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Late Bloomers: Picking Long Shots in Race Lens

By Craig Walker - TrackMaster, An Equibase Company

With all of the handicapping power found in Race Lens, one of my favorite things to do is to find “old school” techniques or angles and update them with a new twist. One of my all-time favorite horse racing handicapping authors is Mark Cramer. He has written many books, each containing a wealth of handicapping information, much of which is still relevant today. In his book, Thoroughbred Cycles, one of the “heroes” found as a subset of his Late Bloomers category is the improving, five-year-old gelding.

Usually at Churchill Downs on the day of the Kentucky Derby, my main focus is on the younger horses, but at this time I will focus on two races on the undercard, where the top selection is a match for an angle tied to Cramer’s concept.

The angle I created using this idea is:

FORM: 5YO Gelding, Won Last Race, Last Race Career Best Equibase Speed Figure and >= Today’s Class Rating -3, Kentucky Circuit

Here are the results for the past five years:

On Derby day, the Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes, is where we find the first five-year-old gelding that matches the angle criteria. #11 Motorious (GB) 8/1, fits the bill:

Motorious (GB) won his last race going down the hill at Santa Anita Park, earning a career best Equibase Speed Figure of 113. Many geldings that match this angle have no early success in their careers, or they have a poor or average season as a four-year-old, then start recording their top Equibase Speed Figures as a five-year-old. Motorious (GB) is improving and has a good shot at a nice price on Derby day.

Besides a win bet on #11 Motorius (GB) 8/1, I also suggest an exacta box with #10 Arrest Me Red 4/1. Arrest Me Red is a 5 ½ Furlongs, turf sprint specialist that has back to back races with a 113 Equibase Speed Figure and is one for one at Churchill Downs.

The next long shot that is a match is found in Race 11, the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Stakes. #3 Wolfie’s Dynaghost 10/1 is the top overlay:

This horse is improving and has already earned more money in his two starts this year than in his eight starts as a four-year-old. The 113 Equibase Speed Figure in the last race is his career best. Although that race was on the all-weather surface at Turfway Park, Wolfie’s Dynaghost has a good turf record with solid Equibase Speed Figures on the turf.

Besides betting on this horse to win, I recommend an exacta box with #5 Up to the Mark 4/1, and also an exacta box with #1 Ocean Atlantique. Up to the Mark earned Equibase Speed Figures of 112 and 115 in his two most recent starts, while Ocean Atlantique has a chance to rebound off a poor start that followed a taxing effort in which he went wire to wire earning an impressive Equibase Speed Figure of 123 on the all-weather at Turfway Park.

I recommend using Race Lens to experiment with creating angles based on this improving, five-year-old gelding concept. Race Lens is designed so that you can explore many types of angle concepts to see what works or doesn’t work for the tracks you play. Once you have created an angle you like, going forward the angle matches indicator will be displayed to the right of the horse’s name on the home screen and in the past performances. This works out great because you can be rewarded again and again for the effort put into finding profitable angles.

Race Lens can be found on our website in the Advanced handicapping section. Take advantage of the special $99 quarterly unlimited subscription special by mentioning promo code "TCRL99" when you call in to order.