There are five races left until Breeders’ Cup weekend and I’m at least in shouting distance of the lead in the Hello Race Fans/Breeders’ Cup Fantasy Capping Charity Challenge. I’m debating strategy with myself after the fiasco of being around the winner last week (I’m Boundtoscore in the Summer Stakes) and betting like an idiot (exacta rather than a straight wager).
This week we head to the Grade II Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing and see at a couple of old friends from the Travers Stakes hooking up again, dead heaters Golden Ticket and Alpha. In addition to Alpha, who rated just off the pace nicely in the Travers, other potential speed in the race includes Casual Trick and Csaba – though all have an ability to sit off a pace. The only really deep closer in the race is Handsome Mike – and he hasn’t won since breaking his maiden; it would be quite the accomplishment (and surprise) if he steps up to win this one.
A relative closer (in this group) coming off a nice win and may step up at a small price here is on the outside: Macho Macho. The Grade II West Virginia Derby winner looks like he could have things his own way in the stretch run at Parx and the distance looks to suite him.
The question in the contest is whether or not to combine him with another horse and try and hit a solid exacta or stick to what’s been winning: $20 place wagers. It really is against my nature to be conservative and if the top two choices falter coming off of that dead heat that place wager could earn close to 50 points. My exacta choice would be with Alpha, a horse that has only missed an exacta twice in 9 career starts. At a 4-1 morning line, there is the temptation to go with a straight win on Macho Macho as well – a potential 100 points is very enticing.
Since I really feel that the race will set up nicely for Macho Macho but I don’t believe he’s the best horse in the race, I’m going against type and staying conservative hoping to chip away at the lead.
The wager: $20 PLACE on MACHO MACHO