Tourney Talk- “Great handicapping, Justin.”

Forget about the recap of the Saratoga contests.  I busted out of both and I’m over it.  But something amazing happened today in the Fourstardave Challenge and we’re going to talk about it now.

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a strong opinion on a horse today that I felt could make or break the tournament for me.  Johny’s Bobby was making his third career start in Race 2, a Maiden Special Weight event on the dirt at seven furlongs, for trainer Phil Bauer and jockey Julien Leparoux.  In his career debut on June 21, he finished 4th of nine in an off-the-turf event at Churchill Downs.  But a review of the video replay shows the horses that ran 1-2-3 that day went out to the front right away and just stayed there, and Johny’s Bobby ran on well to be 4th.  The winner of that race, Chase Greatness, went on to finish 7th in the Sanford here at Saratoga in his next start.  And the 2nd and 3rd-place finishers would both come back to win their next starts.  In Johny’s Bobby’s next start, he tried a turf route at Saratoga and likely bled, as he was given Lasix for there first time for today’s race.  He also wore blinkers for the first time today.

All of the above told me that Johny’s Bobby was, at the very least, an interesting long shot and worthy of a bet.

He was.  And then some.

Dismissed at odds of 24-1, Johny’s Bobby broke alertly, was allowed to settle near the back of the pack early, rode the rail all the way to the top of the stretch, threaded his way between horses in the final 1/8th mile, and missed by a neck.

I cashed nothing.

My buddy Rich came over and patted me on the shoulders.  My buddy Steve said “Great handicapping, Justin.” But I had nothing to show for it.

I didn’t say much for the next half hour.  I went and got a beer, made some big swings in the remaining races, but in the end I went bust. Johny’s Bobby was my play.  He was my shot.  My chance at a massive pay day.  He didn’t get it done, and I didn’t play the race the right way.  So I left with nothing but a story.

In an ironic twist of fate, as I mentioned yesterday, Steve texted me last night and jokingly told me to bet $500 to win and place on him since I wouldn’t stop interrupting his dinner with text messages about how much I liked the horse.  Had I done that, I would have been over $4,000 and atop the leaderboard after two races.  But the truth is I would not have stayed there.  I didn’t connect on anything the rest of the day other than the first half of a couple double wagers.  And like I said yesterday, going all-in that early was not something I was prepared to do.  So that’s it.

But that’s actually not it.  Last night, as I was preparing for today, I noticed something.  I noticed that a horse was likely to be overlooked based on his recent form that, in my opinion, was going to be misinterpreted.  And I was correct.  Johny’s Bobby was overlooked.  And he did run the race that I thought he might run at 24-1.  He just came up a few feet short.  But rather than get angry and dejected, I’m reminded to trust my stuff.  Because my stuff is good.  It wasn’t good enough this weekend, or two weeks ago at Del Mar.  And it may not be good enough in the next tournament.  But I know that if I trust my stuff, god things are going to happen.

On to the next one.



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