Saturday, July 8, 2017

Key Horse

What is a key horse?
A key horse is the one horse in the field that with a little luck should win the race, not so lucky and we have a good second place horse.

Most players are interested in exotic plays these days. At the same time, not all of us has the bankroll to play multiple horses in each part of an exotic play. This is when a sound handicapping method of picking the most probable winner to key will make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful player. Can we confidently choose a key horse in every race? Possibly, but not likely with weaker and weaker fields carded these days.

Are all races playable? Absolutely not. Depending on the day of the week or the track, third to half of the races may not be playable. A winning horse player should accept this before moving on to developing a strategy to win.

How do we know what play is the best in each race? Our rule of thumb is that weak races with too many unknowns are only profitable in horizontal plays. A maiden race which third or more of the field are first timers or a field of non-winners of two lifetime who have not shown any sign of winning desire in their last race are long term money burners if played in vertical plays. If you are a vertical player, we suggest that you maximize your profit in more predictable races so you have a bigger budget for these unpredictable races.

Is there a magic formula to picking a key horse? Yes, but it's held by the guy at the track we all know who tells everyone who to bet all their money on. For the rest of us, we just have to figure it out the hard way.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Picking Winners

In this system, three horses, and only three horses, are to be considered in each race. They are the top three picks on the tote board. The rest you ignore.

For each of the angles in a contender's record that you find below, give it a check mark:

1. The horse has finished first, second or third at today's approximate distance and on today's footing in its past three races. By approximate distance, we mean within a furlong. Further, only give credit if the race in question was on dirt, and today's race also is on dirt; if the race in question was on grass, and today's race also in on grass, or if the race in question was on synthetics, and today's race also is on synthetics. The stricter you are about this and other rudiments, the safer you (and your bet) will be.

2. The horse finished first, second or third in today's class or better in its last three starts. The general class of races, in descending order: Grade 1 stakes; Grade 2 stakes; Grade 3 stakes; ungraded stakes with purses of $100,000 or more; ungraded stakes with purses below $100,000; nonwinners-of-3 allowances; nonwinners-of-2 allowances; nonwinners-of-1 (or entry-level) allowances; allowances/optional claimers with similar NW-3, NW-2 or NW-1 conditions, and maiden-special-weights.

3. The horse is dropping in class off its last race, which must have been in the past 45 days.

4. The horse must have won 20 percent or better of at least five starts this year, or this year and last.

5. The horse posted a big win (by three lengths or more) in its last out in the past 45 days.

6. The horse had an excuse last out in the past 45 days, such as being bumped, impeded, steadied and the like; this factor becomes particularly intriguing if the horse was favored or ran a close second or third and might have prevailed without interference; the angle also is noteworthy in turf races, customarily staged under conditions (full fields on tight-turned courses) that can produce roller-derby-like donnybrooks.

7. The horse lost in its return to competition after a layoff exceeding 45 days or the horse lost in its first career start; both kinds are likely to improve, most especially if they showed any kind of zip in the races in question.

8. The horse posted a bullet five- or six-furlong workout in the past 14 days.

9. The horse's trainer has won at least 20 percent of his starts this year.

10. The horse's jockey has won at least 20 percent of his starts this year.

11. The horse is adding blinkers (which are designed to sharpen a horse's focus) or is receiving lasix (a diuretic used to control breathing problems) for the first time.

12. The horse is running on grass for the first time and has a Tomlinson rating for turf breeding of at least 320.

The pick is the horse with the most check marks. The bet is to win only, and only if the horse is even money or better in odds. We want to at least double our money if our horse connects.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Saratoga Tips

The Saratoga meet is from 7/22/2016-9/5/2016.

Three riders have dominated the meet over the past three years. The trio of Irad Ortiz, Jr, Javier Castellano, and John Velazquez have 106, 105, and 88 wins, respectively, over the last two years. This grand total of 299 victories from the 764 races run since 2014 accounts for 39.1-percent of all races run!

Who is the worst big name jock for riding longshots? Avoid trainer Todd Pletcher's man, John Velasquez. He wins less than 4% (4 for 102) on horses 8-1 or higher over the past
two meets.

Since this is such a special meet, it is also no surprise that the blue bloods, like Brown, Pletcher, and Mott are dominant at Saratoga. In fact, Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher have won a combined 112 races over the past two years. Bill Mott is a distant third in the standings with 28 wins.

When it comes to trainers starting a horse first race off the claim none compares to Jeremiah Englehart. He has won with 4 of his 7 runners over the past two years, scoring with a huge ROI in the process.