Hey now, you’re an All-Star – Smash Mouth
We have reached the halfway point of the 2015 Canterbury Park live racing season. With two months of live racing still ahead of us, here is a look inside-the-numbers at what has transpired on the race track so far in 2015. The following statistics are for the thoroughbred races only.
Favorites are winning 39% of the thoroughbred races at Canterbury Park so far in 2015, slightly above last year’s 36% total for winning favorites. The Allowance and Stakes race category has been the most formful, yielding 30 winning favorites from 69 races (43%). Conversely, 38 winners have paid 8-1 or higher (14% of the races), including 8 super-bombs that returned over 20-1 odds to their backers. Turf runner Congregation set the all-time Canterbury Park record for win payoffs when she paid $161.00 (79-1) on July 2 with Jenna Joubert aboard for trainer Vic Hanson. This massive upset occurred nearly one year to the day after the previous record of $153.00 was set by Burning Fuhry on July 5, 2014. That race was also on the turf.
Historically, turf racing at Canterbury Park has yielded a lower percentage of winning favorites than races on the main track. That has not been the case so far this year. The favorite has won 28 of 70 turf races (40%), but I expect that number to decline in the second half of the season.
Looking at the top ten jockeys in the standings so far, the All-Star performer for best return-on-investment (ROI) was Eddie Martin Jr. Eddie is currently 9th in the standings with 11 wins from 80 mounts, and he brought home 43-1 longshot Aaron’s Belt in the Princess Elaine Stakes to help post an impressive $1.12 ROI for all of his Canterbury mounts this year. Martin has been winning most of his races in the latter part of the race card, so keep an eye on his runners when you play the late Pick 4! All-Star props to Eddie Martin Jr.!
Leandro Goncalves also turned in a strong performance in the first half as he is currently second in the jockey standings with 35 wins, and also generated a flat-bet profit of $1.06 for every dollar wagered. This is his first year riding at Canterbury so he may be flying under the radar a bit when he rides for some of the smaller stables. That’s the situation where I would look to play him the most. He was the main rider for the Tom Amoss barn, and 11 of his 35 wins were on Amoss-trained horses. Unfortunately, that jockey/trainer combination drew a LOT of attention at the windows and Goncalves’ ROI on those 11 wins with Amoss was only $0.50 on the dollar. All 11 of the winners for the Amoss barn were the betting favorite! Goncalves has been exceptional in turf routes at Canterbury so far, winning with 8 of 23 mounts and returning $2.03 for every dollar wagered.
Dean Butler certainly deserves a mention as he leads the jockey standings with 44 wins from 188 mounts thus far. Butler is a very well-known commodity at Canterbury Park with several riding titles under his belt. His horses take serious action at the windows, which makes it tough to profit long term from his winners. Butler was very reliable on favorites in the first half with 22 wins from 47 tries (47%), and he had an excellent ROI of $1.24 with maiden special weight runners, winning with 9 of 28 mounts. Butler also showed a flat bet profit in turf routes (ROI=$1.02), which he has been very strong with over the years.
The top ten trainer list had 3 trainers achieving a positive ROI at the midway mark. Francisco Bravo got the All-Star award with 15 wins from 60 starters, achieving a $1.50 ROI. He had many strengths in the first half this summer, including turf sprints (4/9 ROI=$4.36), turf routes (2/6 ROI=$2.70), maiden special weight races (4/8 ROI=$4.01) and maiden claiming races (3/7 ROI=1.83). Only 3 of his horses were favored and they all won! He was 0/10 with big longshots > 20-1 but he did have a 19-1 winner thrown in there! Great first half for Francisco Bravo!
Joel Berndt also had a terrific first half from an ROI perspective, winning with 11 of 37 starters and returning $1.32 for every dollar wagered. He has excelled in the Allowance and Stakes category, winning with 6 of 13 runners (ROI=$2.19) and in the maiden special weight category where he was 2/5 (ROI=$1.82). Nine of his eleven wins have come in main track sprints!
Last year’s leading trainer, Robertino Diodoro, has picked up where he left off last year. He already has 33 wins at Canterbury this year and has a 14 win lead over Mac Robertson in the standings. I documented last year how difficult it was to make money with Diodoro or Robertson horses, but this year the Diodoro horses are doing much better from a wagering standpoint. Diodoro showed a flat bet profit over the first half of the meet (ROI=$1.03), despite his runners being favored 40% of the time. Impressive! Claiming races are the name of Diodoro’s game as he is winning at a 37% clip and returning $1.27 for every dollar wagered on his claiming horses. Catch him to cash!
That’s a brief look at how the favorites fared and who the top jockeys and trainers were over the first half of the Canterbury Park live meet from an ROI perspective. Follow these profitable trends and see if they carry forward over the remainder of the meet. Continued success at the windows!