Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Racetracks were closed all
over the Northeast due to snow and cold temperatures, so the best horse racing
action appeared to be at Gulfstream Park.
I started handicapping Gulfstream on Friday night and at first glance it looked
like a very tough card.
On Saturday morning I
heard that there was an $113,000 carryover in the Pick 5, so I decided that
this was the right time to play the Pick 5 with a partner. I texted my Horse Racing Nation friend, Brian Zipse and asked if he was
interested in taking a shot at the carryover at Gulfstream.
After a couple more hours
of handicapping we got together on the phone and interestingly we had very
similar thoughts about the card. We would have to spread quite a bit on the
first three races, but the horses that we felt the best about were in the last
two legs. It was now time for Brian, who I like to call the “Master Ticket
Maker”, to take over and design our tickets.
Here is Brian’s take on
the our Pick 5 play:
And here are the Pick 5 tickets that Brian sent me:
"This one was nice in
that Matt and I both thought that the first three legs were the toughest.
Twilight Eclipse and Charade were our agreed upon best bets in the final two
legs. When you are going in with a partner, it is an advantage to have solid
agreement. It not only gives you confidence in your own handicapping, but it
frees you up to focus, and really go after the ticket. We decided to keep it
all under $200, so my thought was to, at the very least, make sure to get to
the final two races with a chance to score if our two best bets both win. The
first three legs were tough, so we only had the biggest ticket of the four
left, but they provided some good odds for the ultimate payoff. The losing
three tickets did not require both best bets to win, but were spread much less
in the first three."
The sequence began with
race 7 and included four turf races. Three of the turf races were at not often
run distances of over 11 furlongs and two of them were graded stakes races.
The first leg, a maiden
special weight at seven furlongs, was the only main track race. Brian and I
felt it was a pretty wide-open affair and we settled on four horses. We
included the two likely favorites, a first-timer that had created a buzz at the
track, and the #2 Victory Nor Defeat.
Brian liked this one because Unbridled’s Songs often run well first out and I
had looked up the dam to find that she was a runner who had earned over
$200,000. Things started well for us as Victory Nor Defeat closed nicely down
the stretch to pass a long shot. At 5.60-1, he was the highest price of the
four horses that we used.
At this point all four of
our tickets were alive heading into The Very One (G3). We felt that any of these fillies and mares could win the race as
most of them had not yet run in 2014. We keyed four of the horses, but played
ALL on the other ticket. In what I like
to call “The magic of the ALL button”, the race was won by Inimitable Romanee at 10.20-1.
We hit another nice price,
but were down to just one ticket that had us alive 5 x 1 x 1. Two races and two
nice prices, but the remaining ticket was going to be tough to cash with two
singles in the last two legs.
Race 9 was a 12 furlong
OC35/N1X turf race with nine runners and we had five of them. Gold Former, a veteran of the Chicago
tracks, received a quintessential Julien Leparoux ride to come off the pace and
win for us at odds of 8.80-1.
The first three legs were
won by three healthy prices. We were alive, but we had no room for error
left. We basically needed to hit a cold
daily double in the last two races to hit our Pick 5.
The fourth leg was the Mac Diarmida (G2) and we agreed that Twilight Eclipse had a huge class
advantage in the race. Most of his recent starts were very good efforts in
grade ones and the rest of the field had never run at that level. Fortunately
he ran to his 1.40-1 odds with a very nice ride by Jose Lezcano.
The will pays went up and
we would collect $3,576.35 if Charade won the 11th race, which was a $16,000 N2L claimer going a distance of ground on the turf. Charade had finished second last out after a bit of a troubled trip. He was claimed out of that race by Michael Maker for the Ramseys. Earlier in the day I said to Brian, “Let’s let Michael Maker work his magic.”
Another plus was that
Charade would be ridden by the Eclipse Award winning jockey, Javier Castellano. Here is my very
simple tweet just before the race...
It was a picture perfect
ride by Javier as he stalked the leaders from the three path, being very
careful to stay out of trouble. Charade won the race fairly easily down the
stretch and Javier needed very little urging from me as I watched the video on
my 4NJBets TVG account.
With consolation payouts
for 4 out of 5 we ended up collecting $3,986.35, which is the largest ticket
that I have ever cashed. I hope this account of what Brian and I did with this
play will encourage you to try a pick 4 or 5 with a pal.