ONE TO FOUR MORNING LINE
On Saturday, September 4th, we saw something completely unusual at Saratoga -- a horse with 1-to-4 morning line odds.
The Grade I Woodward Stakes ($750,000 guaranteed) offered QUALITY ROAD at the unusual odds of 1-to-4. While it may not have been the first time that a horse was assigned such odds, it is indeed rare. Most morning line makers only use odds that are displayed on the tote board in the afternoon. The use of nickle breakage by NYRA allows the presentation of odds in the form of X-to-4. Tracks with dime breakage would never display such odds.
QUALITY ROAD is one of the few horses that morning line makers would dare to assign odds less that Evens. The choice of 1-to-4 is unique to nickle breakage tracks. With few tracks using nickle breakage, the subset of the odds-on population which was already small becomes even more minute.
While the choice of 1-to-4 could have been described as a gimick, it would be further from the truth. The NYRA oddsmaker adeptly identified the likely post time odds with a fine resolution. With 1-to-4 falling between 1-to-5 and 2-to-5, the price was dialed in correctly as QUALITY ROAD's post time odds were 0.30-to-1.
1. While every effort has been made to insure the accuracy of the statistics provided above, the author assumes no risk on the reader's use of the information. As with all financial markets, past results do not guarantee future performance.
(2010.09.07 -- sps)