Santa Anita Gives Handicappers What They Want — Past Performance Data Available For Free On Its Website

Written By Dave Bontempo on April 29, 2022 - Last Updated on May 29, 2022

Santa Anita shines by providing past performance data, Belmont bursts from the gate, and bettors get a break as the Playfecta panorama highlights significant industry developments. We’ll look at the customary Bombs Away, Salute to Long Shots feature. Lastly, we’ll look at the Belmont Park and Lone Star tracks — both of which just opened their meets — to complete our racing overview as the calendar hits May.

Shining the Playfecta light on Santa Anita Park, here’s where the next Saturday “Fecta-cular” starts.

Nationwide bettors can access the wagering menu all day at tracks across the country on TVG. Most of the action will begin early in the afternoon.

Santa Anita’s Saturday Lineup

Here are two excellent reasons to look at the Santa Anita card starting at 4 p.m. EDT.

One is the loaded stakes feature:
Kicking off is Race 4, the $100,000 Kona Gold at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Keep an eye on Race 6, the $200,0000 Californian Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.
Take a look at Race 10, the Santa Margarita at 1 1/8 miles for $200,000
The big purse is Race 11, the $225,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes on turf at 1 1/4 miles.

Throughout the card at Santa Anita

There are numerous turf races, a delight to horse-racing purists, and other races with fields of 10 and 12 horses. This presents both a handicapping conundrum and a shot at a lucrative payout.

Large fields on turf are the breeding grounds of a substantial hit. Turf racing enables tremendous rallies, with horses overcoming more significant deficits than they typically achieve on dirt. Additionally, large fields make it likely that the betting public will overlook a good horse.

That spells opportunity for the gambler who spots the bargain.

Santa Anita delivers a combo of high-level races with short payouts that might be easier to hit and large fields with numerous angles and the chance for big payoffs.

The track also delivers something bettors will appreciate. And it’s long overdue.

Santa Anita past performance data available on website

This week, Santa Anita placed past-performance charts for its four stakes on its website.

Although past performance does not guarantee future results, the information is an excellent handicapping tool for gamblers. Unfortunately, some tracks command up to $12 for this information, which disgruntles bettors.

For example, in the Californian, the past efforts of several horses are listed.

Five of them — Spielberg, Holden the Lute, Express Train, Shaaz, and Stilleto Boy — are listed to run. From the information available in the charts, bettors can glean that Express Train has three consecutive victories and has crushed both Spielberg and Stilleto Boy in head-to-head races. Past performance data will highlight why Express Train should be a short price when the odds become official.

Bettors can determine a level of confidence to accompany the short price. For example, is a 4-5 price worthwhile if one believes the result is close to a given? Possibly. However, if the betting odds are 2-5, gamblers may consider a one-way exacta combination or simply skip the race.

Other handicapping nuggets available on past performances

Date of the horse’s last race. If he has been off six months or more than a year, an upcoming event may be more of a sharpener to get him in shape. That horse would not usually be a serious win candidate in this situation.

Surface. Past performances indicate whether the horse has been on dirt, turf, fast tracks or sloppy tracks.

Running style. Does he need the lead? Past efforts may show that a horse may easily win when getting a comfortable lead. But if one or two others go at him early, he may fade. The past performances will indicate how many horses in the race prefer the front-running early style.

More angles: Bettors may find that three horses came out of the same race. One finished a couple of lengths behind the other two but was blocked when seeking racing room in the stretch. That horse might be 8-1, while the others are 2-1 and 3-1. If the horse gets better racing luck, you have found value.

It is commendable for Santa Anita to place “PP’s” on its website. The Meadowlands Race Track in New Jersey has made similar efforts in the harness-racing realm.

This practice has a twofold benefit: It creates goodwill with the bettors, and gamblers who know more will bet more.

Let’s look back at how some gamblers came up big last week.

Bombs Away, Salute to Long Shots

We’ll take a three-race package from Gulfstream Park on Saturday to illustrate how different payouts materialized.

Race 6 — Keying, or boxing the favorites

Gather As You Go captured the race at 4-1.
R Calli Kim was second at 5-2
Midnight Bella surged late to secure third at 50-1
Baymore Star nailed fourth at 14-1.

The $1 trifecta was a handsome $429.

Takeaways: The favorites were in the 5-2 and 3-1 range. There wasn’t going to be one horse taking a lot of money and reducing the payout. A bettor who honed in on R Calli Kim at 5-2 could have keyed him for $12 and gotten the $1 trifecta by placing him first and second with three other horses, including a long shot.

This illustration shows a favorite long shot hookup and its effect on the board. For example, a bettor may not have liked Midnight Bella but put him into the mix because he was a long shot.

A gambler also may have boxed Gather as You Go and R Calli Kim in a $1 trifecta box with Midnight Bella. This strategy involves taking two favorites in separate $1 trifecta box tickets. You figure the favorites will run in the top three and hope to pick the right long shot with them.

The $1 superfecta paid $6,619 and the 10-center was $661.

Race 7 —The favorite floppola

A tip of the hat if you were anywhere near this. The 6-5 and 3-1 shots were nowhere to be seen.

That’s how One-Eyed Jack took the race at 14-1, Double Tough Tiger was 22-1 and completed a $423 exacta. Meade was third at 5-1 and Lusitano completed the superfecta at 11-1.

The $1 superfecta paid $10,781. The $ 1 trifecta was worth $1,388.

It would have been tough to be around this one unless you had a feeling that both favorites would dump. They sometimes do, especially in a situation like this. The race-level was claiming $6,250 — bottom of the barrel. There are many false favorites in this type of group, which always denotes opportunities for long shots.

Race 8 — Favorite in it, but can’t win it

The eighth race provided a large payout as the favorite encountered traffic problems and finished fourth.

Turn It On prevailed at 6-1.
Code Name Lise was second at 22-1, completing a hefty $354 exacta.
For Ever Ours came home third, securing a $1 trifecta payout of $1,269.
Miszlo, 5-2, delivered fourth in a superfecta that paid $8,421 for a dollar.

Keys: there was a 12-horse field, no prohibitive favorite, and the favored horse finished fourth. The winner bordered on the midprice range.

Lone Star opens

The Texas facility has a 48-day meet running April 28-July 24. It unfolds every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, along with several Thursdays.

“We’re seeing very positive trends for the meet,” said Brandon Leigh, director of marketing and player development for Lone Star. “Ticket sales are trending up. Entries for opening day were good, the stakes look strong, and of course, we have a full backside. We’re optimistic, for sure.”

Its biggest day of the year will be May 30. The Memorial Day card will highlight several stakes races combining for more than $1 million in purses.

Belmont Park is off and running

Highlighted by the 154th running of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 11, the 44-day Belmont spring/summer meet opened on Thursday and will continue through Sunday, July 10.

Live racing will generally be conducted Thursday through Sunday during the spring meet at Belmont, except for Memorial Day weekend and July 4 weekend, when live racing will be conducted Friday to Monday.

The $100,000 Elusive Quality Stakes, seven furlongs on turf, highlights the opening Saturday card.

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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, who writes extensively on the emergence of legalized sports betting, is a recipient of the Sam Taub Award for Broadcast Excellence by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He has broadcast boxing for all the major networks over the last four decades and is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as well as the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. His work also can be seen at the Press of Atlantic City and iGamingPlayer.

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