The morning after a loss at 3-5. It's a tough place to be in racing.
Orb, who many (me included) thought had the best shot to win the Triple Crown in a long time, as we all know, sputtered yesterday and came a terrible fourth. Yesterday and this morning the narrative developed that it was premature to think he had a huge shot to run the table, and do something not done in 35 years.
"The proof is in the pudding, he lost". Take that.
I think that's revisionist, and somewhat folly.
Each horse race is a series of percentages, a probability. Knowing what we know about Triple Crown losers in the past is the variables that befell them. Namely:
1) Did they beat who they are going to have to beat?
2) Can mother nature trip them up?
3) Do they have physical issues?
4) Do the connections know what they're doing?
and the Granddaddy of them all:
5) Can they get 12 furlongs at the Belmont?
Analyzing each of these with Orb, the probabilities said they were just fine.
Did Orb beat who he is going to have to beat? Sure he did. The new entrant to the Preakness was Departing, who was beaten by several in Louisiana who Orb trounced, and didn't exactly have 107 Beyers going for him. For the Belmont, Dreaming of Julia was talked about, who just lost a 9 furlong race at Churchill. There was no horse like Bodemeister who people thought was better after the Derby. There was no Red Bullet. There was just Orb and the horse's that Orb had beaten.
Can mother nature trip him up? Well, since he just jogged in the soup, there goes that one.
Does he have physical issues? A year ago at this time, vet records were being released, talk of hyperbaric chambers talked about and more, with last year's winner I'll Have Another. With Big Brown one wondered if his feet were made of glass. With Orb? Sound as a dollar bill, so it seems.
Do the connections know what they're doing? Um, do we have to answer this one?
Can he get 12 furlongs? People smarter than me thought it was actually a better distance for him, and if you watched the Florida Derby, or the Kentucky Derby, Orb looked like he could've went around again. He should relish Big Sandy, and the distance.
So yes, the offshore odds said he had a better shot than many, including Big Brown. The conditional parlay, at 3-5 and a probable 1-5 said similar.
Horse's lose all the time at 3-5 or 4-5. They have bad days, they aren't good enough, they get a bad trip, they have a cough, they bounce, or have 100 other reasons or issues.
The fact he lost plays no role in thinking beforehand he had a great shot to accomplish this huge task. He lost. These things happen.
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