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Andy Serling has been playing the horses for almost his entire life, and is currently the co-host of NYRA Live. To follow Andy on Twitter, click here.

So You Think You're a Wise Guy

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Every year around KY Derby time, you invariably see mention of " who is this year's Wise Guy horse? " Wise guy seems to be one of a plethora of phrases you hear around the racetrack that has, to be kind, multiple interpretations. I often wonder if those seemingly deciding who becomes the annual " wise guy " horse have ever even encountered an honest to goodness Wise Guy. This, of course, begs the question " What is a Wise Guy? "
Well, to me at least, a Wise Guy is, first and foremost, genuinely " smart, " which in racetrack parlance means he ( or she ) possesses a valuable handicapping opinion. Thus, the Wise Guy horse is a sound selection. The Wise Guy also generally goes against the flow. However, he does not possess the unfortunate disease of simply picking against a favorite, especially a heavy one, " just because...." The Wise Guy knows, within reason, when NOT to play against heavy favorites, and when he does, he picks longshots with at least a reasonable level of accuracy. The true Wise Guy isn't still resting on the laurels of picking Charismatic or Giacomo in their respective KY Derbies, as ( theoretically ) there have been many other memorable predictions in the interim.
Then how, you ask, can the general public accurately determine who really is this year's KY Derby Wise Guy horse? Given the elusive nature of most honest to goodness Wise Guys, the most effective method might be to somehow try to get into the head of a Wise Guy. Since conventional wisdom in this year's KY Derby seems to already be heading into Wise Guy territory, in that many see this year's field as widely evenly matched, maybe the actual Wise Guy play isn't some version of " box the four best longshots. "  In fact, maybe it's just the opposite. Is it possible that, ultimately, Dialed In, the likely favorite, is really this year's " Wise Guy Horse? "

Comments :

  • mark | April 29 2011 08:29 AM

    Steve finding the wiseguy horse after the race doesn't win money.

    report this comment
  • Worcester Steve | April 28 2011 08:44 PM

    Hmmmm. I am thinking the Wise Guy horse is somethnig that is doscovered/revealed/emerges only after the race is run and the "Wise Guys" come out of the woodwork.

    report this comment
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