Archives for October 2018

Breeders’ Cup Analysis by Rich Nilsen

Crush the 2018 Cup!  All 14 Races Analyzed

15x NHC Qualifier Offers up Pace Scenarios, 5 Spot Plays w/ Expert Wagers, Top Selections and Analysis

Rich Nilsen, who has absolutely crushed some past big days, is back for both days of this year’s Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, a track he knows inside and out.   Included in Nilsen’s report are top selections for all 5 juvenile stakes on Friday and all 9 stakes on Saturday (all 14 Breeders’ Cup races).

You receive Nilsen’s expert pace analysis, which is often the key to selecting the winner.   Nilsen has 5 Spot Plays on the two days.  He offers these best bets with his wagering strategies to attack these races.

Get every Breeders’ Cup race for BOTH days (Friday & Saturday) in one sheet!  

Download instantly to any type of device. Only $19.97

 

Highlights from Previous Breeders’ Cup Spot Play Winners!

$40.40 Spot Play Winner Work All Week with $1,064.70 Trifecta!

$29.40 Sprint Spot Play Winner Trinniberg with Cold $203.40 Exacta!

$15.80 Turf Sprint Spot Play Winner Mizdirection, keying $1,757.65 Pick-4 wager!

$13.00 F&M Turf Spot Play winner Dayathespa

$16.40 Turf Sprint Winner Bobby’s Kitten

$64.80 Exacta with Main Sequence over Flintshire in the Breeders’ Cup Turf

The list goes on and on!

Download today to any device (click to download)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Nilsen caught the horse racing bug at a young age when his father took him to the racetracks in New York. He eventually attended the University of Louisville Equine Business Program with the goal of making a career in the horse racing industry.

Nilsen has worked the past 26 years in the equine industry, serving most of those years as the Marketing Director for Brisnet.com and TwinSpires.com, the Official Wagering Site of the Kentucky Derby.

During his long tenure at the Churchill Downs-owned properties, Nilsen managed the successful Players’ Pool syndicate, which pooled funds from the account wagering members to go after large Pick-6 carryovers. During Nilsen’s leadership, the Players’ Pool produced a significant profit for the members over the course of seven years. One of the best hits was when the Players’ Pool took down half of the Pick-6 pool on Kentucky Derby Day 2007, with a gross return of over $500,000.  The Pool had several other hits over $250,000.

The $2.8 Million National Handicapping Championship (NHC) is the premier horse racing tournament in the nation. It is basically horse racing’s version of the World Series of Poker, with the main difference being that players cannot buy their way into the NHC. Players can only win their way in via tournaments held throughout the country. Nilsen is one of the top participants in the history of the event, having qualified 15 times. He was the first player, and one of only a handful, to finish in the top 10 at the NHC twice.

Nilsen is the founder and editor of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.  He only provides selections like this on a few select days of the day.

 

About My Analysis

In this comprehensive yet concise report, I provide selections for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races for both days, as well as pace scenario analysis which is absolutely vital for predicting the outcomes of these events.

Spot Plays are my best bets and key wagering horses for the big weekend. Picking your spots is key to profiting on the races, especially when it comes to the Breeders’ Cup. The opportunities are plentiful but you improve your chances by selecting key spot plays and focusing most of your bets on those plays.

Set aside a budget for these two days and be sure to have plenty of ammunition for the bigger of the two days, Saturday. Best of luck!

Nilsen’s Breeders’ Cup Analysis

 

2018 Results:

3 Top winners from 5 BC races on Friday, a 60% Win Rate

Spot Play City Of Light scored big in the Dirt Mile, keying the winning daily double into the next race.

Breeders’ Cup 2018 Head2Head Wagers

Doncaster horses racingLOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 31, 2018) Breeders’ Cup, which last week announced several new wagers to its betting menu for both Friday and Saturday of the November 2-3 World Championships at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., has released the Head2Head (H2H) wagering matchups.

Click here for the chosen H2H matchups: http://www.breederscup.com/wager/head2head

All told, seven Head2Head (H2H) wagers, with three offered Friday and four Saturday, provide seasoned bettors and potential newcomers an opportunity to handicap intrarace matchups in the hopes of unearthing strong plays in a sports betting type of format. The $10 minimum wager, with just a 10% takeout, is designed to offer matchups with a theoretical 50/50 chance of winning, that should attract seasoned bettors, but could also in turn appeal to sports bettors, as they are essentially being given an even-money proposition, yet with no points spread involved.

The matchups, listed below, will have a predominantly USA vs. European feel and consist of both individual horses against each other, as well as entire groups from both countries.

Friday, Nov. 2 –
Race 6 – Juvenile Fillies Turf: USA (1) vs Europe (2)
Race 8 – Juvenile Turf: USA (1) vs. Europe (2)
Race 9 – Sentient Jet Juvenile: Complexity (1) vs. Game Winner (2)

Saturday, Nov. 3 –
Race 6 – Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf: USA (1) vs. Europe (2)
Race 8 – Mile: USA (1) vs. Europe (2)
Race 10 – Longines Turf: Enable (GB) (1) vs. the Field (2)
Race 11 – Classic: Mendelssohn (1) vs. Thunder Snow (2)

All seven matchups offer plenty of pros and cons for each side that should attract betting dollars from handicappers and fans alike, as Friday’s juvenile turf races figure wide open, with serious contenders from both the USA and Europe, while the Sentient Jet Juvenile itself has a great West Coast-East Coast battle between a pair of undefeated colts, Complexity and Game Winner. Saturday is much the same, as the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf and Mile are riddled with contenders from both sides of the pond, while the immortal European filly Enable will go it alone in the Turf, while tackling the entire field. The Classic will pit European-based Mendelssohn and Thunder Snow against each other, but US bettors and Kentuckians are familiar with both, as they each ran in the Kentucky Derby and in the US on multiple occasions.

Each Head2Head wager will consist of two betting interests, number 1 or 2. USA will be the 1 interest and Europe will be the 2 interest for all USA vs Europe wagers. Similarly, Complexity will be the 1 interest and Gamer Winner the 2 interest, Enable the 1 interest and the Field the 2 interest, and Mendelssohn the 1 interest and Thunder Snow the 2 interest. In Head2Head wagers the winner will be determined by the horse that finishes the finish line first and does not necessarily need to be the horse that wins the race.

The Head2Head matchups are an important spoke in a wheel that sees a plethora of new and exciting wagers that are sure to bolster an already tremendous wagering product the Championships offer. A newly added 50-cent late Pick5 on both Friday (deemed the “Future Stars Pick5) and Saturday, with a 15% takeout and a guaranteed pool of $1 million and $2 million, respectively, lead the way and figure to easily surpass their guarantees, while a Jackpot Super Hi-5 that could spurn a carryover pool in the millions is also expected to be well received. Couple those with special daily double wagering that links a Friday race to a Saturday race, with a $1 minimum and 22% takeout, and an already loaded wagering menu becomes that much more appealing—and potentially lucrative.

Modernized Treasury/IRS Rules for Wagering a Huge Success

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington DC.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Wednesday, October 31, 2018)—In the first year of operations under newly modernized U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, there was a $307 million reduction in the amount  of winning pari-mutuel wagers reported to the IRS using form W-2G, according to  statistics released today by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). This reduction in the amount of winning wagers reported was the result of a dramatic 89% decline in the number of winning tickets flagged for IRS reporting. The declines also led to a $35 million reduction in the amount withheld from bettors’ winnings. The new regulations, which took effect Sept. 28, 2017, recast the Treasury’s definition of the “amount of the wager” to include the entire amount wagered into a specific pari-mutuel pool by an individual rather than the prior IRS standard of using only the base amount of the winning wager.

Based on data provided by CHRIMS, which conducts settlements and other services for many of the nation’s pari-mutuel operators, individual racetracks, and the two largest U.S. totalizator companies—AmTote and United Tote—the NTRA estimates the following nationwide impacts over the first 12 months of operation under the new regulations (10/1/2017 – 9/30/2018 vs. 10/1/2016 – 9/30/2017):

  • The gross amount of winning wagers reported to the IRS on Form W-2G declined $307,700,000 (82%), from approximately $374,500,000 to about $66,800,000;
  • Federal taxes withheld from winning wagers and sent to the IRS declined $35,400,000 (82%), from $43,200,000 to $7,800,000; and
  • The actual number of IRS tickets flagged for W-2G reporting by the IRS declined nearly 89%, from approximately 235,100 tickets to only about 26,350 winning tickets.

From a percentage standpoint, the impacts were equally positive for horseplayers, pari-mutuel operators and horsemen across the country—regardless of the size of the racetrack market. The new regulations also provided positive impacts to advance deposit wagering (ADW) operators and their customers.

“The drastic reduction in the number of winning tickets requiring reporting and withholding is consequential in several ways,” said NTRA President and Chief Executive Officer, Alex Waldrop. “Under the old regulations, it was not uncommon for horseplayers to feel the thrill of ‘winning’ only to have their proceeds reported and/or withheld by the IRS. The old regulations were both unfair and a burden to all involved. A significant overreach by the IRS has been corrected thanks to fair-minded officials at the U.S. Treasury.”

There are numerous specific examples of events where the industry benefited from the new regulations.

On-track at the host venues of the Triple Crown races—Derby Day, Preakness Day and Belmont Stakes Day—the combined number of winning tickets required by the IRS to be reported on Form W-2G fell 96%, with the gross amount of winning wagers required to be reported falling by 87% and the amount of money withheld from pari-mutuel winnings falling 71%. It is likely that similar results were realized nationwide.

On-track impacts were most pronounced at Pimlico on Preakness Day, where the number of tickets requiring reporting fell 99% and the number of tickets requiring Federal withholding fell 100% because there were no winning tickets at Pimlico on Preakness Day that triggered Federal withholding.

On-track at the 40-day 2018 Saratoga Meeting, the number of winning tickets flagged for processing by the IRS fell 96%, the gross amount of winnings required to be reported fell 94% and the amount of money withheld from winning bettors fell 91%.

Nilsen's analysis

“The new regulations have been enormously beneficial to every sector of our business,” Waldrop continued. “They would never have transpired without the bipartisan support we received on Capitol Hill and the unwavering support of every segment of the horse racing industry, including thousands of customers who answered our call to action.  Best of all, we will continue to realize the positive impacts from these regulations for many years to come.”

For more than a decade, the NTRA and others promoted legislation to modernize pari-mutuel withholding and reporting. The industry argued that as pari-mutuel wagering increasingly shifts toward exotic bet types like Exactas, Trifectas and Pick 4s, more winning wagers are being reported and more winnings withheld, creating an unfair burden on bettors, pari-mutuel operators and state and federal governments.

Then in 2014, the NTRA developed a new strategy that relied on regulatory, not statutory relief from outdated regulations. Following the new strategy, the NTRA was able to convince the Treasury Department and the IRS to expand the definition of the phrase “amount of the wager” to include the total amount bet on a single ticket (or through an ADW) by an individual into a specific pari-mutuel pool. This one simple change in the Treasury regulations that took effect on September 28, 2017 has led to the significant benefits reported today.

Through September of this year, U.S. wagering has increased 3.95% ($336,724,709) overall while average wagering per race day has increased 7.67% ($180,231), according to statistics provided by Equibase.

Breeders’ Cup 2018: Stars Perform Workouts at Churchill Downs

Godolphin’s Dubai World Cup (GI) winner Thunder Snow (IRE) completed his final step prior to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) with a seven-furlong move in 1:27 at 5:30 a.m. EDT Friday at Churchill Downs.

Thunder Snow worked through eighth-mile splits in :13.20, 26, :38.40, :50.40, 1:02.40 and 1:14.60. The 4-year-old colt completed his work with a one-mile gallop out in 1:41.20, according to Nichols.

Godolphin’s Traveling Manager Tommy Burns watched intently from Section 318 of the Churchill Downs grandstand with a smile on his face. Burns reported trainer Saeed bin Suroor likely will arrive at Churchill Downs early next week.

Mind Your Biscuits Works for Summers

Trainer Chad Summers’ top Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) contender Mind Your Biscuits completed what appeared to be his final major preparation for the $6 million test with an easy five-furlong move in 1:03.20 early Friday morning at Churchill Downs.

“It was a two-minute lick,” Summers said. “We’re really happy with how he’s doing and how he went this morning.”

Mind Your Biscuits, the winner of the Lukas Classic (GIII) on Sept. 29 at Churchill Downs and multiple Grade I-winning sprinter, has pre-entered in both the Classic and TwinSpires Sprint (GI).

“I actually originally pre-entered in the Classic and Dirt Mile,” Summers said. “However, once I heard X Y Jet was coming for the Sprint, I changed my pre-entry at 11:50 a.m. on Monday (deadline was noon).”

Tyler Gaffalione, a new addition to the Churchill Downs jockey colony, has the call on Mind Your Biscuits in the Breeders’ Cup.

Currently on the outside of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) field looking in is locally based trainer Dallas Stewart’s Ack Ack (GIII) winner Seeking the Soul who worked a half-mile in :47.60 Friday morning at Churchill Downs.

“It seems we have some luck sneaking into races when we are on the outside looking in,” said Stewart, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby in 2013-14 with Golden Soul and Commanding Curve. “One thing we know for certain is that this horses loves this track. If we can’t get into the Classic, then we can run in the Dirt Mile. I think he’ll do great in either spot.”

Currently, Seeking the Soul is ranked No. 17 on the Breeders’ Cup preference list for the Classic, that is limited to 14 starters.

The winner of the Grade I Clark Handicap last November worked Friday through opening splits of :11.60 and :23.20, before galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.60, according to Churchill Downs Clocker John Nichols. The work was ranked the third fastest out of 26 at the distance over the “good” dirt surface.

Gunnevera Works. Expects to Make Classic

Margoth’s Gunnevera breezed six furlongs in 1:15.20 Friday morning at Gulfstream Park West in preparation for a planned start in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3.

The Antonio Sano-trained 4-year-old worked by himself under exercise rider Raul Velasquez.

“It was a nice work. We gave him a nice easy work,” said Sano, whose stretch-running son of Dialed In had previously turned in three strong five-furlong breezes in company.

Gunnevera, who ranks second on the list of alternates for the Classic, is a probable to make the field Monday, when Bravazo and City of Light are expected to be entered in the $1 million Dirt Mile (G1), listed as the first-preference for both horses in the pre-entries for the 35th Breeders’ Cup.

“It was a surprise to me. Never in my life did I think he wouldn’t be selected [into the main field],” Sano said.

Gunnevera, who finished in a dead-heat for fifth with Arrogate in last year’s Classic at Del Mar, started his 2018 campaign with a third-place finish behind Gun Runner and West Coast in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream in January. Two months later, he finished eighth in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1), in which he sustained a nasty hoof injury that sent him to the sidelines for five months. Gunnevera has returned to action as good as ever, capturing an Aug. 10 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park by 6 ½ lengths before finishing second behind Yoshida in the $750,000 Woodward (G1) at Saratoga in his most recent start Sept. 1, closing from 11th with a six-wide rally.

“My horse is doing good. He has a chance to win. The mile and a quarter is good for him,” Sano said.

Irad Ortiz Jr. is scheduled to ride Gunnevera for the first time in the Classic.

Gunnevera is scheduled to leave for Churchill Downs by van at 7 p.m. Friday.

Kathleen O’Connell-trained Well Defined, the easy winner of the $400,000 FSS In Reality last time out, and Stormy Embrace, the winner of the ‘Win and You’re In’ Princess Rooney (G2) on the June 30 Summit of Speed card, arrived at Churchill Downs Friday morning for scheduled starts in the $2 million Juvenile (G1) Nov. 2 and the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 3, respectively.

“They just arrived this morning. Everything seems to be good,” said O’Connell, who will join her Breeders’ Cup candidates at Churchill Sunday.

Stanley Gold-trained Cookie Dough, the winner of the $400,000 FSS My Dear Girl last time out, was also scheduled to leave for Churchill Downs Friday for a scheduled start in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies (G1) Nov. 2. Georgina Baxter-trained Pay Any Price, the first-alternate for the $1 million Turf Sprint (G1) Nov. 3, was also slated to depart Gulfstream Park Friday.

David Fawkes-trained Louder Than Bombs, who captured the Armed Forces Stakes over the Gulfstream turf course last time out, breezed a half-mile in 47.02 seconds at Gulfstream Friday morning. The 2-year-old son of Violence, who posted the fastest of 31 recorded at the distance, is the second alternate for the $1 million Juvenile Turf (G1) Nov. 2.

Source: Churchill Downs

Breeders’ Cup 2018: 2yo Sippican Harbor Puts in Final Work

Final Work for Breeders’ Cup Put in Before Noreaster Hits

Lee Pokoik’s Sippican Harbor, a stylish winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway, put in her final Breeders’ Cup prep this morning covering seven furlongs in 1:28.65 seconds under exercise rider M.C. Brock at Belmont.

“She’s a willing work horse but I did work her in company with a turf horse that needed a work and she blew his doors off. It was a good combination. She broke off about five lengths behind him and took off at the sixteenth pole and hit the wire about five lengths in front. She does it so easy,” trainer Gary Contessa said.

Contessa is enjoying a tremendous Belmont fall meet with 18 wins, good for second in the standings. Sippican Harbor will mark the conditioner’s fourth Breeders’ Cup starter and he’s relishing the opportunity to compete with a legitimate contender.

“I go out there and buy ten 2-year-olds every year. I don’t have the bench some of my peers have, so it’s a phenomenal opportunity,” Contessa said. “I’ve been to the Breeders’ Cup three times, but this is my first time going with a legitimate opportunity to win the race. She’s a such a level-headed filly. I’m in a great place. They’re going to have to be better than her to beat her, because she’s not some one-dimensional speed horse or a drop dead closer – you can put her anywhere. She’s a 2-year-old with the mind of a 5-year-old.”

With Joel Rosario slated to ride Jaywalk in the Juvenile Fillies, Contessa has lined up Irad Ortiz, Jr. to pilot Sippican Harbor.

“I’ve been doing this long enough to know that every top rider has multiple choices in every Breeders’ Cup race,” Contessa said. “I’m not the only one it’s happened to, but to have Irad is an even swap. I’ve won a lot of races with Irad, so I’m thrilled. The alternative is not a bad thing.”

Former Claimer Gearing Up for Breeders’ Cup

Trainer Barclay Tagg has sent out eight previous Breeders’ Cup starters and will be looking for his first winner when he saddles Cassies Dreamer in the Juvenile Fillies and Verve’s Tale in the Distaff at Churchill Downs.

A 2-year-old daughter of Flatter, Cassies Dreamer was claimed for $50,000 out of her maiden score on August 3 at Saratoga. Tagg claimed the dark bay filly at the behest of owners Turf Stable Racing (Rusty Jones) and Hayward R. Pressman. Since the claim, Cassies Dreamer has kept steep company, finishing third in both the Grade 1 Spinaway and Grade 1 Frizette.

“I haven’t claimed a horse in 40 years. I was never really interested in claiming horses, I like to buy horses and develop them and go that route,” started Tagg. “So, I said, ‘let me take a look at her.’ She walked down the path from the barn over to Saratoga, and that’s like walking the gauntlet with all the kids and people over there. I thought if she walks through there and looks alright to me, I’ll go ahead and claim her. As soon as I set eyes on her, wow, what a gorgeous filly. Just a big, strong strapping filly. I had to take her. I put the claim in, we got her, and she won the race. And she really hasn’t done anything wrong since. Everything she does is in the right direction.”

Following a bit of trouble at the gate in the Spinaway, Cassies Dreamer came from last of 11 to get within 2 1/4 lengths of Juvenile Fillies-rival Sippican Harbor.

“It takes time trying to load a lot of babies into the gate and they have to fuss with them to get their head straight. I’m not blaming anyone at the gate, it’s just a tussle sometimes and she came out of it slow and it cost her. I figured it was all over and we’d try and develop her on from there. All of a sudden, she was coming and maybe could have won it with a bit of a better start,” said Tagg.

On Friday morning, Cassies Dreamer worked in company with Brucia La Terra, runner-up in the Frizette last time out, covering four furlongs in 48.44 seconds over the Belmont main track. Brucia La Terra will make her next start in the Grade 3 Tempted on Opening Day at Aqueduct.

“I’ve worked them together pretty much every work and I was very happy with how they went this morning,” Tagg said. “I feel good about her [going into the Breeders’ Cup]. You never know until you get them in against the heavy hitters, but she’s held her own so far. She’s a young filly but she’s trained well and done everything we’ve asked her to do. We’re really pleased with her progress.”

Pressman and Jones are new clients for Tagg and the veteran conditioner has enjoyed the partnership. At their suggestion, Manny Franco will take over from Junior Alvarado.

“The owners asked me if I’d ride Manny and I said yes. So far, saying yes to them has been working out,” Tagg said with a laugh.

Charles Fipke’s homebred Verve’s Tale will make her Breeders’ Cup debut in the Distaff. The 5-year-old Tale of Ekati mare has yet to win in five starts this campaign but will go into the Distaff off a rallying third in the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational.

“She’s a tough, old gal. She’s as honest as the day is long. She likes to come from off the pace. If you let her lay up close, she doesn’t have as good a finish. It’s a little hard with 14 horses to come from off the pace but the good riders and good horses can do it,” Tagg said.

Brian Hernandez, Jr. will take over from Manny Franco aboard Verve’s Tale at Churchill Downs and be tasked with finding a winning trip.

“She’s pretty honest. If you ease her back and just wait and wait and wait on her, she’ll finish strong for you,” Tagg said. “She won a stakes race [the Summer Colony] at Saratoga doing that, only by a nose, but she gets there. You never know what can happen in a big field.”

Verve’s Tale breezed five furlongs in 1:01.37 this morning on the Belmont main.

“I asked them to go off in 12 and change and finish up in a minute and they were pretty close to it. She galloped out strong,” Tagg said.

Source: NYRA

Lessons from the 2011 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs

By Lenny Moon (reprinted with permission)

The handicapping process does not end when the bets are made; it ends by reviewing the results of the races that were bet and analyzing the handicapping process to determine if anything was missed. After taking a day to recover, I looked back at the 2011 Breeders’ Cup results and came up with the top four things to take away from the last Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs.

#4 Some Breeders’ Cup Results are Impossible to Explain

Every horseplayer has watched or bet a race that was won by a horse that appeared to have no chance of winning. The horse may have appeared to be too slow, was running at the wrong distance or had not run well in months or years. The horse triggers large payouts and causes great frustration. After reviewing the past performances nothing points to the horse as a winner. The result is still implausible but that is perfectly acceptable. Horse races are run by living breathing animals and ridden and trained by humans. The horses are not machines and the jockeys and trainers are imperfect so it is inevitable that from time to time a race will produce an un-explainable result. This scenario occurred not once but twice on Breeders’ Cup Saturday.

The first impossible to come up with horse was Afleet Again in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon. Afleet Again was the least likely winner of the Breeders’ Cup Marathon after a subpar 2011 that saw him go winless in eight starts including two losses in allowance races. Afleet Again was also unproven at the distance and based on speed figures was the slowest horse in the race. Despite all of these negative factors Afleet Again won the Breeders’ Cup Marathon by a comfortable 2 ¼ lengths at odds of 41 /1.

The second improbable winner was Court Vision in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Court Vision was the least likely winner in the Breeders’ Cup Mile after a lackluster 2011 season.  Similar to Afleet Again Court Vision was winless in 2011 and based on speed figures was the slowest horse in the race. Court Vision was coming off a mediocre seventh place finish in the Woodbine Mile yet he managed to blow past three-time defending champion Goldikova and hold off Turallure (winner of the aforementioned Woodbine Mile) to post the biggest upset in the twenty seven year history of the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Even after the race was run it was impossible to make a case for Court Vision.

After reviewing the past performance of each horse and knowing they had won their respective races I still could not find a reason to bet either one of them but guess what? That was perfectly fine.

 

#3 – Look for the “Horse for the Course Angle” in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

Some horses prefer one track over all others or in extreme cases only run well at one particular track. These horses are often referred to as a “horse for the course.” This angle plays out everyday at tracks across the country.

This year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint was won by Regally Ready, a Churchill Downs “horse for the course,” who was two for two in turf sprints at Churchill Downs prior to the race. The “Horse for Course Angle” has become a potent handicapping factor for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprints as it has produced all four winners of the race [through 2011]. Chamberlain Bridge won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint after compiling a record of three wins and a second from four turf sprints at Churchill Downs. California Flag won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course and had previously won two of four starts over the course. Desert Code, who I mentioned in my post about multi-ticket betting strategy, won the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on the same downhill turf course and had won three of five turf sprints at Santa Anita.

The Breeders’ Cup returns to Santa Anita in 2012 and once again the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint will be run on the unique downhill turf course. The downhill turf course is notorious for producing “horse for the course” winners so it will pay to give special consideration to horses that have won or performed well over the course in the past.

 

#2 – Favor the “Turn-back Angle” in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

Betting a horse “turning-back” in distance is one of the oldest angles in the book. To fit the angle a horse simply needs to be running in a race at a shorter distance than its previous race. The most common example is a horse going from a route to a sprint, such as from 1 1/16 miles to seven furlongs, but the angle also works for horses “turning-back” in distance from a route to a shorter route .

breeders cup 2010

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Caleb’s Posse, Shackleford and Tres Borrachos completed the trifecta in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile this year. All three fit the “tum-back angle.” Caleb’s Posse and Shackleford were exiting the 1 1/16 miles Indiana Derby and Tres Borrachos prepped for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in the 1 1/8 miles Goodwood.

The “Turn-back Angle” has become quite possibly the most important handicapping factor for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile as it has produced the winner of all five runnings of the race [through 2011]. Dakota Phone won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile after running in the 1 1/8 miles Goodwood. Furthest Land won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile after prepping in the 1 1/8 miles Kentucky Cup Classic. Albertus Maximus won the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile after running in the 1 1/8 miles Goodwood. Corinthian won the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile after competing in the 1 1/8 miles Woodward. One day a horse may win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile after running in a sprint race but until the trend is reversed it pays to give preference to horses “turning-back” in distance.

 

#1 – Favorites Need Not Be Avoided

Favorites in horse racing are normally associated with unexciting payoffs, however when combined with a few upsets they can produce massive payouts. The six Breeders’ Cup races on Friday (2011) made up the Pick 6. Three of those races were won by the post time favorite (Secret Circle in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, My Miss Aurelia in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Royal Delta in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff), the other three were won by 6/1 Stephanie’s Kitten (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf), 20/1 Musical Romance (Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint) and 27/1 Perfect Shirl (Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf) resulting in a Pick 6 payout of $444, 571. The last four Breeders’ Cup races made up the Pick 4. Two favorites (My Miss Aurelia and Royal Delta) combined with the aforementioned 20/1 Musical Romance and 27/1 Perfect Shirl produced a Pick 4 payout of $23,428 . In both sequences favorites won half of the races which proved that it is not necessary to beat the favorite in every race to win a substantial amount of money.

 

Final Thoughts about Breeders’ Cup 2011

Although these points relate directly to the Breeders’ Cup each can be applied to everyday handicapping. The most important lesson however is that just like horses are not machines handicappers should not bet like machines. Automatic bets should not be placed on horses that meet the criteria outlined above; they should be one factor to consider in the handicapping process. Sound handicapping involves evaluating all of the available information and using that information to bet the horse that figures to win the race at hand.

2018-2019 Gulfstream Park Championship Meet

The 2018-2019 Championship Meet stakes schedule at Gulfstream Park will feature a record 105 stakes worth a record $29.079 million in purses, headlined by the blockbuster Jan. 26 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, featuring the $9-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the $7-million Pegasus World Turf Cup (G1), the richest stakes on dirt and turf in North America.

The 68th running of the $1-million Florida Derby (G1), the prolific Triple Crown prep race for 3-year-olds, will be run on a March 30 program with seven stakes, four graded.

The third running of the Pegasus World Cup, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up, was won last year by 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner. The Pegasus Turf Cup, formerly the Gulfstream Park Turf, will be contested by 4-year-olds and up over 1 3/16 miles on turf. The two Grade 1 attractions will be supported by seven stakes, including the $200,000 La Prevoyante (G3), $200,000 W. L. McKnight (G3), the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) and the $150,000 Fred Hooper (G3).

“We’re thrilled to expand the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series into a multi-race event with the addition of a turf race. Entering just our third year, we’re excited about the future of this series and the interest we are getting from horsemen around the world,” Stronach Group Chief Operating Officer Tim Ritvo said. “The Stronach Group will continue to build on our major events as Chairman and President Belinda Stronach continues to think of ways to innovate our sport. With major events like the Pegasus and Clasico Internacional del Caribe, Gulfstream’s Championship Meet is becoming a major influence on the world stage.”

The Florida Derby will again highlight Gulfstream’s heralded program for 3-year-olds. Three of the last six winners of the 1 1/8-mile marquee event have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby (G1). The Florida Derby, which has produced the winners of 59 Triple Crown races, will headline a program with seven stakes worth $2.15 million, including the $300,000 Gulfstream Mile (G2), $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) for 3-year-old fillies and $250,000 Pan American (G2).

The Florida Derby Weekend will begin Friday, March 29 with four stakes, including the $100,000 Orchid (G3), $100,000 Skip Away (G3) and $100,000 Appleton (G3).

Gulfstream Park paddockThe $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2), the key 1 1/16-mile Florida Derby prep race, will top a remarkable program with nine graded stakes worth $1.65 million March 2, including the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) for 3-year-old fillies, $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2), $150,000 Honey Fox (G3), $150,000 The Very One (G3), the $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3), $150,000 Palm Beach (G3), $150,000 Herecomesthebride (G3) and $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3).

The 3-year-old program will start with the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man, a one-turn mile that will be contested Jan. 5. The $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) at 1 1/16 miles will be on the Feb. 2 program that will offer four other graded stakes for 3-year-olds, including the $150,000 Swale (G3) at seven furlongs and $150,000 Forward Gal, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies. The $100,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) for fillies and the $100,000 Dania Beach (G3) will both be contested at a mile on turf.

“This is truly going to be a memorable Championship Meet. There really is a major event every weekend and there will be world-championship racing every day and major events like the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, Florida Derby, Eclipse Awards and, on opening day, the Claiming Crown,” Gulfstream Park General Manager Bill Badgett said. “Once again, Gulfstream’s Championship Meet will have the world’s top horses, horsemen and jockeys. We invite everyone to come out and take part in what will be an incredible Thoroughbred meet.”

The nine-race $1.1 million Claiming Crown, featuring the $200,000 Jewel, will once again open the Championship Meet Dec. 1. The graded-stakes portion of the 2018-2019 stakes schedule kicks off Dec. 15 with five $100,000 graded stakes: the Harlan’s Holiday (G3), Rampart (G3), Sugar Swirl (G3), Tropical Turf (G3) and My Charmer (G3).

The Pegasus Turf Cup will be the centerpiece of an extensive stakes schedule on turf that will offer 33 stakes, 11 graded, during the Championship Meet, not including several starter stakes slated on turf.

Gulfstream will once again offer the best in world-class racing, dining and events throughout the Championship Meet that will run from Dec. 1 through March 31. Along with Pegasus World Cup Day and Florida Derby Day festivities, Gulfstream will roll out the red carpet once again Jan. 24 when it hosts the prestigious Eclipse Awards for the seventh consecutive year. Gulfstream Park will welcome back the $700,000 Clasico Internacional del Caribe Dec. 8 after becoming the first facility outside Latin America and the Caribbean to host the program of five stakes for horses from eight Latin American and Caribbean countries, highlighted by the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe for 3-year-olds. The popular Sunshine Millions, featuring the $200,000 Classic, will be held Jan. 19.

The entire schedule can be viewed at: http://gulfstreampark.com/racing/schedules/stakes-schedule

Source: Gulfstream Park

How Trainer John Sadler helped turn grape growers into horse racing powerhouse owners

How trainer John Sadler helped turn grape growers into horse racing powerhouse owners

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune Full coverage: How trainer John Sadler helped turn grape growers into horse racing powerhouse owners

Will Ellis Park horses be a Factor in 2018 Breeders’ Cup?

“There are still some question marks out there,” trainer Tom Amoss said of his filly’s impressive victories. “Who wants to go that far, who doesn’t. Maybe the overall talent of the field. The same could be said for the other major fillies in this race.

“The Ellis Park Debutante stamped what we already knew: That she was talented. She used her speed to her advantage and was able to draw off in the race. Then we saw it again at Churchill Downs. Those two races certainly stamp her as one of the favorites in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies — and rightfully so.”

Ellis Park looms large in Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants Evansville Courier & Press No Justify, but ‘deep races’ as horses revealed for 2018 Breeders’ Cup Courier Journal : Ellis Park looms large in Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants

New Turf Course at The Big A

Turf course at AqueductThe opening of the 2018 Aqueduct Fall Meet on Friday, November 2 will see the unveiling of a new, renovated inner turf course, the New York Racing Association has announced.

The new inner turf course is similar in design to the outer turf course, which replaced the winterized inner track in 2017 and garnered rave reviews from jockeys and horsemen.

Completed in July, construction of the new inner turf included the installation of a new sand drainage layer and an improved irrigation system to match that of the outer turf. Also like the outer course, new Kentucky Blue Grass sod was installed on the seven-furlong course and chute.

It was the first significant renovation to the inner turf course since the mid-1970s and results in an additional rail setting as well as a much more consistent racing surface.

“These improvements are significant and will allow NYRA to card additional races over the inner turf throughout the fall and spring,” said Glen Kozak, NYRA VP of Facilities & Racing Surfaces. “The modernized irrigation and drainage systems will add consistency to the surface and will allow the course to recover much more quickly than in the past. Jockeys, as well as horsemen and horsewomen, can look forward to a completely renovated second turf course when racing returns to Aqueduct on November 2.”
Last year, NYRA undertook an extensive renovation of the main track to accommodate a wider variety of racing distances year-round as well as the installation of a one-mile outer turf course.

“I thought they did a great job with the turf they put in last year, and they’re doing the same thing for the inside, so it’ll be great,” said John Velazquez, Hall of Fame jockey and chairman of the Jockey’s Guild.

“[The outer turf] was very consistent and very good. It’ll be much better to have the new one inside, as well,” he added. “I don’t know how long you can run when the winter comes, but we’ll see how the track holds up. Maybe we can hold on a little bit longer.”

Dr. Mick Peterson, Executive Director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, verified that the course meets all pre-construction specifications and is now ready for training and racing. This conclusion was made following extensive testing using ground penetrating radar as well as detailed composition analysis of the new inner turf course.

Dr. Peterson and his team will continue to monitor the course throughout the Aqueduct fall meet adhering to the procedures set forth in the Maintenance Quality System.

Source: NYRA