Five things to watch for at Turfway Park

February 21st, 2021

Weather has played havoc with the racing at Turfway Park recently, but there have still been more than 30 cards contested at the Florence, Kentucky, venue dating back to the Holiday meet which started on Dec. 2. Due to a lack of turf racing at Turfway, all events have been run on the Tapeta, which makes it a bit easier to zero in on any trends that have been taking place. Below are five of the main things to keep an eye out for through closing day on Mar. 27.

Favorites are winning, but so are longshots

Favorites have done their fair share of accumulating victories, with the betting choice coming home first in 36 percent of the races. But the meeting has been far from chalky, with the average winner going off at odds of 7-1.

Speed is not dominant

Being in the lead at the first call doesn’t equate to victory on many occasions. In the sprint outings, 26 percent of the first-place finishers have won in wire-to-wire fashion, and that number drops considerably when going long. Just 16 percent of the route events have been taken by the horse leading early on. I will continue to favor the contenders coming from off the pace in two-turn endeavors, especially.

Exotics returns are big

There is considerable money to be made in the exotics, both in the vertical and horizontal pools. The average exacta return is $132, while correctly wagering on the superfecta has rewarded bettors with payoffs in excess of $10,000.

In the multi-race bets, the Pick 4 averages a return of $11,000, while the Pick 5 is giving back a robust $36,000.


Wesley Ward leads the trainers’ standings with 10 victories, and he will be tough to upend in that spot with a volume of well-meant runners at the meeting. His stout training line reads 30-10-5-0 currently. 

And you better watch out when Jonathan Thomas saddles a runner in a race. The conditioner boasts a superb 8-6-0-0 line through Feb. 20. While this winning pace will be difficult to endure through late March, I think it would be wise to ride the hot hand until it cools.

Jockeys’ race heating up

A trio of pilots are currently atop the jockeys’ standings, and this could come down to the final races of the meeting to determine the winner. Santiago Gonzalez leads with 19 tallies. He is closely followed by Chris Landeros with 18, and Gerardo Corrales, who has guided 17 horses to the winner's circle so far. Of the trio, Landeros is winning at the highest percentage, and his mounts deserve a second look in the form that he is in right now.