The Daily Racing Form was created by Frank Burnell who was a sports writer in Chicago. In 1894 the product he sold was result’s charts. In 1905 Burnell took each running line from the charts and put the horses last 10 races in chronological order with last race first. That innovation changed racing and establish speed as the only game in town since 1905.
For maybe 15 or 20 years I bet speed. My approach was to understand and memorize the past performance block and every symbol in the Racing Form. The only information offered at every track was a track program, the Racing Form or a $1 dollar tip sheet.
There are two past performance blocks; one displays the times of the lead horse through each point of call and the other past performance block shows where the horse was located and the lengths behind at each point of call.
My Approach for years was to figure out what the times are for each horse at the half mile mark or the second quarter where the cheap speed pealed off and the real running started on the turn in sprint races.
I did this by lengths behind. A horse travels around a 1/5 of a second per body length and 5 fifths is one second. If a horse ran 46 and my horse was 5 lengths back I would add to that 46 seconds 5 fifths or 1 second making his time 47. If he was 7 lengths back he ran 47.2 then I would figure out the last quarter time and enter it on the form.
The horse that had the lead at the ½ mile at 46 seconds and change and the horse that could finish the last ¼ in 26 seconds would be a key bet for the exacta or trifecta.
If my horse could run that time of 46 seconds at the half mile and he ran slower than 26 seconds the last ¼ I would add into the exacta every horse that could finish around 26 seconds for the last ¼ mile and hope he lasted. The lengths behind was fun to play however, it was a one dimensional approach that put me on fast horses on the lead and low odds.
I could walk into any track, purchase the form and handicap each race by the speed of the horse. Over time I had to improve. This approach lost about 10% and it was ok with me because every thing I owned was purchased from hits at the track. If I walked in with $100 and lost $10 bucks I could put up with that kind of losing as an entertainment cost as long as I cashed and hit a signer every once and awhile or just had a good day.
When I was betting speed I purchased a microfiche viewer and ordered The Daily Racing form charts on microfiche and sat down and did par times by class and distance. One thing stood out, a par time of 22.0 45.0 1:10 subtract 22.0 from 45.0 and the second quarter was 23.0, one second slower than the first quarter. Subtract 45.0 from 1:10.0 and the final quarter was 25.0, two seconds slower than the second quarter. The times were 22 23 25 for each quarter and each quarter is slower than the previous quarter. Only Secretariat ran each quarter faster than the previous quarter when he won the triple crown going 1 ½ miles at the Belmont Stakes. Speed players would get all wonky with that stat.
I made a change to the pars. I used 100 as par. If the horse ran 5 lengths back from par then his number was a 95. If the horse was 7 lengths back he was a 93. I did this for each quarter mile. It was a little more refined way to bet speed however, it was the slow down from quarter to quarter and how horses won that is different from just playing front runners and speed figures. I still lost 10%.
Ed’s Play today
Aqueduct Race 7, the #9 horse Gabriela is 5/2. This is a Todd Pletcher Debut 1 in a Sprint favorite in a Maiden Special Weight at Aqueduct. Pletcher has went to post 15 times at Aqueduct on Debut 1 Sprint and he’s hit the exacta 9 times for a 60% exacta hit rate. Pletcher’s horse has to be a favorite. On his non-favorite Debut 1 Sprints in Maiden Special Weights at Aqueduct he is 17-5-21% exacta stats as a non-favorite.
Just completed the Jockey-Trainer Exacta Report for the Kentucky Circuit that includes Churchill, Keeneland, Ellis Park and Turfway. This now brings the total books for these jockey-trainer reports to 8 Circuits: New York (AQU-BEL-SAR), Southern California (DMR-LRC-SA), Gulfstream, Parx, Laurel, Tampa, and Woodbine. We’ve had several requests for a special that include my online reports with these Jockey-Trainer stats so we have set up these specials at the following link: edbain.com