Shapiro discovers these factors in search for Keeneland Fall Meet biases

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TwinSpires Staff

October 3rd, 2018

Keeneland racing

Keeneland betting stategies for the Fall Stars meet

by Scott Shapiro

October means the start of the Keeneland Fall Meeting, and this year’s 17-day stand begins Friday, Oct. 5, and concludes Saturday, Oct. 27.

Before the summer boutique meetings I was able to unveil a few key biases at Saratoga Race Course and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club that helped guide me to a profitable season. Sadly, after a review of Brisnet data over the past 8 meetings (i.e. since Keeneland returned to dirt in October 2014), there does not appear to be any sort of pronounced bias that exists over the Keeneland surfaces. This is unfortunate because it does not allow horseplayers to move horses up or down based on post positions or running style in what are frequently competitive fields. On the other hand, a fair track does make for a much more entertaining product.

The Keeneland Jockey Picture

In terms of riders those that make their home outside of Kentucky have been able to hit the wire at the highest percentage over the same timeframe. Javier Castellano has won at 23.85% over a 260-race sample size leading the way with fellow New York-based jockeys John Velazquez (22.16%) and Joel Rosario (20.96%) as the only others to click at better than 17%. Despite their success, none of them have produced a flat-bet positive ROI across all mounts.

Four riders with significantly lower win percentages have produced a positive ROI: Chris Landeros (+35.47%), Ricardo Santana (+17.12%), “Jersey” Joe Bravo (+8.53%), and Paco Lopez (+2.02%)

Landeros’s backers in particular have walked out of Keeneland with deeper pockets in large part due to 6 horses paying more than $42, including Archanova at odds 43.5-to-1 on October 22, 2016. Perhaps no coincidentally, one of Landeros’s top trainers—father in law Ian Wilkes—is one of only three trainers with multiple $50+ horses since October 2014 (D. Wayne Lukas and Ben Colebrook are the others).
Two regulars in the Blue Grass State, Corey Lanerie and Julien Leparoux have both compiled more than 100 wins since fall 2014 leading the way in terms of overall victories. They have reached the century plateau in large part because they have taken advantage of being on the public’s choice at Keeneland often over the last 5 years. Leparoux has piloted the favorite 142 times in that time period and won with 45 of those runners. Lanerie has visited the winners’ circle with a strong 39 of 99 when aboard the top choice.

The Keeneland Trainer Take

Trainer statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt because often times the sample size does not yield strong enough results, but there is little doubt that certain conditioners thrive during the spring and fall in Lexington.

Wesley Ward tops the list with 65 wins dating back to the switch to dirt with a strong 23.7% strike rate. He has been particularly strong with public backed runners winning with 45 of 108 runners. Despite the near 42%-win percentage in such events he still sports a negative return on investment of 4.26%.

Saratoga-leading (and Eclipse Award-winning) trainer Chad Brown has been victorious with 28.8% of his 125 entrants dating back to the fall of 2014 and surprisingly has provided horseplayers with a positive return of investment of 8.16%. Several other trainers have produced a positive ROI over this time span including Kiaran McLaughlin (15.37%) who has won with 27 of 82 runners and Angel Montano, Sr. who has been successful with 11 of 34 for a ROI of (+127.06%).

The action at Keeneland gets started at 1:05 p.m. ET on Friday. Be sure to follow along on throughout the month of October! Want to learn more on handicapping, then check out our online library of betting guides.