Maryland racing analyst Gabby Gaudet has thoughts on a Pick 5 on this afternoon’s card at Laurel Park!
Laurel Park has a Jackpot 50-cent Pick Five beginning in race 5, with a guaranteed minimum payout — if there is only one unique winner — of $100,000. Post time for the 5th is 2:28.
- Race 5 – 2, 6, 10
- Race 6 – 1, 3
- Race 7 – 3, 4, 9
- Race 8 – 2, 3, 7
- Race 9 – 2, 3
- Wager cost: $54
We spoke with Gabby about her selections, of course, but even more about the psychology and strategy of the Pick 5. Because it is a jackpot wager, just hitting it isn’t enough; the goal is to hit it when no one else does. Here’s what she had to say:
“It’s a very weird psychology because you not only have to win, which is hard enough, but you have to try to be the only one to win. I’ve been watching how other people play, and it’s been really interesting. You’ll see, say, 12,000 live tickets after the first race of the sequence, and then in the second race, a horse who’s maybe 2-1 wins — and it goes down to 2,000 live tickets.
“I think people have to put a premium on including reasonable longshots in their selections and at the same time exclude vulnerable favorites. For example, in the seventh, #1 D’princess, the 9-5 favorite, is scratched, but I was tossing her anyway. The rail, where she’d drawn, has been dead, and I don’t think she’s as good as some of her earlier races suggest. So if you get rid of her, it’s a wide open race, one where you could go deep.
“I think you really end up looking for angles that make a horse more playable than the odds suggest, even if the horse might not be super-likely to win. For example, in the sixth race, #2 Baggy Cat is 6-1, but he’s proven all year that he can compete with this kind of horses; it’s when he’s stepped up to much tougher company, like he did last time, that he doesn’t run well. Another example is in the ninth with #3 Halo City Girl, who’s 20-1. Her Beyers, especially on the dirt, are a little light — but she won a maiden claiming $10,000, and a lot of these others had to go all the way down to $8,000 to break their maidens. After breaking her maiden, they jumped her up to $25,000 to try the grass, and now she’s in against much easier. She fits here better than 20-1 in my opinion.”
Her longshot play today is #4 Daddy Look in the fourth race, who’s 10-1.
“She really scares me here. I watched her win, and I thought it was a really good win; I don’t really understand that low Beyer figure. Plus, I think Juan Vazquez does this often and with success: step horses up in class after a maiden win with some confidence behind them. She may not win here, but I think she’ll run well.”
(Featured image, of Ben’s Cat, by Laurie Asseo.)[boxify cols_use =”4″ cols =”4″ position =”none” order =”none” box_spacing =”5″ padding =”3″ border_width =”1″ border_color =”blue” border_style =”solid” height =”60″ ]