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Oct 19, 2012

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD-PICK FIVE SANTA ANITA

By: JOE GIRARDI


               We have said in this spot in the past how the best play at the racetrack was the pick four play. Well over the last few years many tracks have adopted a pick five wager, usually a 50 cent increment and at some of the larger tracks the pools can really grow. We are to going to take a look at last weekend at Santa Anita (October 13-14th) and the pick 5’s for those two days.

               On Saturday October 13th, California Cup Day, where all the races were for California Breds, the pick 5 started in race 1 as it always does as Santa Anita, the money that was bet into the pool was $241,014. After a sequence which saw a 10-1 win the first race, a 5-1 win the second race, a 16-1 win the third race, a 26-1 win fourth race and finally a 5-1 win the fifth race no one hit the pick five. Unlike some of the other tracks, Keeneland and Gulfstream for example, it is either five wins or nothing at Santa Anita. At Keeneland and Gulfstream for example, even if there are five winners, they also pay a consolation payoff to four winners. Santa Anita doesn’t do that and if there are no winners of five the entire pool, less the takeout is carried over to the next day. This is what happened on this day and a carryover into Sunday October 14th, was $207,240. I for one look for carryovers at any tracks if I feel I have an advantage, even if it is at a smaller track that I think I can take the whole pool without having to blow up the toteboard. But with an opportunity like this I had to make sure to make a play. I knew that this play could cost a lot I called my friend that I usually go partners with when there is a large carryover.

               Looking at the races on Sunday October 14th I came up with a play and this is how it went. The first race was a Statebred maiden special weight race over the turf with six horses going in the gate. I used three horses in this race, the 1-2-7. The slight favorite in the race was the 3, Northern Flight who ran just evenly in her first turf try. The 7 went to the lead with the 2 stalking that sharp pace but when the real running started, the 2, Sudden Sunday took over and went on to score as the close second choice paying $7.40 to win.

               The second race was $25-22.5k NW2L claimer six horses but there was one late scratch so five went postward. The 1 and 2 vied for favoritism with the 1 going off a slight favorite late. We used three horses again in this leg to make sure we got by, the 1-2-5. After racing behind the two speeds, the 5, Buds Pal, took over into the lane, led by two lengths in the stretch and gamed out the score by a nose over the favorite. As the third choice in the race he paid $10.80 to win.

               In the third race a $25-22.5k claimer for two year olds there was a field of six that went postward. We used three horses again, the 1-4-5. The 4 was the even money favorite and we didn’t have the second choice, the 2, so if we could get the 1 or 5 home we would be in a good spot. We did do just that as the 1, Hazardous score a dominating win by over 13 lengths. This two year old by Candy Ride was an easy winner in his debut after getting off slow, then followed that up with an even fourth versus winners after encountering more trouble and was claimed out of that start. Put in two works at Betfair Hollywood Park and then went out to crush this field of horses that definitely didn’t have many credentials behind them. That early pick paid $396.80 for $2. Not a bad start to the pick 5.

               We had good coverage in the last two legs with a 6x5 to close it out. The total play was 3x3x3x6x5= $810 for $1, $405 for 50 cents and a total of $202.50 for each person as I had a partner. The fourth leg was a maiden special weight for two year olds sprinting over the turf. We used 1-3-6-9-10-11. Hoping for another price we were happy to get the win as the 11 One Firm Cat (4-1) stormed home to score by 1 ½ lengths over 28-1 longshot, Grand Giant who we didn’t have on out ticket. We know have 6 horses to close it out in the final leg.

               In race 5, a maiden claimer for $30k claimers there was a field of 10 that went postward and we had the 2-4-6-10-11, the only five horses what were in single digit odds. The longest shot of that five, the 10, Christmas Candy, who was coming off a good fourth in her prior start, she showed much more speed, took over after a ¼ mile and never looked back scoring by eight lengths in a solid time. The pick 5 paid $7,095.25 for 50 cents. The prices of the winners were $7.40, $10.80, $18.80, $10.20 and $20.40 for a parlay of $19,539 for two dollars. The 50 cent parlay was $4,884, more than $2,100 less than what is actually paid. That is the power of a carryover and because of that there was another $1,013,558 bet into that day. With the 50 cent increment and these tracks that have big pools for the pick 5 it is a tremendous bet and can offer a chance to make a big score. Good luck!



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