Canterbury Inside the Numbers

Dark Star Memorial StartLive racing at Canterbury Park starts Friday, May 17. Optimism is high for the 2013 season with full barns on the backside and a higher purse structure in place. This should be a good formula for larger fields and more competitive racing, which equals better opportunities for large payoffs!

Let’s look back at the 2012 meet from a jockey and trainer perspective, and see if we can identify some history that might repeat itself this year.

2012 Trainer Tendencies

Mac Robertson has led the trainer standings at Canterbury Park for years. Last year he was well clear of the other trainers, posting 53 winners and a 29% win rate. Betting an equal dollar amount on all of his runners would have resulted in a 17% loss, but he did have some categories that showed a flat bet profit.

His best category was with two-year-olds, where he won with 6 of 9 starters for an 86% return on investment (ROI). Dirt routes were also strong, where he won with 6 of 13 starters for a 72% ROI. He also had success in the maiden special weight category, winning with 11 of 19 starters for a 47% ROI.

Michael Biehler saddled 34 winners at Canterbury last year from 140 starters (24%). He had a particularly impressive season in that a wager on every one of his starters generated a 4% profit. It was the Biehler Mutual Fund last year! He showed solid strength at most class levels, except the maiden special weight level where he was only able to find the winner’s circle once from eighteen tries and that was with a $4.40 winner.

Bernell Rhone also saddled 34 winners last year, but his win percentage was only 14% which was down from previous years. Wagering an equal amount on all of his starters would have resulted in a 49% loss. Ouch! Rhone was formidable when he saddled the favorite last year as he had a 49% win rate with the chalk, resulting in a 24% ROI. But his longshots were dismal, only 1 winner from 100 starters that went to post at 8-1 or above.

You can expect these three trainers to be at or near the top of the trainer standings again in 2013 even as they take on the influx of new trainers. Perhaps their winning patterns will repeat themselves as well.

2012 Jockey Tendencies

Last year, the 3 leading riders were Tanner Riggs, Dean Butler and Derek Bell. Indications are that Tanner Riggs will not be riding at Canterbury in 2013 and he rode 72 winners last year. That’s a big void to fill and plenty of opportunity for other riders to increase their win totals.

Dean Butler rode 64 winners last year and is the main rider for the Rhone barn. His overall win percentage was 20% but he was very strong when he rode the favorite, winning 51% of the time with an ROI of 21%.

Derek Bell rode 37 winners last year, and 21 were for Mac Robertson. He was very good with maiden special weight horses, winning 11 of 17 races at that class level with an ROI of 99%.

Honorable mention goes to Alex Canchari, who rode here last August and rode 11 winners in total, but 2 that paid over $50.

Good luck in 2013 it promises to be a great season!

This blog was written by Canterbury Regular “The Oracle”. The Oracle is a longtime Minnesota race fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years. He writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography

Canterbury Inside the Numbers

Dark Star Memorial StartLive racing at Canterbury Park starts Friday, May 17. Optimism is high for the 2013 season with full barns on the backside and a higher purse structure in place. This should be a good formula for larger fields and more competitive racing, which equals better opportunities for large payoffs!

Let’s look back at the 2012 meet from a jockey and trainer perspective, and see if we can identify some history that might repeat itself this year.

2012 Trainer Tendencies

Mac Robertson has led the trainer standings at Canterbury Park for years. Last year he was well clear of the other trainers, posting 53 winners and a 29% win rate. Betting an equal dollar amount on all of his runners would have resulted in a 17% loss, but he did have some categories that showed a flat bet profit.

His best category was with two-year-olds, where he won with 6 of 9 starters for an 86% return on investment (ROI). Dirt routes were also strong, where he won with 6 of 13 starters for a 72% ROI. He also had success in the maiden special weight category, winning with 11 of 19 starters for a 47% ROI.

Michael Biehler saddled 34 winners at Canterbury last year from 140 starters (24%). He had a particularly impressive season in that a wager on every one of his starters generated a 4% profit. It was the Biehler Mutual Fund last year! He showed solid strength at most class levels, except the maiden special weight level where he was only able to find the winner’s circle once from eighteen tries and that was with a $4.40 winner.

Bernell Rhone also saddled 34 winners last year, but his win percentage was only 14% which was down from previous years. Wagering an equal amount on all of his starters would have resulted in a 49% loss. Ouch! Rhone was formidable when he saddled the favorite last year as he had a 49% win rate with the chalk, resulting in a 24% ROI. But his longshots were dismal, only 1 winner from 100 starters that went to post at 8-1 or above.

You can expect these three trainers to be at or near the top of the trainer standings again in 2013 even as they take on the influx of new trainers. Perhaps their winning patterns will repeat themselves as well.

2012 Jockey Tendencies

Last year, the 3 leading riders were Tanner Riggs, Dean Butler and Derek Bell. Indications are that Tanner Riggs will not be riding at Canterbury in 2013 and he rode 72 winners last year. That’s a big void to fill and plenty of opportunity for other riders to increase their win totals.

Dean Butler rode 64 winners last year and is the main rider for the Rhone barn. His overall win percentage was 20% but he was very strong when he rode the favorite, winning 51% of the time with an ROI of 21%.

Derek Bell rode 37 winners last year, and 21 were for Mac Robertson. He was very good with maiden special weight horses, winning 11 of 17 races at that class level with an ROI of 99%.

Honorable mention goes to Alex Canchari, who rode here last August and rode 11 winners in total, but 2 that paid over $50.

Good luck in 2013 it promises to be a great season!

This blog was written by Canterbury Regular “The Oracle”. The Oracle is a longtime Minnesota race fan that has handicapped Canterbury’s races religiously for more than 20 years. He writes about handicapping and statistical trends in Canterbury’s races.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography

Minnesota Racing on the Rise

2012 MTA Yearling SaleIn a sign of the rapidly improving health of the Minnesota breeding and racing industry, the MTA announced this past week that the number of registered broodmares jumped 77% from 2012 to 2013 according to numbers compiled by the Minnesota Racing Commission. All broodmares that will be foaling in Minnesota are required to be registered by March 15 of the year they will foal.

“These numbers are tremendous,” said MTA President Jay Dailey. “The cooperative marketing agreement between the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Canterbury Park is really paying dividends throughout the Thoroughbred industry in Minnesota. This increase is a direct result of breeders recognizing that there is money to be made here. I know our membership has been very active in purchasing in-foal broodmares as well as broodmare prospects in anticipation of the excellent purses for future foals to be running for at Canterbury Park. I anticipate these numbers will continue to rise over the next few years as well.”

“The effect that the agreement between the SMSC and the racetrack can simply not be overstated,” Dailey said. “With trainers and owners clamoring for the available space, several six figure stakes and the foal crops on the rise, Minnesota is moving to become a significant player in the racing industry once again.”

Live Racing Stall Applications Set Record

The deadline for stall applications for Canterbury Park’s 2013 live racing season came and went this past Monday and more than 2,400 horses have applied for approximately 1,500 stalls. Management also announced this past week that Canterbury’s backside will open on April 15, a week earlier than originally planned, due to the increase in demand for stalls.

Road to Kentucky Heads to Turfway Park

Canterbury’s free-to-enter $30,000 Road to Kentucky handicapping contest continues Saturday at Turfway Park with the Spiral Stakes serving as the bonus race. First post is 12:10 p.m.

Last week, Ron White took down the top prize – the second time he has won a week this spring following a victory on the very first week of the 2013 Road to Kentucky. He currently stands in third place overall behind Jessica Rau and Ray Hassan.

Here’s a quick look at the Spiral Stakes:

Uncaptured is the slight 3-1 morning line favorite having notched six victories from seven starts including four on Woodbine’s synthetic surface – similar to the surface he’ll face on Saturday. He has two graded stakes victories and, if he makes a predictable jump forward in his 3-year-old bow, should be in the mix. Balance the Books is a stone cold closer often coming from the back of the pack. He may be up against it as there doesn’t appear to be a gluttony of speed signed on for this one. That lack of pace could make Mac the Man – a perfect 3 for 3 over the Turfway Surface – a threat on the front end. Maker, Mott, Lukas and Pletcher will also be represented when a full field of 12 heads to the gate. The prediction here is for some large exotic payoffs as this race is wide open.