All posts by Matt O

Sharp Angles – Wise Dan S.

Wise Dan S. (G2)
8.5F on the turf at Churchill Downs (June 15)
Races Analyzed
: 34 8.5-furlong graded turf stakes at Churchill Downs
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Earnings Today's Distance
Factor Stats: 34 contenders, 10 winners (29%, $19.6 win bet return, 128 ROI%, 20 place/show (58%), $57.60 place and $17.20 show return.

With the Triple Crown now in the rearview mirror, the racing world shifts its focus back to Churchill Downs once again for a fantastic Stephen Foster night card.

The $250,000 Wise Dan S. (G2) has drawn a full and particularly interesting field of middle distance turfers. It's just the kind of race that calls for the deep data analysis available in the Betmix Angler online handicapping software.

The Angler database contains info on the past 34 8.5-furlong graded turf stakes under the Twin Spires and we find that horses ranking first in Average Earnings Today's Distance have been profitable for handicappers. Nearly 30% of the contenders have found the winner's circle (with a healthy $19.60 return) and nearly two-thirds have factored in the exacta (with an extremely juicy $57.60 place return).

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

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Pedigree Handicapping – Belmont Stakes Festival Distance Sires

With 18 stakes packed in over a three-day span, the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival offers a more concentrated schedule of top level racing than even Breeders' Cup weekend. The Belmont Stakes Fest is also unique (for North America at least) in that 5 of the 18 stakes are carded at 10 furlongs or further. The races include the 2-mile Belmont Gold Cup Invitational and, of course, the Belmont Stakes itself at 12 furlongs.

The vast Betmix Angler handicapping database provides an option for searching a sire's progeny performances for nearly every condition and situation. We took advantage of this feature to look at the sires with runners in the Belmont Stakes Fest long distance stakes (10 furlongs or longer).

The (North American) results for those 35 stallions is parsed out in the two charts below.

It was rather surprising to find that Speightstown, an Eclipse Champion Sprinter, ranked first among these sires with a 35% long distance Win % (along with a very healthy $57.70 Win Return figure). The WinStar Farm stallion has runners in Friday's New York S. (Competitionofideas) and Saturday's Manhattan S. (Qurbaan)

Hard Spun also has a pair of Belmont Stakes Fest runners and he's the runaway leader with a $131.50 Win Return from his 152 progeny starts in North American marathons. This makes his sons Rocketry (Brooklyn Invitational) and Spinoff (Belmont Stakes) worth long looks as longshot plays.

Another surprise was to find Tapit, sire of three of the past five Belmont Stakes winners, ranked so low in both charts. His long distances starters win only about 14% of the time and hit the board at a 34% clip. We can infer that they are often played by handicappers to do much better based on his -197.90 Win Return. It's true he has a larger number of starters (280) than many stallions in our sample. However, English Channel has a similar number of progeny starters (287) with better Win % (16.72%), In the Money % (44%) and Win Return ($32.50) figures.

Belmont Stakes Festival Distance Sires by Win%


Belmont Stakes Festival Distance Sires by Win Return

Sharp Angles – Connaught Cup

Connaught Cup S. (G2)
7F on the turf at Woodbine (June 1)
Races Analyzed
: 12 7-furlong turf stakes at Woodbine
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Best 2 of 3 Last Speed
Factor Stats: 12 contenders, 5 winners (41%, $34.40 win bet return, 243 ROI%, 9 place/show (75%), $8.20 place and $12.70 show return)

The racing season is beginning to heat up at Toronto's Woodbine Racecourse and the Grade 2 Connaught Cup for middle-distance turfers has drawn a compelling field of 8.

According to the Betmix Angler handicapping software Average Best 2 of Last 3 Speed has pointed to 42% winners of the recent 7-furlong Graded races run over the Woodbine grass course. A full 75% of the contenders have factored in the trifecta and the across-the-board returns are noteworthy as well (see heading).

Find this race in Betmix Birddog and use the Average Best 2 of Last 3 Speed slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

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Sharp Angles – Salvatore Mile S.

Salvatore Mile S. (G3)
8F on the dirt at Monmouth Park (May 25)
Races Analyzed
: 12 one-mile dirt stakes Monmouth
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Last E2 Pace
Factor Stats: 12 contenders, 5 winners (41%, $26.00 win bet return, 208 ROI%, 9 place/show (75%), $6.00 place return)

The first big weekend of the 2019 Monmouth Park season is on tap and the Salvatore Mile is one of four stakes on the Saturday card at the Jersey Shore.

The Betmix Angler handicapping database holds detailed information on the past 12 one-mile dirt stakes at Monmouth Park and the horse ranking first in Last E2 Pace has won 41% of the time. This factor has also produced positive Win ($26.00) and Place ($6.00) returns.

Find this race in Betmix Birddog and use the Last E2 Pace slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

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Sharp Angles – Jim McKay Turf Sprint & The Very One S.

Jim McKay Turf Sprint S. & The Very One S.
5F on the turf at Pimlico (May 20)
Races Analyzed
: 19 stakes at 5 furlongs on turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Speed This Distance
Factor Stats: 20 contenders, 13 winners (65%, $51.00 win bet return, 227 ROI%, 15 place/show (75%), $13.50 place return, $5.20 show return)

It looks like the sun will shine bright on Pimlico throughout Preakness weekend this year. That means firm conditions for the wealth of grass racing being served up at Old Hilltop.

A pair of 5-furlong turf sprints are among the grassy stakes on tap - the Jim McKay Turf Sprint for the colts & gelding on Friday, May 17 and The Very One S. for the distaff set on the Preakness undercard.

A scan of the Betmix Angler handicapping database shows that proficiency at the 5-furlong distance has been highly predictive in this race type with 65% of the winners ranking first in Speed This Distance. Among the good performers are last year's The Very One heroine Girls Know Best ($4.00) and the Jim McKay runner up Rocket Heat.

Find these races 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.

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Sharp Angles – Hanshin Cup S.

Hanshin Cup S. (G3) at Arlington
8F on All Weather (May 11, 2019)

Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 6 8F main track stakes at Arlington (for ages 3 and older)
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: 1st in Average 3 Late Pace
Factor Stats: 6 contenders, 2 winners (33%, $20.60 flat win bet return, 271 ROI%, 50 place/show, $19 place return, $5.00 show return)

While Belmont Park and Santa Anita struggled with entries for their weekend stakes races, Arlington Park had no such trouble. The Chicago-area track was a magnet for 11 older milers going for the trophy in Saturday's Hanshin Cup S. (G3).

After teasing out the one-mile stakes for juveniles in the Betmix Angler handicapping database we were left with a smaller but more relevant sample size. The Angler analysis revealed that Average of Last 3 Late Pace has pointed to 33% winners of this race type with half of the contenders finishing at least second.

Adding more relevance is the fact that this Angle pointed to last year's Hanshin Cup winner Matrooh, who paid $19.60 for the win and to Mister Marti Gras, the 16--1 runner-up in this race in 2014.

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Sharp Angles – San Francisco Mile

San Francisco Mile S. (G3) at Golden Gate
8F on Turf (April 27, 2019)

Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 29 8F turf stakes at Golden Gate
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Earnings Today's Distance
Factor Stats: 29 contenders, 12 winners (41%, $18.80 flat win bet return, 132 ROI%), 20 win/place/sho (68% $9.90 flat place bet return)

While the racing world awaits next weekend's Kentucky Derby there are but three graded stakes on the North American docket this weekend. One of those is Saturday's Grade 3 San Francisco Mile which drew a well-matched field of 10.

According to the Betmix Angler handicapping software the Average Earnings Today's Distance factor has pointed to 41% winners in the one mile turf stakes at Golden Gate since 2012. Nearly 69% of the contenders have hit the board producing positive win ($18.80) and place ($9.90) returns.

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Pedigree Handicapping – 2019 Derby Distance Sires

Which horses can get the distance? That's a central handicapping question around the Kentucky Derby every year. After several months of prep races we have clues. Pedigree is also a key piece of the equation.

Using the sire search function within the Betmix Angler handicapping software we scanned starters at 9 furlongs or longer for the sires of the Top 25 Derby point earners. The results, from January 1, 2012 through April 14, are shown in the chart below.

14 individual sires show a decent sample size (75 or more starters). Among those First Samurai, sire of Sunland Park Derby (G3) winner Cutting Humor, is the leader in distance Win% with a 17.69% strike rate. That figure is followed closely by the progeny of Hard Spun (17.56%), who has Louisiana Derby runner-up Spinoff sitting at #18 on the Derby points leaderboard.

Tapit (Tacitus & Bourbon War), Candy Ride (Vekoma & Game Winner) and War Front (Omaha Beach & War of Will) each have a pair of potential Derby starters and their sons will be among the most heavily played by Derby bettors. All three sires have very solid distance Win % figures over 15%.

If our survey revealed any potential distance questions it would be for Santa Anita Derby (G1) hero Roaster. The sons and daughters of his super sire Quality Road are batting just 11% in 9 furlong or longer contests.

Sharp Angles – Lexington Stakes

Lexington S. (G3) at Keeneland
8.5F on Dirt (April 13, 2019)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 14 8.5F Graded Stakes for 3-year-olds at Keeneland
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Earnings Today's Distance
Factor Stats: 13 contenders, 5 winners (38%, $18.60 flat win bet return, 171 ROI%), 7 win/place (53% $6.90 flat place bet return)

We'll know the final top 20 (U. S.) Kentucky Derby points leaders by the end of the day on Saturday. The Arkansas Derby offers the most Derby qualifying points but a couple runners are looking to sneak into the Derby starting gate via the Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. The race has drawn an evenly matched field of 10.

Using the Betmix Angler handicapping software we isolated a factor that's pointed to three of the past four Lexington winners. That factor is Average Earnings Today's Distance, which has highlighted winners in 2015 (Divining Rod/$7.80), 2017 (Senior Investment/$24.20) along with 2018 hero My Boy Jack ($3.20). The latter made it into the Derby field with his victory, subsequently running 5th to Justify at Churchill.

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Sharp Angles – Blue Grass Stakes

Blue Grass S. (G2) at Keeneland
9F on Dirt (April 6, 2019)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: The last 6 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average of Last 3 Late Pace
Factor Stats: 6 contenders, 4 winners (66%, $21.20 flat win bet return, 276 ROI%), 5 win/place/show (83% $11.40 flat place bet return & $5.30 flat show bet return).

The Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland is one of three hugely important Kentucky Derby prep races around the country on April 6 and it's 14-horse field may be the most challenging for handicappers. So what better situation to fire up the Betmix Angler handicapping software?

We lasered in to analyze just the last 6 runnings of the Blue Grass and found that 4 of winners ranked first in Average Last 3 Purse. In fact, only one of the qualifiers have failed to hit the board making this Angle a good place to start when handicapping a very difficult race.

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