Good luck to everyone playing today!
Sunday, 27 July 2014
Good luck to everyone playing today!
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Saratoga P5 Handle: $1,875,477
Avg Pool: $312,579.50
Saratoga P6 Handle: $778,986
Avg Pool: $129,831
Del Mar P5 Handle: $3,130,175
Avg Pool: $521,695.83
Del Mar P6 Handle: $2,096,407
Avg Pool: $349,401
This is the first year Saratoga has had the low takeout Pick 5, and it is proving to be quite successful. The Pick 6 has been unlucky thus far, as it has only had two small carryovers. The Pick 6 pool doesn't grow as fast in New York as it does in California. Now the average pool size and revenue will increase when the Pick 6 gets a few larger carryovers, but the Pick 5 is doing very well at this point.
At Del Mar, the Pick 6 is generating more revenue than the Pick 5 at this point. They have had three carryovers so far, and like I said above, the Pick 6 gets bigger pools on the West Coast. One thing I've noticed is that Del Mar has an ad in the Daily Racing Form for the Pick 4 and Pick 6, without a mention of the Pick 5. Despite it's lack of advertisement, it is outdoing the Pick 6 in the handle department, and if the Pick 6 has a Saratoga-esque run of no carryovers, there's a good chance takeout in the Pick 5 will be on par with the Pick 6.
We'll see how handle and takeout on these wagers go throughout the meet. It is an interesting this to look at.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
You and nine friends place a friendly wager on something happening. Whatever the situation, you all put $500 on yourselves winning. You have a pool of $5,000. Since this is a friendly wager, there is no takeout, and whoever wins will take the entire $5,000.
Now let's take this same situation, but apply it to horse racing, where there is takeout. You all go to the track, and you each bet $500 on a different horse in this ten horse field. You also happen to be the only people wagering. The pool, again, is $5,000, but this time the track is taking their cut. Let's say the cut is 20%. $1,000 is taken from the pool, leaving $4,000 to go to the winner. This leaves each of the ten horses at a 7-1 price. If the takeout was nothing, like in the friendly wager, each horse goes off at 9-1. If the rake is 10%, each horse goes off at 8-1.
Let's apply this situation to a few different racetracks.
Northlands Park offers the lowest win takeout in North America, at 14.5%. In the 10 horse, $5,000 pool situation, $4,275 is left for the winner. Each horse goes off at 7.55-1. A $2 win bet would return $17.10.
In California, win takeout is 15.43%. This will make for some fun math. After takeout, $4,228.50 is left for the winner. Each horse goes off at 7.457-1. A $2 win bet returns $16.914, but that would be rounded down to $16.90.
In New York, and at Keeneland and Kentucky Downs, win takeout is 16%. After takeout, $4,200 is left for the winner. Each horse goes off at 7.4-1. $2 win bet returns $16.80.
At Churchill, win takeout was raised to 17.5% for the spring meet. After takeout, $4,125 is left for the winner. Each horse goes off at 7.25-1. $2 win bet returns $16.50.
Finally, we'll look at Turf Paradise. They're a popular weekday track, and they feature North America's highest win takeout, 20.75%. After takeout, $3,962.50 is left for the winner. Each horse goes off at 6.925-1. A $2 win bet returns $15.85. I'm not sure if that would be rounded up or down.
Just to throw in an Ontario Harness comparison, Western Fair is our most popular B-track. Their win takeout is 21.4%. Grand River, on the other hand, takes 16.95%. At Western Fair, a $2 win bet in this situation returns $15.70. At Grand River, the $2 win bet pays $16.60.
Now of course, these differences seem like nothing, but you need to remember that an extra $1 does make a difference to a $2 bettor. If you're a $20 bettor, your $20 win bet in this situation pays $6 more at Northlands than at Churchill. That extra $6 allows that bettor to invest a bit more into an exotic wager later in the day. At the very least, he can buy lunch.
Lower takeout leads to higher payoffs. There's no way around it. If you're a bettor, your job is to find value. A big part of finding value is the part that everyone understands, finding horses offering odds higher than they should be offering, overlays. However, betting into pools that will return more money to the player is another important part in finding value.
Don't bet into a high rake pool when you can get better value elsewhere.
Sunday, 20 July 2014
The heavy favourite in this race, and a deserving favourite at that, is #10 Kiss My Hocks. You could tell this horse was special right from the beginning, breaking the 330 yard track record at Sam Houston in his first start. He has since gone undefeated in five tries, including wins in the Grade II Sam Houston Futurity and the Grade I Ruidoso Futurity. His win in the Ruidoso made him this year's triple crown contender, and he looks quite tough here in the second leg. He won his trial for this race by an incredibly easy 3 1/2 lengths, earning a 104 speed figure with a final time of 19.481. He's got the outside post today, which gives him a good shot to get away cleanly and win. He looks super tough, and I can't see him getting beat.If he ended up going off at his 7-5 ML, I would think he would be worth a win play, but he's more likely going to be 2-5. However, I do think there's some longshot value in the exotics. There are three horses other than Kiss My Hocks with a ML under 10-1, and of them there one I respect and one I think are worth trying to toss. 3-1 second choice #9 JM Miracle has been very nice in his three career starts, which consist of two trial victories and a runner up finish behind Kiss My Hocks in the Ruidoso Futurity. He's one of two in this field who managed to qualify while running into a headwind. He crushed his trial by 2 3/4 lengths. He's very respectable. Is there any value using him for second in exotics? No, absolutely not, but he's definitely not a toss. The other three horses who figure to take win play, #4 Wild Sixes Cartel, #5 Bodacious Eagle, and #6 Boi George are definitely worth trying to get out of the exotics. Definitely exactor tosses for me.Wild Sixes Cartel held on by only a nose to win her trial, and the horse who almost caught her was not fast enough to qualify. That tells you something right there. Bodacious Eagle finished third in the Ruidoso Futurity, but he was yielding. He drew off in his trial win, but he had a great post, and again, no one he beat managed to qualify, and isn't running in the Rainbow Juvenile. Then there's Boi George, who's claim to fame is winning the West Texas Futurity at Sunland. That was all well and good, but he had the outside post on an extremely outside favouring racetrack that day. He is 0-for-2 since coming to Ruidoso, and doesn't look like a good play at 6-1 whatsoever. So who are the horses who do look to offer value? In 400 yard races at Ruidoso, the inside three posts have won 59% of the races this meet. Out of curiosity's sake, let's look at the three inside runners. #1 Redemption Star broke from the rail in his trial win to hold off Boi George. His only other start was a Maiden at Remington where he was bumped at the start and finished seventh. That's a respectable record, and he's 20-1. To his outside is his stablemate #2 Logans Zoomin, who was the second fastest qualifier. He outran two fellow qualifiers in his trial, #3 Trendi and #8 Tempting Valor. That means he beat a nice field, and he earned a 100 speed figure doing it. He's also 20-1. Then there's Trendi, who bobbled at the break in that trial and rallied for second. Before the Rainbow Futurity trials, Trendi won a Ruidoso Futurity trial where he was knocked sideways at the break. He's 15-1 today. These are three horses, all at big odds, all breaking from statistically strong posts, and all with logical shots. If you don't think Kiss My Hocks gets beat, these are the horses to play for second in the exactor. If you want to try and beat Kiss My Hocks, these are the logical horses to try and do it with.
Also running today is Ajax Downs. Today we've got a great 10 race card featuring three AQHA Challenge races, the AQHA Maiden Challenge, the John Deere Juvenile Challenge and the Adequan Derby Challenge. The winners of Juvenile Challenge and the Derby Challenge will receive berths to run in the Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows in October. Here are my program selections for today's races.
#8 Jess Watch Me has finished third in his last two starts, both at the top level. He faces much easier company today and should be quite tough. #1 Cheever started 2014 off finishing fourth behind Mitford. He then dropped to the same condition he faces today, where he got beat a neck after stumbling at the break. There's no reason he can't run well with a clean break. #6 Chiseled in Kisses likes to run game races without being good enough to win. At 10-1 he can round out the triactor.
#2 Kissmyfortunatedash kicked the season off breaking her maiden, then ran in a trial for Picov Derby. He finished 4th in her trial and was fast enough to qualify but was not competitive in the final. This is significantly easier company. #4 Down Town Sugar exits a pair of runner up finishes in this condition. His last race speed figure of 69 makes him look very tough. #7 Waitin for Mama finished second against an open NW2 group last time. This is easier, but he is not particularly consistent.
#4 Cr Blowinbyeyawl showed speed in his June 25th gate workout, 250 yards in 13.78, the 3rd fastest work of the day. I have to respect him. #3 A Mere Outlaw is an Oklahoma bred. His most recent gate workout went in 14.03, not as quick as the top choice but still not bad. #7 Jess Shake Em is the only one in here with race experience, finishing fourth on July 6th. She can improve second time out.
#5 Illbegoneflying has posted two fast gate works getting ready for her debut. She seems worth a shot at 8-1. #6 Down N Tough and #3 Jess as Sweet as You finished very close together in their June 22nd debut. They have race experience and can round things out. I would recommend going deep if you are playing the Pick 4.
The first of three AQHA Challenge races today, this is the $26,970 AQHA Maiden Challenge. #2 Mr Victory Six looks very tough. He showed class in Texas as a two year old and finished second running against a bias in the Picov Derby. #6 Bb Milliondollarbaby was the other trial winner to this exent, going 0.04 faster than Mr Victory Six. She has back class, but I still believe Mr Victory Six has more talent. #3 Lexia finished second to Mr Victory Six in their trial. She has hit the board in half of her starts and qualified to the John Deere Juvenile Challenge last year. I think she is the best of the rest.
This is an open allowance for older horses going 400 yards. #7 Feature My News improved in his second local start, finishing second to Piranhaaa. I still think this horse has potential to be one of the best in Ontario, hopefully today he can put it all together. #3 The Fdd Map won two back, but finished evenly last time. He's a local favourite and can never be totally discounted. #6 McM Tres Episode won a trial to the Picov Maturity and ended up finishing fifth in the final. That was his first time finishing off the board at Ajax. Today he gets in easier and should be a factor.
The second of three AQHA Challenge races today, the is the $24,840 John Deere Juvenile Challenge. #8 Speed of Life was so impressive winning her trial that it's tough to imagine her getting beat. Go watch the replay and see what I mean. #6 Fortune Pending and #2 Waving Sandy Home finished second and third behind the top choice. I don't like the horses coming out of the other trial, so I'm looking for a repeat of the Speed of Life trial.
The third and final of our AQHA Challenge races, the $29,340 Adequan Derby Challenge. #10 Streakinshagginwagon has yet to be defeated this year in three starts, including a win in the Picov Derby. He breaks from the outside post today and will be tough to beat. #9 Zip Kode was dominant as a two year but has not had as much luck this year. She finished second to Streakinshagginwagon in their trial. She's still quite talented and should grab a cheque today. #2 Ivory Injun was the other trial winner. He was a stakes winner at two, has hit the board in six of eight starts, and looks good today.
#3 Dick Greyson raced twice as a two year old, catching tough fields in both tries. This year, he has raced once and ran a good third. With some second time off the bench improvement, he has an upset chance. #2 Everything Fast has hit the board in four of his last five tries. The ability to at least be close is something most in this field do not have. #9 Wild About Nellie is the morning line favourite, but she only hits my top three because she looks better than the rest. She finished fourth last time, catches a soft bunch today and has a decent draw. She could win, but I wouldn't bet her at too short a price.
Sunday, 13 July 2014
Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Sunday, 6 July 2014
Race 1: 1-3-2
Two year old maidens kick off today's card of racing. #1 First Prize Oscar is part of an entry for owner/trainer Renee Wilson. This Oklahoma bred gelding worked 220 yards from the gate in a nice 12.29 on July 2nd, and the barn's main rider Daniel Wayne Rose has the call. The entry give you two for the price of one, which may be beneficial with these two year olds. #3 Rolling Ring was favoured to win his debut against Ontario Sired company, but lost all chance when the rider lost his irons. I think we can certainly expect improvement from the Davy Ward trainee. #2 The Doo Is Flying has not been flashy in her workouts, but she hasn't been bad either. Most recently, she went 250 yards from the gate in 14.06. She could round it out, or even win it. We can't really know with inexperienced two year olds.
Race 2: 5-2-3
This race looks like it could go to almost anyone. #5 Jess Blue First returns to Ontario after a stint in Oklahoma, where he actually ran some decent races. Both of his wins come here at Ajax, and the difference in class cant hurt. #2 I Am Sweet Love made her 2014 debut running against a decent bunch of Ontario Sired NW2 allowance horse. Class wise it was a good race, and he could improve second time off the layoff. However, it will be tough for her as a one time winner facing two time winners. #3 Jessies Leaving You also drops in class from $10,000 optional claiming. This horse probably would have had a great 2013 if she didn't catch so many tough fields, racing against horses like Mitford, Piranhaaa and Betty Gun. She runs her race when she has a shot, which I think she does.
Race 3: 6-2-9
#6 Sammies Rocket ran a very good second in this debut. If that ability proves to be true, and he improves now that he has a start, he's the one to beat. #2 Arizona Bennie debuts here for trainer Greg Watson with Chelsey Willick riding. He shows a nice work, 250 yards in 13.61 from the gate. At 10-1 he could even be worth a chance as an upset winner. #9 Redwing Mill debuted on June 22nd and finished 4th from the same outside gate he draws today. I don't know how good that race was but there is room to improve into a solid, competitive runner.
Race 4: 3-2-7
#3 A Shore Thing should not be 10-1 at post time, but he's a great play if he is. He makes his first start of the Ajax season after a winter at Hialeah, where won a $7,500 claimed in impressive fashion. He's been given two workouts to prep for this race, and both have been very good. On top of that, he's run solid races against the best horses in the province. He's a very nice horse. #2 Ourfirstorphan has run second in both of his starts this year, but he's been beaten by very nice horses in Eyesa Zoomn and The Fdd Map. Besides A Shore Thing he gets an easier spot here and is a win threat. #7 Cat Vision surprised me with how well he ran last time, finishing second to a decent horse in Storeytime Blue. This is a tougher bunch, and he's probably not as fast, but from the outside post he should be good enough to pick up a cheque.
Race 5: 4-3-5
This is the first of two trials for the Adequan Ajax Downs Derby Challenge. #4 Shazoomin Rose comes to us from Oklahoma. She qualified to the Oklahoma Derby, a very tough, top quality race, and finished second in the Valley Junction Futurity at Prairie Meadows last year. Forgive her last start, she probably didn't like the slop. I love her class, 10-1 would be a very playable price on her. #3 Well Worth It raced in Idaho and California as a two year old, where she hit the board in a pair of stakes. She then found her way to Indiana Grand, where she finished second in a first level allowance after an awkward start. She is also quite classy and certainly warrants a look. #5 Ivory Injun won last year's All Canadian Futurity. He qualified to the Picov Derby where he wasn't a factor. He should be good enough to round things out behind the new arrivals.
Race 6: 1-5-4
This is the second of two trials for the Adequan Ajax Downs Derby Challenge. #1 Bold Six Love had a huge late run to be fourth in the Picov Derby last time. He's finished first in both of his starts at 400 yards, including the Sunshine State Derby at Hialeah. Perhaps the extra distance is what he needs to win. #5 Streakinshagginwaggon won the Picov Derby with a late rally. He really seems to have woken up this year and definitely deserves to be the favourite, but he will likely be much lower than 3-1 come post time. #4 Zip Kode broke well from the rail in the Picov Derby, but faded late on a day where the inside was at a disadvantage. It was forgivable, and this filly is a three time stakes winner. We'll see how she does on a fairer racetrack.
Race 7: 6-1-4
#6 Kool N Kinda Special finished third against a tough pair of runners last time, Piranhaaa and McM Tres Episode. This is a much softer spot, and I have to think he's the horse to beat. #1 Andaley Okey tried a Picov Maturity trial last time, and beat only one. It can easily be forgiven that she couldn't beat those horses, Mitford is the champ and the rest were very nice, and note that this mare is the winningest horse in this race with 7 career victories. The class drop is key for her. #4 Hurricane Alexandra finished last in Kool N Kinda Special's last race, but she may have just needed a start as it was her first start of the season. She did end 2013 with a pair of wins in the Speed Index condition, and I don't mind her at all as a longshot for the triactor.
Race 8: 3-2-4
Today's feature is an open allowance for the older horses going 350 yards. #3 Feature My News didn't live up to the high expectations I had for him in his last start, but maybe he just needed a start over the surface. He's got a lot of back class, nice speed figures, and could improve and get the win today. #2 Jesswatchme finished third going 330 last time. He tends to get better as the distances get longer, and he has the right to improve second off the layoff. We'll see how much late kick he has. #4 Piranhaaa raced an even fifth in Jesswatchme's last race, and I don't know why. He is a Stakes winner, and he's about 10 speed figure points faster than his last race. If his real talent shows he should be right there.
Race 9: 2-9-1
#2 Noisyboy ran second in his debut behind I Like Chics, who came back to run a good third in a competitive NW2. The second lifetime start usually gets a good horse to show improvement, and he also gets to drop from open to Ontario Bred maidens. He could be tough. #9 Shake Those Flies debuts here for trainer Joe Tavares. This filly shows a 250 yard gate work in 13.97. With a clean break and a straight run, why not try her at a price? She could have some talent. #1 Another Shark has had a few close runs in his nine races, most recently a second behind a mare named Wild Roze, who was becoming a bit of a notorious loser. He's also been beaten by Everything Fast, another notorious loser who shows up as an also eligible here, three times. I think this gelding is a vulnerable favourite, but he has hit the board in five of his nine starts, so I'm not going to totally toss him.
Good luck to everyone playing today. It is sure to be a fantastic day of racing!
Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Race 1: 4-1-3
#4 Cash in for Sugar probably should have won her last race but stumbled at the start, losing all chance. If she breaks well today she's the one to beat. #1 Im a Lil Magic dropped down to $10,000 maiden claiming last time and was beaten only a head. The added class relief should help her, but I'm not sure an extra 30 yards will. Regardless, not one to toss. #3 Mommyssweetsecret finished fourth in Im a Lil Magic's last race, a respectable run. Again, the added class relief should help. She may also improve in her third start of the season.
Race 2: 4-3-6
This is the first of two trials for the AQHA Maiden Challenge. #4 Shadasha comes to us by way of Remington Park, where most recently she was beaten only 1/2 a length. The class relief should be key for her #3 Bb Milliondollarbaby is not actually a maiden, finding the win at Indiana last time. She has some class, qualifiying to last year's Heritage Place Derby. This race is between these two in my opinion. #6 Ms Kool O Toole was beaten a neck against local company back on May 25th in her career debut. She draws outside and makes sense to round things out.
Race 3: 3-1-4
This is the second of two trials for the AQHA Maiden Challenge. #3 Mr Victory Six is undeniably the horse to beat here. If he hadn't have been on the inside part of the track in the Picov Derby, I think he would have won. That day was quite outside favouring. I think he's probably the best three year old in Ontario. This should be a cakewalk. #1 Runaway Cause has been close in her last few starts. So long as she likes the rail she should be able to pick up a cheque. #4 Cantcatchthissecret had no excuse on her Picov Derby trial. This is easier company, perhaps she will run better second time off the layoff.
Race 4: 5-2-6
#5 I Like Chics debuted in winning fashion on June 8th. If this five year old continues to grow as he gains experience, he will be tough to beat. #2 Shesastreakinkid ran a good third against a fairly tough group last time. She does make her second start off the layoff, her last race was very good, but her record of 15-1-1-1 is a concern. #6 Copper State Queen makes her second start off the layoff. She isn't a winning type, but she does it the board reasonably consistently, so I will give her a shot to round it out.
Race 5: 6-7-1
#6 Chasing Royalty has had two starts this season, both in the open Ontario Sired Allowance ranks and both have been very good. She drops into NW3 company and is the one to beat. #7 Not Too Much exits a third against similar company. She is a Stakes winner and she draws outside, but she will need to improve off of her last effort in order to win. #1 Oh Gary started the season with a win against ON sired NW2 allowance horses, and then faced a field of open Allowance horses. That bunch was way too tough for him and it shows in his last place finish. He is the kind who likes to be close and can definitely hit the board at a bit of a price.
Race 6: 7-1-8
This week's feature is a $21,000, 110 yard 'Gridiron Gallop!' #7 Rising Up the Charts is winless at the distance, but in October he finished a good second to 110 yard specialist Slick Little Beduino. He hasn't gotten a win in a long time, but today could be the day he returns to the winner's circle. #1 One Kool Wave likes 110 yards, winning three of four tries at the distance. He draws the rail, which he won impressively from on May 18th. He's tough, but looking for some more value in a race like this may be smart. #8 Jesse James Alibi has won three of her last five starts, including a run at this distance last time. Her 110 yard win was probably not fast enough to win against these, but there's a chance she improves second time off the layoff.
Race 7: 3-7-4
#3 Imaflysmashingbaby ran alright against open Maidens last time after being beaten only a neck against Ontario Sired runners in his previous starts. The speed figures for his two races this year suggest he is narrowly the fastest horse in this group. #7 Apache Bo is a first time starter for Renee Wilson and Daniel Wayne Rose who shows a 220 yard gate workout in 12.37, very respectable. He certainly doesn't have to beat much here and he's 15-1. #4 Wild About Nellie has not had much luck from the gate this year. She hasn't shown a lot of ability, but this is one of the easier maiden fields so she can round it out; she doesn't deserve favourite status, however.
Have a great Canada Day!