Crush Keeneland with the Best Trainer Pattern Book

Rich Nilsen 13x NHC Qualifier

One score will more than pay for this book.  Our AGOS contributer Art Parker has a one-of-kind database on all the Keeneland trainers.  No one understands how these horsemen win better that Art. This year's guide is better than ever and now in a more user-friendly format.  It's a wealth of information for players wanting to attack the upcoming Keeneland meets.

Completely revamped. The 2017 Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns by Art Parker is now available.

Over 50 Trainers covered with a detailed summary of how they win!

Longshot horsemen identified for easy reference.

KEENELAND WINNING TRAINERS taps into Art Parker’s personal database and gives you the detailed pattern summaries on the 51 trainers, explaining exactly how they win at this prestigious meet.

Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns bookHow do they win? What handicapping patterns do they use?

How do they work their horses prior to victory?

Do they bring home horses at a price?

Do they score off the layoff?

What owners & jockeys do they team up with?

and much more.

Author and Agameofskill.com contributor Art Parker has taken a hard look into his comprehensive personal database to uncover the trainers that win the majority of races at the meet – the 51 Kings of Keeneland – with a close look at how they accomplish this.

This one-of-a-kind handicapping book includes three bonus handicapping articles written by veteran turf writers Art Parker and Rich Nilsen

The 2017 Annual Edition of “Keeneland Winning Trainers” is published by All Star Press LLC.
Buy Now

Handicapper Art ParkerQUICK & EASY DOWNLOAD TO ANY DEVICE

You can put this comprehensive trainer guide on any PC or Mobile Device, and then easily look up the Kings of Keeneland when you are ready to handicap or play a race! Only $14.97 for the complete 33-page, jam packed book.

THAT’S LESS THAN 30 CENTS PER TRAINER

The Kindle version on Amazon is available here

The Book is Back! 2016 Kings of Keeneland

KEENELAND WINNING TRAINER PATTERNS

Keeneland 2016 – 2016 SPRING MEET EDITION – NOW AVAILABLE

Winning Patterns on the trainers that dominate this popular meet!  Bonus Handicapping Articles.

Detailed write-ups on the 24 trainers, explaining exactly how they win at this prestigious meet.

How do they win?  What patterns do they use?

How do they work their horses prior to victory?

What owners & jockeys do they team up with?

and much more.

Keeneland Winning Trainer Pattern no longer includes boring stats on a bunch of trainers.  Instead, author Art Parker has taken a hard look into his comprehensive personal database at the trainers that win the majority of races at the meet – the 24 so-called Kings of Keeneland.

Parker’s book includes two bonus handicapping articles written by veteran turf writers Art Parker and Rich Nilsen

 “It’s a wealth of information for horseplayers serious about attacking the Keeneland meets.  One score will more than pay for this book.” – publisher Rich Nilsen

The 2016 Spring Meet Edition of “Keeneland Winning Trainers” is published by All Star Press.  

Buy Now

Enhanced and streamlined book  includes detailed written analysis on the following 24 trainers:

The Kings of Keeneland

Amoss

Arnold

Asmussen

Brown

Casse

Catalano

Clement

Kenneally

Lopresti

Maker

McGaughey

McKeever

McLaughlin

McPeek

Motion

Mott

Pletcher

Proctor

Romans

Sheppard

Sims

Stall, Jr.

Stidham

Ward

You can put this comprehensive trainer guide on any PC or Mobile Device, and then easily look up the Kings of Keeneland when you are ready to handicap or play a race!  $12.97 for the complete 27-page, jam packed book.

NOW AVAILABLE – FOR ABOUT 50 CENTS PER TRAINER
Buy Now

“One nice hit will pay for this book many times over!”

Fantasy Sports (DSF) Draws Attention in Alabama

So, where’s the campaign money going?

By Art Parker

Commentary

In a state that usually pits politicians against citizen’s choice, the State of Alabama is considering legislation that will legalize, regulate and tax fantasy football. Republicans have presented like bills in both the Alabama Senate and the Alabama House this month.

Alabama Seal State Representative Tim Wadsworth said on Facebook, “HB56 Fantasy Contests bill is back up for debate. Original bill gives blanket approval of fantasy games even if gambling. Amendment of bill makes any fantasy games subject to gambling laws. The motion to lay amendment on table passes. There was a motion to revote which passed. Then a motion to amend to add registration fee failed. A motion to revote and amend fee failed.” Wadsworth said, “The bill is a protection bill for fantasy operators. Bill does not regulate.”

According to the Alabama Political Reporter either HB56 or SB 114, if passed by the legislature, would require any firm wishing to operate a fantasy business to pay $25,000 to the state for the first year operating license and pay seven percent of their profits. Firms operating without a license would be subject to additional fines and penalties.

Some legislators have said they fear that the legislation, which would legalize “games of skill” versus “games of chance,” would open up gambling in the state.

Has Alabama ever had gambling? You bet.

Alabama has had pari-mutuel wagering since the early 70s, which originally began with greyhound racing-a business that once flourished in the state. Thoroughbred racing came on the scene in 1987 with the opening of the Birmingham Turf Club. Poor management forced the closing of the track after the first season. After being owned by other parties the Birmingham facility was eventually purchased by Milton McGregor, the owner of the state’s most successful greyhound track named VictoryLand. Birmingham ran mixed greyhound and thoroughbred meets for four seasons but then dropped thoroughbred racing. VictoryLand is located about twenty miles from the state capitol of Montgomery.

Around the turn of the century the Poarch Creek Indian tribe (PCI) opened up casino operations in two parts of the state with locations near the Florida line and two facilities less than ten miles from Montgomery. Over the years PCI has freely operated electronic bingo machines without government interference and without paying taxes to the state.

VictoryLand initially benefited from a constitutional amendment that allowed it to offer the same electronic games as PCI. The injection of taxable revenue into VictoryLand helped prop up its greyhound track – for a while.

But in the last five years Alabama’s political corruption has escalated to the point where the state will rival or surpass any other state in the nation. McGregor had been a political contributor to both parties in the past but was known for supporting democrats more than republicans. McGregor paid the price when former republican Governor Bob Riley, one that was not a beneficiary of McGregor campaign contributions, illegally raided VictoryLand before leaving office claiming that the track’s machines were illegal. Oddly, the same machines were being used by PCI at its locations at the same time.

VictoryLand re-opened after Riley left office believing it was on solid ground. But republican Attorney General Luther Strange illegally raided VictoryLand and confiscated cash and electronic bingo machines in the process-identical machines were being used at PCI locations when the raids took place as later proved in court proceedings. Strange has not been a beneficiary of McGregor campaign contributions. After many legal fights a state judge ruled against Strange on all legal points with most of his ruling pinpointing the Attorney General’s clear disrespect for the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In his order the judge said Strange “cherry picked” against VictoryLand by not enforcing laws equally in the state. Strange has appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court where every seat is held by republican judges led by Chief Justice Roy Moore, who landed national attention as the “Ten Commandments” judge.

The passage of the Alabama legislation is in doubt. The republicans hold a super majority and rule every inch of the State House. The people of Alabama have greatly softened their positions on gambling in the last few years, but the most notable softening has come within the ranks of republican voters. Those who voted republican have been polled and polled again. The number in favor of a lottery is above 70% and the number in favor of casino gambling is near 60%. Alabama has suffered greatly with its primitive attitude and the people have seen mountains of tax revenue leave the state to lotteries and casino locations that surround Alabama. And while the tax revenue leaves the state the Indian casinos operate inside the state and pay no taxes.

Why is this the case in Alabama? As it is often said, “It’s not what is good for the state or what the voters want. What counts is where the campaign money is going.” If the fantasy sports deal doesn’t pass it probably means that the destination of any related campaign contributions is yet to be decided.

 

-Art Parker is a regular contributor to agameofskill.com and the author of Keeneland Winning Trainers, which is published twice per year. He is the Managing Editor of The Montgomery Independent, a newspaper in Montgomery, Alabama.  The above commentary is his opinion on what is happening in his home state regarding DSF.

Keeneland 2016 – It’s Almost Here

By Art Parker

In just a few weeks the coolness will taper off. Some flowers will actually show signs of life and leaves will reappear on the trees. When there is no sign of precipitation and no clouds in the sky, the feeling will begin to strike you. You breathe the amazing fresh air and know that changes are coming. You think you will hear a gradual drum roll in the distance, perhaps a half-mile away.

It will not be a drum roll but the sound of hooves striking the ground in a rhythm that lets you know it is something living that makes the noise.  The amazing sky, perhaps only disfigured by the contrails of a high flying distant jet plane, leaves you convinced that some days are truly perfect. The perfect day is upon you as your mind dashes into the future, just a few days, and you see that creature with four thin legs, exploding with energy in the glorious surroundings and providing you with every reason to believe that the horse can actually run a hole in the wind. The sounds from others like you pierce the air while hearts pound faster, and even though there are winners and losers on this day, nothing can replace the fact that you are there and a part of those wonderful proceedings we call Thoroughbred racing.

Keeneland black and white

copyright 2016 AGameofSkill.com

Yes, it is almost springtime, a time when horse racing is rejuvenated after cold months of moderate and often dull activity. It is the time when nothing can hold this great sport in check because it is made for the time of year when people want their thrills handed to them, not inside a structure of bricks, but outside, where more than the racing can be enjoyed. There is nothing like it, this time of year, and it will soon be here.

That perfect day reminds me of some opening days at a place called Keeneland, nestled in the heart of thoroughbred country. Even though there are tracks that run in the winter, that first day of racing in Lexington, Kentucky should be declared the official opening of racing season everywhere. My favorite way to describe Keeneland is the track “on loan from Heaven.”

Keeneland will open April 8 and run until April 29. The big features will be on April 9 with the running of the Grade One Blue Grass and the Grade One Ashland. What a wonderful place filled with great racing and superb, intelligent racing fans.

I just can’t wait.

Below is an excerpt of Parker’s Keeneland Trainers book, coming soon to AGameofSkill.com.

Kenneally, Eddie – 28 wins at Keeneland

Winning Patterns: 1st Race after Layoff of at least 45 days (8), Second career race (6),  First career race (4),

Turf-to-Main surface switch (4)

The 49 year old was born in Ireland into a family that was involved with horses. His father, uncle and brother have been in the horse business. Kenneally came to the US in 1987. He was an exercise rider and assistant trainer before he started his own stable.

Kenneally does well with horses in their run after a layoff and also first time starters. About 29 percent of his winners are runners coming off a layoff and 3/4 of those are dropping in class. When it comes to debut runners Kenneally strikes at a 14-percent rate while at Keeneland and his second time starters, all of which that have won were ridden by Corey Lanerie, do even better providing Kenneally with 22-percent of his winners. Together, Kenneally does unusually well with either first or second starters, which is definitely a pattern to look for; but keep in mind that he does not turn a rookie horse around very quick.

His winning second time starters usually come back to the track after being idle for 4-5 weeks. Keeping with his first layoff horses dropping in class, Kenneally does not strike often with horses moving up in class, in fact less than 10 perce3nt of his winners fall into that category. Kenneally can get you a price as close to 35 percent of his winners paid in double digit. As far as riders go, Kenneally’s main man is Corey Lanerie, who rode half of his winners and Julien Leparoux who piloted 36 percent of his winners. The Lally Stable has been Kenneally’s top client and cashed in on 19 percent of the trainer’s Keeneland wins.

Trainers to Know at Keeneland

 Jockey and trainer at Keeneland

Copyright agameofskill.com

by Rich Nilsen

Several years ago Howard Battle, who for four decades served as the Racing Secretary at Keeneland, had this to say about his beloved racetrack: Keeneland should be the national park of racing.  The beauty of spring with the clean, clear air and the blooms of the pears, crab apples and dogwoods are excelled only in October by the yellows, golds, ambers, oranges and reds of the same flora. Besides the aesthetic atmosphere and multitudinous contradictions to most racing establishments — tree-lined parking, one-mile-and-a-sixteenth course, two finish lines, facing the sun, and being near the horses in their natural setting — we are still the best road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) and now the Breeders’ Cup in the fall.”

It’s true that few, if any, tracks rival Keeneland in both its beauty or history.  The Lexington, Kentucky track also offers a unique and popular race meet. Handicappers should understand the motivation of the connections (owners and trainers) as well as how the short condition book is written. With few claiming races written, the racing cards cater to the high profile barns that ship in from out of state for the short meet.  The only turf races are allowance events and stakes. To many owners, winning a race at Keeneland is equivalent to capturing multiple events at another track.

Keeneland Trainers

Many of the best barns point for this meeting and have their runners primed to run their best races. There are also many fine local Kentucky trainers, like Phil Sims and Andrew McKeever, who do well during the spring and fall meets, and knowing who they are behooves the horseplayer.  Knowing how they win is even more important.

Regular AGameofSkill.com contributor Art Parker publishes his Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns book twice a year, and going into this fall meet, he has compiled 24 trainers who he has termed, “The Kings of Keeneland.”  These two dozen trainers have dominated Keeneland over the past several years:

Tom Amoss

George Arnold

Roger Attfield

Chad Brown

Mark Casse

Wayne Catalano

Christophe Clement

Eddie Kenneally

Charles Lopresti

Michael Maker

Shug McGaughey

Andrew McKeever

Kiaran McLaughlin

Kenny McPeek

Graham Motion

Bill Mott

ToddPletcher

William Proctor

Dale Romans

Jonathan Sheppard

Phil Sims

Al Stall, Jr.

Michael Stidham

Wesley Ward

You can discover more about how the Kings of Keeneland win, day in and day out, by tapping into Art’s book, “Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns – 2015 Fall Meet”

KEENELAND BONUS TIP

Pay Attention Early for a Track Bias
Pay attention to the first couple of races each day at Keeneland to determine if any bias is at play. On many days the track will play fair but, if you can catch a bias early, the rest of your day could prove very lucrative. On a day when the track is favoring speed, you’ll see the early pace horses hanging on well and closers having a difficult time making up any ground.

Look to take advantage of the 1 1/16-mile races. The starting gate for this commonly run Keeneland dirt distance is close to the first turn and the stretch run is short, making it conducive to speed horses breaking from inside posts.  Stretch runners typically do not have time to succeed with their lates run.

Also, keep in mind that when it rains, the track has a tendency to be speed favoring.

Now is The Time

American Pharoah and the Bond Between Father, Daughter and Son-in-law

By Art Parker

 It started on Friday, May 1st. My daughter, Catherine, showed up at the door to surprise me for my 60th birthday. We don’t get to see each other much since she lives in the D.C. area and I live in the Deep South. It was a great surprise and after I hugged her I said, “You came to see me on Derby weekend!” Of course her presence made my Derby weekend that much better.

She learned to read The Racing Form when she was 8 years old. That’s when she first went to the track with her old man. Today, whenever I visit her we either go to a Baltimore track or we zip up to Delaware Park. When she visits me we open up the computers and play together via ADW or we may go to an OTB location 25 miles away.

Horse Racing Fans at the Saratoga Clubhouse Rail

Fans at the Saratoga Clubhouse Rail

Many weekends we play long distance together and stay on the phone discussing races. The day she told me about my future son-in-law, Michael, the first thing she said was that he was a horseplayer, that he grew up in Maryland and his dad taught him the game. Even though I had yet to meet Michael, I told her to keep him. After all, how many horseplayers get a son-in-law that fits the same label?

You can only imagine what it was like Derby weekend. We had the computers going and televisions on in every room in the house. We had racing information all over my (home) office and in the kitchen. I was tickled beyond belief to have Catherine and Michael with me.

It got a little late Friday afternoon and we were discussing where we were going to dinner. I told everyone we had one more race and reminded them it was the Oaks. All of us got busy and, before long, my daughter and I both agreed on Lovely Maria. Catherine said she didn’t quite remember the rider, Kerwin Clark. I suspected that to be the case since she has never played Louisiana or Chicago racing very much, if any. I told her that “Boo Boo” had plenty of experience and his filly was a good one. She looked at me and asked, “What did you call him?” I explained that Clark’s nickname was Boo Boo, and that he was almost as old as me. Catherine shook her head and just laughed.

And then she laughed even louder when I stood up and started screaming at the TV when Boo Boo and Maria took the lead in the stretch. “Win this one for us old guys,” I yelled as a determined Lovely Maria hit the sixteenth pole running like a champ. The whole family was laughing at me and that was okay, because the laughter was accompanied with high fives of victory.

The next day we watched American Pharoah win the Derby. I must admit that I was not a Pharoah fan and the Derby left more doubts. When Catherine and Michael left, we agreed to a day of long distance racing comradery when the Preakness rolled around.

When American Pharoah got a quick lead in the sloppy Preakness, I knew he had a big advantage so the result was no surprise. While on the phone with Catherine she said that he looked awful good, but we both agreed that it would probably be a different world at “Big Sandy” (Belmont) in New York.

Like many of you, I’ve seen the scenario too many times. A horse wins the Derby and the Preakness and then can’t win at Belmont. The first one my daughter remembers is her all-time favorite horse, Alysheba. She reminded me on Belmont day that I have seen three Triple Crown winners: Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed. How could I forget? I’ve seen the replays a thousand times.

Catherine and I agreed to play Frosted with the hopes of spoiling the day and cashing a ticket. When American Pharoah got another easy lead and no one pressured him before the first turn it spelled doom for the field. I told my wife that unless “something is wrong with this colt he was winning the Triple Crown.” Too bad you can’t bet when they get to the first turn.

When Pharoah crossed the line the phone rang and Catherine said, “Well, dad, I finally got to see a horse win the Triple Crown.” At that moment I accepted American Pharoah for the great horse he is. It may have been 37 years since I saw a Triple Crown winner but it had been an entire lifetime for my daughter. That made it all worthwhile.

It’s been a couple of weeks since the Belmont and I have thought more about the last month or so. Our sport has a way of taking you back in history, getting you involved in present day, and always makes you think about the future. It affords us the opportunity to have a lot of fun, often with our friends and the people we love.

This year we have an even greater opportunity to share this sport and reap the benefits that come with being a participant. We have a Triple Crown winner, a real hero. Now is the time to ask someone else to go to the track, or do something to promote the sport.

Now is the time. We may not can wait again. Some of us have waited 37 years, others a complete lifetime.

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5 Tournament Tips to Keep You Relevant (and Sane) When Life Gets in the Way

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FINAL 36 HOURS: Keeneland Trainers Book Being Taken Down

This is it.  Final Chance to download Art Parker’s one of a kind publication to help you win on the Keeneland meet and year round in Kentucky.  We’re taking the book down for sale on Saturday evening.

KEENELAND WINNING TRAINERS

– 2015 SPRING MEET EDITION 

Keeneland_2015 Spring meetWinning Patterns on the trainers that dominate this popular meet!  Bonus Handicapping Articles.  NEW & IMPROVED! Detailed write-ups on the 18 trainers, explaining exactly how they win at this prestigious meet.

Keeneland Winning Trainer Pattern no longer includes boring stats on a bunch of trainers.  Instead, author Art Parker has taken a hard look into his comprehensive personal database at the trainers that win the majority of races at the meet – the 18 so-called Kings of Keeneland.

Parker includes two bonus handicapping articles, explaining how to take notes on winners that are great bet-againsts next time out, and how to use trainer handicapping to your advantage.

 “It’s a wealth of information for horseplayers serious about attacking the Keeneland meets.” – publisher Rich Nilsen

The 2015 Spring Meet Edition of “Keeneland Winning Trainers” is still available for a few more hours from publisher All Star Press.

Enhanced and streamlined book  includes detailed written analysis on the following 18 trainers:

The Kings of Keeneland

Tom Amoss

George “Rusty” Arnold

Mark Casse

Wayne Catalano

Christophe Clement

Eddie Kenneally

Charles Lopresti

Mike Maker

Shug McGaughey

Ken McPeek

Graham Motion

Bill Mott

Todd Pletcher

Tom Proctor

Dale Romans

Al Stall, Jr.

Michael Stidham

Wesley Ward

 

Buy Now – only $9.97, the only book of its kind

You can put this comprehensive trainer guide on any PC or Mobile Device, and then easily look up the Kings of Keeneland when you are ready to handicap or play a race!

 

Trainer Book for Keeneland now Available

Keeneland_2015 Spring meet“Keeneland Winning Trainers – 2015 spring meet edition,” which profiles the most successful horsemen that race in Kentucky, is now available in all e-book formats, including PDF format and for the popular Kindle eReader.  It’s been completely overhauled with a brand new format.

Written by author and handicapper Art Parker, and based on Parker’s personal trainer database, “Keeneland Winning Trainers” evaluates the tendencies of successful horsemen at the prestigious horse racing meet in Lexington, KY.

This new handicapping and horse racing e-book has been released just in time for the upcoming Keeneland spring meet which begins this Friday, April 3rd. The handicapping guide has been completely overhauled and revised to cover the top trainers who dominate this meet year-in and year-out.

“We published this informational book in a user-friendly format that could be read on any eReader, smart phone or Tablet device,” explained Rich Nilsen, President of All Star Press and founder of the educational horse racing site, Agameofskill.com.

“This way, any horse racing fan can have this book’s information right at their fingertips through the mobile device of their choice,” continued Nilsen.  “If you are at Keeneland or your local track/OTB, and you are handicapping the Keeneland races, you can easily look up the winning trainers before the race. You can see how they’ve won in the past, and if the horse they are running today fits a similar profile.”

Author Art Parker analyzed the winning trainers at the Keeneland meets over the past five years to uncover familiar winning patterns. The belief, which is held by many successful horse racing handicappers, is that trainers follow similar patterns when winning.

“Only 18 trainers have accounted for over 40 percent of the winners at Keeneland since 2010,” explained Nilsen. “Knowing how these trainers win is critical to selecting winners every day in Kentucky.”

“Keeneland Winning Trainers – 2015 spring meet edition” is available direct from the publisher through retailers such as Amazon.com for the Kindle eReader and Kindle Fire. It is the only handicapping book specifically about Keeneland that is available to Kindle users.

Trainer Profile: Mark Casse

by Art Parker, author of the bi-annual guide “Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns”

Few of Casse’s second time starters drop in class, in fact, more will undergo a distance change than a class drop.

Woodbine has been the foundation of Canadian racing for a long time. Each year the track holds a meet that lasts from approximately mid-April to mid-December, roughly eight months of the year.

Woodbine has favorable takeout rates and excellent racing surfaces. The polytrack has remained consistent for a long time and has always seemed to be fair. The turf surface seems to be one of the best in North America and is not overused. The stretch on the turf course is the longest in North America and, since so many turf races have horses bunch up, it allows for more competitors to have the time to have a fair run. The quality of racing may not equal to Saratoga or Keeneland, but it is well above average.

Wager on WoodbineThe Toronto oval offers a special Wednesday night card from May until the end of the meet. Woodbine also offers a 20 cent wager on all exotics other than exactas and doubles. The other thing about Woodbine is its commentary. The track has excellent commentators and analysts that I believe are the best anywhere. I’ve been playing the horses for decades and now almost all of my activity is via Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW), and I don’t hesitate to tell you that I rate Woodbine at the top when it comes to the overall, day to day, experience.

But where Woodbine is no different is when it comes to the winning trainers. Woodbine has many top notch trainers that do well with limited stock, but like most any other track, or circuit, there are a smaller number of trainers that garner a large percentage of the wins.

The top ten trainers at Woodbine in the last 5 plus years (April 2009 to present) based upon the number of wins at the track, which are noted in parenthesis, are: Mark Casse (503), Reade Baker (310), Bob Tiller (263), Sid Attard (234), Nick Gonzalez (196), Scott Fairlie (194), Roger Attfield (164), Josie Carroll (164), Malcolm Pierce (152), Brian Lynch (151). In the same time period, only three additional trainers have accumulated 100 or more wins.

Let’s take a look at the top trainer.

Mark Casse is the King of Canada when it comes to a trainer winning races. His 503 wins are basically at least double all others (except for Reade Baker). Casse needs no introduction to American players that pay attention to major stakes races since he has had several good horses invade the U.S. and perform well over the last few years. Even though Casse has been on top for quite some time he just reached what is perhaps the top milestone for a Canadian trainer when he won his first Queen’s Plate this year with the filly Lexie Lou, which was ridden by Patrick Husbands.

Speaking of Husbands, he has been the pilot for more than fifty percent of all Casse winners in the aforementioned time frame. Whenever I see a Casse entrant with Husbands riding I instantly write “Top Combo” by the name of the horse. From Casse’s 503 wins Husbands has ridden 261 of them. Other jocks you may see ride for Casse, but not all others, and the number of wins are Luis Contreras (64), Gary Boulanger (29), who has only been around Woodbine since April 2013 as far as these numbers are concerned, and Eurico Da Silva (21).

Casse wins most with horses coming off a layoff (at least 45 days away). Over 25% of his wins are first time layoff runners. Compared to other trainers, Casse does well with those that have extended layoffs – off for at least one year. You will rarely see a class jumper win for Casse after a layoff. With his first layoff horses Casse is notably dangerous with surface changes (15% of layoff wins), distance changes (21% of layoff wins) or class droppers (a whopping 64% of layoff wins). And, Casse’s runners shipping in from Keeneland and Gulfstream usually have their guns loaded.

Casse’s work regimen is mostly 6-8 days break in works with the last coming 6-8 days prior to race day. Casse seems to adhere to an equal time lapse before the race day if he works horses 9-12 days apart-those runners will probably have their last work 9-12 days prior to the actual race day.

One area where close attention is needed for Casse is inexperienced horses. Approximately 10% of his wins come from debut runners and about 12% of his wins come from second time starters. Over 3/5 of Casse’s debut winners are two year olds, and 1/3 of the two year old winners are for owner John Oxley. One can tell Casse develops plans for his horses considering that over 20% of his winners are either first or second time starters. Few of Casse’s second time starters drop in class, in fact, more will undergo a distance change than a class drop. When Casse changes distance for a second time starter it has always been from sprint to a route, and that appears to be a move by design.

Seven Reasons to Tackle Keeneland

Know thy Keeneland Trainers By Rich Nilsen

Gracing a picturesque stretch of Kentucky bluegrass that is surrounded by some of the country’s most beautiful farms, Keeneland Racecourse is unique in its beauty and history.  Visit Keeneland once and you will quickly see that it is an incredible social event. Every day, weekend or weekday, hundreds of co-eds, mostly from the University of Kentucky, make their way to their local track for an afternoon of partying.  Visitors come from all over the country.  Although they all make for a very crowded atmosphere, the hundreds of inexperienced racegoers present at Keeneland contribute to large wagering pools as well as the occasional overlay.

However, as handicappers, we require more than aesthetics when choosing which tracks to invest in.  We shouldn’t be playing a track just because it is glamorous or popular.  As handicappers looking to turn a profit, we need solid reasons to tackle a track that could easily be dubbed “the Saratoga of the Midwest.”

As Keeneland offers a unique meet, handicappers should first understand how the 16-day condition book is written. The racing cards cater to the high profile barns that ship in from out of state for the short meet. There are a few claiming races written, and the ones that are offer small purses in comparison to other tracks. The real reward to the Thoroughbred owner is winning a race at prestigious Keeneland.

The Racing Secretary does not card claiming races on the turf despite the fact that demand is high for these events. The only turf races are allowance events, maiden special weights and stakes. In addition to the winner’s purse, a pewter julep cup is given to the winning connections of all such races. To many owners, winning a race at Keeneland is equivalent to getting multiple pictures taken at another track.

Let’s look at a few of the valid reasons why we would want to tackle this oftentimes challenging meet.

 1- Low Takeout

Kentucky racing offers one of the best takeout structures in the country. Straight wagers (win, place, show) are ‘taxed’ at only 16%, meaning 84% of the handle is returned to the betting public. Where it really gets good is with the exotics, especially multi-race wagers. All exotic wagers have a low 19-percent takeout, well below the national average. Compare this to the fact that many of the top tracks in the nation have takeouts of 23% or higher for wagers such as Trifectas, Superfectas, Pick-4’s and Pick-6’s. Keeneland is bargain hunting for the shrewd horseplayers who factor in the price of their wagers.  This is one of the major reasons that Keeneland always ranks very highly in the annual HANA Track Ranking report.

 2- Quality Racing

Keeneland offers a 15-day condition book this spring that is jam-packed with great racing. In fact there are 16 stakes races totaling $3.75 million in purses. As mentioned, the racing cards cater to the high profile barns that ship in from out of state, so the condition book and daily cards reflect this. There is a stakes race nearly every day, always part of the popular late Pick-4 wager.

The Central Bank Ashland and Toyota Blue Grass are worth a hefty 100 points each to the winners on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1), respectively.

 “Our number one goal is to provide the best racing program in the country,” stated Vice President of Racing W.B. Rogers Beasley. “We are exceptionally proud of this schedule and the exciting racing and wagering opportunities it offers our horsemen and fans.”

Five graded stakes, including three Grade 1 events, worth a total of $1,625,000 will rank Toyota Blue Grass Day as one of the nation’s strongest race cards. The undercard will feature the $300,000 Madison (G1), for older fillies and mares going seven furlongs; the $300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1), for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf; the $175,000 Commonwealth (G3), for older horses at seven furlongs; and the $100,000 Shakertown (G3), for older horses at 5½ furlongs on the turf.  Racing cards don’t get a whole lot better than this.

3- Turf Racing

Opened in 1984, the beautiful Keeneland turf course is one of the few sand-based turf courses in United States along with Churchill Downs, Tampa Bay Downs and Turf Paradise.

The Keeneland grass course consistently benefits closers. One must be an exceptional horse, or find the rare field with absolutely no pace, in order to wire a turf field here. Most front-runners collapse at the 1/8th pole while the winner is often seen making a sweeping, strong rally on the outside.

Always be on the lookout for runners from top turf barns such as Glen Hills Farm and Augustin Stables.  It’s surprising how often they will score at a price.

Finally, look for horses that have run well over this grass course in the past. These horses for courses often run well again at Keeneland, winning or finding their way into the exotics at a price.

4- The Trainers

Many barns point for this meeting and arrive loaded for bear. There are also many fine local trainers who fare exceptionally well during the short meet, and knowing who they are behooves the horseplayer.  Every spring and fall, author and handicapper Art Parker updates his very comprehensive trainer database and he compiles the results in the bi-annual guide “Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns.”

Parker’s digital book covers all the horsemen who have won races over the past eight Keeneland meets, and most importantly, how they did.  Were the winners making class changes?  Surface changes?  What kind of work pattern did they have coming into the race?  What jockey did they use and who were the owners? Parker details just how these horses were prepared by their winning trainer, providing players invaluable insight into the methods of these successful horsemen.

With Parker’s book, for example, you’ll learn not only how often trainer Tom Amoss wins with layoff horses (9 of his 17 winners), but also the workout patterns of those winning runners. Or how about local trainer Rick Hiles, whose three winners all sported the same handicapping pattern and won at odds of 9/2, 21-1, and 39-1, respectively.  If a trainer has won at Keeneland, you’ll gain insight into how they did it.  It’s a great guide for players that like to dive into the raw data.

Parker’s “Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns” is available free to members of BetPTC.com [enter promo code “AGOS” when joining] or can purchased here at my website, agameofskill.com.

5- Track Bias on the Main

Exploiting the Keeneland track biases used to be one of the many reasons that professional players salivated at the thought of opening day. The old dirt oval could be one of the most biased courses in the country and ‘being tuned into it’ proved to be very lucrative.  Many handicappers believe that went out the window when management switched to Polytrack.  That is not entirely true.  The Keeneland Polytrack can oftentimes be very biased, especially when weather changes in the Bluegrass state.

One factor you can almost always rely on involves two-turn races on the dirt, specifically the 1 1/16-mile events. The starting gate for this commonly run distance is close to the first turn and the stretch run is short, ending at the first finish line, making it conducive to horses with tactical speed breaking from inside posts.

  6- Focus on the Premier Jocks

At meets such as Keeneland, it is not surprising that the high-profile riders win most of the races. The best jockey agents get the best mounts for their riders, and the result is a lot of victories for a select few number of jockeys.

The first few days usually set the tone for the remainder of the meet. Stay away jockeys who start off cold. These jockeys rarely recover from a poor start at Keeneland and will subsequently burn a lot of money.

7- Wagering Menu

If there is a wager you like, Keeneland pretty much has it. With rolling Pick-3s, dime Superfectas, and early and late Pick-4 wagers with guaranteed pools, Keeneland offers a comprehensive wagering menu.  It’s a far cry from one of the first times I visited the track in the late 1980s.  In one race I liked two horses ridden by Pat Day and Randy Romero, respectively, and both were juicy odds of 8-1.  Needless to say, this was a rare occurrence at this track for either rider.  There was no exacta in the race, and I had to sit there in frustration as the future Hall of Fame riders ran one-two.

Summary

Keeneland offer the best of everything, from low takeouts to just overall great racing.  If you are fortunate enough to attend this track in person, you’ll likely enjoy a wonderful day of horse racing.  Spending an afternoon in Lexington attending live racing can remind us why we fell in love with this sport in the first place.  Best of luck!

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