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Make Money by Tossing Out False Favorites

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 11:05:25 AM

Racebook tips

Every horse race in the pari-mutuel universe has to have a favorite. The first question to ask is whether that horse represents betting value…is he an overlay? If not, is that horse at least a deserving favorite? In other words, is the horse being offered at a square price? If not, he must be an underlay…his probable payoff is less than his chances of winning. Finally, is this horse such a false favorite that you decide to structure a bet against him winning, or perhaps even hitting the board. Such a situation (or should we call it an opportunity) presented itself on Saturday, June 28th, at Belmont Park.

The 122nd running of The Grade 1 Suburban Handicap, with a purse of $400,000, was sorely lacking in star power. In fact, the race’s eight participants could boast of just two Grade 2 wins among them…one by post-time favorite A. P. Arrow and the other by recent comebacker Harlington. None of these contestants was exactly a household name, except perhaps in the households of their connections (i.e. breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, grooms, hotwalkers, etc.).

Much has been expected from A. P. Arrow since his early days. He’s royally-bred, and hails from the powerhouse stable of trainer Todd Pletcher. He’s earned more than $1.4M on the racetrack, certainly a tidy sum, and prior to the Suburban, had hit the board in 16-of-23 starts. He was being ridden by the talented Ramon Dominguez, who guided him to his Grade 2 victory in last fall’s Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. So what was not to like? Well, the biggest question mark was whether he would suffer any ill-effects from his trip to Dubai in March. Many horses never fully recover from such an arduous trip. Also, it was unclear whether he did his best running at Belmont Park, with just a third-place finish (in a minor stakes race) in two starts. For this, we were getting him at 1.25-1?

Now, the question becomes, “How do I capitalize if this horse fails to fire?”  In Part 2 of this article, I’ll attempt to construct a reasonable scenario for cashing in on the exacta and trifecta if A. P. Arrow were to flame out.

Pete Mitchell has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?



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