You Need to Know That You Don’t Know

April 22, 2012 04:47am

By Tony Bada Bing 


Today’s Kentucky Derby Zen centers on what we think we know. 


Much of what we think we know comes from our beliefs, which are created through a complex flotsam and jetsam of experience and ignorance. Experience is what we’ve seen, touched, tasted or felt –whether it is fact or fiction (more on this later). Ignorance in simply what we don’t know…but think we do.  


Simply stated more often than not, we see what we belief, instead of believing what see. You see your brain has been flooded with a lifetime of experiences that it tries to make sense of for future use. Most of this ongoing data stream is sent to a holding bin in your brain, never to be used again or worse, misjudged. Some is built up over time with each repeated experience creating a “truth “ that may be anything but our own false construct. 


Here’s a daily experience most of us share, but have given little time to consider – looking in a mirror. Whatever point you are in your life, you’ve seen yourself in a mirror many times over or daily, if you brush your hair. Now let me ask you this question, If you stand less than one foot from a mirror with just your face showing and then move yourself back another three to five feet (if you have such space in your dwelling), will you see more of yourself in the mirror? You should know the answer, but do you? Answer later. 


Here is a less complicated question with far less build up. If you to step into a room completely sealed off from light, would your eyes eventually adjust to find an apple, a light switch or beer in the room? There is an easily defined scientific answer to this question that most of us have yet to experience, but think that we have.  


Confused about how this all connects to our Kentucky Derby bet? Allow me a strike of the gong a few deep breathes and a little more explanation before we get there.  


First our answers – no you will not see more of your body in the mirror if you move 10 inches, 10 feet or 10 yards away. And no you will not be able to find the beer (damn), apple or light switch in a room absent of light. For the mirror we really should know the answer, but most do not. In the room without light, we equate our own blackout or lights out experiences to figure that our eyes will adjust. In this instance most of us will never experience true darkness, but we think we have.  


Now as we take the next two weeks to overanalyze Kentucky Derby contenders, and wagers we may make in support of our handicapping, ask yourself if you’re mirroring (oh, pun intended) our experiences from above. Do you really know the answers that will unlock the Derby puzzle that may be staring you in the face, but aren’t considering? Or are you misconstruing one experience and transferring it to another without realizing your own ignorance?  


Contender Dullahan winning graded stakes races on turf and synthetic may not be a problem. And look right here in last year’s past performances, we have a horse very similar to Dullahan winning the Derby with similar racing experience. Of course the breeding, trainer and jockey are completely different and do not equate to Animal Kingdom in any way, and the much weaker field Animal Kingdom beat in 2011 won’t be present on May 5. But hey, if that’s how you roll go for it and pass the shaving cream.  


I don’t know about you, but I’ve handicapped six-horse fields where I’d figured at least half the field should contend for the lead. Lo and behold, not only did I find one horse leaving the quarter pole by himself, but it wasn’t even a horse I’d figured as such. Talk about finding yourself in a pitch-black room where nothing makes sense. The deal with this year’s Derby pace is that you just don’t know, especially before the weather and the post-position draw, late scratches and poor workouts. You think you know, but I assure you, you don’t. 


Take this advice with some green tea and dry toast, stop fretting so much, so soon. Sure do like my man, Zipse, find some toss outs for the win and narrow down your key contenders to about 10. Then just check in with some fine folks like Mike Welsch with his daily workout reports from Churchill, Hijinks in Handicapping with Turk and Little Turk and even an occasional glance at Horse Racing Nation’s webpage. But please don’t over indulge like taking your third trip to the Big Boy buffet when only one was more than enough. 


Relax. Breathe in. Breathe out. In with the good. Out with the bad. Ahhhhh. 


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Older Comments about You Need to Know That You Don’t Know...

Colts make it very clear who can't get 10 furlongs in May and who can't. Usually half the field is a throw out the first time through
Legit pace is 47 3/5, 1;12+ few can go faster and last (Spend a Buck did it but he was exceptional)al
Ah, a real deep thinker you are, Tony! I love these types of exercises. Mike Welsch was pointing out in his report yesterday from Churchill Downs that Take Charge Indy had a work prior to the Florida Derby that nobody seemed to like, was totally unimpressive, yet he went out and won the race! I think this year's runup to the TC, especially the Ky Derby, is so exciting with so many top quality 3yo. I'm betting that only 3 lengths will separate the top 10 horses at the finish, and, it could easily happen that we see a dead heat for one of the top three finishes. Just my hunch!
  • NickGunritz · I agree, the field is solid and well matched, but I don't think that scenario will play out unless they're moving the race to turf this year. · 2703 days ago
During my short time following horse racing, I have learned to respect the handicapping and opinions of those of you who have been doing this for years (some for a lifetime), but ultimately I just have to go with the common sense that God gave me

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Tony Bada Bing began his lifelong quest of finding winners more than 35 years ago as a fifth grade student. This is when his grandfather first took him to the many Off Track Betting facilities sprinkled throughout Long Island, NY. While many kids his age were clamoring to hit the beach or an amusement park during summer vacation, Bada Bing was spending it in stuffy, smoked-filled rooms filled with retirees and reprobates listening to Marshall Cassidy on tape delay calling Saratoga.

This passion was further lit by his father, who took Bada Bing to East Boston's Suffolk Downs, only after Bada Bing learned to read the Racing Form. For most of his young adult life a summer rotation of NY OTB, Suffolk, and the now shuddered Rockingham Park in Salem, NH filled his betting days. 

Notable winners along the way: Willow Hour's and Runaway Groom's Travers wins as well as Derby winners Grindstone, Thunder Gulch (which he called in print the day before) and Super Saver. His latest quest is to hit the Kentucky Derby superfecta.

Bada Bing plays tournaments at Derby Wars, bets through several account wagering sites and has blogged about Thoroughbred racing for the past four years. He prefers the bigger meets of NYRA and California as well as seasonal meets of Gulfstream, Churchill and Oaklawn. He likes vertical, multirace wagers like Pick 4s.

He has produced several Horse Racing Nation videos, in addition to blogging. He can be found at Twitter @tonycbadabing. While away from the track Bada Bing enjoys time with his wife, who tolerates and supports his passion, and his two children.


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