Canterbury Park First-Half Review

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Hey now, you’re an All-Star – Smash Mouth

As we round the far turn of this years’ Canterbury Park live meet, let’s take a look inside-the-numbers at what has transpired on the race track so far in 2014.  The following statistics are for the thoroughbred races only.

The Odds: 

Favorites are winning at a 38% clip this meet, a number that is up from 34% last year.  The most formful subset is the 2-year-old races, which have yielded 7 winning favorites from 12 races (58%).  On the flip side, 51 winners have paid 8-1 or higher (18% of the races), including 7 super-bombs that returned over 20-1 odds to their backers.  Turf runner Burning Fuhry set the all-time Canterbury Park record for win payoffs when he prevailed at 75-1 on July 5 with Erick Lopez aboard for trainer Troy Bethke.  Despite the higher percentage of winning favorites thus far, Pick 3 and Pick 4 payouts remain lucrative due to the large number of winning longshots and the low 14% takeout rates for those wagers. 

The Jockeys: 

Justin Shepherd had an All-Star first-half of the Canterbury meet from a return-on-investment (ROI) perspective.  He had 17 winners from 94 mounts and returned $1.67 to his backers for every dollar wagered.  He was equally impressive on favorites (4/7) and longshots (5/48), which included two super-bombs of over 20-1 odds (2/12).  He was pretty strong at all distances and surfaces, but his best category was in dirt routes where he was 11/41 with an ROI of $3.00 for every dollar wagered.  Shepherd won races for 10 different trainers by my count, led by Wade Rarick (4/11) and Chuck Turco (3/6).

Alex Canchari also turned in an All-Star caliber performance in the first half as he led the jockey standings with 40 wins, and also generated a flat-bet profit of $1.07 for every dollar wagered.  He was the main rider for the Mac Robertson barn and 18 of his 40 wins were on Robertson-trained horses.  Unfortunately, that jockey/trainer combination drew much attention at the windows and Canchari’s ROI on those 18 wins was only $0.78 on the dollar.  But backing Canchari when he rode for other trainers was a good way to go, especially when he rode for Valerie Lund (5 wins from 13 starts, ROI = $1.55).   Canchari fared best in turf routes (6/20 = 30%, ROI = $1.78) and claiming races (18/85 = 21%, ROI = $1.35).

Ry Eikleberry also deserves a mention for a strong first half performance as he is currently second in the jockey standings with 37 wins, and was able to generate a break-even ROI of $1.00.  He was very reliable on favorites (16/36 = 44%) and also rode 5 longshot winners from 58 tries (ROI $1.22 at 8-1 and up).  He rode 8 winners for the Valerie Lund barn (ROI = 1.54), and rode 7 winners for the Miguel Silva barn (ROI = 2.51).  His best category was in maiden special weight races, where he had 7 wins from 29 mounts (ROI = $1.52).

The Trainers:

Looking at the trainer standings for the first half of the Canterbury meet, Mac Robertson led Robertino Diodoro 25 wins to 22 wins.  But these two trainers have had so much success over the years that it’s difficult for players to get value on their horses.  So from an ROI standpoint we look elsewhere (Robertson’s overall ROI was $0.78, Diodoro’s was $0.58). 

There was only one trainer in the top ten trainer standings who was able to generate a positive ROI, and that was Dan McFarlane.  He saddled 10 winners from 53 starters (ROI = $1.08) and that was without having any longshot winners.  In fact, he was 0/30 at 8-1 odds and higher with only 2 third place finishers in that sample.  McFarlane was best in Allowance and Stakes races, winning with 5 of 20 starters (ROI = $1.55) and dirt sprints, winning with 5 of 17 starters (ROI = $1.50).  All-Star props to Dan McFarlane!

Honorable mention goes to Francisco Bravo as he just missed having a break-even ROI for the first half (9 wins from 44 starts, ROI = $0.98).  However, he was strong in claiming races (5 wins from 16 starts, ROI = $1.64) and maiden claiming races (4 wins from 8 starts, ROI = $2.08).  Nearly all of his success came with jockey Dean Butler in the saddle, as Butler was 8/23 (ROI = $1.45) on Bravo trained runners.


That’s a brief look at how the favorites fared and who the top jockeys and trainers were over the first half of the Canterbury Park live meet from an ROI perspective.  Follow these profitable trends and see if they carry forward over the remainder of the meet.  Continued success at the windows!

The Oracle


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