The Turk: Turf Handicapping and Exacta Betting.
The Turk, along with his son, the Little Turk, provide handicapping and bet construction to people who never asked for it. Established September 2008.
Sunday, March 5, 2023
Post Race Handicapping Analysis: The Honey Fox G3 at Gulfstream
Saturday, March 4, 2023
The Nomination Is In: The Honey Fox G3 and The Turk Hits the 700th Post Milestone
Friday, March 3, 2023
The Nomination Is In: The Santa Anita Handicap
Classic Distance racing always a bit of a wildcard for veteran older horses: 11 starts for this field at that distance, 2 wins and 4 Place/Shows. Tomlinson's, always a bit murky, have Hopper 372 and next closest 50 points lower. That's a good spread for comparing Tomlinson's but is Hopper the pick?. Focus on the key metrics every race when building your base handicap: Class, Current Form, Early and Late Speed, Distances, Track Record, Trainer/Rider stats, In the Money and Wins over surface. If you hit the key variables in the base handicap, it puts you in a good position to focus on the nuance during bet construction: pace, trainer intentions, post positions, tote board odds.
Ultimately you will grade yourself on a few metrics: Did I make a return on my betting capital? Was my handicap any good? Does my analysis of the Past Performances justify continued betting on that surface, that age range, that track? Did I have fun? I'm no gambling whale. I'm just a nobody who likes horses, like's to write about race handicapping, and talks about himself in the third person. All that said, I do this because it brings me joy and I have fun. I think in modern times there are far easier ways to make money in sports betting, so if you are reading this, I hope you agree with me.
Let's get after it!
The Santa Anita Handicap G1: 1 1/4 Miles for 4 YO and UP
Saturday, February 18, 2023
The Nomination Is In: The Fairgrounds Stakes G3
|Gentle Soul: Hodges Photography|
Sunday, February 5, 2023
The Nomination Is In: The San Marcos Grade 3 at Santa Anita
Every year, when I'm mentally engaged, and that engagement has returned for me, I enjoy the progression of races , and the horse athletes. It helps your handicapping tremendously to follow the flow of the Conditions Book and where the Trainers bring their runners next. Getting second and third looks at these horses really allows you to project ahead and find those overlays that every horse player needs to make up for the inevitable misses. One I've been tracking is that beautiful Grey/Roan pictured, The Grey Wizard (Ire). Motion and Velazquez have a lot of horse, only 2 races into the geldings 4 YO campaign, and already the resume is impressive: A Place in a G3 and G2 and a very impressive 1 1/4 Turf Allowance win last time out here at Santa Anita (video below). If you play the horses long enough you get to watch 3-4 year careers at best, and that's one reason I like turf racing as they tend to race longer. My favorite part of the sport is watching horses like Dicey Mo Chara succeed, and horses like The Grey Wizard to emerge. Each race is an opportunity for that, and the progression these horses will take through the calendar, across the meets, just adds to it. It's a great sport if it can ever be managed in a more unified fashion. Anyways, I leave those sorts of topics for more professional writers, and I stick to my thing. Let's get after it!
The San Marcos Grade 3: 1 1/4 Miles on Downhill Turf Course for 4 YO and Up
I've added a new column to my analysis beginning with this race. As I've always done, I adjust the Morning Line to percentage which includes track takeout, the ever increasing tack takeout, and from there I adjust the ML to 100% by lowering each horse by the 33% takeout that the ML's add to the win odds. I'm trying to find apples and apples with the fair line, and while this method isn't perfect, it's helpful to me to make this conversion and look for the inconsistencies. Expect the Turf to be firm and the weather good. I don't see any threat to turf conditions degrading.
Let's take a look at some relevant recent video.
John Henry Turf Cup G2: SA 1 1/14 Miles Firm; 1 Oct 2022
Saturday, January 28, 2023
The Nomination Is In: The Pegasus World Cup Turf International G1 at GP
|Ivar: Photo Bloodhorse|
So much nuance on the past performances, especially for older runners over routes of grass. My base handicap tries to ignore the pace scenario and focus on ranking who the best horses are, in order, and then a fair line is set. The fair line is set to 100% while the Morning Line is calibrated to track takeout, ever increasing track takeout. I don't get hung up on the percentages too much, but the ordering of the horses and where I think they may finish relative to an exacta bet, the focal point of this blog. So much nuance with this group. That handsome fella to the left is Ivar, the b7 year old son of Agnes Gold (JPN) from Sunday Silence. They really can bred the turf runners in South America.
I am just going to post my base handicap for now. I spent so much time building it I ran out of time to prattle on about the video I pulled on many of them.
The Pegasus World Cup Turf International G1; 1 1/8 Miles on expected Firm Turf for 4 YO and Up
I'm going to go deep with this one, taking my Win and Place horses into the exacta: My initial thoughts just to memorialize it is: $2 Exacta: 10/12 OVER 10-12-6-2-7-9 for $20.
Enjoy the racing friends!
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
The Nomination Is In: The $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf G3 at Gulfstream Park
I think it also fits my introverted personality to gravitate to a sport that has seen much better times, and gravitate within that sport to less popular athletes and less popular races. I do this for me. I'm humbled and appreciate when what I do is read and someone appreciates it, but I do this for the love of older horses with a great late turn of foot, running over a route of grass. That simple. It'd hard to believe but sometime in the next month I will reach 700 total blog posts since my first on 21 September 2008. The milestone post to me is just a testament to my dedication to a sport that lets me down regularly: Hollywood and Arlington Park's closing, the throttling of race dates for Kentucky Downs, the drug controversies, it saps me. I was an enormous Tour de France fan but the sport killed my love. I've never let horse racing kill horse racing for me, but it's tried. Luckily I'm an optimist who doesn't believe that Twitter is real life, that political differences shouldn't divide us and that race relations and opportunities for historically discriminated people have improved greatly since I was born in the 60's. A $500,000 Grade 3 turf race. These are the fun days in racing, let's get after this!
The Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Cup G3; 1 1/16 Miles at Gulfstream Park