPs lose,they believe they will use the same method to out think the others that bet and determine the odds primarily using PPS.

I am sure there is a lot more luck involved,and the best contest players have an ANGLE that they use to make their picks.

BTW the jockeys read the PPS also and thats where they plan their strategy on how they can win TODAYS race.If they lost the last one using a particular tactic a good jockey will try something a little different in this race so the outcome will be different.Whats on paper and is history a lot of times wont tell you what to expect from a competitor in this race,and its not team sports there are a LOT MORE than two teams,so your mathematical chances are not 50/50.

01 Jan 2014 2:19 PM
Mary Zinke

Pedigree Ann, Get well soon. Try chilies.

01 Jan 2014 2:19 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Make it 5 Full Ransom for me in CR4.

01 Jan 2014 2:22 PM
Mary Zinke

It's not like anyone is going to come into your living room and laugh at you if you lose. That's what family is for.

01 Jan 2014 2:35 PM
Pedigree Ann

Thanks, Mary. Long-lasting sinus infections are old friends of mine, although this one has been a bear.

01 Jan 2014 2:51 PM

CR1 Coarsegold

CR2 Wildcat Red

CR3 Lion D N A

CR4 Full Ransom

CR5 SA R7 Papa's Dancing

01 Jan 2014 2:51 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Mary -

You're killin'

No need for my comments now.

01 Jan 2014 2:52 PM
Little Bill

For fun, and money, playing the Fugue/Mary/Phil tri box in all contest races.

01 Jan 2014 3:07 PM
Mary Zinke

BTW, Good picks at Laurel, Ed.  Just a little bad luck at the start of r8.

01 Jan 2014 3:14 PM
Little Bill

Laughing in my living room right now.

01 Jan 2014 3:17 PM
Mary Zinke

Yeah for big boy Fury!

01 Jan 2014 4:07 PM

WOW I didnt realize yous were playin Calder in the contest.Now you will need a little more luck on this year round track with the trainers paying their stable costs yearly they have a lot of time to get their steed ready for a particular race.Theres not a lot of urgency to win this time or even next time as its open year round as a mostly claiming track.

Cant remember the number of times I have been in the paddock or close by when an obscure trainer had a $500 bet or more on a horse that on paper lost his last by double digit lengths only to win this one easily in the same class.

01 Jan 2014 4:16 PM
Mary Zinke

Thank you, Tapicat.

P.S., Aqueduct must not be fast-fast today. Must be slow-fast.   Really hate to lose with the speed by 1 L.  

01 Jan 2014 4:27 PM
Plod Boy Phil

It looks as if the 'The Blue Norther' will go a long way in determining a winner.  Mary two winners,  but has used her free play with a solid winner in Fury Cap (!).  derbyGal is in the lead with a $12 winner and a place horse in CR2.

01 Jan 2014 5:04 PM

When I was homeless I used to go to the track every now and then and bet maiden races by  going to the paddock and viewing the colts or fillies.

A lot of times I would grab a used discarded DRF not to use it to make picks but because I could use it to wipe my A.. after takin a dump.

01 Jan 2014 6:10 PM
Plod Boy Phil

That knocks me out - going into the last it's down to Mary and derbyGal,  as it often is.

01 Jan 2014 6:41 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Correction:  Fugue may still blow up the board with the 4.  

01 Jan 2014 7:01 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Final Standings

1st derbyGal ($20.00) - well done

2nd Mary Zinke ($15.00)

Pedigree Ann on the board with Winner Sushi Empire in the 8th at Santa Anita.

Thanks everyone.

01 Jan 2014 7:14 PM
Mary Zinke

Derby Gal wins all of these :)  Congrats, Derby Gal.  Pedigree Ann, your pick in the Blue Norther had to break through a wall of scream for Rever De Vous. That runaway speed that came in 4th was the "race ruiner" this time. Thanks, Phil, for the fun contest.

01 Jan 2014 7:23 PM

Thanks Phil, Mary.

01 Jan 2014 7:42 PM
Pedigree Ann

I know it is not fashionable these days to worry about weight, but I picked Sushi Express because of a shift in the weights - Full Ransom was picking up 6 lbs., but Sushi was picking up only 1, after not being beaten that much by 'Ransom. Five pounds looked like enough for a swing of a couple in lengths in Sushi's direction. (This is very old school stuff, much predating speed figures and all that.)

01 Jan 2014 8:04 PM
Drinks from a glass !!

great contest .... plod boy   ....

was at the big A today .next time for sure ...

derby gal . i'll shoot for you next contest ....

trainer shivmangal entire  family showed in paddock dressed for picture today .. tattoo me nw2l....he had 10 dollar exacta 2 all ... 599 dollar exacta... !!!

we played 10 win 10 place    ...

pedigree ann    feel better soon..

anyone in Stroudsburg pa area this sat 12 noon . 25 dollar contest at Mohegan sun Stroudsburg ,, tampa and

gulfsream...pik 10 races .bet theoretical 10 dollars per race place only ...lot of fun ...

inexpensive food and drinks ...winner normally wins 900 or so  depending on number of players...all bets count at track odds...

01 Jan 2014 10:27 PM

Drinks from a glass !!

There is a dollar sign icon($) It can substitute for 6 sometimes 7 letters. Your appreciation for this disclosure is expected in a liquid form. LOL

"Inexpensive food and drinks"

Are you referring the East Stroudsburg OTB? If my memory is correct there are high prices for imported beers. Even American brews are expensive unless its Happy Hour where only those equivalent to water are discounted.

The $25 Entry Fee use to include a specific meal but that was discontinued. Will that be restored?

I hope the Big A is the 2nd track as they have the competitive Jerome  for 3YOs. Classic Giacnroll is my longshot pick. Go ahead an laugh!  

02 Jan 2014 9:57 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Jan 2 Aqueduct Race 6

9 Maybrys Challenge (4-1) has been responsible for three consecutive 'one horse Zips' ( Closer favoring races),  including his last when turning back to a dirt sprint in his first at this sMc35k level.  Love the outside draw.

02 Jan 2014 11:45 AM
Plod Boy Phil

New Resolution: I will post no more Maiden claimers.

Jan 2  Gulfstream  R5

Box 6-11

WP 11 who was vs an Extreme for Speed last and is mighty dead on the board....

02 Jan 2014 2:38 PM
Plod Boy Phil

clarification:  No more bottom level maiden claimers in dirt sprints

Jan 2  GP  Race 10 8f Turf

5 Love My empire (4-1) has been much too close to Closer favoring Flows in each of his starts. The winners of those races each came from far back.

02 Jan 2014 3:59 PM
Plod Boy Phil

GP 10th continued...

Exacta box with the 10 Raging Atlantic, who exits the same Extreme as the failed GP 511.

Tri w/ the 8, 10, 11

02 Jan 2014 4:04 PM
Plod Boy Phil

So as not to confuse myself,

GP R10 ExB 6-10, Tri Boxes 6,10 w/ 8, 9, 11

02 Jan 2014 4:06 PM

I Just review the PPs for the Jerome field and could not believe that classic Giacnroll has a ML of 5-1. It is unlikely he will leave the gates at that price as  10-1 is more likely.

Evaluating the field from the broodmare sire angle,  give a major advantage to Classic Giacnroll. His broodmare sire Storm Bird has been the broodmare sire of a Derby and Belmont winner. The records of remaining broodmare sires do not remotely compare to that of Storm Bird.

Evaluating the field from the sires angle, give Matuszak a major advantage with Classic Giacnroll a close second. Bernardini the sire of Matuszak won the Preakness and was 2nd in the Breeder Cup Classic. Giacomo the sire of Classic Giacnroll won the Derby and interestingly was 4th in the BCC behind Bernardini.

Noble Moon is the 6-5 ML favorite but I am not afraid of this colt as he returned from illness. I do not expect the other fancied runners to out run Classic Giacnroll around two turns. He will be closing best of all down the long Big A stretch and I will be on board no matter the outcome.

02 Jan 2014 9:00 PM


Your last post has left me concerned regarding your state of mind. It contained the following disclosures:

Admission of previous homelessness

The viewing and wagering on fillies and colts but no geldings.

Collection of discarded programs for usage on a certain body area after a certain body function.

I am not sure how the above contributes to unlocking winners but its certainly funny.

02 Jan 2014 9:06 PM

Coldfacts the point is that PPs used as a stand alone tool, are not the way to success at the track,unless they are used in combination with your own original angles or strategies,inotherwords PPS are mostly a way for program sellers to make money that is their business, and mostly arent worth the paper they are printed on if used as an exact model of what will happen today according of what happened in the past, hence past performances.The paper they use to print them are useful for other necessities.When I make my picks solely using PPs I know that I am counting on a lot of luck,after all if they were such an accurate predictive tool then there would be a LOT MORE winning players than losers when the opposite is the case.

03 Jan 2014 10:36 AM

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