Licking Wounds Before Another Big Saturday

4 Apr

By Lucky Kalanges

Perhaps the best thing about blogging about handicapping and betting horses is that it forces you to put your opinions down on paper. Minus the black and white, it’s too easy to drift from your gut instincts and stumble into new ways to lose money.

I’ve often told friends that I would be better off just telling them who to bet and handing them the money, rather than letting me fumble it away on the walk from our clubhouse box to the betting windows. While I never enjoy being completely wrong about a race, I get far more annoyed when I have opinions or feelings about a race that turn out to be true, only to have a thinner wallet at end of the day. I can accept being wrong. I have a harder time being right and having nothing to show for it.

For a prime example, look no further than last Saturday’s Florida Derby. To set the stage, we shall review this golden nugget I wrote about the eventual runner-up, Bodexpress:

Another longshot is #8 – Bodexpress (30/1) out of Bodemeister. He was left in the wake of Hidden Scroll’s impressive debut, finishing fourth in a field of 14. He then returned to nearly break his maiden at seven furlongs, earning a 91 Beyer figure in the process. He should be up close early and could move forward if he gets a clean trip.

I’ll add to this opinion by saying that, in general, I felt that the pace could be slow because there were really only two true front-runners in the race in Hidden Scroll and Maximum Security, and there had been chatter that the former might try to take back a bit and stalk off the lead. This would have left Maximum Security as the lone speed, but I didn’t bet the race that way.

Despite my thoughts that the pace might be slow, I elevated the chances of closers Code of Honor and Bourbon War by keying them on top in Exactas for larger amounts over Maximum Security, who I keyed in second. I did place one saver Exacta with Maximum Security over Code of Honor, Bourbon War, and Harvey Wallbanger for $1.

The last bet I placed was a $10 Win bet on Maximum Security, which ended up bailing me out, giving me a small profit for the day. But it could have been much better had I just re-read last week’s blog and put Bodexpress on my Exacta ticket.

Check out the replay of the Florida Derby and imagine the pit growing in my stomach as I watched this scene unfold in the control room of Pleasanton OTB.


A horse I had tabbed as a viable longshot finished second at 71.50 to 1 and completed an Exacta with the horse I had bet to Win that returned $257.10.

Fl Derby chart

Needless to say, the night shift at the OTB seemed to pass a little longer than normal. Blunder aside, this is just another illustration of the power of early speed and the tendency of the betting public to elevate the chances of no-hope closers in races without pace – Yours Truly being no exception.

I’m a pro-speed guy, yet I still suffer from this malady!

I hope you saw it clearer than I did and cashed a big ticket.

On to the next big Saturday!

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