Pegasus World Cup 2023: Bottom Fishing For Bucks – How Last Samurai, Simplification, And Art Collector Can Help Your Exotics
Nowhere is the schoolroom axiom more true than in the 2023 Pegasus World Cup: The bottom half of the class makes the top half of the class possible. And: Nowhere in racing is that axiom turned on its head more swiftly than in the fashioning of a well-paying exacta, trifecta, or a boxed anything.
It’s precisely those high-odds upset-makers in the bottom half of the (talent) class that you want to round out your exotics. Because: They can be there hitting that wire, too. They’re a different sort of bettor than those boring ol’ on-the-nose people. Put differently, these are the people who had the truly-outta-nowhere 80-1 Rich Strike as the 2022 Derby winner in their exactas.
And so, in races with big purses and large patchwork fields exactly like the 2023 Pegasus, a coterie of excellent players will be striking out on spelunking expeditions deep into the past performances and pedigrees — and any shreds or snippets of trackside or barn gossip that they can hoover up on the bottom half of the class — in an effort to make some good lucre.
You have to be curious. Who the hell is Stiletto Boy, anyway? Can he really be there when White Abarrio, whom we were just considering boxing with Cyberknife and Proxy, but whose price just slid down the totem pole as somebody just got a whiff of a tip and dumped a wad on him, falls apart in the last two furlongs? Gotta find somebody else, is what you do.
But before we start parsing some of the less likely contenders in the hope of a bigger payday, here’s a live odds refresher out of London:
(Post Position, Horse, Live Odds (London))
1) Proxy, 5-1
2) Simplification, 18-1
3) Ridin with Biden, 50-1
4) White Abarrio, 15-2
5) Defunded, 5-1
6) Art Collector, 12-1
7) Skippylongstocking, 7-1
8) Get Her Number, 16-1
9) Last Samurai, 33-1
10) Cyberknife, 7-4
11) Stilletto Boy, 25-1
12) O’Connor, 33-1
(Date: January 28, 2023, Source: SkyBet, Time: 6:15 a.m. ET)
Actually, Rich Strike’s example in the Derby deserves close study. An hour out from the Derby, “Richie” as his exuberant owners called him, was at 84-1. Prior to that, he’d been impossible to bet, as he wasn’t in the race until Ethereal Road got scratched and Rich Strike was, as the next alternate, allowed to enter with the saddle-cloth number 21. The point is that — in that last hour before post time last May — somebody (or a collection of somebodies) got a wild hair (or a whiff of a whisper of a tiff) and laid enough down on Rich Strike to burn his price down to 80-1, which is where he was as he went off.
Of course, it’s part and parcel of the madness that the big money lurks and then jumps inside that last hour before post time, so as to keep the prices (payouts) high for as long as possible, but the pressure (of the cash) naturally will force the odds down. The best example of that conundrum is Texas horseman Jim (Mattress Mack) MacIngvale, who famously lurks in the luxury enclosure at the Derby and other races and then bets a million on the favorite in an effort to promote sales at his chain of furniture stores. If you buy a bedroom suite from Mattress Mack down in Houston (for over $3000) , and his Derby bet comes in, your furniture is free. You pay for the furniture if his bet doesn’t come in. Last year he waltzed in and put laid that big million right on Epicenter. Bang! Tough go for Mattress Mack’s customers! But, no worries, he’ll return with another million next year.