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Jan 12, 2007

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


    Every once in while opportunities present themselves at the racetrack that you just can’t pass up. One of these opportunities presented itself on January 5th at Aqueduct. For a week the NYRA made it a point to let the public know that Belmont winner JAZIL would be making his return to the races on Aqueduct’s inner track. JAZIL shipped back here from Florida because of an equine herpes scare and was going to get his 2007 campaign started in New York. He was installed at 2/5 on the morning line and would be most bettor's singles in all multi-exotics plays. I’m sure the thinking was “How could the Belmont winner lose to a NW2X other than allowance race on the inner track in the winter at Aqueduct”?

    Based on how the wagering went that is probably how must bettors approached the race; going off at .45-1 JAZIL was a heavy favorite. Instead of saying how could JAZIL lose the players in the know were saying “How could he win”?

    For the first thing the horse was coming off an injury and hasn’t run in over six months. The second thing was he was preparing in Florida and then had to ship back here to a much colder climate instead of down south. The third thing is that the inner track generally favors speed and just so happened to be very speed favoring this meeting. The original eight horse field was scratched down to six horses. However, more importantly the scratches left the field devoid of speed, leaving TAKE THE BLUFF as the only speed horse and just for good measure he also happened to draw the rail.

    As we have mentioned in this spot before the best play at the racetrack is the late pick 4. The pools are very large and the bet has a base of a $1. The first leg of the pick 4 was a straight three year old $40k-$35k claimer. There were nine horses in the race and to make sure we got past this contentious race we used an all on the first ticket. On our press tickets we had four horses that we were going to use to try and hit the play for more than a $1. The second leg was a NW2L $30k claimer with five horses lining up we used the top two choices, #1 FLY SO FAR and #5 THREE IN THE BAG, again this was another race without much speed and if THREE IN THE BAG was anywhere close to last year’s horse he couldn’t lose the race so we pressed with him. In the third leg, the race with heavy favorite JAZIL we were only going to use one horse, the lone speed and clearly the second best horse in the race TAKE THE BLUFF. The final leg was a New York State bred $35k maiden claimer. There were a couple of dropdowns in here and some that had speed so to be safe we used five horses, hoping to get the best price.

The tickets for the pick 4 play were as follows:

$1

6- ALL

7- 1,5

8- 2

9-2,5,6,8,10

Total cost= 9x2x1x5=$90

 

The second ticket for the pick 4 were as follows:

$1

6- 2,4,9,10

7- 5

8- 2

9- 2,5,6,8,10

Total cost= 4x1x1x5= $20

With the first ticket costing $90 for a $1 and the second ticket going for $20 for a $1 we repeated the second ticket bringing our total cost of the play to $130. In the first leg of the pick four we got home a nice price and one of the horses we pressed when SUNSET COCKTAIL (#2) scored by 4 ½ lengths and returned $16.40. In the second leg THREE IN THE BAG (#5) was an easy wire to wire winner after loafing through some very slow fractions to score at $5.80 mutuel. The third leg gave us a scare but for just a second as TAKE THE BLUFF (#2) stumbled out of the gate, but quickly recovered and set the pace through reasonable fractions and held a clear lead into the stretch before JAZIL closed some ground late but never threatened finishing 2 ¼ lengths behind the winner. TAKE THE BLUFF returned $8.50. The final leg also proved fruitful when the favorite had trouble at the start leaving MATSIBI (#10) clear on the lead and he never looked back scoring by almost 10 lengths and paying $17 to win. We nailed the pick 4 on a $130 play but when the price went up we were pleasantly surprised. The general thought is that the pick 4 should pay a bit more than the parlay which roughly came to $1700, but because of the huge favorite that went down the play paid more than double at $3,538. For our $3 play we got back $5307. More than $5000 profit on our original bet of $130. Now this doesn’t happen all the time and sometimes you are knocked out after one leg but when you have a big edge against a heavy favorite in a multi-race exotic wager you have to take your chance and this time for us, it paid off!

Good Luck!



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