by The Oracle
We have reached the halfway point of the 2016 Canterbury Park live racing season. It’s a better bet for the players this year with the lowest blended takeout rates in the country, and players who had previously not played Canterbury Park are taking a look this year. Here is a look inside-the-numbers at what has transpired on the race track so far in 2016. The following statistics are for thoroughbred races only.
Favorites are winning 39% of the thoroughbred races at Canterbury Park so far in 2016, which equals the winning favorites from the first half last season. However, last year the favorites struggled in the second half of the year, and by season’s end they were only winning at a 34% rate for the entire meet. I do expect the fewer winning favorites over the second half of the meet. The claiming race category has been the most formful so far this year, yielding 49 winning favorites from 110 races (45%) and returning a flat bet profit of $1.04 for every dollar wagered.
Historically, turf racing at Canterbury Park has yielded a lower percentage of winning favorites than races on the main track. This is holding true this year, as favorites on the turf are winning at a 35% rate compared to 41% winning favorites on the dirt. Again, those numbers are both likely to decrease in the second half of the meet.
Looking at the top 10 jockeys in the standings so far, the All-Star performer for best return-on-investment (ROI) was Orlando Mojica. Orlando is currently 6th in the standings with 15 wins, but he is returning an impressive $1.05 for every dollar wagered on his mounts. Orlando also earned his 2,000th career victory at Canterbury Park recently, so it’s been a memorable season for the “Magic Man”!
Dean Butler certainly deserves a mention as he leads the jockey standings with 44 wins from 200 mounts thus far. Butler is a very well-known rider at Canterbury Park, having won several riding titles over the years. His horses take serious action at the windows, which makes it tough to profit long term from his winners. Butler was very reliable on favorites in the first half with 20 wins from 44 tries (45%) with an ROI of $1.07. Conversely, you might want to avoid his horses that are not getting any wagering action. At odds of 8-1 and up, Butler is 1/56 so far this year with the lone winner in that sample paying $19.40. Tread lightly there…
The top 10 trainer list had three trainers achieving a positive ROI at the midway mark. Nevada Litfin got the All-Star award with 11 wins from 44 starts, achieving an ROI of $1.32. He excelled in claiming races (7/15, ROI = $1.95) and turf sprints (4/8, ROI = $1.63), but was only 1/28 at odds of 8-1 and above.
Michael Biehler has also had a very good first half, winning 10 races with an ROI of $1.18. His best category was turf sprints, winning with 4 of 12 runners including a 26-1 winner named Kenna Mae in a maiden turf sprint with Lori Keith aboard. Kenna Mae, a 3-year-old filly, was making her turf debut and sprinted clear from the rail early, cruising to a six length victory.
Bernell Rhone had a strong first half this year also, winning 14 races and achieving a flat bet profit of $1.14. Rhone had two big longshot winners in the maiden claiming ranks, one on the turf and one on the main track that both paid over 20-1 odds. His longshot turf winner was a 7-year-old first time starter named Bourbonnais, ridden by Israel Hernandez who was ignored by the public at 26-1 on the board. Bourbonnais is a War Chant gelding out of an Easy Goer mare, and was the best bred horse in the race. However, not starting until age 7 threw the public off the scent! His main track longshot winner was 4-year-old So Blue, moving from turf to dirt and ridden by Martin Escobar. She had been well beaten in two turf races, but had shown early speed in her debut on the main track and was dropping in class from maiden special weight to maiden claiming company.
It’s instructive to note that the top two trainers this year, Mac Robertson and Robertino Diodoro, are both below $0.80 ROI despite their many wins. It’s tough to make money betting the top trainers. However, Robertson’s horses are performing quite well as favorites so far (18/37, ROI $1.02) but not well as longshots (0/21 at 8-1 and up).
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. Good luck the rest of the way!