Category Archives: Handicapping Blog

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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Pedigree Handicapping – Keeneland Turf Sires

There is no surer sign of spring in Central Kentucky than the opening of the Keeneland meeting each April. Spring comes day earlier in 2019 with the track offering up it's opening day card on Thursday, April 4.

Turf racing also springs back into action on the Kentucky circuit after a winter competing on the all-weather surface at Turfway Park. With that in mind we once again fired up the Betmix Angler handicapping database, which allows for queries by sire for all race types, to revisit and update the analysis of Keeneland turf sires originally published last fall. The three charts below show the returns generated by the progeny of some of 2018's top turf sires over the Keeneland grass course.

Keeneland bettors should definitely be on the look out for the progeny of Artie Schiller, whose sons and daughters have an incredible $106.40 Win Return over the Keeneland lawn. The progeny of the Breeders' Cup Mile winner already showed excellent returns prior to the 2018 Keeneland fall meeting and then went 1 for 4 in October with the winner, Holly Go Lightly, paying $12.20. Among the other three was Salvator Mundy who completed the trifecta in the Bourbon Stakes at 29-1.

Keeneland Turf Sires by Win Return

Keeneland Turf Sires by Win %

Keeneland Turf Sires by In the Money %

Sharp Angles – Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap

Mervin Muniz Memorial H. (G2) at Fair Grounds
9F on Dirt (March 23, 2019)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 13 9-furlong stakes at Fair Grounds
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Last 3 Turn Time
Factor Stats: 13 contenders, 5 winners (38%, $49.20 flat win bet return, 289 ROI%), 8 win/place (61%, $20.20 flat place bet return & $7.20 flat show bet return).

Saturday's Louisiana Derby program is the apex of the Fair Grounds meeting with 8 stakes among the 13 races on the fantastic card. Race 11 is the $300,000 Mervin Muniz Memorial H. (G2) which kicks off a final Pick 3 that culminates with the big Kentucky Derby prep.

We used the Betmix Angler handicapping software to analyze the past 13 9-furlong grass stakes at Fair Grounds and found that Average of Last 3 Turn Time has been a good predictor of success. Nearly 40% of the contenders ranking first in this factor have had their pictures taken while showing a sparkling $40.20 flat win return. Among those are 2 of the past 5 Muniz heroes - Skyring ($17.40) and Enterprising ($14.20).

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Sharp Angles – Rebel Stakes (2 Divisions)

Rebel S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park (2 Divisions Race 8 & 10)
8.5F on Dirt (March 16, 2019)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 28 8.5-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Last 3 Turn Time
Factor Stats: 32 contenders, 8 winners (25%, $142.40 flat win bet return, 322 ROI%), 17 win/place (53%, $23.60 flat place bet return & $15.10 flat show bet return).

Oaklawn Park's gracious offer to split a $1 million Rebel Stakes into two divisions is a boon to horseman, racing fans and potentially to horseplayers. The Betmix Angler online handicapping database holds information for the past 28 graded stakes for 3-year-olds at the Hot Springs, Arkansas oval. Our analysis of those races found a risky but potentially very lucrative Sharp Angle that can be applied to both divisions.

A total of 32 contenders in this race type have ranked first in Average of Last 3 Turn Time. One quarter of them have found the winner's circle and over half (53%) have finished in the money. They've also yielded a whopping $142.40 Win Return along with double-digit Place and Show Returns. The caution is that those big Returns have come largely from longshot Super Steed who sprang the $126.60 upset less than four weeks ago in the Southwest Stakes. However, there are two other double-digit winners for this angle - High North, winner of last year's Northern Spur Stakes at $11.80 and 2017 Fantasy Stakes (G2) heroine Ever So Clever ($33.60). This angle also pointed to last year's Rebel winner Magnum Moon who returned a solid $8.00 to his backers.

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Sharp Angles – Fountain of Youth Day at Gulfstream Park

We put the Betmix Angler handicapping software to work this week to find profitable factors for all nine stakes races on the March 2 Fountain of Youth Day card at Gulfstream Park:

Palm Beach S. (G3) & Herecomesthebride S. (G3) 8.5F Turf (Races 4 & 8)
Races Analyzed - 42 8.5F turf stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park
Sharp Angle - 1st in Average Turf Earnings
Sharp Angle stats -13 winners (30%) $67.40 Win Return, 18 win/place (43%) $8.20 Place Return

Canadian Turf S. (G3) & Honey Fox S. (G3) 8F Turf (Races 5 &11)
Races Analyzed - 31 8F graded turf stakes at Gulfstream Park
Sharp Angle - 1st in Trainer 2-year Win % This Race Type
Sharp Angle stats - 8 winners (24%) $5.80 Win Return, 23 win/place/show (69%) $13.40 Place Return & $13.60 Show Return

Gulfstream Park Sprint S. (G3) 6F Dirt (Race 6)
Races Analyzed - 22 6F graded dirt stakes at Gulfstream Park
Sharp Angle - 1st Trainer/Jockey Combo 2-year Win %
Sharp Angle stats - 9 winners (40%) $18.20 Win Return

The Very One S. (G3) 9.5F Turf (Race 7)
Races Analyzed - 22 9-10F graded turf stakes at Gulfstream Park
Sharp Angle - 1st in Average Earnings Today's Track
Sharp Angle stats - 7 winners (30%) $5.80 Win Return, 17 win/place/show (73%) $7.40 Show Return

Davona Dale S. (G2) 8F Dirt (Race 12)
Races Analyzed - 8 8F graded dirt stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park
Sharp Angle - 1st in Avg. of last 3 E2 Pace
Sharp Angle stats - 3 winners (33%) $40.20 Win Return, 7 win/place/show (77%) $19.80 Place Return & $10.10 Show Return

Holy Bull Stakes (G2) 8.5F Dirt (Race 13)
Races Analyzed - 27 8.5F graded dirt stakes at Gulfstream Park
Sharp Angle - 1st in Last Late Pace
Sharp Angle stats - 12 winners (42%) $31.20 Win Return, 22 win/place (75%) $4.90 Place Return & $5.00 Show Return

Mac Diarmida S. (G2) 11F Turf (Race 14)
Races Analyzed - 30 11F or longer graded turf stakes at Gulfstream Park
Sharp Angle - 1st Best Speed Turf
Sharp Angle stats - 12 winners (33%) $24.60 Win Return, 23 win/place/show (63%) $25.00 Place Return & $20.10 Show Return

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Sharp Angles – Buena Vista Stakes

Buena Vista S. (G2) at Santa Anita
8F on Turf (February 23)
Horse Racing Data Analyzed: 79 8-furlong graded turf stakes at Santa Anita
Date Range: January 1, 2012 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average Turf Earnings
Factor Stats: 79 contenders, 28 winners (35%, $33.40 flat win bet return, 121 ROI%), 30 win/place (49%, $5.00 flat place bet return)

With the President's Day weekend behind us there is a dearth of stakes races being contested across North America this Saturday and Sunday. However, that doesn't mean there aren't some good wagering opportunities. The Grade 2 Buena Vista at Santa Anita carries the highest grade of the 11 stakes on the North American docket and it's a race worth targeting based on our query of the vast Betmix database.

Using the Betimx Angler handicapping software we discovered that the Average Turf Earnings factor has yielded 28 winners of the past 79 one-mile turf stakes at Santa Anita (35%). Just shy of half of the qualifiers have factored in the exacta and this angle has produced a buena Win Return of $33.40.

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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.