Emerald Downs track update: July 20, 2021

July 20th, 2021

Emerald Downs is two months into its summer meet, with about two months remaining, which includes the Longacres Mile (G3) next month.

The halfway point is a great time to check in on the meet.


It is a tight race at the top of the Emerald Downs jockey standings.

Alex Cruz leads the way, with 39 victories from 170 starts (23%), two wins clear of Julien Couton (37 wins, 162 starts, 23%) and five ahead of Juan Gutierrez (34 wins, 141 starts, 24%). They are the three clear leaders in the colony. No one else has more than 13 victories.

Looking for price angles?

Though most of the races at Emerald are sprints, when you see Gutierrez in a route race, take a good, long look at his horse. He has won seven of his 16 two-turn starts (44%). Not only does that make him the clear leader in route wins, but he has offered bettors a healthy +108% ROI in those races. 

Another jockey to watch for a price at Emerald is Heribert Martinez. Looking at horses priced at 8-1 or better, Martinez has four wins from 39 starts, but the winners have paid enough to give him a +59% ROI. That implies high variance, but he is getting enough home to be profitable.


Joe Toye has had a sparkling summer, with a meet-leading 16 wins from only 49 starts (33%). He has four more than Vince Gibson (12 wins, 64 starts, 19%) and Frank Lucarelli (12 wins, 77 starts, 16%), with Ari Herbertson (11 wins, 25 starts, 44%) the only other trainer in double digits. Toye (+19%) and Herbertson (+18%) also have positive ROIs at the meet.

Just as with jockeys, look toward routes for price trainer angles. Tim McCanna is having a solid meet in general, with eight wins from just 20 starts (40%), but he has three wins from four starts in route races, with a +190% ROI. Jeff Metz is the co-leading trainer in route wins. Though his three have come in 11 starts (27%), he still has a positive flat-bet return (46%).

At a Glance

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