The first jockey I noticed at Laurel race track was Billy Passmore. Sometimes it means a lot when you are named correctly. Billy Passmore seemed to always make a good run in the stretch passing horses and he was a good reason to put in the exacta. Passmore’s name made me aware of him. When he had the lead and controlled the pace. How can you go around a guy named Billy Passmore? That was where my interest in jockey’s as a play came from, recognizing a jockey’s name like Billy Passmore. The first thing I wanted to know for all races who is the jockey and who is he riding for.
I have to admit trying to handicap year to date or meet statistics on today’s races is an art and very difficult to do. The names of the jockey’s count and they influence a bet because of their name. They either won for you or they lost for you. Over time you stop blaming the jockeys when they lost the race. Poor handicapping is usually the reason.
I still handicap jockeys today. Santa Anita in Race 5 the Down the Hill turf race has an 8 horse field.
The #1 horse Red Lively is 5/2 morning line. Tyler Baze has good stats down the hill in claiming races. He is 47-15-31%. The morning line favorite horse is in the exacta 5-4-80% on the down hill. 3 of her races were wins. Trainer Philip D’Amato on a Lay 1 sprint (1st after a layoff in a sprint race) down the hill stats are 16-10-62% with his favorites. Tyler Baze was bought up on the back stretch. His mother and his father, an uncle and Russell Baze are his relatives. Red Lively is a bet. Tyler Baze is a really good jockey.
The #2 horse Beautiful Becca is 5/1 morning line. Mario Gutierrez down the hill in claming races is 11-7-63% in the exacta. A son of a jockey, Mario started out with Quarter horses. He is a great gate rider which is really important on the hill. He has won the Kentucky Derby twice with trainer Doug O’Neil. O’Neil has the #8 horse in this race. This means I am forced to use the #2 and the #8 in the exacta. I do not think that this is a marginal bet. Mario is a tactician on the track and two Kentucky Derby wins.
The #3 horse Rooms is 12/1. Tiera Pereire has 27 races on the hill and has 2 exactas for an 11% exacta hit rate. Trainer George Papaprodromou is 34-6-17% on the down hill turf race. The horse is 3-0 on the hill. I’ll pass Tiera Pereire. To me he is an underrated jockey. The good thing for Pereire is Philip D’Amato gives him mounts. Riding for a dominate trainer means he is catching on however, I’ll pass.
The #4 horse Proud ’n’ Ready is 6/1. Joe Talamo is 35-5-14% exacta stats on the hill. That’s a little low for a really good jockey. Most win rates for jockeys mimic the trainers exacta rate. My feelings are many of the trainers he rides for are not focused on turf racing and that may be the reason for his stats. Michael McCarthy is 60-16-26%. I’ll pass. The horse is 5-0 on the hill.
The #5 horse Zuzanna is 20/1. Alonzo Quinonez is 12-4-33% down the hill. With this trainer Steve Knapp they are 34-2-5%. There are trainers who give Alonzo Quinonez good mounts. Quinonez is 10-6-60% with Brian Koriner and Rosemary Trela is 7-5-71% in the exacta. Small stats in the exacta. A no bet for me. Steve Knapp does not give him hits.
The #6 horse Nine Point Nine is 4/1. Franco Geovanni is 24-5-20% down the hill. A good jockey who is trying to catch on at Santa Anita. Canterbury and Oaklawn are where he has been racing. The horse is a miler. He won 5 races at a mile. Maybe the stamina will kick in for this 6 1/2 furlong turf race and hit the exacta. He is in.
The #7 horse Saida is 6/1. Tyler Conner is 29-5-17% exacta stats on the hill. Jack Carava is 52-7-13% A really good jockey at Delaware and Penn National. I will pass.
The #8 horse A Little Bit Me is 3/1. E. A. Roman is the jockey. I do not have much on him 2-2-100% with Doug O’Neil. Doug O’ Neil down the hill in claiming events is 16-8-50% in exacta stats. He is in because of the trainer stat. I would have thought Mario Gutierrez would have been named on O’ Neil’s runner. The trainer forced me into taking him and the #2 his go to rider Mario Gutierrez even though he is not on him today.
The Bet is an exacta key 1 with 2-6-8 and 2-6-8 with the 1.
I have not played many races on the hill this year. It was unusual to have hardly any of the top stars at Santa Anita riding in this race. Once the handicappers handicap this race they will see some of the same things I see and I believe they will bet Tyler Baze’s horse. The problem at post time is will it be worth the bet? Odds are the issue. Where do I pass and then hope the jockey and trainer hit to keep his stats up if I do pass. I will pass the bet below 7/5 which is 6 odds levels down from his morning line.
I still enjoy handicapping and playing jockeys and who they ride for. Every jockey has to handle the adversity of getting good mounts from trainers and battle with the knowledge they are just as good as the guy getting into the starting gate beside them who may be worth $20 million. They may not have the impact of a name like Billy Passmore however; 2 time Kentucky Derby winner Mario Gutierrez gets my attention or the racing family of Tyler Baze is a good place to start. Jockey’s are the key to the exacta.
We just completed the Jockey-Trainer Report for the Louisiana and the Prairie Meadows circuit. We now offer the following 15 Jockey-Trainer Exacta Reports. (The tracks in bold font below are the tracks that are open now).
New York (Aqueduct-Belmont-Saratoga)
Southern California (Delmar-LRC-Santa Anita),
Louisiana (Delta-Evangeline-Fair Grounds -Louisiana)
Finger Lakes (opens 4/21)
Prarie Meadows (opens 4/26)
Monmouth (opens 5/5)
Texas (Lone Star (opens 4/19) – Houston-Retama)
Woodbine (opens 4/21)
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These reports are the same ones Ed Bain uses and writes about in his New Horse Racing Novel Libraries, Yellow Cheese Sandwiches and 38,880 Running Lines.