Showing posts with label Kentucky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kentucky. Show all posts

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My 2010 Ky Derby Analysis

By: T.R. Slyder,, @AndyDisco on Twitter

update: check out how crazy the odds will be tomorrow when betting opens on derby day

I expect a pace meltdown and the winner to be passing horses later than in most KY Derbys. I am basically taking the horses I feel are, 1. Not speed horses, 2. capable of running a 98-105 Beyer, 3. Have won from off the lead before, 4. Can reasonably assume he/she will like the distance and the possibility of a wet track, and finally, 5. Have done #s 1-4 on a dirt track at some point.

Additionally, as with most KY Derbys, I am not conceding in a 20 horse field a LOT can go wrong for ANY horse and the best horse does not always win. With that in mind, I wanted to use a few different horses to increase my coverage. When you are positive where the fish are, you use a fishing pole, and when you think you have an idea where a few might be you use a net. I am using a net and saying, "I'm not positive who will do what, but my guess is that two of these 6 horses will do something good.".

Is my net of 6 of 20 horses bordering on embarrassingly large? Yeah, kinda.


That narrowing down left me with 6 horses:

1 Lookin at Lucky
10 Paddy O'Prado (admittedly violates rule #5, but I liked his work over a sloppy Churchill)
13 Jackson Bend
14. Mission Impazible
16. Awesome Act
20. Sidney's Candy

After that I rank them in the Steve Crist-ian way of assigning the horses I think are most likely to win with a category of A, then for horses I find slightly less likely to a win a B, and so on with C.

My A horses were- 1, 14, 16
B 10, 20
C 13


27 Straight Exactas using the aforementioned horses.

1 with 10, 13, 14, 16, 20- 5 bets total (AA AA AB AB AC)
10 with 1, 13, 14, 16, 20- 5 bets total (BA BC BA BA BB)
13 with 1, 14, 16 - 3 bets total (CA CA CA)
14 with 1, 10, 13, 16, 20 - 5 bets total (AA AA AB AB AC)
16 with 1, 10, 16, 14, 20 - 5 bets total (AA AA AB AB AC)
20 with 1, 10, 14, 16- 4 bets total (BA BB BA BA)

Horses that I wanted to use but didn't because you can't bet every horse, but omitting them from my bet still frightens me a bit:

Ice Box- loves the distance, and I like his local work on the slop on 4/23 an awful lot, but I think may be a one hit wonder with his FL Derby win. It doesn't take Derby winners four tries to break their maiden.

Stately Victor- seems to be the wiseguy horse as of late. Loved his dad but I also think he may be a one hit wonder. If he were destined to win the KY Derby I wonder why 0 of his last 3 starts were over a dirt surface and two were Allowance races. Most Derby winners have a more impressive resume heading into the derby.

Devil May Care- plenty to like, but there are too many question marks for me: going against boys for the first time- 19 of them, to be precise; she gets blinkers for the first time since she wore them in the Breeder's Cup and got humiliated by a field of 12 females.


I don't think I will wind up playing the undercard any, but I had entertained the idea of playing a few pick 3s. I handicapped the undercard a bit and for the following races I'd use the following:

Race 6: 2
Race 7: 5
Race 8: 2, 3, 6, 10
Race : 7, 12
Race 10: 6,2

That's how I roll.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am Great

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

I told you in February that KY wouldn't win the Madness of March.

That's how I roll.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kentucky Will not win the NCAA Tournament

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

I should have written this article a few days ago, when KY was still #1 in the country. Saying that they can't win now, after losing to 17th ranked Tennessee, doesn't make this prediction sound quite as gutsy. But it is still as true, and they will be the betting favorite heading into the tournament (barring injuries), even if they aren't the overall #1 seed.

Kentucky just has "sucker bet" written all over them. By "sucker bet" I don't mean that they have zero chance to win the tournament but just that they offer terrible betting value. Horse racing fans have been familiar with a sucker bet for years- invariably its the horse in the race that, 1) is the biggest name for whatever reason- usually its best races are better than the best races of the other horses its facing that day, has a big-name trainer/jockey/owner, has the most talent yet isn't able to run its ideal race as often as others in the race, etc. The overwhelming talent level serves as a siren song to lure in the suckers, the undecided and the spineless. If this horse wins the race it could be by 8 lengths, yet no one would be surprised if the horse throws in a clunker of a performance and finishes in 5th place, either. The sucker bettor lazily thinks, "If every horse runs their best the favorite will surely win. Therefore, I will bet on the favorite." but fail to look deeper. What they need to say instead is, "This horse runs at 100% (of potential) only 65% of the time, whereas less favored horses who are, 90% as talented, can run at 100% closer to 90% of the time.".

Another contributing factor that turns a horse from "favorite" to "sucker bet" status, is a relative difficulty to distinguish between the other logical contenders. It's rare to see an archetypal sucker bet horse be 2-1 with horses being 5-2, and 3-1. Usually the sucker is 2-1 and the other horses are more like 4-1, 9/2 and 6-1. So how does this relate to KY?

1. They are the sexy pick, for sure. No one disputes that Kentucky is by far the most electrifying team in the country, the most talented and easily the most fun to watch. IF they played up to their potential they would win any game they are in. The problem? their two losses haven't came against highly ranked foes. In typical John Calipari fashion, this is a team that can lose focus, get flustered when they don't get their way, and panic when they get hit in the nose. They're a lot like a bully that acts tough but cries after they get hit.

2. Kentucky has the most exciting player in the country since Kevin Durant, in John Wall. That isn't a bad thing for Kentucky, but it is in terms of offering value to the bettor. Visions of Danny Manning and Carmelo Anthony highhandedly carrying their team to the promised land still delude bettors and decrease the value on the team with the best player.

3. They're a bandwagon team. This is what happens: Kentucky fields an outstanding team, they have a sexy new coach who has done everything but win an NCAA championship (coincidence?), new uniforms, and arguably the most passionate fanbase in NCAA basketball, and they play a very entertaining brand of basketball. CBS and ESPN realize this and decide to cash in. ESPN is at its horniest when a large market team and/or superstar with a huge following gets hot. Can you recall being over saturated with news about teams like the Yankees, Red Sox,The Cubs (when in the playoffs) or players like Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, or Tiger Woods? I thought so. You can add Kentucky to the list because it's good business. ESPN knows that when they broadcast a KY game, KY's huge and loyal fanbase will tune in, as will most other college basketball fans. The result is a huge audience and huge profits. This is why you see Kentucky on national TV more often than a team like Purdue, who was ranked third before losing their best player- there is just more money in to broadcast a KY game over a Purdue game. This familiarity then leads to more buzz- now that KY games are on tv more, they are more likely to be on SportsCenter, PTI, the blogosphere and talked about around the cooler. With all this buzz, the casual, the suckers, the uninformed and the spineless think, "well, I haven't followed much basketball this year, but I keep hearing about KY, and they look impressive as hell on SportsCenter, so I guess I'll bet on KY." The influx of that sucker money, reduces their Vegas odds, and subsequently, everyone else's odds, and lowers the value on all bets made on KY. Think of this as morons taking money out of your pocket if you bet on KY. It's called a sucker bet for a reason.

4. John Calipari is their coach. That guy is as erratic, big-headed and chokey as his players. When was the last time a Calipari-coached team OVERachieved? They don't. They look amazing blowing teams out 85-61, but never win the dogfights. They panic in close games, and since they can't hit free throws, they lose. It's always the same story- great athletes, but no veteran leadership or mental toughness, because any Calipari player worth his salt left for the NBA as a sophomore at the latest. Under him, the only kids that stick around to graduate are either head cases, or just plain underachievers. All of Calipari's teams do this, and this group will be no different.

According to VegasInsider, Kentucky is the second choice to win the NCAA Tournament Future Pool, at 4-1. (Kansas is the favorite at 2-1). Following KY on that list are Syracuse, Villanova, Texas and West Virginia. Such a (relatively) mediocre and undistinguished bunch do little to attract significant betting attention, as a result, the betting question becomes, "Well, it's gotta be Kansas or Kentucky, because I can't tell the other teams apart." and that is just lazy betting.

Don't be fooled by KY as a sucker bet. While talented, excited and enticing to wager on- they offer by far the worst value in the field. If KY were 15-1, 10-1 or even 8-1, you could live with their shortcomings, but as the second choice at 4-1, you can't live with them.

That's how I roll.