Handicapping Keeneland

The Keeneland Spring meet has just started, and handicappers always look forward to the full fields and nice prices that Keeneland typically provides.

Keeneland was always viewed as a speed favoring track, but in 2006 that changed when they switched to a Polytrack surface. For many people the surface switch has made Keeneland a tough track to handicap, but we have found that Betmix can provide a consistent method for picking winners at Keeneland.

Many of the innovations and products that we provide come from user requests and suggestions. Not too long ago we recieved an email from a user who challenged us to create a mix that would be profitable across every race at Keeneland, since that is the only track he plays. With Keeneland being our hometown track and one we love to play, we took him up on his challenge.

We didn't have much confidence that we could create a mix that would be profitable across every race at Keeneland. Mixes are usually built to be specific rather than general. We normally build a mix for a race class, distance and surface and try to zero in on the handicapping factors that apply to that specific race type.

After several weeks of trial and error, we did come up with a mix that returned a profit when used against every race in the 2012 Keeneland Spring meet. Not every race was a winner, but a $2 WPS bet made on the top pick in every race returned a 14% net profit for the meet.

There were 143 races in the 2012 Keeneland Spring meet, and we we placed a fictional $2 WPS bet on the top pick in every race, and also did fictional $2 exacta and $2 trifecta boxes using the top 4 horses selected in the Keeneland Mix.

$2 WPS bet: 143 races, total bet $858, total return $982.
$2 Trifecta box bet: 143 races, total bet $6864, total return $9554
$2 Exacta box bet: 143 races, total bet $3432, total return $2657

The WPS bets and Trifecta boxes showed a profit, while the Exacta boxes showed a loss. The Keeneland Mix hit 58 exacts in the 143 races, but there were several low returns that hurt the overall numbers.

We learned a great deal in trying to construct a mix that would work across every race type, class and distance at Keeneland and the mix that we ultimately came up with is actually very simple. Normally we would never play every race on the card, but for this test to be valid according to the conditions proposed we did. The results would have been better if we passed on Maiden races and tossed some of the horses that ended up on top but were coming in off of long layoffs or showing declining form.

The mix is now available in the MixMarket, and we will start accepting proven mixes from users as well. If you have developed a mix that is profitable across several races and you can provide the data to back it up, you can sell your mix in the market and earn some money while allowing other handicappers to take advantage of your hard work and creativity.

Best of luck at Keeneland!