Super User

Super User

Thursday, 02 April 2020 18:58

How To Read A Harness Racing Program

Standardbred harness horse racing is not quite as popular as thoroughbred horse racing, but it can be just as or even more exciting! The betting process is nearly identical with the only difference being that the better must take into account different information. And all this information can be found on a harness racing program. This program contains the information about that day’s race, horses, and drivers as well as stats from the horses’ previous races. Understanding how to read a harness racing program correctly can mean the difference between walking away a winner or a l**** (we don’t like to say the “L” word).

At AmWager, we want everyone to be a winner, which is why we have put together this easy to read guide on how to read a greyhound racing program.

If you understand how to read a harness racing program, you can place smarter bets.

Want to learn how to read other racing programs? Click over to our other guides!

Standardbred Horse Racing: How To Read a Program

A harness racing program, or also called a Standardbred racing program, can be broken down into two key sections;

1. Information about today’s race
2. Details about the horses’ past performance

We took an example program and labeled each section so you can better understand how to read a harness racing program and be ready for race day.

If you know how to read a harness racing program, you will have helpful tips about today's race.

Information About Today's Race

ADistance of the Race
BRace Number - The Race Number indicates the order that race will run for the day.
CTrack Name - Designates the track where the race is run.
DTrack Name - Designates the track where the race is run.
EPurse of the Race
FTRA Saddle Cloth Color - Indicates the color cloth the horse will have under his saddle. The saddle cloth will also display the program number of the horse.
GHorse number in race
HOwner(s) and address
IHorse's name
JRace Day Medication - Indicates if the horse is running with Lasix or special equipment. L – Lasix, B- Bute, b – blinkers, f – front bandages
KHorse’s color, gender, age and bloodlines
MTrainer with summary of starts, wins, seconds, thirds & Universal Rating
NDriver with summary of starts, wins, seconds, thirds, Universal Rating, driving colors, weight and class of driving license
OEstimated Odds and Claiming Price
PBest Races
QCurrent Year Record, Previous Year Record, and Lifetime Record
VSpeed/Class Rating

Details About The Horses' Past Performance

Understanding how to read a harness racing program can give you details about past races.
1Date of past performance
2Track where horse raced and race number
3Course Conditions - Shows the condition of the track for that race. (Some horses will perform better over a wet track than they will a fast track. Look to see what conditions a horse does well or bad over)
4Purse & Class
6Horse's individual fractional times for each 1/4 mile
7Horses post position
8Horse's position at 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and top of stretch with lengths behind leader and 'outs' to indicate horse raced outside of other horses
9Finish position and margin
10Horse's final quarter
11Horses's personal time for the race
12Odds at post-time
13Medication/Equipment - Indicates if the horse ran with Lasix or special equipment. L – Lasix, B- Bute, b – blinkers, f – front
15First three finishers and Number of Horses in Race

Turning The Corner To A Betting Victory

While Standardbred harness horse racing is different from the more popular Thoroughbred horse racing, you can still walk away with a big win if you know what you’re doing.

Understanding how to read a harness racing program is critical to placing a smart bet.

We hope this helpful guide makes you bet with a little more confidence. If you are anxious to place your first, tenth, or 100th bet, head on over to AmWager’s online betting platform.

We wish you happy (and lucky) betting!

Thursday, 02 April 2020 18:24

How To Read A Greyhound Racing Program

Greyhound racing is a popular sport in several countries around the world and in some parts of the United States. If you engage in greyhound race betting, then you better know how to read a greyhound racing program or you will end up just throwing your money down the drain.

At AmWager, we want everyone to be a winner, which is why we have put together this easy to read guide on how to read a greyhound racing program.

If you know how to read a greyhound racing program, you can increase your chances of a big payout.

Want to learn how to read other racing programs? Click over to our other guides!

Greyhound Racing: How To Read A Program

A greyhound racing program is broken into two important informational sections:

1. Information about today’s race
2. Details about the greyhounds’ past performance

We took a sample program and labeled each section so you can be ready to cheer on your favorite hound.

If you know how to read a greyhound racing program, you can get details about that day's race.

Information About Today's Race

ATrack Name
BDistance of the Race
CExotic Wagers
DRace Number
EThe grade for this race. Greyhound’s move up or down in grade based on performance.
FEstimated Odds
GThe greyhound’s post position and blanket number
HThe greyhound’s blanket color
IThe greyhound’s name
JGreyhound’s set racing weight
KThe greyhound’s color, birth date, sire (father) and dam (mother). When an asterisk appears this denotes that the greyhound was imported from another country.
LTrack Abbreviation, Current Year, and Previous Year Track Statistics - Number of Starts, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. If the track abbreviation is the same as the current racing track then the statistics are from the previous racing season. If the track abbreviation is different from the current track then the statistics are based on the runner’s performance at that track.
MKennel Info - Name of the Kennel and Name of the Trainer
NFastest time with highest and lowest rating

Details About The Greyhounds' Past Performance

You can get helpful information about a greyhound's past performance if you know how to read a greyhound racing program.
11. Dates of the greyhound’s last six races. The letter indicates- “a”- afternoon race, “e”- evening race, “s” means schooling race. The last number indicates the number of the race in that day’s performance. For example 11/17/01E10 means the greyhound ran in the tenth race of the evening performance on November 17.
2Track where the greyhound is currently racing
3Distance of the race the greyhound competed in
4Track condition – F- fast, S- slow, M- muddy, L –loose or sloppy (standing water)
5The time of that race’s winning greyhound
6Greyhound’s post weight at race time
7Greyhound's post position and blanket number, position at the break, and position at 1/8 mile pole or around the first turn
8Greyhound’s position entering the far turn
9Greyhound’s finish position. (The second small number next to number in the 1/8, far turn position indicates by how many lengths the greyhound was ahead and at the finishing by how many lengths the greyhound won or lost by.
10This greyhound’s actual running time (ART) in this race
11Speed Figure
12The greyhound’s odds to $ 1
13Grade of that particular race. A number in this column means it was a schooling race and shows the number of greyhounds in the race
14Chart writer’s comments on the greyhound’s racing efforts (winning effort, inside, etc.)
15Order of finish showing first three greyhounds. If this greyhound finishes first, second or third, its name is omitted and the fourth greyhound to finish is shown

Rounding the Turn For The Win

While greyhound racing is not one of the more popular forms of racing, it still offers big payoffs for those who love the sport. Understanding how to read a greyhound racing program is key in maxing out your earning potential.

AmWager wants everyone to walk away a winner, which is why we put this guide together on how to read a greyhound racing program. With a little help, there is no telling what can happen.

Thursday, 02 April 2020 17:35

How To Read Horse A Racing Program

Answer this question for us: Would you walk into a horse track for the first time and throw down a multi-hundred dollar bet on the horse with the cutest name?

We would hope not.

The best way to place the smartest horse racing bet is to have good sturdy knowledge of how to read a horse racing program.

A thoroughbred horse racing program has the ins and outs of the race, the horses, their past performances, and the jockey.

AmWager wants everyone to walk away a winner at the track so we have put together this easy to read guide to show both first timers and those who may be a little rusty how to read a horse racing program.

To bet correctly, you need to know how to read a horse racing program.

Want to learn how to read other racing programs? Click over to our other guides!

Thoroughbred Horse Racing: How To Read A Program

A thoroughbred horse racing program can be broken down into two sections:

1. Information about today’s race
2. Details about the horses’ past performance

We have included a sample horse racing program below, labeled each section, and given a detailed description of each.

Knowing how to read a horse racing program will tell you about that day's race.

Information About Today's Race

ADistance of the race
BRace Number - This indicates the order that race will run for the day.
CTrack Name - Designates the track where the race is run.
DExotic Wagers - Wagers offered in this race. (The exotic wager types listed are in addition to Win, Place, Show. If there is no minimum listed next to the wager, it has a $1 minimum.)
EProgram Number - Refers to the number the horse is listed under in the program. This is the number used for wagering purposes.
GTRA Saddle Cloth Color - Indicates the color cloth the horse will have under his saddle. The saddle cloth will also display the program number of the horse.
HHorse’s name
IRace Day Medication - Indicates if the horse is running with Lasix or special equipment. L – Lasix, B- Bute, b – blinkers, f – front bandages
JHorse’s color, gender, age and pedigree
KWeight - Weight indicates how much the horse will be carrying in the race. This includes the weight of the jockey and all equipment.
LBreeder Information - The breeder of this horse.
MMorning Line Odds - Refers to the odds set by the track oddsmaker. This is an estimate of what the oddsmaker believes the chances are of each horse to win. (Odds can fluctuate based on how much money is bet on each horse prior to the race.)
NClaiming Price
OTrainer/Jockey Stats
PCurrent Year Record
RFirst place finishes
SSecond place finishes
TThird place finishes
USpeed/Class Rating

Details About The Horses' Past Performance

If you know how to read a horse racing program, you will find details about horse past performance.
1Race Dates - Race Dates show the dates of the horse’s past races (Look for trends on how often a horse runs and its success. Also see if it has been awhile since the horse’s last start. If it has been awhile, the horse may need more conditioning before running its optimal performance.)
2Race Track Abbreviation & Race Number - Shows the track where the horse ran and what race number.
3Course Conditions - Shows the condition of the track for that race. (Some horses will perform better over a wet track than they will a fast track. Look to see what conditions a horse does well or bad over)
4Race Restrictions - The age restrictions for the race: A race designated with 3^ would be a race for three-year-olds and up. A race designated with 4^ would be a race for four-year-olds and up. No designation means that the race was not age specific.
5Common Race Type Codes - This identifies the race condition a horse has run in the past. (It is important to identify if the horse has performed well in the past at similar conditions. If it has not done well in similar conditions before, you may find another horse that has done well instead.)
6Fractional Times of Race - Shows the split times of each of their previous races. (Use in conjunction with the Order of Calls to see if the horse benefited or hindered from either too slow or too quick of a pace.)
7Final Time of Race - The Final Time of Race shown in 100ths of a second for the noted race.
8Equibase Pace Figure - The Equibase Pace Figures are basically the horse's 'speed figure' at the first call of the race and is available for all Thoroughbred and Arabian races. (Based on the horse's actual time and other conditions, such as track condition, these figures allow you to compare a horse's performance at the early point of the race.)
9Post Position - Lists which post or gate the horse was in at the starting gate.
10Order of Calls - Lists where the horse was and how many lengths ahead the horse was at each point of call. The number of points of call will vary by race distance. (The Order of Calls show you a horse’s progression through each of its past races and can help you determine if the horse has a lot of speed or if a horse likes to do it's running at the end of a race. Comparing this to the rest of the field can help determine how the race will unfold.)
11Final Finish Position & Beaten Lengths - The position where the horse finished. (Locate the horse’s best finishes to determine if it may do well in today’s race.)
12Jockey's Name - The name of the jockey that rode the horse in that race. (Look at the Jockey’s Name to see if they had success with this horse in the past. You can even see if a jockey that has ridden this horse in the past is riding another horse today.)
13Weight Carried By Horse - Shows the weight the horse carried in that race.
14Medication/Equipment - Indicates if the horse ran with Lasix or special equipment. L – Lasix, B- Bute, b – blinkers, f – front bandages
15Equivalent Odds - The decimal odds the horse went off at in the race.
16First Three Finishing Horses - Shows the first three finishers of the race, followed by the weight that horse carried and then followed by the number of lengths in front of the next position that horse was when it crossed the finish line. (Names in bold will be horses they are competing against in that race. Names in italics indicate the horse won its next start.)
17Comments Regarding Race - Reflects the chart comments listed for that horse in that race. (Comments Regarding Race gives you short notes about the horse’s performance in that race. Find out if the horse had trouble in a certain race, which could explain a bad performance.)
18Number of Horses in Race - Indicates how many horses started in that race.
19Morning Workouts - Morning Workouts show the date, distance and time of recorded works for that horse. (You will see how their workout time rated against all other horses that worked the same distance on that day (Ex., 1/24 – the horse worked fastest of 24 horses).

Thrill Of The Moment

Now that you know how to read a horse racing program, you can walk into the track with your head held high and hopefully walk out with a little extra green in your pocket. AmWager wants everyone to walk out a winner and we hope this guide will help make that happen.

Eager to digest even more horse racing information? Then visit our horse racing resource center for articles on horse racing and news about upcoming race picks from our expert handicappers.

The thunder of the hooves. The tension in the air. The stakes are high. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of a live horse race. Horse betting was the original Vegas. It started in a world before casinos, lotteries, and slot machines. It’s a classic sport that has only gotten better with time.

In the world of horse racing, there are different kinds of horse bets. Our goal is to help you understand how to bet on horses, different types of bets that can help you win big and how to enjoy your experience in the process.

Types of Horse Racing Bets: Straight Bets and Exotic Bets

Horse betting is what makes this event one of the most popular sports in the world. And knowing how to bet on horses can keep you coming back for more. Horse bets can be put into one of two categories; straight bets and exotic bets.

Straight Bets in Horse Racing

Straight bets are pretty simple. You are betting on a single horse. You’re betting on how that one horse will perform in a race. Straight bets are popular for horse owners, and fan favorites. They are also one of the easiest bets to place. There are four kinds of straight bets:

  • Win: You pick the winner. Simple as that. You win money only if your horse wins first place. 
  • Place: This is hedging your bets that your horse will win first OR second. If they do, you win. However, the reduced risk will produce smaller payouts.
  • Show: You win if your horse finishes first, second, or third. Again, the potential payout is reduced with the risk.
  • Across the Board: By making an "Across the board bet", you are actually placing three separate bets. One win bet, one place bet and one show bet. An Across the Board bet costs 3x the amount wagered. If your runner comes in first place you win all three prices (win, place and show). If your runner finishes second, you win place and show prices. If third you win the show prize.

Exotic Bets in Horse Racing

Exotic bets involve multiple horses and have a greater risk than straight bets. However, with most risky gambles, they have the potential for a much higher return on investment. There are two kinds of exotic bets you need to understand to know how to bet on horses: Horizontal Wagers and Vertical Wagers.

Vertical Wagers: Vertical bets are those that usually end with a “cta,” such as exacta, trifecta or superfecta. These types of bets require players to pick the top finishers in a single race in the exact order of finish.

For those who know how to bet on horses, you can place exotic horse wagers.
  • Exacta: When placing an exacta bet you are selecting the first and second place runners in the exact order. The runner you select in the 1st leg must come in first. The runner you select in the 2nd leg must come in second. If your runners finish in the exact order you selected, you win. This wager is a bit riskier than a win bet but also pays significantly more. This wager is the "bread and butter" of many professionals.
  • Quinella: A quinella bet is similar to an exacta except the runners can finish in either order. As long as both of your selections finish in the top two positions, you win. The payouts are a bit lower than an exacta, but so is the risk. This is primarily found in Greyhound betting and some international racing.
  • Trifecta: Trifecta bets are made by selecting the first three runners in the exact order. Your 1st selection must come in first, 2nd selection second, 3rd selection third. If they finish in the exact order you selected, you win! Trifecta wager pays a bit higher prices than an exacta but also carries a bit more risk. For those players that can handicap well, this can be a very profitable wager.
  • Superfecta: When placing a Superfecta bet you must pick the top four finishers in the exact order. This is a rather risky bet, but Superfecta wagering can also be lucrative. Watch for your opportunity to strike and you may have a good day in a single bet!
  • Super High Five: Super High Five wager is on the top 5 finishers in the exact order. This wager is quite risky but also pays extremely well.
  • Hexafecta: You guessed it... a Hexafecta is the top 6 finishers in the exact order. More risk, more reward!

Boxed and Wheels: For those who know how to bet on horses, they may box or wheel their horse bets. Certain bets (specifically exactas, trifectas, and superfectas) come in boxed or wheel form.  

Boxed Bet: A Boxed bet means that your selections can finish in any order. So, you can place an exacta bet, (selecting the first and second place runners), but if you’re not sure which one will come in first, you can “box” those horses in an exacta bet and you would win if any of them finish first and second.

There is a more advanced method of boxing bets and it’s called Dutch Wagering. Dutch betting allows a player to create a bet built from multiple individual wagers, with the aim being to achieve the same payout no matter what selected runner comes in.

Another way to know how to bet on horses is to use Dutch Wagering.

Wheel Bet: A Wheel (or Part Wheel) bet, means selecting different horses for each position. So, if you are confident in your #1 pick, but aren’t sure about second place you can bet an exacta wheel, which means it will pay out if your first choice wins, and if any of your others finish second.

On AmWager’s easy-to-use online betting platform, there is no actual wheel bet selection. Instead, bettors can simply select multiple runners and accomplish the same thing. 

Horizontal Wagers: Horizontal bets involve betters picking winners of a specific number of races, commonly ranging from two to as many as six or seven.

  • Daily Double (DBL): In a double wager you must select the winner of two races. Those races may be consecutive races, split races at the same track, races at different tracks or even races on different days. Double bets can carry decent reward for the savvy bettor.
  • Pick Bets (PK#): Pick wagers cover a wide range of the betting field. A "Pick" bet is when you pick the winner of a specified number of races. That can vary from a PK3 (Pick 3, three races) to a P12 (Pick 12, twelve races). The most popular of which is the Pick 6 wager due to its high carryovers. As the number of races goes up, so does the difficulty and so does the reward. High number pick wagers are among the highest paying wagers in the industry! Do your homework, pick your runners and good luck!
  • Twin Trifecta (TR2): A twin trifecta is the first exchange wager you will likely run into. In this case you first wager a trifecta bet in a selected race. If you win that wager you will be paid a portion of the pool. You will also receive 1 wager into the 2nd half of the pool which is a trifecta in another predetermined race. If you select the correct combination there, you will be paid out a portion of the jackpot. Since this wager is so difficult it can go months without the 2nd half being won. In those cases, tracks will run "force outs" where the 2nd half will be paid fully to someone even if no one selects all three runners correctly. In some extreme cases it can pay out to anyone who made it to the second half (Paid on any combination).
  • Tri-Super (TS): Similar to a Twin Trifecta except with a Trifecta in the first race and a Superfecta in the second half. Much harder to win and also more prone to force outs.
  • Twin Super (SP2): Similar to a Twin Trifecta except with two Super Wagers. Much more difficult and rare.

How To Place A Bet On A Horse

We aren’t going to lie to you, it can be a little nerve-wracking when it comes time to place your bet if you aren't sure how to bet on horses. Well don’t panic. AmWager has you covered.

A great option for first time horse bettors is to bet online. This way, you don’t have to worry about how to correctly say your wager or wait in long teller lines. AmWager’s online horse betting platform is easy to learn, easy to navigate, and easy to place your bet. Our interface allows for live video stream of the races so bettors can have a fun and engaging experience. Click now to get started!

If you want to know how to bet on horses, you can do it online or at the track.

If you decide to go to the track and you want to learn how to bet on horses, the first thing you want to do is find a human teller. The automatic tellers often have huge lines and aren’t worth the wait. Human tellers are fast, accurate, and friendly so go to the person rather than the machine.

Next, you’ll want to have your money in hand. Things move fast and you want to be ready – so don’t hold up the line by fumbling through your wallet.

Once it’s your turn, know what to say by following these steps and you are good as gold

  • State the name of the racetrack.
  • State what number race you’re betting.
  • State the dollar number of your bet.
  • State the type of wager.
  • State the number of the horse or horses you’re using.

When you put it all together, here’s what it should sound like: “Gulfstream (1), race seven (2), $2 (3) to win (4) on #4 (5).”

6. Hand the teller your money and take your ticket.

7. The last step is to check your ticket before you leave the window to ensure that you and the bookmaker have the correct wager and place your ticket in a safe place. You’ll need it to claim your money if you win. 

Off to the Races!

You’re now ready to go to any track in America and enjoy the races.

Now how do you decide which horse to put your money on?

There are hundreds of resources for picking horses, and everyone seems to have their own methods, superstitions, and strategies. For more information about how to bet on horses, visit our horse racing resource center where you can find horse racing tips, tricks, and picks from expert handicappers.

Friday, 05 July 2019 02:08

Key Races & Bets for Saturday, July 6

Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes - Race 7 at Belmont - Post Time 4:30 PM Eastern
Olendon appears to have the goods here, even over very good distaff turf stakes winners like Newspaperofrecord, Concrete Rose and Cambier Parc, the latter two having posted upset wins over Newspaperofrecord in May and June. Olendon ships in off a bang-up second of 11 finish in the Group 1 Prix Saint Alary on May 26, at the 10 furlong trip of the Belmont Oaks. Only one other filly in the race (Jodie, shipping in from Japan) has run the distance, and Olendon did it against some of the best fillies in Europe, if not the world. With world-renowned trainer Pascal Bary still listed as her trainer, with John Velazquez set to ride, with the ground saving rail and with by far the highest last race Equibase figure in the field (116), Olendon should be tough to beat and easy to bet, as she opens at 9 to 2.
Cambier Parc stretched out to nine furlongs on turf last month when winning the Wonder Again Stakes over this course and she did so in a way that suggests the additional furlong won’t be an issue. She ran poorly with no excuse before that in the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs on Derby weekend, that race won by Concrete Rose, with Newspaperofrecord second, but she won a stakes at Gulfstream before that and the way she rebounded in the Wonder Again suggests those two “A” races are what she’s capable of here. She’s one of three from the Brown barn but opens at 4 to 1 with Jose Ortiz aboard, who has been in the saddle for all three career wins to date. The 100 figures earned in the two wins don’t hold a candle to Olendon’s last race figure but it’s on par with Newspaperofrecord’s best (100) and better than the 93 Concrete Rose earned in the Edgewood so just repeating her last race could be good enough to get second and to win if I’m wrong about Olendon.
For exactas we will also use the Aiden O’Brien pair of Just Wonderful and Coral Beach, the former a fast closing fourth in her only previous U.S. start last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and the latter having closed from last of 27 to get fourth a couple of weeks ago in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot. We will also use Jodie, the Japanese shipper, who finished third of 18 (beaten just a half-length) at this 10 furlong trip one race before last.
Olendon to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.
Cambier Parc to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more. 
When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool with which you can enter the amount you want to spend or the amount you want to win and the calculation of how much to bet will be done for you. Amwager provides a free "Dutching" tool, among other great benefits for the handicapper and bettor.

Exactas: Olendon and Cambier Parc over Olendon, Cambier Parc, Just Wonderful, Coral Beach and Jodie.
For about half whatever amount you play the exacta above, play the reverse, which is Olendon, Cambier Parc, Just Wonderful, Coral Beach and Jodie over Olendon and Cambier Parc.

My Dear Stakes - Race 8 at Woodbine - Post Time 4:45 PM Eastern
I assume a decent percentage of bettors at Woodbine know who Brad Cox is and what an amazing past couple of years he’s had. Still, considering Bayerly Seen opens at 6 to 1, I can only hope bettors of Woodbine races don’t pay attention to one of the top up-and-coming trainers in North America. Bayerly Seen won her only start by 12 lengths, geared down, at Indiana Grand (perhaps another reason for some bettors disregarding the filly) last month. Not only was the effort visually impressive, there was no doubt the filly wasn’t fully extended and has much more to show. She earned the win wire-to-wire and because she doesn’t wear blinkers I don’t think she’s a need the lead type so can sit off likely early leader Fast Scene and take over as needed. Before leaving her home base the filly put in a sharp half-mile workout which was the third fastest of 60 on the day, many of those older and more established runners. Cox gets local jockey Campbell to ride, which is good, and the trainer’s starters win back-to-back nearly 30% of the time, evidence Cox keeps his horses happy and healthy between races. 
Fast Scene may be the one to beat on paper with a sharp wire-to-wire score in her debut over the track last month. She ran fast from start to finish and then shipped back to trainer Hamm’s base at Presque Isle to put in a sharp half-mile workout before coming back up. Hernandez rode first time out and rides back and the trainer won this race in 2016 with Velvet Mood so knows what he’s doing. The only knock is she opens at 2 to 1.
Justleavitalone will be left alone by bettors as she’s a first timer in a stakes. She opens at 12/1 but appears to have a bit of talent as she worked a strong 46.4 half-mile on 6/26 which was the best of 32 at the distance on the day. Lest there be a doubt trainer Gonzalez is overreaching, he won this race in 2015 with a first time starter at 18/1. 
Bets: Bayerly Seen to win at odds of 2/1.
Minimum odds for a win bet on Fast Scene are 2/1 but she’s likely to go to post at lower odds.

For a smaller amount than on Bayerly Seen, bet Justleaveitalone to win at 5 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 7 to 1 or more.  

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features

Exactas: Box Bayerly Seen and Fast Scene.
Box Bayerly Seen, Fast Scene and Justleaveitalone

Trifecta: Bayerly Seen and Fast Scene over Bayerly Seen and Fast Scene over ALL.


Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes - Race 9 at Belmont - Post Time 5:44 PM Eastern

Cape of Good Hope can give world class trainer Aiden O’Brien his second win in this race. O’Brien shipped Deauville to win the 2016 edition of the Belmont Derby Invitational as well as saddled runner-up Adelaide in 2014. He also saddled Athena to win the 2018 Belmont Oaks Invitational so when he brings a horse from across the pond we can expect good things. Cape of Good Hope is one of only two horses in the field to have won at this mile and one-quarter turf trip, the win coming in the Blue Riband Trial Stakes in April. Sent to post at odds of 16/1 in the Prix du Jockey Club in June following the Trial, the colt had the benefit of stablemate Blenheim Palace to set the early pace and did rally from nearly last but could only manage fourth in the 15 horse field. However, that effort earned him a 116 Equibase Speed Figure, which is the top figure earned by any horse in this field. Dropped in class a bit for the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, Cape of Good Hope apparently didn’t like the soft turf and finished 10th. Not only is Cape of Good Hope proven at the distance and is in the hands of a trainer who has won the race previously with a horse shipping in from Europe, he is a full brother to champion Highland Reel, who won over $10 million including the Breeders’ Cup Turf, and he’s a full brother to Idaho, winner of over $1.6 million. As such, Cape of Good Hope is my top choice to win this year’s Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes.  

Rockemperor, one of four trained by Chad Brown, showed he fit at the top level when second, beaten a neck, in the Prix la Force Stakes in April. That effort earned a 108 Figure. Prior to that, Rockemperor won an allowance race at the mile and one-quarter distance of the Belmont Derby on an all-weather surface. Although sixth in the Prix du Jockey Club in his most recent race, Rockemperor improved to a career-best 111 figure. Trainer Brown is currently second in the trainer division on the North American Racing Leaders list with $12.8 million earned this year, but of that number $9.8 million has been earned by his starters on turf, where he excels, particularly with horses importing to the U.S. According to a STATS Race Lens query, Brown has won 25% of the time with foreign shippers in their first U.S. starts over the last five years, with 53% of those finishing in the top three. With Rockemperor having shown he belongs in top company and can handle the 10 furlong trip, I think he could be quite competitive in this race. 

Seismic Wave and Demarchelier finished second and first, respectively, in last month’s Pennine Ridge Stakes and could be close at hand in the Belmont Derby with similar efforts. Seismic Wave has done little wrong in six races, winning two and finishing second or third in three of the other four. In the American Turf Stakes on Derby day, Seismic Wave was eight paths wide turning for home and flew from 10th to fourth but was too late to catch winner Digital Age. That effort earned a career-best 100 figure and although he regressed to a 94 figure effort in the Pennine Ridge, the fact that race came over this inner turf course at Belmont may help him to run even better. Demarchelier is a perfect three-for-three in his career to date. Castellano has been in the saddle for all three and the colt continues to improve with each effort, earning a career best 95 figure in the Pennine Ridge. As such, I expect a good showing in the Belmont Derby but it is likely he will have to have another career-best effort to be competitive in this very deep and talented field. 

I can’t completely ignore Blenheim Palace although I suspect the reason he was entered was to insure a good early pace for his stablemate Cape of Good Hope as was the case in the Prix du Jockey Club. Blenheim Palace is the only other horse, besides his stablemate, to have won at this 10 furlong turf trip. He earned that win in April in a field of 16. Although he faded to 14thafter setting the pace in the Jockey Club, Blenheim Palace showed he can run well on his own when second thereafter in the Intern Stakes just one week ago. Blinkers are added for the Belmont Derby, strongly suggesting the tactic will be to go to the front and hold it for as long as he can. Noting that was the same tactic used by trainer O’Brien’s Hunting Horn in the Man o’War Stakes here at Belmont last month, and that one nearly pulled off the upset before fading to fourth very late in the race, there is reason to think Blenheim Palace could get brave on the lead and be in the hunt to the wire in this race.  

Bets: Cape of Good Hope to win at 3 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.  

Rockemperor to win at odds of 7 to 2 or more, adding a place bet at 6 to 1 or more.

For smaller amounts than on Cape of Good Hope and Rockemperor, Seismic Wave and Demarchelier to win at odds of 9 to 2 or more.

Then, a minimum ($2 to $5) to win, place and show on Blenheim Palace at odds of 8 to 1 or more.

 When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

 Doubles: Cape of Good Hope, Rockemperor, Seismic Wave, Demarchelier and Blenheim Palace in Race 9 with Catholic Boy, Preservationist, Marconi and Cordmaker in race 10. 

Then add a few horses in race 9 with my top pick in race 10 as follows:

Moon Colony, Standard Deviation, English Bee, Digital Age and He’s No Lemon in Race 9 with Preservationist in Race 10.


Suburban Stakes - Race 10 at Belmont - Post Time 6:18 PM Eastern

Preservationist never started as a two year old and only ran once as a three year old, finishing second, before going on the sidelines for almost all of his four year old year, finishing third in December, 2017. He won his first two starts as a five year old then went on the shelf again, this time for 11 months. After a sprint prep in which he finished third to start his five year old year he won, then lo and behold went on the sidelines again, this time for 15 months. His connections must think he’s supremely talented because off a comeback win in May over the track at the third allowance condition they are putting him in this grade 2 race. I AGREE with this as the 111 Equibase figure earned in that win over the track last month suggest he can post the mild upset here. Not only was that the BEST figure in the field earned by any horse last out, including those earned in stakes races by others, the ONLY two horses who have come back to run out of that race won their next starts. Trainer Jerkens, who also saddles Rocketry for the same owner, is a solid trainer and as this horse is making his second start off the long layoff he’s likely to improve, which makes him tough to beat. 

Catholic Boy has no knocks except that he’s likely to go to post as the heavy favorite. Proven in top company on turf and dirt, he began his four year old campaign off a six month layoff in May with a win on grass and he won the Travers last year at this distance on dirt off a turf win so putting in another “A” effort good enough to win is certainly within reach.

 Cordmaker may not be this good in terms of class but he doesn’t know it. Winner of six of 13 dirt races in his career, his 10th to third finish in the similar Pimlico Special one race before last suggests he fits with these. Carrasco rides him very well and the 110 and 107 figures from his last two wins also suggest it would be a mistake to keep him out of our exacta tickets at the very least, particularly as he opens at 12/1.

 Marconi has found a new lease on life in classic and marathon races, winning three straight stakes from 1 3/16 to 1 ½ miles, the most recent at Belmont in the grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational last month, a race like this one. Lezcano rode him marvelously in the Brooklyn, leading from start to finish, but Marconi has proven he doesn’t need the lead to win. With 108, 108 and 110 figures from those three wins, Marconi must be considered as a strong win contender.

 For a few exactas, I’ll use Rocketry (second to Marconi in the Brooklyn), Lone Sailor (who can put in a late kick on occasion), Wooderson (a half-brother to Rachel Alexandra who may improve off an allowance win) and Realm (a head behind Rocketry in the Brooklyn).

Bets: Preservationist to win at odds of 9 to 5.

For a smaller amount, Cordmaker and Marconi to win at odds of 9 to 2 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

 Exacta: Box Catholic Boy, Preservationist, Marconi and Cordmaker

Then, Catholic Boy, Preservationist, Marconi and Cordmaker over Catholic Boy, Preservationist, Marconi, Cordmaker, Rocketry, Lone Sailor, Realm and Wooderson.


Easy Goer Stakes - Race 3 at Belmont - Post Time 12:47 PM Eastern


Personally I plan to bet BOTH Majid and Grumps Little Tots to win if above 3/1, and I plan to use ALL SIX if I play the double, pick 3 or pick 4 involving this race as a case can be made for every entrant. However, Majid could be a “lone front runner” in this short field if Saez takes advantage of his early speed. He’s won three in a row, all since moving to the Rodriguez barn, the last a one turn mile over the track no different from this one mile and one-sixteenth trip around one turn. Saez rode him to a wire-to-wire win last month and the effort earned a 96 Equibase figure which is competitive with nearly EVERY horse in the field in most of their races. The exception is the 103 figure Outshine (who opens at 9/5) figure earned when second in the Tampa Bay Derby but that was a two-turn race, but he earned a 93 figure at seven furlong before that. Heavy morning line favorite Alwaysmining earned 109 and 104 figures in March and April, which beat this field if repeated and if no horse drastically improves, but those were also around two turns and his 99 figure in his last one turn race is not that superior to Majids last effort. Rodriguez wins 25% of the time with his horses back-to-back so I’ll take a shot this colt can control things start to finish.


Grumps Little Tots, like Outshine, ran poorly in the Wood Memorial when last seen but opens at 12/1 compared to 9/5 even though he gets Irad Ortiz, Jr. to ride for the red hot Servis barn and even though this jockey/trainer combo clicks nearly 40% of the time (over almost 200 races going back to 1/1/18). In a one turn mile race before the Wood, the gelding ran off by six lengths and that kind of effort can be improved upon here.


As I said, all six can win and the favorites, Outshine and Alwaysmining are not standouts by any means but with decent prices or standouts in other races for multi-race bets there’s every reason to try to use “ALL” in this leg if possible.



Win Bets: Majid and Grumps Little Tots to win at 3 to 1 or higher.


When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.


Pick 3 (two tickets):

Race 3: Majid, Grumps Little Tots

Race 4: Daddy Is a Legend, Rushing Fall, Beau Recall

Race 5: Come Dancing


Race 3: All (6 horses)

Race 4: Daddy Is a Legend, Rushing Fall, Beau Recall

Race 5: Come Dancing


Just a Game Stakes - Race 4 at Belmont - Post Time 1:22 PM Eastern


Daddy Is a Legend should NOT be the 6/1 odds she is on the morning line, but I’ll take it. She won the Lake George last summer at Saratoga in impressive fashion on a firm course then didn’t care for the soft turf next month in the Lake Placid. Two months later in the Valley View she WOULD HAVE WON if she didn’t try to duck through the rail when making the winning move in the stretch and thankfully the breakaway rail did its job and she was unharmed. She came back to miss by a half-length in the Grade 1 Matriarch after being nearly 10 lengths back early then took the winter off, returning to rally from 8th to 2nd in the Distaff Turf Mile on Derby day before the time off caught up with her and she tired back to third, still ONLY a head from runner-up Get Stormy. Franco has ridden her in six straight so gets along with her nicely and she gets SIX pounds from Beau Recall, who beat her a length and one-quarter last month, which should help her run well enough to win and post the mild upset as she improves nicely in her second start off the layoff.


Beau Recall won the Distaff Turf Mile in a mild upset at 10/1 but probably shouldn’t have been those odds considering who sizzling hot the Cox barn is. Since changing trainers in December, she’s three-for-four with one second and with Cox winning back-to-back at a 33% clip the past year she must be taken very seriously as a win contender.


Next we come to Rushing Fall, a favorite of mine but badly overbet here as she opens at 4/5 on the strength of a seven-for-eight career record. However, she really hasn’t beaten much and the 108, 105 and 103 figures she earned in her last three races are NOT even as good as the 111, 110 and 110 figures Beau Recall earned in her last three nor the 119 figure Daddy Is a Legend earned when second in the Matriarch, or even the 107 figure Daddy Is a Legend earned when third in the Distaff Turf Mile last month. I’ll use Rushing Fall defensively particularly as Brown’s horses win 1/3 of the time back-to-back but for making a profit I’m sure hoping one of the other two gals gets home on top.



Win Bets: Daddy Is a Legend and Beau Recall to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.


When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.


Exactas: Box Daddy Is a Legend, Beau Recall and Rushing Fall

Daddy Is a Legend, Beau Recall and Rushing Fall over Daddy Is a Legend, Beau Recall, Rushing Fall and Get Stormy.


Trifecta: Daddy Is a Legend, Beau Recall and Rushing Fall over Daddy Is a Legend, Beau Recall, Rushing Fall and Get Stormy over Daddy Is a Legend, Beau Recall, Rushing Fall and Get Stormy.


Ogden Phipps Stakes – Race 5 at Belmont - Post Time 2:01 PM Eastern


YES, #2 Midnight Bisou is an exceptional racehorse, having won three graded stakes in a row, and YES, #4 Escape Clause has a shot as well as she nearly beat Midnight Bisou last time out in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom. HOWEVER, Come Dancing is in another league right now and, when combined with the fact she has a big “early pace” edge in this short field, she should win, although most people agree and that’s why she opens at 6/5 (Midnight Bisou opens at even money). Come Dancing ran huge three back in December to Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Marley’s Freedom when battling that one neck-and-neck for the last six furlongs of the race then she destroyed the field by almost eight lengths in the Distaff Handicap in April. Proving that no fluke, Come Dancing won the Ruffian Stakes by nearly seven lengths over the track at one mile last month and the extra sixteenth of a mile should prove no issue, particularly as no other horse has shown any desire to lead early which gives her an edge she can use to control the race from start to finish.


Bets: (No bet is really necessary if you played the pick 3 in race 3 and are alive to Come Dancing)

Win bets: Come Dancing to win if 6 to 5 odds or higher (a low odds overlay win bet).


Exactas: There’s no point in betting an exacta consisting of Come Dancing and Midnight Bisou so we can play a couple of tickets using Escape Clause and each of those two as follows:

Box Escape Clause and Come Dancing

Box Escape Clause and Midnight Bisou


Belmont Stakes – Race 11 at Belmont - Post Time 6:37 PM Eastern


I’ll start by saying there’s no doubt War of Will has a great deal of competitive spirit. In spite of fighting his jockey in the early stages in a few of his races, when he is asked to run his best he responds nicely. Even after the incident early in the stretch of the Derby, War of Will re-engaged with Maximum Security for a number of strides before tiring. Then, when allowed to make one run in the Preakness, War of Will took the inside path and ran very well to draw off by a length and one-quarter, earning a career-best 107 EquibaseÒ Speed Figure in the process. The biggest question I have about War of Will repeating or improving upon his Preakness effort in the Belmont is related to his pedigree and ability to run as well at the distance of one and one half miles. Horses outrun their pedigree all the time, but considering none of the sons or daughters of sire War Front have run well at the distance, on turf or on dirt, I will look elsewhere for my top contenders although I will not discount the chances of War of Will to win the Belmont entirely.


Sir Winston will be my top choice. He may only have a career record of two-for-nine but the second of the two was in the Display Stakes, an important stakes race for two year olds at Woodbine. Returning two months later in February of this year, Sir Winston finished well in the late stages when fourth behind Tax in the Withers Stakes then rallied from 11th to fifth behind Tacitus in the Tampa Bay Derby in March. After a troubled trip when seventh in the Blue Grass Stakes in April and not having enough points to run in the Kentucky Derby, Sir Winston pointed to the Peter Pan Stakes four weeks ago as a prep for the Belmont Stakes. This is the same prep the 2014 top two finishers (Tonalist and Commissioner) used. Until 2010, the Dwyer Stakes was run four weeks prior to the Belmont, with the top two finishers in that race (Drosselmeyer and Fly Down) finishing one-two in the Belmont. Joel Rosario rode Sir Winston in the Peter Pan and will once again be in the saddle in the Belmont. It must be noted in 2014 when Tonalist won the Peter Pan he was ridden by Joel Rosario, who won the Belmont with the colt one month later. Although the 101 figure Sir Winston earned in the Peter Pan is a bit shy of the 107 War of Will earned in the Preakness and the same figure Tacitus earned in the Derby, I think Sir Winston can improve more than enough to post the upset in this year's Belmont.


Master Fencer (JPN) may not have been fully acclimated to U.S. racing when he ran in the Kentucky Derby, especially with a 20 horse field and water being splashed into him. In the Derby, it appeared Master Fencer (JPN) didn't really know what to do as the field broke and he seemed a bit taken aback by all the water being kicked up so jockey Leparoux just let him drop back to last in the field of 19 in the early stages, as many as 23 lengths behind the early leader. As the race went on, Master Fencer (JPN) started to run more confidently and by the end he was rolling on the inside to be beaten just four lengths at the end. Galloping out second on the turn and having put in a series of strong workouts in Kentucky and then at Belmont Park since the Derby, there is a lot of upside for this young colt. Considering his Derby effort earned a 106 figure, I think Master Fencer (JPN) deserves a good deal of respect as a contender in the Belmont Stakes.


Tacitus was also rolling faster than most horses in the last quarter mile of the Derby, earning a career-best 107 figure when beaten just three-quarters of a length for third at the finish. Tacitus had won three races in a row prior to that including the Wood Memorial and in that race the colt recovered from early trouble where he nearly fell, after which many horses may have given up. As a son of Tapit, who sired three recent winners of the Belmont (Tonalist in 2014, Creator in 2016 and Tapwrit in 2017), there is no question Tacitus can get the mile and one-half distance of the Belmont. Trainer Bill Mott won this race in 2010 with Drosselmeyer so he knows what it takes to get a horse ready for this marathon test as well.


In addition to the four horses I think have the bulk of the probability to win this year's Belmont Stakes - Sir Winston, Master Fencer (JPN), Tacitus and War of Will, Everfast is a horse I think we need to consider for any exacta or trifecta tickets we play. Coming off a career best 105 figure effort when second in the Preakness, similar to the effort he put in four races before that when second in the Holy Bull, Everfast will be rallying from far back and passing many of the horses who will find the mile and one-half distance to be beyond their range.



Win Bets: Sir Winston to win at 3 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.

Master Fencer to win at 4 to1 or more, adding a place bet at 6 to 1 or more.



Sir Winston and Master Fencer over Sir Winston, Master Fencer, Tacitus, War of Will and Everfast.

Then also play the opposite of the above, which is Sir Winston, Master Fencer, Tacitus, War of Will and Everfast over Sir Winston and Master Fencer.


Optionally (for $1) Sir Winston and Master Fencer over ALL.



Sir Winston and Master Fencer over Sir Winston, Master Fencer, Tacitus, War of Will and Everfast over Sir Winston, Master Fencer, Tacitus, War of Will and Everfast.


In conjunction with the above, Sir Winston, Master Fencer, Tacitus, War of Will and Everfast over Sir Winston, Master Fencer and Everfast over Sir Winston, Master Fencer, Tacitus, War of Will and Everfast.


The strategy in playing both trifectas above is to avoid any tickets involving the favorites War of Will and Tacitus coming in first and second and trying to maximize profit with any of the three horses at higher odds coming in first and second or first and third)


Optionally, for the trifecta, you can use “ALL” in the third position, but that significantly increases the cost. 

Friday, 07 June 2019 12:18

Belmont Action

Between Friday and Saturday at Belmont, there will be an abundance of opportunities to go after a score. While this is great and what most of us wait for, it helps to have a solid plan of attack. All those opportunities and alluring races can prompt many to spread their bankrolls out to keep them in action, but if you are looking to take down a big score that might not be the best way to go. It’s not how I play it. These two days are when your money management skills get out to the test. If you don’t have them your bankroll can be put to rest.

Whether your bankroll for the weekend is $100, $1000, or $10,000 it doesn’t matter. You have to apply it in the best way to capitalize on your strongest opinion. Of course, you have to be right.

I play more aggressively than most. Using a $100 bankroll, I will take 80% of that and put that into my best spot for the weekend. I may spread the 80% across different types of wagers keying on the horse I like the best, but I won’t use any of that 80% on other horses or sequences. This puts me in position to maximize my investment on the horse I feel best about. If I am right, I will have a good majority of my bankroll on my horse, and that is how you set yourself up to score.

Many people will spread thin and want action in every race and sequence. Can they catch a big number and score? Of course. That said, in the long run, if your handicapping is solid, you will get much farther into the black column attacking who you really like best. Does it really make sense just for the sake of action to spread around and use as much of your bankroll on a horse or sequence you like a little as opposed to one you feel strongly about? I say no all day to that.

When finished handicapping I will look at the two or maybe three horses I like best. It is my nature to go after the longest prices one, and I will have to like a shorter priced one a lot more to pull me in that direction.

Using 80% of my bankroll allows me to go after every type of bet I want keying my horse. If things work out, I can hit all the exotics. If not I can hit some. Nobody and I mean nobody bets too much on a winner. It’s a sinking feeling to be right on a key horse on a big weekend like this and not capitalize. 80% of your bankroll minimizes that risk.

The other 20% is what I will use for fishing, stabs, and some lighter action. Does that at times save the day. Absolutely. It keeps one in a spot to catch that longer priced play or sequence but also leaves you strong for the major wager.

On days like these, there is always a lot more recreational and uninformed money in the pools. This is a tremendous help to us. Beat a favorite or two which should always be a goal, and your value increases significantly than what it would on say a regular day or even weekend. Use that. It can’t hurt and can only help.

We are all usually locked and loaded by now. I try and hold off final opinions as long as possible. Will the weather change? Will there be a real bias? Will someone get white hot or maybe ice cold? These intangibles can give you an edge over players who lock in early and surely over the recreational money. Take whatever edges you can get.

Log into your AmWager accounts and attack! All the best and enjoy these great cards.




Connaught Cup Stakes - Race 8 at Woodbine - Post Time 5:00 PM Eastern


Savage Battle is a lightly raced five year old with just 15 races under his belt, nine of those turf sprints. He has a fantastic record of 4-1-2 in those nine races, including a runner-up effort in the Colonel Power Stakes at Fair Grounds in February and he may be coming in under the radar opening at 8 to 1 here. It’s a big sign he’s live as Patrick Husbands gets on and the horse earned a strong 108 Equibase figure winning a turf sprint in January before earning a 106 figure in the stakes in February, with those figures competitive with the best in here. He comes from mid-pack and in this race with there likely to be a sizzling early pace battle he could get first run on the tiring pacesetters and come home on top. Shakhimat, who has done all his winning when leading from the start, has to go hard for the lead from the rail, but with need-the-lead types Yorkton and El Tormenta in the field there’s little chance any of the three “early” pace types gets the lead they need to succeed and a big chance they set up the stalkers and closers, foremost among them Savage Battle.


Eminent Force won’t go to post anywhere near his 20/1 starting odds with DaSilva named to ride but anything above 4/1 would be betting odds for me because this nine year old with 15 career wins proved he still has what it takes when rallying for second in April following three months off. He won in his third start of the 2018 meeting and this is only his second but the debut was at this seven furlong trip (on the main track) and he’s earned 10 wins from 32 starts on turf in his career. In short, I feel it would be a mistake to leave Eminent Force off any tickets we play involving this race particularly as he too may be up close with Savage Battle early and in a position to be in the exacta at the least down to the wire.


Curlin’s Honor and Emmaus both are win contenders and horses we must use on exacta and trifecta tickets, but opening at odds of 5 to 2 and 2 to 1, respectively, it’s tough to make a case to wager on either two win as neither is a standout. Curlin’s Honor rallied from 10th to third in the Cartier Stakes on the main track last month and last year missed by a neck in the Paradise Creek Stakes at this distance on turf in New York, but both were against three year olds only so he’s not yet proven at this level, or even on turf (where his record is 0-1-0 in three races). Emmaus lost by a neck in his U.S. debut in late April in a stakes at Belmont, which followed six months off, so he’s likely to improve, but to be honest with Moran riding so cold (1 for 62 at the meeting) it’s hard to bet this talented horse to win. Moran has 10 second place finishes at the meeting, and there’s nothing to suggest anything more than his current cold streak is just that, but it must be taken into account when considering a win bet at low odds.



Win Bets: Savage Battle to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

Consider an additional win bet on Eminent Force at 4 to 1 or more, for a smaller amount than on Savage Battle, adding a place bet at 7 to 1 or higher.


When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.



Instead of a win bet on Savage Battle and/or a win/place bet on Eminent Force we can consider these exactas: Savage Battle and Eminent Force over ALL (for $1) and then ALSO, the opposite, which is ALL over Savage Battle and Eminent Force.


Exactas: Box Savage Battle, Eminent Force and Curlin’s Honor.

Box Savage Battle, Eminent Force and Emmaus. (The strategy with these two exactas is twofold, to split the favorites as the exacta between Curlin’s Honor and Emmaus will be the lowest paying of all the possible combinations, and to maximize profit, hoping that Savage Battle and Eminent Force finish first and second, in which case we cash the bet twice).


Trifecta: Box Savage Battle, Eminent Force, Curlin’s Honor and Emmaus.


Race 6 at Santa Anita - Post Time 6:30 PM Eastern


This is a wide open maiden race which leads into a good betting stakes race so we can take some shots here as well as in doubles to race 7. King Jack appears to be a live first time starter because Smith is riding for Hollendorfer and Smith doesn’t need to ride maidens at this stage of his phenomenal career. Smith and Hollendorfer are 9 for 25 together in the last year and sire Jimmy Creed’s first time starters have won nearly 25% of the time. Best of all the colt put in a very sharp 58.2 five furlong workout, from the gate, on May 10, followed by a pair of six furlong “maintenance” workouts. On Easy Street ran on from fifth and last to second into a runaway seven length winner no horse was going to beat last month. The effort earned a 92 Equibase figure better than it usually takes to win at this level so he must be respected. Music to My Ears finished second in a big effort last month BUT that was at five furlongs on turf and so there’s no guarantee he can run as well on dirt, particularly as the effort only earned a 76 figure. Baffert’s Morning Snow is likely to go favorited because Baffert continues to win at an astronomical level with first time starters. Over the last two years, Baffert has saddled 97 first time starters in straight maiden races, and 48 (effectively 50%) of those have won. The rail can be intimidating so I don’t think he’s a standout and the works, although okay, aren’t that fast, but we can’t ignore that percentage Baffert has put forth. Last but not least, Moana Luna is a first time starter from the barn of veteran Headley, who also bred the gelding and owns him. Although he’s a Cal-Bred in open company, he fits as he’s a FULL BROTHER to $477K winner Cyclometer, who won stakes in open company. One of the dam’s first time starters won and another finished second. Canadian Luck doesn’t have flashy works but they’re consistent and although his sire (Distorted Humor) is known for producing two-turn runners, believe it or not he has sired 18% first out winners in sprints over the last five years.



Win Bets: King Jack and Moana Luna to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher. Add a place bet on Moana Luna at odds of 5 to 1 or more.  


When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.


Doubles: Morning Snow, Moana Luna, Music to My Ears, King Jack, Canadian Luck and On Easy Street in Race 6 with Seranitsa and Hostess in Race 7.


Honeymoon Stakes – Race 7 at Santa Anita - Post Time 7 PM Eastern


Seranitsa makes her first start in California after being privately purchased. She has only run three times on turf and all were good efforts, first beaten a neck in January, then winning on March 2 before a third of six finish in a stakes on turf at the end of March. She’s now in the Drysdale barn and the veteran trainer has been sneakily good the past few months, shipping horses all over for wins in stakes. The fact Prat takes the call is a BIG sign in my opinion, because Drysdale and Prat are 10 for 50 in stakes the past five years and Drysdale is very good at getting horses to run well off these kinds of 60-90 day layoffs. The race Seranitsa finished third in on March 30 has become a very productive race, as the winner won a stakes two races later, the runner-up won a stakes two races later and the fourth and fifth finishers finished second in stakes out of that race. The 98 Equibase figure Seranitsa earned is AS GOOD or better than every other horse’s last race figure and she’s moving up a lot off a 6% winning trainer as well.


Hostess won the Providencia Stakes at this nine furlong trip in her U.S. debut in April and following six months off, no easy task. Then, when shortening up to a mile, her late kick may have been dulled as she only managed fourth. It may also have been the jockey change as Van Dyke rode her to victory and Blanc rode her last month. Van Dyke gets back on and the filly gets the same outside post she got when winning so that effort appears very repeatable. The Providencia earned her a 106 figure which is the highest figure earned by any horse in the race, period, so she deserves a ton of respect as a win contender.


Maxim Rate finished a nose behind Hostess in the Providencia then won the shorter Senorita in which Hostess finished fourth so she has a shot as she is proven at the distance. Lady Prancealot was a pair of noses shy of winning in the Providencia and a half-length behind Maxim Rate in the Senorita so can’t be ignored either. Over Emphasize is the new face and ran well when second at this nine furlong turf trip last out against allowance company, with a competitive 97 figure.



Win bets: Seranitsa and Hostess to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more.



Seranitsa over Lady Prancealot, Over Emphasize, Maxim Rate and Hostess, THEN ALSO the opposite, which is Lady Prancealot, Over Emphasize, Maxim Rate and Hostess over Seranitsa.


Seranitsa and Hostess over Seranitsa, Lady Prancealot, Over Emphasize, Maxim Rate and Hostess.

Seranitsa, Lady Prancealot, Over Emphasize, Maxim Rate and Hostess over Seranitsa and Hostess.


Penn Mile Stakes – Race 11 at Penn National - Post Time 7:50 PM Eastern


The Black Album will be my choice to post the upset in this year's Penn Mile Stakes, if he can break with the field as he failed to do in the American Turf Stakes last month, and if he can run down likely lone front runner A Thread of Blue. The Black Album won the Prix la Rochette Stakes at Longchamp in France last September and did so gamely by a nose to earn a 104 Equibase Figure which would be very competitive with horses likely to go to the post at much lower odds in this race if repeated. Highly regarded when imported to the U.S. last fall, The Black Album was entered in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf then took the winter off. When he returned to the races, the colt ran very well when third and beaten just a length in the Transylvania Stakes in April in spite of likely being in need of a race off the long layoff. Following that, The Black Album ran in the 13 horse American Turf Stakes on Kentucky Derby day. In that race, he hopped at the start and was away 12th in the field. After lagging nearly last for the first six furlongs, The Black Album rallied boldly on the turn and was within two lengths of the lead with less than an eighth of a mile to go. At that point, the energy he had expended during the rally caused him to make no further progress although he fought to the wire, finishing seventh but beaten the same two and one-half lengths by the winner he was behind the leader at the eighth pole. In the Penn Mile, if The Black Album can break better to race mid-pack in the early stages, and if he can put in the late kick he showed last year in France, he has a good chance to post the upset.


A Thread of Blue earned his first three wins leading from start to finish, including when taking the 11 horse Dania Beach Stakes field to task in February with a then career-best 99 figure. Then, for the first time in his career, A Thread of Blue showed a new dimension when stalking in third position for the first half-mile in the Palm Beach Stakes in March, taking over on the turn and winning by three-quarters of a length. The 102 figure earned in the Palm Beach was a new career-best effort, which he nearly duplicated in the tougher American Turf Stakes last month. In that race, A Thread of Blue established the pace easily in a field of 13 and was very game to the wire even when passed, beaten three-quarters of a length at the end and finishing a head in front of the third place finisher to earn a 101 figure. Jockey Luis Saez has been aboard for the colt's last four races including three wins and from an inside post, horse and rider are likely to take advantage of that position to go for the lead from the start. As such, A Thread of Blue has every right to return to stakes winning form in the Penn Mile.


Forty Under won his first two races around two-turns on turf last year, the second and third starts of his career, including the Pilgrim Stakes in September. After a sixth place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, Forty Under took the winter off. Returning off more than five months off rest, his second place effort in the Woodhaven Stakes in April was a good effort and one he can improve upon, perhaps back to graded stakes winning form.



The Black Album to win at odds of 4 to 1 or higher, adding a place bet at odds of 7 to 1 or more.


Exactas: Box The Black Album, A Thread of Blue and Forty Under.

Friday, 31 May 2019 12:27

A Winning Angle

Last week I saw an interesting conversation on social media between a few good handicappers. What I found interesting was that they seemed to do an awful lot of work and research to come up with an angle I have been following since the early 90’s and have made some really nice hits. At the end of the day, you get paid the same no matter how you arrived at the winner, but it seemed to me they were complicating something I learned long ago was relatively simple.

It’s no secret horses mature. They are athletes. A two year old might be the equivalent of say an early teenager if we compare equine to human. An early teenage athlete will get stronger and faster as they arch upward towards their prime. A horse is no different.

Regardless of which speed figures you use, Beyers, Brisnet, Ragozins, Timeform, whatever, a newly turned three year old will usually surpass their better two year old figure early on. Many times as a first time three year old. They are getting stronger and faster. It will show on race day.

To the astute bettor this can mean opportunities.

You will find times when a newly turned three year old has what appear to be slower numbers than the bulk of the field. Many may dismiss the horse based on those slower figures. One must remain aware that those numbers were run at two, not three. If you are comparing them to numbers run at three, which often happens right through this time of year and even beyond, it can be very misleading and create value and opportunities for sharp players.

If you know a horse is going to surpass their two year old figure, and you can see that progression will put them at the head of the class, you’re betting on what’s not all that obvious to many players. That gives you an edge.

Of course, trainers, lay-off ability, and other handicapping principals come into play, but the premise is a strong one.

I have keyed several nice price winners using this theory over the years. Often after a race, I was asked what did you like about that horse? Many others seemed faster. You already know the answer.

Finding angles or anything that gives you an edge is an advantage you need to beat the other players. There are several, this is only one. There are more, and we intend to keep bringing them to you.

Hopefully now when you peruse your past performances, you won’t be so fast to dismiss younger horses with numbers that at first glance might look like they don’t measure up. There is a curve. Things may not be as they appear. Betting on things that can or may happen is far more rewarding and lucrative than betting on what has already happened to happen again.


Friday, 24 May 2019 16:25


I have talked about many aspects of your game and the tools needed in your arsenal to be successful betting on the Sport of Kings. Today seems like s good day to discuss one thing you need that often gets overlooked. Focus.

Even if you know what to do and how to approach beating this very hard skill game, if you lose focus, you will almost certainly fail.

So many players today get caught up in social media while they are gambling. People go to the races and behave like it is a social event. That’s fine if this is recreational to you. However, if you are playing to win and think you can spend hours on social media, or like you are at a catered affair, then I wanna bet that in the long run you are losing, donating, depositing or whatever you’d like to call it. Focus.

Today, more than ever, there are so many things going on in the sport that can distract you. Most, you can’t change. Regardless there is a time to chat, and a time to have your game face on. I can be very active on social media. Once it gets close to post time, and through the last race, I’m pretty scarce.

When I used to go to the track every day, many people thought I was unfriendly and unapproachable. I would sit at my table with my Dad and Brother, or a few select friends. If they were not with me, I’d sit alone. I preferred it that way and had my best days that way. I still do. I didn’t want to be asked who I liked, who I was alive with, what I was betting or anything. It took away from my focus.

I guess maybe 5 to 10% of players beat the game without rebates. That is very low for a skill game, but it should get anyone who wants to very motivated and make them see there is a way.

Sound handicapping, good ticket structure, smart money management, patience, discipline, and focus. These are all things you can learn, improve, or control. If you are not putting in the effort, and are treating the game nonchalantly, the game will devour you.

Despite all the distractions we have the Belmont Stakes and the supporting card coming up. The Metropolitan Mile is looking like the race of the year to date. The Haskell just may pit Maximum Security against War of Will. They might meet again in the Travers with Code of Honor and Tacitus joining the party. Monomoy Girl should be coming back soon as should Omaha Beach. There are going to be a lot of good races and cards, and that means opportunities. Focus. Don’t let the distractions derail you.

The large majority of people will not have the fortitude or discipline to stay at this game the way it needs to be played to beat it. That helps motivate me, and it should you if you want to be in that 5-10%. Remember you are playing people not playing for keeps. Play for keeps and let that be your edge. Focus.