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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

June 8, 2008

How To Win At The Track

by G-Rob

Some people are just unlucky. Some folks don't have the skills.

Some people handicap races like our friend Luckbox.

At first blush it may seem like the 'Box is lousy at this kind of thing. If that's your feeling now, you've not thought about it from a distance.

Step back from those busted picks and wasted dollars. Look at the immense beauty of the whole body of Luckbox disaster.

Check this out:

The Santa Anita Pick 6 Ticket

The Luckbox launched this venture in early April of this year. We start with a helpful advice column with the colorful title "How to Win the Pick 6"

It starts with a bang. Qualifications listed as such:

"How to Win the Pick 6
by Luckbox
Full disclosure: I've never won the Pick 6."

Good stuff!

Once that standard is set we then recruit donors for a Pick 6 ticket with an interesting qualifier:

"The Santa Anita Pick 6 Ticket
by Luckbox
After a few days of handicapping, the picks are in. BG and I have put together a ticket we believe has a great chance of bringing in a payday. Interestingly, we were on the same page in almost every race. That doesn't always happen. We're hoping that means we're locked in and not that we're both idiots."

I think we ALL hope you aren't both idiots. You've spent OUR money!

But what are the results? Fear not, those are fast... and not all that shocking,


So without further ado, the picks:

Race 6: 7f Clm50000
2 Switzerland, 7 Sorcerers Spell, 9 Hit and Hope

BG and I were in agreement that Sorcerer's Spell and Hit and Hope are the top choices in this race. After getting through the whole card, we had enough in our budget to add another horse and it was Switzerland just ahead of the 8 horse, Exceeding.

RESULTS: It's over before it begins. The last horse we left off was Exceeding. He was actually my Dad's favorite in this race, but was just left off the ticket by BG and I. Hit and Hope ran up front most of the way, but faded. The favorite, Switzerland, was never a factor. Socerers Spell ran one of the worst races I've seen in awhile. Started well behind the pack. And I mean WELL. Was forced to unwind really early and came around the turn 12-15 wide. No one can win running a race like that. Very disappointing.


Even Luckbox was temproarily discouraged. His post the next day?

How to Win the Pick 4

Good TIMES! And fear not, you can't keep a luckbox down!


This is where the true genius takes shape. There was a huge 20 horse field at the post in this race. 20 Horses! Picking a winner would be hard! Which means picking the OPPOSITE of the winner wil be really hard too.

Check out the picks from our post "Handicapping the Kentucky Derby":

"Here is your Kentucky Derby winner.


How did Monba do?


out of 20.

See? The OPPOSITE of the winner! Here's the rationale:

"It doesn't take much skill, however, to list 10 horses that could win a race. What you want is the winner. And that winner will be Monba.

I anticipate Monba getting out good from the 14th post, following Bob Black Jack who may be the early leader. Look for Monba to settle in a few off the rail by the first turn. He'll be in trouble if he lets those big horses outside of him get a jump on him, but I think he'll be fine.

By the stretch, Pyro will be passing Bob Black Jack, Big Brown will be rallying from well back on the outside, Colonel John will begin his move from the middle of the pack, but Monba will be best positioned to get the win. He'll duel with Pyro, before winning by a length, Colonel John will get up for third, Big Brown fourth and Bob Black Jack fifth.

There it is. The Blue Grass Stakes winner will make it happen again."

For the Record, "Bob Black Jack" finished 16th.
"Pyro" finished 8th.
"Colonel John" was 6th.

This post is rife with sheer genius. Take it all in:

"Big Brown should go off as the second favorite. He also has a shot at winning this race, but coming out of the 20th post will be more than he can overcome. He'll expend a lot of energy to get himself closer to the rail and the four horses inside of him are too good to allow him that room. This is the best horse in the field, but he won't win."

Big Brown DID win. By a LOT!


What about the Belmont?

On May 10th Luckbox dove into the complicated world of picking the Belmont. And this one is a doozy.

After Luckbox posted his "Hot Belmont Tip:"

Hot Belmont Tip
by Luckbox
I'll keep this short for those of you who don't care about horse racing (and therefore, don't care about making awesome amounts of money based on my handicapping insights!).

I'm eyeing a horse you probably haven't heard of. And his name is poker-blogger worthy, Casino Drive.

I wrote an e-mail to Otis and Badblood wondering if they knew a bookie who would give me a line on "Casino Drive" bursting into flames in the starting gate. No takers. They knew the Luckbox was involved. In fact, so did the poor horse's trainers. In order to keep their colt from becoming a spontaneous barbeque, the horse was scratched from the lineup and skipped the race altogether.

Good Move!

Now the actual Belmont Picks... keeping in mind these were posted when the field was still at 10, before "Casino Drive" was scratched.

First, a recap of the DOOMED Horse:

5 Casino Drive: I've written about this horse before. My Hot Belmont Tip from May 10th told you that this would be the horse to watch. Despite being lightly raced (just two career starts), Casino Drive is my pick. When horses lack real experience at a certain distance, it pays to look at breeding. Casino Drive's is impeccable. A sore left hoof is concerning (there is a slight chance he won't be able to run), but I'm confident he'll be on the track when tomorrow comes and he's far and away your best chance at getting a good price on a winner.
Morning Line: 7-2
Predicted Finish: 1st

Poor bastard never had a chance!

Then another horse stepped up to take the "Luckbox Favorite" mantle:

1 Big Brown: Enough has been written about just how good he is. Undefeated in 4 starts with the closest win being 4 3/4 lenghts in the Derby. One of only two horses in the field to post a triple digit Beyer speed figure. Seemingly had no trouble with the Preakness distance.
Morning Line: 2-5
Predicted Finish: 2nd

Keep in mind that "2nd" is a first-place prediction once "Casino Drive" ran for safety. How did Big Brown do in the remaining 9 horse field?


Did you know 2 horses TIED for 3rd place in the Belmont? It's true! "Anak Natal" and "Ready's Echo" both came in 3rd! Did the Luckbox see that coming?

In a word, No.

8 Anak Nakal: I'm not sure why, but this horse seems to be getting a lot of buzz going into this race. Seventh in the Derby and 5th in the Wood Memorial don't exactly suggest Anak Nakal is ready to win the Belmont. I'd be surprised if he made a strong push.
Morning Line: 30-1
Predicted Finish: 7th

9 Ready's Echo: Like Da' Tara, this horse is completely outclassed in this field. Last time out, he finished 6 1/2 lengths behind Casino Drive in the Peter Pan Stakes. It would take quite a step up to contend this time out.
Morning Line: 30-1
Predicted Finish: 9th

At least Luckbox didn't pick either of those horses to finish LAST. That would be embarrasing. Who DID Luckbox pick to finish last?

6 Da' Tara: Sorry, just not a contender. At all. This horse has been completely overmatched by this level of talent every time out. Da' Tara would need a perfect run and a lot of luck to even factor in the superfecta.
Morning Line: 30-1
Predicted Finish: 10th


Da'Tara won the Belmont.


| G-Rob's Thoughts , | Horse Racing