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Saratoga Action for Wednesday July 23rd

Posted by editor on July 22, 2014 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Race 1 is a steeplechase race. I don't bet these, but go 2-5-7-4 if you are bored and want the action.

Race 2: The Pletcher horse for Repole, #8 Overspending  (7-5 ML), is the certain favorite among these first time starter 2 year olds, but the Win bet value is Asmussen's #3 EMPRESSIVE HUMOR (4-1 ML). The horse, by Distorted Humor, is well bred and had an impressive workout from the gate earlier this month in addition to a steady stream of sharpening works. $20 to Win on #3.

Race 3: I'll try to beat Pletcher and Velasquez again here as they bring the likely odds-on favorite in #5 Got Lucky, who has been off since a poor showing in the Kentucky Oaks. This group today is easier competition on paper, but it is worth a gamble to think she might need a race first. Any of the next three lowest  ML odds horses are legitimate candidates to pull the upset: #2 EQUILATERAL (4-1 ML), #4 MADAKET MILLIE (5-1 ML), or #6 PRETTY FANCY (6-1 ML). $5 Pick 4: 2,4,5,6 with 6 with 2 with 1,8; $20 to Win on #4

Race 4: The morning line favorite, #6 ITHASTOBEGEORGE (3-1 ML), is a likely winner. Unless somebody like the #4 gets loose on the lead, this gelding seems to have a class and speed advantage. Recent efforts at the higher optional claiming level have been off form, but Rosario will probably kept this horse wide, which is this horse's usual preference, and then sweep the field in the strech. $20 to Win on #6

Race 5: The favorite, #2 GIRLABOUTOWN (8-5 ML) took huge betting action in her runner-up debut last out at Belmont, and should be tuned up and ready to roll here now. $20 to Win on #2

Race 6: The morning line is a bold 2-5 on the #1/#1A entry, but I think #8 HOT SPLASH (5-1 ML) could steal the race in front running fashion. Shortening up to 7 furlongs here could help, as she has been getting outfinished down the stretch in her last few races. The pace scenario seems pretty soft here, so expect Lezcano to send her hard from the bell. $20 to WIn on #8

Race 7: This is an evenly matched turf route with no clear cut favorite. I view #7 ALL STAR KITTEN (4-1 ML) as the most likely winner, but you might want to play some exotics here and be sure to include #12 LATE NIGHT ARTIST (3-1 ML) and #10 BEAUTY SURPRISE (6-1 ML). $0.50 Pick 4: 1,5,6,7,10,12 with 1,6 with 1,4,5,7 with 1,3,8,9,12; $5 Exacta Box 7-10-12

Race 8: #1 GO APPEAL (5-2 ML) has an impressive 4 wins in 6 starts, and despite the curious class drop after a win last out, there is no reason to think that it won't be 5 out of 7 wins with Ortiz staying on. But there is enough to like about the Finger Lakes shipper, #6 CHRISTOPHERS JOY (20-1 ML) to take a longshot stab. He has won both starts this year with Simon Husbands aboard, and has the momentum to keep stepping up the class ladder to a new rung. $10 to WIn and Show on #6

Race 9: The feature race is the Grade 2 Lake George for 3yo fillies on the turf. I have more respect for the Gulfstream turf battlers than for the stay at home New Yorkers, so #1 DARING KATHY (6-1 ML) looks most interesting and could carry her speed from the rail to record her 4th straight win. Chad Brown and Javier Castellano can never be dismissed in these graded turf races, so #4 SWEET ACCLAIM (4-1 ML) also must be given a big chance. Her three placings in her US career have had some quick closing moves, and today could be the day she puts it all together for a sweeping victory, $10 to Win on #1 and #4

Race 10: Expect a mad dash in this hotly contested 5 furlong turf sprint. #1 ALL MINE TONIGHT (8-1 ML) is a stalker that could lay just behind the leaders and make a nice closing move if traffic allows. #9 OFFICIAL (6-1 ML) tends to find traffic problems, but is coming off of a nice win that could certaintly be repeated against this bunch. #12 WHITE CRANE (7-2 ML) is good too and only remains in this NW1s condition  because he got nosed out of the win on June 15th. Hopefully you are alive to a big late Pick 4 by this point, but if not, I would go wide here on trifectas or superfectas. $1 Trifecta Box 1-3-9-12, $1 Trifecta Wheel 1,9 with 1,3,9,12 with 1,3,8,9,10,12,14


Posted by editor on March 31, 2014 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)


The Keeneland meets are short, so you often have to deal with horses that have been racing at other tracks prior to their Keeneland start, otherwise known as “shippers”. Keeneland remains a destination meet for many prominent trainers and owners, so you have a big convergence of horses in Lexington in April, especially from the Midwest and South. Knowing where the main contenders come from, as well as knowing the tracks to avoid, can really help boost your bankroll when betting the Keeneland Spring meet.

Gulfstream Park (GP) in Florida, is where one out of four shippers come from, but in the last two Spring meets, 36% of the races (excluding those won by first-time starters) have been won by horses that had their prior race at GP! For you statisticians, this is a strong 1.47 impact value with a flat bet ROI of 0.90. These GP horses can not be easily discarded as contenders, and you could probably make a profit just by picking the right  GP shipper each race.

Some of the other popular Southern winter racing venues are Fair Grounds (FG) in New Orleans and Oaklawn (OP) in Arkansas. Fair Grounds is a tier below Gulfstream, but brings a lot of runners to Keeneland. The statistics are pretty neutral on FG shippers, so don’t upgrade or downgrade them in your handicapping, except for the turf runners, which have not had much success. Oaklawn shippers can pop a long shot every now and then, but generally are poor bets. Last Spring meet, they were an ice cold 2 for 55.

Many Keeneland runners have stayed home for the winter and last ran in the Bluegrass State. Turfway Park (TP) is Kentucky’s winter track and, other than Gulfstream, accounts for the most shippers to Kee in April. But TP runners have a poor 6% winning percentage with a very poor 0.54 IV. The racing quality at TP is slipping every year, so 6% might be tough to hold this meet. On the other hand, Keeneland’s weekday cards can be pretty soft and Turfway horses are capable of getting you some long shot prices in those cheaper races. Churchill Downs (CD) shippers are coming in to the Spring meet off of a several month layoff (last CD meet was in Nov), but they can be fresh runners. In fact, they have won at a nice 18% clip over the past two meets with a >.90 ROI and a high 1.62 IV. This crop gives you a lot of patient, Kentucky-based trainers who know their horses need the occasional vacation and who are targeting the Keeneland meet. And finally, Keeneland (Kee) itself is where about 1 out of 10 runners had their last start. Nothing remarkable, but they win their fair share. Pay particular attention to those that are running back again within the same meet.

Keeneland is still a major circuit track, and remains a destination for small-time owners chasing a big purse or just coming to Lexington for the scene. Unfortunately, horses shipping in from tracks like Hawthorne (Haw) and Mountaineer (Mnr) rarely win. In fact, over the last two Spring meets, these two tracks brought 109 runners, but only 3 winners. Tampa Bay Downs (Tam) isn’t great either, and is comparable to Turfway in regards to Keeneland success. One track the produces some nice shippers is Woodbine (WO), a Canadian track that has an artificial surface track, similar to Keeneland’s. Watch for trainer Mark Casse to bring some contenders.

What about those horses that are trying the races for the first time? Well, first-time starters that win are often the favorite also (about ½ the time) and usually in the Maiden Special Weight races. Last Spring, firsters in Maiden Claiming races were 0 for 20. Wesley Ward is going to win a lot of races with FTS, and you can usually make a flat bet profit just betting the favorite in the 2yo baby races.

To summarize:

Top contenders ship from: Gulfstream, Churchill Downs, Woodbine, California tracks

Neutral opinions on horses from: Fair Grounds, Keeneland, NY tracks

Not great, but longshots possible from: Turfway Park, Oaklawn, Tampa Bay

Avoid shippers from
:  Hawthorne, Mountaineer, and any other cheap level track

First time starters: Follow the money – the odds will indicate who is sharp

New Years Eve at Turfway - FREE Picks

Posted by editor on December 31, 2013 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

If you're heading out to Turfway for the NYE party, I've included a link to some analysis and picks for the 10 race live card. Because of big fields and lower quality horses, Turfway is not very predictable, so there is nothing I would consider a "lock". But it can be a great track to play long shots or spread your tickets wide. Pick 4's are my favorite Turfway bet, and I've included some large bets for those who might be doing group bets. Expect payoffs from $100 up to several thousand dollars (I would give it a 1 in 5 chance). Trifectas can also trigger a similar payoff. If you're just looking to cover your dinner & bar bill, I would stick to the win bets, exactas, and rolling pick 3's. If you don't bet at all, then just follow along to see how I did and either cheer or jeer me. Click below and Good luck!

FREE Turfway Picks for New Years Eve

2YO MSW Favorites-- The Easy Money Keeneland Bet

Posted by editor on September 30, 2012 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Another meet is upon us, and I wanted to again bring up a bet that has been consistently profitable over the years and requires no handicapping: Bet the Favorite in every 2yr-old Maiden Special Weight race. Here are some of the compelling stats (complied with the excellent Polycapping Database on for all races since 2006):

  • The post time favorite has won 48% of the time (84 out of 176).
  • The average odds for those winning favorites is 1.69-1, for an average payoff of $5.38 for every $2 win bet.
  • If you bet $2 to win on every 2yo MSW race favorite since 2006, you would have bet $352 and collected back $451.80. That is a profit of $99.80 for a return on investment (ROI) of +28%. $20 bets=$998 profit. $200 bets=$9,980 profit. $2000 bets=$99,800 profit!
  • This has been a profitable bet in 11 of the last 12 meets (Spring 2007 was the exception, with favorites only winning 2 out of 10).
  • Losing streaks of 3 or more straight races have happened in half of the meets. The longest losing streak, 5 races, has happened twice.


Shouldn't these 2yr old races be the most difficult to predict because these horses are running for the first or second time and there are no past performances to evaluate? Well, the good ole' boys network tends to spread the word about which young horses are looking fit & burning up the training track. Certain Kentucky trainers like Wesley Ward, Rusty Arnold, Ken McPeek, Dale Romans, and Al Stall really save their best 2 yr olds for the Keeneland debut.


So why has this bet continued to be so profitable? Shouldn't people catch on to this and make the odds shorter? Keeneland has a lot of casual fans that might be betting favorite names, colors, or numbers. Also, people love to bet longshots in these types of races with limited past performances, thinking they are less predictable or more evenly matched. And some people just aren't interested in betting the favorite -- it usually is a formula for losing at most tracks and in most races. So while an average win payoff of $5.38 on $2 won't cover the cost of a beer, add a zero or two to your bet size and that +28% ROI will make you look like a pro.

MR K has Gangnam Style

Posted by editor on September 27, 2012 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

MR K is not quite viral yet, but this Fall Meet just might launch him to worldwide fame.

He has been keeping close watch on the Kentucky circuit as horses prep for Keeneland's October meet, he has been fine-tuning his Pick 4 methods, and he's been checking in on the stables...

And if making you money this upcoming this meet isn't enough, he has put together the best bus/tailgate party in the history of handicapping websites...The First Annual bus trip and tailgate party on Saturday, October 13th! Co-sponsored by the good folks at Grandview Tavern & Grille located at 2220 Grandview Ave, Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017.

The price is $75 per person which includes:

Breakfast beginning at 9:30am.

Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Beer to go with your breakfast if you so choose.

Roundtrip ground transportation to and from Keeneland leaving promptly at 10:30am.

Beer on the bus and before you go into Keeneland.

General Admission to Keeneland.

And the best part of the trip, FREE Picks from Mr. B and Mr. K as well as in-depth analysis of the day's races.

Seats are going fast, so be sure to reserve your spot by either calling 859-341-8439 or email your name and number to [email protected] and we'll call you back to confirm.

And if you don't live in Northern Kentucky, feel free to drop by and say hello bus-side at Keeneland an hour before post-time. We'll tweet out our location once we arrive.

Don't forget to pass the word about!