The skies didn’t cooperate over Memorial weekend, as rains forced all the racing action onto the main track. Uncertain track conditions didn’t stop the public from being sharp all four days, as only five winners paid 5-1 or above and 8-1 was the biggest price of the weekend. The $1 Pick 4 payoffs ranged from $42.70 to $1,415.30, and all eight Pick 4 returns paid above the win parlays for the sequence. The overlays ranged from 25% to 269% as the Pick 4 continues to be an excellent bet with this year’s reduced takeout of 14%.
The Track Bias
The Canterbury track has been strongly favoring speed, especially in dirt sprints over a fast track. So far, in 30 fast track sprints run at 5.5 or 6 furlongs, 16 of those races were won in wire to wire fashion. Additionally, 27 of the 30 winners were running in the top 3 at the first call of the race (2 furlong mark). Speed is dominating! Compare those numbers to the national average for wire to wire sprint winners (25%) and it’s easy to see the track bias that has materialized over the first two weeks. It’s worth paying attention to each and every night.
Winners Previous Start
Here are the updated numbers for the major tracks the winning horses shipped from (minimum 10 starts), and how they are doing over the first two weeks:
Prairie Meadows: 12 winners from 56 starters. ROI 0.85
Hawthorne: 10 winners from 31 starters. ROI 1.01
Fonner Park: 5 winners from 40 starters. ROI 0.65
Turf Paradise: 5 winners from 45 starters. ROI 0.42
Canterbury Park: 5 winners from 95 starters. ROI 0.41
Oaklawn Park: 4 winners from 21 starters. ROI 1.27
Tampa Bay Downs: 4 winners from 21 starters. ROI 0.61
Remington Park: 3 winners from 11 starters. ROI 1.34
Horses making their previous starts at Canterbury Park, Tampa Bay Downs, Fonner Park and Turf Paradise are underperforming so far with regard to ROI.
Slow Starting Stats
The cold stats from week one continued in week two. First time starters are now 0 for 17, horses running on first time Lasix are 0 for 20, and horses with Morning Line odds of 10-1 and higher are now 1 for 87 for the 2012 meet.
One final note for this week: There have been 14 maiden races run so far totaling 103 horses. Seventy six horses have had off odds of 7/2 or greater, and they are 0 for 72. All fourteen winners have paid 3-1 or lower. As I mentioned in the 2012 preview, maiden races at Canterbury are a good place to look for singles in the Pick 4 wager.
Good luck next week!
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