Today's 2 review races concern a pace scenario that presents itself many times over each and
every week at most if not all racetracks in North America.
While as in any spot play scenario the hit rate will not approach 50%, as long as we demand
the presence of at least some value, since the perceived edge is already built
in, we will be able to maintain a positive R.O.I, and a pretty decent one at that.
In my opinion, this scenario is one of the easiest to recognize and also as I say, one that
will payoff a good portion of the time, while delivering prices that can keep us in the black.
By doing so you will be able to make good sense of the terms I use in today's review races,
both of which were run on Saturday February 19, 2005.
The 3rd at Turfway Park on 2/19/05 was reduced to a field of 6 with the late scratches of
#6 Artemus Eagle and #8 Crafty Dan.
It was a $15K/$10K claimer for three-year-olds & upward that had never won 2 races set to go
a mile around 2 turns.
Here was the pace coverage and last-out internal fraction summary as displayed right up front
in the C.H. Data Report:
a quickness point spread of 8 or more
The PSA entries in this race immediately became the focus of attention, and they were:
#5 Asp - had just finished 2nd at the claiming $7.5K/NW2L level in a good try from the
far outside 11-hole on this track 30 days earlier.
His prior was a good 2nd also at the same lower level when going 8 1/2F at Turfway Park,
and as the top-ranked PSA entry with a 5 quickness point advantage over the others (meaning
he was thought to have the best chance to be positioned in the lead at the pace call in this
match up that favored early speed horses), he was a top 2 contender.
#3 Crimson Ide - showed signs of returning to good form in his last at this level on this
track when finishing 4th, beaten only 3 1/2 lengths while making a nice gain during the
final 220 yards (final furlong).
#7 Devine Dancer - was stepping up off a maiden-breaking score on this track at this trip,
and as 3rd listed in the PSA could have been thought to have an on the board shot, but
would be best considered for use "underneath" in exotics wagering.
#4 Joseph Anthony - put in a clunker of an effort in his last when moved up from $7.5K/NW2L
to this level.
He did make a couple of gains in that outing, but being 21 lengths back in 9th and 18 back
in 9th at the 4F and 6F calls, he didn't look too enticing in this spot.
The contender selection process was pretty straightforward in this particular strong edge
The first 3 entries in the PSA with running styles of E, EP, and EP were the most logical,
and were qualified in past performance listings.
The win wager could have been placed on either #5 Asp at 3-1 or on #3 Crimson Ide at 6-1.
Dutching win bets on both was less risky than choosing between the two, and with probable
payoffs in the range of $8.00 and $14.00, if successful would have been the same as
connecting on either an even money shot or a 5-2 shot respectively.
When considering dutching, one should also be aware of what the lowest payoff represents
in terms of return for a $4 wager.
Exotics wagering could have gone something like this:
Ex.: box 3-5, p/w 3-5/3-5-7
Tri.: p/w 3-5/3-5-7/3-5-7 at a $2 wager cost of $8.00.
The payoffs were:
5-3 Exacta $48.20
5-3-7 Trifecta $168.80
We couldn't have written a better ending for the envisioned script as Asp, Crimson Ide
and Divine Dancer were 1-2-3 the entire mile, with Asp taking over from Crimson Ide at
the pace call to beat that rival by 3/4 of a length, Divine Dancer 3 3/4 back in
3rd, holding the trifecta safe by a length and a half.
You can view and/or print the p.p.'s for Race 8 at Fair Grounds on 2/19/05 by clicking
And the results chart is here.
This review race is a perfect example of how a horse that is indicated by C.H. data to have a
good chance due to a perceived advantage can, and on a number of occasions will, outperform
other logical contenders with superior speed figures.
I believe speed figures to be the most focused on handicapping factor of them all, likely because of
the simplicity of trusting a set of numbers for each entry rather than spending the amount of
time required for a comprehensive review, which of course is lessened significantly by our
pre-calculated C.H. data.
And I also think that the horses with the best chance to overcome a sizeable speed figure
deficit are those we estimate will get to the front, at least by the pace call as per our pace
shape analysis (PSA).
It was a group of 6 fillies, 4-years-old & upward going a mile and 40 yards at the NW1X
The pace shape was Ad Early with a running style recap of 3E 1EP 2P (6), a PSA of  +3 >
 +10 >  +8 >  and a quickness point spread of 21.
Because this match up fit one of our strong edge scenarios (psa/max4/largespread), it was
included in the A2A Supercard for this Saturday afternoon.
The PSA horses in this race, as in our first review race, had a stronger than usual
perceived pace advantage.
So a review of those 4 fillies was in order:
#5 Secret Crush – tops in the PSA by 3 quickness points she consistently displayed good early
foot, including in her last in the mud at Turfway Park when finishing 5th, that try preceded
by a wire to wire score at Churchill Downs.
The point here is that from among the 4 fillies in the PSA, she being top-listed at odds
hovering around 7 or 8 to 1 was the logical win bet.
This, despite the fact that her last 3 Beyer speed figures of 44, 60 and a last-out 55
were dwarfed by the other 2 contenders, with respective figs of 85 in her only start,
and 76, 55, 82.
#2 Pioneer Gal – showed some quality by winning at first asking, although it was at 6F vs.
$25K maiden claimers, and she was now asked to try a 2-turn route in her initial attempt against
winners; contender, but not for the win wager at 6-5 odds.
#4 Sad Cafe – also graduated in her last, that being her 6th career outing, all at the maiden
special weight level; top 2 contender.
As indicated in the PSA there was a huge gap of 21 quickness points from the top 3
back to #1 Red Hot Affair.
She had shown early speed throughout her 17 race career, but was coming off a speed/fade try
on grass, and because of the 21 quickness point deficit could not be expected to have as good
a chance as the top 3.
Since, however, she was on that short list of fillies with the clear pace advantage, she
could have been used for the show slot in trifecta wagering.
Our top 3 contenders were #’s 5, 2, and 4 with final odds of 8-1, 6-5 and 9-5.
The obvious win bet from that group was top-ranked PSA filly #5 Secret Crush.
Among logical exotics wagers were:
Ex.: p/w 5/2-4, p/w 2-4/5 (the 2-4, 4-2 exacta probables were too small to play)
Tri.: p/w 5/2-4/1-2-4, p/w 2-4/5/1-2-4, the $2 wager cost for each being $8
The payoffs were:
5-4 Exacta $68.00
5-4-2 Trifecta $197.60
Secret Crush, the key to value in this match up, did wind up outperforming her opposition
with superior speed figures (they getting place and show) by taking over at the pace
call and widening out to a 3 1/2 length victory.
Sad Cafe came on to complete the exacta by 3/4 of a length over Pioneer Gal, who got the
show by the same margin over the final PSA filly Red Hot Affair.
There is indeed money to be made by taking advantage of a pace shape significantly tilted
in favor of qualified early speed-type runners.