Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How Many Times is Enough?

A curious thing happened during last Friday's card at Belmont. Among the splintered fields with main track only entrants abounding from four races being rained off the turf, there came the potential for one horse to become a beaten favorite...again.

This unlikely candidate numbered 15 in your program actually was coming off a year plus layoff and gunning for six straight loses as the favorite - amazingly four of these loses came at odds under a dollar. Allow me to repeat, this five-year-old son of Unbridled Song's had lost at odds of 80 cents on a dollar, 80 cents again, 90 cents and 20 cents. Then in his last start of 2009 he drifted all the way up to almost 2-1 as part of an entry, but the result was the same - defeat.

I wonder is this some sort of record? Karma induced defeat? High-powered connections of Darley and Albertrani just not knowing when to give up or give in? What I do know is that the public, the betting pool, has continually been fooled by this well-bred, good looking steed named Unbridled's Heart.

In his first start way back in May of 2008, he showed more than just heart. Unbridled's Heart blew away a decent field of maidens over a good racing surface going 1 1/16 miles. He won by double digits and posted a triple digit Beyer. Impressive to say the least. Since then this lightly raced horse ( 1 win, 2 seconds and 3 thirds in six lifetime starts) has broken poorly, just missed twice and gave it up after holding a clear lead on a slow-paced nine furlong race at the Spa.

So there he was sitting at 65 cents on a dollar in a four horse field, the only entrant there for the main track. My eyes lit up. Now here's a chance to cash, but with only three contenders to choose from, I didn't go heavy on a win ticket. I simply signaled eventual winner Mad for Smarty going off as second choice at almost 3-1, in a modest Pick 3. Unfortunately, I didn't get to the payoff as I missed on one of the three races in the sequence. Unbridled's Heart finished an OK second, but yet again didn't hit the winner's circle.

A few days later, it still makes me wonder if Unbridled's Heart will roll out as the betting choice, once again. Sure he's always in the money, but clearly he is a bet against on a win ticket. When will the public learn on this overbet underachiever? Or better yet, when will I cash on such a proposition? If you can't get off a now six-time beaten favorite, you should pick another hobby....

1 comment:

  1. Hey Anthony,

    Late to the party here...great article. Makes me re-focus on such horses to beat.