I know three things that will happen in my life; death, taxes and a favorite in every race.
There are around 35,000 races carded in the U. S. each year and there was a favorite in every one of them. Around 30% will be favorites that will hit for the grandstand the railbirds and all us exacta players.
Around 12,000 who were favorites will win and around 23,000 who were favorites will lose. 30% is 5/2 odds and pays $7. The favorite has an actual payout of $4.80 that is actual odds of 7/5 that requires a 43% actual win rate. The favorite is an underlay.
As a player I know you can hit the favorite, cash and lose money as you are winning. Because I am betting against a very determined group of players who pound the exacta with the favorite in every race every day, month after month year after year, I know the favorite is going to get me in a bunch of races. I only need to cash on one out of every four instead of the crowd having to hit four out of ten that is required to hit the $4.80 payout to have a chance of knocking me out of an exacta. These chances are reduced because the favorite has an actual win rate of 30%.
If I bet this race I have to know if the favorite has to be part of my exacta. Can I can go with the favorite based on odds or against the favorite and accept the results.
Here is how I determine who is an actual favorite and who is not and who is a bettable favorite and who is not. I handicap with pen, paper and the computer and I handicap two circuits New York and Southern California.
Los Alamitos Race Course is currently open. They replaced the 7 furlong bull ring track with a mile oval. Los Alamitos has only been racing on this mile oval track for a few months. Since my stats are to small to apply what I look for in 3/1 odds as the favorite, I wait until Santa Anita opens in a couple of weeks where the numbers swing my way for more bets on the 3/1 morning line (M/L) favorite.
There are smaller fields in Southern California so that has an impact on the line maker. He has to set lower and lower odds on the favorite to compensate for field size. However, Saturday normally has larger fields.
So today I’ll pass Southern California and just list On the paper Aqueduct, the Track, the race, the saddle cloth number of the favorite and the M/L
Aqueduct Saturday 12/9/2017
R 1 # 2- 1/1 GT R 4 # 6-3/1 R 7 #10-5/2
R 2 # 9 -3/1 R 5 # 5-5/2 R 8 # 1-9/5
R 3 # 1-1A- 9/5 R 6 # 7- 8/5 R 9 # 13-2/1
Aqueducts list of ten favorites tell me there are three races the line maker believes the horse is superior to his opponents and three races are at an in between odds level 2/1 and 5/2. Two races have M/L odds of 3/1. That is about as high an odds a line maker is willing to give a favorite. Normally 3/1 is the third favorite making 3/1 a contender not a favorite.
I target 3/1 as a bet and this layout gives me a visual on how the odds are set for favorites on a race card. All I need is a jockey/ trainer statistic that will show me the correct race to bet a 3/1 M/L favorite. I know the three low priced favorites will not make it into any exacta bet because I can expect these three to drop three to five more odds levels by post time.
The bet is a key horse exacta based on the jockey trainer stats. It is the first bet I look for every day and is the most interesting to handicap. Most players go to the Racing Form and start handicapping Aqueduct race 1 horse 1. My race 1 is race 2 to look for first because the favorite has odds of 3/1. This is the way I set up a routine to find the same bet over and over. When I add in exacta betting statistics, the way to handicap changes. I take advantage of percentages, to know when to bet or when to pass. 3/1 Morning Line favorites offers cashing bets and hitting consistency. I have a 25% cash rate for this play.
After making the above list I open my track specific jockey-trainer exacta report separated by sprint and route and fill in the stats on each favorite at Aqueduct. I am looking for favorites that the trainer has his go to jockey on his horse. I can bet or pass if the trainer does not have his go to jockey on him. Beside the odds I write GT for Go To and an S if the trainer is switching to his go to jockey and that is the best 3/1 favorite to bet.
Aqueduct Races 2 and 4 have a 3/1 favorite. In race 2 Joe Bravo is in the irons for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. In the past five years Rudy Rodriguez has not given Joe Bravo any sprinters at Aqueduct. Rudy Rod’s four go to jockeys at Aqueduct in exacta sprints are Irad Ortiz 234-119-51%, Jose Ortiz has 29-16-55%, Cornelio Velasquez 59-25-42% and Junior Alvarado 32-16-50%. I will pass race 2. Joe Bravo is a very good jockey and can still win though I’ll wait for Rudy Rodriguez and one of these 4 go to jockeys.
Race 4 Maiden Claim sprint has a 3/1 favorite at Aqueduct with jockey Kendrick Caramouche riding for trainer Jeremiah Englehart. In sprint races Caramouche-Englehart have 28-6-21% exacta stats. Jeremiah Englehart’s go to jockeys are Angel Arroyo 21-9-43%, Jose Ortiz 47-19-40% and Irad Ortiz 18-8-42%. I will wait for one of these three go to jockeys to be on board to bet.
Jeremiah Englehart horse is a Debut 1. For Englehart’s first time starter sprinters at Aqueduct he has a record of 16-1-8%. Another reason to pass even if he had his go-to jockey on him.
Today I will not have a bet on 3/1 M/L favorites. I would have to find bets that would go against the favorite. So I will be betting into those 23,000 favorites who lose and I will not be able to take advantage of those 12,000 who win. Maybe Sunday.