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Handicappers' Great Wins and Bad Beats of 2012

Horseplayers are a rare breed. While at the track, we love to tell anyone within ear shot about how we just got beat and/or how anyone with half a brain should have known that the horse we bet (and won) would win.

It also seems that for every “Great Win” story, there is a “Bad Beat” or to use a current phrase “Epic Fail”. The best thing about these stories, they rarely are told about a major race like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness or Belmont Stakes. Most occur during your typical day at the track.

Below is an excerpt from an email I received from a reader of my selection blog on WNST (before I joined HRN) from Black-Eyed Susan Day 2012, in which my Longshot Pick was Sensible Lady (20-1 M/L). Enjoy!

My wife and I went to Pimlico, as we have done for many years now, for the Black-Eyed Susan.  We are casual bettors in the sense that, when we go, we commit an amount of money to lose and enjoy the day and the races. We know our way around looking at PPs and enjoy the thrill of handicapping itself.

I printed your selections for the day to have as a guide against our picks and we went through the day winning a couple of bets but losing more along the way. We went our own way for the most part and let your selections influence us in some. Before the 11th race, I took stock of your selections and contrary to the sensibility (misguided as it was) I had, you had picked a number of winners and had a number of horses finish in the money. Side note: The only pick I did not understand to that point was Shimmering Forest all others I understood how a case could be made.

Then came the 11th, after taking stock of your selections and getting my wife’s direction to do a 6-7Exacta box, I went to the window and picked Sensible Lady (#1) to Win and bet the $1 Trifecta 1-7-6 and 1-6-7. I went back to my seat to watch the race and my wife had no idea why I was jumping up and down as the 1 stormed down the stretch. After the win she looked at me perplexed and said “THAT was the 1 not the 7.”  I said “I know I bet the 1 to win.” She got happy and said, ”At least we will not go home with our pockets empty.” It was then I told her that I also bet the Tri and then …oh baby!!!  We were having trouble seeing the board and the payouts so we were quite pleased when we cashed in the tickets.

  Click HERE to see results of Pimlico's 11th on Black-Eyed Susan Day 2102


I talked you up to these guys, sitting next to us in the stands that were from Philly, directing them to WNST.net and told them to look for your Preakness day blog where you would predict the card. They wanted to buy me a drink because I turned them onto Sensible Lady and the Tri.

I talked you up to this family from New Jersey at the Charred Rib (where separately, we and they went to celebrate the day) telling them to check you out.

We enjoy our days at the races regardless of betting outcome. You though, contributed to make this Black Eyed Susan an extra special outing and for that I thank you and WNST for the wisdom of carrying your blog.

Thank you and regards

Gil from Perry Hall

The best part of sharing my opinions in my blogs is receiving feedback such as Gil’s “Great Win” and being a shoulder to cry on when a reader experiences a “Bad Beat”.

Did you experience either in 2012? If so, I’m all ears!


Recapping posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Dec. 22nd had 7 winners from 9 races (3 Top Selections; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $4.60 (2nd), $3.00 (3rd), $23.20 (4th), $6.80 (7th), $9.60 (8th) and $5.20 (9th).


The BEST BET of the Day (12 5-1-2) Friendly Princess (4-1 PT; 4-1 M/L) had no excuse. The Brisnet Chart Comment was “dead aim off duel, wknd”.  She was in what appeared to be a nice stalking position, but when the field turned for home , and was asked for her best stride, she offered nothing and  finished 4th.    


The LONGSHOT PICK (10 3-0-0) Today’s Treasure (15-1 PT; 15-1 M/L) was a great name for a longshot, but he failed to deliver a ROI as he got unexpected pressure early. Thoughts of this one being lone speed fell by the wayside when Donttangowithmango (9-5 2nd choice) jock decided to push his mount early, which eventually doomed not only my pick who faded to 6th, but also “Mango” who finished a distant 3rd. Just goes to show no matter how the race shapes up on paper, the human element can really screw it up.


For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for snow in the morning changing to rain in early afternoon, with high a temperature of 38 degrees. All selections were made anticipating a SLOPPY/MUDDY (i.e. OFF) TRACK at Laurel Park on Saturday Dec. 29th. Check back on Saturday morning for updates AFTER scratches are announced (usually 10:00am EST). Selections for all races posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.


1st race – $25,000 Claiming N2L for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs

#6 – Officious  (3-1)   

#7 – Old Troubador  (4-1)

#3 – My Boy Jimmy (6-1)  


2nd race – $25,000 Claiming for 2 y.o. – 6 furlongs

#3 – Video Storm (3-1)

#1 – Ronello (9-2)

#7 – Grand Mast (4-1)


3rd race – $5,000 Claiming for fillies 3 y.o. OR F&M 4 y.o. & up N3L – 7 furlongs

#7 – Vasilea (9-5)

#5 – Politelyprecocious (6-1)

#1 – Bubbie Hon  (3-1)  


4th race – $14,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs

#4 – Azicharmyou (8-1)   

#5 – Regal Strike (5-2)

#6 – Speeding Spike  (3-1)      


5th race – $40,000 Alw. Optional Claiming N1X for 2 y.o. fillies – 1 mile

#2 – Miss Patricia (9-5)  

#1 – Curlamorous (9-2)

 #3 - Any Other Name (20-1)   *** SCRATCHED ***

#5 – Off My Cloud (5-1) 


6th race – $25,000 Alw. Optional Claiming N2X for 3 y.o. & up – about 1 1/16 miles

#8 – Tiger Walk (5-2) 

#7 – Peasant (8-1) 

#3 – Tappinintovictory (8-1) 


7th race – $125,000 MD Juv. Championship Stakes for 2 y.o. – 7½ furlongs

#9 – D C Dancer (5-1)   *** BEST BET ***

#5 – Hamp (8-1)   

 #1 - Indian Bucks (20-1)   *** SCRATCHED *** 

#4 – Alpha Mike Foxtrot (5-1)


8th race – $125,000 Dave’s Friend Stakes for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs

#4 – This Ones for Phil (8-5) 

#3 – Fiddlers Afleet (4-1)

#2 – Immortal Eyes  (4-1)


9th race – $5,000 Claiming N2L for F&M 3 y.o. and up – about 1 1/16 miles

#1 – Laurie’s Choice (10-1)   $$$ LONGSHOT $$$

#8 – Mimi’s Shoes (4-5) 

 #6 - Gallant Kittykat (8-1)  *** SCRATCHED ***

#4 – Zircon (20-1)




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Older Comments about Handicappers' Great Wins and Bad Beats of 2012...

I'm surprised you even noticed the guy in the sunglasses Brian!
Great stuff, Gary ... good luck tomorrow! Oh, and the photo chosen there might be the best ever used on HRN ;-)

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                Meet Gary Quill

  I am the most passionate person on the planet when it comes to thoroughbred horse racing! One sunny summer day in 1964 at Timonium Race Track is where my Dad and mentor introduced me to “The Sport of Kings”. Since that day, I have had the pleasure to visit over 40 different tracks across North America. Though an IT professional by trade, I’ve had a part-time gig with the Maryland Jockey Club since 1988.

here are thousands of rail-birds who claim to be great handicappers. Well, I don’t claim to be the best… just the most passionate and one that won’t tout “chalk”. Like a savvy stock broker, I look for value and often find it. Unlike the talking heads on horse racing television networks and the dozens of websites featuring handicapper’s opinions, I’m ACCOUNTABLE. That is, good or bad, you’ll always know how my previously posted picks performed along with a running record of my BEST BET and LONGSHOT Play of the Day selections for Maryland tracks (Laurel and Pimlico) at TheRacingBiz, see "The GQ Approach".

   In addition to focusing on the Maryland thoroughbred racing circuit, each year I follow the Derby Trail and post “GQ’s Derby Double Dozen” in early February. 

   My personal mission is to rejuvenate interest in thoroughbred horse racing. Being able to share my energy, thoughts and opinions on this sport via HRN will certainly help the cause.


"I lost $2 at Santa Anita and I've spent $3 million trying to get it back." - Mickey Rooney

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