Saratoga the Graveyard of Favorites?

The best players in the country are now working on tomorrow’s races at Saratoga. Every year we hear about the graveyard of favorites at Saratoga. Is it true?

When we lived in Maryland Susan and I would go to Saratoga every year for her birthday and spend a week at the track. The weather during the summer at Saratoga is warm and muggy and it rained a lot causing small fields and small mutuels. So after the fourth year Susan chose to go to Laurel for her birthday.

Evaluating favorites is an act of experience. How do you bet the favorite and which ones can you pass? Over the last four years there were 1,632 favorites at Saratoga from 13,146 runners that went to post.  Of these 1,632 favorites 537 won for a 32% win rate. The average field size had 8.0 runners per race.

The term Odds On means a better than even chance to win. How many Odds on favorite horses won? I combined the five lowest odds levels that require a plus 50% win rate. Saratoga had 208 races with 118 wins for a 57% win rate. Averaging these five odds levels together says their win par needs to be 72%.

1/10  Odds  2-2-100% Win Rate    1/10 Odds 90%   Payout $2.20
1/5    Odds 15-12-80% Win Rate  1/5 Odds 83%      Payout $2.40
2/5    Odds 21-9-43%   Win Rate  2/5 Odds 71%     Payout $2.80
3/5   Odds  76-43-56% Win Rate   3/5 Odds 63%     Payout $3.20
4/5   Odds  94-52-55% Win Rate   4/5 Odds 56%     Payout $3.60

2/5 and 3/5 may be part of the reason for the graveyard of favorites expression, par is 71% and 63%.

The handicappers at Saratoga are sharpening their speed figures. At even money they are 4 Points over par, an overlay.

1/1 Odds went 90- 49-54% Win Rate    1/1 Odds 50%    Payout $ 4.00

The odds level 6/5 contributes to the legend with a 37% win rate versus par of 45%.

6/5 Odds 98– 36-37% Win Rate    6/5 Odds 45%   Payout $4.40

The players make a big move with 7/5 which has a 49% win rate. 7/5 needs a 42% win rate for par. The players won at an almost even money hit rate. 7/5 has a $4.80 win mutuel, a big overlay at Saratoga.

7/5 Odds 134-65-49% Win Rate    7/5 Odds 42%   Payout $4.80

The crowd is above par on 3/2. 40% is par and the favorite hit at 42%. 3/2 is a statistical overlay. So far I think the players know what they are doing with odds.

3/2 Odds 77 –32 – 42% Win Rate   3/2 Odds 40%   Payout $5.00

The next odds level, 8/5 is 2 points under par.

8/5 Odds 175-63 -36% Win Rate    8/5 Odds 38%   Payout $ 5.20

9/5 adds to the graveyard of favorites narrative 9/5 favorites are 8 points below par.

9/5 Odds 147 -41- 28% Win Rate   9/5 Odds 36%   Payout $5.60

The last five favorite odds levels feed the graveyard narrative.

2/1 Odds 345 -78-23% Win Rate  2/1 Odds 33%   Payout $6.00
5/2 Odds 577-138-24% Win Rate  5/2 Odds 29%  Payout $ 7.00
3/1 Odds 98  – 19-19% Win Rate     3/1 Odds 25%    Payout $8.00
7/2 Odds 15 – 4-15% Win Rate       7/2 Odds 22%   Payout $9.00
4/1 Odds 14   -5- 36% Win Rate     4/1 Odds 20%   Payout $10.00

The statistics on odds and percentages tells us what favorites to add into an exacta bet. All favorites are not the favorite. I look at odds in segments. Odds on favorites and even money is the first segment. I never make the favorite my key horse at this odds level however, I do like to have a 1/1 even money favorite as one of my three fillers in the exacta. I know that even money will win half their races. If I have the 3rd favorite as my key horse at 3/1, I do not argue with myself about including the favorite in my bet as he is going to win half his races so I accept that. It makes for a great bet and an opportunity to hit an exacta that produces a $15 to $19 dollar exacta payout.  My exacta key bet is one with three horses and then the same three with one. Even money favorites are going to lose half of their races as well and this can produce exactas from $30 to $90. I take the payout no matter what the odds are because it is a good bet. I have a chance at a really good sized exacta or a predictable low paying exacta. If I hit the exacta it is an overlay.

The second segment is 3/2-7/5. 6/5 favorites are also good to include as a filler. Two out three of these odds are overlays. 7/5 is an odds level. I have always thought when 7/5 was on the tote board that the horse is really the favorite.

The third segment is 8/5 to 4/1, a total of seven odds levels. I never fear I will get beat by the favorite. I know the percentages are against them. I combined these seven odds levels and 1,371 favorites went to post at Saratoga over the last four years and 348 went on to win, a one out of four win clip. These seven odds levels favorites lost 1,023 races.

The real handicapping is on these seven odds levels on the favorite. These are easy to go against.  It’s the bet of 1 with 3 and 3 with 1 I am trying to cash.

Any stat that can win half their races has to be included. 50% is a magical statistic to me because my selections start at 40% in the exacta. I prefer 50% exacta stats to bet with. A favorite at even money has to be included as a filler because they win every other race.

There is a favorite in every race and overall they win at a 32% win rate. For every 100 races the favorite will win 32 and lose 68. The Saratoga handicappers are very good and from their experience they know when to bet and when to pass and let the crowd over bet the favorite. I choose to bet with them when they are overlays and against them when they are an underlay.

I do not think that Saratoga is the graveyard of favorites. Even money and 7/5 are overlays as is 3/2. Many of the odds levels are a point or two from par. Sometimes we have to look at odds from what we know. Comparing the percentages of wins to the pars is how I determine a lot of plays. Odds On horses are supposed to win so we have to bet them. The payouts are low even when my stats say their hit rate backs them up as a legitimate favorite.

The Graveyard of Favorites may be in the Odds On category of players over betting stakes runners. Odds On has all the hype influencing the betters as a can’t miss, mortal lock bet. This may be part of the myth of the Graveyard of Favorites. This is a play I like to take advantage of. Maybe I should name this play the Saratoga Graveyard of favorites play.

Here’s a link to the Odds % Payout Table   Odds % Payout Table

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How Do The Bettors Bet at Del Mar

Del Mar Race Track

16,192 runners went to post at Del Mar over the past 4 years and we placed bets on every one of them. 1,909 won for a 12% win rate. I can see how the crowd bet by odds over the past four years at Del Mar.

Here is how the horse players won and cashed starting at even money 1/1.

1/1 odds 138 – 68-49% win rate       1/1 percentage 50%

6/5 odds 177 –  58-33% win rate       6/5 percentage 45%

7/5 odds  81  –  18-22% win rate       7/5 percentage 42%

3/2 odds 183 – 64-35% win rate       3/2 percentage 40%

8/5 odds 206 – 73-35% win rate        8/5 percentage 38%

9/5 odds 205 – 51- 25% win rate       9/5 percentage 36%

2/1 odds 682 – 175 -26% win rate     2/1 percentage 33%

5/2 odds 685 – 161-25% win rate      5/2 percentage 29%

3/1 odds 672 – 147-22% win rate     3/1 percentage 25%

7/2 odds 647 – 135-21% win rate      7/2 percentage 22%

4/1 odds 623 –  99-16% win rate       4/1 percentage 20%

9/2 odds 496 – 73-15% win rate        9/2 percentage 18%

5/1 odds 979 – 125–13% win rate     5/1 percentage 17%

6/1 odds 842 –  89-11% win rate       6/1 percentage 14%

7/1 odds 727 –  68-9% win rate         7/1 percentage 13%

8/1 odds 657 –  53-8% win rate         8/1 percentage 11%

9/1 odds 585 –  64-11% win rate       9/1 percentage 10%

10/1 odds 553– 39-7% win rate         10/1 percentage 9%

The way it reads is 1/1 odds had 138 starters. 68 won for a 49% win rate. 1/1 has an actual win rate percentage of 50% that means half the money in the pool is on the 1/1 or even money horse.

The favorite at Del Mar went 1,896-607-32% and this leaves 1,302 non favorites who won at a 9% win rate. 32% is a good win rate for all favorites and 1,302 non favorites is also a pretty large number. The way I handle the statistics is by odds.  What are my percentages on winning with statistics which are odds?

The odds levels are separated by the number or runners and the number of winners for each odds level. 4/5 and down is a total of six odds levels. These went 258–138-53%. These six odds levels are difficult to get a decent exacta payout because 6/5-7/5-3/2 favorites went 441-139-32%. These odds levels under perform to their hit rate percentage; 6/5 has a 45% win rate, 7/5 has 42% and 3/2 has 40%.

The loss rate percentages of 12% then 20% and then 5% is a stretch to bet in the exacta with these kind of stats. The crowd stats on 6/5 loses 12% to par and 7/5 loses 20% to par. This is the graveyard of favorites at Del Mar. 6/5 and 7/5 are the only odds levels that have a double digit loss rate compared to par. All the other odds are within reach; even money is 49%, one point from par. This is impressive as 50% is a magical number to me.  Being in the exacta half the races is a real betting advantage.

Another advantage is knowing how 6/5 and 7/5 percentages win at Del Mar. These odds are not to be feared as a favorite. I do not need to include them in the exacta.

After a time all experienced players find out where they cash by odds with decent exacta payouts. My wheelhouse is around 2/1, 5/2, 3/1 and 7/2 and this corresponds to the most wins by the crowds at Del Mar.  On average per year these four odds levels produce 671 starters and 155 winners. The crowd will cash about one out of every four bets. This brings a smile to me. I am betting into a known hit rate of about 1 out every 4.

2/1 odds are really good exacta bets. The reason is 2/1 favorites is a value play. The next four betting favorites can be 7/2, 6/1, 8/1, 12/1 and you can see the odds the crowd supplies to fill the exacta. From the 682 2/1 runners 412 went off as the favorite,106 won for 26% win rate and 75 placed for an exacta hit rate of 44%.  This is also the value side of an exacta, picking up the chance to cash at an 18% place rate.

The poor win rate for 6/5 and 7/5 was something I did not expect from the crowd. Only a win percentage can tell me that the 6/5 odds is 45% however, the results of 6/5 is 33% which is 2/1. 7/5 results are 22% which is the hit rate of 7/2.  These two odds levels are under lays by the crowd.  Actually I was a little surprised at how good the crowd is betting with 2/1 and 5/2 even though 2/1 missed by eight points and 5/2 by four. These two odds levels supply a 1 out of 4 hit rate.

The results of the crowd betting on Del Mar horses are interesting and supply context to odds. All odds are a percentage of the betting pools.
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2 Years More or Less By Ed Bain

23 months ago I felt a small lump in my neck. I knew what it was. Within a week it had grown enough that I could feel it without pressing on it. Two weeks later I could see it. My primary care doctor sent me to an Ear Nose and Throat Doctor. He took a sample with a needle. A pet scan found it.  He told me I had stage 3 squamous cell cancer.

The E.N.T. doctor sent me to an Oncologist who diagnosed me with Stage 3 squamous cell cancer. It is in my lymphoid glands in my neck, in my larynx and the base of my tongue.

I half heard what he said next. I thought I had cancer in one place and then he got down to it. We can extend your life. How long? I asked. 4 years he said. Can an operation give me a better chance? No it is inoperable. I felt the butterflies of fear. The treatment is Chemotherapy and Radiation. It takes about 2 months to complete.

I knew what this meant; the treatment was going to make me sick. If I don’t do it?  I asked. 2 years more or less he said. The doctor said we have to send you to a dentist and he will pull any teeth that aren’t in good shape. Pull my teeth. Also you will have to have a colostomy type bag attached to your stomach for food and water. You won’t be able to swallow or drink water. The nurse left. The Doc said we are making an appointment with the Dentist right now. We also need to make a mask for administering the radiation. He showed me the mask.

I did not hear much of what he said after that. The nurse came back in and said we can get you into the Dentist a week from today. Ok, we made a future appointment with the Oncologist and then we left.

Susan was with me through the whole presentation. I know she was having a very difficult time with what had just happened. I said to her I’ll know what to do in a day or two trying to slow her anxiety.  I said that was the worst sales job I have ever seen and I have been in sales all my life. Susan agreed as I blamed the messenger but saying this helped both of us.

When I had discovered the lump I did a lot of research on cancer; it’s treatment by the A.M.A and alternatives that I could consider. What I did not realize is how radical cancer treatment is and I thought I had cancer in one place not three. 4 years estimated life extension then cancer will come back no cure. If I do the chemo and radiation the effects on me would begin on day one.  Once I am in the cancer process I am now officially sick.  Then I’ll get better and about 4 years from now it will happen again. The reason is chemo and radiation kills the immune system and allows another type of cancer to develop. This is probably the reason for the 4 year diagnosis.

The next day I cancelled the appointment with the dentist and the oncologist.

I only want to be sick once. 2 years, I told Susan. She was relieved and said whatever I decided she would agree with, and then we cried together then alone.

The problem was the term life extension and not a cure and the truth is I have a choice. Either one is not a choice as the results are the same; get sick once or twice. That’s the choice “oh man”.

I decided on medical marijuana in oil form as treatment. I know what I am facing as treatment with the oncologist and Medical Marijuana. I have not stuck my head in the sand over my diagnosis. I am well aware of what I am facing however, the oncologist is really only giving me a little more time and the process did not give me any reason to get my hopes up; part of that time I will be sick and it will still be about cancer when it recurs. It is a scary decision to make because it is time that I am making a decision on.

I know the side effects of chemo and radiation as well as the time needed to recover. Regret is another reason I chose the Medical marijuana way. If something happens and 2 years turns into “Why did I do chemo and radiation” it is not risk free. I have cancer in three delicate places.

Being a professional horse player helped make my decision because I analyze and bet my own statistics. I did not think the treatment process for gaining time was worth a long shot bet. Saying I would be better off with chemo and radiation than waiting it out?

We lived in Florida where they were still locking up people for smoking pot. Susan and I decided to move to the closest warm weather state that offered medical marijuana that also offered Obama care for Susan who has five auto-immune diseases. Because Susan could not get health care and I could not get medical marijuana in Florida we moved to a state that was not playing politics with our heath. New Mexico was the closest.

There are medical marijuana dispensaries in Albuquerque. Cancer diagnosis approval is generally quicker in states that offer medical marijuana and it took around 2 weeks to get approved by the state.

The cannabis oil comes in a syringe with no needle. I do not smoke it. I squeeze out a line of the oil about the size of a grain of rice on a piece of bread and swallow it. The oil is 60% to 70% THC. When I was a pot smoker I knew that street pot was about 3 ½ percent THC. In oil form it is very powerful. When smoking marijuana it goes instantly right to your brain and lasts around an hour. In oil form it is absorbed into my blood stream and into my immune system to fight cancer. This is where cancer gets started. I do get high taking the oil this way though in a much different way than smoking it. In oil form it is minus the mental confusion of smoking pot and the oil lasts all day.

I have been using it for about a year now, twice a day. The tumor on my neck has grown slightly and my voice is almost gone however, I am in no pain and no feelings of having the worse flu ever.

I have not been free of what cancer can do to my body. I lost a lot of weight, fast, and did not realize it. Susan said Ed you are losing weight. She explained she has an auto immune problem with her pancreas. Her pancreas does not produce enzymes to break down food to supply her body with nourishment and energy so she takes enzymes so she can digest food. She said Ed you are eating the same as always so I think I can stop your weight loss by you taking these same enzymes to break food down. I started taking them and my weight loss stopped and I regained lost pounds. I am in horse racing. I shook my head. I just hit a long shot. I took that as a positive towards the reference to more rather than less.

Weight loss from cancer is a serious issue. It affects organs that are cancer free. I hope I only have to deal with cancer and not end up in the hospital for a problem due to weight loss. Weight loss was solved by the person I love. Susan through her knowledge of what she has to deal with on an every day basis every time she eats with one of her five auto immune diseases. That was help and that was what Susan was trying to do. She was trying to help me. It made me think of odds again. How often is something like that going to happen? Thank you Susan. I was struck that the oncology doctor did not warn me about weight loss.

When I had the pet scan the person injecting me said This is a solution with sugar in it. Sugar is food for cancer. It will come out for something to eat and we can get a good image of it. The oncologist did not warn me about that either. I am a sugarholic. I immediately stopped ingesting ice cream, doughnuts, candy, cokes everything sugar. Maybe this slowed the cancer down.

I believed the oncologist diagnosis of 2 years more or less. On August 3rd it will be 2 years. This puts me into the more side of the diagnosis.

Maybe with cannabis oil I can get what chemo and radiation can get me, 4 years. Maybe that is what the cannabis oil can do. Maybe the pain and misery will be 4 months instead of 6 or 2 months instead of 4. It is a very different mental out look on living with an illness that strikes 1 out every 3 women and every other man. Soon they predict every other person in the U.S. will get cancer. That is an epidemic. Over 160 million people in our country are going to be diagnosed with cancer. I don’t think that cancer is in the gene’s. I think it is environmental, in our food and water.

I have gone over every stupid thing I have said or done to anyone and wish I had never said or done that. Fear wrecks a day. Even with Susan around me I still would rather handle cancer alone. She is going through the same things I am going through. I told Susan when the slide is here I will tell her. I will continue to hide the outer bands of this hurricane until it hits. I am 2 years into my diagnosis. My horse racing stats on were down for several months and that was the scariest thing that happened because of the cost to get them back up. I did not realize the focus publishing the stats demands and that is a help for my mental outlook, but not as much help as Susan.

I am a professional handicapper. Just like horse racing I need to handicap the results of what I have done. I wanted time, but time that is free of the effects of cancer for 2 years. This  would be the only way I can measure my decision. 2 years is here and I have to say I hit that bet and that is a good reason to feel that I did the right thing for me.

Maybe in the diagnosis the oncologist knew that I had around 2 years before I got sick.  That means that the chemo and radiation and the 4 years is a little misleading, it’s 2 years.  The A.M.A. had just lowered the statement of we can extend your life for 5 years. Their results for chemo and radiation were so poor; they lowered the life extension pitch to 4 years. This looks like a trend to me.  They will lower life expectancy again in the future as millions of our people are getting cancer. The politicians in Washington are trying to take away our health care and Medicare. For me I feel I have the right kind of help and understanding of living with a bad beat like cancer. I have Susan and she has proven to me what help is. I’ll accept that I will only be sick once.

The  website stats are back up and running. We have the once a year 2 For 1 Special running just in time for the Saratoga/Del Mar meets.

The expense to healing and to maintaining a website that has horse racing statistical information is great and Susan and I would appreciate everyone who reads this blog to help us by buying a book or the online stats.

Thank You, Ed & Susan

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From Susan:

I’m posting here at the end of Ed’s article and will continue to post any future replies re: The 2 Year’s More or Less article rather than starting a new blog post because Any Horse Players Out There is about horse racing.

Ed and I want to thank you for your prayers, well wishes and positive energy.

Since this post we’ve been asked about the enzymes that we are taking; which ones do we use and how do we take them. Each is equally important.

By responding here I want to stress this is not a post intending medical advice.  This is my story and how I came to know about taking these digestive enzymes. All of our bodies are different, we may have allergies, reactions to food, medication and/or supplements and before taking anything including these enzymes you should seek the advice of a professional.

In 2011 after all the specialist doctors ran every test available and were not able to figure out what was wrong with me I was referred to the Mayo Clinic. One of the conditions I was diagnosed with is called Steatorrhea. This condition means your body no longer has the ability to absorb fats. The gastroenterologist said this was because my pancreas has been damaged so it no longer produces digestive enzymes. He added as a result I am not receiving the necessary nutrients from the food that I eat. The gastroenterologist did not know how this happened to my pancreas because this is usually a condition that you are born with when you have a disease called Cystic Fibrosis.

I am familiar with cystic fibrosis because my best childhood friend was born with this and she passed away when she was 11. I was an out patient at the Mayo-Clinic for almost a year, seeing various specialists there due to so many different unexplained symptoms. During this same year Mayo Clinic doctors also diagnosed several auto-immune diseases, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, to name two. When I asked my Gastroenterologist how could  I get this Steatorrhea since I wasn’t born with it he had no firm explanation. He said it may have been caused by one of the auto-immunes.

He prescribed digestive enzymes and said that I should take 4 enzymes with each meal and 2 enzymes with any snack between meals and the way to take them is to First Take a bite of food, then take 1 enzyme.  Then go ahead and start eating and take 1 enzyme again, eat a little more and take another 1 enzyme and then when you’re finished your meal take the last one.  I found that because I’m really not a big eater (as I have such a restricted diet and I try to only consume Non-GMO or Organic Food) that unless I am eating a fatty meal I am OK with 2 enzymes per meal and 1 when having a snack.

The Mayo Clinic also had me see their nutritionist.  This actually happened before the doctor told me about taking the enzymes because the nutritionist explained to me what to look for on labels as well as what I could or could not eat.  I found out that the only oil my body can absorb is Coconut Oil. The nutritionist said that I need to consume at least 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day because your body needs this to in a sense lubricate our joints.

She said my body Can Not absorb even good oils like Olive Oil so it would be best for me to substitute a refined coconut oil (refined does not taste like coconut oil) where I was using Olive Oil so I do this when I am making salad dressing or baking (by substituting coconut oil for butter or vegetable oil).

The nutritionist also stressed that if I have an intolerance to dairy (which I do because of bone loss) that I should take a dairy digestive enzyme whenever digesting dairy.  I use GNCs  Dairy Digestant .

An additional important notation the nutritionist made was to look at the food labels. She said I should be able to digest any food that has Total Fat grams of 5.0 grams or less.

When I went to see the gastroenterologist after the nutritionist and he explained to me about taking the enzymes I said “I thought I was seeing the nutritionist because they were teaching me how to eat and absorb the nutrition” and he said Yes that is true however everyday there are meals that you will consume that have higher than the 5.0 Total Fat so you still need to take the enzymes. He added it can take up to six months before I physically notice that the enzymes are working.

In time I stopped taking the prescription enzymes because they had a massive cost, even with a co-pay and because they prescribed pigs enzymes that had a potential side effect ; a rare digestive disorder that can come from these pigs and this concerned me.

Eventually I was fortunate that Ed located an old friend of his named Saari who lives and breaths holistic care and she was the one who suggested the Vegan digestive enzymes that we currently use.  Though I now use a different Brand. Originally I was taking Jigsaw enzymes however they cost around $50 for 180 Veggie Caps.  Using as many as we do by adding equal amounts of enzymes I give to Ed we go thru 3 to 4 bottles of these a month.

Then about a year ago I found an equivalent Digestive Enzyme that is Non-GMO, Soy Free and this is Healthy Origins Natural Broad Spectrum Digestive Enzymes – 180 Veggie Caps.  I buy these on line from a company called iherb (seems to have the best price) for under $30 a bottle and this includes shipping.  Here’s a link to these enzymes

Today iherb sent me this link and said: Forward this 10% coupon code to everyone you know via your own unique Rewards code: RQS900
So I believe you will save 10% on checkout by entering that rewards code and if not it’s still a good price.

For everyone: I would like to share how I found out that Ed needed to take these enzymes. This came from a book by Ty Bollinger called The Truth about Cancer.

I went to Google and searched by entering something similar to this “Why do Cancer Patients lose weight even though they eat and still have an appetite?” and there was a quote from Ty’s book about Cancer Patients are not absorbing their nutrients. He said this is because their pancreas no longer produces enzymes. When I read that I knew exactly what this meant and what we had to do and I began giving Ed the same enzymes as me.  It took about 4 months before we saw the change in his body frame and for him to gain weight.  At 2 separate doctors visits over a few months apart his weight maintained itself and that made us both happy.  Then about 45 days later they weighed Ed during this doctor visit and he had gained 7 pounds!  Now, today we both think he has gained back at least ½ of the 30 pounds that he lost.  This has been a real boost because we know that the enzymes are working and he is absorbing nutrients. 🙂

What is a Class Dropper?

Maiden Special Weights to Maiden Claim is a class drop however, that drop does not indicate if the horse will win. This is the easiest class drop to spot as a play.

Class is the level of competition this horse has run in. Is dropping in class a viable approach to bet a horse or is class a secondary factor?  I bet only trainer statistics on layoffs, claims and debuts and jockey-trainer statistic as a primary factor. That’s sort of the Swiss army knife of handicapping For me class is a secondary factor.

Although in 1989 when Kent Desormeaux raced at Laurel and Pimlico and set the record for most wins in a year, 598. I am sure I bet a boat load of Desormeaux’s droppers during that year. He was in every exacta or trifecta I placed a bet on.

A horse will run at higher class levels at the beginning of a horses’ career as a 2, 3 or 4 year old. A horse moving up in class can be much easier to find and bet than a class dropper. Class droppers are always talked about or pointed out by horse players and they are over bet because of the personal publicity.

Age and injuries have to be acknowledged on a class drop. Betting on a class dropper has to be from experience if you don’t have a statistic like a trainer’s percentage of his horses dropping from stakes to Optional claim. Then that bet is a guess. Keep in mind that for me this type of bet is a horse that I am adding in to fill out an exotic wager and not a bet as a key horse for the exacta. This add in horse can be easy to include with my key bet and impossible for me to bet as a key horse.  About the only thing I look at in a dropping horse is the difference in purse size from race to race.

I consider that 10% of all races are random. There are many races that nobody knows why a horse wins, about 10% of them. The speed players hit races I can not and I hit races they do not see.

I had trainer statistics on up one class level and down one class level and could not find a key horse to bet.  I also had statistics on up two class levels and down two class levels and found out these statistics were a non-factor as a primary reason to bet. A horse dropping in class or going up in class had no impact on the random 10%. This is the way that I compare the ability a trainer stat has too random. With a 10% win rate for droppers it can not overcome the problem that random offers because random is without rules or methods and you cannot have an advantage if I am betting random dropping horses whose trainer can not get above 10%.

This is from a grinder. The long term problem betting dropping horses is the loss rate of 90 losers to 10 winners from 100 bets, about a months worth of plays.  The number of run outs per hundred bets will stop you from betting. Every 100 races there will be 20 to 30 losers in a row. Every week there is a 10 to 15 race losing streak. Averaging 1 winner every 10 races sounds easy to accept as a play however, the problem is because you lost 9 in a row does not mean the next race he will win. Any player trying to cash on 10% as a living will get the horse dropping knocked out of them.

In the long run the grind will get you however; horses dropping in class can be a good secondary factor long shot play to include with my key horse in an exotic wager.

The layoff is the best way to bet a horse dropping in class because it is a decision the trainer is making when they lay the horse off then when to return the horse from a layoff and the trainer decided what class level to drop that horse into. The same applies to a horse that is claimed and dropping in class. Like the layoff, this is a trainer move and each of these moves is an odds play. The layoff horse has higher odds to bet than a claimed horse because most handicappers view layoffs as a negative.

Generally the way most handicappers bet is if a horse has a lot of races class becomes a factor. When the horse is now dropping in class they guess can he run back to that race he ran eight races ago? This horse has won at a higher class levels and today the horse is in a lower claiming race. The drop may be big but is it a class move or is the drop needed for this horse to be competitive at this class level.

Eight races ago may have been as long as ten months ago in actual time and today he is in a race that says maybe the drop is a negative instead of a reason to bet.

The tote board can be handicapped for a class dropper. I look at the morning line to the actual odds and then how the odds move up or down. I look for patterns.  A dropper is never a reason for me to place a bet. I bet one key horse with 3 filler horses in an exacta, a total of 4 horses for the exacta.

My filler selections can come down to the fourth versus the fifth favorite. It could be the 15/1 dropper with a small start trainer and he has his go-to jockey riding today. This is a good add in horse. Maybe he can hit one of those ten winners in a hundred races.

Trying to connect a race year ago to today’s race and believe the horse can repeat that effort makes me a skeptic. Even if it was 5 races back, for me it is a no bet. The horse can’t keep up at $12,500 claimer and now is in a $8,500 claimer. The same question is there.  Can the horse win on the drop? Is he a class play?  I am inclined to doubt all accepted opinions.


Ed Bain author of new Horse Racing Novel
Libraries, Yellow Cheese Sandwiches and 38,880 Running Lines

Bain has been betting professionally on thoroughbred horse racing since 1994 using the statistics that he has compiled.

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Good News for all subscribers.………
Looks like the online PPs (the racing stats) will be back up and running next week and could be as early as Monday.  This rebuild and maintaining this database is costly.  The programmer will continue to work on the site until all parts of the database have been completely updated.  I’m asking everyone who use these statistics in your handicapping decisions to help towards this cost by purchasing a copy of my new novel

Libraries, Yellow Cheese Sandwiches and 38,880 Running Lines or any of the 20+ Jockey-Trainer Exacta Reports that we offer. Any purchase is appreciated. Ed Bain