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Let’s Talk About Lex

Let’s Talk About Lex

The Lexington! Our last Kentucky Derby prep race of the year and as per usual BUSR are the first bookie in the world to price the big race with fixed odds.

As the man tasked with odds compiling these races every week, I’m often asked what my “process” is… well suffice to say, my Wednesday afternoons are pretty stressful!

I start by compiling what I expect to be the list of runners, I price that hypothetical race, then the draw comes out, I scrub half the field, add unexpected runners, and reprice the race. Then we push the prices live by 3pm Eastern and I watch our bet ticker in horror as the smart money comes in, shaping our market!

I’m writing this blog at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon, just as we’re releasing our Lexington odds- and I see it as really a two horse race, a Cox-Lukas scrap no less, between Tawny Port and Ethereal Road. I’ve gone 7/4 Tawny Port and 9/4 Ethereal Road as a first line but the market will shape who the true favorite is. Cox’s Cyberknife outsmarted the Lukas camp a couple of weeks ago, so may have the mental advantage. Some say Ethereal Road was disappointing coming 7th in Blue Grass last week (I should know, I backed him to win!), he was well beaten by a genuine Kentucky Derby contender in Zandon and a strong field all round.

Tawny Port 7/4
Ethereal Road 9/4
In Due Time 8/1
Major General 10/1
Call Me Midnight 12/1
Midnight Chrome 16/1
Strava 18/1
Howling Time 20/1
Dash Attack 22/1
Skate To Heaven 25/1
We All See It 33/1

This Saturday’s Lexington is not a strong field by any means and outside of the front two, only really Call Me Midnight appeals to me- or at least appeals to my nostalgic memory of his fantastic Fair Grounds performance back in February, winning the Lecomte in style. I’m not the biggest Epicenter fan in the world, but even acknowledging how the 5/1 futures fav for the Derby has improved in recent months- that Call Me Midnight run deserves respect… also beating Cyberknife and the well-fancied Pappacap. So if I can find 20/1 in the next few days on the Desormeaux thing, I’ll be investing in this likely great value loser!

As a Brit, I prefer to play at fixed odds- so I’ll be watching the market with interest on Friday with my powder dry. While most American books don’t offer fixed odds on stakes races, in Europe there’s a huge appetite from customers for betting at prices on big races.

The morning line prices are likely to be released on Thursday morning ahead of Saturday’s race- and it’s these odds along with BUSR’s fixed odds that the European firms are likely to follow in the next 48 hours.

Happy punting this weekend whoever you’re backing, with this race out the way, next week we can focus on our final Kentucky Derby field!

James Ross, BUSR.

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