All posts by Matt O

Pedigree Handicapping – 2018 Turf Sires

When we analyzed the top 15 turf sires of 2017 last winter we were surprised to learn that only the runners sired by Giant's Causeway had produced a flat Win bet profit. This year we went a little deeper, looking at the top 25 grass sires (ranked by progeny earnings on the Blood-Horse General Sire list).

The chart below shows the results for those 25 stallions in North American grass races. The progeny of Giant's Causeway once again eked out a Win profit but Quality Road was the only other sire whose progeny showed a Win positive. That Lane's End sire was also tops by Win % (18.48%) and ranked a close 2nd to Blame in terms of In the Money %.

2018 Turf Sires (sorted by Win Return)

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

 

Sharp Angles – Sam F. Davis

Sam F. Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs
8.5F on Dirt (February 9)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 12 8.5-furlong graded dirt stakes at Tampa Bay Downs
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Trainer This Year
Factor Stats: 19 contenders, 7 winners (36%, $37.80 flat win bet return, 199 ROI%), 13 win/place/show (68%, $20.40 flat place bet return & $8.60 flat show bet return)

The February 9 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs is the next stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The race has actually had a larger impact on the Belmont Stakes than the Kentucky Derby in recent years with 2017 Belmont winner Tapwrit running second to McCraken and the 2016 Davis winner Destin the eventual Belmont runner-up.

No matter the future impact of the race, the Betmix Angler handicapping software tells us that trainers make a difference in the 8.5 furlong graded stakes at Tampa. Overall, 36% of the winners and nearly 70% of all in-the-money finishers ranked first in the Trainers This Year factor. The sample includes four of the past six Davis winners:

  • 2013 winner Falling Sky ($17.80) trained by John Terranova
  • 2014 winner Vinceremos ($26.80) trained by Todd Pletcher
  • 2015 winner Ocean Knight (5.20) trained Kiaran McLaughlin
  • 2016 winner Destin ($10.00) Todd Pletcher

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Sharp Angles – Holy Bull Stakes

Holy Bull S. at Gulfstream Park
8.5F on Dirt (February 2)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 27 8.5-furlong graded dirt stakes at Gulfstream Park
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Last Late Pace
Factor Stats: 27 contenders, 12 winners (44%, $33.20 flat win bet return, 161 ROI%), 21 win/place/show (77%, $6.90 flat place bet return & $4.40 flat show bet return)

The next stops on the road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby are Saturday at Gulfstream Park (Holy Bull Stakes) and Santa Anita (Robert B. Lewis Stakes). Ten horses go for the trophy in the Holy Bull and we found a profitable angle for Gulfstream Park graded stakes at carded at the races' 8.5 furlong distance.

According to the Betmix Angler handicapping software, Last Late Pace has pointed to 44% winners in this race type. The sample includes the past three Holy Bull winners - Moyahmen ($2.60), Irish War Cry ($10.80) and Audible ($8.40).

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Sharp Angles – La Prevoyante S. & W. L. McKnight S.

La Prevoyante S. & W. L. McKnight S. at Gulfstream Park
12F on Turf (January 26)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 22 12-furlong turf stakes at Gulfstream Park
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Best Speed Turf
Factor Stats: 26 contenders, 8 winners (30%, $21.40 flat win bet return, 141 ROI%), 16 win/place/show (61%, $25.00 flat place bet return & $16.90 flat show bet return)

Saturday's Pegasus World Cup card at Gulfstream Park is the first big racing day of 2019 with nine stakes races on the docket. Two of those, the La Prevoyante S. (Race 8) for fillies & mares and the W. L. McKnight S. (Race 10) for males, will be run at 12 furlongs over the Gulfstream grass course.

We turned to the Betmix Angler online software to analyze the most successful handicapping factors for 12-furlong grass stakes at the South Florida track and found that Best Speed Turf has produced very good percentages and profits. One third of the 26 contenders ranking first in this factor have found the winner's circle, showing a healthy $21.40 win return. A full two-thirds of the contenders have made the tri sparking a $25.00 flat place bet return and a nearly $17 show bet return.

Among the winners are Texting, heroine of last year's La Prevoyante at a $7.40-1.

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2018 Stakes Review – Trainers

Last week, we used the Betmix Angler online handicapping software to see which jockeys performed best in six 2018 stakes race categories. This week we take a look at the trainers.

There were few surprises with Bob Baffert showing the most wins in Dirt Middle Distance and Distances stakes and ranking second only to Steve Asmussen in Dirt Sprint stakes. On the grass it really was Chad Brown (almost) all the time with a combined 49 stakes victories in Turf Middle Distance and Distances races. Perhaps the one surprise is that a flat bet win bet on all of Browns' Turf Distance starters yielded a $46.30 profit.

The six visuals below show stats for all the top stakes race trainers in 2018.

DIRT

Trainers by Wins in 2018 Dirt Sprint Stakes (4F - 7.5F)

Trainers by Wins in 2018 Dirt Middle Distance Stakes (8F - 9F)

Trainers by Wins in 2018 Dirt Distance Stakes (9.5F +)

 

TURF

Trainers by Wins in 2018 Turf Sprints (4F - 7.5F)

Trainers by Wins in 2018 Turf Middle Distance (8F - 9F)

Trainers by Wins in 2018 Turf Distance (9.5F +)

 

For more information on how to use Betmix Angler, click here.

2018 Stakes Review – Jockeys

It was another great year in thoroughbred racing and another year where big data and advanced metrics took further hold in front offices across American sports. Readers of this post likely know that this approach to thoroughbred handicapping arrived a few years ago when Betmix was launched.

The Angler interface is where Betmix users can run their own queries of the vast Betmix database. We decided to use the database to see how jockeys performed in 2018 Stakes races, on dirt and turf, and at varying distances. But first we wanted to take a look at the overall North American Stakes landscape in 2018 compared with 2017:

Anecdotally we know that turf sprint racing in on the rise in North America and our query bears that out. There were 20 more turf sprint stakes run in 2018 than in 2017, an increase of 14%.

So which jockeys performed best in these six Stakes race categories? The visuals below provide the answers.

DIRT

Jockeys by Wins in 2018 Dirt Sprint Stakes (4F - 7.5F)

Jockeys by Wins in 2018 Dirt Middle Distance Stakes (8F - 9F)

Jockeys by Wins in 2018 Dirt Distance Stakes (9.5F +)

TURF

Jockeys by Wins in 2018 Turf Sprints (4F - 7.5F)

Jockeys by Wins in 2018 Turf Middle Distance (8F - 9F)

Jockeys by Wins in 2018 Turf Distance (9.5F +)

For more information on how to use Betmix Angler, click here.

Sharp Angles – Pan Zareta Stakes

Pan Zareta S. at Fair Grounds
5.5F on Turf (January 5)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 37 5.5-furlong turf stakes at Fair Grounds
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average of Last 3 Late Pace
Factor Stats: 37 contenders, 13 winners (35%, $35.00 flat win bet return, 147 ROI%), 24 win/place/show (64%, $11.80 flat place bet return & $8.80 flat show bet return)

We first presented this Sharp Angle for the Bonapaw Stakes a few weeks ago in New Orleans and that proved to be beneficial for Betmix handicappers.

The January 5 running of the Pan Zareta Stakes for fillies & mares is run at the same 5.5 furlong distance over the Fair Grounds grass course. The Bonapaw was won by Wynn Time, the second choice at $2.40-1. He's this 13th winner of this racetype to rank first in Average of Last 3 Late Pace and his victory increased the Win Return to a hearty $35.

To find the horse that ranks first in this factor, open Betmix BirdDog and find Race 9 at Fair Grounds for January 5 (top left). Then use the Factor Statistics slider for Average of Last 3 Late Pace to isolate the Sharp Angles contender.

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Sharp Angles – Tropical Park Derby & Oaks

Tropical Park Derby & Tropical Park Oaks at Gulfstream Park
8.5F on Turf (December 29)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 40 8.5-furlong turf stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Turf Earnings
Factor Stats: 39 contenders, 13 winners (33%, $71.40 flat win bet return, 191 ROI%), 18 win/place (46%, $12.20 flat place bet return)

The December 29 Tropical Park Derby and Tropical Park Oaks drew full fields of runners looking to take advantage of one last chance to earn blacktype versus fellow 3-year-olds. Consequently, both races offer tremendous wagering opportunities. With that in mind we used the Betmix Angler handicapping software to look for the most predictive factors in 8.5 furlong grass stakes for 3-year-olds at the Hallandale, Florida oval.

Average Turf Earnings appears to be the key to this race type, producing a 33% win rate and an exceptional $70 win return. Just two years ago the winners of both those races ranked first in this factor - Giant Run, the $19.80 winner of the Derby and Ultra Brat, who lit up the board in the Oaks with a $75.40 win mutuel.

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Sharp Angles – Bonapaw Stakes

Bonapaw S. at Fair Grounds
5.5F on Turf (December 22)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 36 5.5-furlong turf stakes at Fair Grounds
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average of Last 3 Late Pace
Factor Stats: 36 contenders, 12 winners (33%, $30.20 flat win bet return, 141 ROI%), 23 win/place/show (63%, $9.40 flat place bet return & $7.40 flat show bet return)

The Bonapaw Stakes is one of six blacktype offerings on the December 22 Fair Grounds card and the race has drawn a field nine turf sprinters. Using the Betmix Angler handicapping software we've isolated a key factor in the 5.5 furlong grass stakes at the New Orleans oval.

Late speed appears to be the key with runners ranking 1st in Average of Last 3 Late Pace scoring a third of the time. 11 more contenders have hit the board triggering positive place and show bet returns.

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Pedigree Handicapping – 2YO Distance Sires

There have been a little over 500 North American races for juveniles going 8 furlongs or longer in 2018. Pedigree can be a prime factor in determining which horses are likely to excel when released from sprint compeition. Luckily the Betmix Angler handicapping software provides Betmix handicappers the option of analyzing sire performance.

The charts below show some of the top active sires by 2YO distance Win % and 2YO distance Win Return.

Juveniles by the great Ashford Stud stallion Uncle Mo should definitely be given a long look when stretching out. His progeny have won at a strong 27% clip in 2018 posting positive returns across the board.

The first crop sire Cairo Prince, based at Airdrie Stud, is another to watch when his sons & daughters get added distance. He's tied with Kitten's Joy with 65 2YO distance starts, an indication that trainer's feel comfortable sending his progeny long. Five of his 11 2YO distance winners have paid double digits, including Silent Surprise who lived up to her name with a $50-1 victory in an 8.5F turf Maiden Special contest at the Keeneland Fall meeting.

WinStar Farm's Paynter is another whose Win Return figure got a big boost this autumn at Keenelend when his juvenile son Knicks Go sprang the 70-1 upset in the Breeders' Futurity. He has six other 2YO distance winners in 2018, all but one also paying double digits. So longshot players might want to be on the look out as the sons and daughters of the 2012 Haskell Inv. (G1) winner/Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up stretch out.

2018 2YO Sires by Distance Win % (for races at 8-furlongs or longer)

2018 2YO Sires by Distance Win Return (for races at 8-furlongs or longer)