Welcome to Battaglia’s Picks.
Here are the 5 handicapping angles you should be using.
If I could use only one of these angles, this would be the one.
Class comes out in the end” was drilled into my head over and over again. What is class?? Well my dad explained it to be like this, note this was in the 80″s….he said “son, I am in pretty good shape and I can run pretty fast, but if I were to get into a race with Jerry Rice, even if his knees were bothering him or he didn’t feel 100% he would still whip me because I am not in his class” makes perfect sense!
Horses that have been competing well against a higher level of competition are just in another class than those lets say run for a claiming tag. Just like graded stakes runners are in a different class than allowance runners and so on. You can usually get a pretty good idea of a horses class by looking at their earnings, the higher the earnings the better their class—usually.
We have had some our biggest money making days when there was a strong track bias, either the track was playing to all front speed, or all late speed it doesn’t matter as long as you know which.
One of the reasons we do not finalize our selections for the following day until after all the races are over for the previous day is so we can see how the track is playing and make our selections accordingly. It’s not just a coincidence when on a particular day all the horses that make the early lead hang on to win, nor is it a coincidence when none of the early leaders win….it all has to do with track bias.
You should ALWAYS check the charts of the previous days races to see where the winners came from to see if there is a bias either way.
Think of it like this….if you were going to race somebody on a beach would you want to run closer to the water where the sand is packed down or further away where it’s all lose….of course the packed sand would give you a huge advantage. Now on a race track it’s not that pronounced but you get the picture.
When I see our competing sites offer selections 2 or 3 or even more days in advance, I just shake my head and think “what a bunch of morons”….lol
WHY/HOW does this work. Every horse turns a year older on January the 1st no matter when their actual birth date is. Tracks start writhing races for three year olds and up as early as March. The difference in maturity between a 4 year old and a 3 year old is dramatic especially that early in the year. If you followed our picks last year you know this was an especially good year for this angle. If I said we cashed on this 90% of the time, I would not be exaggerating. Just think of this- when the KY Derby winner runs back in the Breeders Cup classic that year everyone makes a big deal about “he is taking on older for the first time” and the Breeders Cup is in November! Now, Just think of the advantage the four year olds have in March, April, May and June!
The stats don’t lie. We consider any win percent over 20% as good, over 30% is great.
On the flip side there are some trainer’s stats that suck, anything below 10% is getting into the suck zone. For example, there are some top notch trainers that win at less than 5% with their first time starters, or less than 5% with their horses coming off a layoff etc don’t be afraid to throw them out just because it’s a well-known trainer.
I am not going to name names but looking at Ellis today, there is a trainer who is hitting at .05 from her 43 starts in claiming races, .06 from her 50 starters running in a sprint, and is currently 0 for 22 on the year—just put a big red X though that one. Eliminating the obvious throw outs is half the battle.
It doesn’t matter the distance, it doesn’t matter the condition, it doesn’t matter the track/turf condition…it just doesn’t matter- the lone speed is always dangerous. If you see a horse that is going to be easy in front always give him extra consideration– even if the track is playing to closers….as the lone speed, if the rider is smart, can be in front but be 5 or 6 lengths off the dead rail.