Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem April 4, 2022
Good Monday morning, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend and got to enjoy the big races and hopefully cashed some tickets. My weekend was pretty quiet for the most part, with the exception of an insane Saturday storm at Tampa that caused the last part of our Saturday card to cancel. I believe the locals called it a "gullywasher," whatever that is.
So when it came to the big Kentucky Derby prep races, my opinions were quite awful. On Thursday’s episode of the Jason Beem Horse Racing Podcast, which is sponsored by the fine folks here at TwinSpires, I talked about how I thought both White Abarrio in the Florida Derby and Tiz the Bomb in the Jeff Ruby Steaks were horses I thought were plays against. They both won pretty convincingly. Oops.
Now, as someone who’s paid to talk about horse racing, by law I’m required to say whenever I go against a horse, “Of course they could win, but I don’t like them at that price.” But that is often generally the case when you go against favorites or logicals. And I never want to get upset when a logical horse I don’t like beats me at a short price.
I thought a good topic for today’s column would be talking about being wrong. Since I completely whiffed on my opinions on those two big races, it seemed appropriate today. Learning to be OK with being wrong I think has been one of the best skills I’ve learned in regards to horse racing and life.
We often hear trainers or jockeys talk about how, “In this game, if you lose three out of four times, you’re a Hall of Famer.” Well, for horseplayers, sometimes it feels like we’re wrong way more than 75% of the time. And in many cases, we are. But that’s OK. Let me explain.
Back when I was a younger lad, I used to live and die on every bet. Same with race calling — every call I made had to be perfect or I would beat myself up about it, which was tough, because I made a lot of mistakes. In both areas. As I’ve gotten older, I think I’ve learned to take mistakes and losses in stride and with a much healthier reaction to both.
You’re going to lose bets in horse racing. A LOT OF THEM! So you can either learn to accept that fact and keep a level head when it does happen, or you can go on tilt time and time again. Tilt is a term mostly used in poker and means “a state of mental or emotional confusion or frustration when a player adopts a less-than-optimal strategy after a bad defeat or series of defeats.” Sound familiar?
How many times have you taken a tough beat in a horse race? Gotten nabbed at the wire for a big score? Gotten beat late for a small score? How did you react in the moments after that defeat? I know for myself, I used to react almost instantaneously by upping my bet amount and looking for whatever track was running next so I could get my money back. Does that sound like an optimal strategy? I should say not.
I know it’s very difficult not to let short-term results get you down. I think we’re naturally results-oriented people. But we’re all going to be wrong in racing and at the betting windows. I truly think how we react to those losses or times that we’re wrong will have a much bigger effect on our bottom line than the actual original losses we were fussing over.
So when Tiz the Bomb roared home in the Jeff Ruby Steaks, I shook my head, felt happy for Kenny McPeek and Brian Hernandez Jr., and I flipped the page. When White Abarrio ran down Simplification, I nodded and moved on. Sure I had to eat a little bit of crow on my Monday weekend recap podcast. But who cares, it’s just a couple of losses. Everyone have a great week!