On Friday, the day before the Pegasus, I was planning to put in a late pick 4 wager at Santa Anita. But after looking at my spreadsheet, I didn’t feel confident about my selections. Although the races had small fields, it looked like anyone could win. The last race had the biggest field and was the most difficult to handicap. I decided to put in a pick 3 before the last race and a trifecta plus a win bet on the last race. My pick 3 hit, but only paid $4.55 because all the favorites won. Just before the last race I decided to put in an additional win bet on the #2 horse who was 3/1 on the morning line but had moved up to 7/1. My trifecta lost and my TVG “money back special” win bet lost. But my last minute $3 wager on the #2 paid out $25.50.
On to the 2023 Pegasus at Gulfstream Park. The last 6 races were all graded stakes. I was hoping to go for the pick 6, but it quickly got too expensive to get the right coverage. In race 8, I put in a trifecta with the top 3 horses. One of them was Maryquitecontrary, who had won her last 4 races. I also put in a daily double with Obligitory, who was the favorite. I should have used Maryquitecontrary, because she won easily, and I had the winner of the next race in my daily double. My next wager was a pick 3 on the last 3 stakes races. I had 3 horses in each race and a “Money back special” win pick in each race. For the win bets I picked horses that I thought could win but weren’t in my pick 3.
I lost the first leg of the pick 3, but my win bet paid $10.40. In the next race, my win bet came in last. In the last race I wanted to pick a horse who had the potential to win but was being overlooked. I settled on Art Collector who was 10/1 on the morning line but was 19/1 when I put in my win bet. Art Collector had come in 5th in a 6-horse field at Churchill Downs in his last race. I decided to ignore that and thought his early speed could get him to the front in a position to win. As I watched the race, I couldn’t believe that it was happening just as I had imagined. Art Collector was in the lead pack in an outside stalking position for the first 3/4 of the race. Coming into the stretch, he took the lead and won by 4 lengths. The final odds were 15.5/1 and my $2 win bet paid $33. On a day that I thought I was going to lose money, I came out $10 ahead.