A good day for handicapping yesterday at Tampa Bay for me. I tried the late Pick 4 , which included the Florida Oaks and Tampa Bay Derby and hit it.
The Pick 4 paid $909.55 on the .50 cent wager. I spent $128 to hit it. I had sixteen of my picks go to post and out of them, I had four winners, three seconds and no thirds. That worked out to a 44% "in the money" percentage. I filled seven out of the 12 payable sports for a 58% success rate there. One scratch on the day, in Race 12, where Silky Warrior didn't go, so I used my alternate Ballacolla.
In Race 9, MICHELINE proved to be the best and went off at 9/2. That was my only runner that hit the board in that race, but it was a winner, so I was still alive in the Pick 4.
In Race 10, DOMAIN EXPERTISE (5-1) out ran heavy favorite JOUSTER to take the Florida Oaks. Those two were the only two to finish in the money for me in my four horses for that race, but I had a winner and she beat the favorite.
In Race 11, HELIUM enjoyed the switch from synthetic tapeta at Woodbine to dirt and took the Tampa Bay Derby at 15-1 odds. He beat HIDDEN STASH and I had both of those in my picks.
(That Pick 3 for Races 8.10.11 -- in case you went that way -- paid $192.15 on the .50 cent wager)
In Race 12, my top pick REINA DEL SOL got little respect from the bettors at 5-1 but won over favorite BELLACOLLA. BELLACOLLA was one I had in my "if scratches occur" lineup. Those two were my "in the money" selections.
(The Late Pick 3 paid $168.85 on the .50 cent wager)
ROAD TO THE DERBY
So, is HELIUM a bona-fide Derby contender now? The horse wasn't a Triple Crown nomination going into the race. He came in from Woodbine to run yesterday and it was his first attempt on dirt in three races. Mark Casse is a sneaky trainer and journeyman jockey Jose Ferrer took the horse from last to first in the backstretch, and then held off Hidden Stash in the stretch.
Based on how some others have run in 2021 and how Life Is Good ran yesterday I can't consider Helium much of a Derby threat. We'll see, though. Where will he go next? CANDY MAN ROCKET disappointed yesterday in the Tampa Bay Derby. Will Bill Mott pull Junior Alvarado out of the saddle and go elsewhere for the ride next time out?
LIFE IS GOOD destroyed the competition, albeit a weak field, in the San Felipe prep yesterday at Santa Anita. Gate to wire, with Mike Smith riding for Bob Baffert...it was a right-length win and probably could have been larger. I want to see how LIFE IS GOOD does against stiffer competition, like ESSENTIAL QUALITY, MANDALOUN and GREATEST HONOUR, but will Baffert ship him east to face these...and leave the west coast?
Anyway, a nice addition to my profit margin for 2021 with yesterday's score and we'll give 'em another go next Saturday.