Anyone who creates, markets, and/or sells speed ratings and/or performance figures for a living will gladly tell you how over complicated we’ve made the handicapping process.
Andy Beyer wrote about it in his books, as did Len Ragozin in his: the single most powerful piece of information when handicapping is a trustworthy final time figure.
And most would agree that such a number is just that: Only a piece, but can it be the only piece? Sometimes.
Take Kentucky Downs, for instance. An all-turf meeting on a European-style course with undulations and sweeping turns might be the last place you’d consider only using speed ratings to handicap, but that’s probably why they’re so powerful there. The other angle to that is while speed ratings might be more difficult to produce on turf—especially a European-style course where so few races are run each year—the horses competing at Kentucky Downs earned their last-out rating at more established venues (a backhanded way of saying it’s understandable if you trust a Speed Rating at Saratoga more than Kentucky Downs).
Looking at every race at Kentucky Downs since 2006, betting the best last-out Brisnet.com Speed Rating in sprints (races up to and including 7 ½ furlongs) has produced a flat-bet profit.
And that’s not even the most powerful Brisnet figure! The top-ranked PRIME POWER horse over that same nine-year period also produced a flat bet profit, and that stat is regardless of distance of class.
I.e., all you would have needed to do to “beat the meets” the last nine years at Kentucky Downs is bet the top-ranked Prime Power horse every race.
Kentucky Downs’ 2015 season begins on Saturday, September 5, and we’ll have some fun with these numbers seeing how they do throughout the meeting, and you can best believe that when me and Joe Kristufek begin playing the Kentucky Pick 5s next week as part of the TwinSpires.com Players’ Pool that I won’t be leaving any top-ranked horses off our tickets!
The other angle I’m keen to play this meeting is that jockey Florent Geroux’s mounts will continue to be overlaid. Geroux has a lifetime positive ROI in races longer than 1 3/16 miles.
Here are the horses who meet our criteria on the opening day card at Kentucky Downs: