Happy and enthusiastic handicappers get up in the morning, grab their racing form and set about to do their best to figure the races for the day. Summer vacationers who have come to Saratoga to experience world class thoroughbred racing and see these magnificent animals up close look forward to a day of excitement, fun and the prospect of winning.
Then the weather changes with rain showers and it’s not a bad weather day, but a day in which many of the races to be run were scheduled for the inner turf course are, out of necessity for fear of horses getting hurt on wet, soft turf, changed to the dirt. And because of this, scratches by trainers who know their horse is not ready to run on the dirt. This happened Thursday at Saratoga but happens all the time at tracks all over America.
Now, what is the racing fan who spent hours preparing to annihilate the races going to do? In most cases nothing but hope that their hunches pan out. All of the work that they spent so much time on has gone by the board. Not the case for the users of iHandicapRaces with PacePals.
All you have to do when there has been a change in track conditions forcing a number of scratches is tap the box for the new surface to get really accurate figures for every category you are interested in… best, worst, last, last three average, dirt, turf or both. And of course, once you know the scratches, if there are any, you would simply tap on the horse’s PacePal figure and you will see a box that allows you to scratch that horse.
The power of iHandicapRaces with PacePals is phenomenal in its simplicity of use and its accuracy in ranking contenders. Imagine trying to do this on the fly with a racing form or track program. Let’s look at how this transpired on Thursday at Saratoga.
In the first race, no change yet due to weather, though #11 was a scratch. As you can see below, with no handicapping, our third choice #8, Swansea Mile, won this A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Grade I Stakes Race and paid $59. Not a bad way to start the day.
Depending on our temperament as a bettor, If we chose to use our HD Calculator, it looked like this below. No matter which horse won of our top three contenders, we would have seen an ROI of over 300%.
All we had to do was put in the odds for our choices a couple of minutes before the race and the placing of our win bets.
Or we can take advantage of the longest odds of our contenders, in this case, our winner. All we need to do is tap the value + box to increase our amount of money on #8 to give us the maximum return without changing our base bet. All our choices change automatically with the increase on #8 and now we know the mathematically correct amount to bet on all three as can be seen below.
Or we could make a different type of bet and place our combinations for the PICK 3 that I will show you we chose from our contender list, not going more than 3 deep in consideration of our bankroll.
With no changes because it was scheduled for the dirt in Race 2 below… #1, Tarquinia, went wire to wire and won by 13 lengths paying $11.20.
iHandicapRaces with PacePals has obviously pointed out quite easily the dominant horse in this matchup. We can single this for a $112 payout or with confidence and safety use the HD Calculator in the manner below our speed chart.
As you can see, by dutching the three contenders and hedging the favorite, it doesn’t get us our minimum 40% return if that is what you will accept as your minimum return. Look at the next chart below.
If we eliminate from the bottom up in our contender order, we have a successful dutch no matter which horse won. But we can do better. Check the next chart.
By hedging the favorite because the payout would be so low, we have a solid 257% ROI on Tarquinia and no loss if the favorite somehow was able to win. But 13 lengths is a rather dominant win. Minimize your losses and increase your ROI. Our PICK 3 bets are coming.
Race 3, the last leg of our first PICK 3, is off the turf with the rain and six scratches because of that. How does the average recreational handicapper deal with those changes? They don’t. It simply is not a problem for us. Make the scratches and see what iHandicapRaces with PacePals does for us. The decision to take everything off the turf, except Race 1 because it was a hurdle race, was made before the first race of the day. All the scratches were known in time for us to shape our PICK 3 bets. Not so much for everyone else. It would nearly be impossible to try to re-handicap the races using traditional methods.
Our top pick, #3, Jonquil won and paid $13.20. Scratches made, surface changed. Tap a box and it is done for you. Get a clearer picture. Let’s look at how our PICK 3 was constructed next.
Our Wager Calculator helps us see what our combinations would be and what it costs without error. Many handicappers, professional and casual alike, believe it is a waste of money to box PICK 3 bets. Because Races 2 and 3 had dominant horses, we could have keyed on them and our PICK 3 would have cost us $6. If that is a handicapper’s BANKROLL and COMFORT zone, then that is how you SHOULD bet. Never step outside bankroll or comfort. You will start to make bad decisions if you do. But without iHandicapRaces with PacePals would you have seen that race 2 and 3 had dominant horses? And more importantly, would you have included a horse going off at odds of just under 29/1 in your first leg. Let the artificial intelligence of iHandicapRaces with PacePals do all the heavy lifting for you without error.
Because of that first leg with a $59 horse winning (missed by the crowd but not iHandicapRaces with PacePals), coupled with a 9/2 winner and a 6/1 winner on top in the second and third legs, the first PICK 3 paid us $1967. I know. WOW…
In Race 4 below, no surface change needed and just one vet scratch. #8, At Guard, our third pick won and paid $8.90. In our rolling PICK 3, the fourth leg hit with #8 and paid $197.
Race 5 below is a NO BET with 10 first-time starters to begin with, so we knew we would have to stop our PICK 3 betting here for now. Good for us because, after scratches, there were still 6 first-time starters in the race and #12, Sly Roxy, a first-time starter won as the favorite based on one factor…jockey and trainer connections. Not enough for us. Jockey and trainer impact values alone are negative. They simply don’t win their fair share of races though the crowd bets them like crazy.
Race 6 below… after being taken off the turf and all the scratches, #11, Rprettyboyfloyd, our top pick, won and paid $10.60. We win the first leg of our newly begun PICK 3.
Race 7 below… with no change and only one vet scratch again, our top pick, #2, Tom’s d’Etat, won as the less than even money favorite at 4/5 and paid $3.70. Good… that this means we are still easily alive for the PICK 3, but probably not good that a low priced favorite won.
Race 8 below… our third pick #5, Ava’s Kitten won and paid $7.90 as the third betting favorite after just one scratch with the surface change (main track only). Our new PICK 3 of races 6, 7, and 8 won for us with a lower, but respectable payout of $104.50. The 4/5 favorite in the middle, coupled with the 3/1 third favorite in this last race hurt the potential of a larger payout, but we will take it.
Race 9 below… our third choice again, #12, Celtic Chaos won and paid $13.40 after three horses were scratched by their trainers because of a now muddy track. We hit the PICK 3 again for $132.50. Still being slightly affected by races 7 and 8 for our PICK 3 payout.
Race 10 below… sadly we lost the last leg of our PICK 3 because our bankroll kept us at three deep, but we can readily see who appears to be best on dirt and in form based on the last race after all the scratches with the race being taken off the turf, #12, Unbridledadventure, who paid $11.40. Had we been playing this as a win bet, it became a NO BET situation on the HD Calculator because Unbridledadventure was the fourth betting favorite at 9/2 and we could not reach our 40% ROI even with hedging. And we did not want to eliminate the best speed and pace horse on the dirt based on its last race.
What do we take away from Thursday at Saratoga… races taken off the turf due to weather or any other possible reason and a multitude of scratches, as a result, is no reason to not play those races. While everyone else is confused, you have all the tools provided by iHandicapRaces with PacePals to adjust quickly and easily. Do we really have to say anything more…