I went to YouTube and typed in “Horse Racing Handicapping Statistics” and an amazing amount of videos came up, all with the same corresponding handicapping language. I was not looking for anything in particular. I was just looking for a video that would catch my interest. I did not view any video that had the word system in it or any that had hype words like guarantee or purchase my product on Wednesday and on Saturday you will be on a vacation in Paris.

The word used often was angles. Applying your angles and finding live long shots or certain angles with a big price was a popular expression. That was about it for angles. Some videos would mention 2nd after a layoff as an angle however, no stats were given. They did mention patterns. They said this horse has a good form pattern and the jockey has been on this horse the last five races. None mentioned or identified where the form cycle started or ends or the jockey-trainer hit rate. Some players tried to help by saying what they believe was important by what to circle on the Racing Form.

Many videos were from the United Kingdom. Most were not players but services selling stuff to handicappers. I have to say some were very well produced by showing results with a contested finish. They supplied flash and optics to their products and they had some of the best music to get you in the mood to be interested in their product.

The U.S. videos did not have as much flash and style. They consisted mostly of players explaining their products in the videos, products showing mostly the big three. Then there were some handicappers who have descent product knowledge on the Racing Form who wanted to help by explaining what they had learned and what was important to handicap.

It’s the players that were trying to help with their handicapping knowledge and trying to pass that knowledge to any one who will listen that can be sort of interesting. I did get some videos. One was a good short video named Probability vs. Odds. This proves there are many levels to handicapping; the angle guys end up perpetuating the same style of handicapping techniques as the pattern guys. Patterns were discussed without the aid of statistics. The same issue with angles. I do not know how you can explain either of these without statistics. My key word on my query was statistics.

The Racing Form had some hour and longer shows. I liked what Formulator is about and how they used it although; they did miss the most important handicapping starting point, track specific information. Their videos are really long. One talked about trainer stats. He discussed stats on trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. He said he pulled up Kiaran stats at all tracks and then removed New York and Gulfstream Park where McLaughlin primarily races. McLaughlin was 96-4 everywhere else. The player who found that stat bet into these 4 winners for other reasons, probably speed because speed is one dimensional once they find the fastest horse that is the bet. Speed players do not need any other information. He ignored the 92 from 96 races that lost. He did not understand that he had found the big important statistic to make a decision with which was to pass the bet. I shook my head at that move. 92 losers and he still bet Kiarans horse.

The biggest take away for me on their videos is none rounded out the statistic with its corresponding percentage, like the trainer’s current record is 53-13 and then no percentage. The 53-13 stat made me feel like it was a negative to them. 24% is a great hit rate and this hit rate puts this trainer in the elite class. On small sample size they said things like they need big samples because small samples rely on a leap of faith.

One reason it is hard for the players in these videos to improve a handicappers game is because percentages are not used and are rarely mentioned. The handicappers repeat the numbers not the percentages because the information does not include the percentage. To me it’s as important as the number of races and the number of wins and then the percentage has to be part of understanding what you are looking at. If the expert playing McLaughlin’s stat had the percentage listed like this 96-4-4% win rate, he may have had a more intuitive understanding of statistics and win rate. Without the percentages they miss a crucial visual to handicap by eliminating horses through a negative statistic. This is as important as betting a horse with a positive percentage statistic.

Dave Schwartz is a very knowledgeable handicapper and had some interesting videos on Improving Your Game: Horse Racing Math. He uses math, money or percentages in his videos and they are short and easy to understand.

In the search bar I typed in Horse racing speed and YouTube came up with hour after hour, video after video of speed handicapping. If I was a new player I would probably be influenced with this volume of videos and become a speed player. It seems that all speed players believe that speed is the truth the light and the way. It took a few years of going to the track before I became a serious player with speed and then I made my own speed figs. I am fortunate because that one year I tracked my bets and speed did not make the cut. I lost money. I bailed out of playing speed and developed trainer statistics and it was the best thing I ever did in my life of betting on the horses.

I would never advise a player not to try speed or statistics. What works for some may not work for others. With experience you may come up with the better mouse trap to bet with.

Betting is about your personal decisions with what information you have. Handicapping is labor intensive; finding things that work for each player means they are determined to find something that works for their approach or add into their handicapping regime. Handicapping this way means we are not a lazy bunch. You could say we are ruthless, competitive and prefer caffeine.  I mostly liked the YouTube videos on statistical handicapping. I could see where it could help or hinder someone trying to figure out how to bet on the horses. The best teacher in life is experience.
——– News
Re: The online statistics on my website
The database is only publishing some races and some tracks and not all so the programmer is still trying to locate the issue. The database is massive and updates daily and sometimes something happens to one part and it affects the whole and the programmers has to go through each calculation to find where this is in order to correct it.  This is a tedious as well as costly task. I am unable to say when we’ll be fully back up and running, it could be today or it could be another week. As a player who uses my statistics I understand the inconvience this issue has caused and I appreciate everyones patience regarding this.  To all current subscribers, you’re welcome to view the races that are currently showing. Please know we will be adding all this down time back into your subscription.
The same applies to anyone who purchases a new subscription. PPs You will be able to view the stats that are posting now though your subscription won’t actually begin until all the races are posting.
We recently completed Jockey-Trainer Exacta reports for the Ohio Circuit, Penn National and Delaware.  All Jockey-Trainer exacta reports are offered in either pdf for immediate download Or in book publication form. Today thru tomorrow save 10% when ordering any one publication by entering coupon code Save10 Or 15% when ordering two or more by entering coupon code Save15 upon checkout.
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I asked Ed who was his Favorite Jockey-Trainer Exacta Stat

From Susan:

Ed had a lot of requests for his Jockey-Trainer Exacta Report for specific racetracks and he has completed these and has the report ready for all these tracks;
New York (Aqueduct-Belmont-Saratoga), Southern California (Delmar-LRC-Santa Anita), KY (Churchill-Ellis-Keeneland-Turfway), Parx, Laurel, Tampa, Gulfstream, Golden Gate, Woodbine, Finger Lakes, Monmouth, Illinois (AP-HAW)Texas (Lone Star- Houston-Retama), Prairie Meadows, IndianaLouisiana A.M. Edition (Louisiana & Fairgrounds), Louisiana P.M. Edition (Evangeline & Delta) Presque Isle, Charles Town.  OR Louisiana has all tracks in pdf only (Delta-Evangeline-Fair Grounds -Louisiana), Penn National and Delaware Park

and I was curious what was his favorite stat out of all these Jockey-Trainer Exacta Report stats and his reply was Taylor Rice and all her Rice connections at Presque Isle Downs.  Every Rice family member took care of her when she rode. And even though Taylor is no longer riding, Ed say’s this is true Trainer Intent. Taylor is married to one of the top jockey’s in our Country, Jose Ortiz. They have a daughter.  Ed said she is 1/2 of the exacta 🙂

Save 10% today thru midnight tomorrow when purchasing any publication in our Book Store or 15% when purchasing 2 publications or more by entering coupon code Save10 or Save15 upon checkout.

Allowance Optional Claim

By Ed Bain

There are around 20 class levels at most racetracks and every class level has an escalating purse structure. At Belmont and Santa Anita Stakes races have purses starting at $75,000.

When a trainer has a good horse that they may want to protect from being claimed away in a high class claiming event some trainers choose to run their horse in the class of Allowance Optional Claim (AOC). At Belmont the AOC purse size starts at $65,000 and at Santa Anita it begins at $53,000.

At this class level the trainer can declare the horse up for sale at the claiming price or they can declare he is not for sale. Allowance Optional Claim lets the trainer run their horse with good pedigree into a softer spot which is essentially a claiming class without the risk of having his horse claimed away. Trainer intent is big in this class level.

3,279 runners went to post in the Allowance Optional Claiming Class at Belmont over the past four years. 454 won for a 14% win rate. Trainer Chad Brown ran 181 horses and won with 57 for a 31% win rate. Brown entered 123 different horses. One of them, Tombelane was entered five times where he won three races and had one place.  Most wins came on the initial trainer move into Allowance Optional Claim.

5,819 runners went to post in Allowance Optional Claim at Santa Anita over the past four years. 754 won for a 13% win rate. Trainer Bob Baffert went 162-41-25% in AOC. Baffert raced Cat Burglar 5 times and he won 4 and placed on the other.

Trainer Phillip D’Amato produced 212 races from 107 horses, 45 won for a 21% hit rate.

At Santa Anita the favorite raced 744 times in AOC and won 229 for a 31% hit rate.

At Belmont the favorite raced 461 times in AOC and won with 167 for a 36% win rate.

At Belmont trainer Richard Violette went 23-1-4% in AOC. At Santa Anita trainer Van Belvoir went 28-1-3% in AOC. These are two good trainers. They enter horses in this class level for some other reason.

Allowance Optional Claim offers good sized purses and with a win the trainer gets to stay in that class if they want to. Then sometimes the trainer keeps their horses at this class level while looking for another spot to run their horse in later.

With the Triple Crown races Post Position draw is a big deal if you can handicap post position. This is not a primary factor but is important to betting when you have an advantage statistically to place a bet because of a big statistic or pass a bet because of a big negative statistic. I wanted to find out if post positions with good horses could be used as an advantage to bet or a disadvantage to pass the bet.

Of the 3,279 runners at Belmont who went to post, post position #7 had 264 runners and 32 won for a 12% win rate. Post position #8 went 178-13-9% winners. It is not the 13 winners I look at to try and place a bet on it is the 165 losers that is the issue. Post positions 8, 9, 10 went 348-23-7%. Overcoming these percentages with statistics is one way to handicap or just not betting into low percentage post position is another.

Post position #5 has the best percentage at Belmont with 433 races and 74 wins for a 17% win rate. Second best is post position #6 with 375-59-16%.

Belmont post #12 went 21-1. For post position #12 trainer intent is compromised by the distance from the inside post positions to the outside. They have to run a further distance than the inside posts. Trainer intent has to be evaluated by each statistic.

Santa Anita is different.  Post position #7 loaded 516 starters and won with 57 for a 13% win rate. Post position #8 went 401-36-9% and 8, 9 and 10 went 834-89-11%. All post positions at Santa Anita are above my definition of random which is 10%. This is like knowing dogs can make 10 sounds while cats make 100.

At Santa Anita from post positions 1 through 10 only post position #8 has a percentage lower than 10%. There were 401 runners from post position 8, 36 won for a 9% win rate. Three post positions turned in 14% win rates; #1, #3 and #6 and they went

At Santa Anita post #10 had 165 runners. Belmont for post #12 had 64. I do not bet beyond post #10 at Santa Anita. Post #12 was 32-0.

Santa Anita shows no advantage through post position percentages in Allowance Optional Claiming events. I was impressed that in Allowance Optional Claim the statistics on each post position is a non factor for low percentages or large post position percentages. The post positions are about equal statistically, a random event is unpredictable.

With Belmont’s stats the post position is a handicapping factor. Three post positions are hitting at a 7% win rate. Random is 10%. For me betting into a 7% hit rate is almost impossible although sometimes numbers really don’t mean much even when you know the details. Some examples are, the 57 on Heinz ketchup bottles represents the number of varieties of pickles the company once had. Banging your head against a wall burns 150 calories an hour which may be an action created by speed figures. The required sample size depends strongly on the strength of the effect you are trying to measure. There are always two sets of numbers with racing statistics; the number of runners to the number of winners and how do I determine a large sample with a small sample to place or pass a bet.


I Want to Go to Another Level

Baffert, his wife Jill and Garcia

By: Ed Bain

Being a jockey is a very dangerous, physically demanding and a mentally challenging job. Keeping weight down, early hours at the track and dealing with demanding trainers is also part of the job.

A jockey makes a commission of 10% of the purse when he wins, 5% for second third or fourth and they make about a $100 a mount for all other placings. Big jockeys will take volume in order to make even more money. As many as 1,000 to 1,200 rides a year.

The goal of all jockeys is to catch on with a leading trainer. If they do, the sky is the limit. John Velazquez caught on with Todd Pletcher and their success led to other trainers giving him wins. John Velazquez has earned $300 million on the track. His 10% is worth $30 million. He is still racing today.

The big trainer to catch on to in the present is Bob Baffert. In Stakes races he uses many top jockeys from Southern California; Victor Espinoza, Gary Stevens, Rafael Bejarano, and Mike Smith who just won the Kentucky Derby with Justify earning about $130,000 bucks for the fastest two minutes in sports.

The way Baffert trains is he employs one jockey that rides the every day races in Southern California. David Flores held this position with Baffert for years. Jockey Martin Garcia replaced David Flores. This jockey works out the horses and then rides them in MSW races to get their maiden win. If the horse has talent, Baffert then employs one of the top experienced big race jockeys to go for graded stakes wins. Baffert does not change riders often. He states most trainers go with whoever the current hot jockey is.

Martin Garcia has had two chances with Bob Baffert. Garcia’s job with Bob Baffert was to prepare the horses to race. He was to get to the track early in the morning to work out the horses and then run them in the Maiden Special Weight class in the afternoon until the horse has the MSW win. California Maiden Special Weights have a purse of $42,000. The winning owner collects 60% of this MSW purse which is $25,000 and Martin Garcia collects 10% of this and would earn $2,500 when they won.

Martin Garcia grew up on a farm in Mexico. He immigrated to Pleasanton California in 2003 and went to work in a delicatessen as a sandwich maker. A former jockey helped him get started as an exercise rider. He caught on as a rider and won a title at Bay Meadows. In 2006 he moved to Santa Anita and started riding and exercising horses for Bob Baffert, the top trainer in California. Success followed for Garcia. He earned really big money. He went from sandwich maker to millionaire.

Baffert had an issue with Martin Garcia that would have been so easy to fix that it is a head shaker that Garcia did not understand his job with Baffert. That was for him to get to the track in the morning and work out the horses. Baffert let Martin Garcia go once and then hired him back. Then the same issues happened again; get there in the morning and work his scheduled horses. The second time Martin Garcia left Baffert he stated “He wanted to go to another level. I think its best to make a little change.” Garcia moved his tack to Aqueduct.

The only way a jockey moving to New York can catch on if they move there during the Aqueduct winter meet.  They can establish themselves with trainers who will give him rides and if the jockey has a good win rate then the trainers moving back to New York from Gulfstream will give them mounts. I think Martin forgot that he won four Breeders cup races and a Preakness Stakes aboard Lookin at Lucky and was already racing at another level.

Martin has just moved back to Santa Anita. He raced at Aqueduct for about 3 months and during this time he had 189 starts with 17 wins for a 9% win rate.

Garcia with Bob Baffert over the past 4 years had 572 races in California with 127 wins for a 22% win rate.

At Aqueduct Martin was on 15 favorites, 4 won for a 27% win rate.

With Baffert Martin was on 183 favorites and won with 78 for a 43% win rate.

Martin Garcia had 33 Maiden Special Weight races at Aqueduct and hit on 4 for a 12% win rate.

With Baffert in Maiden Special Weights he had 251 races, 30 wins for a 12% win rate.

In stakes races at the Big A Garcia was aboard 17 and hit with 2 for a 12% win rate.

With Baffert he went to post 119 times in stakes races and won with 20 for a 17% win rate that is for California only.

Martin Garcia and his 17 wins at Aqueduct cashed for almost $900,000 in purses the owner received 60% around $670,000 and Garcia earned his 10% commission around $67,000.

With Baffert he produced 127 wins in 4 years with purses that came to $19,300,000. The owners picked up $13,320,000. Martin Garcia earned 10%, $1,330,000. Martin Garcia earned an average of $330,000 a year from Bob Baffert from only his California winners. These earnings do not show all the trainers Garcia rode for that gave him mounts. These figures are only for win money when riding for Baffert. These do not include the 5% commission or mount fee money of his earnings, just his win money.

Because Martin Garcia won so much for the high profile Bob Baffert other trainers gave him 1,216 mounts in Southern California. He won on 141 for an 11% win rate and earned him about another million dollars.

So what went wrong with Martin Garcia?  I think it was a combination of things and more than the one thing of not working out Baffert’s horses. I also believe that because Garcia did not come from a racing back ground where the time spent on a job is accepted as part of the life of jockeys and workers who grew up around horses on the backstretch. Garcia may have thought that he was the reason his horses won for Bob Baffert. That he was the star. Martin Garcia now knows that he made a big mistake and that he with Bob Baffert were already racing at another level.
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Bet Them All

Trainer Mark Casse and Jockey Patrick Husbands

By Ed Bain

At Woodbine Race Track trainer Mark Casse and jockey Patrick Husbands in sprint races over the past 4 years have went to post 520 times and were in the exacta 238 times for a 46% exacta strike rate. That is about 60 exacta’s hits a year in sprint races from around 130 sprint races a year.

Casse and Husbands are a daily play for me at Woodbine. I know Casse and Husbands will have around two sprinters a day to handicap. I could just bet them all. This is my style of play at the beginning of meets. I bet them all or almost all.

Casse and Husbands are a key bet meaning I will key their horse for first and second and use two or three fillers for the exacta top and bottom depending on field size. The fillers with Casse and Husbands are with the favorite, the second favorite and the third favorite for many races. These odds levels insure cashing a bunch of exactas.

Boxing manager and trainer Emmanuel Stewart trained 41 world champions.  He said “We are not hitting baseballs here we are hitting people in the head”. I thought he was talking to me about Woodbine with Casse and Husbands exacta sprint stats.

Husbands-Casse sprint stats Woodbine (CLICK PICTURE FOR LARGER VIEW)

Woodbine opened April 21. There have been 7 race cards when Casse and Husbands went to post in sprint races 15 times. This Graph shows how Mark Casse and Patrick Husband cashed since opening day. 15 Sprint races with 7 in the exacta for a 47% hit rate which is right around their four year average.

Saturday Casse and Husbands have one sprint race, R8 # 3 Closer Still.
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The Triple Crown Within the Triple Crown

John Servis, Pat and Roy “Chappy” Chapman, and Stewart Elliott

In 2004 Oaklawn Park had their 100 year anniversary of racing and the owner of the track Charles Cella offered a $5 million dollar bonus to any horse that could win the Rebel Stakes the Arkansas Derby and the Kentucky Derby.

Pat and Roy “Chappy” Chapman had a small breeding farm in Pennsylvania and had a good friend and advisor in their trainer Bob Camac.  Camac recommend they mate their stakes winner and best mare I’ll Get Along to Elusive Quality whose father is Gone West. Elusive Quality’s stud fee was $10,000. In 2001 a foal was born and Pat and Chappy decided to name him after Milly McNair, Pat Chapman’s mother whose nickname was Smarty, “Smarty Jones”. Mother and daughter were foaled on the same day.

Bob Camac was based out of Philly Park and raced in the mid-Atlantic area. He would drop into Laurel or Pimlico and hit and then ship back to Philly Park. I had stats on him starting in 1993. He was a really good claiming trainer and I always included him in my exacta bets. In 2001 a disastrous event occurred that caused Pat and her husband Chappy great sorrow and put them on shaky financial ground. Bob Camac’s step son murdered Bob Camac and his wife Maryann.

Chappy stated he did not know what to do. It was a shock and numbing to them, to racing as well as to me and Susan. This tragedy and Chappy’s failing health as he had C.O.P.D made their decision to disband their small breeding operation. They down sized and then sold the farm and purchased a home, however they kept two horses and one of these was Smarty Jones.

The Chapman’s shipped Smarty Jones to Ocala Florida to Arthur Appleton who had a large horse farm where Bob Camac had trained for Mr. Appleton.  Then another almost impossible thing happened. Smarty Jones was getting gate schooled when he reared up and hit his head on the gate and was out cold. Blood was every where. The problems were just beginning. The swelling over his eye said he had a fractured skull. They sent him to a hospital where he spent three weeks. Smarty Jones almost lost his eye because of the multiple fractures and they thought about removing his eye. He recovered at Mr. Appleton’s farm and kept both eyes.

John Servis took over the training of Smarty Jones when Chappy and Pat shipped him back to Philly Park. John Servis was a good friend of Bob Camac. Servis started his workout regime to answer the questions; Does he have a sprinter or a router? Does he have a stakes runner?

After training Smarty Jones John Servis told Pat and Chappy that they had a serious Kentucky Derby contender on their hands. He has a high cruising rate and he is not a sprinter.  He was a 2 year old. Chappy, Pat and John Servis came up with a plan. They knew Oaklawn was going to offer a big bonus, $5 million if one horse can win the two races there and also the Kentucky Derby and this became their goal Their Triple Crown.

The connections went with Philly Park leading rider Stewart Elliot. Smarty Jones won his 6 furlong debut by seven lengths.  He was a front runner. He won his next race by fifteen lengths. Then a win at Aqueduct made Smarty Jones a contender and they made the move to Oaklawn to get Smarty Jones accustomed to the track and the new surroundings.

The owners, the trainer and the jockey were lining up for a score of a lifetime. They were taking a shot with a great horse. He would be easy to find. He was a front runner.

The entire Philly Park backstretch and the sports fans of Philadelphia also seemed to move with them even though they stayed in Philly. The fans from Philly are a pretty tough bunch when it comes to sports. They were the first city to put a court in a football stadium. They were also the only fans I ever heard of to boo Santa Clause. But they loved Smarty Jones. They started throwing Smarty parties after each win and when Smarty Jones had a workout at the track 17,000 people showed up.

Smarty Jones won the Rebel Stakes by three lengths. He won the Arkansas Derby a month later. He had two wins and one to go.

Charley Cella the owner of Oaklawn Park called Chappy Chapman on Derby week. He told him he secured insurance on the $5 million so if Smarty Jones wins, the $5 million is yours. Win The Kentucky Derby and that would trigger a massive bonus.

Derby day came up Muddy. Smarty Jones went to the front and made the field try and keep pace. He never slowed down and he won by three lengths and scored the $5 million.

There were still two races to run for the Triple Crown, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes but Pat and Chappy, Stewart Elliot and John Servis had already hit their Triple Crown.  During the Preakness the bettors poured $59 million into the pools. Smarty Jones won again. At the Belmont Stakes Smarty Jones lost.

Smarty Jones went to post nine times won eight and came in second at the Belmont Stakes. His career lasted seven months. He earned $7,613,155. Pat and Chappy retired Smarty Jones. He went to Three Chimneys to stand at Stud for $100,000. He was syndicated for $39 million dollars. Investors paid $650,000 for a share.

The Chapman’s sold Smarty Jones’ mother for $ 5 million. In 7 months Pat and Chappy Chapman scored for over $51 million Bucks. Bob Camac set these events in motion when he recommended they purchase I’ll Get Along for $40,000 and she won $277,000 on the track. Then he recommended Elusive Quality be bred to I’ll Get Along and that mating produced Smarty Jones.

Robert Camac


Every track in the country has great owners, trainers and jockeys and people. The connections from Philly Park were Pat and Chappy Chapman, Bob and Mary Ann Camac, John Servis, Stewart Elliot, Arthur Appleton, Charles Cella and Smarty Jones. These are the kind of people in racing at every track.

Ed Bain’s new horse racing novel 
Libraries, Yellow Cheese Sandwiches and 38,880 Running Lines is filled with stories like this.  For more information about this novel visit the following link:
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My Kentucky Derby bet is #6 Good Magic trained by Chad Brown

Bob Baffert

The Kentucky Derby and the run for the Triple Crown is a week away. Bob Baffert has won four Kentucky Derby’s, six Preakness Stakes and two Belmont Stakes. This is the beginning of Baffert’s annual Graded Stakes run. He races at the very top of horse racing and at tracks all over the country with his stakes runners.

Bob Baffert grew up on a ranch in Nogales, Arizona with cows and chickens. His father purchased some quarter horses and Baffert found what he wanted to do with his life, race horses. He started racing and riding in illegal races around Nogales when he was still a little boy. He went legal with thoroughbreds and scored his first win at age 17 when he was a jockey. He went to college and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree.

At age 20 he had the reputation on the backstretch that he could train and other trainers tried to hire him as their trainer.

In 1993 when I decided to track trainers in Southern California, Baffert was 39.

In 1994 simulcasting came along and Bob Baffert was immediately noticeable. He was a claiming trainer. My stats showed he was a claim 2 sprint guy. He had a good percentage on claim 1 sprint where he went 28-6-21%. On claim 2 sprint he was 18-7-39% to win.

I have been placing bets on Baffert’s runners since 1994. When he first came up I wanted to see what he looked like. I do that with all trainers. They are stars to me. Baffert had white hair. My guess is he went gray early around the time his father brought home those quarter horses when he was around 10 or 12 years old.

Baffert developed great stakes runners like Real Quiet who Baffert nicknamed The Fish for his slender frame and War Emblem who Baffert nicknamed Hannibal Lecture because he bites. Both of these horses won the Kentucky Derby.

He trained Pioneerof the Nile who came in second in the Kentucky Derby and who went on to win graded stakes races. Pioneerof the Nile retired to the breeding shed. His stud fee is $110,000 where he produced a colt named American Pharoah. Bob Baffert trained American Pharoah who made horse racing history by winning the Triple Crown with jockey Victor Espinoza aboard. American Pharoah has a stud fee of $200,000. What ever Baffert saw in the father he saw the same thing in his son as well as the jockey.

If I wanted to place a bet on Bob Baffert it had to be on the California tracks where he is based. The past four years Baffert went to post 1,330 times in Southern California. 309 won and 236 placed. 23% to win and 41% in the exacta. That’s around 333 races a year, about 13 races every 2 weeks.

The way Bob Baffert wins is very interesting. He has many wealthy owners however, he does not have one dominate owner. 226 races in four years is his largest stable. That is one race every week or so however, Bob Baffert selects every horse he wants in his barn.

Baffert has only 37 races in the claiming class about 9 a year. That is quiet a stat. I thought I must have missed some thing and double checked and nope there were 37 claiming races. He hit the exacta with 13, a 35% exacta rate. How many Maiden Claim races did he run? Only 89 races in Maiden Claming. About every other week he runs a Maiden Claimer. Bob Baffert does not drop from Maiden Special Weight to Maiden Claim, the biggest drop in racing, hit the purse and the claiming price and wash him out of his barn because he needs the stall space for another well bred prospect. 26 of his horses were claimed away, 18 were Maiden Claimers, 11 won for a 61% win rate. I do like betting that trainer move Maiden Special Weight to Maiden Claim.

Allowance Optional Claim Baffert raced 251 times and won with 62 for a 25% win rate.

These three class levels produced only 377 races over four years leaving 953 races for Maiden Special Weight and Stakes races.

Baffert’s Maiden Special Weight (MSW) races lead directly into his stakes stats. 582 MSW races produced 122 winners for a 21% win rate. That’s around 30 winners a year from MSW. These 122 winners produced 336 stakes runners and 85 wins for a 25% hit rate. That’s around 21 stakes winners a year in Southern California. When Baffert’s horses are entered in stakes races he averages a stakes win around every four races.

Many of these stakes runners will be fuel for me to bet Allowance Optional Claim races. Baffert does not race much in the Allowance class races the reason is purse size. Allowance purses start at around $30,000. He has only 23 starts in that class. The horses going into the Optional Claiming class races is a drop in class. The purse structure is lower; $100,000 for stakes purses and $56,000 for Allowance Optional Claim purses. Bob Baffert gives his pedigree horse a chance to hit against not quite as good pedigree in the Optional Claiming class.

In Bob Baffert’s MSW to Stakes races we have seen an exciting blend of runners and how they win on the track. Except for turf races, on the green Baffert went 141-14-10%, winners. No stakes runners were tried on the turf.

I have recorded Bob Baffert’s stats by hand from the Daily Racing Form to a spread sheet and betting him from Maryland as he came up before he became a Kentucky Derby winner. Then he had back to back Kentucky Derby winners along with a Triple Crown winner.

Bob Baffert started out with Quarter horses and moved to California working at Los Alamitos where he switched to Thoroughbreds around 1992. He started like all good trainers with the claiming game by claiming horses and winning and he got noticed because of his results. Today he still gets the same results as he did in the beginning, just in a different way. I had to change as Baffert’s barn changed and the pedigree improved and it did not take very long. Baffert is remarkably consistent where he placed his horses by class and so were my bets. Baffert did not start at the top. He worked his way there and it seems like he has been there for a really long time.

For the first Saturday in May in the Kentucky Derby Bob Baffert has the 2/1 morning line favorite with his horse Justify.

Bob Baffert has 2 Stakes runners today at Santa Anita:
Race 4 #6 Plein Air 8/5 Stakes on the Turf .
This Stakes runner is a Claim 1 Route on the Turf. Baffert has not made a route claim in 9 years.  I had to go back to my 1993 stats on Baffert. He is 11-2-18% on Claim 1 Route.

Race 5 #4 Dr Dorr 8/5 Stakes on the Dirt.
The horse has won 2 in a row.
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Opening Day and No Plays

Finger Lakes opens Saturday and trainer Chris Englehart has no runners.

For me opening day will be Monday the 23rd for Jockey John Davila Jr. and trainer Chris Englehart where these two have three runners whose race record in sprint races is 819-419-51%. I’ll play him Monday.

Woodbine also opens Saturday. Mark Casse has 4 starters in race 1 and 7 with jockey Gary Boulanger. His record with Casse is 223-63-23% exacta stats in sprints. A good jockey though I will pass the Boulanger stats.

Mark  Casse’s go-to jockey is Patrick Husbands. Casse and Husbands are in race 6 on the #7 Machtree who is 3/1 in a route race and exacta stats of 346-142-41% . The horse has three layoffs in four races. He also has a win but three layoffs? I’ll pass. They are in race 8 the # 5 where Husbands and Casse are 520-238-46% in sprints races. The horse last won in 2016, I’ll pass.

Karl Broberg has 6 starters for Lone Star’s Saturday card. The jockey Richard Eramia is named on five sprinters. Eramia and Broberg are 11-5-45% in the exacta at Lone star in sprint races and 6-1-17% in route races. Broberg’s go to Lone Star jockeys are Junior Chacaltano163-76-47%. C.J. McMahon 168-100-60% and Sasha Risenhoover 90-41-46% in the exacta. Karl Broberg is a pass today at Lone Star.

An easy day no plays until Monday.

For today’s blog post on how I find plays with Jockey-Trainer Exacta Report
Answer to a Great Question


Answer to a great question

Question: Ed, I  bought the exacta book for NY. Please give me some advice as to how to use it.

Here is my way of handicapping the jockey trainer report. The report is track specific. I start with this graph to show me the odds and the favorites on each race. I do not start my handicapping on Race 1 Horse 1.

I start with pen and paper and I make a copy of the program (this one is for Aqueduct on Saturday 4/21) and enter the stats for the favorite.

This takes around 20 minutes to do and it tells me what the favorite’s odds are and what races interest me that has a go-to jockey. I handicap these first. I am looking for a play. I want to find a 3/1 morning line favorite or a 5/2 morning line favorite. When the crowd bets they will make the odds drop 2 odds levels from the morning line and they are still good exacta bets.

After I find one stat that has this 3/1 or 5/2 morning line favorite from here I enter all the stats for every jockey-trainer running today. This takes around a half an hour. I always make sure I am on Aqueduct and sprints if it is a sprint race. The left side of the report has that information on every jockey. It is easy to be on the wrong track or distance so this is something that I always check.

From the four races that have lower odds than 3/1 or 5/2 on the favorite I know I will Not have a key bet. In race 1 or race 3 the horses odds are too low on the favorite and I would expect their odds to drop another 3 odds levels. These  offer too little value if I would include them in a bet.

Three races have no jockey trainer stats.

One race has a jockey trainer stat of 7-0

Aqueduct Race 9 the # 4 has John Velazquez with trainer Pletcher and their Jockey-Trainer Exacta stats are 36-15-42%. The only morning line favorite with a go-to jockey and a 5/2 Morning Line. The horse is 5-4-80% in the exacta in stakes races. I think he will be bet down to around 8/5.  Now that I found this Morning Line 5/2 favorite I then enter all the jockey trainer stats for race 9 to find fillers for the exacta. The handicapping starts on race 9. This is the only key bet favorite at Aqueduct that I will bet on Saturday.

Laying out the stats this way allows me to find favorites. This may be that the morning line is a little off and a stat points this out.

In the races that have no stats on the favorite I enter all jockey trainer stats for all the runners to find a non favorite that has a go to jockey stat these are very good bets. I look for stats that have a jockey going back on or on for the first time on this horse. I look mostly for big stats with 10 or more exacta’s and 40% or more.


Race 1 # 5 Sprint 1/2 Velazquez John / Pletcher Todd 66-23-45% is a pass at a 1/2 M/L. This is too low to bet, $3.00 if he wins. There are only 3 level of odds left. Even with a go to jockey they will offer no value for an exacta. I will pass and hope he hits to keep his stats high.

Race 2 # 6 Route 9/5 Cohen D. / Diodoro R. No stats.

Race 3 # 5 Route 7/5 McCarthy T. / Hills A. No stats

Race 4 # 5 Sprint 8/5 Franco M. / Pletcher T. 26-8-31%

Race 5 # 3 Route 5/2 Franco M. / Rodriguez R. 31-9-29%

Race 6 # 7 Sprint 3/1 Maragh R. / Martin C. 8-3-38%

Race 7 # 9 Route 3/1 Maragh R. / McLaughlin K. 7-0

Race 8 # 1 Route 2/1 Lezcano J. / Rodriguez R. No Stats

Race 9 # 4 Sprint 5/2 Velazquez J. / Pletcher T. 36-15-42%

Race 10 # 12 Route 5/2 Velazquez J. / Toner J. 4-2-50%

This approach to handicapping puts my mind right on a stat that is a favorite that has decent odds.  3/1 Morning Line favorite is my favorite go-to jockey stat.  In other words I look at the races and locate the race that has the favorite at 3/1 and a go-to jockey.  I will bet odds in the exacta who is a favorite down to 8/5 as the lowest odds to bet at post.  Once the crowd bets the morning line has no impact what so ever.

Just as the horse has a starting gate to get him into the race. This is how I start every day to find one play

This is a fun way of playing.  You will see races you do not belong in, and races that you will bet and will know by the results you should have passed and races that you bet and you cash over and over for the same reason, a jockey-trainer go-to stat. This is how you learn to handicap, thru trial and error.  Sort of like science.

Here are some other jockey/trainer exacta stats at Aqueduct today;

Race 1 # 3 Eric Cancel / James Ryerson Route 10-5-50% Route 15/1

Race 4 # 3 Dylan Davis / Ed Barker 11-7-64% Sprint 10/1

Race 6 # 4 Manuel Franco / Chris Everhart 47-15-32% Sprint 5/1

Race 7 # 8 Manuel Franco / Phil Serpe 9-4-44% Route 9/2

Race 8 # 3 Rajiv Maragh / George Weaver 15-6-40% Route 4/1

Race 10 # 4 Manuel Franco / Raymond Handel 12-5-42% Route 6/1

Race 10 # 11 Jose Lezcano / Bill Mott 16-8-50% Route 10/1

We have Jockey-Trainer Exacta reports available for these tracks. A total of 16:
Southern California (includes Del Mar, Los Alamitos and Santa Anita)
New York (includes Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga)
Illinois (includes Arlington, Hawthorne)
Indiana  (download only)
Louisiana (includes FG, Louisiana, Delta Evangeline) download only
Prairie Meadows (download only)
 (includes Sam Houston, Lone Star, Retama)
Laurel Park
Kentucky (includes Churchill, Ellis Park, Keeneland, Turfway)
Golden Gate
Finger Lakes

These are offered in .pdf for immediate download to your computer upon purchase.

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