It’s no secret that we here at the Daily Racing Blog are always in search of a Value Play. A bit of common knowledge indicates that playing a long-shot is a cocktail best served with equal parts trust and intuition.
In most cases, there are more reasons to stay away from these horses than to bet them, so you have to have some faith in your instincts that there are valid reasons for a horse to do an about-face and turn in a surprisingly strong effort.
A good example of this can be found in the 2nd race at Gulfstream Park on December 15th, a $35,000 Claiming race held on the turf at five furlongs.
SILVER TUNES was listed at 12-1 odds in the morning line after finishing 5th, a dismal 14 ¼ lengths behind in his last outing- an Optional Allowance race in which horses could run for a $75,000 claiming tag or the allowance condition.
It was a weak effort, but there were indeed reasons to believe she could turn it around in her next start.
For one, she was dropping into a claimer, taking a major class drop.
Only once before had she raced in a straight claimer. It was a maiden $25,000 claimer on September 12th and she Won by a little less than a length.
The other big change involved the rider. In her last start, she was ridden by Alberto Burgos, a 10-pound apprentice with only handful of Wins in his fledgling career.
Now SILVER TUNES had Luis Saez in the irons, one of the country’s top jockeys who in the two previous meets at Gulfstream (as mentioned in a previous blog) Won 271 races.
That’s a major change and one that bodes well for an improved performance.
So, putting together the class drop and the jockey switch, there was reason enough to believe that SILVER TUNES would outrun her odds, which were 12-1 at Post Time in a field of seven.
If you had faith, and liked the idea of getting 12-1 odds in order to finance the holidays on the horizon, then SILVER TUNES was an inviting Value play.
If you backed her, (as did DRB) you had to like what you saw as SILVER TUNES grabbed the early lead and never looked back.
She crossed the line in front by 1 ¼ lengths and paid $26.60 to Win for a $2 bet, a nice reward for seeing some signs of a form reversal and having enough faith to back your opinions with a few dollars – or more.