Saturday, March 26, 2011

Five Reasons to Jump Off Uncle Mo's Back

In the buy, sell and trade world of the New York Stock Exchange, there is a body of evidence that shows a leading indicator of so many market crashes - lack of long term memory playing the Stock Exchange. With a higher burnout rate than Division I basketball coaches not making the NCAA tournament, Wall Street's collective memory is short - very short. By the time they hit their mid-40s the smart brokers/managers have cashed out or the not-so-bright ones just think climbing markets continue to climb. Without the collective reasoning of mature, wiser traders, whole markets suffer through horrific crashes.

Thoroughbred fans, handicappers, writers and bloggers don't suffer the same turnaround as our Stock Market friends (we're lifers), so why the group amnesia?     

Uncle Mo will attempt to become just the second steed to turn the Breeders' Cup Juvenile/Kentucky Derby double. Meanwhile ask any blogger or bettor who their top Derby horse is and you're sure to get Uncle Mo. In the future pools this three-year-old son of Indian Charlie - Derby favorite himself who finished third way back in 1998 - was around 3-1 both times. Some among us would drool at the chance to get him at 2-1 still six weeks away from the big race.

Come on people! Uncle Mo just might be the next great Triple Crown Champion, but the only thing he has proven in his three-year-old year is that he can beat a bunch of also rans in a one-turn race that Gulfstream's racing director wrote for him.

Allow me to give you my five reasons to jump off Uncle's Mo's back and find another Derby horse or at least prepare yourself to maybe, just maybe get off a likely even money favorite in a 20-horse field. 
  •  The aforementioned 1-for-27 record of Breeders Cup/Kentucky Derby winners. My math ain't that great, but that comes out to about 3.5%. Willing to take low odds with such a low percentage?
  • Horse racing history has a funny way of repeating itself over and over. Sure Street Sense and Uncle Mo share a Churhill Downs win on Breeders' Cup Day and a two-race prep leading into the Derby. What they don't share is more important - Streets Sense's trainer Carl Nafzger pointed his home bred to the Derby facing far stiffer competition than Uncle Mo - a nose win and track record in the Tampa Bay Derby and a neck loss on Keenland's new, tiring polytrack. Meanwhile Todd Pletcher - an outstanding trainer - has pulled out the white gloves making sure his Two-Year-Old Champion shows up fresh as a daisy on Derby Day without a breath taken out of place. Dangerous.
  • There are just a few places breeding can be the great equalizer - races run on the grass and distances made for champions. Uncle Mo has proven to be a talented and explosive runner up to 1 1/16. Does this means he gets the 10 furlong distance of the Derby? No. His sire made a big move turning for home in the 1998 Derby before tiring through the stretch.
  • Fantasy doesn't equal reality. Simply because many horse racing fans "want" or "wish for" a Triple Crown winner doesn't mean it's going to happen. Those hoping that Uncle Mo can transcend the sport and somehow save it with a Triple Crown win are just a bit misguided. What Thoroughbred horse racing needs are lower take-outs, less racing days, tighter drug laws and stricter penalties for those breaking the rules. A nice story and good for horse racing, but Uncle Mo isn't going to save the sport with a Triple Crown sweep.
  • With all the hype surrounding Uncle Mo, the odds of just about any other horse winning will be heavily skewed in your favor, so take advantage.
I didn't even mention possible injuries and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile/Belmont double over the past 25 years, in which all the Juvenile winners since 1985 haven't even made the Belmont starting gate.

Would I like to see a Triple Crown champ? Sure, but I'd also like to have him around 25-1 on Derby Day and then as the second choice on Preakness Day. If a defeated Uncle Mo goes onto the Preakness that is just what everyone will get.

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