There are a few reasons to take a look at the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday. First, the race is part of the late pick 4 and 5 sequence. Second, the race might give us a little preview of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Third, once the better two-year-olds start sorting themselves out, we can start with the early Kentucky Derby thoughts. I found the race ripe for an upset. I’ll run down the 8 horses;1- Touchdown Brown comes in this off 3 sprints. Even with blinkers off I have to think will add to the pace. 2- Rombauer, turf to dirt and has some bottom to him. I think he gets a pace to run into and is a contender I would not discourage anyone from using, though he is not where I landed. 3- Dyn O Mite is still a maiden and looks a cut below these to…
Key Races & Bets for Saturday September 26, 2020Noble Damsel Stakes - Race 8 at Belmont - Post Time 4:42 PM EasternIn this nine horse field (10 minus one entered for main track only), Sweet Bye and Bye is the one to beat and because the field is well balanced I believe she will go to post near her 7 to 2 starting odds, making her a KEY WIN BET on the day. She was six for 14 before going on the sidelines in January, then returning in August in the Tony Dutrow barn. The debut was a turf sprint and she ran huge to miss by a half-length and a head in that race, the Caress Stakes at Saratoga. Stretching out to this mile trip 25 days later, Sweet Bye and Bye gamely fought head and head the entire length of the stretch and came out on top by…
Key Races & Bets for Saturday September 19 AND Sunday September 20, 2020Saturday's RacesRace 8 at Woodbine - Post Time 5 PM EasternThis is not a stakes but it leads to the Ricoh Woodbine Mile, which is my Race of the Day play for Woodbine available HERE. So I think we can make some money on doubles and pick 3 tickets starting in this race. Mrs. Del won like a good thing last time out on 8/29. It doesn’t matter it took eight tries to win because this is a non-winners of two and all of these are one-for-something. The 93 Equibase figure tops the field and if she can repeat it, or come close to it, she wins again. Takota ran big in all four starts last year, never off the board, then finished nearly last in her July comeback. Given two months off she’s working well and if…
It's always been surprising to me how many horsemen think that the rider of a racehorse doesn't make that much of a difference. You'll hear things like you have to have the horse, which we all know is obviously true. I have always disagreed and thought the jock makes a world of difference. I feel so strongly about that I will, at times, decrease or increase a wager depending on who is getting a leg up.When some of the great trainers make statements alluding to the rider not mattering all that much and that anyone can win with the right horse, it can make you rethink your position. I have rethought mine several times over the years but always come back to the rider matters; they matter a lot.Good horses can make any rider look good. It's easy to make the right split-second decisions on a fast horse. It's also…
Key Races & Bets for Saturday September 12, 2020Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf - Race 7 at Kentucky Downs - Post Time 4:27 PM EasternEnglish Affair posted the 14/1 upset in the Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf Stakes last month at Ellis Park and I think she will prove that big win was no fluke. Bejarano rode her for the first time and brilliantly and she’s come back to work big since then. She won the Grade 3 Cardinal Stakes as a four year old in 2018 and is ow back in that kind of form and the 114 Equibase Figure she earned last month is BETTER than any other horse in the field, including those who are also stakes winners. Regal Glory has to be used on exacta, double and pick 3 tickets but is tough to consider for a win bet as she opens at 9/5. She won five…
I have both written and said this before:A bettor looks at the past performances and watches the races and assumes a horse will do what they did last time; a handicapper looks for the reasons they won’t. You’d be surprised at how many people play this game and adopt that philosophy since we are playing a pari-mutual game that is probably a good thing for some of us. Tiz the Law, Swiss Skydiver, Gamine, Serengeti Empress, what do they all have in common? They were expected to win, and they all got beat. True Swiss Skydiver and Gamine raced each other and barring a dead heat, one had to lose, but they both lost. Horses are not machines, and although we rely on their past performances to predict the outcome of races, those results are more foretold by patterns, trends, pace, form cycles, intangibles, and more than by simply assuming a horse will…
Key Races & Bets for Saturday September 5, 2020Note: My Derby analysis is after three excellent betting races at Saratoga. Additionally, You can get my full card detailed analysis and betting recommendations for all the races at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, Saturday September 5, at Equibase.com, TrackMaster.com and most online wagering sites, for a small fee.Jim Dandy Stakes - Race 9 at Saratoga - Post Time 4:21 PM EasternHappy Saver is not only two-for-two but the second of those wins came at the same nine furlong trip at Saratoga as the Jim Dandy. With the Derby and other three-year-old stakes available to horses around the country this weekend, an opportunity exists for a horse like this to jump up from allowance to stakes successfully. Not only did he win by four lengths in that race, his move in the upper stretch was six wide and the runner-up came back…
Key Races & Bets for Saturday August 29, 2020Amsterdam Stakes - Race 7 at Saratoga - Post Time 4:32 PM EasternThis race quickly boils down to two strong contenders to win and one of them is not the second lowest odds on the morning line. Yaupon opens as the 8/5 favorite and is legitimate but Premier Star has a pretty decent probability to win as well. Long Weekend, who opens at 9/5, is a bit suspect on a lot of levels, foremost as even though he finished second via a disqualification in the Gold Fever Stakes at Belmont last month, after initially finishing third, he was never going to win and considering he was the 1 to 5 favorite that’s not good. The second issue I have with Long Weekend is he has ONLY won leading from start to finish, and there are others in the race which are unlikely…
Pari mutual wagering is all about having an edge on the other players in the pool. If you do not understand that, your approach to the game is likely flawed. We play against each other, not the racetrack. They just take a cut for putting on the show. The 146th Kentucky Derby is less than two weeks away. In keeping with the above belief, I am looking for any edge or edges I can find. For the first time, I can certainly recall that Derby is not on the first Saturday in May and will actually be run in September. It will also be the first time I recall the favorite, a heavy favorite at that, has run a mile and a quarter before the big dance. That probably gives favored Tiz the Law an edge on his rivals, at least most of them, but will also lower his price on…
As if our industry didn’t have enough issues, we now learn the race timing issue is far worse than we even suspected. If the times of the races are off, even slightly, that throws off several other factors as well. Speed figures, pace projections, sheet numbers, etc. It is just something else we don’t need, but it also reflects a problem we have faced a long time—weak technology.There is no reason, with the exception of money, our industry does not lead the sports world in technology. There is so much we can do with timing, replays, tote, and past performances we just ignore because nobody in a position to will invest in improving the sport from that standpoint. One of the worst ramifications of this is the late scratch rule in horizontal or multi-race wagers. As we all know, a late scratch in a horizontal wager gets replaced with the post time…