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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Take a Step Back

116,280 superfecta winning combinations on a 20 horse field.

Even if you shelled out $840.00 to box 7 horses, which is a very hefty bet, seems like you are really covering yourself with 840 possible combinations doesn't it?

But there are still 115,440 combinations that can beat you. The superfecta is a very difficult feat to accomplish on a 20 horse field. It takes every hour leading up to the bell to figure it out.

It is important that everyone take a step back and just breathe. The two articles that were posted last week are PRELIMINARY THOUGHTS and PRELIMINARY PICKS. I will not speak for Gerard or Brian, however, I would bet everything that the picks from them as well, from last week, will not be the exact same when they actually pull the trigger and place that bet.

We have post positions to look at. We have workouts to look at. We have replays to review. I do believe I stated before in previous articles many times, we are not marrying our picks. We must roll with new information. Roll with the punches and not get trapped. I'm sticking to that.

No one in their right mind would ever handicap the Kentucky Derby 3 weeks prior and say, “That’s it, here is my ticket!” It’s a highly ridiculous thought. Please understand, that any picks this early is depicting where we are leaning and who is standing out at that present moment. At the drop of a hat, I could and would switch out 3 colts for 3 others.

I will tell you now, if Tawny Port runs a 1:11 or 1:12 workout at Churchill Downs, he would jump on my final ticket so fast.

Tiz the Bomb as well and many others as well.

If they have 10f in them and something transpires - stop the presses and make the change.

If Charge It had a killer workout in the rain at Churchill, I may end up spreading him completely across the board. If he does one thing wrong, I may toss him completely. This is the final field and we now need to handicap it.

Even if Taiba actually comes out of hiding and does something dramatic, I may change my entire analysis on him. You never know. (Highly Doubtful!)

The Derby is still too far in the distance and I am locking into absolutely nothing – as well as Brian and Gerard too. We just need to step back and breathe. The leg work has been completed, isolating 10f players, now the handicapping begins. We tossed several, we are keeping several and there are several still on the fence. Now we fine tune it. That work has not been done yet.

In 2010, two days before the Kentucky Derby, a friend of mine called me up and said that he wasn’t going to the Derby because it was supposed to pour and he wanted no parts of it. We chatted. I hung up and got in the shower thinking about my poor buddy who was so excited to go to the Derby but of all years, it had to rain. Out of the blue, with rain on the brain, I looked down at the oval tub with the water coming down and just stood there watching the race unfold around my oval tub. I'm not joking. I told you all that I am a degenerate! I wasn't lying! I saw Calvin Borel on the rail in the rain on the inside just rolling around that track. It just popped into my head like a tidal wave. The one horse that I had tossed weeks prior, was now the one that I was 100% sure was going to win the Derby.

I called Richie back and I told him to look at Calvin Borel on Super Saver with rain. I told him, they are going to win this race. Now, Richie was a great handicapper but a very poor Poker Player! He would start drinking at first shuffle and by 20 hands in, he was going all in with paired deuces! He was sharp with understanding biases though, when he was sober, and it didn't take him long to call me back and say, "Well, that is just way too easy, go with the single on top."

Super Saver was not a longshot but we had plans for a few others that were. It was all about Calvin on that rail in the rain. We singled Super Saver on top but did not cash one dollar because we were wrong with two others in the superfecta. (I will say in my defense, I had no knowledge of the mares numbers back then so everything was off!!)

The point is, something weird could just snap, two days before the big day and I will not hesitate to do a complete 180. If the track is playing to closers, everything changes. If it’s pouring out, everything changes. If their gate is horrific, everything changes.

Therefore, I have decided to do a teeny tiny mini analysis a couple days before the Derby. One or two sentence thoughts. That’s it. It may reveal exactly the same thoughts that I have now or it could be completely different. I am not marrying my picks until I am satisfied with ALL OF THE INFORMATION that will be afforded to me over the next 10 days. The Head to Head article and the Derby analysis is meant to give you ideas, angles, thoughts, insight, but it is not the final result of a year’s worth of work. The final week leading up to the Derby is the culmination of every single piece of evidence coming together.

If we are to have any shot at figuring out that one winning combination out of 116,280, every second of every minute of every hour of every day is time spent doing the REAL handicapping. Isolating players that can compete at this distance is done, now we work on everything else. The picks that you see are realistically the idea of the proper players.


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