The Holy Grail.

That's what getting a documented flat bet profit at the most elite race meet in the country is to a professional handicapper.

We set out this year to achieve just that. In order to do such, we had to eschew many things we love about Saratoga:

--No golfing

--Very few nights out ( except for charity events )

--Only a handful of mornings at the workouts

Not only did we dive into each card full bore, but had to re-dive on about 50 occasions, as that was the amount of off the turf races there were at the stand. Yeah, I know, we normally have "off the turf selections" at the bottom of our writeups, but this year, we were compelled to go the extra mile. Why ? Because many of those races that were washed off weren't even run on "wet" tracks -- but rather strips that were upgraded to "fast". ( Some of them even had distance changes from two turns to one ! ).

So, when Almithmaar got up to win by a honker in the 3rd yesterday, and paid the EXACT amount we needed to secure profitability ( $4.90 ), we felt relieved, elated, and most importantly -- validated. The validation lay in the fact that if you put in the hours, ( occasionally falling asleep with the laptop on your legs, being hit with a drop or two of drool ! ), you ( and I mean even YOU, Mr. Novice Player ) can do it. Can we put forth that effort every single day, all year long? Next stop -- the nuthouse !!  

I want to thank all our readers here, commenters on Disqus, and Twitter/Facebook followers for all their wonderful support throughout the summer. Including your generous donations to Old Friends at Cabin Creek, and the Thoroughbred Aftercare alliance. You're the best.

Oh...and of course... thank you, Dad.


I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same!

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 4 - #6 Full Salute

I want to thank those that read my column, and have recently opened up accounts as a result of their fondness for what they see here. If you have any questions at any time, you can reach me here on Disqus, or on Twitter @brooklyncowboy1. For those who dig the scene here, and would like to be part of it, registration on our home page is easy, and if you'd like, feel free to include my name in the referral box, and let me know, so I can try and get ya' some cool swag!


Saratoga - 9/3 - Labor Day - Closing Day


Race  1


2.Fly Away Birdie

3.Catch Me If U Can

#5 GUMP looked like he was gonna get the box'a chocolates at the halfeay point in latest, but flattened out a bit in finishing third. Second time blinks today, and Rudy Rod more than doubles his normative 20% batting average with maiden claiming dirt stock off breaks of 23-47 days at 9-2 or less, as he;s 21 for 50 in that regards ( $2.25 ROI ). We came pretty close to putting #2 FLY AWAY BIRDIE ( "Fly, fly fly,, fly, fly..." ) on top here, ( Casse 2 for 2 when going green to brown with those taking the biggest dop in the biz at < 9-1 off breaks of less tahn two months ) but barn is building igloos these days, so we'll leave beneath. #7 CATCH ME IF YOU CAN ( completing our triad of movie references, as this was an excellent flick with my favorite actor -- Christopher Walken ) bested half the field at 10-1 in the career starter five weeks ago, and The As-Man saw fit to plunk down a half'a C-Note for one who was only bred for $1,580 that day. Legit shot. 


Race  2

1.Fast Getaway 



#9 FAST GETAWAY is available for purchase for the first time today, and 23% barn is 3 for 6 when doing that to their sod sprinters at this level ( 29 days or less ). The payoffs were $11, $4 & $5, and gelding is second off the bench today. #5 MCERIN is another who has never been up for grabs until this afternoon, and Dervis owns a 2 for 5 mark with said type in turf dashes off sabbaticals of 103 dys or less ( OTB in last ). #2 HELDATGUNPOINT ( sired by 'Courageous Cat', who -- in a cartoon -- would rescue those "Held at gunpoint" ! ) won the last time he was up for sale, and has a decent body of work.  OFF TURF: 8-11-3-13(MTO)-14(MTO)  NOTE: AS OF 12:00, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #3 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race   3

1.King for a Day

2.Harver Wallbanger


#7 KING FOR A DAY begins his working life today, and Febuary bred brings in tow a few nice works and an advantageous draw for The Toddster. Aforementioned conditioner is a scintillating 15 for 32 with those fitting ALL these exact conditions at 6-1 or less ( w/Johnny in the irons ). The return on investment for this study is $3.07, and this one has siblings who have amassed a cumulative 19-83 ledger at this dance ( 610 large ). while being sired by the speedy Uncle Mo. #4 HARVEY WALLBANGER ( whose ingredients can be found right here ) has been tightened up a little bit in the morniongs of late, and Dylan popped with a similar firster for this barn right here not too long ago, to the tune of $69. #5 AZRAEL ( one half of the uncoupled Chad Brown entry ) rounds out the tri. 


Race  4 


2.Deep Sea


#3 IMPERATORE has been claimed in two straight & 4 of 7, and with good reason, too, as this one usually gives an honest account of himself. Gelding is still in "jail" so takes the obligatory hike in class this afternoon. #4 DEEP SEA comes in today off a win, and owns a 3:0-2-1 mark in second off the L/O tries on the dirt; won with Irad three starts back. #1 ROCKFORD is still getting it done at the age of 7, and not only likes this place ( 2 fer 6 ) but has won half of his eight starts when starting from the wood.  NOTE: AS OF 12:13, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #5 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #6 FULL SALUTE.


Race  5


2.Kulin Rock

3.Dominant Strategy

#7 CONSCRIPTED is with his third different trainer in as many outings, and the first thing they do is put this one in a claiming race ( quite common for this time of year ). Should be rolling late. #9 KULIN ROCK has the "For Sale" stickah attached to his rump this afternoon, and the speed #'s say that this seems like a good spot for him. #4 DOMINANT STRATEGY has climbed up the Beyer scale over the triad of starts to date, yet despite the win, gazillionaire owners still have this $520,000 auction purchase in with a tag.  OFF TURF: 4-7-9-3-1


Race  6 

1.Seek and Destroy

2.Toy Moon

3.Here Comes Jackie ( AE )

#8 SEEK AND DESTROY showed nice speed in an off the turf event before being set down to 4th after wandering late in the game. Brown is 4 for 8 with second time starters under these conditions( 57 days or lower ) with mutuels of $11, $5, $5 & $4. #7 TOY MOON has partaken in the tri in every start to date, but how can we put up top with any confidence given the money burned ( Average odds of $2.48-1 ), ice cold pilot ( Leparoux 3 1/2 for 79 ) and even more frigid conditioner ( Casse 2-56 )? #11 HERE COMES JACKIE (AE) is a bit of a hunch addition, as while I'm typing this, I'm keeping with my yearly tradiotion of watching Ken Burns' "Baseball" while typing away -- and yes, it's on the Jackie Robinson episode. That aside, this one is thought enough to be shipped up from the Shore, despite a couple of modest efforts. This one is a half to a 3 for 10 turf router who banked about 80 large, and gets another shot going two turns.  OFF TURF: 1-6-7-9-3   NOTE: AS OF 12:16, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #1 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  7

1.Discreet Mission 

2.Call Me a Star

3.Charlie McCoy

#1 DISCREET MISSION won by a pole in his first foray over this strip, and Kimmel is 2 for 5 with 3rd off the layoff dirt dashers who are coming in off a win & are between 3-2 & 9-2. ( $5 & $7 ) #8 CALL ME A STAR regressed from a speed figure standpoint when finishing third in the most recent, but posted a troika of nice numeros prior to that and is eligible to rebound today. #6 CHARLIE MCCOY has partaken in the triple in his last three, adn was sandwiched between two next out winners when closing out the exacta on 7/27, and both of those increased their speed figs by an average of 6.5 points.  NOTE: AS OF 12:21, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #7 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  8 

1.Saratoga Colonel

2.Bootlegger ( Fr ) 

3.Pocket Player

#1 SARATOGA COLONEL got the job done the last time he was in with a claiming sticker, and Weaver is a crisp 3 for 5 with mid level turf routers off absences of 66 days or less ( all paid eight clams ). Draw a line through the last "soft turf" outings of the #2 BOOTLEGGER (FR) ( "I'm a bootlegger, baby! I can get hard time for this ---AND community service." --- George Costanza ) and what you're looking at is an adjusted penultimate number of 79.3, which can most defintely win this race. #6 POCKET PLAYER rounds out the top three.  OFF TURF: 3-10-11-5-9


Race  9 


2.Projected ( GB )

3.Voodoo Song

#6 QURBAAN hasn't been seen since Hector was a pup, but Kiaran does pretty well with this type, as attested by the 3 for 6 mark when being given foreign turf shippers & administering the wonder drug for the first time ( $4, $8 & $10 ). As usualy for this type, gets in at the lightest weight they've ever had & you have Irad at 10-1; short field, big price. #2 PROJECTED (GB) has hit the exacta in 16 of 22 lifetime starts, and that's cause enough to slide in to the number two slot. #1 VOODOO SONG has speed & the rail, but doesn't quite blow the field away from a #'s aspect, so we'll side against at even money.  OFF TURF: 6-5-3-2-1


Race  10

1.Derby Date



Final stakes race of the meet is upon us, and it's the Grade 1 Hopeful. For a touch of history on this deal ( won a record EIGHT times by D.W. ), feel free to peruse this page .  #8 DERBY DATE is a maiden facing winners, but that's not of major importance in a race such as this, especially when you realize that his trainer is the standard bearer for this storied affair. Colt had a bit of trouble at the onset of last, but still managed to lead all the way around before being a well beaten -- but well clear -- runner up. May foal draws better today, and barn is 5:2-3-0 with locally based graded 2YO male dashers who were 1-2-3 <45 days back & are 20-1 or less today, The winners paid $13 & $17 ( both in this race ), and one of the placings was also in this race, at 15-1. Two bullets over at Oklahoma since the last, and note that dam was 7 fer 11 going 1X over a fast surface ( which this runner has yet to try ). #1 SOMBEYAY is but 3/4's of a length shy of a perfect 3 for 3 ledger, and T.P. wipes the competition clean with those fitting ALL this exact criteria ( any jock ) as he wins at a 41% clip with 'em. #7 MUCHO ( a one word name who hails from a family full of single word monikers ! ) was visually impressive when going all the way in the first start off the bench & must be included. 


Race  11 

1.Spring Drama ( AE )

2.Super Mama ( AE )

3.Wild With Style ( AE )

Last race of the very special Saratoga season, and I want to take this time to thank all my loyal readers and Twitter followers for all your wonderful support. I enjoy interacting with all of you throughout the year, and look forward to continuing such at Belmont on Friday !!   Our top three here need some help to make it into the body of the race, but should that occur... #14 SPRING DRAMA (AE) has been a part of teh superfecta in every turf route thus far, owns a nice collection of speed figs, and takes the biggest drop in the game. #15 SUPER MAMA ( AE ) hasn't seen teh scene in the full length of the calendar, but was on teh improve when thimgs went amiss, and is an obvious factor if 100%. #13 WILD WITH STYLE (AE) has some ugly running lines, but they were all on the dirt or in a turf sprint. The only one in the family tree with turf routing pedigree is Giant's Causeway, and that's enough reason to put underneath to spice things up.  OFF TURF: 14(AE)-7-5-1-15(AE)  NOTE: AS OF 11:23, DUE TO THREE LATE SCRATCHES OUR SELECTIONS WILL BE 6-9-4.


Saratoga           ( Final )   80-404   ( $865.30 )     Beatable Favorites:   7-40  ( 17.5% )  Favorites Win %: 142-404 ( 35.2% )


 Belmont             ( Final )  88-499   ( $829.00 )     Beatable Favorites   12-39  ( 30.7% ) Favorites Win %: 170-499 ( 34.1% )

 Indiana Grand     ( Final ):  3-8       ( $12.40 )      Beatable Favorites:   N/A                    Favorites Win %: 4-8         ( 40.0% )

 Aqueduct Spring ( Final ): 15-138   ( $167.50 )    Beatable Favorites: 6-15  ( 40.0% )    Favorites Win % :61-138   ( 44.2% )

 Aqueduct Winter ( Final ): 67-317   ( $493.40 )    Beatable Favorites: 4-17  ( 23.5% )    Favorites Win %: 121-328 ( 36.9% )

 Graded Stakes     ( Final ):  7-45     ( $46.00 )     Beatable Favorites: 2-3    ( 66.7% )     Favorites Win %: 20-45    ( 44.4% )

 All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

 ( 2014-2018 Final ): 53-334   ( $466.00 ) Beatable Favorites: 16-49 ( 32.7% ) Favorite's Win %: 110-334  ( 32.9% )  +/-: -30.2% against a 17.1% takeout  

Poly Tracks 2014-6 (All Final): 85-568      ( $819.20 )   Beatable Favorites : 15-68    ( 22.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 163-587    ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2014-8 (All Final):1906-9009 ($15,460.20) Beatable Favorites : 279-986( 28.3% ) Favorite's Win %: 3303-9103( 36.3% ) +/-: -14.2%  against a 16.7% takeout

Cumulative Stats   (All Final): 1991-9577 ($16,279.40) Beatable Favorites : 295-1056( 27.9% )Favorite's Win %: 3465-9692( 35.8% )+/-: -14.9% against a 16.6% takeout