Handicapping Lessons – Looking for Changes to Produce Different Results
The Del Mar Summer Meet concluded Labor Day with a pair of Juvenile Stakes winners. Bolt d’ Oro (7-2) was a clear contender and showed his strength in the stretch, tracking down Zatter to win the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (G1). The supporting feature was the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf, and 15 fillies took to the turf and fired at a $100,000 purse. The Juvenile races can produce some surprises and bigger payoffs with some of the unpredictability and rapid improvement from horses learning their way. A number of fillies were running late in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, including long shot runner-up One Fast Broad (46-1), but they couldn’t catch Terra’s Angel, who was dismissed at odds of 19-1 and held off the stretch run of One Fast Broad by a half-length to score a strong upset win for a payout of $40.00. The $1 exacta paid big for $1,104.80. The handicapping lessons learned from these races may provide some help when some of these 2-year-olds mature and move up into some of the bigger races and events like the Breeders’ Cup and Triple Crown trail.
Following some solid handicappers that can educate and inform you on more than just past performances and results can provide any level of race fan with more insight into the game. Understanding that not all races are equal when run for the same claiming price or level can help you with your handicapping and learning for future races and results.
Once such education lesson was learned on Saturday at Del Mar, and also points out the potential value and earnings of wagering on less promoted races rather than just the big stakes events.
Here was an excerpt from a prominent and insightful handicapper for a Saturday race that paid off big at Del Mar. Red Carpet Cat came from off the pace, took the lead in the stretch and drew off to win by nearly five lengths in the 5 ½ furlong sprint. Let go at 24-1 odds when the gates opened, Red Carpet Cat returned $51.80 on a $2 win wager, $20.80 to place and $10.40 to show. A $1 exacta with the fourth wagering choice returned $202.30 and a $1 trifecta hit for $1,549.90.
While these type of long shots don’t come in on top too often, it’s an exercise in learning and understanding certain types of races and levels, so you can find value and potential underlays that can pay off with a bigger score. For the record, the 2-1 favorite in the that race finished 8th in a field of 12.
The final Saturday of the summer Meet, and things begin with a 16,000 non winners of two lifetime event at 5 1⁄2 furlongs. At the bottom levels, these races are usually won by one of two types: 1) runners in sharp CURRENT form, or 2) runners changing tactics, something different than what’s been previously offered, thus producing a better effort. With that in mind, top choice is RED CARPET CAT (#7) with his 20-1 line attached. He’s not much, but a couple changes make us believe they’ll look for a new strategy. First, they replace Pedroza with Van Dyke, a huge upgrade down the lane, telling us they’re likely looking for a more patient trip early before finishing late, AND, they likely confirm our thought by removing the blinkers. With a price attached and a horse who’s usually not embarrassed, a better try is well within reason. RETURNED $51.80 TO WIN, RUNNING ON LATE, WINNING BY NEARLY 5 LENGTHS.
The Del Mar and Santa Anita Racing Notebook is compliments of the WCHR – weastcoasthorseracing.com