No, you didn't miss Optional Race 2:
I had planned to make my next optional to be the 4th at Gulfstream - I had a first time starter on top for both ARV (targ CR of 6 again) and logically A (though not an intuitive "yes").
Her morning line was 6-1 - but to my shock she opened at 3-5, eventually going off at 11-10.
Betting very short odds horses won't do for optional races, as I explained in my strategy post. The field had also scratched down from 10 to 7 entries, another no-no for optionals. So I reluctantly decided to scrap using the race, and got the teller to cancel my ticket, in spite of the very good feeling I had about the horse.
She won by 9 lengths, but I had no regrets over the $4.20 win - $3 place payoffs.
(Optional Race 2 eventually became the 8th at Santa Anita, my last race of the day, coming up later.)
So Optional #3 was next. I had 3 logical "A"s; two (#1 and #5) were too short odds to bet. The 3rd was #6 Pacificator, who looked like the lone speed horse, a value at 6-1. He was third highest Targ CR at 3; highest #1A at 5 was too low odds, 2nd highest #4 a logical X. So #6 was my pick.
#6 did lead for 3/4 mile, but stopped to finish last. 2nd betting choice and logical A #1 won at 2-1. 2nd highest Targ CR #4 was 2nd at 10-1. Logical "yes" horses #5 and #7 ran out.
So nothing here.
My overall feeling at this point was still confident. I wasn't overwhelmed or anything - I did feel organized about my picks for the most part, and made my picks with the tellers long in advance so as not to worry about getting then in on time.
I made friends with one of my adjacent carrel mates, who turned out to be Scott Carson of publichandicapper.com, whose contests I participate in, and our ARV group does also. Scott hit his very first optional at 20-1, and boy was he happy ;-) I was happy for him too.
I am getting as tired already writing this as you probably are getting bored reading it ;-) so I am going to skip over some of the less interesting races from here on.
You have the flavor of how I make my picks and all by this time I expect.
Next: More Friday Races