It is interesting to look back at some of our opinions on races and horses from a few weeks or months back and see how they aged. You get a real good window into your focus and grasp of this challenging game we play. This is a good time of year to do it as we are approaching the fourth quarter so to speak and if we don’t have a clear picture now something is wrong. A few weeks ago, I wrote right here Shancelot was a bet against in his next start after the monster win first time at the Spa. He lost at a short price. A week or two before that I wrote right here Code of Honor was most likely to be the one to assert himself into the top three-year-old of 2019 picture. I think he accomplished that with his Travers win. We pretty much…
They may have put an aftermarket spoiler on a vintage red Ferrari, but when you crank it up, you can still feel and hear the engines rumble. There are some racetracks that just have a magically electric atmosphere to them as soon as you enter the gates. Saratoga has that as soon as you approach the town from the South and pass the Mohawk River Bridge. It amplifies as you approach the grounds and see the familiar grand mansions, barns, and racetrack itself. I have yet to visit a racetrack that has the feel of Saratoga, and I have been to most all over the world. Whether it is the history, the epic performances, the legendary upsets, the champions of our game, both human and equine who have competed there, or the big scores doesn’t really matter. Maybe it’s a combination of all of that, or even something else. When NYRA announced the…
There has been a lot of talk recently about the cost of past performances and all the handicapping information available to bettors. Most of the information is based on past performances, which are usually provided by Equibase. Equibase is owned by the Jockey Club. There is a hint of a conflict here, in my opinion. One of the functions of the Jockey Club should be to promote the sport of horse racing. It would be a tough sell to try and say promoting the sport should not include at the least basic past performances being made available to bettors free of charge.  In sports betting basic statistics are readily available and free. In poker, there are all kinds of free information available on any type of hand you may draw. The basic information needed to make a somewhat informed decision differs from more tailored and pinpoint type of information. For example,…
When it comes to horse racing I have known for quite sometime, the answer is a skill game. I was surprised to learn through a recent conversation on social media that many play the races who do not really feel as I do. More bettors then I'd imagine actually expect to lose annually and continue to play. I really can't get my arms around that. Even if you are playing for fun per se, is the fun not the expectation of winning or at least the possibility of your study and handicapping turning you a profit? There are two groups in my educated opinion who beat the races. The first would be the player who grinds out a small profit from meet to meet or annually. The second would be the player who actually makes a living playing the races. The latter means their sole or primary income is derived from…
We've all heard the phrase "The Morning After" but today we will talk about the race after. In keeping with one of our recent themes, we will again look at an angle which can translate to some nice scores. That's what it is all about. Last weekend we saw two of the most impressive sprint performances in years. Imperial Hint smoked a field that included Met Mile winner Mitole. It wasn't just that he smoked the field; it was also how he did it and how fast he did it. Anytime a horse breaks a track or stakes record it is indeed impressive. When they break one at Saratoga, you just can't help but think about how many great ones raced there at that distance, whatever that distance may be. In Imperial Hint's case, it was 6 furlongs, and he needed just 1.07:92 to run it. That's what they call racehorse…
There is more information available today for the horseplayer than ever before. We have multiple past performance choices, speed and pace figure choices, selections services, pace projectors, analysis, and just about everything else you can think of and might need to speculate on the outcome of a horse race. We can even see who ran more feet and inches than another. True, most if not all of these tools are subjective and open to interpretation which is where skill and experience come in, but if so many people are looking at the same data it stands to reason many will fall on the same horse. It is a lot more difficult to find an edge or a hidden gem in this environment. I have always said race watching, including replays, is a learned art — a vital one in today’s game. One of the reasons I love wagering on European races…
We are a little more than halfway through the racing year. The three year old male division is still pretty much up in the air. It is ripe for someone to step up and take all the honors. We had a different winner in all the Triple Crown races, including a rare disqualification in the Kentucky Derby. We lost the winner who was put up, Country House. The horse who was disqualified, Maximum Security lost a prep race for the Haskell. Omaha Beach, the early Derby favorite scratched and is just now returning to training. Nobody has really stepped up and asserted any dominance of yet. That can change fast however. Maximum Security runs in the Haskell on Saturday. I won’t be betting the Haskell, but I will be watching closely to see how things may look going forward. I expect a rebound good race from Maximum Security and without…
When I refer to “sheets” I am referring to the Ragozins or Thoro-Graph. While both are speed figures there is something that separates them from the rest. They are not “raw” speed figure numbers. They encompass trip, things like ground loss, wide, inside, and more. Buyers, and most of the others are raw numbers that purport to tell us how fast a horse ran. I can look at the charts and see that. There was a time, not all that long ago when you’d see a horse on the sheets that was flat out faster than the rest. Many times this horse would not be the favorite, and often would not have the best or fastest raw figures or Beyers. Many won at nice prices. You can peruse past performances for hours today and you could be hard pressed to find such a horse. If you do find a sheet…
It is going to be an interesting summer in our game. I remember a time not too long ago when the Saratoga meet was anticipated with as much excitement as any sport could bring to its fans. While I am sure it is still that way for many, for others it just is not the same. I’ll be the first to admit that if you were not around and in the game back when Saratoga was the August place to be as opposed to the summer place to be then you have no real frame of reference, and it is still an anticipated and exciting meet. If you were however, then you likely recognize that an aftermarket spoiler has been put on a red vintage Ferrari. You just don’t do that. It’s a rare case of when an addition intended as an enhancement devalues something. I attended every Saratoga meet in its…
  Last week we got to see the first time in the short career of Maximum Security that he did not cross the wire first. To many, it was an unexpected shocker, but should it have been? We'll look at that in the recent content of angles we've been discussing to help identify scores and bet against races alike. We have recently talked about bank roll management, two year olds progressing past their earlier figures, and today, we will talk about a widely used but often confused term, "the bounce." While the stumble at the start didn't help Maximum Security, he was ripe to regress. Knowing when a horse is ready to regress or bounce is a strong advantage or edge, especially if the horse is a favorite. Maximum Security ran a very hard race while still inexperienced and lightly raced in the Kentucky Derby. He ran harder and further…