5 secrets to betting the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park

October 15, 2019 01:54pm

Given the location changes annually, but similar quality Breeders’ Cup fields show up regardless of the host site, Mike Shutty considers winning criteria for championship contenders mostly “track independent.”

But, says the mind behind Horse Racing Nation’s Super Screener handicapping system, “there are key considerations that are indeed track influenced that we need to include in our arsenal.”

Before the Nov. 1-2 races, Shutty has assembled a free guide to playing the races at the Santa Anita using the same time-tested, data-driven metrics that go into the full Super Screener product that will provide selections and suggested tickets for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races.

Download the free guide today, plus check out a few tips below to get started:

1. "For dirt Breeders’ Cup races run at Santa Anita, regardless of distance, pace/presser types perform better than at other venues -- unless there is a pace collapse," Shutty says. "When it comes to races on the turf, horses running from off the pace have a decided advantage over horses possessing other energy distribution profiles. The exception this year is the five-furlong turf races. As they’re currently playing during the regular fall meet, you can expect pace and presser types running on the inside to have the advantage."

2. Whereas the Super Screener will generally steer away from horses that submitted their best performances in their final Breeders’ Cup prep, Shutty sees the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies as exceptions. “Pr
efer contenders that submitted a lifetime top last out,” he said, and “eliminate any horse that has not run at least three races. There’s no room here for ‘hurry up’ horses that are entered too ambitiously by connections with Breeders’ Cup fever.”

3. In the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, “horses with some speed that cut back from longer route races, like the Pennsylvania Derby, are regular board hitters in this race,” Shutty notes. That could apply to both Mr. Money and Improbable, 3-year-olds who ran at the 1 1/8-mile distance last time and figure to be forwardly placed here. Both have also won going a mile this season despite running in longer races.

4. The Turf Sprint will go at five furlongs, avoiding the downhill turf course Santa Anita stopped using amid safety concerns during its last meet. “In analyzing all races contested at that distance to date,” Shutty says of the 5/8 distance, “pace/presser types on the inside comprise the vast majority of winners. This is in stark contrast to the winning profile on the downhill turf course, which highly favored horses that exited outside post positions and came from off the pace.”

As for the Classic, Shutty will be looking for a win contender that will “leave something in the tank” for the year-end feature. “Traditionally, this is the race that produces the least amount of longshots in the superfecta,” he added. “Just five slots from a potential 24 slots were filled by a horse going off at odds of 15-1 or higher when run at Santa Anita.”

“In conclusion,” Shutty says, “the historical Super Screener criteria transcends the venue at which the races are run. However, each track does have its unique slants on criteria, and knowing how to calibrate by venue is critical to wagering success.”


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