Why We Love This Game
Hitting for $142,000+ On A $16 Ticket
Written by @1minutetopost
It’s been one week since I won the Pick 5 and I’m still adjusting to the big win. I appreciate all of the good wishes I received from fellow Twitter-cappers. Thanks for taking a minute to read my story.
I’m 39 years old from Long Island, NY, and have been betting on horses for 21 years. I would only consider myself a handicapper for the second half of that time, as I was still learning for the first 19 years (shout out to the great Yogi Berra!).
My Grandfather spent time at Roosevelt and Saratoga but the handicapping bug must have skipped a generation because my dad is not into horse racing. He did say to me “your grandfather must be up there smiling now” after I won last week.
Regarding my Twitter account (@1minutetopost), I wanted to try something new. Although it’s great to read DRF stats, watch Talking Horses and start studying the night before, to me handicapping is ALL about that last one minute to post (look at the time that I placed my Pick-5 in my TVG account: 12:54). I guess that makes me more of a value player, whereas a “dead lock” that has been selected by all the pros at 1-9 will never get a dime of my money. Pass! That’s what I’ve learned to do so well is pass races where I can’t find a good edge. So, I thought I’d start tweeting some thoughts and get people to think about smart plays right before the bell, but I have to admit that I’m too involved with my own action and forget to tweet what I’m thinking.
I hit my first Pick-6 in 2012 at Aqueduct. It paid $12,220 and I framed that ticket. Since then I’ve hit the Pick-6 three other times for amounts of less than $10K but they were still very rewarding nonetheless. One of those was the Rainbow-Six at Gulfstream where I was alive to three jackpots for $50K but had to settle for $7,400 when the favorite won. I have one other story about playing for that big jackpot two or three years ago when it was climbing up to $4-million. That day the winning prices in the Pick-6 were something like $40, $18, $50, $14. Then in the second to last leg I was still alive and had two horses, one with Edgar Prado and another long shot. When the gate opened in this route, Prado fell off his mount in front of the finish line. As the horses were coming around the far turn, my long shot had been 3-wide and emerged to the front of the pack! All of the sudden I heard Larry Collmus say “No Contest! No Contest.” The riders had to pull up because Prado was still on the ground at the finish line. Everyone got ALL for that race and the pool was carried over after the last race.
So basically, I have been playing these types of bets and take shots when I think there is some value. Regarding last week’s ticket, everyone has been asking how I came up with the #4 Mamie Reilly (which I singled in the first leg of the Pick-5 at odds of 74-1). The truth is that I really didn’t find anything compelling with the other runners and the odds they were offering. Was Quibbler going to transfer his decent efforts from the turf to the dirt? Was She’s Gifted going to get loose? I wasn’t feeling that either was worth the wager in that race so I looked around. I was willing to plop some money on this 15-1 ML Mamie Reilly, that had risen to over 70-1. I like Eric Cancel and think he’s been doing a great job. I like Bruce Brown. I also like that Mamie Reilly had some decent works and had run on a sloppy track once before. The race really unfolded the way I had hoped it would with some early dueling and tiring horses in the stretch, which allowed my fresh horse to emerge nicely. I bet the exacta and double in that race too.
At that point, of course, I was excited. In fact, I looked at the Pick-5 pool to see what was bet. Over $220k! I couldn’t believe the Pick-5 had that much money in it on a crummy, wet, Wednesday. As the next few races unfolded, I got more and more excited. Bam! Castellano had a beautiful wire to wire ride on Corner Three. Bam! Eric Cancel gets his second winner home for Abby Adsit with the drop down My Man Al. In the fourth race and fifth race I was lucky to have spread as those races appeared a bit more open. In the 4th I thought there was a good chance that Mo for the Money would be taken down for drifting out, but after looking at the replays he was pretty clear from the horse behind him. You never know when it comes to Stewards and DQ’s.
Finally, the last leg was coming up. Six horses were paying for the pick-5, and I had four of them covered. Of course by this time I realized I could potentially take the entire pool with #3 Mississippi Duel. I wrote down my potential payoffs on a piece of paper to analyze what was about to happen. I decided to bet a few Trifectas with the two horses that I did not have on my Pic- 5 ticket. I bet some 1,8/all/all trifectas just to hedge.
When Mississippi Duel and Unstoppable U were going ding dong down the stretch I was rolling on the floor in front of the TV. When they hit the wire it was much too close to call. The slow motion replay gave me a bit more confidence that Mississippi Duel may have “the bob advantage” as his head was just coming up. But even after the slow motion replay I was thinking to myself that it was probably a dead heat. Suddenly, the numbers were posted and I was off the floor and jumping for joy! I couldn’t believe it!
I really enjoy being a part of the racing community and I appreciate all of the hard work and time that people spend on their personal blogs, websites and Twitter feeds. I prefer to remain anonymous for now… but if anyone can set me up with a winter gig at Gulfstream Park offering some type of handicapping-to-the-last-minute service, I would be all ears. I’m happy to answer any questions and wish everyone lots of luck at the races!
We thank @1minutetopost for sharing his story on DanonymousRacing.com. If you have a similar story, feel free to send it in (along with photos of your score) to email@example.com, and it could be featured in Why We Love This Game.