by Ed Meyer

posted on October 9, 2009 in General Discussion, Handicapping | No Comments >>

Every time you go to the track, you should be digging for something to take from the day. I watched, as you did, the first day of the Keeneland meet. It was rainy, and looked miserable.  On Saturday, the weather calls for a much cooler day. So, wear a jacket if you are heading that way, and know that the turf course should have a great deal of give to it. You can always count on the poly track being fast….

Here are a few nuggets to keep in mind before making your wagers. For this day, the graded stakes have yielded a sweet 7-1 or better payoff average. That is the kind of day that can break the bank, if used properly. Only 2 of 15 have been more than 15-1, and winning chalksters have taken a nose dive. So, steer clear of the low price plays, and find that fertile middle ground runner.

I would look for a turf runner who has run in Europe, or enjoys a soft to yielding course. I feel the weather will keep the damp in the ground, and breeding may play a factor. You will want to keep track of your tier levels to find value. I also think it is a safe bet to change your form for a soft turf course. This will give you different predictions.

Trainer watch…. Keep your eye peeled for Ken McPeek, Bill Mott, Richard Dutrow, and Kiaran McLaughlin. There are a bevy of year-to-year suspects: Rusty Arnold, Mike Maker, and Neil Howard.

Jockey alert… Bet your pockets on Jamie Theriot on turf events going long. He loves the course, and has the number dialed in already. Play Robby Alabarado, Kent D, Julien Leparoux, and Rajiv Maragh if you want to find solid payoffs. You can feel safe with Jose Lezcano, Miguel Mena, and Shaun Bridgmohan when he is town.

Overall, the track plays closers. I would bank on this going in, but with the rain and cooler temps, I would bet a tight track where they lay a little closer than usual. So, there it is.. A little nugget or two, and all you need now is your data in hand. I would be sure and keep my eye on the weather, and watch the icons. They will guide you well during this short meet where history has held good value.