October 17, 2022 | By Jeremy Plonk/
Originally published on

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.


Trainer Todd Pletcher is poised for a massive Breeders’ Cup success story.


The Pletcher runners have been on a major tear in October, winning 5 Grade 1 races between Keeneland and the Belmont-at-Aqueduct meeting. But does that success stretch throughout his barn, look any different than normal for this time of year, and foretell any Breeders’ Cup might?

Data Points:

I fired up the Betmix database to look at Pletcher’s October stats each of the past 10 years and cumulatively, tracking win percentage and $1 ROI. It gave us a sample size of more than 850 starters that included 16 Grade 1 wins in that month over the decade.


2022 26% $1.52 TBD
2021 15% $0.41 BC
2020 24% $0.87
2019 16% $0.52 BC
2018 22% $0.79 BC
2017 21% $0.70
2016 24% $0.97
2015 19% $0.82 BC (2)
2014 24% $0.77
2013 18% $0.66

Overall 21% $0.80

Bottom line:

Pletcher’s 5 Grade 1 wins in October 2022 matches up strongly against his 11 in the prior 9 years of Octobers – with essentially the same national stakes schedule annually. His 26% win rate so far in October rates No. 1 in the decade for this month, while the $1.52 ROI is leaps and bounds higher than previous October performances. But notice Pletcher’s 3 previous best Octobers – 2020, 2016 and 2014 – did not result in a Breeders’ Cup win. His best BC the past decade in 2015 (at Keeneland nonetheless) came after a 19% month of October that ranked fourth-worst of the decade. Is Pletcher hotter than usual coming into the Cup? Absolutely, say the numbers. But does that mean he’ll light it up at the Breeders’ Cup? Albeit a small sample size, history says nothing is promised.

Additional details:

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, do the same exercise for other trainers with contenders for this year’s Cup.