Handicapping Sunday: The Tools

I was struck recently on how many tools are out there for us as horseplayers. The thoroughbred game trumps harness big-time, but really we do have a few up our sleeve. As racing opens itself up, and begins to stroll into the 2000's, the tracks themselves have offered out some decent things, and the resellers have trumped them (no suprise there).

Betfair bought timeform, the UK speed ratings folks and offer that right out for free on their site. They know we need information to bet. They also offer out a partnership with thorograph for their players. This is especially nice for serious bettors.

Race replays at places like HPI and Twinspires are good, and needed. For harness racing, because many horses take a week off and go to the back, or get in traffic trouble, I use this quite often.

Places like Simubet offer out harness speed ratings. Bob Pandolfo has his own software he markets called the Diamond System.

Trackit is a database service offered by Standardbred Canada. Mike Hamilton of WEG touched on its use in a recent article in Trot. It can provide us with a ton of information, in real time, as we bet.

If we look, we can find more and more information than ever before.

Some places do go the extra mile though. Ian Meyers of Premier Turf Club created his business on the motto "For Players-By Players". To anyone that knows the service, they know this is true. This was no more apparent today at Keeneland. Ian's partner Joe is a bloodstock agent. He was at Keeneland for Blue Grass Stakes day, and they offered to their customers a private clocking report. Then they took it one step further. Joe called Ian with live paddock reports on the horses condition and look. Joe is no dummy, so this is pretty decent information. If that is not going out of your way to try and help your customer base, I don't know what is.

Now for the really interesting part. Ian then went on a chat board and reported these live findings in real time, all day. So, we have rebates, a private clocker report and a real-time report on the horses condition right from the Keeneland paddock. Wow.

Ian's report was fun to read while messing around at Keeneland, but it took a turn. In the Blue Grass, Pyro was favoured heavily. He was taking money from everywhere. Ian's paddock report, here at Paceadvantage.com said this about the race:

Blue Grass Stakes - Real Time
Asmussen barn has done what they can for Pyro spreading his shoes in front and filling in with acrylic to give him a bigger foot, but he's still smaller than average and very small behind where they've done nothing. We'll take a shot against him using both Pletcher horses, Cowboy Cal and Monba and Halo Najib, all of whom looked fit and dappled. Zito's other horse Stevil is an interesting longshot in here.

Cool Coal Man, Big Truck and Visionaire look anti-poly physically. Smallish and/or very flat feet.

Monba was the five horse and Cowboy Cal the three. Here are the results.

5 $19.60 $8.60 $6.60
3 . $8.80 $6.60
2 . . $8.20

The superfecta paid $44,000.

As the old-guard in racing seems to get left in the dust, stuck in the mindset that we will all bet with them forever, and it is their right to have us as customers, the resellers are rolling; trying to help us win. Racereplays, Betfair, PTC, Track It, Simubet, Thorograph and much more are out there. It's not our grandfathers racing anymore.

Notes: I had a gander at Idle Hour tonight at the Meadowlands. I will be dropping him off the NA Cup contender list. I have to go through all the colts making their qualifiers and getting ready for the big dance. Hopefully we'll get that done this week.

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