• Portland Meadows carryover/0% takeout Wednesday

    POSTED Oct 3, 2012
    TwinSpires.com players already had a reason to play Portland Meadows' early Pick 4 every Wednesday, but the pot is even sweeter today (October 3) because of a $3,558 carryover after no one picked four on Sunday's card.

    Those who follow me on Twitter or catch my weekly segment on "At The Races" w/ Steve Byk (brought to you by TwinSpires.com, where players win) know that I'm not one to shy away from tracks off the beaten path. Sure, I love the social aspect of playing along with everyone else at the usual outposts like NYRA, Kentucky, and Southern California racing, but if there is free money in the pot at Assiniboia, Northlands, or Portland Meadows then I'm going to go for that too.

    One of the reasons I love Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances besides they keep me employed is they give the user a quick snapshot of how a particular meeting is playing. I don't follow Portland Meadows on a daily basis, but the detailed jockey-trainer statistics along with the Ultimate Race Summary page give any user a leg up on how the track is playing.

    All four races in today's sequence are sprints, though of varying distances from 4 1/2 to 6 furlongs. A quick glance through the PPs reveals that speed holds extremely well around one turn and that starting position is fair.

    The Ultimate PPs are also good for handicapping for an off track--something that seems to come into play more at Portland Meadows than other venues--but the forecast looks clear for today.

    The basic plan of attack will be that I need two "A"s to win, and I'll probably treat the Bs the same as Cs for that purpose. I could play every pick on this sheet for $400, but I'd rather give myself a chance to hit it multiple times, as I do see the "A" tabs as formidable here.

    UPDATE (3:30 p.m. EDT):
    The scratch of #4 Sicily Grace in race 3 has me rethinking my strategy since she was a lone "A" (i.e. a single) in that race. I've decided that rather than elevate #s 1, 2, & 7 to "A" status I'd still treat them as "B" picks and build my tickets around the remaining "A" selections.

    I've put together seven tickets with my lone "A" picks in races 1 and 4 singled on five tickets each and the cold 1-1 double sandwiching the sequence appearing on three different tickets. I like the remaining "A" picks enough that I'd rather hit the ticket many multiple times if they come in rather than spread elsewhere.

    UPDATE (the morning after):
    Well, B-A-A-X doesn't pay. I didn't like the last leg winner at all. She was dropping down to the level at which she had broke her maiden (against males, no less) and retained her jockey--the 27%-at-the-meet--Anne Sanguinetti, but others just seemed faster in here, and she was highweight.

    The real "miss" for me was not elevating first leg winner Singing Yankee to an "A" when it was obvious that the public was backing her with both fists for her debut. The toteboard said only Jenny's Turn or Singing Yankee could win the race, so putting most of my eggs in the former's basket while playing the latter in equal weight with some bombs wasn't a great strategy.

    The Pick 4 "only" paid $252 for a buck, so I didn't miss a home run, but a 2x3x3xA was only $126, and an even money return would have been fair value in that case.
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