Catching the Monster in Tomorrow's Race ...
Like Pulling a Rabbit From a Hat?
Don't You Believe It!
Tips 'n Touts
Caveat emptor ...
Remember, now - this is HORSE RACING !
We're NOT gonna be right EVERY TIME!
And, above all ... keep your sense of humor!
Notes for the 2013 Preakness at Old Hilltop
May 18 , 2013 - The Preakness- 1 3/16 miles at Pimlico. (no rain, please)
"This year's crop of 3-year-olds is not as good as last year. But it could be profitable wagering." This was the opening line for our Kentucky Derby handicap. It's still true for the Preakness.
Saturday's lineup, currently a field of nine, appears as follows...
#1 Orb (1:1)
I've been posting the Triple Crown since 1985 - twenty eight years. It's worth noting that, of these, the winning horse happened to be in the Derby fourteen times. In other words, 50% of the time. And thirteen out of these fourteen were within 12 lenghts of the Derby winner. The big surprise was Louis Quatorze in 1996 (out by 23 lengths in the Derby). So, this rule makes Itsmyluckyday (out by 22 lengths) viable.
WATT Users Note: Of these fourteen, the Preakness winner was among the Preakness Best-4 nine times and among the top four Pole Speed ratings seven times. It's also interesting to note that the Preakness winner won the Derby nine times out of these twenty-eight races (32% of the time). So, Orb is a good candidate to win, based on history, but he can't be called a "shoo-in."
For those who might be curious about the new WATT Online program and how the Preakness is presented, here is a PDF file that you can use to handicap the race. It is greatly inferior to the actual program, but you might find it useful:
Those who use Winning at the Track to handicap Triple Crown races are aware of the importance of "recency." As for the Preakness, it is important for the winner to have a Late Speed rating (that is, for 1 1/8 miles or longer) of at least 450 in the last TWO races. In fact, this has occurred 93% of the time in the last 28 years. Three horses qualify this year: Orb, Govenor Charlie, and My Lute. This year's Preakness field is relatively weak, so by bending this rule a little bit, you might be able to include Goldencents with 443 (and even better if you throw out the Derby in which he tried).
The four FASTEST horses in this race (i.e., capable of running an 85 Pole Speed in a respectable route) are: Orb, Goldencents, Govenor Charlie, and Itsmyluckyday. Of the three Triple Crown races, the Preakness has always been considered the "speed" race.
As in the Derby, the weather could be a factor. There is a chance of rain which usually gives faster horses an advantage.
Assuming the preliminary weather reports are correct, there's a reasonably good chance that the track will not be as sloppy and slippery as it was two weeks ago in Kentucky. If this is wrong, the chance of a repeat victory is greater. After all, Orb has already proven he can handle an off track.
So, based on my respect for Bob Baffert, I'm going to go out on a limb and pick the top four exactly in the same order as the WATT program. That is: (#8) Govenor Charlie to win, (#1) Orb to place, (#9) Itsmyluckyday to show, and either (#5) My Lute or (#2) Goldencents to finish fourth. To be honest, I cannot remember a time when WATT predicted a finish as precise as that , but, so be it.
Also, there is an eerie similarity between this race and the 2006 Preakness when the lightly-raced Bernardini defeated the odds-on Barbaro (if you recall, unfortunately, he broke down).
With this prediction, I'm going against every class handicapping rule. Govenor Charlie is coming out of a Grade 3 race. Who do you bet? The winner of the Sunland Derby or the Kentucky Derby? Don't answer that. There's an old saying, "Speed is Class." We'll see if that's true on Saturday.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens gored my ox today. There is no other way to say it. I didn't see #6 Oxbow. He won paying $32.80, while #9 Itsmyluckyday was second. #5 My Lute finished third. The 6-9 exacta paid $301. The 6-9-5 trifecta paid $2,061. My picks of Govenor Charlie and Orb were still running when I turned my television set off.
Unfortunately, I can offer no excuses. Oxbow, 10 lengths out in the Derby, won the Preakness in the milk-wagon time of 1:57.2 on a very heavy track.
Looking at the entire 13-race card at Pimlico on Saturday, the wagering went surprisingly well. The "key horse" appeared in the Best-3 PM Ratings 11 out of 13 times or almost 85%. There were 5 turf races on the card and they normally do not play well for computers when the surface is not firm.
Jeff Little, Publisher
Last year was fantastic, as all who handicapped the 2012 Derby using Winning at the Track realize. It marked the first time in recent memory that a huge $3,000+ trifecta appeared in the Best-4 selections. Personaly, I'm not aware of any other handicapping program that accomplished that. But, equally amazing, ALL THREE Triple Crown races in 2012 had the trifecta in the Best-4.
To those users who sent letters of joy after cashing their tickets, thank you!
The World's First Web-based Handicapping Program!
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This PDF file explains our newest publications. To order, contact the publisher...
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While waiting for the next big race, racing fans might enjoy this:
It's FREE ...
Two handicapping friends try to make their first big "score" at the track
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This is our first letter regarding the new WATT interactive site and its flexibility:
I'm using my iPad and handicapped Santa Anita. I'm in heaven! And if you were here I'd give you a big kiss! (Publisher's comment - nice, but no thanks). And a couple of pace line changes made all the difference.
Thank you so much.
P.D., California .
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Handicapping Rules to Consider
1. Your Key Horse will be among the three highest PM-Rated horses 85-90% of the time.
2. One of the two Pacesetters will be in the exacta more than 50% of the time.
3. Question any Key Horse that has not run the "Race Minimum" in its last three races.
4. Dominant Key Horse selections are highly reliable in MSW and Maiden Claiming races.
5. Avoid MSW and Maiden Claiming races featuring more than three first-time starters.
Perhaps there should be a rule #6 ... Maintain a positive attitude. Scared money rarely wins at the race track. There are many external factors that could influence the way your day unfolds. One of the best cartoonists of our day, the late Jeff MacNelly, presents one of them here:
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