May 31, 2013

Penn National Saturday - Rydilluc and others

Penn National's card for the Saturday 6-1-13 looks fabulous!

Rydilluc (Palm beach stakes winner), Charming Kitten, Noble Tune in the Penn Turf Mile (- Rosario,Castellano, Johnny V, Luis Saez etc.

Macho Macho in another race, Chamberlain Bridge in another..

I most likely going down to Penn National on Saturday then!

May 29, 2013

Belmont at Grand Central NYC

NYRA Takes Belmont Fun to Grand Central
05/28/2013 11:38 AM ET

New York City commuters, tourists, and visitors will have a chance to experience the fun of a trip to Belmont Park thanks to a promotion scheduled the day before this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The Thoroughbred racing experience at Belmont Park will be inside the Grand Central Terminal with the inaugural Belmont Stakes Fan Festival set for Friday, June 7.
From 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., the east side of Vanderbilt Hall will be turned into a mini version of historic Belmont Park, with four interactive event zones open to the more than 750,000 daily commuters, tourists, and visitors to New York's iconic train terminal. By participating, fans will have the opportunity to win Belmont Stakes items, and also be entered to win one of four prize packages including Belmont Stakes Day hospitality and other packages.
Among the activities are:
Tweet to the Finish, a Twitter sweepstakes in which entrants follow @NYRANews from their Twitter account and tweet the hashtag of the horse they think will win the Belmont Stakes. A randomly selected winner will receive a Belmont Stakes Day trackside hospitality package for two including clubhouse seats, trackside parking, and buffet lunch. Second-, third-, and fourth-place finishers will also receive hospitality packages for different dates in June.
Stakes Stampede, where fans propel a horse displayed on a screen to the finish line by running in place.
Winner's Circle Photo, in which fans can stand in a replica of the Belmont Park winner's circle and get their photo taken to share with friends via email and social media channels.
Mini Belmont Races, complete with a bugler and professional race caller Larry Lederman, in which fans can jump on one of three mechanical ponies and head around the racetrack to the finish line.

May 24, 2013

Friday May 24th 2013: Betfair Hollywood R5

8-Ain - this horse has shown good ability to rally in all of his last 3 races. has been pointed well recently so expect him to do *really* well. Win Contender.

UPDATE: Ain is scratched..... All bets are off as far as I am concerned. 

6- Father of Science - one of the horses to beat. With the blinkers on, is going to be up close and also Drysdale is good at turning around imports to fire on turf. Win contender.

7- Niagara Falls - this one is a 'false fav' and while he may not win, he will be in the top 3 or 4. Has prior experience running long races and pedigree is super strong to survive and then close well.

4- Vibrato Jazz. this is an experienced horse and will improve after his last race after the layoff. Also gets top rider..

Imaginary Wager of $ 100
  $27 Win on Ain = ($27)
 $2 EX BOX (8-6-4)= ($24)
$1 TRIFECTA BOX (4-6-7-8) = ($ 24)
$1 Super 8-6/8-6-7/6-7-4/7-4-5-2 = ($25)

May 22, 2013

Indiana Downs Freak Numbers

I paid attention to it only at the end of the day. I had wagered small amounts on Indiana Downs Races 5 and 6 on Horse #s 9 Smooth Town (in race 5)  and Horse #3 Lucy Ring, #6 Action Lady.

#9 Smooth Town was a steward scratch, so you can't do much about it.

#3 Lucy Ring went off as post time favorite at 0.90 to 1(not great odds) and came second.

ok no big deal.

The funny thing is when I paid attention at the full chart.

TWO NUMBERS dominated the day there. 5 and 7

That  is it. See for yourself. Screen capture is from Twinspires. (fair use). Races 4-5-6-7 ALL had the number 7 horse win. Crazy crazy crazy... haha

May 18, 2013

Preakness 2013 Picks

Been quite busy last few weeks. Did not even get to analyze or play the derby, except for hoping that Revolutionary did well. And yes, he did well enough to come 3rd.

FREE Equibase Past Performance Chart for Preakness 2013 (pdf)

Now, on to the Preakness analysis. The important thing to note is that Rosario is absolutely red hot as a jockey and I wish him and Orb all the best of luck. They do indeed look really strong. Not sure if they look 3/5 odds strong. But hey, I will probably place a souvenir bet on # 1 Orb. If he wins this and then wins the Belmont to take the Triple crown, those souvenir tickets would mean a lot.

The main thing about the Preakness this year is the reduced field, leaving only 9 horses in the fray, which makes lot of top jockeys available for other horses that had different rides in their last race. Case in point - Mike Smith jumps on board #7 Will Take Charge, a colt who did well in the Rebel Stakes to beat Oxbow. Will take charge had to check in the Derby in the stretch and that hurt his chances. If this horse gets a better trip and his decent workout from 13th May (48.20/4F) indicates he is in good shape, then he is surely worth playing in the exotics like tri/supers and also a good PL/SH bets.

I do not have very high hopes from #6 Oxbow, because if you notice one thing, he briefly came close to the lead in the Derby and then ecked out a 6th. He did not do much in the Arkansas Derby (came 5th). He went to the lead in the stretch in the Rebel and the Risen Star, but got beat in both of those (2nd and 4th respectively). His margin of victory was improving only in his 1m70yd LeComte Stakes among his recent races. So.. what do I do? You are getting odds of 15-1 on the M/L. It does not hurt to throw a PL/SH bet, because this one shows up at almost every race and grinds it out quite well. If his odds remain at bigger than 12-1 he is worth keeping in the exotics/PL/SH pools.

There are two others I like, although their odds may not be that great, but still will remain good odds considering Orb is becoming a prohibitive favorite.
These two are #4 Departing and #5 Mylute.  Mylute is the one I favor between the two, mainly because of the talented jockey Napravnik and also because this horse has done well in good competition. Mylute closed well in the Derby and we don't know if the steadying early on hampered his chances in any way. If he gets a better trip, Mylute could do exceedingly well. So, WP bets are worth placing and if the Show pool looks good throw some in there too.

Departing has gone really well, winning most of his races and the one race he came 3rd, the two horses that beat him, did awfully well in the Kentucky Derby. 

So, to summarize, this is what I will likely bet

  • Win bets on #1 Orb (souvenir), #4 Departing (fresh horse), #5 Mylute
  • PL bets on #5 Mylute, #7 Will Take Charge
  • PL on #6 Oxbow, if odds at 5 mtp remain above 12-1 on him (and proportionally at place pool).
  • SH bets on #6 Oxbow, #7 Will Take Charge 

I am absolutely tossing out Goldencents if he is less than 10-1. If he is over 10-1, a small win bet, but I really feel like this is an excuse horse.

Betting basics for Preakness

TO BE HONEST, I am not happy with just a nine horse field in the Preakness, when we could have had up to 14 horses!

Good luck and Happy and Safe Racing

May 14, 2013

Racing handle vs Casino Revenue Trends

This may or may not be of interest to many readers, but this is an important discussion in the long term health of the sport of horse racing. From a bettor's perspective, racetracks can survive only if there are some organic sources of revenue - and by that we mean, wagering handle coming into racetracks at a regular clip.

Update: Please note, I got a comment that in this dataset, the casino revenues are net house winnings, while the racetrack handles are prior to takeout. So US racetrack revenues maybe much lesser. I have to figure out how to incorporate to an average takeout. So assuming that the WPS pool takeout is the average takeout ~ 16-18%, horsetrack revenues should dip a lot more? Of course, they also get money from Slots. So it gets complicated.

A review of casino revenue change over last ten years and comparison of US racetrack handles is presented below.

The data source is available here for viewing/download.

The gist of the data trend can be seen in this one plot:
Gambling vs Racetrack Revenue - 10 yr trend
What we see is that casino revenues have been going up at a very healthy rate since 2003, and while they fell a little during the economic downturn of 2008, they have climbed back up again. Horse racing handle, however, has just begun to claw its way back up, in 2012.

Also, notable of course, is that off track betting easily eclipses on track betting by over ten times volume.

Note that actual revenues of casinos are in the 35-37 Billion range and total horseracing wagering revenues are in the 12-14 Billion range. Both are recorded in US Dollars.

What do you think about these trends? Do you think horse racing will eventually cross over above it highs in 2004 in the coming years?

Also see Ongoing discussions at paceadvantage

Data sources Accessed on May 14 2013:
Jockey Club:

May 13, 2013

Preakness: Bets just to cash a ticket

The 138th Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel in the Triple Crown Series in American (US) thoroughbred racing, will be held coming Saturday - May 18th, 2013 - at Pimlico in Maryland.

You can get official information from the Preakness Website.

While I have not looked at the full card being offered on that day (a very nice card is being offered over the two days Friday and Saturday), but I thought I would share some thoughts on how to bet the Preakness with a returning Derby winner. 

Of course, it is very common that the Derby winner returns to compete in the Preakness. In the last 25-27 years, Grindstone seems to be the only who did not start at the Preakness after a Derby win.

Statistically, out of 26 starts of returning Derby winners, we have 10 of them going on to win the Preakness.  They also finished 2nd in 7 cases and 3rd in 3 starts. All in all, 20 out of 26 times they ran in the money. So a show bet seems to have a high probability of getting some money back. 
Now let us look at the general trend of the toteboard odds at Preakness.

The Derby winner has gone off as the favorite in 16 out of those 26 starts. In some (3-4) of those 16 starts, they have been odds-on favorites (less than even money), but that is not to say they won or finished on the board in those cases. Some examples of compelling favorites not finishing on the board have been Barbaro (rip),  Fusaichi Pegasus, Street Sense etc.

But, a lot of these Derby winners do run in the money and having said that, their win odds are not so great. But if you just want a thrill of cashing a ticket, then betting the Derby winner to PL/SH and a small bet at Win could be had for all of under ten dollars. $2 Win, $ 3 PL and $5 Show. 

That is about basic betting for now. During the week and after the post position draw on Wednesday, I will present a more detailed analysis of the 14 runners and also try to predict some bettable choices!

May 4, 2013

2013 Derby Picks

Here is some analysis of the Kentucky Derby line up for 2013.

"Run for the roses" by colts, geldings (and fillies when they qualify).

Revolutionary (Lifetime chart)

He has definitely shown good improvement and some great fighting qualities in the last two races (his only two stakes races). It has to be noted that he was 4.25 lengths behind Orb, in Orb's maiden breaker race. He has always finished "in the money" (or on the board 1st, 2nd or 3rd position in every race he has run). Calvin Borel, a multiple Kentucky derby winner and a recent hall of fame inductee, will be the jockey for Revolutionary. His trainer is Todd Pletcher, who is one of the top trainers in the game and has several other horses in this Derby.

Orb (Lifetime chart)

Orb has been working out great and he definitely has solid credentials now, after having won the Florida Derby in convincing fashion. Trained by Claude "Shug" McGaughey III, Orb will be ridden by currently super hot jockey Joel Rosario. Add to this all the glowing praise from different experts, including hall of fame trainer Baffert's eye.
BUT, Orb will not deliver much value as a betting choice, so in a 19 horse field, if he is lower than 4-1, I don't see much value betting him!

Frac Daddy (Lifetime chart) He made a good run for 2nd in his last race. Anything can happen, especially in the slop.

Charming Kitten has the accomplished and experienced jockey Edgar Prado, who has won at Kentucky Derby before with Barbaro and has ridden other horses to victory in Triple Crown races. If he places Charming Kitten forwardly this one can do well do be in the top 3. post position rules that option out somewhat.

Golden Soul Again, this one has shown good closing moves and improved the gaps while finishing. Definitely worth a pl or sh bet (ie in the exotics).

May 1, 2013

Workouts from CD

Pay attention the notes on Vyjack (-) and Golden Soul (+) in this discussion on workouts.
Oxbow again looked very uncomfortable jogging a mile the wrong way. Vyjack switched leads several times through the stretch, perhaps not the best of signs, while galloping under trainer Rudy Rodriguez. He’s scheduled to blow out Thursday.
Falling Sky was full of run, as usual, flying by the finish line as he’s been doing on a regular basis for more than a week, while Golden Soul continues to make a very favorable visual impression
Lukas might have tricks up his sleeve so take a closer look at Will Take Charge and Oxbow, although Oxbow seems to be the tiring sort to me...

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