Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tampa Bay Downs – Handicapping Info You Can Use

Tampa Bay Downs ranked 2nd overall in our 2012 HANA Track Ratings - kicked off their 2012-2013 meet yesterday. I spent some time this morning creating a text file that contains a look at data trends from the previous (2011-2012) meet.

Here’s a link to the file:

The file is broken up into three sections: Dirt Stats, Turf Stats and Combined Stats.

In this write up I am going to talk about trends in the dirt stats only. (For those of you interested in looking at similar trends in the turf and combined stats, the link to the text file appears above.)

About the Dirt Stats
I used my own database to pull up data for every starter that ran on the dirt at TAM during their previous (2011-2012) meet. I further broke out that meet data out into the following separate categories: By Gate Draw/Position from the rail out in the starting gate, by Speed Points, by Rider, by Trainer, and for those of you interested in getting a handle on shippers, by Ship From Track.

I have been told by a handful of horsemen that the Tampa Dirt Surface is one of the deeper track surfaces in North America. The data seems to bear this out.

Gate Draw
Horses that drew the rail last meet on the TAM dirt didn’t fare too well (statistically.) However, last meet at TAM it was the middle dirt posts (specifically the 4 hole) where horses outran their odds – as well as horses that drew the far outside (specifically posts 10 and higher.)

Speed Points
The Speed Point Numbers stored in my database are generated by an algorithm I wrote myself. If you were to study them closely you would likely find them to be a close approximation (but not an exact replication) of speed point numbers provided by data providers such as Brisnet or Track Master. That said, the data break-out using my own speed point numbers does suggest that the TAM dirt surface is a little deeper (and a little more tiring) than dirt surfaces of North American thoroughbred tracks in general. Horses with need the lead tendencies (specifically those with 8 speed points) fared horribly at last year’s TAM meet (barely returning $0.50 for each $1.00 bet in the win pool.) However, horses with tactical speed (specifically those with 3 or 4 speed points) fared much better and returned flat bet profits in the win pool.

I sorted the dirt sample by number of rider wins. Ronnie Allen Jr. led all riders on the TAM dirt course last meet with 60 wins from 385 starts. However, Allen’s ability to get his mounts to the outside and make a run from just off the pace wasn’t lost on the betting public. (Allen’s dirt mounts returned just $0.55 for each $1.00 bet in the win pool.) Fortunately, the Tampa Bay Downs riding colony did have its share of overlooked riders on the dirt last meet. Angel Serpa, Daniel Coa, Erik Barbaran, Willie Martinez, Jesse Garcia, Pedro Cotto, Jr., and Wilmer Galviz all made frequent trips to the winners circle - and flat bet profits were there to be had by bettors savvy enough to recognize their abilities.

Next I sorted the dirt sample by number of trainer wins. Jamie Ness was the dominant trainer on the dirt, with 68 wins from 114 horses saddled. Amazingly, a win bet on each of his starters would have netted a flat bet profit. However, Ness wasn’t the only overlooked trainer on the dirt last year at TAM. The dirt starters of Jorge Navarro, Jane Cibelli, Bernell Rhone, Dennis Ward, Mark Passley, Lloyd Lockheart, Chad Stewart, Anthony Pecoraro, Thomas Proctor, Leigh Delacour, Angel Hyland, Brenda McCarthy (and a few others) all made frequent trips to the winners circle –at good prices too.

Ship From Track
Finally, I broke the dirt sample out by ship from track. Shippers from APX, BEL, CDX, DEL, HAW, MNR, PID, TDN, TPX, and WOX underperformed (vs. their post time odds) on the TAM dirt course. However, horses shipping in from BEU, CRC, GPX, LRL, MTH, PHA, RPX, and SUF consistently outran their odds – and flat bet profits were available to bettors savvy (or lucky) enough to have spotted the trend early on.

I’ll go out on a limb and make an educated guess. If you have read this far you are probably a horseplayer. At the risk of stating the obvious: There is no guarantee that trends from the previous meet will carry over to the current meet. However, as a horseplayer myself, I find it helpful to look at previous meet trends whenever I am faced with a new meet.

As the new meet unfolds, I’ll come back and post updates using current meet stats.

Jeff Platt
President, HANA

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was an excellent article. Thank you for the insight