Liberty Bull ($6.00) won the Smarty Jones, surviving a stewards’ inquiry. Isabull($5.80 place) and Rich Young Ruler ($6.80 show) fleshed out the trifecta; Hawthorne shipper Instill got fourth, while my longshot Cape of Storms was on the early lead, but stopped after five furlongs. Next time I peg a Jamie Sanders’ trainee for any reason whatsoever, just shoot me!
Otherwise, some success on my picks, although I didn’t actually spend a dime. I hit the trifecta ($297) in race 2 at Aqueduct, as Loaves and Dishes ($6.30 win) just held off Buy a Personality ($12.00 place) with Queen’s Mandate ($6.40 show) passing early leader Double or Nothing late. Unfortunately, according to Equibase’s chart, Queen’s Mandate was vanned off after the race, so best wishes to her and her connections that all is well.
King’s Silver Son ($4.60 win) finally fulfilled expectations for Steve Asmussen in closing from the back late and taking the tenth at Fair Grounds. Revenge Is Sweet ($3.40 place) formed the chalky $14.00 exacta, with Biscay Bay ($4.00 show) just ½ a length in front of my other selection, Clemens; Stones River finished fifth.
At Gulfstream, my longshot play came in for the win in race 6. Kentucky Bear ($23.40 win) and Jimmy Simms ($5.20 place) resulted in a nice $113.00 exacta; Samba Rooster ($8.80 show), who I didn’t have, completed the $1,413.80 trifecta. Favored Go Swiftly could only manage fifth, just ahead of Wall Street Humor—goes to show that great breeding isn’t everything, eh? In the eighth race, I had all three top finishers—Fierce Wind ($5.20 win), Southern Terminus ($2.20 place), Stephen’s Gold ($2.40 show)—but it was a chalky play, as the $2 trifecta only paid $27.20. Speedy Mambo Meister was scratched.
At Philly, Geroni ($4.80 place) couldn’t get the win, but I didn’t see Copelan’s Ridge ($13.80 win) as the victor either—he led wire-to-wire. Salty Cheeks ($7.80 show) was placed ahead of Acclaimed who was disqualified from third to sixth (last). Brother G went off as odds-on favorite but never fired.
Tricky Start ($5.60 win) had no competition in race 7 at Laurel, winning wire-to-wire, with Naturel [sic] Resources ($5.20 place) failing for the eighth time. However, the Hook and Ladder first-timer Fire Chief Casey ($8.00 show) stayed on for a piece. Millye’s Mojave dead-heated for fourth with Point Taker.
Okay, this little exercise boosted my confidence—my handicapping skills don’t totally suck. The defining factor missing from the equation today, however, was my own real dollars. Maybe that’s the lesson—don’t bet when money’s tight, as I’m apt to take bigger chances.