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.
First-time starters at season’s end aren’t as strong as those debuting earlier in the year.
As we hit the final 4 weeks of 2022, horseplayers will be posed with debut runners around the country that are late to the party. Most often injuries before the first start are the culprit, so what chances do we give these runners at first asking?
I fired up the Betmix database to look at all first-time starters since the start of 2019, by the month of their debut, measuring win percentage and return on investment per every $1 bet.
January first-time starters win 9.0% with a $0.78 ROI for every $1 bet.
February first-time starters win 9.6% with a $0.80 ROI for every $1 bet.
March first-time starters win 9.1% with a $0.77 ROI for every $1 bet.
April first-time starters win 10.0% with a $0.75 ROI for every $1 bet.
May first-time starters win 11.4% with a $0.75 ROI for every $1 bet.
June first-time starters win 10.1% with a $0.73 ROI for every $1 bet.
July first-time starters win 10.2% with a $0.76 ROI for every $1 bet.
August first-time starters win 9.6% with a $0.70 ROI for every $1 bet.
September first-time starters win 9.5% with a $0.72 ROI for every $1 bet.
October first-time starters win 8.8% with a $0.71 ROI for every $1 bet.
November first-time starters win 8.6% with a $0.78 ROI for every $1 bet.
December first-time starters win 8.8% with a $0.80 ROI for every $1 bet.
April through July, first-time starters win at the highest percentages, and that goes with the conventional thought of when the best horses typically debut. But the public understands that and perhaps those rookies of repute are easier to identify those months given the lowest ROIs of the year. Notice the uptick in ROI in November-Febuary, and you’ll see betting firsters this time of year can be more fruitful.
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, run these same queries but include your favorite track. Or sort by trainers to see which trainers debut with the most success by month to identify patterns.