By The Oracle

The 2019 live racing season is upon us!  Every year brings a unique excitement for the season to come, as horses arrive from all parts of the country.  The ever-challenging handicapping puzzle brings these horses together, and it’s up to us to predict what will happen once the gates open.

Here’s a look at some final statistics for the thoroughbred races run at Canterbury Park in 2018, as we prepare to unlock the 2019 Canterbury Park handicapping puzzle.  Good luck in 2019!

The Favorite

The public correctly selected the winner 36% of the time in all thoroughbred races run at Canterbury Park last year.  That is 1-percentage point below the national average for winning favorites at all racetracks in North America in 2018, and is consistent with how favorites fared at Canterbury Park in 2017.  The most formful races last year were the races for 2-year-olds, which produced winning favorites 47% of the time (15/32).  Conversely, the claiming races proved to be elusive to the betting public last year, as only 32% of the favorites prevailed.

The Odds

Last year, heavy favorites that were bet down to 7/5 odds or lower won 141 races out of 314 attempts.  That’s a 45% win rate, but it also shows that these “locks” lost more often than they won.

On the other end of the spectrum, there were 14 winners at 20-1 odds or higher last year, but nearly 1,000 runners went to post at those high odds.  Historically, Canterbury Park has not been a “longshot” paradise, and last year 78% of the thoroughbred races were won by horses at odds below 6-1.

The Jockeys

Ry Eikleberry and Orlando Mojica battled it out for the riding title last year, with Eikleberry prevailing 87 to 79.

Despite the win total, Eikleberry was not a profitable jockey to wager blindly on last year, as his mounts only returned $0.70 on the dollar.  He was solid with favorites though, (42% winners) and he showed a flat bet profit in dirt routes with a 27% win rate and an ROI of $1.05 for every dollar wagered.

Orlando Mojica had a slightly better ROI of $0.78 with his mounts.  His most profitable category was in turf sprints (<1 mile) where he won 25% of the time with a positive ROI of $1.26 for every dollar wagered.

Neither Eikleberry nor Mojica were known as longshot riders last year.  Combined, they were 5 for 190 with an ROI hovering around $0.30 on the dollar.

The Trainers

McLean Robertson and Robertino Diodoro tied for the top trainer honors last year with 57 wins.  Both trainers have their strengths which tend to carry over from year to year.

Mac Robertson won with 24% of his starters last year, including 38% of the time his horses were favored.  Robertson showed a flat bet profit in turf routes, and easily beat the takeout in State-bred races and maiden special weight races.  Historically, Robertson has not been one to win with longshots at Canterbury Park, as he was only 4% with horses off at 8-1 and higher last year and those plays returned only $0.34 for every dollar wagered.  Robertson is also campaigning Amy’s Challenge, who was voted the Canterbury Park Horse of the Meet in 2017, and is currently one of the fastest female sprinters in the country.  Expect another strong performance by Robertson in 2019, as he looms the favorite to repeat as leading trainer once again.

Robertino Diodoro won with 23% of his starters last year, but only won with 28% of his horses that went to post as the favorite.  Diodoro’s main game is claiming races and that is where he is the most dangerous.  He won with 29% of his claimers and maiden claimers last year, showing a flat bet profit in both categories.  Diodoro’s highest price winner last year was 9-1, so he is another trainer not prone to connect with longshots.  Expect him to be near the top of the trainer standings throughout the season.

Good luck playing the 2019 live racing meet at Canterbury Park!

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