Leverage and exposure: 9/25 Cross County Pick 5

There has been a ton of talk recently about handicapping horizontals and leveraging your opinions. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of handicapping because that’s your job. Instead, I’m going to focus on structure.

I wanted to take a look at this Cross Country Pick 5 today as I think it is an interesting sequence. Each sequence and each race within a sequence will often have multiple logical approaches that are valid. I’ll touch on a couple of them but only display how I’d bet using my opinion.

Let’s kick it off with the first leg:

Leg 1: Parx 10

Generally this is a race I’d refer to as binary. There is such an overwhelming favorite that the “most likely outcome”, and thus most likely approach is to either single the favorite (Jackie’s Warrior) or toss completely. There is no way to leverage your bets enough that it would make sense to use multiple horses. Either you are using 100% of your money, or 95% with a saver through others, or 0%. In my case today I’ll be singled with no savers.

Leg 2: Parx 11

Several approaches here. You could play it safe and equally use both Clairiere and Army Wife will likely compete for post time favoritism but my favorite approach is to take 1 and toss the other. Especially in chalky sequences it’s hard to find long term value in using both short price horses. The only reason I would use both is if there was a very logical bomb I was trying to connect with. In this case I decided to take Clairiere over Army Wife with a couple shots to horses I think will be underbet in the horizontals here and if connect would increase payouts enough that I’m willing to risk. Even though i’ve spread I’ve used 50% of my budget through Clairiere and escentially bet her at 2-1 in this sequence.

Leg 3: CD 10

This is the leg that most people will spread in. If I feel the need to cash a ticket I might take an all this leg but since it’s chalky enough I won’t lose sleep if I miss this leg. I leveraged up the 7 as well as a few slams with the 1,8 and a few savers to 2,3. You could exchange any of these horses and use your own. I think this presents the best chance at hitting a slam as well as having exposure to some prices.

Leg 4: Parx 12

Not as binary as the first leg but single and move on. Again there are multiple approaches you could use that would make sense but I’m going to anchor today around legs 1 and leg 4. If either lose I’m out and I feel they are the 2 most likely winners of the sequence. Nothing shocking there but you must bet the sequence you have. I see no trouble with tossing HRC but either single or toss.

Leg 5: Bel 10

Possible times to be alive.

Payout leg and what I think is a super interesting race handicapping wise. I ended up buying the race but leveraged accordingly. I was able to spread enough so that if all the chalk comes home I probably turn enough of a profit to make the risk worthwhile. Having all the chalk come in could result in a payout of up to 50x-78x . So that even if it pays something absurdly low as $8 I’d still make a profit. The goal on this ticket is to be alive to anywhere from $500-$3,000.

-Steven Fox aka EvilBobDole

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