Friday, June 10, 2005

Belmont Prediction

One of the misleading things about horse racing is that there are different payoffs for predictions. If you pick a favorite and win, you might double your money. If you pick a 10-1 long shot, you can win 10% as often and still come out on equal footing as someone who picks even odds favorites. This helps explain my philosophy of generally not picking the favorite horse in any given race.

As promised, I am not picking heavily favored Afleet Alex to win the Belmont Stakes tomorrow. Nor am I picking Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, who should go off around 4-1. I have spotted a horse I like, and the Daily Racing Form suggests that his odds are 12-1. This horse is Louisiana Derby winner Southern Africa. The main reason I like him is he is well rested, running only one race since April 2. In contrast, the favorites mentioned above have run three times since then. The extra rest is meaningful at the 1 1/2 mile Belmont, a grueling race 20% that is longer than the Kentucky Derby.

For those who care, expert handicapper Earl still likes Afleet Alex. So hit the track Saturday and bet big!


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