Category Archives: Handicapping Blog

Sharp Angles – Bold Ruckus S.

Bold Ruckus S.
6F on the turf at Woodbine (June 25)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 17 stakes at 6 furlongs on turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Avg. of Last 3 Late Pace
Factor Stats: 18 contenders, 5 winners (28%, $21.60 flat win bet profit, 159 ROI%), 56% in-the-money ($6.60 flat show profit, 118 ROI%)

Woodbine quietly cards some of the more competitive stakes races in North America each weekend and Sunday’s 11-horse Bold Ruckus Stakes is a good example. Betmix Angler found a solid sample of 17 6-furlong turf stakes at the Toronto area track and the data shows that over one quarter of these contests are won by the horse with the best Average Late Pace in their last three races.

This angle is also trending in the right direction. Two of the 2016 Woodbine 6-furlong turf stakes produced double-digit winners using this approach, including last year’s Bold Ruckus hero Songs and Laughter ($11.40).

How to apply this Sharp Angle:

Under Factor Ranking in the Betmix Birddog handicapping software, use the Avg. of Last 3 Late Pace slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

Last Sharp Angles result - Clara’s Gone West 7th at $2.30-1 in Niagara S.

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Sharp Angles – Niagara S.

Niagara S.
6F on the dirt at Finger Lakes (June 19)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 41 stakes at 6 furlongs on dirt
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Avg. Last 3 E2 Pace + top 2 ranking in Best Speed Last 3
Factor Stats: 32 contenders, 17 winners (53.1%, $10.40 flat win bet profit, 116 ROI%) & 78% 1st or 2nd (16.60 flat place bet profit, 126 ROI%)

Sometimes the best place to look for reliable payouts are the smaller tracks. That may be the case on Monday at Finger Lakes where the feature is the 6-furlong Niagara Stakes that drew a field of nine.

Using Betmix Angler to analyze horse racing data from Finger Lakes we found a two-factor approach seems to work best. Combining a top ranking in Avg. Last 3 E2 Pace with a top two rank in Best Speed Last 3 has consistently yielded winners in sprint stakes at Finger Lakes. They've hit at at 53% clip and have been part of the exacta nearly 80% of the time!

With two-thirds of the remaining stakes at Canandaigua, NY track run at the 6-furlong distance this is also a good Angle to file away for the future.

How to apply this Sharp Angle: Under Factor Ranking in the Betmix Birddog handicapping software, use the Avg. Last 3 E2 Pace slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. Then see if that horse also ranks 1st or 2nd in Best Speed Last 3. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

Last Sharp Angles results - Big World 4th at $3.70 in Fleur de Lis H.

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Sharp Angles – Fleur de Lis H.

Fleur de Lis H. (G2)
9F on the dirt at Churchill Downs (June 17)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 15 stakes at 8.5 & 9 furlongs on dirt
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Trainer Current Meet
Factor Stats: 15 contenders, 5 winners (33%, $22 flat win bet profit, 173 ROI%)

Horse racing fans will thrill to runners like Gun Runner (Stephen Foster H.) and McCraken (Matt Winn S.) on Saturday night at Churchill Downs. Meanwhile handicappers will likely be more thrilled with the betting opportunities presented by the nine fillies in the Fleur de Lis H.

Using the Betmix Angler handicapping software we found that the trophy often goes to the hottest trainer in these distaff middle distance graded races at Churchil. The runner ranking first in Trainer Current Meet has won one third of the past 15 such events, including last year’s Fleur de Lis heroine Paid Up Subscriber ($14.60). Funny Proposition, the $13.40 winner of the 2013 edition of this race is also among the winners.

How to apply this Sharp Angle:
Under Factor Ranking in the Betmix BirdDog horse racing software, use the Trainer Current Meet slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

Last week’s results - Celestine 5th at $3.40-1 in Just A Game S.

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NEW! – Speed Table

The importance of speed can sometimes get lost in all of the other data that you consider when handicapping a race.

We have added a new button in the Factor Statistics section of BirdDog that allows you to see how important certain Speed factors are for the race you are handicapping.

Most of the information that you see in the new Speed table is also available in Factor Stats, but the Speed Table brings in a larger sample of races and also shows you some stats about Speed and Pace combinations.

The goal here is to help you keep things simple. If you are handicapping a race and you know that 85% of the time a horse ranked in the top 4 for speed last race wins, you should probably make sure your win choice is among those 4 horses. This really helps narrow down large fields to a manageable number of contenders.

When you click on the SPEED button you will see a table like this pop up:

1 - This shows you how many race are in the sample (same track, distance, surface and class)

2 - R1 means "ranked 1st".  This column shows you how often a horse ranked 1st in the factor won the race.  In this example horses ranked 1st in Best Speed Last 3 won 28 of the 73 races in the sample or 38.36% of the time.
3 - R1-2 means "ranked 1st or 2nd".  This column shows you how often a horse ranked 1st or 2nd in the factor won the race.  In this example horses ranked 1st or 2nd in Best Speed Last 3 won 49 of the 73 races in the sample or 67.12% of the time.
4 - R1-3 means "ranked 1st, 2nd or 3rd".  This column shows you how often a horse ranked 1st through 3rd in the factor won the race.  In this example horses ranked 1st through 3rd in Best Speed Last 3 won 58 of the 73 races in the sample or 79.45% of the time.

5 - R1-4 means "ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th".  This column shows you how often a horse ranked 1st through 4th in the factor won the race.  In this example horses ranked 1st through 4th in Best Speed Last 3 won 67 of the 73 races in the sample or 91.78% of the time. Of the 73 similar races only 6 of them were won by horses not ranked in the top 4 for Best Speed Last 3.  That is a very useful stat and is the kind of thing that you should pay very close attention to when handicapping.

6 - This column shows you how the horses rank within each of the speed factors.The colors give you a better idea of how closely they are ranked.  In the Best Speed Last 3 row the #3 horse is the only Green horse, so he is a "standout" in that factor.  If you look at the second row (Avg Speed Last 3) the top 4 horses are all green which means that they are very closely ranked.  This is important to look at.  If you are looking at limiting your selections to the top 4 and you see that 6 of 8 horses in the race are all green then that makes the factor a little less reliable since most of the horses have similar abilities.

7 - This section shows you how well horses who are  ranked 1st in a speed category and 1st in a pace category run.  In this example there is only a match on ranked 1st in Best Speed Last 3 and ranked 1st  in Avg Late Pace.  Horse #1 is ranked 1st in both of those, and when that has happened in the past those types of horses have won 42.31% of the time.  Keep in mind that the sample sizes for matches are going to be smaller since there are not always going to be matches (ranked first in a speed and pace category).The SPEED button should be incorporated into your handicapping and should be one of the first things you look at.  Keep an eye on the Total Races Found number, if it is very low then the info is less reliable. Use this as a screen to check the top ranked horse from your mix to make sure you are not betting on a hopelessly slow horse in a race where speed really matters. You can also use this tool to find overlooked longshots.  A great example of this was at Delaware Park yesterday in race #4.  Horse #11, Thurgood, was ranked 1st in Best Lifetime Speed, Best Speed Turf, Best Speed at the track and Best Speed at the distance.  He was ranked last in Speed Last Race.  He ended up winning and paid a very generous $101.

Take a look at the new stuff in the Free Race Of The Day.

Sharp Angles – Just a Game S.

Just a Game S. (G1)
8F on the turf at Belmont Park (June 10)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 13 stakes at 8 furlongs on turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Avg. Earnings this Distance
Factor Stats: 13 contenders, 5 winners (38%, $26.20 flat win bet profit, 200 ROI%) & flat place bet profit

Even with no Triple Crown on the line, the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival has quickly emerged into one of the most compelling racing weekends in North America. Among the 18 stakes spread across three days is the $700,000 Just a Game S. (G1) that’s drawn an evenly-matched field of seven this year.

Using the Betmix Angler handicapping software, we found that five of the past 13 one-mile graded turf stakes at Belmont have been captured by the horse ranking first Average Earnings this Distance. More importantly, this sample shows three of the past four Just a Game winners, including the two most recent heroines - Celestine ($17.00) last year and the great Tepin, who paid a very generous $11.20 in 2015.

How to apply this Sharp Angle:
Under Factor Ranking in the Betmix Birddog handicapping software, use the Avg. Turf Earnings slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

Last week’s results - Oscar Performance ($9.80), 1st in Pennine Ridge S.

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Sharp Angles – Pennine Ridge S.

Pennine Ridge S. (G3)
9F on the turf at Belmont Park (June 3)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 15 stakes for three-year-olds at 9 furlongs on turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Avg. Turf Earnings
Factor Stats: 15 contenders, 8 winners (53%, $20.20 flat win bet profit, 167 ROI%); flat show & place bet profits

We still have to wait another week for the dirt three-year-olds to wrap up the 2017 Triple Crown season in the Belmont Stakes. Meanwhile the sophomore grass runners take center stage in the $500,000 Penn Mile (G2) and the $200,000 Pennine Ridge S. (G3) on Saturday.

We’ve uncovered a strong angle for the Pennine Ridge by looking at the past 15 grass stakes for three-year-olds going 9-furlongs at Belmont. The horse ranking first in Average Turf Earnings has won eight of these contests (53%) and the 15 qualifiers have finished an averaged an in-the-money finish (2.47). Accordingly, this Sharp Angle shows flat win ($20.20), place ($1.20) and show (6.50) bet profits.

This sample has also includes the past three Pennine Ridge S. winners - Camelot Kitten ($5.80), Divisidero ($6.30) and Gala Award ($7.40).

How to apply this Sharp Angle:
Under Factor Ranking in the Betmix Birddog handicapping software, use the Avg. Turf Earnings slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

Last week’s results - Enola Gray, 5th at $1.2-1 in Monrovia S.

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Sharp Angles – Monrovia S.

Monrovia S. (G2)
6.5F on the turf at Santa Anita (May 27)
Races Analyzed: 29 graded stakes at 6.5 furlongs on turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Avg. Earnings This Track + 1st or 2nd in Last Turn Time
Factor Stats: 13 contenders, 8 winners (61%, $24.60 flat win bet profit, 194 ROI%), 12 of 13 (92.3%) in the money

The 6.5-furlong sprints on the downhill hill turf course at Santa Anita are the most unique races in North America and they present the most unique handicapping challenge as well. With several years of horse racing data from the gorgeous Arcadia, California course, Betmix users are also in a unique position to parse through to what’s important in isolating contenders in these races.

Using Betmix Angler we found that familiarity and a turn of foot breed success. A total of 13 runners in the past 29 graded stakes ‘down the hill’ have ranked 1st in Average Earnings This Track AND 1st or 2nd in Last Turn Time. Eight (61%) have found the winner's circle. Incredibly, only one of the 13 has failed to hit the board.

How to apply this Sharp Angle:
Under Factor Ranking 
in the Betmix Birddog handicapping software, look for horse rankings Average Earnings This Track & Last Turn Time. There is one Sharp Angles play in this race.

Last week’s results - Ben’s Cat, 8th at 8.5-1 in Jim McKay Turf Sprint & Animal Appeal, 9th at 6.60-1 in The Very One S.

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Jim McKay Turf Sprint S. & The Very One S.

Jim McKay Turf Sprint S. & The Very One S.
5F on the turf at Pimlico (May 20)
Races Analyzed: 15 stakes at 5 furlongs on turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Speed This Distance
Factor Stats: 15 contenders, 12 winners (80%, $57.00 flat win bet profit, 290 ROI%)

It’s Preakness weekend and that means a stakes smorgasbord at Pimlico. While the second jewel of the Triple Crown is obviously the main course, a pair of turf sprints may offer the best betting opportunities. An incredible 80% of the winners of the 5-furlong grass stakes at Old Hilltop have been won by the horse ranked first in Speed This Distance.  

And since there’s never too much of a good thing, this angle can be applied to both the Jim McKay Turf Sprint S. on the Friday Black-Eyed Susan day card and The Very One S. on the big day.

Find this race in Betmix Birddog and use the Speed This Distance slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

Last week’s result - Wake Forest, 5th at 2.70-1

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Sharp Angles – Man o’ War S.

Man o’ War S. (G1)
11F on the turf at Belmont Park (May 13)
Races Analyzed: 14 Graded stakes between 11 & 12 furlongs on turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Lifetime Earnings
Factor Stats: 14 contenders, 6 winners (43%, $17.60 flat win bet profit, 163 ROI%)

The Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes anchors the second Saturday card of the 2017 Belmont Park spring meeting. Class, translated into earnings, appears to be the key in the graded turf marathons at the iconic New York track.

As shown above, horses ranked first in Average Lifetime Earnings have won 43% of these events since 2013. Among the winners are Sea Calisi ($3.30)i, who scored in last Saturday’s Sheepshead Bay S. (G2) at the same 11-furlong trip as the Man o’ War. We find 2013 Man o’ War conqueror Boisterous ($5.10) among the other winners.

Find this race in Betmix Birddog and use the Average Lifetime Earnings slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

Last Sharp Angles result: Elkhorn S. on April 22 - Danish Dynaformer, 4th at 6.70-1

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Kentucky Derby Mix

The Derby is a very difficult puzzle to solve.

20 horses in a race that are running a distance they have never run before.  It only happens once a year, so there is a very limited amount of data available for reliable analytics.

We have 5 years worth of data in Betmix. We could go back and get more, but the truth of the matter is that the Derby changes from decade to decade.  The new point system that is in place now makes the race very different than it was before 2013.

But despite the difficulty, or maybe because of it, everybody wants to bet that race more than any other race of the year.  Most handicappers end up betting much more on the Derby than they do on any other race. If you win you will get paid handsomely and have bragging rights until next May.

So, lets jump in and see what kind of mix can be created to give us some insight into who may win this year.

This Mix is based on the last 5 KY Derby races. This is an EXTREMELY small sample of data to use when coming up with a mix, but we are working with what we have and hoping for the best.

As you can see from the results below, this mix has identified the winner as the top ranked horse for the last 3 years. In 2013 it had ORB ranked 2nd, and in 2012 I'LL HAVE ANOTHER ranked 3rd. In each year the the winner was in the top 3 and at least one other horse in the top 4 hit the board. Last year, the 3 top ranked horses were in the trifecta.

Instructions for how to add this mix to your library are found at the bottom of this email.

DERBY MIX RESULTS LAST 5 YEARS

To add the Kentucky Derby Mix follow these steps.

1. Login to your Betmix account
2. Go to the MIXLIBRARY page or from the menu (Legacy Tools/Mix Library)
3. Select KENTUCKY Derby in the track drop-down
4. Click the Search MIXLIBRARY button
5. Click the SAVE TO MYMIX button
6. Open the Kentucky Derby in BirdDog and choose the Kentucky Derby Mix from the MyMix dropdown at the top of the screen.