• What odds for I'll Have Another?

    POSTED Jun 5, 2012
    Big Brown at 3-to-10 ($2.60) and Smarty Jones at 7-to-20 ($2.70) have skewed my thinking on what I'll Have Another's post time odds will be.

    The former looked invincible following his wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes while the latter was one of the most popular horses in a generation. They were also both favored in their previous classic wins.

    That is not in play with I'll Have Another, who was the ninth choice in the Derby and second choice in the Preakness. In fact, he has never been favored in any of his seven career starts.

    Funny Cide was an even money favorite when third to the superior Empire Maker, who paid $6.00 that day in what I have often called "the overlay of the century." Empire Maker was favored in that year's Derby and skipped the Preakness after finishing second to Funny Cide, who won the Preakness as the favorite.

    War Emblem was 5-to-4 when eighth in the 2002 Derby. Like Funny Cide, he won the Preakness as the favorite after being a much bigger price in the Derby. Charismatic was 8-to-5 when third in the 1999 Belmont. He was an even bigger price than all of the aforementioned Derby winners when he wore the roses and wasn't favored in the Preakness either.

    Real Quiet was 4-to-5 when narrowly missing to Victory Gallop, who had been favored in the Preakness but was 9-to-2 in the Belmont. Silver Charm was 21-to-20 (a touch over even money) when second to Touch Gold.

    Immediately after the Preakness I initially thought that I'll Have Another would be in the 1-to-2 or 3-to-5 range because of all the souvenir win tickets that will be acquired on him, but his two-race win parlay of $136.92 ranks sixth (ahead of just War Emblem's $163.40 and Charismatic's $607.24) among the last eight dual classic winners to attempt a Triple Crown sweep (see chart at bottom).

    I do think the rarity of the Triple Crown among race fans (anyone younger than 34 hasn't been alive for one let alone how old you'd have to be to remember one) adds to the zest for $2 win tickets, and Smarty Jones' $3.30 place price certainly shows people buy in bulk (he'd have paid $2.70 to win, "that's OK"), but the fervor to bet on I'll Have Another just isn't there especially considering the top two threats in this race--Union Rags and Dullahan--took more money than he did in the Derby and still have their supporters.

    So, I cheated a little bit when making this line. I can't imagine ever seeing a "9-to-10" morning line, but that's what I put I'll Have Another at. He'll be "4-to-5" on the board, but my math works a lot easier if I acknowledge him at 9-to-10, which is $3.80 to win. If I made I'll Have Another 4-to-5 straight (.8-to-1) then I thought both Dullahan and Union Rags would be 6-to-1, and I don't see that happening. Even with this line I'm worried I have the longshots too high. I could see Street Life at 12-to-1 and Optimizer at 20-to-1 and the rest no higher than 30-to-1, but then we're talking 3-to-2 on I'll Have Another and that ain't happenin'.

    So 9-to-10 it is on I'll Have Another, and if Dullahan is 5-to-1 then I'm betting him on the nose, but more on those strategies later in the week.

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