Looking for Plays

I look for plays rather than trying to find a horse to bet. This is a betting approach that works for me. I have a variety of plays; many are trainers like Jorge Navarro on Claim 1 (first after a claim) in a Sprint or Route. Today at Monmouth in Race 9 the # 1 Whyruawesome is at 4/1 and has a Claim 1 Route stat of 59-10-16%.  Of these 59 Claim 1 Routes 23 were at Monmouth and 6 won for a 26% win rate. Navarro has jockey Paco Lopez in the irons and at Monmouth Lopez has a 53-19-35% win rate with Navarro.

Jorge Navarro also has a Claim 1 Sprint in Race 3 at Laurel Park, the # 5 Zulu. Navarro is 79-21-26% in Claim 1 Sprint races. His horse is the morning line 8/5 favorite and Navarro stats on Claim 1 Sprint with the favorite is 32-15-46%.

These are two good stats. I should get around 4/1 odds at Monmouth and at Laurel they will probably bet Zulu down to around 4/5. This is a 6 horse field and a pass.

I make a lot of algorithm plays from the 4-race form cycle. They are very easy to see. The algorithm play I like to bet the most is a spike play where 3 of the 4 races in the cycle are low and one is higher.

At Del Mar today in Race 1 Doug O’Neil’s horse the # 1 Don’t Stalk Me has a Morning Line of 7/2 and a 4-race form cycle stat of 25% 21% 32% 18%. The 32% is the Spike in this 4-race cycle. It is easy to see how O’Neil wins through this 4-race form cycle.  This spike stat is a key horse for me in an exacta bet.

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Also at Del Mar in Race 5 the # 2 Meal Ticket is another spike play. Her trainer Matthew Chew’s algorithm is 8% 33% 15% 16% on Lay 2 Route, 33% is the spike. Chew’s horse has a 3/1 Morning Line. He may drop an odds level or two and will still be a key horse in an exacta bet.  Matthew Chew’s stat on Lay 2 Route is 21-7-33%. Of these 21, 18 were non-favorites and 7 won for a 38% win rate. Matthew Chew is a bet.

Race 8 at Del Mar the # 1 Twirling Tiger at 12/1 is trained by Charles Treece and he has a stat on Claim 2 Sprint of 22-9-31%.  In the 4-race form cycle Treece is 16% 31% 6% 16%. At 12/1 he is a play.

There are three spike plays at Del Mar today. I set a high win bar for this play and the spike has to be at 30% win or more. From here, after finding the spike it then is about odds. When do I bet and when do I pass.

At Monmouth and Laurel the play is trainer Jorge Navarro and his Claim 1 in a Route or a Sprint. All plays end the same way. Can I get odds good enough to place a bet.

Results for Saturdays Plays:

Saturday’s results at Monmouth  Race 9, the 1 horse trained Jorge Navarro was on a Claim 1 Route and had a Morning Line of 4/1 and dropped 10 odds levels to 6/5 and paid $4.40 to win.  Jorge Navarro is a bettor and so are his owners. The fifth favorite was the other horse in the exacta that paid $33.80.

Laurel Race 3, the 5 also trained by Navarro was on a Claim 1 Sprint with a Morning Line of 8/5.  I passed because I thought his odds would be around 4/5 at post and it was a small six horse field.  I was off by 2 odds levels, he was bet down to 6/5.  He came in sixth. A good pass.

Del Mar Race 1, the 1 trained by Doug O’Neill on a Claim 3 Sprint with a Morning Line of 7/2.  He went off at 5/2 and paid $7 to win.  The other horse that came in the exacta was the first favorite at odds of 3/2 and the exacta paid $19.

Del Mar Race 5, the 2 horse trained by Matthew Chew had a Morning Line of 3/1.  He went off at 6/5 and won and paid $4.60.  The second favorite came in as the other horse in the exacta that paid $14.60.

Del Mar Race 8, the 1 horse trained by Charles Treece had a Morning Line of 12/1.  He went off at 11/1 and ran out of the exacta.

The interesting thing about betting the horses is how the odds move.  Being a Line Maker is a very difficult job.  They get blamed for bad odds or they missed putting the correct odds on a horse. The Line Maker is trying to get the winner from his top three selections and he is trying to guess who the crowd will bet as the favorite from his top three.  I really only pay attention to the top three odds levels and I accept what we as players bet them down to.  Once you have an understanding of odds, that they are a percentage you can pass.  As an example Navarro’s Claim 1 Sprint at Laurel.  His Morning Line was 8/5 which is a 38% win rate.  At 6/5 what he went off at and that has a 45% hit rate.  What this means is if this horse were to race these six horse 100 times he would have to win 45 and these are big numbers to hit and is the reason for passing.  The percentages can tell you if you’re bet is in trouble because his odds are too low so it is a good pass.

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2 Replies to “Looking for Plays”

  1. betting–considering the cycle spike plays: is the key play played on top only? Is it with “all”? or just 3 others?
    one of the “users” mentioned was 5th choice. that’s the reason for the question



    1. Hi Don, It’s a Key Box. It is my basic bet. 1 with 3 then 3 with one so the key is in first and second. I do add in another horse if I feel that I need to. The key horse can not be the morning line favorite. He can end up as the favorite and still be a key horse. So if I’m the 3rd choice at 3/1 and the favorite is at 6/5 and I can go against him. I like the second favorite as a bet in many races over the favorite. The fourth favorite on up are long shots and the fifth favorite is generally double digits. I can explain how the favorites work when Patrick Husbands and Mark Casse’s Sprint Exacta Stats at Woodbine have 100 Sprint starts this season. They are about 8 away.

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