Pat Cummings posted this on the twitter yesterday:
That, any way we slice it, is a big amount, and this is sharp money. It also may not be a surprise to you, because each day when we look at a payoff where we have constructed our tickets around a proper horse (non obvious, non chalk) it often comes back short and we lament the payoffs.
According to public data from the CHRB, in 2020, eight accounts at high-volume betting shop Elite Turf Club accounted for 34% of ALL Pick 5 money bet on Del Mar races and 29% of all money in its jackpot pick six pool. https://t.co/t4Z748ZhJo— Pat Cummings (@PatCummingsTIF) July 7, 2021
I've dove into the payoffs at various tracks over the last year or so and one thing that I have concluded - if you find a horse or horses they are on you're treading water. Conversely, if you find a horse they aren't, you're going to get an inflated payoff. Whether this is true or not (and how we even know for sure is difficult), but I think it's there.
When you look at a superfecta payoff at say the Meadowlands in harness racing, the odds of the horses involved might portend a $1,000 mutuel which comes back $700. We see this often. I'm convinced the teams shorten the list of contenders and hammer those combos in three and four horse verticals. Where we do see bigger payoffs, the "wow, I can't believe that paid that much" payoff, is when one of the slots is filled with an outlier.
It's important to remember that this is not about how we conventionally handicap against the crowd. We're not throwing out or parsing horses who five of six public cappers pick as their best bet. That's 2010 stuff. We're trying to make value analyzing the horses who are 8-5 versus the 2-1 horse all the public cappers are on. That's the live one. The public isn't making that market.
How do I try and tackle this ("try" being the key word)?
- I am generally more selective on whom I use underneath. If a horse ridden, trained or driven by someone out of favor who is not overly live, but who I think fits in a pace scenario for example, I will try and get them on the ticket, second third or fourth. With lower denominations you can use "all" for 4th for a small amount with the out of favor horse.
- I'll key what I think is not a steam horse on a small pick 4 or 5. This can be a $12 or $16 bet. With low denominations, it's possible to thread a needle and get paid.
- If I see something in real time that I do not like about a team horse, I will pitch. It's important to remember, these folks to do not have a crystal ball; they are not the guy with the bag of money on a Monopoly board game cover. They are working on thin margins and they lose a lot of races.
- Play the steam horse underneath. If they're on 3-46-467 for $100, bob and weave the three with some outliers.