Archives for October 2020

Handicapping Tip of the Day # 63 – What makes a strong play?

Profit Risk Evaluation in Horse Racingby Glen S.

My recent blogs have talked about preparing for betting.  Today’s is all about taking advantage of the prep work that you have done.

You have watched the replays, you have handicapped the race card. At this point you should have a good feeling of the races to take a shot at or pass. One other thing to check would be are there any carryovers and, if so, what type of carryovers. Understand the difference between a good carryover and a jackpot carryover. which are more common nowadays.  A good carryover will be paid out that day.

My recommendation if it is a good carryover, start there with those races. Dead money always is in favor of the horseplayer, don’t miss out, but make sure you like the sequence.

Next step start with your strongest races you like, maybe a replay horse or a race with very few unknowns and then build around that race. If I am playing sequence bets, I need to have at least half of the races I like quite a bit. This doesn’t mean I have keys in every race, but does mean I have the max horses in the race I need.

If the bookends of your strongest race are terrible, then it might just be an individual race bet. If the carryover is big enough in the sequence, I will take a small chance and play the sequence.

What makes a strong play?

Here are a few key points I look for to give myself an advantage over the wagering public:
-Understanding race shape.  Fast pace?  Slow pace?
-A good replay that others might have missed.
-Vulnerable favorite that you think will get beat, but the public doesn’t and over bets that horse.
-Very few unknowns in the race, e.g. first time starters.

Always try and find that value, whether it is there because of a carryover, vulnerable favorite or your horse is paying higher than you thought.

Good luck and good racing.

Latest Top 30 Melbourne Cup contenders

The top 24 horses will make the final cut for the 2020 Melbourne Cup on Nov. 3, but there will be changes over the coming week as several horses race to try and improve their standing and win a berth:

UPDATED ORDER OF ENTRY (horse, trainer, weight)

1. VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ), Chris Waller, 55.5kg

2. SIR DRAGONET (IRE), Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, 55.5kg

3. OCEANEX (NZ), Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr), 51.5kg

4. PERSAN, Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, 51kg

5. ANTHONY VAN DYCK (IRE), Aidan O’Brien, 58.5kg

6. VOW AND DECLARE, Danny O’Brien, 57kg

7. AVILIUS (GB), James Cummings, 57kg

8. RUSSIAN CAMELOT (IRE), Danny O’Brien, 53.5kg

9. MASTER OF REALITY (IRE), Joseph O’Brien, 56kg

10. TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE), Joseph O’Brien, 55.5kg

11. TIGER MOTH (IRE), Aidan O’Brien, 52.5kg

12. MUSTAJEER (GB), Kris Lees, 55kg

13. STRATUM ALBION (GB), Willie Mullins, 55kg

14. PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB), Charlie Fellowes, 54.5kg

15. WARNING, Anthony & Sam Freedman, 53kg

16. SURPRISE BABY (NZ), Paul Preusker, 54.5kg

17. DASHING WILLOUGHBY (GB), Andrew Balding, 54.5kg

18. FINCHE (GB), Chris Waller, 54.5kg

19. ETAH JAMES (NZ), Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, 52.5kg

20. MIAMI BOUND (NZ), Danny O’Brien, 51kg

21. THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ), Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman, 53.5kg

22. STEEL PRINCE (IRE), Anthony & Sam Freedman, 53.5kg

23. KING OF LEOGRANCE (FR), Danny O’Brien, 53.5kg

24. TRUE SELF (IRE), Willie Mullins, 52kg

25. ZEBROWSKI (NZ), Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes, 52kg

26. SAN HUBERTO (IRE), Matt Cumani, 53.5kg

27. NICKAJACK CAVE (IRE), Peter G Moody, 53.5kg

28. PLATINUM INVADOR (NZ), Peter G Moody, 53kg

29. ASHRUN (FR), Andreas Wohler, 53kg

30. HUSH WRITER (JPN), Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, 52.5kg

It’s an intriguing betting race already with Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish import Tiger Moth holding favouritism at $6 despite being yet to race in Australia and Sir Dragonet ($7.50) surging into second favoritism after its Cox Plate win.

Local hope Surprise Baby ($10), Caulfield Cup winner Very Elleegant ($11) and runner-up Anthony Van Dyck ($11) are also prominent in the market along with last year’s second-place getter Prince of Arran ($13) and Russian Camelot ($13).

Here are the leaders in the current betting market, via Bet365

Indianapolis Colts Partner with Caesars Entertainment and William Hill to Sign First NFL Team Sponsorship

“In the digital age, and particularly this virtual world in which we find ourselves now, finding new ways to engage with our fans, partners and community is one of our top priorities,” said Roger VanDerSnick, Colts Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. “This partnership with Caesars Entertainment and William Hill will help us better connect with Colts fans everywhere as we navigate this very unique season in 2020 and offer a greater fan experience well into the future.”

As part of the agreement, Caesars Rewards, the largest customer loyalty program in the industry, will sponsor a free-to-play “Pick 6 Predictor” game on the Colts Mobile App. The Pick 6 Predictor generates a series of questions, that fans predict the outcome of, before the upcoming games. Correct picks are rewarded with weekly prizes, and all participants are entered into a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas to stay at a Caesars Entertainment property

When is the Melbourne Cup in Australia?

The Race That Stops a Nation is typically held on the first Tuesday in November and, despite the craziness of 2020, there is no exception this year.  As of right now, however, here are no fans expected at Flemington racecourse on November 3, 2020 for the Melbourne Cup or the Victoria Racing Carnival.

The classic field will be capped at 24 horses, contested at 3200 meters, and the purse is a whopping $8M.  Thinking about playing the Cup?  Here are 3 handicapping strategies for betting on Australian horse racing.

What is the Breeders’ Cup schedule at Keeneland?

See how the Melbourne Cup will work during this Covid-19 pandemic:

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Oct. 25

Know thy Keeneland TrainersComplimentary Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for Agameofskill.com visitors

KEENELAND

TRIBULATION (Race 5 at Keeneland, Oct. 16, 2020).  Toss this start as this second time starter stumbled badly at the start.  It was his first start going two turns and as a son of Medaglia D’oro he is clearly bred for a route of ground.  Ran very well in his debut prior for trainer Dallas Stewart.

LITTLE BELLA (Race 10 at Keeneland, Oct. 16, 2020).  Paddy O’Prado filly has really improved since the barn moved her to the dirt.  Despite the rise in class she surged late to catch a nice horse who looked home free down the lane.  Although she can turf, she looks better on the main track.

PIMLICO

COMPLETED PASS (Race 6 at Pimlico, Oct. 1, 2020) – The Robert Bone runner broke a step slow in this 5 furlong turf dash in honor of the late, great Jim McKay.  He raced between horses early before unleashing a powerful late run to nearly catch the front-running winner.

GIGGLING (Race 8 at Pimlico, Oct. 1, 2020) – This filly tried to steal the race in a 5 furlong turf dash that was loaded with early speed but she faltered late over the yielding ground.  Look for her back on her preferred dirt surface, especially in a situation where she can get loose on the front end.

On the cusp of greatness, Mighty Heart didn’t check off many boxes for racing success

Wager on WoodbineMighty Heart has been a mighty good story.

Not just for his connections, but for the entire Canadian thoroughbred industry.

Like every other segment of society during the COVID-19 pandemic, horse racing struggled to gain traction in 2020. The start of the season was delayed, strict health protocols were put in place and, for the most part, racing has been contested without anyone in the stands.

But the exploits of the one-eyed wonder horse Mighty Heart has given racing fans, and sports fans in general, something to cheer for, a feel-good story to rally behind. The Josie Carroll-trained bay colt won the Queen’s Plate and the Prince of Wales Stakes this year and will attempt to become the first horse since Wando in 2003 to win the OLG Canadian Triple Crown on Saturday in the 129th Running of the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack.

All of which is pretty incredible, considering

A Look Back at FL-Bred Gate Dancer and a Wild 1st Breeders’ Cup

In 1984, I had the pleasure to attend the inaugural running of the Breeders’ Cup as a reporter for The Florida Horse. My brother in law, Bryan Howlett, was farm manager for Tartan Farms, and by coincidence John Nerud was president and trainer for Tartan Farms.

He also happened to be on the board of the Breeders’ Cup and was a very big deal in that organization. One morning before the races, I happened to run into Nerud, and he invited me to ride with him around the Santa Anta facilities.

Nerud, the trainer of Dr. Fager and many other horses for Tartan Farms, lived to be 102.

What a thrill that was, and the thrills didn’t end there. Gate Dancer was running in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Gate Dancer was a Florida-bred, and an extremely good one…

Breeders’ Cup Notes: Classic or Distaff for Swiss Skydiver?

The decision will have to come, but Saturday was not the time to make it.

That doesn’t mean trainer Kenny McPeek hasn’t been thinking about what to do with his popular filly Swiss Skydiver when the Breeders’ Cup is run on the first weekend of November.

Here are the options: He could run Swiss Skydiver in the $2 million Distaff at 1 1/8 miles or take a swing at the $6 million Classic at 1 1/4 miles. Both races are on Nov. 7 at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Ky.

What makes the choice more than a little difficult is how Swiss Skydiver has performed against both sexes this year.

The 3-year-old filly …

Handicapping Tip of the Day #62 – What Is Your Betting Strategy?

by Glen S.

Picking winners doesn’t always mean you are making money at the horse races.  Successful betting strategies usually does though.

Let’s begin by realizing that every horse race is a little different. Why is that?  Well, there are  underlays, overlays, big or small fields, where the race is in the race card, etc. If you are a bettor that wagers the same way and amount in each race, then you are behind the eight ball right way. STOP THAT!

Your need to adjust your wagering according to the race in question and how confident you are on the race. How and what should we do?

Here are some do’s and don’t; hopefully you are on more of the do’s.
-Don’t bet the same amount on each race, as there is no way you like each race equally.
-Do step up a little more when you have a strong play, and step down when there are to many unknowns.
-Don’t be one of those people that tell me they never bet favorites.  Favorites win around 35% of the time.
-If you avoid favorites you have already lost on over one-third of the races. Favorites have value at times, too.
-Do understand when to box horses and when to make it a wheel.
-You should figure out the percentage of your opinion on the horses in question; if equal, box, if different wheel.
-Don’t be that lazy handicapper that plays the caveman ticket in pick 4s or pick 5s.
-Oftentimes you need to play multiple tickets – that saves you money and takes advantage of your handicapping ability.

Read Handicapping Tip #16 – 4 Times to Play Against the Favorite!

Here are a few other handicapping tips to set you up for success
-Do take advantage of all the new and improved handicapping tools out there to help you pick more winners.
-Don’t be that handicapper that thinks they know it all and has bet the same way they have for the past 20 years.
-Do the research and pick your spots and make yourself some money at the races.

Comments are always welcome as I want to get better each day as well.

Next Week: Part 2 of Betting strategies, sequence bets,

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Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Washington

Emerald Downs increases horse racing purses

Emerald Downs in Auburn has announced a 10% purse increase for all races the final three weeks of the 2020 live horse racing season.

The track runs races on Wednesday and Thursday, with the season ending Oct. 29.

Through 30 days of live racing, handle is averaging $1.87 million, up 67% over last year.

Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler said the purse increase is a result of better than expected handle…