03/13/2015 10:15AM

Bet This, Not That: Races on Saturday, March 14


Another week, another Saturday full of great racing and great betting opportunities. DRF Formulator allows you to see the full lifetime past performances of horses who have run in the past five years for any trainer who has horses entered, as well as charts, replays, filters, and more. Using Formulator, let’s look at some specific horses entered Saturday.


Race 4 – Any Limit Stakes, six furlongs on dirt

Bet This: No. 1 Taylor S (3-1 ML). If you cross out her two route races, she’s 3-2-0-1. It’s no surprise that Taylor S is better sprinting since her dam, Miss Macy Sue, was a Grade 3 winner, earned more than $880,000, was 23-11-5-3 at six furlongs or shorter, but was off the board in her two starts at longer distances. Key off that most recent race for Taylor S, that third-place finish in the Grade 2 Forward Gal, where she regressed at least in terms of her Beyer Speed Figure. In that race, she was up near a blistering pace and rallied late to get show over Ekati’s Phaeton, who wired the Grade 2 Davona Dale in her next start. She ran a much stronger race than what the 80 Beyer might show, and especially cutting back to six furlongs here, we think she is sitting on a big race and hope that low figure just helps her price.


Race 7 – Grade 2 Azeri Stakes, 1 1/16 miles on dirt

Not That: No. 1 Untapable (1-2 ML). Much like Daredevil in the Swale Stakes last weekend at Gulfstream Park, Untapable is the best horse in the race. She was last year’s unanimous selection for champion 3-year-old filly, and she towers over this field in every way. However, she last raced on Halloween last year, on Day 1 of the Breeders’ Cup, so she is coming off a 19-week layoff, and clearly there are much bigger goals in mind for her than this race. Even a comparatively dull effort from her can probably get her into the winner’s circle, but it’s also reasonable to think that trainer Steve Asmussen may not have her fully cranked for her return, and that now might be the best chance to beat her all year. Looking at the trainer stats in Formulator, Asmussen is 84-15-11-11 with a $0.95 return on investment in dirt routes with horses returning from layoffs of 120 days or longer within the past five years. That 18 percent win rate is close to his 20 percent baseline with all runners, but the low ROI makes it clear that he hasn’t been winning these races with horses at a price. Indeed, nine of those 15 winners were the post-time favorite, and he had five odds-on favorites lose, including Rachel Alexandra at odds of 1-20 in the New Orleans Ladies. Oh, and in that time, he hasn’t had a horse win a dirt-route graded stakes race following a layoff of 80 days or more (13-0-2-1).

Race 8 – Grade 3 Razorback Handicap, 1 1/16 miles on dirt

Not That: No. 1 Tapiture (5-2 ML). Like Untapable above, he last raced on Day 1 of the Breeders’ Cup and is returning from an identical layoff. For the same reasons listed above, Tapiture seems vulnerable here, and certainly much more vulnerable than Untapable. He’s facing a much tougher field than she is, he doesn’t have the best last-out Beyer, and it’s hard to make much of a case for him to repeat or improve upon that 105 last-race Beyer given Asmussen’s stats with horses returning from long layoffs. As always, it depends upon how the wagering goes, but if he ends up the favorite at post time, he’s one we’d take a stand against.

Bet This: No. 3 Midnight Hawk (6-1 ML). On paper, Midnight Hawk just does not seem fast enough. In winning his last race, he earned a Beyer of 86, which is more than 10 points lower than the last-race figure for every other horse in the race besides Golden Ticket. However, there are two things that make me think he is ready to run a big race here. First, all of his best races have come in routes, where he hasn’t been out of the money in six starts at three different racetracks. Also, it’s notable that trainer Bob Baffert thinks enough of him to send him to Oaklawn, as he has a remarkable 28-13-5-3 record there over the past five years, with a $2.94 ROI.


Race 7 – optional claimer, 6 1/2 furlongs on turf

Not That: No. 1 Forest Chatter (9-5 ML). This lightly raced gelding is 2 for 2 racing down the hill, comes into the race with the best last-out Beyer, and looks formidable on paper. The concern here is twofold: price and post position. He was the odds-on favorite in each of those wins, and we may be looking at the same situation here. If you’re convinced that he’s the most likely winner, a short price is better than a long face, as the saying goes. The trouble is that he drew the rail post, and down the hill at Santa Anita, there’s no worse place to be. At this meet, the inside post position is 3 for 47 in downhill turf races, which equates to a 6 percent win rate. Now, you could argue that it’s a small sample, and that a few winners from the No. 1 post would put it right in line with the 9, which is 5 for 37 (14 percent) at the meet. But remember, there is always a horse breaking from the rail post, and there have been 10 races at this meet with fewer than nine horses, so that means statistically the inside posts should win at a higher rate. Think about it: In a six-horse field, the horse in the No. 1 post represents 17 percent of the field, and the No. 9 post will never be more than 11 percent of the field in any race. Forest Chatter could win, and he may just be good enough to overcome the rail draw, but I would want a much higher price than I’m likely to get here.

Bet This: No. 9 Corinthian’s Song (8-1 ML). Like Forest Chatter, Corinthian’s Song has raced twice down the hill, earning a maiden victory in decisive fashion the first time. Following that maiden win came a very long layoff, and in his return race last month, he ran a strong third, beaten less than a length at odds of 17-1. Since that race, he’s posted two solid five-furlong works, and trainer Victor Garcia does very well in the second start following a layoff of 180 days or more. Over the past five years, he’s 16-3-4-3, $2.38 ROI, with those runners, including one who ran second at 55-1. Better yet, 11 of those 16 runners matched or improved the Beyer earned in the first start off the layoff, and if Corinthian’s Song can improve that 85 from last race, he can make some noise at a very nice price, possibly even higher than his morning-line odds.

Race 9 – maiden special weight, one mile on turf

Bet This: No. 7 Oui Bear (15-1 ML). This 3-year-old Rock Hard Ten filly has made two starts, and neither of them seems fast enough from a Beyer standpoint. She debuted in a similar race in January for Richard Mandella, breaking horribly from the outside post in a field of 12 before running well (too) late. In fact, her final half-mile was faster than all but the top two finishers, and that’s the type of educational debut that bodes well for future races. In her second start, though, Mandella moved her to dirt and dropped her in for a $75,000 tag. She ran evenly, splitting the field of eight, but John Sadler and Kosta Hronis scooped in and claimed her, promptly moving her back to turf and back into the maiden special weight ranks. Sadler does well first off the claim, and he’s had a lot of success with maidens first off the claim (45-14-6-4, $4.05 ROI) and moving them up into maiden special weights (19-4-2-1, $6.26 ROI). This race doesn’t appear to have any future stars entered, at least in the main body of the race, so it seems ripe for a longshot winner, and we think Oui Bear might be the right play.

These are just a few examples of great bets to target. Every day, at every track, you will find many examples of these kinds of great (or awful) opportunities. DRF Formulator gives you the keys to find these angles, and it could very well lead you to a winner that is overlooked by much of the betting public. Check out the different Formulator plans available, priced for every budget. Better yet, try it for yourself; get two Formulator cards for a penny by using code BETTHIS at checkout.