Just How Powerful is American Pharoah's 14-point Prime Power Advantage?

August 29th, 2015

Just how gaudy is American Pharoah’s 14.4-point PRIME POWER advantage in the Travers Stakes in terms of his actual chances of winning the race?

In 74 fast dirt route graded stakes since 2006 at Saratoga, there have been 7 horses with a PRIME POWER advantage greater than ten. Six of the seven won for an ROI of +16%, and all seven hit the board. Of the 25 with at least a 5-point advantage, 14 (56%) won for a +4% ROI (with 21 [84%] finishing in the money).

If we combine the 10-point PRIME POWER advantage with American Pharoah’s 2-point last-out Brisnet.com Speed Rating advantage and 3-point Class Rating advantage, we find that in non-maiden dirt routes at Saratoga those horses win 71% of the time and have never finished out of the money.

All that is not to say that American Pharoah is a good win bet at 1- or 2-to-5. The first example features an extremely limited sample size, and the second example, while producing a lot of winners and confidence for bridgejumpers, resulted in a -6% ROI per $2 wager—better than takeout, but hardly the Rosetta stone.

But from a can-I-try-to-turn-1-or-2-to-5-into-even-money-using-other-bets standpoint, these numbers seem to indicate that you’re better off with that approach than trying to beat American Pharoah outright.

Travers day racing begins at 11:45 a.m. EDT (see chart below), and we’ll begin our Travers day a little earlier with a full-card ABC grid. In the meantime, check out our Travers/American Pharoah omnibus featuring all our great content for the weekend!