My Derby Prediction: Ice Box

In the past I spent some time learning about horse racing. Why, you ask? Well, I read Victor Neiderhoffer’s book, the Education of a Speculator, and he talks about horse racing and what you can learn from it. So, I bought a bunch of books and started reading and studying. What you learn is psychology, how people bet, how a herd moves in mass. Its very interesting stuff. And especially interesting is all of the data you can get on past races about each horse. It is all very similar to stock investing, with the one large exception that it truly is a zero sum game. A company can actually create value and grow, such as Apple. But in horse racing, there is one pot and the house gets 20% or more of it and you literally take your winnings from someone’s losses.

Regardless, I used to handicap the Derby every year for fun. I stopped four years or so ago until now. I had a client call me and tell me he was going if I could tell him who I liked. And I can tell you, it all came rushing back to me how much I enjoy trying to handicap a race.

I like Ice Box to win and here is why:

1)Trained by Nick Zito (one of the best trainers)

2)This is going to be a very fast race, and a closer should win it. I mean by this that there are a ton of horses who are going to wear each other out in the beginning and middle of the race. In Ice Box’s last race, he was in 11th almost the entire way and then burst out of nowhere to win.

3)This horse is at peak form as evidenced by his workout sessions including his latest workout. In sloppy conditions, he raced a 46 second 4 furlong workout. That is almost ridiculously fast and fastest of any horse. Check out the progression too:

April 3: 4furlongs in 49, April 16: 4furlongs in 48, April 23: 4furlongs in 46.

He is 10-1 odds right now and I would be shocked to see him stay at those odds. He is clearly the best horse to bet. All of that said, mind you there are 20 horses in this race and anything could happen. I still feel Ice Box is good value.

Of also note is Backtalk, for the reason that back on March 25th, he rode an insanely fast workout of 6 furlongs in 1 minute and 9 seconds. And he is a closer too. 50-1 odds on him.