One weekend after Flightline stamped himself in the Breeders’ Cup Classic as at least the best horse since Spectacular Bid some 40 years ago, the thoroughbred racing scene takes a drastic shift in terms of gravitas.
It’s the Claiming Crown, a series of championship races for the lower-end of the sport that takes center stage Saturday at Churchill Downs. But in many ways, the gambling can be greener in these races than in the Breeders’ Cup. And, let’s be honest; that’s why we play.
Each of the eight Claiming Crown races match horses who have competed at a maximum claiming price at some point in the past year. For instance, a race may require horses to have raced for a $20,000-or-less claiming price during that time. A handicapping pointer: look for horses who have raced for that specified level the fewest times and had the most success at that level. In this case, a horse who raced only once for the $20,000 level (and won) would be a good fit for the class of the race.
What To Watch For This Week
With Santa Anita coming to a close this past Sunday, Del Mar hosts the Southern California scene beginning Friday and runs through Dec. 4 … Remington Park offers a trio of stakes races Friday night for Oklahoma-breds … Laurel Park in Maryland has 3 Saturday stakes of its own with the Harvest Stakes Festival … Woodbine’s Sunday lineup boasts the Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes and the Grade 3 Maple Leaf …The Monday-Tuesday national schedule has picked up Laurel Park and Remington Park for the next few weeks in November.
Friday Weekend Firestarter
Remington Park’s Slide Show Stakes – Race 8 on Friday night – matches winners of three different Oklahoma Classics divisions. The best Oklahoma-breds square off here over 6 1/2 furlongs and the sprint distance should tilt the advantage to #11 Fly to the Bank, who has led every step of the way over his last couple of starts. Leading local jockey Christian Torres likely plays “catch me if you can” in a large field of 12 that offers excellent betting value.
1/ST BET App Top Handicapping Tracks of Week
The free 1/ST BET app allows you to apply millions of data points across dozens of handicapping factors in mere seconds and immediately place your wagers. Here’s where the artificial intelligence was most dialed-in last week by win percentage:
37% Santa Anita
34% Delaware Park
33% Remington Park
Tracks With Most Reliable Favorites Last Week (By Win %)
50% Finger Lakes
47% Charles Town
47% Santa Anita
Tracks That Were Longshot Havens Last Week (Most Winners 10-1 or More)
8 Golden Gate Fields
8 Delta Downs
7 Zia Park
6 Gulfstream Park
5 Aqueduct, Remington Park, Delaware Park
America’s Hot Jockeys Last Week
Edwin Maldonado (7-15, 44%) // Santa Anita
Edgard Zayas (8-18, 44%) // Gulfstream Park
Joseph Ramos (8-22, 36% // Indianapolis
Marshall Mendez (7-20, 35%) // Charles Town
Luis Alberto Batista (12-36, 33%) // Mountaineer, Mahoning Valley
America’s Hot Trainers Last Week
Juan Pablo Silva (4-7, 57%) // Mountaineer
George Papaprodromou (5-10, 50%) // Santa Anita, Keeneland
Gary Johnson (4-8, 50%) // Mahoning Valley
Tianna Richardville (4-9, 44%) // Indianapolis
Genaro Garcia (5-13, 38%) // Churchill Downs, Indianapolis
Doug O’Neill (6-20, 30%) // Santa Anita, Keeneland
November Sweepstakes Rolls On
Throughout November, every bet at 1/ST BET and Xpressbet enters players into random drawings at month’s end worth $20,000. Top prize is a $1,000 wagering credit.
– Statistics courtesy Betmix