At the Wire-12/16/20 #1 Race Angles
phot credit: (Eclipse Sportswire)
Ask any horseplayer and they will be the first to tell you that they
have a foolproof method for picking their horses when they
decide to put a shekel or two hundred on a race.
Whether it’s poring over pages and pages of Past Performances
to find that “Psst- this horse only wins at Santa Anita” or simply
picking a horse because of the jockey/trainer combination,
everyone seems to have a method to their madness when it
comes to handicapping a race.
Being around both grizzled veterans at the track and a new
generation of digital gamblers, it is always interesting to hear
how those lucky enough to cash tickets came to their decision,
especially when they were able to beat the favorites.
Being an exotic wagerer myself, the Name Game is one of my
favorite angles that doesn’t always work out, but when it does,
can be very profitable. For example, I saw a horse with “Ga Ga”
as part of its name. While I do enjoy a good Lady GaGa song,
that is also what my son calls his grandmother. So, when I
played an exacta today at Gulfstream, I decided to throw in the
horse “Ga Ga Oh La La” as part of my 4 horse exacta, not
minding the 35-1 odds on the horse. Fast forward to the winner’s
circle to see that Ga Ga Oh La La finished 2nd to one of my other
horses in my exacta and I was loving the $159 exacta payout.
As I said, this does not always work out so it’s not a tried-and-
true method to handicap a race. But since favorites generally
only win 33% of the time, it helps to have some tricks in your
bag to find the elusive big payday horses.
Another favorite angle is the Double Sweep. Very often, for
whatever reason, the jockey who wins the first race of a card
seems to more often than not win the second race, provided they
are on a horse in the second race. This also applies to the last
Whenever I look at a race and see that a trainer has two or more
horses that are not a coupled entry, I will almost always select
the horse that has long odds. This usually occurs with
highly accredited trainers like Bob Baffert or Todd Pletcher so
you know that even with long odds, generally, these are quality
Finally, another one of my pet Racing angles is a two-part
angle that involves big name A+ jockeys. There is a select list
of what I would consider A+ jockeys that include Joel Rosario,
Javier Castellano, Johnny Velazquez along with Irad and Jose
Ortiz. If I see a race where one of these jocks has only one
mount for the entire card, I know that there is a very good reason
this jockey took time to be at this one race and chances are
the horse is live and primed for a win. A variation of this angle is if
one of these jocks sticks around for the last race of the card.
Generally, a stellar jockey with nothing left to prove rides his
mounts and moves on to the next card but if they are sticking
around the paddock to ride a non-graded stakes race to close a
card, they usually know the horse might be destined for a big
Obviously, none of these angles are guaranteed to win or I’d be
writing to you from my mansion in the Cayman Islands. But
these are some of the ways you may turn an ordinary day at the
races into a profitable one.
Please share some of your favorite race day angles on my Twitter