The Seek Again Stakes - Overlay Angles

Most handicappers love when they see a horse who is going to go off longer odds than they should or deserve to be. The overlay, as they say, is one of the better wagers at the racetrack.

Whether you make your own projected morning or fair odds line or use the one provided by the racetrack, most players have an idea of what price is fair on a horse and that they would be willing to take,

In the stake on Saturday at Belmont, The Seek Again, there is an angle I love and have used to set up scores on overlays many times. Additionally, there are a couple of other factors that will cause this one horse to go off at higher odds then their past performances indicate to me that they should.

Obviously, this does not mean the horse will win. There are few guarantees in the Sport of Kings. If I am correct about the odds, however, I think it is a savvy wagering opportunity. I will never call a losing bet a good bet, that’s just not how I see it, but a good shot is another story.

When a horse is coming off a particularly bad race, worse than normal, they tend to be overlooked next time out. In a stake, a competitive one at that, the odds can drift to juicy overlay status. Horses aren’t machines, and they can and do bounce back and revert to prior form following a poor effort. One indicator that may happen is no drop-in class or lay-off. A legit excuse would be another.

Get Smokin is coming off a 19-length drubbing in the Grade 1 Makers Mark Mile at Keeneland. While this is a step-down class-wise, it is still a stake and not a panicky type of drop.

The horse has a history of running good off poor efforts. He has done so three times before, and I suspect he does it again on Saturday. Last out he was caught inside and between horses and pressured all the way around and folded. Junior likely wrapped up when he was done, so the 19 lengths look worse than it is, but that doesn’t really matter to me. That was then, this is now.

On his better days, Get Smokin is not far off likely favorite and somewhat highly regarded Decorated Invader. He even beat him in the Hill Prince, also run at Belmont. I don’t think he sees anywhere near the pace pressure he saw at Keeneland last time and can be on the lead all alone should Junior Alvarado ask him to be.

I like lone speed, and I like lone quality at a fair price even more. Chad Brown has two horses in the race, Delaware, coming off a win, and Flavius coming out of some good races. Both will take money and have support along with Decorated Invader. That could leave Get Smokin possibly the fourth choice. 5, 6, or 7-1 would be nice, but given the circumstances, he could be higher than that in the multi-race wagers. He only has to get a mile, or as I see it, they only have a mile to try and catch him.

Win or lose, my point is a horse coming off a bad race can be used and can often be a good opportunity to set up a score. It is one thing I look for when trying to spot overlays. I remember back when the past performances would list DNF for a horse who pulled up. We called it the did not finish theory, and a fair share won.

If Get Smokin goes or sits off Epic Dreamer and gets the jump on the rest of the field, I am pretty sure I will be riding towards the wire with him and Junior.

Enjoy the races!

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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