Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Big Pick 5 Payouts Are Not Always Inscrutable

If we see a $25,000 pick five in the throughbreds we can often look back at the sequence and make a case for a hit. Thoroughbred racing often has fields where four or five horses can look completely logical in a sequence, yet it can pay boxcars. 

Harness racing is different. The fields are rarely deep, and the racing is often formful, with 50% or higher chalk hit rates occurring at a track near you. Often players make scores in harness racing with $15 pick five or $10 pick 4's hit with chalk or near chalk, and twenty cent tries are completely fruitless. 

Last night at Mohawk, however, I think we had a $0.20 pick five hit for $5,100 that was completely logical. 

Recognizing them might help us hit one of these again. 

Race 1 was what I would describe a bit of spread race. The ten was taking money off a driver change from Renaud to James MacDonald - this angle as a key is fine, but as we'll see, we wouldn't hit this pick 5 if we applied the same logic. Regardless, if we're trying to hit a price, we're not using an angle that everyone at the OTB is using, so we'll spread with three horses. 

The second race is a puzzler, but if we're sharp we're probably going to look at doubles. What we would've seen is a horse not picked much anywhere, off terrible form, being bet. This barn is known to bet, and if this horse is ready he has a class advantage. For 20 cents we can swing. 

In the third race we had a horse who everyone on replay said qualified badly, but the horse - who started in the Hambletonian last year - was better than all of them if sharp. And, the trainer just sent a horse off a meh qualifier last week that crushed; was seriously 20 the best, and dropped a few seconds of time. 

The fourth was a spread race, a cheap claimer, no angles, with three contenders I could see. 

The fifth - and here's where we're at it again - was a Renaud to James MacDonald driver change on a nice horse, but one who is woefully inconsistent. Since we didn't key this obvious change in the first to gain value, we could look elsewhere here. 

Interestingly, there were a couple of others in there, including the seven horse, who has been great but hasn't been put into play in the Opens. In my view, this is because the Open's have had two huge speed horses who the driver has not wanted to challenge. Tonight, maybe he tries this sharp horse, although beating the two horse at 1-5 seems tough. 

So, we might go 1710-6-2-156-2 for $2 ($18 total)

And 1710-6-2-156-37 for twenty cents ($3.60 ticket)

The setup, steam horse in two won. The off qualifier horse in three dropped time and won, just like the same barn did Friday, and in the last leg, the 1-5 shot got off several lengths back and the seven horse did take a shot to the lead, and went wire to wire. 

Our second ticket for $3.60 hit for $5,100. 

The sequence was two chalk, a $9 winner, an 8-1 winner and the seven in the last leg at $30. 

One mistake players can make is to look back at a pick 5 or 6 and reverse engineer and backfit, but in this case I do not think we're doing that. 

This was a logical way to hit for huge money for $4 or $5 in a pick five by being just a little creative. The teams were playing $20 pick 5's and those can be perfectly fine in chalky harness racing. But if there's an angle to be had against them and it can cost us only a few dollars, the leverage can make a boom goes the dynamite. 

I hope everyone is having a nice Tuesday. 


No comments:

Most Trafficked, Last 12 Months


Carryovers Provide Big Reach and an Immediate Return

Sinking marketing money directly into the horseplayer by seeding pools is effective, in both theory and practice In Ontario and elsewher...