Transcript for the very popular Pace Makes the Race Podcast, aired in November 2016. Part 2 of 5, check back soon for the next installment!
- Bridge Jumpers – 75% or more of total show pool.
- Bridge Jumper tracks can be charted.
- What makes a Bridge Jumper fail?
- Dubious Trainer Patterns
- Chaos Races
Special Mentions: John Barile, Mark David
Chapter 2: Derek Talks About Arrogate in the Breeder’s Cup
We started with lack of experience, does that mean lightly raced? If this is a turf race, does it mean may have a lot of races but lightly raced on the turf?
Derek: I am going to give an example of a losing edge in the Breeder’s Cup. I do not really get Breeder’s Cup. What I was wrong about was the Breeder’s Cup Classic.
This does not relate specifically to the topic but it does relate to winning at the racetrack, which is one thing as a player that you have to get a handle on.
If you are so worried about being right or having people think you are right and great, I do not think you stand a chance in this game. I have got no issues whatsoever with being wrong. It is going to happen more often than not and if you cannot handle that, probably not the game to be playing.
Back to the Breeder’s Cup Classic, I felt that the bulk of the betting on Arrogate was going to be on his Travers which was a sensational performance. Here is the funny thing with this, too: From the standpoint of the figures I produced, Arrogate looks like a superstar. But in the betting in the Breeder’s Cup Classic I liked California Chrome – he was strong and solid – but with Arrogate, you had to accept that Travers as being his ability.
If you took that away, he is not the favorite. He is certainly not worth the odds that he went off in the Breeder’s Cup Classic. That was my reason for betting against him. I also knew he was going to be coming off the pace, probably further off the pace than he ever had in his career. I knew that Bob Baffert had been training him to do this but we had not seen it in a race. We had not seen that he could be successful in a race coming from far off the pace.
Those are the kinds of situations I am looking for when betting against the big favorites, there is going to be times when the horse is better than you thought or just better on that day than you thought. But in the long run you are going to be better off playing against big favorites when you have a situation where they are trying to do something they have not proven they can do before because you are trying to beat a bad favorite.
I have said over and over again if the horses is a long shot, instead of 1-9 it is 19-1 all of those rules do not apply. When you have a big favorite they have to meet different and more stringent criteria because you are getting less money off them.
Dave: If I am hearing right, you did not bet Arrogate because, basically, from your handicapping point of view he was a one trick pony. He had one really overwhelming good race. Would it be safe to say that even worse than that would be a horse that had not ever done what he was being asked to do today? That is like I have zero legs to my table, right?
Derek: That is exactly right. If it is a horse that has done nothing of what you are looking for in this race that would be an even worse bet. Arrogate, honestly even terms of our discussion is on the outside of what we are talking about. I want to say he was 8-5 in the Breeder’s Cup Classic and we are talking about big favorites.
It was a horse I knew a lot of people could relate to because we watched the Breeder’s Cup Classic. So the principle is the same but in terms of the odds – obviously if Arrogate is 1-9 or 1-5 – is exactly what you are looking for. If he has done nothing, showed no capability at all which was the case in the Withers, for example, the favorite in that race looked like he could go that distance around effectively. That is the ideal situation to bet against those guys
Dave: So you were questioning Arrogate to begin with because his history was not that great?
Derek: No. Arrogate, on my figures looked sensational. That is why I said it looked a little different. However, if you looked at the Travers, it looked so far above what he had done before that with any kind of regression you had to question where he would rank in that field.
Looking mostly at California Chrome, because most of the field was not that great, most people looked at that as a two-horse race. The odds are not there to back you, people are going to bet based on what the horse has done.
My point is if you take away that one race suddenly he is not 8-5, he is probably not 2-1, not 5-2. That is the kind of situation I am looking for: to take away the one race and how good is this horse? That is why I say lack of experience. If a horse does not have a lot of fantastic performances or performances that would justify its odds today those are the ones you want to typically bet against.
Dave: In that race was Chrome a bridge jumper horse?
Derek: There was no bridge jumper because the odds were fair. That is why I said it is not a great example for what we are talking about. It just illustrates the principle I am looking for when you are going against these big favorites.
Chrome was actually the favorite in that race, 7-5, 6-5, he might have been even odds or below even money. Then Arrogate was the huge second choice and a bunch of other horses at longer odds.
The tough thing about talking to Dave is that he is incredibly knowledgeable, knows horse racing inside and out but he does not follow current events. LOL
About Derek Simon:
I love numbers and analysis and have been able to parlay that into an exciting career writing about two of my greatest passions — business and sports.
In addition to working as a freelance financial writer for Newsmax, The Motley Fool, Investopedia/Forbes, Beacon Equity Research and Investor Concepts (among others), I was also the editor of Small Cap Insider, a monthly newsletter highlighting investment opportunities in the small cap sector.
Currently, I am the editorial director for US Racing where I contribute written, audio and video content and oversee a team of talented and passionate writers.
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