Saturday, May 17, 2008

Probable? Sure. Sure Thing? No Way.

Solon summed it up best last week when talking about all the buzz about Big Brown and the talk that he would easily win the Preakness and the Triple Crown.

"I've got two words for BIG BROWN," he said. "FUSAICHI PEGASUS".

Wise words from a man who makes it his business to be wise. FUSAICHI PEGASUS was the super horse of 2000, the big favorite at the Kentucky Derby, and won, breaking a 20+ year Derby jinx for the betting favorite. People instantly started talking about how "Fu Peg" was a shoo-in for the Preakness and the Triple Crown as well. FUSAICHI PEGASUS was a massive odds on favorite in the Preakness, and went off at odds of 3/10. He lost to horse named RED BULLET that largely was never heard from again.

The point being that as certain as it appears that BIG BROWN is an absolute lock in today's Preakness, there is no such thing. I believe 8 of the last 20 Preakness favorites have failed to win, including 4 odds on favorites.

So what could prevent him from winning? Well lots of things, actually. For one, he has never raced back in 2 weeks, and it will be the biggest physical test of his career off such a massive effort in the Derby. Second, there is a chance that he could "bounce", a horse racing term for regressing after running career best fast times, which is even more possible considering BIG BROWN's lack of foundation {races under his belt}. Thirdly, racing luck could get him: a bad start, a stumble at the start, getting clipped by another horse and bleeding, he could bleed in his lungs, he could get caught in traffic, the jockey could screw up, etc, etc. Each race is an unknown and anything can happen as the race develops. Everyone knows that BIRDSTONE was not a better horse than SMARTY JONES in the 2004 Belmont, but multiple events during that race conspired to keep the best horse from winning. Lastly, he could just have a bad day, and as strange as it seems, it is possible that he won't "fire" {the equivalent to a runner's final kick or sprint} when asked.

Now I'm not shitting on BIG BROWN {pun intended} and saying that he definitely won't win. I'm just saying that it certainly is not the lock that many are saying it is, especially against 10 other horses. Yes, he is likely to win, and all of the things mentioned above won't phase you if you are a fan of the horse, because he has already broken many horse racing molds thusfar.

One thing is for sure: there sure as shit isn't any value in betting BIG BROWN, who currently is the massive odds-on favorite at 1/9.

I'll write in a little bit about possible betting options/winners in the event BIG BROWN somehow falters.

Here's the field with current odds:

1. Macho Again, 45-1
2. Tres Borrachos, 50-1
3. Icabad Crane
4. Yankee Bravo, 25-1
5. Behindatthebar, Scratch
6. Racecar Rhapsody, 30-1
7. Big Brown, 1-9
8.Kentucky Bear, 16-1
9. Stevil, 45-1
10. Riley Tucker, 35-1
11. Giant Moon, 45-1
12. Hey Byrn, 30-1

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