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Take the good with the (really) bad

LONESPEED HORSE

Today was not a good day. It was a bad day. A really bad day. As noted here on LoneSpeed yesterday, I was all-in on Good Samaritan in the Whitney and I felt it was an incredible wagering opportunity based on my perception of the value he would offer. But then two bad things happened. First, it seems like at least half of the public handicappers who published picks chose Good Samaritan. That is never a good sign. Not that I go out of my way to be a contrarian for the sake of it, but seeing your sneaky pick’s name all over the blogs and Racing Twitter is usually a recipe for disaster. Second, the sky opened up before the race and, in my opinion, changed the entire complexion of the race. One prominent handicapper told me he canceled his bets on Good Samaritan as soon as he saw them seal the track. Am I saying Good Samaritan would have run better on a fast track? No. I’m saying he might have. And I am saying that the sloppy going definitely helped Diversify. In retrospect, I should have cut the amount of my bet down. Good Samaritan ended up going off at 6-1, essentially exactly where I expected. But with the weird track condition and all that, it was no place for a big bet. The truth is I was afraid I’d cut my bet in half and Good Samaritan would win, costing me money. I was afraid of being gutless and regretting it. Bad decision.

Another decision I made today, which one could argue was either a bad decision or a good decision with a bad result, was to bet on Kelly’s Humor in the Test. She ran well to be 3rd at 12-1, but in my opinion didn’t get the fast pace she would have needed to make an impact late in the race. I think she’s a nifty little filly and I know she will get her big win soon enough.

As for Diversify, I can admit that what he’s done in his last two races is pretty impressive. But before we go handing him the Eclipse Award for Champion Older Male, let’s take a deep breath and imagine how the rest of the year might shake out. If he wins the Woodward, then the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and then the Breeders’ Cup Classic, obviously he’ll win the Older Male award. Might he also win Horse of the Year? Is that a stupid thing to suggest? Could I possibly get MORE ahead of myself right now? Do we need to take another approach to this? Can we point out that he just beat a closing sprinter (Mind Your Biscuits) and a classic overachiever (Discreet Lover) in winning the Whitney? Or, do we need to avoid faulting him for who he’s beating and acknowledge that he’s beating whoever shows up to face him? Is this really my seventh consecutive question?

Look, it’s getting late. I had a bad day. My only two strong opinions today absolutely flopped. And I’m just sitting here typing away as thoughts pour into my head. I’m leaving for Saratoga on Thursday for the Friday and Saturday contests. And I need to get my head clear and ready for two days of firing away and hoping to catch that one god opinion that can send men up the leader board.

We are just about 90 days out from the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs. And LoneSpeed will be the place to be to read and hear all the wagering opinions and advice you’ll need to be ready for racing’s biggest day.

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