Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem June 5, 2023
A good Monday morning to you all! Hope everyone had a good weekend. It was kind of quietly a busy Saturday in the racing world, at least for me as a fan. I like this time of year for myself just because I can sit back and watch a full day of racing and be fully engaged with a bunch of tracks instead of just the one I’m calling races at that particular day.
I was flipping my TwinSpires channels between Churchill, Belmont, Pimlico, and Gulfstream all day long, even sneaking in some Woodbine for their Saturday stakes. As my buddy Gabe Prewitt calls it, screen-to-screen combat!
With field size being the issue that is right now, and will be, for many tracks, patience and selectivity for sequences and intra-race bets become more and more important. I think one of my biggest weaknesses as a horseplayer (there are many) is my lack of patience. Back in the day, I would be firing at whatever was next. Didn’t matter if I knew anything about the horses, the track, or the race itself. I was completely void of any edge, but that didn’t matter, because I had a $20 bill burning a hole in my wallet.
I think patient people get rewarded in this game. It’s so hard to find an edge and repeatedly put yourself into good betting situations if you’re throwing money at every six-horse field that’s offered out there. I mentioned earlier I was watching Pimlico on Saturday, and the one race that I really thought looked interesting there produced a great result with a couple of price horses beating a bad favorite. To me, those are the types of races to be looking for on a given card, and, unfortunately, there are just not that many of them these days. So selectivity seems to only be getting more important.
Now, since I gave you an example of a race that I thought was very bettable and worked out, let me give another where it didn’t, just for balanced journalism’s sake. Churchill’s fourth race on Saturday was easily the one I was most excited for on that big stakes-laden program. It was an allowance optional claiming race, and to me looked extremely wide open. You had a heavy favorite in Scotland, who was certainly a deserving favorite at the windows, but 4-5 seemed a little bonkers!
Well, on the far turn, I’d have told you my instincts were correct about this race potentially blowing up a little bit, but Scotland found daylight and was able to just hold on to win by a head over Cagliostro.
I talk a lot on the podcast about not getting clouded by “results-oriented” thinking. This to me is one of those times. Yes, the favorite won this race. But is that horse winning that race over 50% of the time? I don’t think so, but maybe he is.
I think sometimes after a result goes our way or doesn’t go our way, we’re quick to want to think we’re "right" or "wrong" when in the grand scheme of things, we might not have been. It’s a tough mindset for many to take on because we’re taught so much about “picking winners,” and also the emotional and monetary jolt of either a win or loss is hard to minimize when it happens, either for good or bad.
As far as the big races Saturday at Churchill, I was most pulling for Get Smokin, who once again had the lead in a big race in mid-stretch but was unable to hold on. He did the same thing here at Tampa last year in the Tampa Bay Stakes, and I kind of became a fan of his after that. He’s a good frontrunner, he just can’t seem to outkick them in that last furlong. I hope at some point he steals a big one this year!
Everyone have a good week, we’ll be back Thursday to talk Belmont Stakes!