Keeneland is one of the most difficult tracks in America. The Poly Track surface is sometimes tough to predict and the competition is unrivaled. Prices are there for the taking if you know what to seek. Horse bettors must know not only what looks good in the form of a horse, but also what looks bad. I love the challenge of a place like Keeneland. After all, if it’s too easy then the prices are low and there is not any money to be made.
Tip #1 Dirt speed is NOT Poly Track speed
Poly Track races play much more like turf races than they do dirt races. That is no secret to an experienced handicapper. On dirt, horses can go very quick early on and hang on late. It can be done on turf and Poly Track too, but it is much less likely. Several times this meet I have seen horses coming to Keeneland with brute force type dirt speed. Most of these horses got CRUSHED and backed up in the lane.
A perfect example of this came in race 8 on October 12. Michael Maker’s Sly Warrior was exiting an awesome win at Saratoga where she put away a strong field on the lead. She had one way to go in this race; to the front. The betting public made her a 4/5 favorite. She led to the top of the stretch until Queen’s Award blew her doors off at 29-1. The winner didn’t look very bad and was saddled by 24% winning trainer Eduardo Caramori.
It is just as important to find horses like Sly Warrior to place against as it is to find horses you like just for the sake of their own merits.
Tip #2 Use free resources like the clocker at Keeneland.
Keeneland posts free work out reports during their meet. This can be an excellent way to gauge the ability of untested and unseen horses. Just yesterday the clocker helped me cash a ticket in race 6. Below is what he had to say about the winner.
Workout Date: October 9, 2012
went nicely in even splits, likes the course
What’s more, the clocker helped me get off a horse I had originally liked.
Horse: Love Spun
Workout Date: October 16, 2012
was very sharp early on, tired the last eighth
The clocker is an invaluable resource and is almost always good for a few big prices every meet. You can find his daily reports here.
Follow these two tips to handicapping Keeneland and you will be cashing tickets in no time.