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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


It’s been a tough year for lots of folks and it’s odds-on there will be fewer gifts beneath the tree this year.

And so, hopefully, we can connect on several of the price plays below to help find some ammunition to shop for those last-minute items.

Where no individual value horses exist, preferably price shots, we will substitute with an exacta play.


QUEENS COUNTY: Forewarned (8-1) to win, exacta box with Musical Heart (9-5)


VIA BORGHESE: Exacta box Great Island (3-1) and Always Shopping (5-2)

G3 MR. PROSPECTOR: Diamond Oops (3-1) to win, exacta box with Haikal (6-1)


G2 LOS ALAMITOS DERBY: Positivity (8-1) to win, exacta box with Red Flag (1-1)


TENACIOUS STAKES: Sonneman (3-1) to win, exacta box with Maxfield (8-5)

BLUSHING STAKES: Quick Witted (6-1) to win, exacta box with Dalika (3-1)

No pressure intended but when today ends, only five shopping days remainand please remember those who are less fortunate

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13 Responses

  1. I simply do not get it. Betting other than win only makes it impossible over time to ‘beat the races’, and betting win only when having to accept the takeout on the bet makes it difficult enough. Assuming your making $2 wagers, the above bets total $36.00. Applying Gulfstream takeout rates (win 17%, ex 17.5%) the takeout on win bets above will be $2.04; the takeout on exacta bets $4.20. And, six of the exacta bets are automatic losers costing $12. So, of the $36 wagered, $18.24 has been lost leaving only $17.76 ‘in action’. Damn expensive bets when over half of the money wagered isn’t ‘working’.

    I assumed you were betting a win ticket on the Via Borghese.

    1. WMC, we’ve had this discussion before. When it comes to making money at the races, one man’s fish is another man’s poisson.

      Speaking of the Via Borghese, thought my exacta DQ was on a ticky-tack foul, although my jockey of of the year, Tyler, was careless when he moved into the clear, where Great Island clearly was better and in the end did not cost the third horse a placing. This was a send-a-message DQ, in my opinion, and it cost me money, probably enough to cover the day with some price shots remaining.

      Yes, I made wagers in $2 increments but to your point–it would not have mattered because of DQ–I always forget that quinellas are available at GP, which is what I did, made a $4 quinella vs $2 exacta box.

      And, no, I did not make a straight wager. If I could have separated those two fillies, I would have, and indicated a win bet–which I did not.

      You know what they say about assuming…

  2. The Mr. Prospector presents an exciting handicapping exercise for a change.

    Last year’s renewal winner, 7-Diamond Oops, is indeed a top contendter, but 9-Firenze Fire finished ahead of him in their last start, the BC Sprint, with BRIS fgures of 94 and 96, respectively.

    Also competing in that event with a 90 was 1-Lasting Legacy who just lost to Diamond Oops in last years renewal with 101 and 103, respectively.

    But the best figure attained among returnees from BC Saturday at the Keeneland brickyard was the 99 in the ungraded Lafayette by its winner, 8-Sleepy Eyes Todd. That victory over eventual Cigar Mile winner, True Timber, confirmed the former’s ability evidenced in his Charles Town Classic win with a 103. Two lengths behind with a 96 was 10-Ebben. Eased to a 73 was the once classiest and speediest 12-Mind Control who I will finally deny a spot in even the bottom slot of my super.

    For that I will prefer JP’s second choice, 4-Haikal, whose Derby Preps promised middle distance success, despite nearly a year on the sidelines.

    SPR: 8 // 7,9,10 // 7,9,10 // 1,4,7,9,10 (18)

    With early live odds exceeding 50-1, I’ll be watching Ebben for a win bet.

    1. Excellent pick of Sleepy Eyes Today, well done, I!

      Meanwhile, I took the Biancone horse off his tough BC Sprint.

      Oops… he was awful!

  3. I read above that Mr. Ed is dependent on Bris speed figures and, I assume, Beyer speed figures to select his blue bloods. Me, I’m not familiar with Bris speed figures and I have found after about six months back in the nineties that the Beyer speed figures were of no value to me in pick’in winners.

    In most Thoroughbred horse races, the sixth or seventh finisher crosses the finish line a mere two seconds or less of the winner – tick, tock! It is an accepted axiom in Thoroughbred horse racing that one second equals five lengths; so a plater finishing seventh, beaten ten lengths, was only two seconds slower than the winner. The winner gets, say, a speed rating of 100 and the seventh placed plodder receives, say, a 80 speed rating; yet they finish two seconds apart! Tick, tock. Did the winner get a perfect trip? Was the seventh placed blue blood bumped at the break, stumbled, squeezed, blocked, in tight, carried wide, checked, rushed, moved to late? Or, was the loser pissed ’caused he didn’t get the usual apple at noon, had a toothache or headache? Two seconds or less from winner to seventh place loser; this should make it clear why speed figures are worthless.

    BTW, why do workouts appear in the past performance data? They are noted as gate, handily, and breezing. Ever observe a horse winning a race breezing? Unless a horse has raced in a week, won’t all trainers work their horses before a race? Workout? Worthless information.

    How come the favorite in a race wins only about 33% of the races? You should think, with all the data for handicapping available, that they would win at a much higher percentage. Geez, just box the three favorites in a horse race; should be like stealing, right? Not that easy, though, is it? Seems those plugs with a lower speed rating last out finally get a clean trip and are awarded their 100 speed rating.


    Anybody show a profit yesterday?

  4. Right you are, WMC, more can be learned by watching the back of the pack, not just the front–but speed figures are necessary tools because they indicate who has better chances of winning going in. It all goes out the window once the latch is sprung, however.

    No profit yesterday–the DQ at GP woulda’, coulda’, shoulda’ saved the day; stuff happens…

  5. Meanwhile, Indulto picked the winner of the Mr. Prospector at 5-1, so he had a profitable day, however he got there!

    1. I lucked out, wmc. Had the exacta. Might have had the TRI, and even the SPR, if I had spent more time looking at the PPs and hadn’t been so unforgiving about Mind Control. Only race I even looked at on Saturday.

  6. Well, you have the right approach by looking at only one race; I try to keep a day’s ‘capping to three races after perusing two or three racetrack’s card and, of course, tossing all stake races. Congratulations on cashing.

  7. John: HISA is being enacted into Federal Law tonight. It can’t come soon enough! The ne’er-do-wells and “know nothings” are crawling out of their holes and crying “unfair” and lack of transparency. Its beyond shame for those who have ignored the problems for years and now claim that nobody told them what was in the bill.
    We both referenced the duplicitous Op-Ed written by the President of the HBPA last week. A few minutes ago, I noticed a tweet from Mike Beychok, a prior NHC winner, and a political operative, who is denigrating the “process” as to how the HISA bill has been incorporated into law. Guess who stepped up to let Mr. Beychok know that this industry brought this law unto themselves? Our old buddy, Mark Berner! Its good to know that Mark is still paying attention. Its also nice to know that the industry insiders are panicking over the HISA bill. From my old Brooklyn political days, I learned that if the “insiders” are worried about the “fairness” of the process involved in making a bill become law, then it must be contain stuff that scares the living daylights out of them. Me thinks the HISA is scaring them the way the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present & Future, persuaded Mr. Scrooge to alter his miserly ways!

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