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Homeracing

Saratoga Opening Weekend Recap: What Won in Week 1

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

July 27th, 2016

The first week of Saratoga Race Course’s meeting is in the books, and it was a tail of extremes, as favorites won at a 39% clip, but the average $2 win payout was $13.20.

Compare that to the recently concluded Belmont Park spring-summer meeting where favorites won less often (36%), but the average win payout was $12.64.

Perhaps a better way to look at it is not “what won” but who, as in trainer Kiaran McLaughin, who saddled seven winners from 14 starters, and only three of those winners were favorites. Other hot trainers at prices include Shug McGaughey and Tom Bush. They both have two wins apiece, and none of those four winners among the duo were favored.

The biggest doughnuts on the board right now are trainer Chris Englehart (0-for-11) and jockeys Julien Leparoux (0-for-15) and Kendrick Carmouche (0-for-13). This is just a statistical anomaly for now, however, as given the average odds of their trainees/mounts, they were each 3-to-1 to go winless.

From a handicapping data perspective, two of Brisnet.com’s most powerful numbers—Speed Rating and Prime Power—have performed worlds apart with the former not providing winners or value while the latter has shown a flat-bet profit for the meeting.

That’s right, a win bet on the top-ranked Prime Power horse in every race so far would have you in the black for the meeting.

Of course, that Prime Power stat is as unlikely to keep having that success long term as the Speed Rating is to be unsuccessful. But their success (or not) to date does help identify the types of horses who are performing well at the meeting.

The best last-out Speed Rating is a reflection of a horse’s performance last out whereas Prime Power favors performance at today’s variables (class, surface, distance) with extra credit for recent success. That means I’ll be more willing to forgive a poor performance last out especially if partnered with traditional angles likes 2nd or 3rd off the layoff, cutbacks, etc.

So what does that mean for today? Day 5 of the meeting and Day 1 of week 2? There are two horses I’m zeroing in on from a “single” perspective: #5 Conscience in race 3 and #1 Paulassilverlining in race 8 (the featured Honorable Miss Stakes).

Both figure to be favored, but Conscience, in particular, might actually be playable given the full field. He checks a lot of boxes mentioned above: surface change and drop in class chief among them. He also might get Leparoux off the duck!

I’m more worried about the price on Paulassilverlining, but I’ll get my money in early by singling her in the Pick 4. I love the running style and the rail here. I don’t love the weight she has to give, but she is the best of these, as her top Prime Power number indicates.

Good luck this week and the rest of the meet!

SARATOGA AT A GLANCE
 
Avg. Winning Odds: 5.60 - 1
Favorite Win%: 39%, Favorite Itm%: 66%
 
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Quinella 25.60
Exacta 105.36
Daily Double 85.41
Trifecta 754.61
Pick 3 628.06
Superfecta 5,055.70
Pick 6 21,455.50
Pick 4 5,217.88
Pick 5 16,067.25
Grand Slam 182.50
TRACK BIAS MEET(07/24 - 09/07)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
 
6.0fDirt 63 32% E Rail/Ins  
6.5fDirt 36 36% E Mid/Out  
1 1/8mDirt 48 19% E/P Rail/Ins  
Turf Sprint 58 28% P Inside  
InTf Routes 88 30% E Rail  
Turf Routes 55 7% S Rail/Ins  
TRACK BIAS WEEK(07/22 - 07/25)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
 
6.0fDirt 9 0% S Mid/Out  
6.5fDirt 4 50% E Inside  
1 1/8mDirt 5 20% E/P Rail/Ins  
Turf Sprint 5 20% P Middle  
InTf Routes 9 11% E/P Rail/Ins  
Turf Routes 6 0% P Mid/Out  
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
 
HOT TRAINERS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'15-' 16
Win%
McLaughlin Kiaran P. 14 7 1 2 5.53 3 22%
Jerkens James A. 5 3 0 0 3.80 2 18%
Servis Jason 8 3 3 1 3.68 2 23%
McGaughey III Claude R. 5 2 1 0 4.50 0 19%
Bush Thomas M. 6 2 1 0 18.07 0 8%
Terranova, II John P. 6 2 0 1 10.03 1 13%
 
HOT JOCKEYS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'15-' 16
Win%
Ortiz, Jr. Irad 32 8 4 7 5.27 6 21%
Velazquez John R. 24 6 3 2 7.76 3 19%
 
COLD TRAINERS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'15-' 16
Win%
Englehart Chris J. 11 0 1 2 11.53 2 23%
 
COLD JOCKEYS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'15-' 16
Win%
Leparoux Julien R. 15 0 2 2 10.21 1 16%
Carmouche Kendrick 13 0 1 2 10.42 0 15%

 

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