November 3, 2010

Handicapping the Jockeys

When a good idea comes along, I like to give credit where its due, and the Breeder’s Cup Jockey Bet is a very good idea. The rules for the wager, now in its second year, are simple … bettors will be able to place wagers on the jockey they believe will have the most wins in the 14 Breeders' Cup Championships races over the two-day event. The minimum bet is $2 and wagering will begin Friday and will close just prior to the running of the first 5th race, the Breeders' Cup Marathon. Since this is one of the more fun bets of the entire weekend, I will be sure to make a bet or two on the outcome, and hopefully help you pick a winner as well. Here’s the morning line:

1 Robby Albarado 30-1
2 Rafael Bejarano 15-1
3 Calvin Borel 15-1
4 Javier Castellano 30-1
5 Kent Desormeaux 12-1
6 Frankie Dettori 20-1
7 Ramon Dominguez 30-1
8 Martin Garcia 30-1
9 Alan Garcia 25-1
10 Garrett Gomez 8-1
11 Julien Leparoux 5-1
12 Ryan Moore 15-1
13 Joel Rosario 15-1
14 Mike Smith 15-1
15 John Velazquez 5-1
16 Field (all other jockeys) 3-1

By strength of numbers alone, the first name most people will be drawn to is Julien Leparoux. He’ll be plenty busy as he rides in 13 of the races, including mounts on Al Khali, Silver Timber, and Informed Decision. Many bettors may fancy Mike Smith who will be aboard Queen Zenyatta, along with Jaycito and Proviso. Garret Gomez rides my Classic selection, Blame, Giant Oak and a handful of other horse with a shot, and despite a lack of favorites to ride, Mr. Churchill Downs himself, Calvin Borel, needs to be respected. Of the single riders, I believe it is John Velazquez who holds the strongest hand with solid contenders in Quality Road, Uncle Mo, Life at Ten, R Heat Lightning, as well as, a number of interesting longshots. He is not my top play though.

As attractive it may be to single out the one rider who may clean up at this year’s Breeders’ Cup, I simply can not recommend playing against the Field. The Field may not represent our sport’s biggest names, but with mounts like Midday, Havre de Grace, Awesome Feather, Evening Jewel, Winter Memories, Awesome Gem, Master of Hounds, Big Drama, Chamberlain Bridge, J P’s Gusto, Goldikova, Here Comes Ben, Behkabad, and Musket Man, it is pretty clear that they are live in every single race. Goldikova, Midday, and Winter Memories alone offer a great chance at multiple victories, and I am pretty sure there is another winner or two in there. The 3-1 on the morning line seems like a steal. I set the fair value on the field closer to 7-5. You know I do not like to eat a lot of chalk on ZATT, but in this case, the favorite looks like the play all the way, with Johnny V as a saver.


Karlene Petitt said...

I'm in Vegas playing Pick the Ponies. I know how important a good jockey is. They cost me a few races. It's a tough job. Hats off to the jockeys!

I am an airline pilot. Much safer flying airplanes around the world than horses around the track.

My first day at Pick the Ponies in Vegas. I pretty much focused on Churchill Downs.

Secretariat said...


Leparoux has a couple of "live" ones in Kathmanblu (who I really like to get a piece of what could be a big trifecta) and Rogue Romance. I personally don't like Silver Timber. I saw him lose at MTH early in the summer on a very hard turf course to a very average field. JRV rides some very nice horses, but will they be winners? FIELD to win!

Brian Zipse said...

Nice to meet you Karlene.

Secretariat, Leparoux should take a lot of money, and believe me, I would not mind Kathmanblu winning one little bit, but I do not like him at his Jockey Bet odds.

Steve Munday said...

Good call Brian. I bet the "field" in the 2009 BC jockey prop bet and it was one of my few winning bets (shows how horrible i did last year). This year the field looks like another sure thing. Of course, someone could get hot, but the odds say the field is the way to go - just hoping for that 3-1 ML; but the bettors are probably too smart and it will be 7/5 as you predict.

Good luck!

holy bull said...


Kudos for pointing out that the field was the way to go. I would take it a step further to say that the fair line is 2-5. The "field" really gets you over 50 horses... compared to jockeys that have 5 to 13 mounts.

It's actually a ridiculous sucker bet and sort of a scam. I can't believe the Breeders' Cup set it up this way twice. And then create a Morning Line of 3-1 on the field.

Anyone who got down on the field got a gift. Anyone who bet on the other jockeys was suckered into a bet that is not a fair matchup.