Horse Racing: The Hooptie Handicapper charts maiden claimers and how their finish influences their next race
The closer they are, the better their chances next time out.@GulfstreamPark on Twitter

Horse Racing: The Hooptie Handicapper charts maiden claimers and how their finish influences their next race

6,000 horse entered in 736 races is the data pool.

The Hooptie Handicapper


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In this past weeks’ mail bag, a noteworthy question was raised…

Hooptie, does the order of finish matter in a maiden race off its last start?

Ignacio, SoCal

The short answer to this is yes. Very much so. Let's take a look at the data. By the way, this type of detail is sent out from time to time to our subscribers. If you want to subscribe, reach out and rest assured, your data will never be shared. We wouldn’t know who to sell it to anyway.

As an avid sports bettor, trends can be useful, only if put into proper context. Breaking it down into menial numbers is seemingly useless. It’s cringeworthy when you hear handicappers say, ‘XYZ trainer is 66% in maiden races on the turf dropping from msw to mcl and 7 to 6.5 furlongs where it raced its last on dirt and XYZ jockey was riding. Those types of details are seemingly useless unless employed in contrast to whom else is in the race. If you firmly believe that it's going to come down to horse #1 or horse #2, and the trend is heading your way, then it should be applied. The opposite is also true. If you see where it's going to be between two horses, and the trend is either of smaller value or against you, then refrain from considering it.

Trends are simply another tool for you to use to help in choosing if this is a go or no go, and they are excellent for exotic wagering.

Regardless, in all cases, remember Rule #1 – MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND.

Since February, we have tracked 736 races. That is, of the 6000 horses entered., there have been 736 winners. Of those 736 races, 222 horses have finished by a neck, nose, head, ½, or ¾ lengths. Since we only accumulate data on order of finish rather than lengths, we do have options to include below one length. When a horse finished second or greater, it is only employed as a second place finish or greater. We will get to the second-place finishers later.

Chart 1
Chart 1RT

The highlighted lower case letters represent its last class race. In this instance, the horse was in a maiden claiming race last time. Down the left hand column is the dollar amount it raced for. The far right hand column represents the total number of races. From left to right represents order of finish. By example, there are 100 total mcl races tracked with the last race parameters. There have been 27 winners, 22 second place, 13 in third, etc. As you go down the page, you can then tell how it breaks down per money class.

Statistically, in maiden claiming races, with the place of finish reading left to right, you will see that overall, in maiden claiming races, you have a 27/100 chance of winning or 27%. There is also a 62/100 chance that your horse hits the board. Down the left-hand column, where it lists the money value of each race, a $16K claimer, which is a common figure for Tampa, your advantage is 50% or 6 for 12. Conversely, if it is a $50K claimer, the result is 1/5 or 20%. A $10K is 7/22 and 15/22 in the money, etc etc. Again, this should be used from a macro perspective and not as sole dependency.

Chart 2
Chart 2RT

In the maiden special weight class, it's a 14 of 57 proposition or 25% winners with a 23/57 chance to hit the board, or 40%. If you happen to catch a $20,000 maiden special weight, where the horse running lost by those margins in its last, you will see that it has been a winner four of six times, or 67%.

Since Turf Paradise seems to be the only track that we know of who regularly races maiden optional claiming races, our data is minimal. Of the six races, there has yet to bring a winner.

Chart 3
Chart 3RT

In state bred races, the numbers become favorable. Typically, the higher you go up in value, the better the results. For example, in $40K msw races, horses that finished with the search parameters, hit the board 100% of the time. This speaks to the point that the horse dictates its class.

This next set is for horses that finished in second place and will not have the number of lengths back.

Chart 4
Chart 4RT

How do you like that for hoopties? In $3.5k mcl races, they are 0/7, $5K - 4/18, and $7.5K - 4/30. 😊

Chart 5
Chart 5RT

Overall, in msw races where the horse finished second its last out, you have a 20% winning chance and 57% chance of it hitting the board.

Chart 6
Chart 6RT

Again, in state bred races, your numbers trend your way.

So, Ignacio, what have we learned? The first lesson is the closer they are to the winner, the better they are in the next outing. This speaks to the horses’ ability to fight when challenged. Secondly, you can tell that the lower class horses are erratic and unpredictable, hence the term lower class. One other is that state bred races, although loathed by many bettors, can be easier places to spot +/- trends.

Use this as a guide in your next wager(s). If you want it in a word document, email us.

Happy Hunting 😊

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