Renaissance Man Uses Art To Win $188,491.40

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

February 11th, 2015

Owning an art gallery finally paid off for R. F. Sharp, who used 35-to-1 English Art in the last race on February 6 at Santa Anita Park only because of the word “Art” in his name.

The last-second inclusion added $60 to the cost of Sharp’s ticket and resulted in him winning $189,543.40-- $177,450.40 for picking six and another $12,093 in consolation payoffs for a profit of $188,491.40 on $1,052 total bet. If Sharp had never worked at an art gallery he would have made less than $6,000.

“It was the typical maiden claiming last race, which is always tough,” Sharp said. “I used nine horses because I didn’t know what to do with it. The horse who won I ended up throwing in only because of his name. I always use a horse with “art” in his name. So it was sort of a fluke; that’s the first time it paid off.”

The rest of Sharp’s handicapping was not a fluke, however, as he built his main ticket around singles of Midnight Hawk in the fourth leg (race 6) and Christopher Street (race 7). Shrewd singles considering they were the only two favorites to win in the sequence.

“It was exciting,” said Sharp, whose biggest score came in 2011 when he hit the post Belmont Stakes carryover Pick 6 for $308,963. “I like the exotic bets because they’re fun for me. I like the longshot nature and big payouts. I hit for $20,000 on a $12 dime super bet at Gulfstream. It’s fun to say you won $20,000 on a dime bet.”

Sharp, 67, is a retired attorney who now spends his time writing mystery novels, sculpting, and handicapping. He doesn’t get to much live racing in his native Michigan but spends some time each summer in Saratoga Springs where his brother in law lives.

“I wish I could tell people I’m a professional handicapper like I do attorney, sculptor, or writer, but unfortunately there’s still a sleeze aspect to playing the horses,” Sharp said. “I don’t want people to think I’m constantly smoking a cigar wearing a dirty tee shirt.”

Sharp said he’ll put that professional focus to use trying to find the next big score.

“You hope you can do it again, but you know it might be awhile,” Sharp said. “I’ll look for the carryovers. I had one week where I hit five Pick 6s. They weren’t all big ones, but sometimes you’re in the zone.

“The last two years have been slow, so I know how it is waiting for things to fall into place. No matter how much you think you know the truth is that everyone else knows a lot of the same things you do.”

What Pick 6 players last week at Santa Anita did not know is that Sharp had worked for an art gallery.