Category Archives: Handicapping Blog

Pedigree Handicapping – Turf Sires

In our first couple Pedigree Handicapping posts we focused on the wagering prospects of runners by the leading First Crop and overall Juvenile sires in North America. This time we shift our focus to turf sires.

Our starting point is the list of top 15 North American sires of turf starters in 2017. Surprisingly, only one of these stallions shows a profit of any kind with their 2017 grass runners. That sire is Coolmore's Giant's Causeway. A $2 win bet on all of his turf starters in 2017 has yielded a profit of $165.90. Five of his highest-priced winners have come in claiming races this year, including a $101 winner in a $20,000 claimer last June at Delaware Park and the $96.40 winner Madeyourpoint, who ran for a $16,000 tag at Laurel on November 4.


To access Sire information, click Expand Horses & Sires within Betmix Angler.

Pedigree Handicapping – Profitable Juvenile Sires

In our last Pedigree Handicapping post we highlighted the Betmix Angler Sires feature and examined the ROI of runners by the Top 15 First Crop sires. This time we take a look at the Top 15 overall North American juvenile sires.

The juvenile progeny of Canadian stallion Silent Name have been very kind to win bettors in 2017 with a nearly $50 win ROI. Two-year-old runners by the late Kentucky sire Exchange Rate certainly merit extra consideration as well. They've collectively shown double-digit ROI's across the board in 2017.

This chart shows the return on all North American juvenile starters sired by the Top 15 juvenile sires (according to through November 21.

To access Sire information, click Expand Horses & Sires within Betmix Angler.

Pedigree Handicapping – Profitable First Crop Sires

Sire statistics are a lesser-known feature within Betmix Angler and lesser known information can be a boon to thoroughbred handicappers. In the future, we'll be taking a more detailed look at how this unique info can be parsed and applied. Today we examine the early performance of North America's newest sires. Looking at the Top 15 Freshman sires (according to we find that three have shown a ($2) flat win bet profit on all their starters so far - New Year's Day, Animal Kingdom and Point of Entry. It may be wise to pay particular attention to runners by these stallions over the next few months. Point of Entry runners have been especially profitable with big place and show returns as well.

This chart shows the return on all North American starters sired by the Top 15 Freshman stallion through November 16.

To access Sire information, click Expand Horses & Sires within Betmix Angler.

Sharp Angles – Jammed Lovely S.

Jammed Lovely S.
7F on All-Weather (November 11)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 13 filly & mare stakes Woodbine stakes going 7F on all-weather
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Speed Last Speed Race
Factor Stats: 16 contenders, 8 winners (50%, $23.90 flat win bet profit, 174 ROI%), 12 win/place/show ($75%, $13.40 place bet profit, $5.50 show bet profit).

The 2017 Woodbine racing season is winding down but there are still opportunities for horsemen and bettor alike to cash in. The $100,000 Jammed Lovely Stakes drew just six competitors and will likely have a short-priced favorite to contend with. It's helps to have extra certainty when deciding to play or stand against the public choice in these wagering scenarios. This week's Sharp Angles can certainly help as it's pointed to 50% winners in this specific racetype - 7 furlong stakes restricted to fillies and mares.

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Betmix Angler Breeders’ Cup Picks

We took a look at the last 4 years worth of Breeders' Cup races in Angler to see what factors and rankings were common among winners. The goal was to narrow down the contenders in each race to those that match the profile of previous winners.
Four years is a small sample, but that's all we have to work with!

For Each Breeders' Cup race we list the factors that applied to every previous winner in each race type, show you which horses are ranked in those factors and then which horses qualify this year.

Here is an example, using the BC Classic:

Looking at the past 4 BC Classic races, every winner was ranked in the Top 4 for Avg E2 Pace, in the Top 4 for In the Money % and Top 5 in Speed Last Race.

This year 3 horses qualify in every factor: Gun Runner, Arrogate, and West Coast.

That is not a surprise, as those 3 horses are probably the three favorites in the race.

It is also useful to look at the horses that are ranked highly in several of the factors, but didn't qualify in every one.  Those are also logical horses to bet as well...
In some cases you will notice that the factor is limited to being ranked in the top 5, but we are showing more than 5 horses.  This is because of ties, and in some cases a horse may have missed the cut by a very small fraction, so we also included them.

Breeders' Cup is always tough, almost every horse in each race has a legitimate chance of winning. This information should help you narrow down the fields and put you on some logical contenders that you might not have considered.

The BC Angler picks are available to all subscribers here:


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Sharp Angles – Twilight Derby

Twilight Derby S. (G2)
9F on turf (October 28)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 22 3yo stakes on turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Last Speed
Factor Stats: 29 contenders, 11 winners (38%, $11.60 flat win bet profit, 120 ROI%), 23 win/place/show (79%, $9.50.40 place bet profit & $14.00 show bet profit).

The late, great Tom Petty sang that 'the waiting is the hardest part' and the waiting for next week's Breeders' Cup is no exception. One remedy is to cash some tickets and this week's Sharp Angle looks especially solid for the October 28 Twilight Derby. Using the Betmix Angler handicapping software to analyze the past 22 grass stakes for three-year-olds at Santa Anita we find that Speed Last Race has pointed to the winners of half these contests. Even more impressive is the fact that nearly 80% of the 29 total contenders have hit the board. This sample includes two of the past three Twilight Derby victors - Om ($3.00) in 2015 and Long on Value ($25.00) the year prior.

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Owner/Trainer Stats

We've added a new tab to the Factor Statistics widget called O/T Stats which stands for Owner/Trainer stats.

Owner/Trainer stats show you how often a trainer and owner have raced together and what kind of success they have had. This kind of information has always given me an edge in the past, but it has been time consuming to pull it out horse by horse in Angler.

The basic idea is that trainers tend to do better for their main clients. They want to keep them happy! Also, when a trainer is running a horse for a new client they certainly want to make a positive first impression.

There is also information in this tab for the HORSE: number of lifetime starts, wins and days since last win.

When you click the OT tab you will see a table like this:

LIFETIME STARTS: The number of races the horse has run during its career

 The number of races the horse has won during its career.

DAYS SINCE LAST WIN: The number of days since the horse last won a race. If a horse hasn't won a race in several hundred days, why do you think it will win today?

O/T MATCHES: The number of times the trainer and owner have run a horse (this is not limited to this horse, but includes all horses ever trained for this owner).  People tend to focus more on their best clients...

O/T WIN %: The percentage of time the trainer and owner win when running a horse.O/T PLACE %: The percentage of time the trainer and owner place when running a horse.

O/T SHOW %: The percentage of time the trainer and owner show when running a horse.

There are many ways to interpret these stats, but as a general rule of thumb, looking at horses that have a large number in the O/T Matches column with a show % of higher than 35 is a good place to start (trainers want to keep their big clients happy by putting horses in the best spots to win).  Also - pay attention to trainers that have never trained for an owner before (0 in O/T Matches) everyone want to make a good first impression.


More Detailed BirdDog Filters

The key to winning handicapping is to have the best stats available to you at all times. When looking at similar races from the past its always best to compare apples to apples! We have made a simple change to BirdDog that gives you much more control over the stats you see for any race.

When you have the Factor Statistics widget open in BirdDog you will see a new gear icon.  Clicking that icon brings up a menu that allows you to filter information about the races you want included in your stats.
After clicking that icon you will see a menu like this:

TRACK CONDITION: This allows you to select past races that were run on the same kind of track that you are handicapping today. If you only want to include Fast races then you would select that option. If the track is muddy or sloppy you would select those options and the races used in the stats would be restricted to past races like this that were run over a sloppy or muddy track. When a race comes off the turf, you would select the new surface as Dirt and then most likely change the track condition to Muddy or Sloppy (or both to include more races).

NUMBER OF HISTORICAL RACES: This gives you control over how many races are used to compile the statistics. You can look at the last 200 similar races, but sometimes recency is more important. In some race types you will only find a few races no matter how many you are looking for. Grade 1 races, and odd distances may not have more than 4 or 5 similar races over the life of our database. Common races like 6f dirt claiming races will return the maximum of 200.

DISTANCE: By default all of the settings reflect the information about the current race you are handicapping, and the distance will be set to exactly what today's race is. Sometimes when a race comes off the turf, the distance is also changed, so you would want to make that change here if that occurs. If you are getting a small result set for an uncommon distance like 11 furlongs, you may want to expand your results by including 10f -12f races.

SURFACE: In the event that a race is switched from Turf to Dirt you would make that change here. You would never want to switch to turf for a dirt race!

CLASS: Again, if you are finding very few similar race types for a race you are handicapping you may want to broaden the class range. For a Graded race, you may want to expand your results to include G1, G2 and G3 races.  You could also include non-graded stakes...

STARTERS: Sometimes you will see a significant difference in the types of stats for a race based on the number of starters. If there is a small field (6 or less horses) you may want to only look at other races with small fields. The same would hold true for races with large fields (10 or more horses). Different pace factors can become more or less important based on the size of the field you are handicapping.

Sharp Angles – E. P. Taylor S.

E. P. Taylor S. (G1)
10F on turf (October 15)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 16 stakes Woodbine stakes at 10F on turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Speed Last 3
Factor Stats: 18 contenders, 7 winners (39%, $18.80 flat win bet profit, 152 ROI%), 11 win/place ($61%, $13.40 place bet profit $137).

The October 15 card at Woodbine carries Canada's last two Grade 1's of the year, including the E. P. Taylor Stakes for female turfers. Using the BirdDog handicapping software we find that Average Speed Last 3 factor has been powerful in races at the Taylor's 10-furling distance over the Woodbine grass course. This angle has pointed to nearly 40% winners and has predicted part of the exactor over 60% of the time.

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Question Of the Week – How Can I Build Jockey/Trainer Angles?

Q: How can I use Angler to build trainer or jockey angles?

A: Great question.  Keeneland is getting ready to start this weekend, and there are several great angles to build around trainers and jockeys at that track.  We looked at the last three fall meets at KEE in Angler and pulled out this data:

To put this information to use, you should be creating Angle around these Trainer/Jock combos.  Take a look at this video to see how easy it is!

Trainer / Jockey Angles

Get started with your own angles today at Betmix.