Value Betting the 2013 Belmont Stakes


Photo: Garry Jones/AP

My task as a handicapper is not to pick the winner in every race, but to find legitimate contenders and uncover situations where the betting fans underestimate the chance the horse will win the race. I call these opportunities Value Plays; others call them overlays. Whatever you want to call them, you should consider them your best hope of winning enough money to show a profit at the end of the year.

Over-hyped races such as the Belmont Stakes often cough up one or more Value Plays. So, let’s look at reality.

PP Horse               Odds     PP  Horse               Odds
1  Frac Daddy          30-1     8   Midnight Taboo      30-1
2  Freedom Child        8-1     9   Revolutionary        9-2
3  Overanalyze         12-1     10  Will Take  Charge   20-1
4  Giant Finish        30-1     11  Vyjack              20-1
5  Orb                  3-1     12  Palace Malice       15-1
6  Incognito           20-1     13  Unlimited Budget     8-1
7  Oxbow                5-1     14  Golden Soul         10-1

The favorite has won the Belmont Stakes about 44% percent of the time, but had you bet the favorite in every Belmont Stakes race, you would have lost money overall. So, why would you want to bet a favorite in lieu of finding a Value Play?

Based solely on the morning line odds, the horses I will be watching in the Belmont Stakes today are Orb, Revolutionary, Oxbow, Freedom Child, Unlimited Budget, and Golden Soul. These are the six horses with the lowest morning line odds.

The public cannot help but buy into the hype surrounding big races. Because of this, one or more of the six horses I named will be over bet, leaving the chance of finding one or more Value Plays a strong possibility.

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