Rarely is it advisable or even legal to gamble. Such a concept is about as foreign as the daily mention of racehorses in the mainstream sports vernacular. But the 2012 Breeders' Cup forces all of these anomalies to the forefront for at least this weekend, and taking a chance on a long shot could yield a handsome Saturday profit.
Here is a look at some of the most promising long shots in the $5 million purse event that will cap off the Cup.
To Honor and Serve (8-1)
Typically these odds would indicate that the colt trained by legendary William I. Mott is more of a borderline dark horse than a long shot.
The combination of Mott's tutelage and the heavy 9-5 favorite status of Bob Baffert's Game On Dude equalizes these odds to make Mott's four-year-old a bit of a riskier bet at post No. 12.
Flat Out and Ron the Greek are two other horses that Mott has trained for the race, whose odds are better at 5-1 and 6-1, respectively. But considering the great record that soon to be Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has with To Honor and Serve, it wouldn't be wise to sleep on this feisty colt.
Velazquez won the Belmont Stakes with Union Rags earlier this year, but was injured in a fall the next week, as reported by the New York Times' Joe Drape. All indications are that the 40-year-old will be ready to ride in this one, which is great news for Mott.
Mucho Macho Man (12-1)
Right alongside To Honor and Serve in post 11 will be Mucho Macho Man. James Scully of NBC Sports seems sold that the Katherine Ritvo trained colt will pull out a victory over the favored Game On Dude.
As Scully points out, Mucho Macho Man has matured impressively as a four-year-old, winning three consecutive stakes races to start the season. The key to his run will be the fact that his long strides will not be hampered since he is slotted so far to the outside.
Those long strides will not be as taxing on the bigger horse distance-wise, while the 1.25 mile track at Santa Anita remains a concern for Game On Dude despite his standing as the clear odds-on favorite.
Resilient jockey Mike Smith, who has weathered such ailments as broken vertebrae in his lengthy time in the saddle (h/t the Daily Bulletin) will get the most he can out of this talented four-year-old.
Richard's Kid (12-1)
Doug F. O'Neill trains this seven-year-old Thoroughbred, who has been very steady throughout his career. Richard's Kid finished in third place back in late September at Santa Anita, according to Equibase.com's profile.
After losing I'll Have Another to injury and then retirement, O'Neill will be doing all he can to win a third big-time race on top of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2012.
Although I'll Have Another jockey Gutierrez will be aboard 30-1 severe long shot Handsome Mike, O'Neill's recent success should bode well for his veteran horse. Look for Richard's Kid to have yet another steady showing, and perhaps take advantage of Game On Dude's perceived tendency to gas out during the final stretch.
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