It has been a long wait. Typically held on the first Saturday in May, this year’s Kentucky Derby is being held for the first time on the first Saturday in September. It’s usually the first leg of horse racing’s prestigious Triple Crown. This year it follows the Belmont Stakes, where favorite Tiz The Law proved his dominance. Because Tiz The Law is such a favorite, you need to hit an exotic to make REAL MONEY. Here’s how to build the perfect Tiz The Law Superfecta.
If you’re wondering what in the hell is a superfecta, it is the first four finishers of a race in order. It’s almost always lucrative. The average $1 base wager payout in the last five years is $29,633. In previous years, the superfecta pool has been buoyed by dollar minimums at the track combined with everybody’s grandmother throwing $50 on her “numbers.”
Like most things, this year will be different. On track attendance will be limited and the ten cent base wager is permitted. If you’re not on track, your wagering options will be limited to OTB’s and Advance Deposit Wagering sites. So perhaps the once abundant pool will now merely be robust. Has that ever stopped you from some action?
Key To Cashing a Superfecta
The key to cashing a superfecta is pace. As outlined in my previous article, Pace In Your Face, pace is predicting which horses will lead early and which will be picking up the pieces at the end of the race.
In the past five editions of the Derby, the winner has never been further back than third at any point of the race. (Unless you count last year’s winner after disqualification, Country House.) So let’s focus our superfecta ticket on a winner and simply concede the race to the prohibitive morning line favorite, #17 TIZ THE LAW.
He’s danced every dance and won ‘em all, except a third place finish last November in the slop over this very track. Saturday’s forecast is 80 and sunny, with a 10% chance of rain; so let’s bank on it being very nice and the track favorable to Tiz, the 17 horse.
Building Tiz The Law Superfecta
The big buzz horse at Santa Anita on this year’s Triple Crown trail, after Nadal and Charlatan bowed out, was without a doubt, the John Sherriffs trainee, #16 HONOR A.P. Famed for training the greatest race mare ever, Zenyatta, Sherriffs is one of the best at getting the absolute best out of his charges. Honor A.P. tracked a slow pace last out and just couldn’t catch another horse in this race, speedster Thousand Words. He has a similar tracking style to Tiz The Law and should sit a similar trip. Don’t be shocked if he wins the race!
Perhaps not the marquee names of Bob Baffert or Todd Pletcher, but true degenerate horseplayers will know these two trainers well. They consistently train horses that show up and do not win in big races. While they do train their share of winners, they’re training for stamina rather than blistering speed and are great to use underneath in big races dominated by early speed horses, like the Kentucky Derby. Stewart’s trainee, Winning Impression, simply looks outclasses on every level, but Romans’ #13 ATTACHMENT RATE looks prime for a solid performance.
Hall of fame trainer, Bob Baffert has trained two Triple Crown winners in the past five years, an unparalleled feat. While two of his early Derby horses dropped out due to injury, he still brings two horses to this year’s edition, Thousand Words and #18 AUTHENTIC. Both are early speed horses who may be sent to the lead, but I think Bob knows it’s suicide if they duke it out. While Thousand Words may need the lead to have any shot, he’s not as fast as his stable mate. Authentic draws the outer most post and should be sent to the front, clearing the field. If allowed to set tepid fractions, he could stick around and hit the superfecta. For our purposes we will group him with Attachment Rate.
Every year a horse pops up out of nowhere to spice up the exotic payouts. This year I’ll highlight three that are most intriguing to me.
#2 MAX PLAYER shows a nice speed figure progression and gets a trainer change to one of the winningest trainers of all time, hall of famer, Steve Assmussen.
#3 ENFORCABLE draws the three hole now after drawing the outside post in his last four starts. He’s had trouble, been parked out wide and compromised by a slow pace in all four. Look for a greatly improved effort.
#8 SOUTH BEND was a last minute entry in only his second start for trainer Bill Mott. A deep closer with two wins over the track, who had spent most of his three year old campaign on turf, his speed figure jumped almost 10 points in his first start for Mott in the Travers. Any kind of progression from that effort puts him squarely in the mix.
We have four groups of horses, with one stand out, we will be keying on top with some smaller tickets of Tiz The Law in second. So how do we put this all together to cash some tickets? My tickets will look something like this:
#17 – on top
#16 – for second
#13,#18 – third
#2,#3,#8 – fourth
For a base of 6 combinations, however, I will be mixing and matching the groups in different positions. A ten cent bet with Tiz The Law on top of those six horses runs only $12 and should pay handsomely, but my goal is to hit for a few dollars with hopes of cashing and quitting my day job!