Favorites or nah? Navigating Quality Racing Saturday at Keeneland

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

April 9th, 2016

We had a good, not great, day to start the Keeneland spring meeting with four top picks winning from 10 races, but a "C" i race 8 dulled momentum and kept me from taking full advantage of our top pick winning race 10 at 10-to-1.

Saturday features a similar approach to Friday: Strong opinions on the top contenders (column "A") with acknowledgement that many others in these competitive races can win (column "C"). From a wagering perspective, this approach makes it tough to do too much in the multis. I'll play all my As as insanity insurance, but I'd rather use capital I'd otherwise spend on covering "C" horses hammering overlays among my As. I.e., when I have this many "A" horses on a card, it's more likely that some of them will be overlays than when I singularly love a bunch of favorites.

Just look at my lone lone "A" on the card as an example. Ashland Stakes favorite Cathryn Sophia is my most likely winner on the card. She's also the shortest price. I don't have much hope that she'll offer any value in the win pool whereas #5 American Sailor is an obvious likely play for me based on being one of only two As in the race and 30-to-1 on the morning line.

I'd be a lot more excited about these possibilities if the favorites appeared more vulnerable. I don't mind opposing horses like Sonoma Crush, Power Alert, or Zulu, but recognizing their chances of winning is an important part to coming up with fair odds on beating them.

Here's today's grid BEFORE SCRATCHES: