Category Archives: Stretch

What to look for new meets starting up

A new meet starting up adds an extra dimension to handicapping these races, do some research and you will be ahead of the curve. So what are a few things to look for in the first week of racing, you ask?

Let’s begin with the trainers:
-Understand the difference between the local trainers and the trainers that ship from track to track
-The locals using have had longer layoffs and may need a start or two
-The trainers that move from track to track usually have a plan and that is “Win Early”
-Find those hot trainers quickly because after a week or so, everyone else jumps on board
-Here is where you take advantage of the public that doesn’t follow or do the research early. After about a month
the trainer stats will have the shipped in trainers with a great record and the locals not so good. But remember, the
win early trainers that was their goal, locals in for the long haul.

Understanding where the horses are coming from
-It takes a bit of experience but ask around or even reply to this blog and I will help you out. What I mean by this, the level of
competition varies greatly from the A, B and C tracks in North America. Get to know them.
-For example a horse coming from Santa Anita and now racing at Fonner park, will not look good on form. But what to
look for is, did the horse show speed. The speed horses from top track are far better bets than the plotters that just
ran at the back. Big difference from a horse showing lots of early speed and finishing last than a plotter that passes one or
two late.

Last tip, know the horse
-Is the horse ready to run today, many works coming in
-Is the horse at the right distance or a prep for a race coming in.
-Right surface, now on dirt, did run on turf or poly

After you have done your above  research, made your notes, you still need to look at the race shape on the other horses in the race. A little more work, but it certainly can pay off in the end.

Good racing

Take the blinkers off when figuring out the race shape.

I think most of us can agree, figuring out the race shape is one of the most important ways to handicap a race, or at least a starting point. I think many of us forget about the “What IFs.” Or just think the race can only run one way.

For example:
What if the pace is slow or What if another horse sacrifices and the pace is too fast

I think the biggest mistake is we only run the race one way. We need to run the race a few possible different ways. This is very important if you are playing sequence tickets. Obviously you need to try and key in there somewhere, but if spreading, then run the race a few ways it could go.

Here are a few things to consider:
-If your budget allows three or more horses in the race, make sure you have a few different running styles. So often I see horse players take three closers and a horse beats them going gate to wire.
-If playing multiple tickets and you key a horse because your think the horse is lone speed, maybe on the saver take a closer

Have an open mind and run the race a few different ways. Go with the one race shape that is most likely, but understand there can be some unpredictability at times. Be ready.

Good racing

Can you be a better handicapper in 2021?

Was 2020 a successful year in your handicapping? If so, great, why not make it even better. If not, why? Do you know where you struggled the most? Was it playing to many sequence bets or betting under valued horses?

Every horse player needs to know their strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t, you will not know when to take that big shot on a horse or bet.

I find the biggest mistake by horse players is playing the same way year after year and not trying to improve their handicapping.

What have you done lately to improve?

Here are a few things to do more of:
-watch more replays
-be better prepared before the races start
-look at some of the new/old handicapping software out there, formulator to name one
-be more adaptable to the race
-avoid having the same type of bet for most races

So many horse players think they are great handicappers, why is that? If everyone was so good, more favorites would win and the prices would be lower. Currently not the case.

Ask yourself, what would you rate yourself as a horse player overall from a scale of 1 to 10 ?

There has been a study in regards to people rating themselves in the field they are in. The study has found that the best of the best in their field rates them selves around a 4.5 out of 10. Why is that, it is because they never stop learning. If you rated yourself at 7 or higher, you may want to think again. One of my favorite lines is “What you don’t know, you don’t know?” Think about that line and understand why that is so powerful.

Be better in 2021

Happy New Year everyone !!

Look for the races that continue to give

Everyone likes to receive a gift this time of year, well each day there are races that continue to give to the sharp horse player.

What type of races that have the Christmas spirt, the races with “Vulnerable Favorites.”

What is a vulnerable favorite, it’s a horse that has to many reasons for it not to win.

Here are just a few that I like to use to bet against a favorite:
-A very low percentage trainer and or jockey
-Race shape does not set up for them, example speed horse with three other speed horses
-a layoff with no real workout and a drop
-beaten favorite two of the last three times
-a horse that has a more seconds and thirds, with limited wins

We know that favorites win around 33%, so you cannot always bet against a favorite, some offer great value, others like above reasons do not.

Enjoy the holiday season and find that value out there

 

Go for it or not to go for it?

My first two blogs over the last two weeks have talked about preparing for betting, now today’s is all about taking advantage of the prep.

You have watched the replays, you have scanned/capped the race card. At this point you should have a good feeling of the races to take a shot at or pass. One other thing to check would be are there any carry overs and what type of carry overs. Understand the difference between a good carry over and a jackpot carry over. A good carry over is it will be paid out that day.

My recommendation if it is a good carry over, start there with those races. Dead money always is in favor of the horse player, don’t miss out, but make sure you like the sequence.

Next step start with your strongest races you like, maybe a replay horse or a race with very few unknows and then build around that race. If I am playing sequence bets I need to have at least half of the races I like quite a bit. This doesn’t mean I have keys in every race, but does mean I have the max horses in the race I need.

If the bookends of your strongest race are terrible, it might just be an individual race bet. If the carry over is big enough in the sequence, I will take a small chance and play the sequence.

What makes a strong play?
Here are a few key points I look for:
-Understanding race shape
-A good replay that others might have missed
-Vulnerable favorite that you think will get beat, but the public doesn’t and over bets it
-Very few unknowns in the race, firsters for example

Always try and find that value, whether it is there because of a carry over, vulnerable favorite or your horse is paying higher than you thought.

Good luck and good racing.

Next Post Breeders Cup Week

 

What is your betting strategy?

Picking winners doesn’t always mean you are making money at the races.  Successful betting strategies usually does though.

Let’s begin realizing every race is a little different. Why is that?  Well there are  underlays, overlays, big or small fields, where the race is in the race card to name a few. If you are a bettor that bets the same way and amount in each race, then you are behind the eight ball right way. STOP THAT!!

Your need to adjust your betting according to the race and how confident you are on the race. How and what should we do?

Here are some do’s and don’t; hopefully you are on more of the do’s.
-Don’t bet the same amount on each race, there is no way you like each race equally.
-Do step up a little more when you have a strong play, step down when there are to many unknowns
-Don’t be one of those people that tell me they never bet favorites.  Why is that when they win around 30% of the time?
-If you avoid favorites you have already lost on 30% of the races. Favorites have value at times, too.
-Do understand when to box horses and when to make it a wheel.
-You should figure out the percentage of the horses in question; if equal, box, if different wheel.
-Don’t be that lazy handicapper that plays the caveman ticket in pick 4s or 5s.
-Most times you need to play multiple tickets – that saves you money and takes advantage of your handicapping ability.

fund for the Breeders' cup

Wager on the Breeders’ Cup two day event at www.betptc.com

Here are a few other handicapping tips to set you up for success
-Do take advantage of all the new and improved handicapping tools out there to help you pick more winners.
-Don’t be that handicapper that thinks they know it all and has bet the same for 20 years.
-Do the research and pick your spots and make yourself some money at the races.

Comments are always welcome as I want to get better each day as well.

Next Week: Part 2 of Betting strategies, sequence bets,

Why Watch Horse Racing Replays?

Check out the multi-track video player at BetPTC.com

Are you a handicapper that is only a numbers guys or do you like to look at replays? My opinion, numbers do not tell you the entire picture. There are more numbers guys than replay guys. To get the value you need in this game, get on the side of the minority of horse players.

The replays are found on most track websites but BetPTC has the feature built in for you to view all tracks and all races shown on the website. I use it all the time and rarely not use it for every race I am capping.

What to look for (or not) when watching a replay:
-The start of the race, how did the horse break
-a speed horse needing to be near the lead, break poorly –  very important
-a closer that usually is at the back – not as important
-Horses making middle moves
-outside losing ground on the turn –  important
-outside in the back stretch  – not as much because not losing lengths, but still good to see
-begins a move and has to check and loses their momentum – very important
-How much the jockey has to go to the whip
-If the jockey is already using the whip early, usually means the horse doesn’t want to run and needs to get interested
-If no whip is used until the stretch or very little in the race, I like seeing this, horse is giving it his all and wants to run, game
-Finishing the race
-I like to see good gallop outs after the race, especially if the horse is stretching out after this last race
-Did the horse have nothing left at the wire with their win, or lots left, says the horse can move up in class if has some left

Why watch replays, here is another reason. Do not trust the comment lines. What I mean by this, the charter might not put the important part of the race in the limited comments line.

Here is a recent example:  SEPTEMBER 6, 2020 – Century Mile Race #11 horse#2 Bang on.   Please watch it.
Tell me if you agree with the comment line, Fractious, needed more.
Sept. 25 at CTM Race #8   Horse #5 Bang on.  raced next time out. Watch this one.

Anyone not like $12.60 to win after the Sept. 6th replay?

There are many more of these out there.  Just watch some races, make some stable notes and look out for some nice prices that the numbers guys don’t get.

Good racing,
Stretch

Continuing to prepare for the Breeders Cup

Now that you have watched your replays and getting some opinions on horses to pay special attention to either bet or bet against on your own, begin the next step. Start looking at other resources to get the extra info you may need.

Part II: More preparing for the Cup

Good and bad information. Step one understand the source you are getting this info from. Some information that is given out is simply an opinion. For example “Horse A should really take to the Santa Anita surface.” Why does this person think that, is it breeding, is it because he saw a race at another track with a similar surface or did the trainer mention to him that the training sessions have been good. I would only take that above statement if it was the last source.

At this point I wouldn’t listen to anyone’s selections. We know all the horses entered but what happens if one of them isn’t entered or scratched. Another speed horse doesn’t enter or gets scratched and now there is no pace to run it. Completely changes the race shape.

What I would look at is how the horses got to where they are at now. Some horses the big race was simply to win the previous race and get in, horse would be fully cranked. McKinzie, I am not sure if the horse was or was not fully cranked for his last race, but McKinzie didn’t need to win and get in.

There are many proven trends that show which horses do well at the Breeders Cup by going in certain races and which ones struggle. Get to know those trends. There is lots of information you can find about that. I follow the trends like this, a favourite should have strong trends before I would consider them. A longshot with a good return I won’t disregard the horse as much, the horse is a longshot for a reason, there are always a few holes in them somewhere.

Only one week to go, don’t get left behind in the research.

Continue to Prepare for the Breeders Cup

Now that you have watched your replays and getting some opinions on horses to pay special attention to either bet or bet against on your own, begin the next step. Start looking at other resources to get the extra info you may need.

Part II: More preparing for the Cup

Good and bad information. Step one understand the source you are getting this info from. Some information that is given out is simply an opinion. For example “Horse A should really take to the Santa Anita surface.” Why does this person think that, is it breeding, is it because he saw a race at another track with a similar surface or did the trainer mention to him that the training sessions have been good. I would only take that above statement if it was the last source.

At this point I wouldn’t listen to anyone’s selections. We know all the horses entered but what happens if one of them isn’t entered or scratched. Another speed horse doesn’t enter or gets scratched and now there is no pace to run it. Completely changes the race shape.

What I would look at is how the horses got to where they are at now. Some horses the big race was simply to win the previous race and get in, horse would be fully cranked. McKinzie, I am not sure if the horse was or was not fully cranked for his last race, but McKinzie didn’t need to win and get in.

There are many proven trends that show which horses do well at the Breeders Cup by going in certain races and which ones struggle. Get to know those trends. There is lots of information you can find about that. I follow the trends like this, a favourite should have strong trends before I would consider them. A longshot with a good return I won’t disregard the horse as much, the horse is a longshot for a reason, there are always a few holes in them somewhere.

Only one week to go, don’t get left behind in the research.

What you should be doing now to prepare for the Breeders Cup

by Glen S., guest post for BetPTC.com

The Breeders Cup is the best event in horse racing for the year round handicapper to hit the big one. The two days are in the advantage of the horse players that knows the game. BUT if you are like all the other handicappers and do not prepare, then there is simply no advantage for you. So if you do not want to be like the others or the ones that just play the races a few times a year, keep reading.

The Breeders’ Cup is Nov. 1-2, 2019 at Santa Anita, the Great Race Place.

How can I start to prepare so early, you ask? There are list of the main contenders throughout the various websites and many sites, including th eDRF that have the expected entries. Print them off and start watching REPLAYS and more replays. The more you watch now, the less time you need later. Betptc.com has one of the best replay functions on the website, so why not take full advantage of it.

What to look for in a replay and what to take notes on:
-Was the horse compromised in the race, troubled trip, wide, no pace to run at, caught in a duel?

-Do not forget to make notes that might make the horse look better, lone speed, big pace to run at, perfect trip, etc.

When watching the replays, you do not need to know who the horse will be running against in the future.  It just gives you more info on the horse that many won’t take the time to see. Also if the horse is running against other horses in the upcoming race you will see who is better based on the replay. Sometimes who beats who doesn’t tell the whole story, this is when you can hit that home run.

Monday Oct 21st is when the pre entries close and I would expect by Wednesday Oct 23rd you will be able to get a good idea of who is in. Now you can start figuring out the potential of each horse. I would avoid figuring out race shape but decide if the horse is a need-the-lead horse or a closer that needs pace to run at.

Monday Oct. 28th is when the post position draw is; I would expect by that evening you will be able to find what each race would look at. NOW start to figure out race shape.

Why prep now? The obvious reason, as mentioned, is get ahead of the rest and avoid so much work later. But even more importantly, avoid getting swayed but the media and all the hype. Let you be the judge first as to how talented you think the horse is and then listen to the others.