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Feb 07, 2014



               I have written in this spot multiple times about playing multi-leg wagers at the racetrack and how they are the best bets when playing the races. The pick 4 was always a solid wager, usually a very large pool at the major racetracks across the country and most of the time those pools are guaranteed. With the advent of the pick 5 wager that in my opinion has taken over as the top wager at the racetrack. New York finally implemented that wager back in September at Belmont with a low 15% takeout and it covered the first five races. As with most multi-leg wagers, when you beat the favorites the payouts are magnified and if you can beat more than one of those favorites you have a real shot at a bit score.

               On Sunday January 26th at Aqueduct the early pick-5 looked like a good bet especially when I was against the 2-5 shot in the first leg. In race 1, ENGLAND, off a second place finish at Calder back in early December against $25k maiden claimers was moving up to face off against $40k maiden claimers and was sent off at 2-5. His race at Calder was a good one, but at that time of year the $25k maiden claimers were more like $12.5k claimers and with two horses dropping out of maiden special weight company here in New York and a first time starts from a barn that does well with firsters it looked like a good way to start the pick 5.

               In the first leg we used the 2-3-6, the two class droppers and the first time starter. ENGLAND came out in third, chased the pace for a bit but tired badly to finish fourth, the result of the race was 2-3-6, with the two paying $14.40 to win. The triple paid $208 for $2, we boxed those three horses in the triple so we had a free play for the pick 5.

               In the second leg, the 3 PERFECT TRIPPI had the rail, backclass and was adding blinkers in a 5 and ½ furlong sprint and the 5 RIFT, coming off claim by David Jacobson after returning from an almost two year break were the only two horses you could use. If PERFECT TRIPPI  broke well he would prove very tough and we pressed him on our second ticket. After breaking cleanly from the rail, PERFECT TRIPPI cleared off early on and wired the field in the second paying $8.90 to win with RIFT the 6-5 favorite checking in fifth. Two good results through two legs.

               In the third leg, a $12.5k maiden claimer, there were some bad horses in this race, in fact the two morning line were coming out of races in the same class and they went off at 18-1 and 41-1 respectively and morning line they were 9-5 and 2-1. Although it didn’t reflect that in the betting because the horse we keyed went off as the slight 1.85-1 favorite, however he was 6-1 morning line, something that can go a long way in the pick 5. ASK ABOUT ME, who had some back races over this track last year that would destroy this field, was coming off a tough trip when he finished 7th beaten 21 lengths. He was bumped hard at the break and showed some sneaky speed before tiring. He caught a field basically devoid of speed and he was able to clear off early on. He was still there into the lane and held safe by ¾’s of a length over the second choice. The pick 3 for the first three legs of the pick 5 paid $281 for $2 about $100 more than the parlay.

               Moving onto the 4th race, it was a five horse field and we used three of them, the 1-2-3 and we pressed the 3, a horse named the UNDERTAKER. Sent off at 4-1, the UNDERTAKER, coming off an impressive win at Parx racing going wire to wire in the slop, he broke slow, moved outside and rushed up to take over the lead and again wired them to score by ¾’s of a length. This three year old colt trained by John Servis may have a future ahead of him.     

               Now we got to the last leg and we had good coverage, we had an all! There was only six horses in the race and four of them we had for a $1 and the other two we had for 50 cents. GO OLIVIA GO, who was sent off at 5-1 in the race stalked the pace from 3rd, stayed on the good rail and closed well to finish first by more than a length. The pick 5 paid $11,865 for $2, we had it for a $1 so we got half, $5,932. Our total investment, the first ticket was 2-3-6/3-5/5/1-2-3/1-4-5-7=72 combinations with a cost of $36 for 50 cents. The second ticket we had was 2-3-6/3/5/5/all=18 combinations for a cost of $9 for a total of $45. With the triple in the first race and the pick 5 we had a profit of over $6,000. The parlay on the early pick was almost $5,700 so the pick 5 payout of $11,865 was more than double the parlay. Obviously this was a great payout and with large pool and low takeout it is a wager to always take a long look at.

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