Homeracing Player Trades Bad Beat Story For $78,000

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

June 16th, 2014

Ron Bowden may have won $78,000, but he lost something many horseplayers enjoy: the ability to complain that disqualifications never go his way.

Singled to Aurelia’s Belle to take down the whole Single 6 pool that Churchill Downs guaranteed at $100,000 for such an event, Bowden was not thinking about needing help from the stewards when Aurelia’s Belle came off the turn poised to blow by A Little Bit Sassy. Instead, Aurelia’s Belle appeared to hang when second to the favorite in the Regret Stakes on Saturday night at Churchill.

“When she didn’t get to the winner I couldn’t believe it,” Bowden said. “It looked like she was going to blow them away. Then they put up the objection sign, and I started pacing, and my labradoodle was jumping up and down and couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

“I didn’t realize [A Little Bit Sassy] had come over, but it was the obvious call after seeing the head-on.”

Before the race, Aurelia’s Belle showed a will pay of about $27,000 for twenty cents, but Bowden collected $78,000 before taxes because Churchill & had guaranteed a $100,000 pool in the event of one winner. There were multiple tickets live to A Little Bit Sassy, meaning there would have been a $27,000 carryover into Sunday without the disqualification.

“There are some tracks, and I won’t name names, that wouldn’t have taken that horse down for $78,000,” Bowden said.

Bowden scored on a $162 ticket that singled in the first and sixth legs, went three and five deep in the second and third legs, respectively, and used “ALL” in legs four and five.

The “ALL” plays came in the Fleur de Lis Handicap won by Molly Morgan ($23.40) and the Stephen Foster Handicap won by Moonshine Mullin ($22).

“When it comes to that level of racing, a lot depends on who shows up,” Bowden said of the Grade 1 Foster and Grade 2 Fleur de Lis. “Whether it’s the Super Bowl or Spurs-Heat, or boxers, it’s who shows up, and it’s a good thing I used ‘ALL’ in those races because I wouldn’t have picked either winner myself.”

The first three winners were not nearly as lucrative as the last three with his single Carve paying $5 to kick the sequence off followed by Highball ($7.60) and Tapiture ($4) in the Matt Winn Stakes. The first three legs produced a 30-to-1 Pick 3 while the last three was more than 1,000-to-1.

“I thought [Carve] was a shoe-in in the first leg, and then I used every horse I thought had a chance of winning in the next two,” Bowden said. “I normally like to have ‘ALL’ in the last leg because it’s more fun that way, but I really liked Aurelia’s Belle.”

Bowden handicaps with the Quick Play PPs, which is an abridged form of the Ultimate PPs w/ comments. His favorite figure among the many pieces of data available is the Late Pace rating.

“I pay attention to closing speed because Cash Asmussen told me, ‘Horses have a quarter-mile of good run in them, and it’s a matter of when to use that quarter,’” Bowden said. “When push comes to shove, who can really kick it in.”

Bowden, 61, was introduced to racing by his father going to Arlington Park growing up, but it was not until he moved to the San Francisco area and made trips to Bay Meadows on his own that he picked it up as a hobby, which he supports not only with his wagering dollars but also as an owner-breeder with broodmares in the Bluegrass and racehorses with trainer Tom Proctor.

“I’ve always loved horses; I love the animal,” Bowden said. “They’re very interesting with their demeanors and have always been a big interest of mine.”