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How Jockeys Fare at Gulfstream…American Pharoah is Back August 2!

In the state of Florida, the racing year begins on July 1st. Gulfstream Park for the first time ran unopposed during the summer months, making a deal with Churchill Downs and taking control of the Calder racing dates. Taking a look at the jockey stats during the past year as well as the past six and three months shows us some interesting numbers.

In sprints for the last year at Gulfstream, the leading jockey in amount of wins was Edgard Zayas, who won 103 of his 516 sprint races (19.96%), easily outpacing apprentice Tyler Gaffalione, who was next with 56 wins out of 413 sprints races (13.56%). The only jockey in the top 20 in wins at Gulfstream with a better winning percentage was apprentice Harry Hernandez, who came to Gulfstream in the spring and was 21 for 102 (20.59%) in sprints.

In the last six months in sprints, Gaffalione has the most wins with 51 out of 339 races (15.04%). Zayas, who missed a lot of time during the last six months due to injury, was next with a record of 40 for 262 (15.27%). There were three jockeys in the top 20 during this time period with a winning percentage over 20. They were Luis Saez at 28 for 139 (20.14%), Harry Hernandez at 21 for 102 (20.59%) and Jose Lezcano at 11 for 49 (22.45%). The only jockeys to be over 50% ITM at this time period were Javier Castellano at 52.63% and Harry Hernandez at 50.98%.

In the last three months in sprints, when the northern jockeys left for home, Gaffalione was the leading jockey with a record of 40 for 204 (19.61%). Next was Eddie Castro with a record of 30 for 154 (19.48%). The next three jockeys all had winning percentages over 20 percent. They were Jonathan Gonzales at 24 for 108 (22.2%), Harry Hernandez at 21 for 102 (20.59%) and Edgard Zayas at 20 for 97 (20.62%). Surprisingly, the jockey in the top 20 with the best in the money percentage was Jocelyne “Jocy” Gomez, who was 22 for 39 in the money, 56.41 percent.

Looking at the numbers you can see when he was healthy and riding, Zayas was the top jockey at Gulfstream. When he was out due to injury, Gaffalione compiled the best numbers but his percentages weren’t as good as Zayas or even apprentice Harry Hernandez when he came to town. Gaffalione is scheduled to lose the bug soon and it will be interesting to see how he fares without the benefit of the bug. But Hernandez should be able to pick up the slack and be the top bug in the area while Zayas should continue his domination of the Gulfstream summer and fall meet, when he was 88 for 377 overall at this meet last year, easily outpacing Ramsey Zimmerman who was 56 for 314 overall and Jesus Rios who was 38 for 264.

In a note about American Pharoah, it was announced this week that his next start will be the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park on August 2nd. A three day celebration called the Pharoah Phun Phestival will be held that weekend and it gives New Jersey a chance to celebrate the Triple Crown winner, trainer Bob Baffert, who will be inducted into the Monmouth Hall of Fame and Zayat Stables, residents of New Jersey. A record crowd and handle is expected in the Haskell. American Pharoah looks to have the three year old championship and Horse of the Year locked up already and we must give credit for the connections to want to bring the champion to tracks that may not have the prestige of other races or even the purse or bonus structure of some bigger tracks. This is a Championship Tour which will set attendance and ratings record for horse racing and we need to support it and enjoy it because for all we know, it might be another 37 years before it happens again.

Closer or Leader, try this combination for an exacta box!

When we look at the key factors report for speed horses we are going to be looking at two categories, horses passed and lengths gained. Horses passed is a measure of the number of horses passed during a race. A score above 50 indicates a horse usually passes other horses. A score below 50 indicates a horse is usually passed by other horses. The closer to 100, the more horses are passed by this horse during a race. So the horses with the higher number are the closers and the horses with the lower number are the speed horses.

Lengths gained is a measure of the number of lengths the horse gained during previous races. A score above 80 indicates a horse usually gains on the leaders during a race. A score below 80 indicates a horse usually loses lengths during a race. The closer to 100, the more lengths are gained during a race. The closer to 100, the more the horse improves their position from the leader during previous races. Again the high numbers are usually the closers and a lower number the early speed horses.

Looking at the Mother Goose we see that Include Betty is the highest ranked horse in horses passed with a rating of 90.02 with Danessa Deluxe next at 80.27. They are the best closers in the race. The two lowest ranked horses in the category are Money’soncharlotte at 54.13 and Embellish the Lace at 54.17.

With the lengths gained category, the leader is Include Betty at 88 with Eskenformoney next at 85. When we look at our two early speed horses, Embellish the Lace is actually tied for 4th with Munasara at 84 while Money’soncharlotte is next to last at 77.60. That tells us Embellish the Lace has more staying power and doesn’t necessarily need the lead.

We see that Embellish the Lace has a tactical speed advantage. We also notice that in the workout column, Embellish the Lace is the leader with an 80.18 rating, with Money’soncharlotte next at 79.39.

Even though Money’soncharlotte broke her maiden in the slop at Belmont at a mile last year, the one thing about her that bothers us is that she had shown trouble at the start of her races three and four starts back. But at 20-1 on the morning line and the fact she was 28-1 or higher in her last four starts, she is worth using with a saver win bet and in exotics. But our top choice will be Embellish the Lace, the 7-2 second choice that will be breaking from the rail. Use those two horses in an exacta box with the best closer in the race, Include Betty. But if you wanted to key one horse in the exotics, it should be Embellish the Lace.

Don’t have the time to handicap a race card properly? Try this…

Here at Thoroughbred Analytics the goal is to provide you, the customer, with the best information possible so that you can make the best handicapping selection possible for a particular race. But not everyone has time to put in the work and handicap properly. So one of the options you can use to handicap quickly is to take the top ranked horse in the TA ranks.
The TA Rank lists the horse with highest to lowest TA Indicators. The horse within each race with the highest TA Indicator has a TA Rank of l. The horse with the second highest TA Indicator has a rank of 2, the third highest TA Indicator has a rank of three and so forth for each horse in the race. To see how strong the TA Rank is, you can use the TA Ratio for comparison.

The TA Ratio is one of Thoroughbred Analytics most powerful tools. This represents a horse’s overall relative strength or weakness compared to all other horses entered in the race. The TA Ratio is the TA Indicator of each horse divided by the average TA Indicator of all horses entered in the race. If the TA Ratio is greater than 1.00, this horse is expected to perform better than the average horse in the race. The more the ratio is over 1.00, say 1.15, then the stronger the horse is relative to the field. If the TA Ratio is less than 1.00, this horse is expected to perform more poorly than the average horse in the race. The more the ratio is less than 1.00, say 0.85, then the weaker the horse is relative to the rest of the field.

If you look at Santa Anita on Saturday, June 13, 2015, you see how successful just playing the top ranked horse in the TA rank fared.

In the first race Big Book was the top-ranked horse with a TA Ratio of 1.12, which was .09 better than the second ranked horse Thermodynamics. She paid $7.60 to win.

In the second race, Distinctive B was the top-ranked horse with a TA Ratio of 1.18, .10 better than Broke the Mold. She paid $7.00 to win.

In the third race, which was a turf sprint down the hill, Majestic Minister was the top-ranked horse with the TA Ratio of 1.11, .05 better than Chilada. She paid $4.40 to win.

In the fourth race, Ralis was the top ranked horse with a TA Ratio of 1.14. Castle was the second ranked horse but scratched, so we move down to Carlos Dangerous as the next ranked horse and he was .06 behind the eventual winner. She paid $4.60 to win.

So far we have seen low priced horses, but this system does produce price horses as well. In the fifth race, the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile, Talco, morning line of 5-1, drifted up to 13-1 at post time despite being the top-ranked horse in TA Rank. Coming off the pace under Rafael Bejarano, the John Sadler trainee blew by the field and won, paying $28.40 to win. The early pick five using the top choice in TA Rank paid $1,039.00 for 50 cents.

In the sixth race, My Slew was the top-ranked horse with a slight advantage of .02 over Frensham, paying $6.20 to win.

The seventh race was a disappointing one for us. The top-ranked TA Rank horse Somethings Unusual, finished first but unfortunately was disqualified and placed fifth, ending our run of official winners being ranked first start as the TA ranked horse.

In the eighth race, the whole world not only had Beholder as the easy winner, but also had Warren’s Veneda as the most likely second place finisher, as the $4 exacta for $2 indicates.

In the ninth race, Big Move won as the top-ranked TA Rank horse with an advantage of .1 over the second ranked horse, Take It Easyplease.

At the end of the day you would not have hit the Pick Six cold because of the disqualification. But you still would have collected $74.40 for having five of six.

The TA Rank and TA Ratio are some of the powerful tools available in the handicapping reports and if you don’t have time to handicap as long as you like, using these tools will save you plenty of time and help lead you into the winners circle.

This week was also a sad week in the horse racing industry as one of the legends of the press box will be leaving the Bloodhorse. Steve Haskin announced his resignation from the Bloodhorse effective immediately. Widely considered one of the best at spotting horses ready to win the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown races, Haskin was able to discover American Pharoah’s potential early on and had him ranked number one on his Derby Dozen list despite others jumping ship because the horse had not started his season until March. He may also have been the originator of the photo bomb because he always found a way to get himself in television shots. The man was a walking library of horse racing history and he will be missed greatly at the Bloodhorse. Haskin has said that his work will be appearing in the future at the site or sites to be determined.

American Pharoah’s Triple Crown Win Gave Horseracing Some Much Needed Attention

After witnessing history at Belmont Park last Saturday when American Pharoah became the twelfth horse to win thoroughbred’s Triple Crown, racing has received a needed shot in the arm within the industry and with the mainstream public. Now it is up to race tracks around the country to take advantage of this opportunity and showcase their best races to the general public.

On Saturday, Churchill Downs will present a racing card that may not be as deep as what we saw on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Day, but will have four quality graded stakes on the evening card. Headlining the evening is the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap for older horses at a mile and an eighth.

The first four horses on the morning line for the Stephen Forster come from trainers that are not normally based at Churchill Downs for the whole meet. The 7-5 morning line favorite is Lea from the Bill Mott barn. Next at 5-2 is Hoppertunity from the Bob Baffert barn. Then we have 3-1 Commissioner from the Todd Pletcher barn and another Bob Baffert trainee, 8-1 Cat Burglar.

A comparison of Baffert, Mott and Pletcher using the Class Analysis comparison report show us some interesting stats with them at Churchill Downs. In the last 36 months, Baffert is 4 for 23 (17.4%) in stakes at Churchill Downs, while Mott is 5 for 35 (14.3%) and Pletcher 7 for 63 (11.1%). Numbers are close with Baffert having a slightly better winning percentage. If you look at the in the money record for stakes at Churchill Downs, Mott is 12 for 35 (34.3%) and Pletcher is 22 for 63 (34.9%). But Baffert pulls away from those two with an in the money record of 12 for 23 (52.2%)

A comparison of their jockeys produced interesting numbers as well. Using the jockey Class Analysis comparison report for stakes races at Churchill Downs shows Javier Castellano (Commissioner) at 5 for 35 (14.3%), Joel Rosario (Lea) at 6 for 41 (14.6%) , Mike Smith (Hoppertunity) 3 for 22 (13.6%) and Victor Espinoza (Cat Burglar) at 4 for 11 (36.4%). Espinoza’s in the money percentage is 6 for 11 (54.5%) and the only other jockey from this list at over fifty percent in stakes is Castellano at 19 for 35 (54.3%).

Espinoza overall the past 36 months at Churchill is 5 for 14, with a 3 for 9 record on dirt and 2 for 5 on turf. His three dirt victories were California Chrome and American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby and controversial maiden winner Masochistic in 2014.

Looking at the numbers, the Baffert trained Cat Burglar at 8-1 should be an overlay with Espinoza aboard. Commissioner won Grade 3 stakes as the favorite in last two starts and could give us value, especially with Lea in the race and the dangerous Castellano/Pletcher combo associated with Commissioner. Those would be the two horses I would key in the race with win bets and in the exotics.

Running the Jockey Summary Report for all tracks covered by Equibase for the past month gave us some interesting numbers. The jockey with the most wins the past month in sprints is John Davila Jr. The Finger Lakes based jockey is 28 for 69 (40.6%) and in the money 50 for 69 (72.5%). He is the only jockey with a winning percentage sprinting above 40 percent the past month and the only jockey with a better in the money percentage sprinting is the Charles Town based Arnaldo Bocachica at 73.8% (45 for 61).

At a route, Midwest based Albin Jimenez leads a tight pack with wins with 18 route victories from 53 starts (34%). The best winning percentage goes to Lone Star based Bryan McNeil at 40 percent (10 for 25). The best in the money percentage the past month at a route is Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze at 75 percent (42 for 56). Charles Town based Jose Montano is at 80 percent but he only has ten mounts at a route the past month.

Will Frosted Deny American Pharoah the Triple Crown?

The eyes of the horse racing world will be focused on Belmont Park on Saturday as American Pharoah attempts to become the twelfth horse to win racing’s Triple Crown. The paid attendance on track will be capped at 90,000, and there will be millions of racing fans all over the world watching to see if the son of Pioneer of the Nile reaches immortality with a victory in the race. The buzz over American Pharoah’s attempt to enter racing’s most exclusive club has reached new levels, garnering plenty of publicity in the mainstream media, which we hope will attract people to not only watch the race but to enjoy horse racing in the future.

As one would expect, everyone has an opinion on the race. In order to formulate the best opinion for the race, you need quality information. Here at, the racing fan will have access to plenty of information that will give them the opportunity to make the best selection possible for the race.

When it comes to handicapping, rarely will two people agree 100% on the handicapping methods they used to come up with their opinion on a race. While many have strict methods of handicapping they use, there are others who are very flexible and will use many pieces of information to come up with the selections. provides the racing fans with plenty of information that they can use, from jockey and trainer stats, to past performances, to track modeling, and post position analysis. We are going to look at some of this information for the Belmont Stakes and hope it will be very helpful for you to formulate a solid opinion for the race.

This is the fourth attempt for trainer Bob Baffert to win the Triple Crown. He began his career training quarter horses and soon graduated to thoroughbreds. One would think with this quarter horse experience that Baffert is a speed trainer that can’t get horses to win in a route. This is so far from the truth. It takes talent to put yourself in position to win the Triple Crown, and for this being Baffert’s fourth attempt at it, this is truly a remarkable achievement. We ran a Trainer distance/surface analysis report for Baffert for the last three years. The one number that sticks out is Baffert’s record the last three years with horses going twelve furlongs on dirt. Baffert has started seven horses at that distance and he has a record of 3-3-1. That’s 100% in the money with 43% winners. Even though this is a small sample, one needs talent and the horsemanship just to get to levels like that. Another example of how good a trainer Baffert is going a route, is one for one at eleven furlongs and he is seven for twenty-three at ten furlongs and has been in the money twelve of twenty-three starts.

Using the trainer class analysis report, we see that Baffert’s record for winning stakes at Belmont Park on dirt is five for seventeen and he is eight for seventeen in the money. With each of those categories Baffert does show a profit with his win bets.

You can also run the report where you compare two trainers against each other. We compared Bob Baffert versus Todd Pletcher with their North American stats in the last three years. As of Wednesday, Baffert has a record in stakes of 114 for 504 (22.62%) and 263 for 504 in the money (52.18%). Pletcher has a record in stakes of 214 for 1008 (21.23%) and 508 for 1008 (50.18%) in the money.

For jockey Victor Espinoza, the numbers obviously are not as good. In the last three years, Espinoza is two for 16 in twelve furlong races, but he is zero for six on dirt at the distance. In ten furlong races, overall Espinoza is 10 for 41. His dirt record at that distance is two for nine, with those two victories coming in the Kentucky Derby with California Chrome and American Pharoah. At Belmont Park in the last three years, Espinoza has an overall record of two for eleven. On dirt he is one for seven with that victory coming in an allowance race. He is zero for four in stakes races and he finished off the board in all those races as well. Espinoza is named to ride in six races at Belmont in the two days prior to the Belmont Stakes, with four of the six being on dirt, including Sky Kingdom for Bob Baffert in the Grade 1 Brooklyn.

There are plenty of reports and custom reports on the site a handicapper can use to help formulate their opinion for the race. We will go over these options and reports in the upcoming weeks and will answer any questions you may have. My opinion about the Belmont Stakes. One has to respect what American Pharoah has done, and he will be tough to beat. Baffert will have him ready to roll, and I expect him to continue Baffert’s perfect record of in the money finishes at the distance. I see him having the lead turning for home but I expect him to get caught in deep stretch. The horse that catches him and denies his chance for legendary status, Frosted.