Once I did a picking seminar at a racetrack and went through the card, offering the top four in each race, with a long shot or two tossed in for good measure.
Later in the afternoon, a man from the seminar audience showed me a ticket he had purchased that was based on my presentation. It was a $100 exacta box, using the first two choices in a claiming race. He said that he had gotten the cash off a credit card at an ATM machine. He said that he had to take some furlough time at work and could really use the money.
It was seven, eight minutes to the post.
I then explained the follow-up procedure to the handicapping seminar, which was to immediately cancel any big bets.
Picking in public drives pickers toward conservative selections; who wants to be left standing in the corner with a 25-shot that closed for ninth.
The new 50-cent exotic betting at this Breeders’ Cup has rendered looking foolish with long shots a thing of the past.
Because after all what’s 50 cents.
It is the picker’s pledge to bet a little something on all selections.
I hustled the man with the big exactas to the windows and we cashed in the $100 box and replaced it with one costing the minimum. One horse ran second, the other seventh.
Look at all the fun we had for $4.
Here are some picks for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs.
1. Giant Oak
2. A. U. Miner
3. Awesome Gem
Note: Half a dozen of ‘em resemble one another, go figure.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
2. Winter Memories
3. Tale Untold
4. New Normal
Note: Europeans love their grass.
Filly and Mare Sprint
1. Informed Decision
2. Rightly So
3. Sara Louise
4. Dubai Majesty
Note: Can Rightly So hang on? Sara Louise used to be good.
1. R Heat Lightning
2. Awesome Feather
3. A Z Warrior
4. Tell a Kelly
Note: Not naming them like they used to, are they.
Filly and Mare Turf
4. Éclair de Lune
Note: Some box foreign grass racers and win money.
1. Blind Luck
2. Havre de Grace
3. Life At Ten
4. Unrivaled Belle
Note: Malibu Prayer is one of those speed demons you can put on top and then toss, hoping she gets an uncontested easy lead.
2. Master of Hounds
Note: Though Soldat has been running in New York, its name is French for “soldier,” so there’s a slight European angle. You’d think someday a grass horse could get past a European maiden or minor stakes winner.
1. Big Drama
2. Smiling Tiger
4. Pashito the Che
Note: Tiger chewed up fake dirt bias in SoCal.
1. Quick Enough
2. Silver Timber
3. Grand Adventure
4. Unzip Me
Note: Claimers, fast filly, late runners at five furlongs, exacta could soar.
1. Uncle Mo
2. Boys At Tosconova
3. Rogue Romance
Note: Two favorites in a row is the limit.
2. Paco Boy
4. Gio Ponti
Note: Finally, a breather.
2. Here Comes Ben
3. Crown of Thorns
4. Morning Line
Note: Real versus fake dirt faceoff.
3. Dangerous Midge
Note: More from over there.
1. Lookin At Lucky
Note: Zenyatta will probably either win with ease and pleasure, or she might not get there at all. Who could argue with putting her on top and then sticking with dirt runners.