Morning Line Madness

I hate being a gambler sometime, because these things really tend to bother me, when all I should be doing is being a fan.

Driving back today from the Conference with a friend (and professional gambler) we listened to the morning line for the Derby. I Want Revenge 3-1. Dunkirk 4-1. Pioneerof the Nile 4-1. We looked at each other and the car was almost in the ditch.

Those three horses, out of 20 of them, have a 65% chance to win, according to the morning line (yes I know the ML adds rake and is made for the crowd). This is absolutely mind-boggling: The other 17 horses have a 35% chance to win? If I could ever get that in a race, sign me up.

It goes without saying that IWR will be a massive overbet and is an auto-pitch, but the other two at those odds are auto-pitches as well.


Anonymous said...

but if he wins, the only way to make money is to bet the favorite. that is why pro gamblers like you always lose

Mark Ripple said...

Good time to think about "Dutching" a few horses for the win. Toying with the idea of placing varying win bets on Hold Me Back, Chocolate Candy, and West Side Bernie. This is a link to a Dutching article I wrote a while back---it has odds and percentages in it. Copy/Paste if there is no hyper link.

Allan said...

Now, I really don't know much about t-breds and I look only at the past performances but in the Oaks, there is something calling me to put a small wager on Nan at expected long odds. Since she hit the graded stakes races she has been going off at long odds and other than her last race, she is more competative than a consistent long shot should be. With a lot of racing luck, who knows? I rather take a chance on a likely 25-1+ shot than the likely 1-5 shot.

I will look like a genious or an idiot with this post.

Pull the Pocket said...


I agree. This is the best race in North America to dutch. The takeout is good at CD, and there are always opps.

This race is the only race of the year which is like a UK race on turf. It is not at all uncommon to see two horses under ten to one there, and on a place like betfair dutching is the strategy to play those.

I used to laugh at the press with the "you can't bet the favorite because he is cursed at the Derby" stuff. The only reason of course the chalk is hard done by is because he has to beat 19 horses, not 8 or 9 like in a regular race.

The Derby is a wonderful day where gambling meets sport, or where the gambler and the fan can both go have a good time. The gambler is looking for some bombs or major underbets and dutching or using them in exotics to try and make a score. The fan is trying to pick the winner. It is truly a great race to be both a fan and a gambler. I wish we had more days like this in our game, both with the blue bloods, and the blue collars.

Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

Exactor, Triactor, Superfecta...won't matter if the favourite wins, the exotics will still pay. If you like the favourite use him top and bottom and be pleasantly surprised.

If the weather goes wet on Saturday, all ML odds go out the window anyway.

A GREAT race to wager on.

Pull the Pocket said...

Absolutely right Keith, however with exotics this is the only race of the year I take in a different way. It's the only race, with a modest investment, that can be a game changer.

50-1 onto a 20-1 onto a 11-1 at Woodbine can get you back $10k for the tri and 22k for the super. Not bad, but using a Harville type formula for that you will see you got screwed. Hit that in the derby? It can make you a millionaire, and you DO get over-fair exotic odds. In a 20 horse field, on such a weird day, it is time for me to look beyond the obvious.

Like I said, this is just the way I play it if I do not love the chalks. There are many ways to skin a cat in this game and I do not, nor ever will tell someone how they should play this race. It is what makes this race great. (imo)


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