Note: The goal of “On The Contrary” is to point out several horses every day who may be overlooked in the wagering and who can possibly add value to trifectas and superfectas (in high holes and low) and to Pick 3s, Pick 4s, etc. We will not be making “selections” per se in “On the Contrary.” Rather, we’ll encourage readers to give extra consideration to certain horses who may seem a little overmatched at first glance–but who are in fact the type of horses we often build our bets around. >>See related interview on betting longshots.
20-1 on ML:
We’re tossing her debut. Switches to Ellis barn (99 rating with horses making first start for him). Has a series of workouts that indicate her debut did minimal justice to her ability. Ellis keeps her claimproof and his son in law rides back.
8-1 on ML:
Makes first try down the hill. Has powerful speed figures in his last two grass tries. Is capable of coming from just off the pace. Has tangled with better horses than these and has been training beautifully for this. Peter Miller enjoys cutting horses back in distance (89 rating) and uses Rosario, who presumably remembers how to ride this tricky hill.
12-1 on ML:
Has closing style in race projected to have fast pace. Draws well here. Hess uses his favorite rider. Will need something to go wrong with Om if he wants to win this, but looks like sensible exotic inclusion.
5-1 on ML:
Runhappy is exceedingly unlikely to lose if he fires, but he is not guaranteed to fire off the winter ship, and Lord Nelson has been training very well for Baffert, who is superb at doing just what he is trying to do here: getting talented horses to fire on dirt off layoffs. Bejarano sticking is a plus. (And let us add that the rationale for liking Lord Nelson fades to nothing if the crowd likes him too. Beating Runhappy is a better day’s work than most horses will ever do, and the odds need to reflect that.)