Category Archives: Handicapping Blog

Sharp Angles – Curlin S. & Jim Dandy S.

Curlin S. & Jim Dandy S. (G2)
9F at Saratoga (July 26 & July 27)
Races Analyzed
: Last 25 3-year-old male dirt stakes, 9F at Saratoga
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average of Last 3 E2 Pace
Factor Stats: 27 contenders, 11 winners (40%), $72 win bet return, 233 ROI%, 15 place/show (55%) $3.20 place return.

The 3-year-old males take center stage at Saratoga this weekend with a pair of Travers preps - the Curlin Stakes on July 26 and the Jim Dandy S. (G2) the following afternoon.

Both heats are contested at 9-furlongs on the Saratoga main track so we queried the Betmix Angler database for handicapping data on this race type. The exercise seems especially important given how inscrutable many of this year's sophomore dirt stakes have been.

We discovered that the Average of Last 3 E2 Pace factor has been pointed to large and consistent payouts. Three recent Jim Dandy heroes have ranked first in this factor, including a big one, Laoban, who broke his maiden in the race at 27-1 in 2016.

Find this race in Betmix Birddog and use the Average of Last 3 E2 Pace slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

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Pedigree Handicapping – Del Mar 2YO Sires

The west coast juvenile scene kicks into high gear with the July 17 opening of Del Mar. Last week, we used the Betmix Angler database to find out which sires' progeny have performed well at Saratoga. This week we look at 2-year-old sire performance where the 'Surf Meets the Turf'.

With an astounding Del Mar juvenile Win Return of $119.20, bettors are advised pay attention to the juvenile starters by the Three Chimneys stallion Sky Mesa. It's true he was represented by a 36-1 in 2015 but five of his seven winners have paid double digits, including another at 21-1 and a $13.80 winner just last year.

Adena SpringsGhostzapper and Gainesway Farms Tapit led all sires with a 29.17% Win %. Ghostzapper also shows a very healthy Win Return of $27.40.

Claiborne Farm's War Front was the In the Money % leader on the Saratoga chart last week and he's tops again here in that category - 67% of his juvenile starters have placed at Del Mar. While he has a negative Win Return at The Spa, he ranks third with a $44.20 figure at Del Mar.

The leader among the California-based sires we surveyed is Tommy Town Thoroughbreds Ministers Wild Cat whose juveniles show a Win Return of $5.40 (but a low Win percentage of 11.39%).

Pedigree Handicapping – Saratoga 2YO Sires

After 150 years, Saratoga is making history yet again with an eight-week meeting that begins earlier than ever on July 11.

What's been constant at The Spa, at least in the modern era, is an abundance of high-quality juvenile racing. Trainers & pedigree, particularly sires, are the two most important factors in handicapping these races and Betmix has a wealth of data on both.

For this post we queried the Betmix Angler database for sire performance in all 2-year-old races at Saratoga since 2012. The chart below contains figures for over 40 of the most relevant stallions, including five based in the Empire State and whose runners will have to be considered in the many heats restricted to New York-breds.

In fact, perennial leading New York sire Freud (a full brother to the great Giant's Causeway) leads our sample in terms of Win Return ($47.80).

A pair of Kentucky stallions, both based at WinStar Farm, follow. 20% of Speightstown's juveniles have won at Saratoga over the past six seasons, returning a healthy $42.20 to bettors. Two-time Breeders' Cup Classic champ Tiznow now never raced at the upstate New York oval but he's the sire of a pair of Hopeful Stakes winners in the past 5 years. Strong Mandate ($16.60) romped by nearly lengths in 2013 while Sporting Chance ($13.40) swerved his way to victory four years later. Tiznow is one also of four stallions on this chart whose progeny have hit the board at a 60% or better clip.

With a 64% In the Money percentage, Quality Road, is among the others. He's also the clear leader in Win % as his juvenile progeny at The Spa have had their pictures takes at 27% rate.

Sharp Angles – Belmont Oaks & Belmont Derby

Belmont Oaks & Belmont Derby

Belmont Oaks (G1) & Belmont Derby (G1)
10F at Belmont Park (July 6)
Races Analyzed
: Last 5 runnings of the Belmont Oaks & Belmont Derby
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Best Lifetime Speed
Factor Stats: 11 contenders, 3 winners (27%), $42.8 win bet return, 294 ROI%, 3 place/show (27%), $4.10 return.

Belmont Park closes out its 2019 Spring/Summer meeting with a bang, carding a quintet of graded stakes on July 6. The main attractions are the Belmont Oaks and Belmont Derby, which have grown in popularity from both horsemen and handicappers since being inaugurated 2014. This year's full and competitive fields attest to that.

We queried the Betmix Angler handicapping database for info on all runnings of the Oaks & Derby and discovered that Best Lifetime Speed has been a profitable, albeit risky, factor to target.

Two of the first five Belmont Derby winners have ranked first in this factor - Mr Speaker, the $49 winner in 2014 and last year's hero Catholic Boy who also returned a double-digit win mutuel ($12.20). The odds-on Lady Eli is the lone Oaks winner that qualified.

The average odds for the 11 total contenders is 20-1 so this angle may help bettors swing for the fences if so inclined.

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

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Sharp Angles – Queen’s Plate

Queen's Plate
10F on Tapeta at Woodbine (June 29)
Races Analyzed
: Last 18 Woodbine 10 furlong stakes on Tapeta
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Average of Last 3 E1 Pace
Factor Stats: 21 contenders, 6 winners (28%), $66.60 win bet return, 244 ROI%, 13 place/show (61%), $1.90 place and $.10 show return.

The Canadian Triple Crown kicks off with Saturday's 160th running of the $1 million Queen's Plate. This year's edition has drawn a typically competitive field of 14, just the kind of race that makes the Betmix Angler handicapping software so valuable.

We scanned the Angler database for 10 furlong stakes on Woodbines Tapeta surface since 2012 and found that Average of Last 3 E1 Pace has been a key factor.

Around a third of the contenders ranking first in this factor have found the winner's circle while producing a spectacular $60.60 Win Return for bettors. The winners sample includes two of the past 6 Queen's Plate winners, Midnight Aria ($35.20) and Holy Helena ($6.30) plus two other Plate placers - Amis Gizmo (2nd at $2.55-1) and Asserting Bear (3rd at $8.40-1).

Find this race in Betmix Birddog and use the Average of Last 3 E1 Pace slider to see which horse ranks first in this factor. That’s the Sharp Angles play.

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Sharp Angles – United Nations S.

United Nations S. (G1)
11F on the turf at Monmouth Park (June 22)
Races Analyzed
: Last 6 runnings of United Nations S.
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st in Best Speed Last Race
Factor Stats: 6 contenders, 3 winners (50%, $66.80 win bet return, 656 ROI%, 4 place/show (66%), $24.40 place and $8.60 show return.

Saturday's United Nations Stakes is the first Grade 1 contest of the summer at Monmouth Park and has been won by the likes of Round Table, Dr. Fager (when it was contested at Atlantic City Racecourse). More recently it's been captured (twice) by Eclipse Champion English Channel.

The Betmix Angler online handicapping software has data on the past six runnings of the "U.N." and we found that the Speed Last Race factor has been highly profitable for bettors.

Half of the winners of this race since 2012 have ranked first in this factor but huge the win return is what we found especially appealing (and surprising). It's usually fair to assume that horses that ran fastest, most recently, would draw a lot of support from the wagering public. However, the average odds of the six contenders is nearly 9-1. That group includes the past two U.N. winners - Funtastic ($48.00) and Bigger Picture ($23.40).

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

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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.

Want to look for your own Angles using Betmix handicapping software?
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