Gambling Executive discusses the best horse racing betting strategies to improve your chances

Regardless of whether you’re new to sports wagering or are already a betting ace, there is always room for improvement. A small number of sports bettors just engage in horse gambling during the Triple Crown races; however, the amount of cash bet on horse races every year indicates there are “regulars” who wager races all year. Regardless of whether you are an inconsistent bettor making a bet from an online platform or an enthusiastic bettor appearing at the circuit regularly, everyone can profit by some type of wagering advice. Adam Bjorn, a gambling executive with extensive knowledge of all types of betting activity, provides tips that are sure to help any gambler improve their efforts.

With different games, numerous bettors will depend on the eye test when making bets. These bettors contend they have seen groups play ordinarily and can, in this way, foresee the results of their next games. States Bjorn, “In horse racing, seeing each pony’s earlier races is almost inconceivable. There are an excessive number of horses in an excessive number of tracks to be able to contrast all of them around the nation. As a result, the race program ought to be seen as a bettor’s Holy Grail and the source of all applicable data.”

Alabama Stakes Set for August 15 at the Spa

 

The year 2020 will be the only time the Travers has been run before the Kentucky Derby and the only time The Alabama has been run before the Kentucky Oaks.

By Art Parker

Like the Travers Stakes, the Alabama Stakes is one of the great historic races held annually at Saratoga. Like the Travers it is run at 1 ¼ miles and usually one week before it. This year the Alabama will be run on August 15th, a week after the Travers due to COVID-19 rescheduling. The Alabama is restricted to three year old fillies.

walking horse through Saratoga crowdThe Alabama was first run in 1872 making it one of the oldest races for females in America and the longest continuously run stakes race for three year old fillies. The race is named in honor of William Cottrell of Alabama. The race is named in honor of the Confederate Captain who was heavily involved with thoroughbred racing and breeding before and after his service in the Civil War. When approached by the Saratoga Association in 1872 about having a race named in his honor, he declined and requested the race instead be named for his home state of Alabama. Cottrell used his activity in racing to help and mend relations between the North and the South after the Civil War.

While the Kentucky Oaks stands as the female version of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the Alabama is the female edition of the Travers Stakes, which is open to all 3-year-olds at Saratoga.

The great filly Go For Wand set the stakes record in 1990 for the Alabama at 2:00 4/5 minutes.

Jockeys Jorge Velasquez, Jerry D. Bailey and Mike Smith have all won five Alabama Stakes.

Many great fillies have won the Alabama such as:  Elate, Songbird, Royal Delta, Silverbulletday, Heavenly Prize, Sky Beauty, Open Mind, Shuvee, Gamely, Vagrancy and Beldame to name a few.

Only four fillies and have ever won the Kentucky Oaks and the Alabama Stakes: Open Mind, Make Sail, Princess of Sylmar and Blind Luck.

The year 2020 will be the only time the Travers has been run before the Kentucky Derby and the only time The Alabama has been run before the Kentucky Oaks.

The purse for the 2020 Alabama is $600,000.

Did you miss?

Handicapping Tip #60 – Watch ’em and Learn

Historic Travers Stakes Set for August 8

by Art Parker

The Triple Crown races and The Breeders’ Cup provide the greatest amount of historical talk when it comes to American thoroughbred racing. When Saratoga rolls around every August a treasure trove of racing history is re-opened, and its importance is second to none.

Saratoga is known for many great graded stakes that always play a role in the various division championships. Of all the races at Saratoga there are two that stand out from the standpoint of importance and historical significance. These two races are the Grade One Travers and the Grade One Alabama. In some ways these races restricted to three year olds serve as the “Derby and the Oaks” at the Spa.

The Alabama will be a topic next week. For now, all eyes are on the Travers, which will be run August 8th.

The Travers is the signature event at Saratoga and has often been referred to as the “Mid-Summer Derby.” The inaugural running was in 1864 and was named for William R. Travers, the president of the old Saratoga Racing Association. It was only fitting that his horse won the first running of the Travers.

The Travers is run at the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 ¼ miles. The race has been run at different distances but the current distance has not changed since 1904.

Since 1961, the colors of the Travers winner have been painted onto a canoe which sits on a pond in the infield. The canoe itself has been a fixture at the track since 1926.

Only ten Kentucky Derby winners have won the Travers. There was a long drought of Derby winners being unsuccessful in the Travers beginning in 1943. Shut Out won the Derby and Travers in 1942 and it was 51 years before the feat was achieved again. Sea Hero broke the long drought in 1993.

Affirmed, American Pharoah, Gallant Fox and Whirlaway are the only Triple Crown winners to race in the Travers. Of the three only Whirlaway, in 1941, became the only Triple Crown legend to win the Travers. Affirmed crossed the finish line first in 1978 but was disqualified, and his arch rival Alydar was elevated to first.

Many claim the 1962 Travers was the best race ever. Jaipur won by a nose-bob in track record time over the arguably more talented Ridan after a long nose-to-nose battle over the entire race.

The biggest upset came in 1930 when Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox lost to a 100-1 shot named Jim Dandy. The winner is memorialized with a race named in his honor and is normally a prep race for the Travers. Due to changes caused by COVID-19, the Jim Dandy Stakes will be run after the Travers on September 5, the same day as the Kentucky Derby.

In 2012 Alpha and Golden Ticket finished in a dead heat for first place – the only dead heat in Travers history resulting in two winners. Two canoes were put in the infield pond to commemorate the winners.

In 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was in the race and was worn down in a speed duel with Frosted. Keen Ice passed the popular Triple Crown winner in a major upset.

In what was probably the best performance in Travers history, Arrogate destroyed the field by more than 13 lengths in 2016. The roan son of Unbridled’s Song is the only horse to eclipse the two minute mark and reported home in an eye-opening 1:59:36.

Some of the other greats to win the Travers are: Damascus, Point Given, Buckpasser, Thunder Gulch, Easy Goer, Forty Niner, Chief’s Crown, Gallant Man, Native Dancer and Man O’ War.

As of this moment, Tiz the Law, winner of the Belmont Stakes, is the favorite for the 2020 Travers. The purse for the 2020 Travers is $1,000,000.

A Look Back at the History of Colonial Downs Racetrack

Less than a year later, on May, 5, 2001, Scanlan had Borislow’s Talk Is Money in the Kentucky Derby. It was, to say the least, a temperamental horse that had been purchased for $2 million as a yearling. Scanlan originally referred to it as “Hanging Tree” because “if it doesn’t do too good, I may have to find a tree and hang myself from it.”

The horse quickly developed a knack for throwing jockeys. At Churchill Downs, prior to the 127th Run for the Roses, hall of fame jock Jerry Bailey withheld Talk Is Money from the post parade “for good reason,” said NBC’s Tom Hammond. “He’s tossed riders three times during parades.” That was about all the network had to say about the 47-1 longshot. If Hammond and friends mentioned Borislow, or Scanlan, we missed it.

Talk Is Money started 11th and finished last (17th), having suffered what was diagnosed as a heat stroke. Bailey walked the horse across the finish line. Scanlan later said, “Bailey was scared to death of him.”

Earlier, Scanlan told us off-the-record Talk had no business being in the Derby, but Borislow wanted to be there “to sit with the other owners.” Borislow died in 2014 at age 52….

More about the history of Colonial Downs and the people there:

Handicapping Tip of the Day #57 – Wide with Intent

“Now do you get it?” my friend asked me. “He wasn’t intending to win.”

By ART PARKER

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

One of the things I learned to do years ago with my trip handicapping was to watch for the wide running horse. A buddy of mine that followed a dozen or so trainers told me how some will prep for the winning race by telling the rider to go wide and give the horse a good public workout.

He showed me what he was talking about one day when the replays were on the track monitors about an hour before post time of the first race of the day. As the replay from yesterday’s third race began, he said, “Here it comes. Watch the number two horse.” The gelding broke well and was allowed to gradually fall back near the rear of the field. I saw the horse fall behind by about a dozen lengths. Once the horse was about a dozen lengths behind, it ran even with the field and was wide entering the stretch. He finished about ten lengths behind. “I looked at my buddy and quizzically said, “Okay?”  In other words, “so what?”

Access the Head-On Replay

That is when he told me to watch the head-on replay. There it was on the monitors. After allowing to fall gradually behind, the rider shifted his mount off the inside and was in the middle of the track and drifting wider. There was no need for that – no bias in the surface. Once he was in the clear the rider allowed the horse to keep up but away from traffic and then proceeded to maintain the same wide course in the turn, again for no reason. Once in mid-stretch, the rider asked him for a little more and the horse ran well but finished behind and well beaten.

“Now do you get it?” my friend asked me. “He wasn’t intending to win.” I responded. “But what do I do with this information?” I asked. That was when my buddy pulled out a small notebook and showed me how he recorded the effort with the horses’ names on his list of notes for that specific trainer. He explained to me this trainer would usually give his horses a race after a layoff. “If he (the trainer in question) runs one wide like this it is strictly a prep for the big effort next time out. Be looking for this horse in a couple of weeks in the same class or with a slight drop,” my friend explained.

Of course, I forgot about the lesson I should have learned that day. A couple of weeks later the horse was entered. I passed the race for one reason or another. When the race was official I noticed the winner paid nearly $20.00. About that time I heard a voice ask me, “Did you bet him?” It was my friend who reminded me that I just missed a lucrative opportunity.

From that moment on I have always remembered to make a note of any horse that looked to be running intentionally wide. It’s helped me catch some good winners over the years. Just remember, the head-on replay is what tells the tale.

Did you miss Handicapping Tip #56 – 2nd time starters

Handicapping Tip of the Day #56 – Assessing Second Timers with Changes and Trainers

Handicapper Art ParkerBy ART PARKER

If horseplayers wager on maiden races often they are faced with a tough assessment. A second-time starter that failed to graduate in ts debut offers a unique challenge to the horseplayer. There are many reasons why this situation is a challenge. Therefore, it makes sense to first find and assess any changes made for the runner’s second outing.

Even good trainers search for the right mix for a horse. What is the best distance, best equipment, best rider, best surface, etc.? This is one reason so many trainers rarely win a debut race – they are searching for answers. This is one reason I generally do not play maiden races. I really need to spot changes and answer the question of “What’s going on here?”

The 2020 Belmont Stakes will be run in June.

If I analyze a maiden race and see a field full of horses that have run five, six times or more I usually cease and move on. I look at those races like I do the horrible non-winners of two lifetime with a field of horses that can’t get to the next level and have the record to prove it. Playing the races is tough enough without having to find the best of a bad bunch. On the other hand, I generally avoid a race with debut runners simply because too many questions cannot be answered.

Changes and Trainers

So what is attention-getting in a maiden second timer?

I look for a troubled first journey, on paper, and then pull up the replay to see for myself. Watching a trip, especially on rookie runner, can tell one quite a bit.

horse racing blinkersI look for a change of equipment, especially blinkers going on. If a trainer adds blinkers to a horse it is because the horse didn’t pay attention, didn’t get into the race early enough, didn’t run straight or other reasons. When I see a blinker change on a second-timer it tells me that the connections are paying close attention to their horse. My interest elevates when I see a sizzling workout after the debut race with a blinker change.

Was the horse heavily bet in the debut? If so, then that tells me something didn’t go as planned or he was just beaten by a better horse(s). If not bet heavily it suggests that the connections may not have been expecting too much.

Of course one looks at a jockey change. If the trainer goes from an occasional rider to the stable’s money man, then that is viewed as a major plus.

Distance changes, surface changes, and medication changes tell a huge story especially if the breeding suggests it to be a smart move.

Last but not least, and probably most important, is trainer habit and history. What the trainer does well is critical. When I find a change in a second timer, I try to discover if it is a proven, successful move for this conditioner.

When examining a second-time starter first look for a change. Remember having knowledge of a trainer helps to answer any questions regarding changes.

Handicapping Tip of the Day #55 – The Only Race

A sharp trainer uses the condition book to plan the future of a horse especially when it comes to conditioning and training. However, things don’t always work out.

by Art Parker for AGameofSkill.com

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

I became friends with a trainer during my first year of playing the horses – the days when I was learning something new every day. One day I noticed he entered a horse above his usual class. After thinking he couldn’t possibly win, I decided to ask him why. I caught up with the trainer late in the day and asked him that very question after his horse finished seventh in a field of nine.

“It’s the only race I could find for him. He is fit and ready to run. That was the only thing close to where he belongs, so I entered. It looked like it would be another week or so before another race would be available, and I would rather run him and keep him in shape,” the trainer explained.

Understanding the Condition Book

That was before I learned all about a condition book. Once I got my hands on a book, I began to understand. We know that racing secretaries must write races that have a higher probability to fill and to make the races as competitive as possible. What is not possible is to have a ready-made class system that is fair to all and will provide an abundance of opportunities to all horses. Nor is it possible to have enough horses to fill all races and all races be competitive.

Understanding the Condition Book

I borrowed the words from a West Point Thoroughbreds website that best describes a condition book. “A condition book is the schedule of races for a given track during a certain period of time, usually a few weeks or a month. It is this schedule that provides a framework for trainers to develop the training regimens for their horses for this time period. While this seems straightforward, there are a number of factors that can change the timing of races. You see, just because a race is in the condition book doesn’t mean that enough horses will enter the race to warrant it being used. That is why you’ll see substitute races in the book as well. These are races that also get entries and can be used in place of another race on the card.”

A sharp trainer uses the condition book to plan the future of a horse especially when it comes to conditioning and training. However, things don’t always work out. A race perfect for one horse may not fill and a substitute race is used. When that happens a trainer that has a horse ready must find another race that fits his charge, but that is not always possible; hence, the horse may be placed in less than an ideal event.

When you examine past performances and you see an awful race last time out, don’t quickly conclude that the horse isn’t what he used to be. That last race may have been the only option for the trainer.

Great horse racing videos – the late, great Forty Niner versus two of his top rivals

Spanish Handicapping 101

Gulfstream Park host Claudia Spadaro has put together this 4:40 minute video discussing the different types of race classes.  She is the popular host of the daily Hipica TV Spanish horseracing broadcast.

Identifying the difficulty of the races with Claudia Spadaro

Handicapping Tip of the Day #52 – Prepare for the young ‘uns

It is clear to me that more attention should be paid to Biamonte’s two year old debut runners than other first timers.

by Art Parker

Almost all tracks are down. Racing is nearly at a standstill. By this time of year most horseplayers would be researching everything they could find about the Kentucky Derby.

For us that love horse racing the best part of life is the anticipation of normal days ahead, whenever they come. But what do we do until those days arrive? The answer: Prepare for the future, collect and analyze information.

The best horseplayers I have known do not show up at the track, buy past performances and go wager. The best ones spend a great deal of time preparing, and researching, away from the track. There is never enough information for the good horseplayer.

Delaware Park walking ring, horses. June 2013. Photo by Art Parker for AGameofskill.com

copyright Art Parker & AllStarPress.com

Let’s assume that we get back to normal sometime early or mid-summer. That just happens to be the time we start to see an increase in two year old races. In my opinion races for the freshman class is another world entirely. I’ve never played many two year old races and usually avoid them – unless I see something that gives me a clear advantage.

Those that possess credible information on breeding have something of an advantage when playing two year olds. Sires that produce young speed demons are far more likely to win freshman races than those produced by sires known for late maturity and plodders.

In my opinion the most important advantage in handicapping two year olds is knowledge of trainers. Let’s face it. Different trainers excel at different things. Some are masters at a first time layoff. Others are absolute killers when it comes to a first time claim. The same holds true when it comes to winning with two year olds.

What’s important is not the winning percentage of a certain trainer move, solely. What’s also important is how well that trainer succeeds when compared to other moves and how or what does he/she actually do when winning with a move.

A good case in point about two year trainers can be found at Woodbine. Over the last ten years or so Ralph Biamonte, always one of the more successful conditioners in Toronto, has some unique history with his freshmen debut runners. Overall, Biamonte’s debut winner’s account for about 10% of his total wins. The critical piece of information is that Biamonte’s two year debut winners outnumber all other debut winners about 4-1. It is clear to me that more attention should be paid to Biamonte’s two year old debut runners than other first timers.

So what is the tip off? What is the key to these specific runners winning?

Biamonte’s two year old debut winners have their last work from the gate 80% of the time and it is usually a “hot” work. The other noticeable trainer habit is that that last work comes almost always 6-7 days prior to race day.

Naturally there are other things to consider such as the rider. Eurico Da Silva has ridden about one-half of Biamonte’s winners with a long list of riders making up the other 50%. So if DaSilva is on board a two year old debut runner meeting this description my interest escalates.

It is not always possible to do all of the research you wish to, but it is important to do what you can. One little tidbit may reveal a huge probability of success that can bring you a much larger ROI and, if so, it is worth it.

What to do now? Research the past to unlock the future. By the time we are back to normal the babies will be running. If you are going to play them be prepared by researching thoroughly.

More Handicapping Tips from agameofskill.com

National Museum of Racing Offers Online Educational Programs FREE

Saratoga_NatMuseumofRacing and HallofFame

copyright AGameofSkill.com

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is offering a variety of online educational programming and social interaction for people of all ages.

These online programs include the popular Foal Patrol, #HistoryThroughArt and a downloadable 3rd Grade STEM packet.

Season 3 of Foal Patrol (www.foalpatrol.com) is in full swing, featuring six mares and the champion stallion Gun Runner. This one-of-a-kind interactive web project provides viewers a unique opportunity to learn about the breeding and foaling process and watch live as the mares give birth.

So far in Season 3, Magical World (Three Chimneys Farm, Versailles, Ky.), New Money Honey (Indian Creek Farm, Paris, Ky.), and Hall of Fame member Ashado (Gainsborough Farm, Versailles, Ky.) have delivered foals. Three more mares – Vaulcluse (Gainesway Farm, Lexington, Ky.), Alpine Sky (Old Tavern Farm, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), and Emotional Kitten (Denali Stud, Paris, Ky.) – are participating in Season 3 and their progress can be viewed on their individual pages.

In addition to the live cameras, Foal Patrol Season 3 features an educational blog, information on horse anatomy and pedigree, horse behavior, nutrition, and links to racing industry resources.

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