February 7, 2022 | By Jeremy Plonk/www.horseplayernow.com
Originally published on www.xpressbet.com
Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.
Cheaper races are less reliable than larger-purse races.
You’ll often hear horseplayers turn their nose up at lower-end racing and say it’s simply too unpredictable and not trustworthy. But how do the lower-purse races stack up with their richer brethren in terms of reliability? Is there truth to the assumption that the higher the purse, the better quality and more trustworthy the likely results?
I dialed up the Betmix database to look at all races in 2021 nationally based on purse levels. I wanted to see the average win odds and the percentage of winning favorites to see how chaotic or trustworthy races were based on purse alone.
Races with $10,000 or less purse had an average winner of 4.68-1 odds and 39.5% winning favorites.
Races with $15,000-$25,000 purse had an average winner of 4.91 odds and 37.7% winning favorites.
Races with $30,000-$50,000 purse had an average winner of 4.81 odds and 37.0% winning favorites.
Races with $55,000-$95,000 purse had an average winner of 4.77 odds and 37.7% winning favorites.
Races with $100,000-$200,000 purse had an average winner of 4.98 odds and 37.2% winning favorites.
In 2021, the $10,000 or less purses produced the highest percentage of winning favorites and the lowest average winning odds. The results didn’t waiver a great deal across the remaining purse levels, varying only 0.7% in winning favorites and 0.21 in terms of average winning odds.
The trustworthiness of a horse does not appear to be tied in any way to the purse level of the race. After all, the competition is the competition, and while a more lucrative racehorse will race in more lucrative races, he/she doesn’t hold any more distinct advantage over that similar class. If you like a horse, regardless of purse, bet them with the same confidence – this one is a myth based on the numbers.
You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, search your favorite track by purse levels and see if there’s any trust gained or lost across the board.