Thursday, September 2, 2010

Photo Essay: Gierkink Picks Four as Smokey Fire Sizzles in Woodbine's Play The King

The daily grind of selecting winning racehorses for a living is a thankless task. Pick a favourite and the public rolls their eyes. Tip a longshot that loses and it's viewed as desperation. Get a few races right and chances are no one notices. Well, on Sunday August 29th, a pretty special handicapping moment occurred when the Daily Racing Form's Ron Gierkink nailed Woodbine's late pick four which paid $3,467.65 for a buck.

Pick Four - These exact four...

Gierkink's quick look into each race provided several valuable nuggets of information. Regarding Race 7 winner, Believe the Fox, Gierkink offered, "She possesses the highest last-out Beyer in this OS allowance by a wide margin, and figures to take some catching...". Gierkink figured correctly as Believe the Fox zipped out of the gate and never looked back to win by three and a half lengths.

Race eight was the highly competitive Play The King Stakes raced over a speed-favouring turf course. Of the seven starters, five went to post at odds of 5-1 or less with Signature Red a mild 5-2 favourite. In his vision, Gierkink scrawled, "Smokey Fire struggled on the dirt last time in a fast G1 stakes at Saratoga, and is meeting much easier in this prep for the G1 Woodbine Mile." While it was hardly easy, Smokey Fire did get up in time under a masterful ride by Jono Jones. Check the last line of Gierkink's Smokey Fire prediction for some excellent insight.

Smokey Fire added flavour to a profitable pick four payout

The third leg of this quartet was the most impressive as the 'capper scored with 14-1 shot Trajectory's Dream. Perhaps watching so many Woodbine races paid off here as Gierkink noted, "Trajectory's Dream fought three-wide for the lead and was able to put the other speed away before tiring late in a recent maiden special on the lawn." The eventual assesement that Trajectory's Dream might have finally found an easier group, and less of a fight for the lead, was correct and paid $29.70.

The Pick Four concluded with a tough ten-horse MSW on the turf. Gierkink's selection was Halton Gully, a Eugene Melnyk owned gelding, who was taking on a tough Roger Attfield trained foe in Perfect Cherokee but the selector did not waver stating, "Halton Gully is a full-brother to multiple turf stakes winner Sterwins, and obviously has a license to handle the grass, over which he's worked several times." It might have been obvious to Gierkink but not the betting public as Halton Gully went to post as sixth-choice at odds of nearly 6-1 and was ridden out by two lengths under a confident ride from Patrick Husbands.

The $1 Pick Four paid $3.467.65. The Pick 3 was worth a cool $877.15 and even the late double generated a $278.60 payout. Sometimes it pays to read the form!

* * *

And now for a few photos from the Woodbine weekend, starting with Sunday's Play The King won by Smokey Fire.

As always, double-left click on the photo to enlarge the picture and use your "Back" button to return to the photo essay.

Field Commission is looking forward to cool September weather

Fatal Bullet stretches out in the paddock

Jungle Wave signals hello

Porter's Gate would be looking for an opening late

Signature Red did not get the green light on Sunday

Smokey Fire has his eye on you

Closer Southdale wasn't happy with the speed-favouring course

Smokey Fire surges to the lead

At the wire it's Smokey Fire!

He won by this much!

Fatal Bullet gets a well-deserved bath after setting the pace

Happy connections pose in the winners circle

Amateur firefighter Sid Attard puts out the blaze

* * *

Saturday's feature at Woodbine was the Ontario Colleen as a full field of fashionable fillies hit the turf running but only one would take the spoils.

The happy end of the (Barracks) Road

Chantal Sutherland and No Explaining offered no excuses after a good performance

Sharp Secretary has her eye on a little something frilly for the office

Luis Contreras and Crescenda head to the track

Eurico Rosa da Silva focuses on the task at hand

Exclusive Love, actually

Justin Stein prepares to fly up, up and away aboard omni-surface star Hunter's Tiger Paw

Emile Ramsammy and Lucy Ring

Jenny's So Great was the pick of the paddock

Miss Lola - la, la, la, la lola

Win some, lose Somme

Jose Ferrer is pretty good and Jenny's So Great

A thoughtful Jimmy Mac focused on Exclusive Love

Barracks Road wins

Photo Finish for show!

It was almost a TRIPLEDEADHEAT!

Corey Fraser celebrates aboard Barracks Road

Mark Casse pats an appreciative Barracks Road

* * *

As always, keep track of the latest goings on in the world of horse racing by clicking into TripleDeadHeat's Woodbine News page.

No comments: