Sunday, April 11, 2010

Opportunity missed!

I liked Stately Victor yesterday. I didn't blog about it on here, unfortunately, but in e-mails sent to a friend (with the subject line stately victor) last Thursday April 8, I wrote:

"I may like him a bunch in the Bluegrass. No ML yet but I'm guessing he'll be reasonably priced as well, perhaps 6-1 ish."

Then I followed up with:

"geez I see stately is listed at 30-1. Guess I should look a little closer."

When he asked why I liked him, I replied:

"trips, mostly. That race he had from the 14 post last fall was a total throwout and he actually didn't run that bad. The GP turf was speed-favoring for much of the meet, at least what I saw, so I'm willing to give him passes for his recent races. So I just think his chances are nowhere near as bad as they look from the PPs -- Obviously he's gonna need to step up big-time on his figs, but as an early -year 3yo and with a surface change, its not entirely implausible."

So when my one highlighted horse going into a big contest day wins at 40-to freaking-1, uhhh...I probably should win the contest. But alas, I didn't. Here's my story, it's sad but true:

I couldn't pick my nose all afternoon. Lost 9 consecutive $20 bets. Mostly Kee, some GP and Aqu. No bombers, odds were mostly in 8/5 to 6/1 range, maybe a couple 7/1 to 10/1. Had a range of results -- a few I thought might win as late as deep stretch , a few were reasonably in the mix, and a few ran crummy. On the 25-person leaderboard I was mostly low 20s, then actually fell off the leaderboard (meaning bottom 5) - it was that kind of day. Meanwhile someone had apparently played >$100 on a 23-1 debut winner at Kee and was pretty much locked into first all day with about 2800-2900, so the race was essentially for second.

So with my $200 bankroll 90% depleted, I put my last $20 on Stately Victor, shocked that he was 40-1 (earlier in the day I had projected he'd go off 16-18 ish to one, 30-1 ML be damned), and lo and behold he wins going away and I vault from off the leaderboard into 2nd place with $822 in one fell swoop. Incredible. But it wasn't by much, there were probably 5-6 guys within $150 of me, 4-5 contest races left, and I had a big target on my back.
And alas, I went right back to my losing ways, dropped two more $20 bets, and I'm at $782 and in like 7th or 8th place, before the last contest race , the Kee finale. I say what the hell and go hell-bent for leather, put $500 W on the 1 horse (who was 9-2 when I bet him a few mins. to post, went off at 7-2) in an audacious attempt to take down the whole thing. The horse never really ran a lick tho, and I cashed out $282, up $82 on the day, a booby prize if there ever was one. Funny I'm almost certain that $500 was the most I've ever bet in a race, but it felt like monopoly money, the time between 530 (bluegrass) and 615 (last contest race) was so fast and furious, just a blur.

So that's my long and sordid tale. I'm kicking myself for not setting aside more than $20 for Stately Victor, obviously. I didn't stick around to see the final leaderboard, I guesstimate 2nd place finished with 1200-1400 ish, so even just $40W on Stately Victor could have punched my ticket for Vegas next January.

As far as losing the 9 pre- Bluegrass bets, there are shoulda woulda couldas of course, a couple of which are gonna linger in my cranium: (1) in a GP maiden race late in the afternoon, there was a 2-1 fave and two 5-2 shots, I didn't like the fave and pretty much decided on one of the 5/2 shots, though kind of inexplicably I changed course between my seat and the bettting machine and went with the other 5/2 shot, and of course my originally selected 5/2 shot wins. That was the difference between having $70 left for the Bluegrass and having $20 left. (2) there were two longshots I was intrigued by in GP turf races: Highland Cat (12-1) in the 3rd and Scorion (30-1) in the 5th. Both finished 2nd to the chalks, paying $9.40 and $20.60 to place, respectively, but I had talked myself out of both and laid off those races. I'm not a big fan of place betting but there is a "place" for it (pun intended) in certain situations, and arguably, one or both of situations qualified. Even one $10WP bet on Highland Cat or Scorion could have meant more money for Stately Victor.

Oh well. Onward and upward I guess.

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