Scully Takes DeRosa To School in Oaks

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Ed DeRosa

May 1st, 2015

In case I had forgotten how the pari-mutuel system works, I got a reminder when my friend (hey, he called me that first) and coworker James Scully absolutely crushed the Kentucky Oaks, and I didn’t.

I hung my Oaks hat on the Florida fillies Birdatthewire and Eskenformoney, and neither ran well.

James, meanwhile had eventual winner Lovely Maria as his top pick. What’s more, though, he liked her so much that he couldn’t believe I didn’t like her more and made his feelings known before the race.

“I can’t believe you didn’t have my pick as at least a ‘b,’” Scully said as the horses took to the track.

I didn’t have her as a “B”, which cost me the Pick 4, but as much as I hate losing, looking back I don’t mind how I played the race. No, James, I didn’t have her as a ‘b’, but that’s because I loved the Florida fillies. Obviously that was a bad opinion, but I bet it accordingly.

One way in which I could have elevated Lovely Maria, though, was that I was mostly bearish on Stellar Wind as the favorite from California. She was a “B”, but at the price I could have fully tried to beat her then gone with Lovely Maria (herself a Grade 1, 100-point race winner a la Stellar Wind) as a “B” based on price.

I think one of the leaks in my game is not demoting underlays far enough down my ladder. As a “B” in this race, I still used Stellar Wind decently, but she was overbet. I’m willing to protect with an overbet horse if I like other prices around a sequence or in a race, but Oaks day was straightforward enough that Lovely Maria was definitely the better play.

With this new found knowledge, bring on the Derby! The Oaks is definitely a better day to learn a handicapping lesson than the Derby!