Three Reasons to Bet on Turfway Park and How To Play It

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Ed DeRosa

December 3rd, 2015

Three years ago, Turfway Park was getting ready to open its winter meeting just two months after the close of its September meeting and as one of five racetracks with the Polytrack surface.

Today, Turfway opens its winter meeting not having raced since March and as one of only two tracks with the Polytrack surface, which Del Mar and Keeneland replaced with dirt and Woodbine replaced with another synthetic.

The changes in its own schedule and the racing surfaces at other tracks have given Turfway a “bum rap” among some horseplayers, but it is one of the most fun meetings to play, as it is an alternative on several levels:

  1. As already mentioned, it is one of two tracks still with Polytrack. If handicapping this surface is your thing then your options are Turfway December-March and Arlington May-September. That’s it.
  2. It’s post time is 6:15 p.m. EST on Thursday-Saturday and 2:30p on Sunday. This separates it from other East Coast tracks. On Thursday-Saturday it gives you a night-time alternative if you can’t play during the day and/or want to church your winnings/chase your losses into the night. On Sunday, it gives you something to watch if the early NFL are over by halftime or the late ones aren’t interesting until the 2nd half.
  3. The average win price is more than $13, and that number grows to more than $15 when there at least nine starters in a race. But even in races with no more than 6 starters, the average price is still a decent $9.

So now that we know whyyou should be handicapping Turfway Park, the question is how to handicap Turfway. The average win price shows it’s not an easy meet, but if you solve the puzzle you will get paid.

The race summary as the last page of each race in the Ultimate Past Performances gives a snapshot of how the track played at each distance last meeting. Early speed is better than late speed at all distances, and that tactical advantage is more important than post position.

From a proprietary data standpoint, the information such as Speed Ratings and Prime Power is important from identifying logical contenders standpoint, but unlike certain meetings, there is no rosetta stone piece of information providing a flat bet ROI straight out of the PPs, so you’ll have to do some work to excel in Florence, Y’all.