Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Worked? What Didn't?

As we continue to dissect the Breeders' Cup results I thought it would be a good idea to look at some of the statistical angles. Maybe we'll even find some useful things to keep in mind for next year.

Last prep in California or Europe: 79-11-7-8
It's simplistic but it would have worked like a dream. About half of the entrants (79 of 156) had their last prep in Europe or California and they accounted for 11 of the 14 wins. A flat bet on each of these horses would have made you $45 (+28% ROI)

Won their last race: 74-9-7-6
This angle was very nearly profitable. It would have returned $132.80 on $148 bet. Clearly horses with recent winning form did the best. This is not always the case in Breeders' Cups.

Europeans who had a layoff no more than 2 starts back: 10-3-2-0
Europeans did great, fresh Europeans did even better. 10 Europeans came to the Breeders' Cup fresh and 5 of them hit the exacta and 7 of them were in the superfecta. It's something to keep in mind for all future years. Favorites like Sixties Icon, Dylan Thomas and Montjeu all lacked recent layoffs.

Favorites: 14-3-3-2
It was not the greatest meet for favorites, they won just 21% of the races and you would have lost money betting on them.

All horses 20-1 or more: 49-1-1-2
For all the supposed uncertainty created by synthetic tracks there was a distinct lack of longshots. There were nearly 50 horses who were 20-1 or more and only 4 of them hit the board. Three of those four were actually in Turf races. Two Step Salsa who was third in the Dirt Mile was the only +20-1 shot to hit the board.

Never raced on synthetics: 21-1-2-3
Raven's Pass, Henrythenavigator, Cocoa Beach, Sky Diva, Music Note and Zaftig were the only horses to hit the board on the main track without the benefit of any synthetic experience. A flat bet on all of them would have returned a loss.

Highest Last Beyer figure: 18-2-1-3
This has never been a great angle and it was more of the same this year. The odd thing about this angle is that for some reason keeps working in the Juvenile Fillies. Stardom Bound is the 5th such winner in the last 7 renewals.

Europeans without synthetic experience: 7-1-1-0
Raven's Pass and Henrythenavigator were the exceptions. This will be something to keep an eye on next year because the craze will be to go all for the Europeans. I think most people will remember the fact that the Europeans won a lot of races and swept the Classic exacta. But aside from the Classic exacta the rest of non-synthetic experienced horses ran poorly. Europe was truly dominant on the Turf.

Last prep not in California or Europe: 77-3-7-6
Ventura, Maram and Forever Together were the only winners from 77 starters. A flat bet on all of these entrants would have lost you -$100.40 (-69% ROI)

North Americas who did not have their last workout at Santa Anita: 63-4-3-4
Zenyatta, Forever Together, Maram and Stardom Bound were the only North American Breeders' Cup winners who did not have their last work at Santa Anita. Zenyatta and Stardom Bound both had their last work at Hollywood. Forever Together's came at Keeneland and Maram's at Belmont. None of the European winners had a timed work stateside.


Anonymous said...


Last prep in California or Europe--sometimes it is the simple things that can make a difference. It is something to look for next year.

Lenny had an interesting stat regarding Pro-Ride and the total number of dirt starts and the winners; excluding ML, for the other 8 winners, there were only 3 dirt starts out of 82 total starts.

Next year I will again be looking at the top jockeys at 5-1 or better, and I will be looking at all the Euros who started with 1st time lasix. Regarding the latter, $2 flat bet on all Euros with 1st lasix= $60-$18 = + $42.

I do think the cat it out of the bag regarding the Euros and SA. The response by domestic trainers might be, they will not send some of the better dirt horses to SA. By the same token, the Euros may feel it is easy picking for them at SA and send an even better group next year. If so, it will be then turn into trying to find out who the best Euro is in 2009 while waiting for the BC to leave SA in 2010.

It ought to be interesting.

chicago gerry

Anonymous said...

Correction to previous post:
A $2 flat bet on all Euro 1st lasix horses returned $55.80 rather than $60. $55.80- $18.00=+37.80.

chicago gerry