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2024 Canterbury Park Live Meet Preview

provided by The Oracle

Opening day of the 2024 Canterbury Park live racing meet is Saturday, May 18!  That means it’s time to look back at the 2023 Canterbury Park live meet from a statistical standpoint and use that data to help us better predict the outcomes of the 2024 Canterbury Park races.

Canterbury Park will be offering two Pick 5s each day, both with an industry low 10% takeout.  It pays to play the Pick 5 at Canterbury Park!

Here’s a look at some final statistics for the thoroughbred races run at Canterbury Park in 2023, as we prepare to unlock the 2024 Canterbury Park handicapping puzzle.  Good luck in 2024!

The Favorite

The public correctly selected the winner 47% of the time in all thoroughbred races run at Canterbury Park last year.  That was 9-percentage points above the national average for winning favorites at all racetracks in North America in 2023, and 6-percentage points higher than the Canterbury Park win percentage for favorites in 2022.  Thoroughbred races on dirt had a favorite win rate of 50%, while the turf races had a favorite win rate of 43%.  This holds true nearly every year; the turf races have a lower percentage of winning favorites than the dirt races.  Other categories of winning favorites were as follows:  Sprints (52%), Routes (42%), Allowance/Stake (41%), Claiming (48%), Maiden Special Weight (52%), Maiden Claiming (61%), 2-year-olds (48%).  How would this information be useful?  Considering these trends tend to repeat themselves every year, you can get a sense on the race types where the favorite might be vulnerable or more solid.  For example, maiden claiming races have consistently offered the highest percentage of winning favorites at Canterbury Park over the past decade at least.  These are races where simply singling the favorite in horizontal wagers, at least last year, would have advanced you correctly to the next leg of the sequence 23 of 38 times.

The Odds

Last year, heavy favorites that were bet down to 7/5 odds or lower won 157 races out of 293 attempts.  That’s a 54%-win rate, and it shows that the public was pretty sharp when betting these heavy favorites.  The ROI on win bets for these runners was $0.95 per dollar, whereas the place and show ROI checked in at $0.92 and $0.96, respectively.  These heavy favorites proved last year that they were tough to ignore in both horizontal and vertical wagers.

On the other end of the spectrum, there were only 8 winners at 20-1 odds or higher last year, but nearly 400 runners went to post at those high odds.  Betting them all to win would have resulted in a 47% loss to the bankroll, and betting to place and show wasn’t much better.  Horseplayers who prefer place and show betting would be better served to concentrate on the lower-priced horses to find their plays.

Historically, Canterbury Park has not been a “longshot” paradise, and last year 84% of the thoroughbred races were won by horses at odds below 6-1.  That has proven to be consistent year after year.

The Jockeys

Harry Hernandez won the riding title at Canterbury Park last year as he led all jockeys with 51 wins. Eduardo Gallardo finished second with 44 wins and Lindey Wade was third with 42 wins.

Of the top three riders from last year, only Gallardo is returning to Canterbury Park in 2024.  Hernandez has elected to ride at Lone Star Park this summer, and Lindey Wade is riding at Louisiana Downs. It could be a wide-open scramble for top rider this year. Familiar names that are returning include Constantino Roman, Alonso Quinonez, Luis Valenzuela and Kelsi Harr.

The Trainers

Last year, Joel Berndt won the training title with 52 wins, finishing well ahead of Mac Robertson who was second with 29 wins.  These two have been going back and forth the past several years, but 2024 could be a different story as Berndt has lost one of his big clients following the untimely death of Robert Lothenbach last November.  Lothenbach Stables had 48 victories at Canterbury Park last summer, dominating the owner standings, and had been leading owner at Canterbury Park multiple times over the years.

Mac Robertson has been a dominant presence in the trainer standings at Canterbury Park for the past twenty years.  He has some pretty consistent results over time, typically doing very well in the higher-level Allowance and Stakes races, especially for Minnesota breds.  He often excels with his two-year-old runners and he is equally sharp on both the dirt and the turf.  Unfortunately, from a wagering perspective, his runners offer very little value on the tote board.  His ROI in 2023 in most categories was hovering around 60 cents on the dollar.

Following trainers a bit lower in the standings is where the money may be found.  Last year, David Van Winkle showed a positive ROI of $1.24 while finishing tenth in the standings with 13 wins.

Best of luck playing the 2024 live racing meet at Canterbury Park!