With the exception of Silver Charm, I have bet against every first two leg Triple Crown winner over the last 36 years. In almost every case I found strong distance pedigree horses were better suited to win the grueling Belmont.
This year again there are stronger distance pedigrees like Frosted and Mubtaahij, but the way American Pharoah runs and wins tells me he's something special. So here I go on Baffert again (Silver Charm), playing American Pharoah on top of every thing for the third race in a row.
I normally love the silly Triple Crown hype because it drives the odds up on the distance horses I bet. Unfortunately the hype goes against me this time as I expect Pharoah to go off around 1 to 2. I have him as a huge 75% probability of winning, so 2 to 5 is my break even overlay point. (Divide the probability of losing by the probability of winning to get your breakeven odds point without any margin for error.)
Of course, many won't bet Pharoah to win a such low 1 to 2 odds where you only get $3.00 back for a $2.00 bet. I won't be betting just $2.00 however and I am 75% sure I will get a 50% return on my money in less than 3 minutes on my win bet. I should also get good returns on exotics keying Pharoah as we did in the Derby and Preakness. If wrong, so be it. We locked up wins on the earlier races which were pretty solid, and I couldn't believe we got great 9 to 10 odds in the Preakness. (Didn't people understand what they saw when Pharoah won the Derby the way he did running 5 wide in both turns?)
Oh well, I just watched the Today show and it's hilarious to watch "experts" come out of the woodwork. People who have less racing knowledge than my two year old grandson seem to think they are qualified to offer their genius to the public. It's even funnier to watch public handicappers, many of which wouldn't know a probability or how to determine an overlay from a hole in the head, jump on or off the ship. Nevertheless, I think the hype may just be correct for the first time in 36 years, and we will see history being made this Saturday.
Good luck to all.
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.