Bridge Jumping Not for the Faint of Heart

If you ask professional or serious horseplayers their opinions on show betting, most will tell you to not waste too much time with this type of bet.  As the easiest bet to hit on the wagering menu, payouts are low.  Even if you are an excellent handicapper, it is hard to make money betting on horses to show due to factors like breakage and the other horses that you’ll need to split the show pool with before final payouts are calculated.  Of course if you like cashing tickets, there’s nothing better than a show bet.  But cashing tickets for $2.60 on a $2 bet can get old pretty fast.

However, there is one proven betting angle where show betting becomes as exciting as playing the Superfecta or Pick-6 and that is when a “bridge jumper” is involved.  Simply stated, a bridge jumper is a bettor who places an unusually large wager on a single horse, usually to show.  While these bets vary in size it’s not unusual to see them approach $100,000 or more.  Because show pools have a mandatory payout of $2.10 or $2.20 (depending on racing jurisdiction) no matter how low the odds actually are, if a bridge jumper is successful, he’ll get a small return on his huge bet no matter what the true odds are.  This creates something that tracks refer to as a “minus pool” because more is paid out to the bridge jumper than the track receives via the takeout.  Of course if the bridge jumper’s horse finishes out of the money, this will result in huge show payoffs for the other horses in the field, and the bridge jumper may just feel like hopping off the nearest bridge to the racetrack.

It goes without saying that the overwhelming majority of bridge jumpers cash their huge bets. Unless they are a sick degenerate gambler who is randomly betting huge sums of money because they like a horse’s name, jumpers usually stick to “mortal locks” that will finish in the money unless something totally unforeseen happens.

A great example of a bridge jumper who may now be contemplating suicide happened just yesterday in the 7th race at Calder Race Course on Saturday, September 3rd.  The 4-5 favorite Motovato, a graded stakes placed horse, and six-time winner who has never finished worse than 2nd in nine lifetime starts at Calder looked to be a safe bet, even for a bridge jumper.  As the horses went to post, Motavato had around $190,000 bet on him to show.  After breaking poorly and not finding the best footing on a sloppy track, Motovato tried to make a move but faded and finished dead last.  The result was a windfall for show bettors who put down even a small bet on any of the other horses in the field.

Take a look at the official chart to see how the race went down.  Payoffs are below.

Bridge Jumper Horse Racing

 

4 Responses to “Bridge Jumping Not for the Faint of Heart”

  1. Peter Papadopoulos says:

    The bettors’ I’ve met with bridge-jumping tendencies think they have a sure thing when they plunk down $1,000 to show to win $50. However, they have no hard data to indicate that the horse they’re betting on will run 1st, 2nd or 3rd at least 19 out of 20 times. They’re probably looking at PP’s that show a horse winning or coming in second 10 out of ten times. It looks very good on the surface but it doesn’t provide evidence that such a horse will reel off 20 or more straight in-the-money finishes. These wages are an act of desperation born of somebody who so badly wants to believe they have turned the odds in their favor. They haven’t.

    Peter P.

  2. Peter Papadopoulos says:

    The bettors’ I’ve met with bridge-jumping tendencies think they have a sure thing when they plunk down $1,000 to show to win $50. However, they have no hard data to indicate that the horse they’re betting on will run 1st, 2nd or 3rd at least 19 out of 20 times. They’re probably looking at PP’s that show a horse winning or coming in second 10 out of ten times. It looks very good on the surface but it doesn’t provide evidence that such a horse will reel off 20 or more straight in-the-money finishes. These wages are an act of desperation born of somebody who so badly wants to believe they have turned the odds in their favor. They haven’t.

    Peter P.

  3. Paul W says:

    Monday nite 7/1/13 at Yonkers in the 8th race the # 7 horse finished 3rd
    and paid 264.00 to show..Possible bridge jumpers “Beware”..There is no
    such certainty as a “Sure Thing”when gambling is the venture..It’s not the adage live and learn but a lesson to”Learn and Live”..It’s OK to be an idiot
    just don’t prove you’re a FOOL..Gotta Go..It’s Post Time…

  4. horse racing says:

    I wondered and puzzled why here in America you can not trust good horses & good jockeys. I am telling because almost all the times if a horse especially in exacta and quinellia, the jockey will fall down or the horse will be end in being third or forth. Comparing to other countries it seems that there is no good horses here in America. People can not trust good horse and good jockey. Most of the time the bettors lost especially those who are betting 100, 000 won or those who have money to loose. The good things those have small money used to win because their bets is 100 won up to 1000 won. So I believe through experience here in America there is no good horse to rely on. The horse racing keep on going because of those who have money to loose. Their money keeps race horse profited. I think you have to have reliable or dependable good horses that finish first and jockeys that will not fall on the ground.

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