Cambina flopped in the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf, but fortunately my other key play on Friday's card, Stephanie's Kitten, proved a valuable find that netted a 620% return on my $85 initial investment (see Thursday's post for a full rundown of my wagers).
The sequence of six Breeders races started chalky, with Secret Circle winning at 2-to-5 in the Juvenile Sprint. Fortunately I threw her in "just in case" on the first of my two Pick 3 tickets ($9, 3-by-1-by-3), as my other two choices, Sum of the Parts and Vexor flopped. Hey, I'm a long-shot player, but on to leg number two...
As noted Thursday night, I was extremely high on Stephanie's Kitten in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, but so were many of the other bettors, who pushed her down to 6-to-1 off a 12-to-1 morning line, though this 2-year-old ran a great race to win and pay $14.20. I was hoping for at least 9-to-1, but I'll take it.
Turning to the third leg of my Pick 3 sequence, I was alive to three horses: Turbulent Descent (7-to-5), Switch (3-to-1) and Musical Romance (20-to-1); respectively, the projected payouts were $30, $60 and $274. CLEARLY I was hoping for Musical Romance, and thought this 4-year-old had a legitimate shot at hanging with the front-runners (just not enough to make her a key wager for the day) and maybe having enough left in the tank for the stretch drive. Sure as can be, jockey J.C. Leyva put Musical Romance toward the front and in a nice stalking, ground-saving trip before setting her loose in the stretch for a length-and-a-quarter victory over Switch. Needless to say, there was rejoicing in the NJ Horseplayer circles, not only for the payout, but also for the notes taken last year about how effective Calder Race Course shippers had been during the 2010 Breeders Cup. They proved extremely valuable in picking this one out at 20-to-1.
So, my $1 base-wager Pick 3 ticket of $9 paid $270.40. Meanwhile, the $2 Stephanie's Kitten-Musical Romance daily double paid $253.60, and the $1 Musical Romance-Switch exacta paid $88.50, for a $612.50 total score! I share this not to toot my own horn, but merely to follow up - much as I have been excessively candid about my futile handicapping contest efforts throughout 2011 - to the readers throughout this season. In the meantime, these two plays put me in a position to win the Derby Wars.com two-day BC Point contest ($250 top prize), where I am tied for 6th out of 255 going into Saturday.
Speaking of Saturday's card, I am about halfway through my handicapping of tomorrow's eight Breeders races, and intend to share some thoughts by at least tomorrow morning. I hope anyone who ventured here before Friday's card found this exercise useful, but by no means am I about to guarantee the kinds of returns produced this afternoon.