When Woodbine jockey Skye Chernetz wins a race, it’s rarely a so-so affair. Her horse is either a ticket killer or a ticket builder — because many of her mounts are longshots.
Such was the case Saturday afternoon when she hustled a six-year-old mare from last to first in race 8, a route race on the turf, at odds of 30-1. There was a lot more groaning than cheering at race books around the continent. Only three players had reached for the Skye, resulting in a $25,047 payoff for each of their 20-cent pick-5 tickets.
Other players wondered how they might have included the 13-per cent jockey’s horse, #5 Buttered Toast, on their tickets. Would you believe, rather easily? You just had to look for horses who showed closing ability in their previous race on the synthetic main track. Saturday’s race was on the turf and turf seems to improve horses’ ability to close oodles of ground. Hence, it was last-to-first by Buttered Toast.
Look at the comment for Buttered Toast in the past performance line of her previous race, which she lost by seven lengths: “Willingly in stretch.”
Now let’s kick it up a notch: What if you just picked horses from the 11-horse field that had similar comments? You could have won the superfecta that paid $611 for 20 cents simply by boxing the closers. #6 Gayelette finished second after a “late finish” in her previous start, #7 Lady Brew finished third as the favourite after “just missing” in her previous start and #12 Mosler’s Image was fourth after showing “late energy” in the race before that. Not a single other horse in the 11-horse field had similar positive closing-ground comments.
Can you hardly wait for Woodbine’s next turf route race? I don’t blame you. Neither can I.
Can “too much information” throw a horseplayer off?
Can “too much information” negatively affect a player’s ability to pick winning horses? Seems so. That’s what Assiniboia Downs’ online handicapper, Stretch, said after his betting partner picked only two winners for his online viewers out of 21 races in three nights of ASD racing two weeks ago. His partner is Kirt, the track announcer, the assistant race secretary and the person who helps produce the morning line odds in ASD race programs.
In other words, Kirt lives horses and comments fly at him from all directions. What should he believe? What comments should he take to heart and which ones should he discount? Ironically, Stretch noted, it wasn’t a touted horse in a field of first-time starters who won a race last week. It was a longshot horse and Kirt happened to have the winner because he bet “all” horses in the field in a pick-3 that had him winning $182 for a $30 outlay.
A horse owner has backed up Kirt’s “too much information” dilemma and a monthly ASD tournament player who almost won last month’s tournament said he avoids ASD racing between tournaments so he can have a fresh, open mind for tournaments. He said he just relies on past performance information and race replays.
My take? Through the years, horses I’ve been touted on have lost more than they’ve won, except for first-time starters relayed by a now-retired jockey’s agent. You could take his picks to the bank.
But now you have something to keep in mind when watching the ASD Live show with Kirt and Stretch each night of ASD live racing that continues tonight through Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT. The ASD Live show goes at 6:45 p.m. CT.