Looking for value in the Lady Tak S.

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

August 10th, 2022

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps the same can be said of horse racing betting value.

To some bettors, “value” means longshots or non-favored runners. But even a small payoff can be considered good value if the return is greater than it should be, and that’s the value we’ll have to seek in Saturday’s $200,000 Lady Tak S. at Churchill Downs.

The inaugural running of the six-furlong dash for fillies and mares has drawn only five entries, and finding value in terms of enticing odds on the tote board is challenging. Morning line favorite #2 Sconsin (1-1) boasts a remarkable 9-5-3-0 record at Churchill Downs, including a season-opening victory in the six-furlong Winning Colors S. (G3) and a recent runner-up finish in the seven-furlong Chicago S. (G3).

The third-place finish in the Chicago was #1 Bell’s the One (7-5), who has likewise shown an affinity for Churchill while compiling a 10-4-3-1 record over this track. Her biggest Churchill success came in the 2020 Derby City Distaff (G1) sprinting seven furlongs, but her record sprinting six furlongs stands at 8-7-1-0, including a score in the Dream Supreme S. to conclude 2021.

Both Sconsin and Bell’s the One are late runners who figure to enjoy perfect setups in the Lady Tak. The other three entrants—#3 Joyful Cadence (5-1), #4 Lovemesomeme (6-1), and #5 Music City Star (20-1)—are all frontrunners who should ensure a hot tempo up front.

So where’s the value in the Lady Tak? The value can be found in betting exotic wagers with confidence—in other words, straight wagers without any spreading whatsoever.

We’ll start by favoring Sconsin on top. The consistent five-year-old has been in better form than Bell’s the One this season and has beaten her longtime rival in three of their last four meetings. But Bell’s the One remains a force to reckon with against good company, so we’ll count on her to finish second.

For third place, we’ll support Joyful Cadence. The improving four-year-old has won three of her five starts this season, most recently cruising to a 5 3/4-length victory in the Saylorville S. at Prairie Meadows. Even better, she finished a close second against Sconsin in the Winning Colors S. (G3) earlier this spring, beaten only three-quarters of a length after carving out the pace.

Since superfecta wagering won’t be offered on the Lady Tak, we’ll make do with a trifecta. I think there’s at least a 33% chance of our perfect combination coming in, so any payoff greater than 2-1 (which I believe we’ll exceed) would be fair value.

  • $30 Trifecta: 2 with 1 with 3

Good luck!