This Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack North America’s - and even a couple of Europe’s - best harness horses of all ages and both gaits gather to face off in 12 Breeders Crown races, many of which will decide year-end honors. Many of these races have several contenders and it looks like there are several potentially lucrative wagering opportunities. In this post we will examine one - which is our best price play out of the dozen dashes - and we call this post “Anatomy Of An Overlay.”
We take you to the 2YO Colt and Gelding Trot in race 8. The deserving favorite in this race is the #2 horse, Wheeling N Dealing, a Cantab Hall colt that has won all 8 of his starts - including a 155.1 front end score in his elimination. This horse has won on the front end and stalking and blasting off cover late in the mile. His impressive unblemished resume means he will take lots of money - and he’s not the only one. The #1 horse, Dontyouforgetit, is another impressive offspring of Cantab Hall that has made more than $337,000 off 6 wins in 9 starts and took a bye into the Final as one of the top money winners as did #3 Major Athens. This Andover Hall colt has won 7 of 11 starts and close to $310,000. All three of these colts figure to take lots of money at the windows, and we feel there is an excellent chance that this impressive trio can be upset by a colt that has shown dramatic improvement in his last two starts. We give you #8 - Royalty For Life - who was a narrow loser to Wheeling N Dealin last week and in his penultimate start handily defeated both Dontyouforgetit and Royal Athens. What impresses us most about this colt is that he has shown a new dimension in these two races, trotting his own last ¼ in 27.1 and 27.2. Previously his quickest last ¼ mile on his card was trotted in 28.2. But there’s more - and video evidence. Take a look at the replay of last week’s elimination loss to Wheeling N Dealing.
Royalty For Life left sharply as soon as the wings of the gate opened and had plenty of speed to challenge for the lead if his driver Tim Tetrick chose that strategy. Tetrick however, realizing he was driving in an elimination race, chose to immediately tuck in third and bide his time. Like many of the other eliminations in which there was no early pace on, Wheeling N Dealing was allowed to set a leisurely pace. The ½ mile time of 58 flat is downright glacial on a 7/8 mile track such as Woodbine, in fact. So, advantage Wheeling N Dealin. By the time the field hit the ¾ in a crawling 127.2, Tetrick had swung Royalty For Life into the first-up path, which in most cases would lead to sure doom as the leader kicked it into high gear around the far turn. Only it didn’t. Royalty for Life kept coming…and coming…until by mid-stretch he had pulled even with the favorite. As the two freshman trotters sprinted to the wire, Wheeling N Dealin’s early tactical advantage proved too great and he managed to hold on by ½ a length, but as I watched that race from the Woodbine grandstand I knew immediately I was looking at one of the more likely winners in the finals a week later and it wasn’t the winner. That’s what makes it even more appealing; the general betting public will peruse the past performances, see that one beat the other and most will favor the winner. I propose that based on pace, tactics and trip Royalty For Life was the more impressive of the two and is set up perfectly to upset the 2YO Colt Pace likely as the 4th choice somewhere in the 5/1 to 10/1 range. What makes this horse an overlay is he is likely to take the least amount of betting action of the 4 main contenders and stands an equal if not better chance to win the race. This horse is primed to trot the race of his life Saturday night.
We leave the final word to Royalty For Life’s driver, all-world Tim Tetrick, "The Bionic Man himself":
“I think if I do a few things different in that mile I could have beaten that colt,” said Tetrick about his elimination drive.” Enough said (and written).