Wiseguys Holy Bearish on Shanghai BobbyShanghai Bobby will have more money bet on him to win the Holy Bull Stakes (free Brisnet.com Ultimate PPs) than all other horses combined, yet few are actually picking him to win.
This is common phenomena among the horse racing cognoscenti. Picking favorites--especially odds on favorites coming off a layoff following a slow race--is taboo and a typical path to the poorhouse. It's not that anyone thinks Shanghai Bobby can't win--he's even the most likely winner--but 4-to-5 on the aforementioned variables does encourage shopping around.
So what is the best approach to betting a race where the most likely winner is an underlay? On the plus side, underlays create overlays (not always the case because of takeout, but you can't have an overlay without an underlay), but on the negative side, betting against the most likely winner increases variance, so navigating these situations is essential for proper bankroll management.
Itsmyluckyday is my top pick. I think he can win this race 25% of the time (3-to-1 fair odds), so 6-to-1 (14.3%) makes him a decent win bet, and the field is competitive enough that I'll probably play him across in case Shanghai Bobby runs well ... enough for fourth.
Still, I do like Shanghai Bobby more than some of the otherwise-fashionable alternatives in the race like Frac Daddy and Dewey Square. If Shanghai Bobby were to win, then I'd like to beat FD & DS underneath. There's still money to be made if Shanghai Bobby wins but Itsmyluckyday and/or Sr. Quisqueyano crash the number as well.
The one favorite on the card I do love is Kauai Katie in the Forward Gal Stakes (Brisnet.com Ultimate PPs for Kentucky Oaks prep races, including the Santa Ysabel). She'll be 1-to-2 making her tough to bet to win, but I'll probably try to get live to my prices in the Holy Bull by singling her in the multis.
And perhaps the most exciting news of all as the Kentucky Derby trail winds toward Louisville, is that TCI is back with Jon Siegel and Joel Cunningham recapping the major players on the trail so far and previewing the Holy Bull.