I love premieres, especially the premiere of Pick
5’s. I was at the 2007 Breeders’ Cup at Monmouth Park when the Pick 5 was
offered for one of the first times in the country. Then in 2008, Monmouth
brought the Pick 5 on board for the entire meeting. Now, finally, the Pick 5
has come to Belmont Park.
I hit that
first Breeders’ Cup Pick 5 and ever since I have been a big fan of the wager,
as has the American betting public. There is nothing quite
like the thrill of being alive in the pick 5 going into the final leg, but it
is not easy. I always go
back to what Steven Crist, the master of the multi-race wager and the
originator of the ABC system and Ticketmaster, said in Exotic Tickets, “No matter how good you are at them, playing bets like the pick 4 or pick
6 can really be like riding a roller coaster. You can go weeks, maybe even
months, without making a big score.”
Saturday, September 7, the 50¢ Pick 5 comes to Belmont Park. The NYRA reduced take out Pick 5 will be on the first
five races of the day. With a take out of 15%, this is by far the most
attractive exotic wager offered in New York. There will be no consolation
payouts, so the entire pool will carry over when nobody correctly picks the
five races. The early Pick 4 will continue to be offered on races two through
five and the late Pick 4 on the final four races of the card.
I think that New York State of Racing should take a
shot at hitting the inaugural Pick 5. The sequence starts out with three New
York-bred races, followed by a starter optional claimer, and ends with a 35000
Race one is a
contentious one-mile optional claiming allowance in which I have to use four
horses: 1, 4, 5, and 7. If pushed to choose, I would make Smooth Bert my top choice. His last three races were top three finishes
in state bred stakes and he loves the distance and Belmont Park.
Race two is a
six-furlong turf sprint allowance for non-winners of one. Three horses need to
be on the ticket here: 1, 5, and 8. Linda Rice’s Uncle Southern is the top choice here. Her barn was heating up at
the end of Saratoga and this horse ran well in a lightning fast race that was
off a seven-month layoff.
Race three is
for two year-olds and only two of them have already run. Both Blithely and She's a Sizzler return off of second place finishes. One them,
number 1 or 6, should win this one.
Race four is a
one-mile starter optional claimer and we will go three deep here: 3, 5, and 6. Talk Therapy owes me a big effort after
he got in trouble in the gate at Saratoga and then seemed angry and was rank
during the rest of the race.
Let’s hope we
have the thrill of being alive in the Pick 5 going into the last leg. In race
five we will need to use three horses to take down the Pick 5: 3, 7, and 8. The
maiden win of Jumpinofftheedge may
be good enough to win here, as his last two were in races much tougher than
Good luck and
I hope you hit the Pick 5 in New York sooner rather then later.