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Homeracing

What Prime Power's positive ROI last year taught us about betting Keeneland

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

April 8th, 2016

With apologies to the U.S. Postal Service, neither rain nor sleet nor snow will stop us from enjoying opening weekend at Keeneland where a full slate of full fields, exciting stakes races, and the promise of the Kentucky Derby in four weeks' time unofficially welcomes spring to the bluegrass even if the nicer weather is still hibernating.

We're now through three meetings on the dirt following eight years of Polytrack racing, and there certainly have been some adjustments. The races aren't *quite* as wide open, but the payoffs are still better than average even with favorites winning at a 37% clip during last fall's Breeders' Cup meeting (see chart below for average payoffs October 2014).

One handicapping angle that was especially potent last year (i.e. these stats include both the spring and fall meetings) was the top-ranked Brisnet.com Prime Power horse showing a flat-bet profit in races without a first-time starter. Turf, dirt, short long, fast track, or off track, if you had bet the top-ranked Prime Power horse in every race last year at Keeneland that didn't have a first-time starter in it, then you would have shown a flat bet profit

Now, even though this stat encompasses hundreds of races, I'm not one to think that's a sustainable sample size. Keeneland has relatively short meetings, so variance is wider. So, yeah, on a micro level, it showed a profit last meet, but what can we learn from that on a macro level to apply to this meeting?

1. Horses who fit the class perform well. The Keeneland spring meeting features an eclectic mix of shippers and horses who have been laid off through thw winter and beginning their 2016 campaigns. Prime Power is somewhat weighted toward "like performances"--how a horse performed in conditions similar to todays: surface, distance, race type, etc. Well-spotted horses can do well here.

2. Turfway horses are undervalued by the wagering publis. Keeneland is obviously a more prestigious meeting than Turfway, but the day-to-day weekend racing can be pretty similar. If you're looking for a condition book that most closely matches Keeneland in the months leading up to the spring meeting, Turfway is probably going to fit the bill. The public discounts those Turfway performances, but Prime Power recognizes the good ones.

3. The bigger the gap between Prime Power the more likely the higher-ranked horse is to perform better. Of course, that typically means a lower price, but at a meeting with so many multi-race opportunities, finding a Prime Power standout can help a horseplayer single with confidence.

Good luck this meeting! 
 

KEENELAND AT A GLANCE
 
Avg. Winning Odds: 4.99 - 1
Favorite Win%: 37%, Favorite Itm%: 69%
 
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Exacta 77.79
Daily Double 84.79
Trifecta 513.15
Pick 3 586.80
Superfecta 3,310.10
Pick 6 33,995.25
Pick 4 4,500.50
Pick 5 46,605.38
Super High Five 15,495.49
TRACK BIAS MEET(10/02 - 10/31)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
 
6.0fDirt 45 24% P Rail  
7.0fDirt 20 20% E/P Ins/Mid  
1 1/16mDirt 38 24% E/P Rail/Ins  
1 1/8mDirt 13 15% E/P Inside  
Turf Sprint 4 0% P Mid/Out  
Turf Routes 36 8% E/P Middle  
TRACK BIAS WEEK(10/25 - 10/31)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
 
6.0fDirt 7 14% E/P Middle  
7.0fDirt 5 20% E Inside  
1 1/16mDirt 3 33% E Outside  
1 1/8mDirt 3 0% E/P Ins/Mid  
Turf Sprint 1 0% E/P Outside  
Turf Routes 6 0% E/P Outside  
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
 
HOT TRAINERS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'14-' 15
Win%
Asmussen Steven M. 16 6 1 1 7.95 1 19%
McKeever Andrew 6 3 0 0 17.73 0 15%
Richard Chris 9 3 1 0 12.49 1 22%
 
HOT JOCKEYS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'14-' 15
Win%
Geroux Florent 14 4 0 1 15.96 1 18%
 
COLD TRAINERS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'14-' 15
Win%
Moquett Ron 10 0 1 0 13.60 0 14%
 
COLD JOCKEYS Starts Wins Place Show Avg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'14-' 15
Win%
Albarado Robby 12 0 1 0 26.07 0 13%
Lezcano Jose 10 0 2 0 17.53 2 15%

 

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