Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem May 1, 2023

May 1st, 2023

A good Monday morning to you all! Welcome to Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) week, and I’m sure we’ll have every angle of both races covered here at the TwinSpires Edge.

Draws for the races will be Monday, so we’ll all be able to finally really start looking at these races as actual races and not just as a group of horses.

I just finished watching the Florida Panthers upset the Boston Bruins, and it made me think a little bit about Rich Strike and how his win last year might affect how people bet longshots for the Derby. Obviously, there’s so much money being spread around that it’s hard for even a super-longshot to go much beyond 50-1 or 55-1. The fact that Rich Strike got up north of 80-1 is almost strange given how the race is usually bet. Certainly, he had a longshot look in terms of his form, but I wonder if being an also-eligible who drew in maybe had a lot of people just ignoring him or possibly even not knowing he was in the race.

One off-shoot of Rich Strike winning that Kentucky Derby last year was that we saw longshots in both the Preakness (G1) and the Belmont (G1) get wildly overbet. I’m thinking it will have a little bit of an effect this year as surely some of the coverage of this year’s race will feature discussion of Rich Strike’s win. I think it’s just bound to be the case that many casual players will have that upset fresh in their mind and send some dollars to some horses who many think are hopeless chances.

I’ll post my picks for the Oaks and Derby in my Thursday column. I’m no great handicapper so you probably shouldn’t use them, but it’s always fun to have an official “pick.” Although, I will say, the Kentucky Oaks and Derby are just single horse races. I really don’t think anyone should marry themselves to a “pick” before seeing the odds. Also, there’s information that will come out on Saturday as far as how the track is playing and how the weather might affect how you want to approach the race.

As I mentioned above with Rich Strike, there’s bound to be some confusing betting in the big races. It happens every year when some horses take a lot of extra money and some have odds that float higher. But I think in the Derby people get married to their picks even more so than normal. If you like a horse at 10-1 and he’s bet down to 5-1, normally you would probably get off that horse. But I think when it comes to the Derby, people will stay on a horse whose odds are cut in half. I don’t know if it’s just all the hype or what, but the Derby does make people stray sometimes from their best betting practices.

So be cognizant of that as the big days arrive and unfold. Have a plan for the races, but be nimble enough to make adjustments if the price isn’t there — or better yet, if it’s more inviting than you’d even planned.

One of the beauties of using TwinSpires is you can make your bets with as much information as possible all the way up until the windows close. So you don’t have to make bets early in the day and then watch as your odds are half of what you’d thought they’d be.

Hope everyone has a great Kentucky Derby week. We’ll be discussing the Derby and Oaks all week on my podcast, and I hope you’ll join us there!