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Please note: We are moving into the off season for some race tracks and parks, and into a new season for others. So, not all of the tracks listed below are currently presenting active racing meets, and not all tracks may have live racing TODAY. See racing tracks 2014 schedule here.
Arlington Park / Arlington Park Race Day Selections
Assiniboia Downs / Assiniboia Race Day Selections
Aqueduct Free Selections / DRF Racing Analysis / Talking Horses
Belmont Park Free Selections / Talking Horses / Forbes Firsters
Camarero Park / Track Cappers
Colonial Downs / Nick’s Picks
Del Mar Racetrack / Jeff Nahill / Ken Marquez / QRacing / John Lies / C.C. Rogers
Emerald Downs / Emerald Downs Track Selections
Fort Erie Race Track / Mike Dimoff’s Tip Sheet
Golden Gate Fields / DRF Racing Analysis / Track Capper
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Hawthorne Race Course / Today’s Best Bets
Keeneland Racing / Experts Mike Battaglia, Jeremy Plonk, Kim Nelson
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Racing Dudes / Bob Ike / CalHorse / Ellis Star / Today’s Racing Digest / PacePals / Toby Turrell / Eddie Wilson / Handicapper’s Report /
Saratoga Free Selections / DRF Racing Analysis / Talking Horses / Forbes’ Firsters
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Tampa Bay Downs / Off to the Races Tipsheet
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Woodbine Racing / Experts Jim Bannon, Jim Mazur
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In this short 2:00+ minute video, Jim from BetAmerica.com shows you how to use Speed, and the Beyer Speed Figures for handicapping thoroughbred horse racing. As common sense might dictate, speed is a very important factor… however, a bettor needs to know how to apply speed ratings in his handicapping efforts in order to capitalize on a horse that shows up as fast. Give this little video a look-see before making your winning selections.
Early Speed is a great predictor in picking winning horses.
If you regularly subscribe to either free or paid betting tips and picks, you’ve no doubt read the handicapper’s rationale for a pick’s credibility is at least in part based on a favored horses’s early speed
. This rationale is given special credit because early speed is the best known predictor of which horses are most likely to control a race’s early pace. Here are a few facts that support this premise:
1. Race horses that run first, second or third at the first call positions as reported in past performances win five of every nine races. The first call position in sprints and races around one turn occurs when the horses have raced for one-quarter mile.
2. Race horses that run first, second or third at the first call positions win far more than their fair share of all races (179%) and as a group yield a profit of about 28% on every invested dollar when they’re bet to win.
3. Although early speed race horses perform best and most predictably in sprints, the above statistics hold true at all distances.
4. Race horses who are able to get a clear early lead at the first call (one or more lengths) present best bets status when they go off at odds of 10/1 or lower. Horses running in these situations win almost three times more than their expected or average share of races, and return an amazing 80% on the dollar. As a matter of record, these front-running horses represent what is probably the most consistent opportunity for overlays in horse racing. So, taking time and effort to evaluate and predict which horses might take the early lead seems to be an exercise that’s well worth the effort.
Playing percentages is a credible consideration in handicapping efforts. And, the above explanation relative to the importance of early speed further confirms the validity and reliability of the “playing percentages” approach.
Dropdowns in claiming races can amount to a clear betting edge.
What would you say is the better bet… claiming horses who are moving up in class… or claiming horses who are dropping down in class? Answer:
It’s the horses being dropped down by a considerably wide margin.
In fact, claiming horses dropping down in class by 30% or more, after a recent and decent race, account for a very powerful probability statistic that should be strongly considered in horse race handicapping. These horses represent almost 3% of the starters in claiming races, but they win almost 11% of the races.
In other words, horses dropping 30% or more in claiming price win 378% of their proper share of these races.
In general, dropdowns in claiming races account for 15% of the starters, but 30% of the winners. Dropdowns win twice their fair share of the claiming races. Additionally, the greater the drop in claiming price… the more likely the horses will win.
In using these statistics in your own handicapping efforts, keep in mind you should look for dropdowns to show a decent and recent race. A win, place or show finish, or finishing within at least three lengths of the winner is a good or decent race. Also, a race performance that shows good early speed until the pre-stretch or stretch positions is a good sign as well. And, a racing performance that shows a pre-stretch or stretch gain of two or more lengths while beating at least half the field is still another sign of a decent race.
For handicappers, being mindful of these stats as they pertain to dropdowns can amount to an ideal opportunity for finding winners in claiming races.
“History repeats itself…” and so do winning strategies at the Track. Play constant and reliable percentages to gain a handicapping edge.
Betting horses is obviously a lot more enjoyable if you’re winning regularly and consistently… and doing so isn’t mission impossible if you remember two things. One, you’re playing against fellow bettors… not the Track or the Racebook, and two, racing percentages don’t lie.
Because you’re playing against other bettors, any self discipline you can conjure up will give you an immediate edge on the other bettors who are contributing to the pool. Using that edge along with percentages that are really not that difficult to understand, will give you an edge on 90 percent of the your fellow players at the racetrack or online.
The techniques or strategy described below assume you have absolutely no handicapping skills at all. If you’re an average handicapper who knows the difference between a playable and an unplayable race (too many unknown factors so never be afraid to pass); you should be able to benefit even further from these simple strategies.
First, let’s look at some horse racing percentages you can take to the bank. These percentages can vary slightly for short time periods, but year-in and year-out they remain constant.
Favorites win approximately 33 percent of all races and finish second 53 percent of the time. Second choices win approximately 21 percent of all races and finish second 42 percent of the time. So, the top two choices win 54 percent of the races and finish second 74 percent of the time. You might even want to consider the fact that third choices win approximately 14 percent of all races run over the course of a year.
Additional percentage facts to consider are that favorites in 6-horse fields win approximately 40 percent of the time at an average win price of just over even money, while favorites in 12-horse fields win approximately 27 percent of their races at an average win price of almost 2-1. Basically, favorites in larger fields win a lower percentage of the time, but pay better.
The key to winning with the above percentages is being able to determine which of the top three favorites actually has a real chance to win, and which horse in the field is the one the public is somehow being seduced into mistakenly betting. Again, assuming you have no handicapping skills, but have the ability to understand the basics of a Past Performances Program (PP), you can use a few additional percentages to slant the odds in your favor.
The best percentages available in the PP are rooted in the jockey and trainer statistics, trainer pattern statistics and jockey-trainer team statistics. Jockey statistics and win percentages for the current race meeting and for the current year are found beside the jockey’s name (if you’re using a printed paper version of the PP), which appears on the left side of the PP on top of the racing lines. Trainer statistics and win percentages for the current meeting and current year appear beside the trainer’s name, which appear in the PP on top of the racing lines. If you’re using mostly free online resources for your percentage stats… like those found at Equibase… you can get this info by clicking on the jockey and trainer’s name.
Jockeys who win at a clip of less than 10 percent are poor investments. Those that win at a clip of 10-15 percent are a little better. Jockeys who win at a clip of 15-20 percent are worth a second look, but jockeys who win at a clip of 20 percent or better can be like money in the bank in the right situation. Jockeys who win a high percentage of the races they ride in not only have their choice of the best mounts, they also generally have skill sets that are much better than their fellow riders.
The difference between a 12 percent jockey and a 24 percent jockey are not always easy to see for the average player, but the percentages don’t lie. A 12 percent jockey usually receives less talented mounts, but there is more to it than that. Occasionally, these low percentage jockeys will get the best mounts, but they seem to almost always find a way to screw things up. They get into trouble in too many ways and on too many little things to mention; so let’s just say they have less experience and skill, and make too many mistakes on too frequent a basis to make them worthwhile investments over the course of a season. Can they win? Absolutely, but probably not often enough to make them part of a profitable strategy.
You’ll often find that the top percentage jockeys are on at least one of the top three favorites in a race and sometimes on all three. While a top percentage jockey often has a chance to win regardless of the odds, the horses you want to watch for them riding are those horses among the top three favorites. You can then look at the trainer percentages and the jockey-trainer combo percentages to see if these numbers improve the odds even further in your favor.
If you see a 24 percent jockey riding one of the top three favorites for a 15 percent trainer the horse probably has a decent chance, but what you’re really looking for is one of these top jockeys on a horse trained by someone with a 20 percent clip or better. These trainers win at a 20 percent clip for numerous reasons… intelligence, skill, talent, the savvy to attract the best jockeys, medication and numerous other factors… but they win more often than their competition.
Partnered with a top jockey and a top-three favorite, high percentage trainers can win at an even better rate. In contrast, a horse trained by a trainer with a 4 percent win clip would have to be considered a poor betting proposition no matter who the jockey is, or what the odds are.
The next statistic to look at is the jockey-trainer combo percentage. Found in the PP, this statistic tells you how many times over the course of the year and at the current meeting, that this jockey and trainer have hooked up, and what their win percentage is when working together.
The top trainer-jockey combos have excellent percentages and almost always indicate the trainer is trying his or her best to win. If the jockey-trainer combo win percentage is good, the third element of the percentage puzzle is complete.
The final statistics you want to look at are based on the horse’s current situation in this race, and show percentages such as dirt to turf switches, 61-90 days off a layoff, route to sprint, etc. While only basic (you can buy much more detailed trainer pattern statistics), they still provide valuable insights into a trainer’s strengths and weaknesses, and a high percentage trainer pattern again increases the odds of winning in your favor.
So, find the top three favorites on the tote board or entries page (preferably the top two), then look at the percentages. If the percentages are good all around, bet the horse to win and place. Bet twice as much to place as to win, just in case a long shot happens to beat the percentages and win… which will usually result in a good enough place pay-off to make you a profit.
If the percentages aren’t solid all around, don’t bet this race… this is where the discipline to wait comes into play. Everyone wants action in horse race betting, and it can be difficult to resist a 5/2 horse with a great form and a top trainer ridden by an 18 percent jockey. But, you need to wait for the perfect opportunity if you want to win long term.
If you happen to be a competent handicapper who can determine a race worth betting from one that’s not, and who can use class, speed, suitability to distance and surface, current form and other handicapping factors, to better identify false favorites and overlaid contenders, you can increase your profits substantially using percentages.
In summary, there are two things you absolutely must do if you want to make a profit betting horses… one, apply the proven percentages, and two… have the discipline to wait for the right horse in the right race.
This Predict’em published article was inspired by Kenneth Strong.
Find out what an Allowance race is…
Although there are frequent exceptions, the average number of races presented at most major and minor horse racing tracks is nine per day. Usually, most of these races will be Claiming
races. Also, there is generally at least one feature race which will be either a Handicap
or a Stakes
race. The other types of races will be either an Allowance
race or a Maiden
race. Here’s a description of an Allowance
In an Allowance race, the weights carried by the horses are usually randomly set according to the number of races run in the horse’s career or the amount of money won by each horse entered. For example, in a race for 3-year-olds and up (older), the 3-year-olds may be assigned a weight of 117 pounds, whereas all of the older horses may be assigned 122 pounds.
Allowance races draw horses who are of lesser quality compared to Stakes or Handicap race horses. But, are of a higher quality of the race horses entered in Claiming races; where horse owners may lose their horse to another owner.
Because Allowance races offer different amounts of prize money to their winning horses, the purses associated with these races vary. A horse running in an Allowance race for a $10,000 purse will definitely be moving up in class if that horse is eventually entered into an Allowance race that carries a $25,000 or more purse. Conversely, if this same horse is entered into an Allowance race for a $5,000 purse, the horse is dropping in class.
In the Past Performances (PP) program, a bettor (player) can see what type(s) of races a horse who is being handicapped for betting has run in the past. A Stakes horse who has been entered into an Allowance race is seeing a drop in class; just as an Allowance horse who is entered into a Claiming race is dropping in class.
Often, a bettor who realizes that a horse is dropping or moving up in class is also realizing a betting advantage by virtue of the class move. Additionally, Stakes horses are commonly entered into Allowance races after a long layoff to enable them to “tune up” or “tighten up” before returning to Stakes races again.
The secrets of picking winners revealed.
Whether you’re a beginning horse bettor or an experienced veteran, just about everyone who has ever decided to risk some money on a horse racing bet has at one time or another thought or wondered, “Just what is the secret to consistently beating this game?”. The desire to routinely conquer the art of horse race handicapping provokes the notion that there must be rules and disciplines to be mastered that will help one fully understand the elusive secrets of picking winners.
Well, the first golden rule to digest and understand is that there really are no golden rules that every successful bettor must know and use in their approach to handicapping. If you asked a dozen different players the same question about what is most important in handicapping you’re more than likely to get a dozen different answers… none of them are “more correct” or “more golden” than the next. As an example, take a look at this very well crafted video from the UK’s Racing Post. Watch it more than once. Take notes, because it’s all basically good stuff from a group of British professional bettors… or “punters” as they’re known over there. You should definitely pick up some good… maybe great… tips from this video. But, the point is these pros are all offering different angles and “rules” to accomplishing the very same thing… picking winners.
Fantasy Horse Racing. Free and Easy to Play.
Join HorsePlayUSA’s Fantasy ‘Capping League and Win Great Prizes!
The Breeders’ Cup Fantasy ‘Capping is a league-based fantasy game in which participants compete against their fellow league members by trying to correctly handicap and place fantasy wagers on the biggest horse races in North America each week.
Here’s how to play:
Register and then join a Fantasy ‘Capping league. You’re invited to join the HorsePlayUSA league by using these login credentials: League Name: HorsePlayUSA, Password: Players2014. Each individual can play in up to five (5) leagues and you can register to play any time before October 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm ET. The earlier you join the more chances you’ll have to increase your Fantasy Earnings and compete for the top spot on the Global Leaderboard.
Each week, you will be alerted by email when information needed to analyze the week’s event is available on your league homepage. This will include a history of both the race and track, a write-up of each individual horse in the race, past performances for each runner and some related articles.
After studying, you’ll select 1 of 4 easy fantasy wagers:
$20 to Win
$20 to Place
$20 to Show
$10 Exacta Box
Your final fantasy wager must be placed 10 minutes before the scheduled post time.
If you are unable to watch a race live, don’t worry! Shortly after a race’s completion, you will receive an email with a link to the replay. You will then be able to watch a race at any time without knowing the outcome, just like watching it live! You can then check the Results page for all fantasy wagering payouts and updated league leader boards.
Scores are based on the cumulative fantasy bankroll of each league member. The player with the most fantasy money at the end of the league schedule is the winner. And don’t forget, you’re never more than a big ticket away from shooting to the top of your leaderboard!
Win Great Prizes!
The Top 10 finishers on the Global Leaderboard will receive prizes, including a VIP trip to the 2014 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita for the #1 spot. Second place will get $500 and third place will take home an iPad Mini! See the Prizes section of the How to Play page for more details.
Click here to see the game and sign-up.
— Do not overlook the good old Daily Double betting opportunity… it often provides terrific payouts that are more easily achieved than a trifecta or other exotic bet.
— Do not ignore reverse handicapping… that is starting your handicapping effort by first throwing out entries who you believe have have little or no chance of finishing in the money. Then, focus your efforts on just those entries who do.
— Do not bet more than two race tracks… three at the very most… at the same time. Effective handicapping requires acquiring a deep acquaintance not only with the horses who run at those tracks, but also with the jockeys and trainers as well. Keep some form of notation in regard to winning and losing trends and patterns you see develop with these three track assets.
— Do not bet every race on a program. Do not hesitate to pass on races that do not measure up to your criteria for betting confidence or profitability. If you have the slightest doubt the rewards may not justify the risk, pass.
— Do not overlook winning jockeys who only have one or two mounts for an entire program when they ordinarily might have five or six. These jockeys are likely to win the only race they have in that day.
— Do not bet superfectas. They will destroy your bankroll. It’s just too hard of a bet to come out ahead of… you may as well play the “pick 6″ lottery.
— Do not overlook Place and Show betting. These are not wimpy bets… no matter what your handicapping skill level is. It’s better to be sure and steady in building your bankroll than up and down. Get too far down and you’re out of the game. The bettors who belittle the value of this betting strategy are usually no better picking these bets than they are with picking the tougher exotic bets they lose more than they win.
— Do not ignore the value of record-keeping. Keep track of the races you win and lose. Self-analysis may show that you kill on stakes races on turf handicapping, but suck on dirt allowance races. Know what you handicap best.
— Do not be afraid to oversimplify a play by placing the highest value on speed. It’s not too easy or too good to be true. The fastest runner usually wins the race.
— Do not fail to take notice of any apsect of a horse’s record regarding specific measures reported in the PP program… and compare these measures to the race you’re betting. If the horse is 0-9 on turf… what makes you confident it will suddenly end up 1-10?
— Do not ignore the FREE picks at HorsePlayUSA. These are valuable picks and comments by some of the top handicappers in the sport… all accessible from one page. At the very least, compare what the experts are thinking to your own winning ideas.
In a nutshell, the race track’s Morning Line is one person’s (not necessarily always the same person) opinion of how the crowd will bet the race. It does not reflect intensive analysis of how the horses will run, nor of any of the horses’ abilities to win the race. The Morning Line mostly reflects how that “handicapper” believes the crowd will bet the race. To a very large degree, the Morning Line oddsmaker then puts up numbers that he or she hopes will encourage “more” betting.
Morning Line odds may be created by an employee of the racetrack or a consultant who has neither the time nor the desire to create a proper morning line. Proper… in the sense that the created odds are true reflections of which horses stand the best chances of winning. On the other hand, they are not numbers that are simply “pulled out of thin air” either. There are considerations involved in compiling these numbers. But, these considerations often encompass things that don’t have a lot to do with figuring which horses are going to finish “in the money”. Even after a little time watching and playing the horses, it becomes obvious how frequently the Morning Line handicapper is wrong.
But, in defense of these Morning Line odds makers… they’re up against it from the start. The need for coming up with this line for every race… 48 hours in advance… is extremely tough to do. Consider that all sorts of pertinent indicators… things like late workouts, scratches, weather, track conditions and other changes cannot be taken into account. Add this to the fact that many of these odds makers may have other more important jobs to do which actually hinder their ability to create a proper morning line.
Now that you have a better understanding of what the Morning Line actually is… you can probably answer the question yourself if it’s something that should affect your betting and handicapping strategies.