Brisnet.com's guide to turning 2-to-5 on Wise Dan into even money

This scene from The Simpsons came to mind when considering whether to single Wise Dan in the $200,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on Sunday at Woodbine, or go against him in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile.

Seeing the reigning Horse of the Year win his ninth consecutive race would "please the gentleman" as the shopkeep says in the video above, but he would do so at no more than his morning line odds of 2-to-5 and maybe even at 1-to-5, and as Homer J. says, "That's bad."

But realistically speaking, Wise Dan has a 75%-80% chance of winning, which actually represents value at 2-to-5, and that's good, but I think he'll be used on more than 80% of people's Pick 4 tickets, and that's bad.

As you can probably tell by now, I've decided to try to leverage Wise Dan as a single who wins 75%-80% of the time rather than take 3- or 4-to-1 on him losing. I work through the math of that decision and the ticket I'm playing in a Pick 4 analysis I did for Brisnet.com & Woodbine. You can get that (as well as Spotlight Selections from Mark Johnson) for FREE by CLICKING HERE.

If you're reading this, I'm assuming you already have at least a little racing/handicapping knowledge, so I won't insult that by telling you why Wise Dan is the obvious choice, but it is worth noting just how much better he looks on paper than his rivals.


Wise Dan's 21.8-point Prime Power advantage over Za Approval is among the largest gaps I've seen. I don't have numbers for that high, but horses with a 10-point advantage win more than half the time. We don't have a Prime Power figure for import Trade Storm, but his Class Ratings tell us that he's closer in ability to Wise Dan (.7 off his average last three races) than Za Approval (1.1 points better). With Class Ratings 1 point is a lot, so Wise Dan has a comfortable advantage, but if I were playing anyone against Wise Dan I'd be looking for at least 6-to-1 on Trade Storm, and as crazy as this is going to sound, a $8 straight exacta (for $2) on those two I don't think would be taking the worst of it.

Forte de Marmi is the other big favorite in that $200,000 guaranteed Pick 4 sequence, and I'd much rather beat him than Wise Dan, and I will try to do so with IRISH MISSION, who is the only horse in the field besides Forte de Marmi to earn a triple digit Brisnet.com Speed Rating in victory.

That italicized caveat is important to me in this race because Irish Mission's only chance to win will be on the front end, so he's absolutely going to have to go as fast as can as far as he can, and 12-to-1 is a fair price on that prospect.

Wise Dan certainly doesn't help add value to the Pick 4, but even if you think of it as a Pick 3, how exciting would it be to start a Pick 3 with a $20 horse beating an even money shot. Real exciting, I tell you. This exciting.

58 Comments

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Rusty Weisner

Trying to win money on a race with Wise Dan is a tedious little puzzle to try to solve.

13 Sep 2013 4:14 PM
KY VET

The vet's guide to making money on the 8th race 9-13 at fplx.........patriotic lion 200wp........and pick for contest......

13 Sep 2013 6:31 PM
KY VET

The vet's guide to getting your money back, after losing 400 on a 0-27 mdn.......fplx race 9 200w/p #3 missscatalicious

13 Sep 2013 7:15 PM
KY VET

winner winner!

13 Sep 2013 8:39 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest Standings thru Day 6

wineman - $22.00

derbygal - $8.60

Secretariat - $7.20

Mary - $6.00

Phil - $5.40

VET - 0

14 Sep 2013 1:16 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Leaning toward agreeing with Rusty.  With all the racing this weekend, it's 2/5 Wise Dan as the weekend handicapping focus.

Curious choice,  that.

14 Sep 2013 1:31 PM
Secreteriat

F/P Contest

R7) #5 Blake

14 Sep 2013 1:38 PM
Mary Zinke

Usurp r7.

14 Sep 2013 2:20 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest here

FAIR Sunday Day 8

R9) 2 Gittel

14 Sep 2013 8:37 PM
Secreteriat

F/P Contest

R8) #1 Tones

15 Sep 2013 7:11 AM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest Standings thru Day 7

wineman - $29.20

secretariat - $10.20

derbygal = $8.60

Mary - $6.00

Phil - $5.40

VET - 0

15 Sep 2013 9:10 AM
Pedigree Ann

Or one could pass the race and wait for a better opportunity.

15 Sep 2013 10:18 AM
derbygal

Fairplex (BSR)

R5)#1 One Firm Cat

15 Sep 2013 12:20 PM
Mary Zinke

Race 2: Tizouttasight  

15 Sep 2013 4:23 PM
wineman

fairplex race 2 no 1  I put this on the other blogmthis morning

15 Sep 2013 4:23 PM
Mary Zinke

I like the 1 in r2, too, Wineman.  Good be-hind.

15 Sep 2013 4:28 PM
Mary Zinke

Let's see a DQ on that evil Fairplex,  Ha,ha.    Bring on Santa Anita!!!

15 Sep 2013 4:34 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest Standings thru Day 8

wineman - $29.20

derbygal - $16.80

Mary - $14.40

secretariat - $13.80

Phil - $5.40

Nice Day 8 for Mary and derbygal

16 Sep 2013 12:20 PM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

Worse, this contributor put on a clinic on how to lose money on dismal chalk:  "trying to beat" one favorite to try to "make even money" on an even chalkier one.  That's a bad set of incentives as a point of departure for making bets.  

I made the "wise" choice, not only skipping the race, but the whole weekend.

16 Sep 2013 12:24 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty -

Admit to not having seen the race yet.  

I skipped a day, once.

Are you doing any Derby research ?

16 Sep 2013 12:44 PM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

Funny you should mention that -- I just read a piece at ESPN (these guys are mostly bad, all human-interest stories as far as the humans go, and last-out winner celebrities as far as the equine element goes) -- it was about the Derby Futures (something I won't play).  All I can say is that I like the names of some of the horses mentioned in this crop, very dignified: Honor Code, Havana, Grand Arrival, Diamond Bachelor.  Sounds like stuff from generations ago.  I think Haskins does a very good running Derby list, by the way.  That's how I got interested in this site.

Research? I don't about that.  The last three of seriously playing the Derby are burned in my brain pretty well.  There's no substitute for playing, right?

I'll be back for the JCGC and expect Flat Out to be the favorite, though maybe reasonable priced off a loss.  There's also an off chance I'll go to Laurel this weekend, too -- they've restructured their fall racing to bunch several stakes into another big day (besides the perennial Maryland Millions Day).  

16 Sep 2013 1:25 PM
Ranagulzion

Oh what a Wise Dan!!! An armchair ride for Johnny V  down that long EP Taylor Turf course at Woodbine was a thing of beauty.  Congrats to the Wise Dan connections and to all those wise players smart enough not to try betting against Dan.

16 Sep 2013 1:48 PM
JerseyBoy

Wise Dan joins the all-time greats.

Wise Dan has been given a Timeform ranking of 135.

This qualifies him for the Timeform All-Time Highweights List.

He will join Cigar, Gentlemen and Ghostzapper on the list.

Here is a partial update, dated 9-15-2013:

OLDER HORSES

135 WISE DAN

131 GAME ON DUDE

129 FORT LARNED

128 ANIMAL KINGDOM

128 CROSS TRAFFIC

128 GROUPIE DOLL

128 POINT OF ENTRY

128 ROYAL DELTA

16 Sep 2013 3:03 PM
Coldfacts

"Euros Wise to Stay Home"

Officer was an unbeaten 2YO colt that was never of the bridle in his five consecutive victories that included 3 graded races. He left the gates in the Breeder Cup Juvenile as the shortest priced favorite to date. He was defeated by the undefeated Euro invader Johannesburg.

Curlin won 7 of his last 8 races preceding the 2008 Breeder Cup classic. His victories included 6 (G1) races. In the 2008 BCC. He was beaten by Euro invaders Raven’s Pass and Henythenavigator.

Rock Of Gibraltar was the best miler in Europe and was the over whelming favorite to win the BCM (turf). Ann incident involving a breakdown impeded his winning chances. He finished a game second.

Uncle Mo was considered unbeatable by his peers. He left the gates at 1-5 in the Wood Memorial. It was the general opinion that those who had lined up to oppose him were merely filling the race. He suffered his 1st defeat.

Secretariat won the TC with all 3 legs completed in NTRs. He was considered unbeatable by his 3YO counterparts until he got Onino in his eyes and lost the Whitney.

The great Nijinsky won the 1970 British TC and remains the last horse to do so. He was the overwhelming favorite to win the Arc. He was defeated by Sassafras.

The above are examples of horses regarded as world beaters who were defeated when least expected. Those who defeated them could have been advised to stay home or find easier opportunities.

The same is being suggested for Wise Dan's potential opponents. Clearly such conclusions fail to take into account historic losses of exceptional thoroughbreds. In the 2012 BCM (Turf) WD won handily but it was Animal Kingdom that was considered an unfortunate looser. WD made every effort to avoided top turfer Point Of Entry and focused on the low hanging fruits.

The group of horses he has defeated in 2013 do not remotely compare to the top milers in the Europe. To suggest that Europe’s top milers should stay home ignores history and the glorious uncertainty of thoroughbred racing.

Races are not won by past performances. That’s why they run them.

17 Sep 2013 9:03 AM
Rusty Weisner

Coldfacts,

Thanks for giving me courage.  I have a sinking feeling I am going to be betting against him when the time comes considering the gigantic amount of money that'll be on the table if he has bad luck, or a bad day, or if some other horse steps up.

I tried beating him on Derby Day when I thought a soggy turf might be an equalizer, also considering all that Derby money.  No luck and have steered clear since.

17 Sep 2013 1:32 PM
Ranagulzion

Rusty,

Do not fall for it ...appreciate the greatness of the horse by not trying to beat him. Be a wise ... er...what rhymes wit dan? Nuff said?

17 Sep 2013 2:23 PM
Rusty Weisner

Ranagulzion,

Ordinarily I'd do what you say and appreciate the greatness of the horse by not betting him...but Nov. 2 will present an occasion to appreciate the greatness of the pile of money sitting there.  If I do pull the trigger it won't be like betting against a vulnerable favorite (like, say, Verrazano), it'll be a pure roll of the dice, hoping for a lucky bounce.  

17 Sep 2013 3:13 PM
Mary Zinke

Fairplex, Wednesday, 9/18/13.  Race 9, #10 Kate's Event.

17 Sep 2013 4:40 PM
KY VET

It really doesnt matter that a horse is good....the athlete, the quality of the horse, the amazing feats of a certain horse.....Coldcuts is a contrarian.......all he does, is take wild stabs, selecting some idiotic reason, to like a horse to upset a race.....ive seen him select less winners, than capt hook has fingers on his hand......i've seen people hit the lotto with more frequency......his posts are boring, idiotic, and all the same......he goes against the horse everyone talks about.....why? because a horse named upset won a race one time..........it's like hellen keller playing grand theft auto 5.........he hated every single great horse since ive seen him post this  garbage ......6 or 7 years........he hated zenyatta....she won time after time after time after time.......then she loses by a head, and he says "i TOLD YOU SO!"

18 Sep 2013 11:37 AM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Day 9

R7) 4 Noble Kent

18 Sep 2013 12:30 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Golden Soul goes in the 11th today at Kentucky Downs.  

18 Sep 2013 1:25 PM
Mary Zinke

I just know there's a cure for all of that frustration, KY.

Phil, it's a pretty pony comment from me, but I saw Golden Soul up close at Belmont and he is a beauty.  Hope he takes to turf.  

18 Sep 2013 1:39 PM
Ranagulzion

Rusty,

Sorry about Verrazano in the Travers ...the colt "bounced" off his big Haskil performance.  Anyway watch carefully for his next outing ...it appears to be all or nothing with him (not unlike the great Holy Bull).  If he goes in the Breeder's Cup Classic, expect odds like you've never seen on him ...and remember his Haskil Beyer figures ...he'll be a real contender ...I wont say anything more.

18 Sep 2013 2:06 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Mary-

He needs something new. This change can't hurt.

I have an interest in the rank outsider 1 Posse Attack.  Besides the 'none chance' in last, I think his win is a bit better than looks.

18 Sep 2013 2:07 PM
Secreteriat

F/P contest

R8)#3 Apollo 10

18 Sep 2013 4:17 PM
Mary Zinke

GL w/ Kentucky Downs race 11, Phil. Maybe 8,9 and 12 have a shot, besides the 1?  I'm interested to see how Golden Soul does.  Hope I can find a site to watch this live.

18 Sep 2013 4:34 PM
wineman

fairplex contest race 6 the 1

18 Sep 2013 4:57 PM
derbygal

Fairplex (BSR)

R2) #5 Warren's Lover

18 Sep 2013 6:58 PM
Forbidden Apple

Dance Card is ready to win on saturday! She will end the win streak of Dance to Bristol.

18 Sep 2013 8:02 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest Standings thru Day 9

wineman - $41.00

derbygal - $16.80

Mary - $14.40

secretariat - $13.80

Phil - $5.40

19 Sep 2013 9:33 AM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Day 10

R8) 1 Tribal Mystic

19 Sep 2013 2:08 PM
derbygal

Fairplex (BSR)

R4) #5 Open Eyed Dream

19 Sep 2013 2:11 PM
wineman

fairplex day 10   race 3  the 1

19 Sep 2013 2:44 PM
Mary Zinke

Fairplex r6, #4 Shining Son  

19 Sep 2013 5:02 PM
Secreteriat

F/P R 8 #4 Sailors Brother

19 Sep 2013 6:05 PM
Mary Zinke

Congrats to the winner's today and yesterday, also on other days.  Nice to see anyone beat Fairplex.  Yes, that's how I put it. To add to the evilness, I like some of the winners that I didn't use as contest picks.

Friday's contest offering: r7, 7 JK's Mischief

Saturday's offering: r11, 3 Tree Of Life

19 Sep 2013 8:55 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest Standings thru Day 9 The Half Way Point

wineman - $43.80

derbygal - $22.40

Phil - $15.20

Mary - $14.40

Secretariat - $13.80

19 Sep 2013 9:07 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Correction:  Day 10 - 1st Day of the 2nd half.....

We can't let wineman drink alone on the lead.

19 Sep 2013 9:08 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest Day 11

R6) 8 Lindz Winz

19 Sep 2013 11:02 PM
wineman

contest day 11  race 1  the 1

20 Sep 2013 1:29 PM
Secreteriat

F/P

R5)# 10 Falcon Rock

20 Sep 2013 4:58 PM
derbygal

Fairplex (BSR)

R8) #8 Economy of Motion

20 Sep 2013 5:11 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Contest Standings thru Day 11

derbygal - $47.60

wineman - $43.80

Mary - $25.60

Phil - $20.40

Secretariat - $13.80

The Ladies pair up again.

derbygal takes over the lead with the Contest's largest mutual.

20 Sep 2013 7:12 PM
Plod Boy Phil

very well done,  that

20 Sep 2013 7:26 PM
Mary Zinke

Holy you know what. Way to go, derbygal !

20 Sep 2013 7:31 PM
Plod Boy Phil

FAIR Saturday Day 12

R12) 2 Friends With Macy

21 Sep 2013 11:21 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Saturday Belmont

R5) 2 So Outspoken (4-1) had 'none chance' last out when wide behind the w-w winner of an Extreme Race for Speed that was driven more by the Flow than a course playing kindly to speed that day.

21 Sep 2013 12:50 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Fairplex has moved to the Brisnet Gallant Bob Post

21 Sep 2013 12:53 PM

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