She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Chrome is golden in Preakness
It was a decision that went against my normal wagering strategies. As I looked at the racing form for the 139th. running of the Preakness, it became increasingly clear to me that no one in the field of ten was going to beat California Chrome.
Yes, I liked Bayern and think he'll be a great horse eventually in minor stakes races. I did use him in a few exotics with General A Rod, Social Inclusion, Ride On Curlin and California Chrome. He's still out there running...
I decided to "unbuckle" on California Chrome. The horse looked great, had gained 35 pounds since the Derby...which indicated to me he was feeling good, emptying his feed bag each day and was showing no ill effects nor worn out from the win at Churchill.
I hoped for a scenario just like the Derby...where Victor Espinoza kept him just off the pace and moved him as the horses approached the stretch. I got it.
California Chrome paid $3 to win on a $2 wager and also $3 to place. It wasn't a huge profit on the exacta or trifecta either. The Pick 3 that ended with the Preakness was peanuts as well...but it's good when you leave with more money that you came in with.
That was questionable earlier in the Pimico (and Churchiil) cards. My Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers at each track weren't hitting. I discussed this with my buddy Tommy Boy. We agreed that getting three bucks for every two wagered wasn't brilliance in handicapping strategy but it was a 50% return on investment and was preferable to leaving tickets on the table that were worthless.
When I did cash out...I was joking about getting a Wes Welker result...but I received exactly what was due. Speaking of Welker...the guy makes $2 million a year to drop passes in the NFL. How about making a $14,000 donation to The Crusade for Children, or the charity of your choice? Be a good guy, Wes. Do the right thing.
Will California Chrome win the Triple Crown three weeks from now in New York at the Belmont Stakes? Probably, but we'll watch with interest to see who will challenge him. Will the all-star filly Untapable enter? Does Danza try again after running third in the Kentucky Derby? How about the second place finisher in the Derby...Commanding Curve?
Will Ride On Curlin take another shot at him?
Meanwhile, back at Churchill...five and six horse fields make up the early races. Not much challenge (or profit) there...we made a decision yesterday to try and beat the favorites in the early races. That didn't go so well.
But...once again...my investment advisor Little Marty would bounce off the walls with joy if he could find something he could hook me up with that would yield 50% gain with little risk.
I took the money and enjoyed the day.
Here's my version of the race that I sent to a small independent newspaper who asked me to cover the Triple Crown for them:
California Chrome broke well from the gate, settled behind the early speed and kept to task behind the early leaders. Approaching the homestretch, he was asked to move and responded well for Victor Espinoza...easily taking the lead. He was wrapped up without urging in the final furlong and won easily by two lengths over late charging Ride On Curlin. The battle for third was won by Social Inclusion, who nosed out General A Rod at the wire in a photo finish for show money.