I’m often in the minority with many of my opinions on racing. I view that as a positive. Two of those areas are small fields and entries. I prefer horses owned even in part or trained by the same trainer coupled. I also don’t automatically frown on short fields and Saturday at Santa Anita is a perfect example of why. The Santa Anita Derby and Gold Cup cards are light on horses. Sure, that telegraphs some problems with the racing in California right now, but for the bettor it is not the horrible scenario people on social media are whining and complaining about. I don’t mind it at all. Of course, big competitive fields are better and can lead to big payoffs. Small fields do not eliminate those opportunities. They just make it more challenging in a sense. You can’t spread all over the place like a fisherman hoping to…
Often I am asked how long I will follow or stick with a horse I have wagered on that didn’t win. While I will almost certainly be aware and “watch” them the next few times they run, that doesn’t automatically mean I will wager in them. A few months ago at Gulfstream I thought the Pegasus Turf race came down to two horses. Zulu Alpha and Without Parole. I went with Without Parole. He had such a horrendous trip that day under Frankie Dettori he made his way into my trip notes service Tracking Trips and I was pretty sure he was sitting on a peak or at least a big effort. You can learn more about Tracking Trips and see what it offers here. When Without Parole finally surfaced it was last week in the Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita. Sure I was excited, and sensed a potential score,…
I have often stated my thoughts on hedging. My stance is not a popular one, and it has been ridiculed often on social media. I rarely If ever hedge.If you are playing to beat the game, one thing that is essential, and there are many, is to minimize the loss column and maximize the win column. Hedging may save a bet and a day, but over time it will cut into the win column. I don’t bet against myself or my opinion.There have been times where I have been alive in the last leg of a multi-race wager with a few horses. Obviously, these are the ones I chose. I chose them for a reason. Even if I stand to win good money with any of them and can mathematically assure a win by placing win bets on all the other horses, I generally won’t. If I wanted those horses,…
Two-year-old races are underway again. With more tracks starting to run, and barns getting to wait a tad longer with their babies, we should see some solid baby races with lots of opportunities. A lot of people shy away from baby races as there is not as much information to go on. I see that as an edge. Less can be more.Here are some of the things I look at when studying baby races. When you have a field full of first-time starters, you have to have some things you can identify which you value. I have several.The old sayings follow the money, or they knew, hold up pretty well in baby races. Fast horses generate a buzz on the backside, and that equates to tote action. The money shows on babies that can run a good percentage of the time. You don't have to blindly play every baby favorite…
What do you do when you see a horse like Charlatan in a race like the first division of Saturday’s split Arkansas Derby? If you don’t think he is the highly probable winner, then you don’t have all that much of a problem other than coming up with the horse you think will beat him. If you do like him, are you willing to take considerably less than even money on him when logically there are some questions? He’s stretching out. He’s running in a new state over a new track. He’s moving into a stake. Yet to most, he looks awfully good as a likely winner.So the question remains if you like him, what do you do?Many bettors will simply not take that short a price on any horse. I can understand that and even relate to it. Personally, I don’t have that “rule” to my play. I adapt…
Last week I tried to illustrate why I do not bet to place and how I alternately structure my wagers to cover a horse I think can win, but also who might just hit the board. I liked Ollie’s Candy in the Apple Blossom. She ran great, almost too good to lose, but she was second beaten a long nose on the side. She was bet down to 9-1, still a nice price, and I would have done much better had she won, but no complaints.Ollie’s Candy paid $7.60 for place. The $1 exacta was $35.90, the 50 cent triple was $128.05, the 10 cent superfecta came back $117.65. I think it is easy to see where the value or more lucrative wagers were. Ce Ce who was one of the favorites won, but the exotics were still a lot better than the place bet.At the end of the day,…
Smart BettingWhat is smart betting for one may not be for another. It all depends on why you play the game. If you play for fun, or just for the action, or entertainment with “disposable income,” if such a thing exists, then it really doesn’t matter. If you play to win and to beat the game, then it matters as much as anything. You will have to make smart bets. Not all bets are smart.Personally, I have never understood or been a fan of a place bet. Many people are. I cannot even recall the last place bet I have made, and there may be only two or three of them if that in my wagering career to date. First and foremost, I handicap who I think will win a race, not come second, and I structure my plays around that opinion. Second place is the first loser. That said, there…
Stay Tuned: Racing Will ResumeNobody is sure exactly when, but at some point, racing will resume in earnest. There will be changes, some things will be different, but the Sport of Kings will go on.There is something to be said for that fact alone. So many have said in the past few years racing was on the brink. There is no shortage of threatening issues. Maybe in a strange way, this sort of hiatus from what one could argue was over saturation will help the sport.Maybe track management will see less is more. Fewer tracks running head to head can lead to increased handle. Without spreading itself thin all over the place maybe tracks can focus on promoting each other’s quality and opportunities and find a way to share the revenue. Well, we can dream anyway.When things go back full swing, what can we expect, and what can bettors capitalize…
While the world struggles to cope with Coronavirus, Gulfstream Park is intent on running the Florida Derby card sans fans in the stands. The consensus is they won’t run beyond Saturday. Santa Anita, also owned by the Stronach Group, will likely employ a similar plan and try and run through their Santa Anita Derby card. We’ll see.To their credit, Gulfstream has put together a stellar card of racing on Saturday. The Florida Derby has a full field of twelve with an also eligible. I’ll give you my rundown on the race and horses.As Seen On Tv has a nice inside draw and Paco Lopez has been hot. He’s never run a bad one, and he has a nice style for this race in that he can sit just off the speed and save ground. I don’t trust him 100% and may toss him despite fearing him.Shivaree takes blinkers off and…
The Louisiana Derby may or may not be the only game in town this weekend for horseplayers. As of now, they are planning on running, but racing as with many other things just seems to be hour to hour.The prep races for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks have points but may lose some of their relevance for the two big three-year-old dances. The Derby and Oaks will be run, albeit tentatively, the first weekend in September. Peaking for a prime points race now may get you in, but won’t help on the racetrack.The Travers is scheduled to be run the Saturday before the Derby. If that happens, the centerpiece of Saratoga probably takes a hit. Most with a good three year old will opt for the Run for the Roses.Our industry faces a lot of uncertainty. We have recent indictments that followed a rash of breakdowns that resulted in…