Turning $20 to show into $10,000We're still 11 days out, but the Belmont Stakes (click for FREE Brisnet.com Ultimate PPs of possible entrants) is shaping up to be a fantastic race as part of an always-fascinating card at Belmont Park.
Many of us (including the TwinSpires.com Players Pool) will attempt to conquer the $1-million guaranteed Pick 6 and/or Pick 4 pools or any number of wagering opportunities on this day of more than $90-million in handle, but for 14 players on TwinSpires.com, a $20 show wager could be the most lucrative bet of the day.
The potential bonanza comes by way of being the only people to survive similar $20 show bets on both the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Preakness Stakes. Whomever makes a successful bet on the Belmont Stakes will split a $10,000 prize pool based on how many $20 show wagers were hit throughout the Kentucky Derby prep & Triple Crown seasons.
Of the 1,253 who made qualifying show bets on the Derby, 344 (27.4%) advanced to the Preakness where Orb's fourth-place contributed to thinning the field by another 96% to the 14 are are still alive
Those 14 surviving players have earned 70 shares total, meaning each share is worth a minimum of $119.04 if everyone hits the Belmont. Shares earned range from two (7 players) to ten (three players), so the minimum bonus is $357.12 to those with a pair of shares and $1309.44 to those with ten. Of course, if only one person survives then s/he would win the whole $10,000 regardless of how many shares s/he had going into the Belmont.
The range of possibilities makes it an interesting study in gamesmanship. Picking the most likely horse to hit the board may yield a small show payoff ($2.60-$3), but a guaranteed $357.12 bonus is like getting back $38-$39, and that kind of scratch can be tough to turn down even in the face of going for thousands of dollars--because when it comes to betting longshots to show, you're at the mercy of who finishes in the other two positions.
Getting cute and being right with a horse like Giant Finish won't matter much if Revolutionary and Orb complete the tri, so if you're going to take a big swing you want to make sure you'll be rewarded for it.
Kathy Brady already knows she's going for Revolutionary in the Belmont. That was her pick in the Derby, and his third-place finish advanced her to the Preakness where Mylute advanced her to the Belmont.
"The Withers to me was the most impressive prep race, so I thought Revolutionary could win [the Derby] so I picked him to show," said Barker, who currently has seven shares and would collect a minimum of $952.32 with a successful Belmont bet. "In the Preakness I thought Orb would win, but his odds were terrible, so I thought Mylute could be possible for second or third. Oxbow was not in my thoughts to win. I won nothing but my Mylute show bet.
"I don't know if post position matters that much in the Belmont, but I think Castellano back on Revolutionary can make a difference, so I will have him back as my show bet."
Pete Ballard is one of three people with ten shares, and like Brady, Ballard has advanced through the Triple Crown season by using Revolutionary and Mylute. Unlike Brady, however, Ballard is unsure who his Belmont pick will be. As a devoted user of the Brisnet.com MultiCAPS files, Ballard likes to crunch the numbers before making picks.
"I am a software developer, and I use the MultiCAPS data files to do my analysis," Ballard said. "I use four main factors that I key off of, but I still look at other variables that I learned from Brisnet.com newsletter/tutorials--things like pace, race shapes, value, and finding the 'horse for the course.'
"As far as the Belmont is concerned, can Orb come back and be a legit favorite this time or is he regressing now? Can Mylute improve at this distance? How does Revolutionary look after a 4 week rest and does it have the pedigree for this distance? There are several other horses in the Belmont that I like besides these three. I need to look deeper ... before I can make a decision."
It's easy to understand the desire to explore all angles when as much as $10,000 is on the line for something as seemingly simple as a $20 show bet.
For those out of the Showdown promotion (or those never in it, anyway), all TwinSpires.com players will have a chance at an extra $10,000 courtesy the Belmont Pick 4 bonus. All those who hit the all-stakes Pick 4 ending with the Belmont Stakes will share in a separate $10,000 prize pool.