Finding Overlays By Eliminating Underlays - Posted on November 21, 2017

There are basically three ways to make money at the racetrack — two, if you’re averse to wearing a ski mask and passing threatening notes to the mutual clerks. The first is by identifying and betting overlays and the second is by spotting and shunning underlays, or “false” favorites. Now, while both of these related strategies may sound as easy and breezy as a beautiful CoverGirl to apply, in reality, they require keen insight and, above all, patience to succeed. The truth is clear-cut overlays surface about as often as the Cleveland Browns make the NFL playoffs (sorry Browns fans).

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Is the Meadowlands Meet a Sign of Impending Harness Racing Apocalypse? - Posted on November 20, 2017

The Meadowlands had 91 days of racing last year; in 2018, it will have 90. On the surface, that looks about the same, but there have been some changes. Gone, for the most part, are three-day racing weeks, but so too are one-day racing weeks. Like many, I wish The Big M would race more, but given the circumstances, 90 dates is better than zero and the good thing is there’s live racing in 11 of the 12 months. As per custom, the track will be dark from the Sunday after the Hambletonian until October. Some call this the boutique style

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FREE Sunday Handicapping Reports - Posted on November 19, 2017

There is some great racing on Sunday. So, to help handicappers get a handle on all the wagering opportunities this weekend, I’m offering some of the handicapping reports that I use — for free. WIN FACTOR REPORT Uses criteria such as speed, form, class and fitness to assess the fair odds of the top four win contenders in each race. Aqueduct Churchill Downs Del Mar PACE PROFILE REPORT My personal favorite, this report features par speed figures along with my unique speed rations and a bunch of other interesting stuff. Aqueduct Churchill Downs Del Mar WORKOUT REPORT Features a numerical

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A Speed Handicapping Method That Actually Works! - Posted on November 17, 2017

On Jan. 19, 2014, Peyton Manning passed for 400 yards in a 26-16 victory over the New England Patriots that catapulted the Denver Broncos into Super Bowl XLVIII — which they lost in humiliating fashion to the Seattle Seahawks, despite Manning’s 280 yards through the air. Two years later, Denver and New England again played for the AFC Championship, but, this time, Manning clearly showed the effects of his 39.8 years of age and multiple neck surgeries, as he managed just 176 yards passing. But Denver won. And on Feb. 7, 2015, the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers in the

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Three Categories of Contenders - Posted on November 15, 2017

Not so long ago at a local OTB, I couldn’t help but get drawn into a heated discussion between two horseplayers. One gentleman had bought a tip sheet for Churchill Downs, which listed three selections for each race. He was sharing it with another horseplayer and they were trying to figure out the best way to use this information. Neither one was having a winning day. Naturally, I couldn’t help but find myself in the middle of this conversation. Since it was later in the day and more than half of the card had already been run, there was speculation

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Stop Failing! Four Benefits of Doing a Premortem - Posted on November 13, 2017

Previously I have written about how doing a postmortem analysis of your handicapping is a useful tool in refining and improving your approach. Doing an autopsy on your performance is a great way to see what worked and what didn’t work, as well as what you may have overlooked. But is there anything that one could do before the races to help not only one’s handicapping, but also one’s potential wagering strategy? A study conducted in 1989 by Deborah J. Mitchell, Jay Russo and Nancy Pennington concluded that by envisioning that an event has already occurred, increased the ability to

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How to Find the Kentucky Derby Winner - Posted on November 10, 2017

Over the last eighteen years, colts that have been victorious in the Kentucky Derby have followed a fairly specific training pattern. The majority of Derby winners from 2000-2017 won their maiden between September and October. There are five exceptions. California Chrome and Nyquist were precocious youngsters, winning in April and May, respectively; Fusaichi Pegasus, Monarchos and Always Dreaming didn’t win their maiden race until January of their three-year-old season, although they did start as two-year-olds. A dozen Kentucky Derby winners competed in a stakes race as a two-year-old, eight in graded stakes. Five won a graded stakes as a juvenile.

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The Death Of Aqueduct’s Inner Track - Posted on November 10, 2017

New York Winter Racing Moves to Aqueduct’s New Main Track The Aqueduct inner track, the host of New York winter racing since 1975, is no more.  The era of the inner track is officially over. For horseplayers who never liked the inner track, this significant change in New York racing comes as welcome news. For others who came to know and love handicapping the inner track down through the years, however, this winter’s Aqueduct meet will be a sad time, as well as a time of handicapping transition. All dirt racing at Aqueduct, starting this season from November through April,

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The Folly of Trend Handicapping - Posted on November 7, 2017

When Swale romped home in the 1984 Kentucky Derby and I collected a nice Exacta coupling the winner with Coax Me Chad, I had Ed Fountaine and American Turf Monthly to thank for it. Mr. Fountaine, you see, had published a selection method in the May edition of ATM that awarded points based on traits exhibited by previous winners of America’s premier race for sophomores and I along with other readers had reaped the benefits of his research. To my teenaged mind, the process made sense. After all, what could be more meaningful than using historical trends as a basis

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Gun Runner Wins Breeders’ Cup Classic in Decisive Fashion - Posted on November 4, 2017

For much of the year, the Horse of the Year debate was no debate at all. It was Arrogate and everybody else. After a scintillating performance in the Dubai World Cup, Bob Baffert’s stable star was the horse that every other horse wanted to be when it grew up. He was American Pharoah; he was Cigar; he was Secretariat. Meanwhile, Gun Runner, a colt Arrogate easily dispatched in the desert, did his best impression of Al Davis, the late owner of the Oakland Raiders: he just won, baby. After a second-place showing in Dubai, the son of Candy Ride reeled

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