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HRN Original Blog:
Handicapper's Corner

Musical Saddles, or: Nailing the Pick 4

Last Saturday at Saratoga was Travers Day, but after looking at the card, I found the all-stakes $1,000,000 late pick-4 to difficult to play for the amount that I normally allocate to the bet. Though I was not as brave as one of my co-workers, I found the early pick-4 (races 2-5) more to my liking.  I will discuss multi-race betting strategies in more depth later, but I usually put in multiple tickets (between 4 and 12) and play them at varying strengths in the attempt to hit the bet more than once based on the outcome of each leg.


After 3 legs, I was alive to the #9, 10, 12, and 13 for a $1 pick-4, though I was wondering what might had been if #10 Bonita Sonata had won the 4th race at $22.70-1 and not 3/5 #11 Cinematize. A win by Bonita Sonata would have left me alive to #9, 10, 12, and 13 for a $0.50 pick-4. For pick-4 purposes I liked all 4 horses in the 5th race equally, though one of them stood out slightly. By looking at the PPs of #1, 10 & 12 a pattern develops: all ran well and were ridden by Ramon Dominguez in their last start. Though #1 Cave Valley and #10 Hon. de Leon are trained by Rudy Rodriguez and Rick Dutrow Jr. respectively, Dominguez decided to stick with #12 Rigby for trainer Steve Asmussen despite moving up very sharply in class ($20K claiming to NW1X allowance). This is very important because, though Asmussen is very accomplished and a future Hall of Famer, Dominguez rides first call for both Rodriguez and Dutrow Jr. and vacated those mounts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rigby’s sharp class hike showed confidence from Asmussen and Saratoga’s top jockey wanting to stick with the mount was the final nudge I needed to convince me Rigby was ready to duplicate his last effort and make him the key in my exacta wagers. I only played the exacta, and it was a healthy payoff for the 1st & 3rd favorites. Though it was nothing compared to the tri/super payoffs with #1 Cave Valley and another of my pick-4 horses, #9 Cajun Breeze running 4th.

 

 

 

 


This is angle can be used in a lot of situations at any track, distance and surface. It doesn’t take a track’s top jockey to make this angle work either. In fact, I like to use it with lesser known jockeys, because everyone wants to be in the winner's circle!

 

Past performances courtesy of Brisnet and result chart from Equibase

 

Please be sure to follow me on Twitter-@Cappercorner and/or friend me on facebook.com to continue the horse racing conversation! 

 

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Older Comments about Musical Saddles, or: Nailing the Pick 4...

Not bad when the team hits both Pick 4's on a big day ;-)
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Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, NE.  From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10.  Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for handicapping the races has risen to a new level.  Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find “cap horses” in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.

 

My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charm’s 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race I’ve seen was Tiznow’s first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giant’s Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch.   My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping pick-4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.

 

The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do.  From week to week, I’ll explain angles I think are important to locate winners.  I encourage others to post picks they like too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions.  That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal.-Best of luck, Jasen Mangrum