Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem for Jun. 19, 2023
A good Monday morning to you all. I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day weekend and got to enjoy some racing. There sure was a bevy of good events going on. Lately, I feel like I’m watching more Laurel because their turf races seem to often produce good field size and some logical price type horses. Saturday, though, I was mostly watching Monmouth, Belmont, and Laurel with a sprinkle of Woodbine.
Monmouth’s card was mostly enjoyable from top to bottom. I mentioned this on my show last Thursday, but I really do think the product there is better since Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis went away. I called there for parts of the 2019 season and there were so many races that were just terrible betting races because those two dominated so much. I think it’s a good example of how when we get rid of these super high-percentage crook barns, we really do have a chance to even out the playing field and make the races more playable. I believe racing is a game where dominance is a truly hurtful thing to the betting side of the game, more so than in other sports. I’ll write about that in another column soon.
But on the track I thought there were some really good opportunities Saturday at Monmouth. In the Pegasus S., Kingsbarns was sent off as the 1-2 favorite in a smallish field. He certainly deserved to be favored but to me 1-2 should be reserved for horses who are extreme standouts and don’t have many question marks in relation to the field they’re running against. He was anything but that, coming off a huge defeat in the Kentucky Derby after setting that wicked pace. He almost won, but he also had a very good trip and still managed to get beat by a horse who had a brutal trip.
Horses who compete on the Triple Crown trail obviously are among the best three year-olds in the country every year. But after the Triple Crown, they remain some of the most overbet horses of the year! Use their name recognition to get some good prices on other horses in races where the big name runners show up.
I think my favorite moment of the weekend though came up at Woodbine in a random $15,000 claimer on Friday. My buddy Doug McPherson is the Journal Handicapper at Woodbine as well as the voice of Fort Erie. Doug jumped in a few weeks back and claimed Hallie’s Hero for $15,000 off a third-place effort. Six weeks later, Hallie’s Hero paid Doug right back as she burst through to win with relative ease. Doug was the winning owner and the horse was conditioned by his dad!
Owning a horse is such a crazy big thing for people involved in racing. There’s lots of money at stake, and of course you’re responsible not only for the well being of this amazing animal but you’re gambling that the horse will maybe make some money or at least come close to even. Doug has worked in a bunch of capacities within racing and, having gotten to spend some time with him, you can tell he has an insane passion for the animals and the game. He’s a shrewd 'capper and bettor too! So big congrats to Doug and his dad on the win, on Father’s Day weekend no less. The only bad news, Hallie’s Hero got claimed from him! But I’m sure Doug will take that purse money and dive right back in like the sicko he is!
Everyone have a great week!