One of the many things I love about the Sport of Kings is there is never a dull moment. You just never know what is going to happen and when. The whole key to the betting aspect of the game is making it count when you’re right. It always has been.
Yesterday, a long time well known bettor well played a hand we were all dealt and caught both the sharks and fish sleeping. While it was just about as much of a foregone conclusion by the masses that California Chrome will win the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown in two weeks, the Rainbow 6 jackpot pool would carry over just one more day to the mandatory payout. This is horse racing however, and why they run the race. You just never know.
While most were handicapping and structuring their plays for the Memorial Day jackpot that wasn’t, one horseplayer took a drive to the Palm Beach Kennel Club and purchased at least two $7,603.20 tickets for a total of $15,206.40. This virtually assured him of hitting the bet and gave him at least some variables to take the pool. If you can afford to weather a few times where you hit the bet but lose money on it there are probably worse ways to gamble. This particular Sunday while the fish were getting their money together and the sharks were circling the waters it proved a shrewd and well played move. The reward was well over $6 million, which covers a lot of losses and certainly is making it count.
Almost as soon as the shock set in to horse players, the particulars of the bet and identity of the player came out. Social media does that although it never became public knowledge who was taken down for the pool earlier in the meet or who was alive for the whole pool going into the last race Florida Derby day. It has also been reported the winning player took several other shots at the pool this meet so he had plenty of his own money in there with everyone else’s. Like I said there is never a dull moment.
Most horse players know or soon learn there is a big difference between handicapping and money management. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to beat the game without both these attributes. While yesterday’s takedown was more an example of money management than handicapping, and would require a significant bankroll to practice on anything close to a regular basis it was still a shrewd and lucky move. As a pick 6 player myself there have been more than one occasion where I went heavy on a no carryover day employing the same mindset and it did payoff with a few only winning tickets in the 100k range. The problem became the pick 6 pool stopped attracting that big a pool on no carryover days. Yesterday the money was there however and the winning player was savvy enough to go for it while most others were caught sleeping.
The ticket structure, all, all, all, 1,4, all, all with another ticket structured the same way except for two different horses in the 4th leg left only 6 horses on the whole card, all in the same 6th race who could beat him. Pretty strong position however he also faced the even more likely prospect of hitting the bet but losing money. Word has it the winner, despite being alive for that kind of money, made a hedge win bet on the 11 horse in the last race, thus showing concern about the prospect of winning the bet but losing money. Things worked out right from the beginning with long shots clicking which is what he had to hope for and had to happen to take the pool down. I’ve never bet that way and had to rely on my handicapping to take the pools I have but it must be a nice edge to have. The rainbow 6 was designed in part to produce life changing scores but that may not actually be the case, and when it is how often is it for a small or even regular player? While I love the bet and excitement it creates, yesterday was an example of how the conventional $2 pick 6 might indeed be a better bet even for the smaller player and provide a greater likelihood of the life changing score. It is difficult even at 20 cents for a regular player to compete with anyone who can buy five races, but on a conventional pick 6 not many are buying five races. That levels things a bit and gets more towards handicapping. If you’re playing heads up no limit hold em and have 5k and your opponent has 150k he is going to beat you no matter how much of a better player you are or what cards you get. If you are in the pool with sharks buying 5 races in a jackpot bet they have the huge edge.
Although it is pretty much a certainty we will have our share of odds on losers in the two weeks leading up to The Belmont Stakes, the next so called foregone conclusion is California Chrome getting it done in the Belmont. Like we’ve said, never a dull moment and let’s see. He continues to train well and seems to be holding his form, at least in the morning. He gets his nasal strip. Tonalist has had to train in bar shoes, which is never good due to frog issues. Danza was pulled from the race by Todd Pletcher and Intense Holiday was injured and will miss it also. Bay O Plenty a talented and dangerous horse also looks like he will be passing the race. He’ll probably be as short a price in the Belmont as we have seen in a while and has never been longer odds then 6-1. Everything seems to be falling into place but they still have to run the race.
Has to go to Dan Borislow, no ands if’s or buts. Well played Dan.
This goes to all those in Twitter land and Facebook land who said Gulfstream should have bought the pool at 15k twice thus insuring a carryover into the mandatory payout day. Besides being unethical and preposterous these same people would be complaining and calling them cheats if they had done so. How would you like to have the winning ticket and find out you don’t get the jackpot because the host track bought the bet.
Horse to Watch
Beyond Empire rallied extremely wide on the Belmont lawn to fall a little short. Should be much tougher next out with a better trip and some ground saved.