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Thoroughbred horse racing – no way to play Mr. Sidney

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 10:40:28 AM

Thoroughbred Horse Racing: What to make of Mr. Sidney

  • WHO: 4YO Colt Mr. Sidney
  • WHAT: The River City Handicap – Grade 3 (Race 9)
  • WHERE: Churchill Downs
  • WHEN: Saturday, November 22

It’s a rarity in thoroughbred horse racing to see a horse that’s 15-1 on the morning line open at 6-5! That was the case with Mr. Sidney on Saturday in his stakes debut at Churchill Downs. His odds eventually drifted up to 7-2 at post time but, even at that price, he wasn’t worth a play.

If you read Friday’s article about this race you know that I had intended to key Mr. Sidney in the superfecta but, at those underlaid odds, it made no sense. He beat one horse that day, finishing nearly seven lengths behind dead-heat winners Karelian and Demarcation.

I’ll look for another superfecta play to discuss in the next article. In the meantime, let’s review a few points about betting superfectas.

Like their smaller brethren, exactas and trifectas, there’s a simple formula for calculating the cost of a superfecta box. Obviously, with four slots to fill, a superfecta box requires that you select at least four program numbers. A $2 superfecta box using the 1,2,3 and 4 would cost $48.00. The formula is 4 (# of horses in the box) X 3 (# of horses in the box -1) X 2 (# of horses in the box -2) X 1 (# of horses in the box -3 X $2 (bet amount for each combination). The short version looks like this: 4 X 3 X 2 X 1 X $2 = $48.00.

The rationale behind the formula is that when you use a number in the first slot, it’s not available to be used again in the second, third or fourth slots (hence, # of horses in the box -1). Likewise, when you use two numbers in the first two slots, neither is available to be used again in the third or fourth slots (hence, # of horses in the box -2), and so on.

By contrast, if you use entirely different numbers in each superfecta slot, there are more combinations, and the formula yields a higher cost. For example, a $2 superfecta using 1,2,3/4,5,6/7,8,9/10,11,12 would cost $162.00. The formula looks like this: 3 X 3 X 3 X 3 X $2 = $162.

It gets more complicated when some numbers repeat and others don’t. For example, a $2 superfecta using 1,2,3/3,4,5/5,6,7/7,8,9 would cost $110.00. The formula is not readily apparent, so I’d be inclined to use some type of horse racing software to do it for me.

That’s all for now. We’ll continue this discussion with an actual play in Friday’s thoroughbred horse racing article. Until then, happy betting!

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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