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Nov 21, 2014

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD-PICK FIVE WAGER

By: JOE GIRARDI


               The pick five wager has really become the bet to make in New York. There have been some very large payouts on some very hittable tickets. We are going to take a look at this past weekend at Aqueduct, November 16th. The pick 5 starts in race 1 and runs through race 5 there is only a 15% takeout.

               Starting on Sunday November 16th, in the first race there was a field of six two year old fillies with Ring Knocker going off as the odds-on favorite with two solid second place finishes and then a decent sixth in the Grade I Frizette. She was turning back into a sprint race and dropping back into a maiden race. The second choice in the race was the 5-2 first time starter from the Kiaran McLaughlin barn, a horse purchased at the two year old in training sale back in May. When attacking the pick 5 I wanted to use both of those horses plus the #2 MOMAMEAMARIA, a two year old filly by Quality Road who ran a better than looked fifth in her debut with plenty of trouble in the race and she was getting a rider switch to Joel Rosario. Rosario wins at 27% for the David Cannizzo barn and this looked live runner. I used 1-2-5 in the first leg of the pick 5. With a clean break, MOMAMEAMARIA was sent right to the lead, battled with the favorite and drew away for an easy win paying a solid $27.40 to win.

               The second race was the Key Cents stakes, a race for two year filly New York breds. The race looked like a wide open event despite only six horses going postward. On paper it looked like everyone had a shot except the 6 Dunn Listening who was sent off as a 33-1 outsider. My Super Nova was sent off as the odds-on choice but she was just coming off a maiden win by a head the prior start. When the gates opened, The Lewis Dinner, second choice in the race at 7-2 was sent to the lead and led throughout scoring by almost three lengths. Sandra who chased from second all the way held on to the place spot with My Super Nova barely getting out of a gallop early checking in fifth late. Used 1 through 5 in that race.

               In the third race, a turf race for allowance optional claiming race going one mile. The slight favorite in the race was Ironicus, who finished third off a layoff last out and should be tighter this time around. On paper it looked like there were 4 horses to use, 4-5-6-9. The 4 looked liked the main speed, the 5 should be better this time around, the 6 was a big winner in his debut but failed as the favorite last out but could bounce back and the 9 was a big maiden winner last out. Despite getting a wide trip, Sycamore Lane, took over the lead into the lane and then dug in to hold on to the win by a nose at 6-1 over Ironicus. The early pick three paid a healthy $1,105.

               In the fourth race, a $40k maiden claimer for New York breds run over six and a half furlongs. We used five horses in the race, 2-3-7-9-10. The favorite in the race, #7, Harlans Six, who finished second last out got a good trip and closed ground beating a few horses that were also in this race. However, to take 8-5 might have been a tough proposition. There was an early duel early on, both of those horses tired and were overtaken by Justice Served, #10, and she drew away to score by almost six lengths. The favorite didn’t run at all checking in an even sixth and the #10 paid $10.60 to win.

               The fifth race was a NW2L $20k claiming race run over the turf. Toy Cannon, who has a record of 1 for 18 but has been close many times versus better, he received a tough trip last out when checking in fourth. However, if he runs back to some of his better races he cannot lose to this field. Hustled along early by Irad Ortiz Jr, Toy Cannon got a good spot early on behind the leaders. He moved outside down the backstretch and was up to challenge the leaders around the turn and into the lane. Taking over from the frontrunners Toy Cannon started to draw away to score by more than fourth lengths as the 7-2 thrid choice. The parlay on all five horses would have returned $25,188, however with the low takeout and solid pool of over $231,000 the pick 5 returned $56,187 for a $2 bet. A little over $28,000 for a $1 and just over $14,000 for 50 cents. The pick 5 play cost $150 for a 50 cent increment and would have been a very nice return.

               As we head into winter and the field size will probably go down you still have a major chance to make a score with a small risk and the pick five is the bet to make, especially at major tracks. Good luck!



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