A Handicapper’s Look at Canterbury Park, the Low Takeout Track

Canterbury Parkby The Oracle

Opening day of the 2023 Canterbury Park live racing meet is Saturday, May 27! That means it’s time to look back at the 2022 Canterbury Park live meet from a statistical standpoint and use that data to help us better predict the outcomes of the 2023 Canterbury Park races.

Canterbury Park offers many low-takeout wagers, including the Pick 4, Pick 5 and a brand-new Turf Pick 3 that will be offered on Wednesday nights. It will pay to get involved in these wagers at Canterbury Park.

Here’s a look at some final statistics for the thoroughbred races run at Canterbury Park in 2022, as we prepare to unlock the 2023 Canterbury Park handicapping puzzle…

Favorites at Canterbury Park

The public correctly selected the winner 41% of the time in all thoroughbred races run at Canterbury Park last year. That is 3-percentage points above the national average for winning favorites at all racetracks in North America in 2022, and equal to how favorites fared at Canterbury Park in 2021. All categories of races, including turf, dirt, sprint, route, maiden, claiming, and allowance races showed favorites winning between 39% and 43% of the time. This varied quite a bit from previous years, when the turf races had…continue reading about the Numbers at Canterbury Park

Did you miss this at AGOS?

How Well Do Favorites Perform?

How Do You Wager on Horse Racing?

Handicapping past performances PPsWagering on horse racing for newbies can be a fun and exciting way to get involved in the sport. Few sports match the thrill of cheering on your horse down the stretch!

If you are new to horse racing, here are the basic steps to follow:

Understand the types of bets: There are many types of bets you can place in horse racing, including win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, and more. Each bet has different odds and payouts, so be sure to understand the rules and risks of each bet.

Do your research for each horse race: Before placing a bet, research the horses, jockeys, trainers, and other factors that can influence the outcome of the race. Look at past performance, track conditions, and other key factors.  Agameofskill.com has a plethora of great articles to help you learn the game of handicapping.

How To Wager on Horse Racing

Find a reputable horse racing track or online betting site: You can either visit a local horse racing track or use an online betting site to place your bets. Be sure to do your research and choose a reputable and licensed provider. Do not use an off-shore bookie.

Place your bet: Once you have chosen the horse you want to bet on and the type of bet you want to place, place your bet with the bookmaker or online betting site. Start with win wagers, the simpliest bet at the track.

Watch the race: Sit back and watch the race to see if your horse wins or places. If you win, collect your payout from the track or online betting site.

Remember to only bet what you can afford to lose, and to always gamble responsibly. Good luck, take your time learning the game of horse racing and have fun!

Is There a Betting Edge with Female Jockeys? One Study Says Yes

jockey riding a horse raceWe analyzed British horse racing data from 664,536 runners (horses and riders) in National Hunt races across a 20-year period, from January 2001 to January 2021. National hunt races require horses to jump fences and ditches. The races were mixed—women didn’t compete in separate races.

Using starting prices, the odds at the start of a horse , we calculated each horse’s probability of winning. We also gauged the expected finish position of each horse by ranking the odds. Then we compared our predictions with the race results.

To our surprise, the results for horses with female jockeys were significantly better than their odds predicted. Indeed, our model estimates that across the study period in a 20-horse race, females would on average finish one place higher than their odds implied.

Starting prices are… continue reading about an edge with female jockeys

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What percentage of the time do favorites win?

Free Pace Chart for Thursday at Keeneland, October 28th

Here is your complimentary Pace Chart for today at Keeneland.  Best of luck today, handicappers!  Remember, oftentimes pace makes the race!

Keeneland – 10/28/2021
Race 1 Expected Pace Leaders Stalkers Mid-Pack Closers Unknown
6.50 Furlongs / Dirt Slow/Modest 4 7-2 8-1-5 3-6
Race 2
9.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 7 5 4-6-2 3-8
Race 3
8.50 Furlongs / Turf Unknown 4-7-5 8-2 6-11-9 1-3-10-13
Race 4
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest/Fast 7 8 5-6-3 1
Race 5
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Unknown 1-5 3-11-8 10 2-4-6-7-9
Race 6
5.50 Furlongs / Turf Fast 7 2-1 10-4-3 6-8
Race 7
7.00 Furlongs / Dirt Unknown *9 7-2 12-11 1-5-6-8-10
Race 8
8.50 Furlongs / Turf Modest/Honest 1-7 4-5-6 10-2-3 14-8-9-12-15-16-13
Race 9
6.50 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 6 10-3-9 4-12-5 2-11-8-1 13


Free Pace Chart for Saturday at Keeneland, October 16th

Races 3 and 6 are off the turf due to about an inch of rain since Friday in Lexington.  Here is your complimentary Pace Chart for Saturday at Keeneland.  Best of luck today

Race 1 Expected Pace Leaders Stalkers Mid-Pack Closers Unknown
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Slow/Modest 6 3-2 1-4 5-7
Race 2
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Unknown ? 3 10-4-11 2-5-6-7-8-9-12
Race 3
8.50 Furlongs / OFF Unknown ? 7-1 10-4 15-12 3-6-8-11
Race 4
6.50 Furlongs / Dirt Fast 7-4 5 2-8-1 3
Race 5
8.50 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 2-4 8-1 6-3-7 5-9
Race 6
8.50 Furlongs / OFF Unknown ? 4 3-11-10 9-1-15 2-5-8-12
Race 7
8.50 Furlongs / Dirt Slow 2 1-3 5-7 4-6
Race 8
9.00 Furlongs / Turf Honest/Fast 7-2-1 6-10-4 3-8 5-9
Race 9
8 Furlongs / Dirt Mod/Honest 5 6-1-2 4-10-9-3 8
Race 10
5.50 Furlongs / Turf Fast 4 2-8 10-5-6 1A-12-11-7-1-13-3

Keys to Being a Successful Sports Bettor Apply to Horseplayers As Well

Legendary sports bettor and handicapper Alan “Dink” Denkenson is interviewed here on what it takes to be a successful bettor.  Although the topic, in specific, is sports such as football and baseball, all these tenets apply well to horseplayers. Don’t chase, do the required research and much more from Dink.

It’s worth a listen for anyone and everyone who wants to improve their game.

Handicapping Tip of the Day #65 – Bad Beats or Something Else?

by Glen S.

Bad Beats, Bad Betting or Bad Selections.

All three may sound bad, but they are different and you should recognize the difference when watching and reviewing the races.

Let’s begin with the BAD BEATS:
-We all get them, e.g. noses on the wire, bad rides, and you lose
-Your horse has a tough trip and another horse gets through on the rail to beat you at the wire

Understand that we all get the bad beats, but it is what you do after a bad beat that is important. If you dwell on it, that will just affect you in your handicapping future races. “Good Wins” are just around the corner when your horse wins the photo next time out. Stick to your process, because success at the races is right around the corner.

Bad Betting:
-Making money doesn’t always go hand in hand by picking winners.
-Understanding value and how to get the most of your top selections. Play underlays and you’re guaranteed to lose.
-Should you be betting win, or exacta or sequence bets? Realizing a $12.00 horse is great value when you give it fair value of 3-1. Be sure to bet to win. If you are going after the exacta and miss it, without a win bet, that is bad betting. Take a look at your betting strategies.

It is tough enough to pick winners, you want to make them count when you do.

Bad Selections:
-We all make them, but you want to accept that and not make excuses like, “bad ride”, “didn’t want to win,” etc.
-Bad selections you need to learn from them, adjust your handicapping the next time a similar situation happens.
-What did I miss to have such a bad selection? Review your handicapping post-race.

The faster you learn from your mistakes, the less bad selections there will be and more chance to have a few “good wins” in the future.

Did you miss these Handicapping Tips of the Day?

Horse Racing Tip of the Day – the Fewer this the better…

Horse Racing Tip of the Day – Evaluating Layoff Horses

Horse Racing Tip of the Day – Red Flags on this Big Favorite

Complimentary Pace Report for Opening Day at Kentucky Downs

Predicting the pace of the race is a critical aspect of successful handicapping.  Today, I present a pace chart which breaks down where each runner is expected to be during the running of the race – on opening day at Kentucky Downs.

Obviously, starting breaks and jockey tendencies/decisions play a major role in how the race plays out.  But put the percentages in your favor BEFORE the race by anticipating how the race will be run.  From there, you can decide which runners may benefit and which may be compromised.  It can often be the deciding factor between choosing your preferred horse in the race.


Sunday, 9/5/2021
Kentucky Downs
Race 1 Expected Pace Leaders Stalkers Mid-Pack Closers Unknown/FTS
12.0 Furlongs / Turf Slow 7 3-5-9 2-8-6-4 10-1
Race 2
6.50 Furlongs / Turf Unknown 2 12-14-16 11-4-13-8 1-3-5-6-7-9-10-15
Race 3
8 Furlongs / Turf Very Fast 3-6-5 8-14-7 12-1-2-10 4-11-9-15-16-13
Race 4
8 Furlongs / Turf Modest 6-7 4-9 5-1-10-8 3 2-1A
Race 5
6.50 Furlongs / Turf Honest 3 9-4-11 13-14-1-10 8-7-6-2-12-5
Race 6
8 Furlongs / Turf Slow 4 6-10-2 7-3-9-8 1-5
Race 7
6.50 Furlongs / Turf Honest *14 5-12-13 7-11-15-10 8-2-3-9-16-1-6 4
Race 8
6.50 Furlongs / Turf Unknown 6 13-3-7 14-12-8-1 2-4-5-9-10-11-15
Race 9
10.50 Furlongs / Turf Slow 6-7-5 1-4 8-3-2 9
Race 10
10.50 Furlongs / Turf Honest/Fast 8 4-1-9 12-7-11-3 6-2-5-10
Race 11
6.50 Furlongs / Turf Honest/Fast 10 14-15-13 3-11-5-9 12-1-2-6-8-16-4 7

Handicappers, It’s Mid-Year Review Time

Handicapping past performances PPs1st Half of the Year is Over

How is the year going?  At the beginning of the year we typically remind readers to take the necessary steps to improve their handicapping and money management.  With six months of 2021 in the books, how would you rate your handicapping thus far?  Are you committing some of the same mistakes you’ve made in the past?  What have you improved upon?

Let’s look back on the New Year resolutions because it’s never too late to right the ship.

“Every horse player needs to know their strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t, you will not know when to take that big shot on a horse or wager.

I find the biggest mistake by horseplayers is playing the same way year after year and not trying to improve their handicapping.  It’s a ‘plan’ doomed to fail.

What have you done lately to improve?

Here are a few things to do more of…” read on

3 Handicapping Factors to Look at When a New Race Meet Opens


A new racing meet starting up adds an extra dimension to handicapping these races.  Do some research, be prepared and you will be ahead of the curve. Here are a few things to look for in the first week of racing at a new meet:

Let’s begin with the trainers:
-Understand the difference between the local trainers and the trainers that ship from track to track
-Sometimes the local horses are returning off longer layoffs and may need a start or two
-The trainers that move from track to track usually have a plan and that is “win early”
-Find those hot trainers quickly because after a week or so, everyone else jumps on board

Preview of Ohio racing’s Belterra Park meet in April.

Here is where you take advantage of the public that doesn’t follow or do the research early. After about a month the trainer stats will have the shipped in trainers with a great record and the locals not so good. But remember, the win early trainers had that as their goal, whereas the locals are in for the long haul.  In other words, be patient.  The local trainers will win their fair share of races.

Understanding where the horses are coming from
-It takes a bit of experience but ask around or even reply to this blog and I will help you out. What I mean by this, the level of
competition varies greatly from the A, B and C tracks in North America. Get to know them.  What tracks produce winners at this meet, and which ones don’t?
-For example a horse coming from Santa Anita and now racing at Fonner park, will not look good on form. But what to
look for is, did the horse show speed. The speed horses from top track are far better bets than the plodders that just
ran at the back. Big difference from a horse showing lots of early speed and finishing last than a local plodder that passes one or
two late.

Get detailed meet statistics on any track with Equibase

Last tip, know the horse
-Is the horse ready to run today, e.g. many works coming in?
-Is the horse at the right distance or does this look like a prep for a later race?
-Is this the right surface for the horse in question?

After you have done your above research and made your notes, you still need to look at the race shape to see how the race sets up.  This requires a little more work, but it certainly can pay off in the end.

Good racing