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History Repeats Itself (5/5/2008)

The handicappers at Canterbury Park got off to an impressive start on opening weekend as the post time favorite won 9 of the 18 races. Most of the races were won from on or just off the pace, which is right in line with the Canterbury historical track profile. Speed dominates in sprints at this racetrack!
In addition to the track playing similarly to other years, certain horses also repeated their historical pattern in results that can be instructive. Here are two examples from the first two days of racing:
1) On Saturday, Jane’s Gold scored at 25-1 in her third career start and first start since last August. She repeated her pattern of scoring at huge odds first time out as she dusted off a maiden field last year in her career debut at 33-1. Interestingly enough, in both races Minnesota Mafia was the heavy race favorite.2) On Sunday, a horse named Bertando’s Victory was defeated at 3 to 5 odds after setting a pretty soft pace to the half-mile. Even though heavy favorites lose all the time, it’s noteworthy that this particular horse lost several times last year at Canterbury as the post-time favorite. I wrote about this phenomenon last year, how the public just loves to bet this horse and the public came right back to bet Bertando’s Victory on Sunday. He looked like lone speed on paper and the way the track is playing it seemed like a logical play. Horses like this create a lot of good value on the other race entrants and you see them every day at the track.
One final note, a horse named Innisbrook ran in the same race Sunday that Bertando’s Victory was in. He broke behind the field and made up some very good ground to finish a game second. It was rare to see a horse close like that this weekend. He looks like he will be extremely tough to beat next time out with a clean break.
Derby Notes: Two thumbs up to Big Brown, who overcame several historical trends to win the Kentucky Derby in stylish fashion on Saturday. Big Brown is clearly the best of his generation at this time. Two thumbs down to Churchill Downs for failing to show the probable Oaks-Derby Daily Double payoffs before or the will pays after the Kentucky Oaks. I searched the internet for an hour looking for the payoffs before Hollywood Park finally posted them on their simulcast feed. Churchill posts the over/under payoffs with a $500 pool every five minutes but won’t show the probables for the Oaks/Derby Double? Hello McFly?
The Oracle