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I am interested in following a new track, but I am having trouble deciding which meet to follow. I am curious as to which meets some of you might suggest. I have about 10 tracks that I'm interested in, but I've ruled some out due to length of season (Woodbine), uncertain future (Hollywood, I wouldn't want to do a lot of research for a track that might not be around for more than 1 more year), and what I call "sharpie" tracks. What I mean by "sharpie" is a track like Saratoga, Gulfstream, or any California track where there are a lot of "sharp" handicappers that have forgotten more than I will ever know about that track/trainers. I don't feel like I have any chance with those type of circuits. I am aware that every track has "sharpies" but a I feel that I have a better chance at a less followed meet.
These are the tracks I'm considering:
Aqueduct (Inner Dirt Meet)
Churchill Downs (Spring Meet)
Which one of these tracks would you choose to follow and why? Before you ask why Hoosier and Sunland are on the list, I have them included because they have slots and I consider their futures "solid". If there is another meet you would consider feel free to let me know about it and if I'm totally wrong about my "sharpie" theory, go ahead and correct me.
Thanks in advance.
Nix Hollypark just because Bye Bye Hollywood won the 2nd at Oak Tree today??
It certainly helps to follow the same group of horses/jockeys/trainers as they migrate to/from SA, HP and DM, whether or not you believe in the "turn system"!
Keep the charts, learn the trainers, you can become your own wise guy. Besides, in this financial climate, it may be a while before Hollypark becomes yet another boring mall.
Problem with Oaklawn is, what do you to the other 11 months? Actually, the problem/secret with Oaklawn is, every one ships in, and you have to have and use a track variance chart of some sort in order to compare apples to apples. Don't ignore shippers from Prairie Meadows, either, 'specially from one of the ten or so Von Hemels.
BTW, the picker on the Prairie Meadows site is pretty darn good. Prolly not much else to do out there.
Aqueduct Inner - there seems to be a group of trainers that wait for that inner track and do very well there. Not big names but you gotta follow them.
I can't win at Hoosier, but I prolly don't put in the necessary effort, so I quit playing it.
The Penn tracks run like 360 days a year (seriously!) And Calder has a very long meet. New Mexico will still be racing after the total collapse of American horse racing.
I would say how you like to bet has a bit to do with where you play.If you are a pk4 or 6 player, NY and CA are your best bets, ex and tri's pay well above average at Arlington. The Pa circut is a good one to follow because most of the tracks,horses, and trainers are interchangeable, if they don't do well at Philly and Suffolk, they go to Penn and Beulah and you can catch some nice prices if you know a few horses.Some Suffolk horses go to Tampa in winter. Don't be too quick to nix Hollywood park, I have made my best money there because my handicapping seems the most consistant at that track. I can't say the same for Ky and La, whoever I "think" should win, doesn't. Ahh.. the horseplayers lament. Keep us posted on what you choose and GOOD Luck
If you are going to follow it closely, as in watch every race, look at charts, etc. then Aqueduct is an excellent choice. The winter racing is lower level, but still much, much better than the average circuit. On the inner track you can pick up on and capitalize on biases both on the day they occur and the bet-backs that are created by running against them. For that matter the inner track played incredibly fair last year and the racing was rather enjoyable.
The Fair Grounds is a great track which usually plays quite fair as well because of the enormously long stretch. The turf course is very tricky and prone to all types of inconsistencies (bad rail, huge dirt patches in the middle of the course). The racing is above average for a Louisiana track and the stakes schedule is strong.
Oaklawn has always been a mystery to me. The fields are big but for the most part the horses are subpar.
I don't follow Sunland but have seen that it's a fair track with small pools and competitive racing.
Tampa is another good recommendation as they have one of the best turf courses around and the racing is getting better year in and year out.
Hope that helps a bit.
Good question here...
On your list, I like the Churchill Spring Meet and Tampa.
Churchill Spring is a long enough meet but yet not too long. Has top horses for their stakes races although the lower levels class seems to be dropping. Looks like they will likely go to 4 day weeks again although nothing is official. I love the 50 cent pick 4 there. The pools are big enough and money can be made on the bet.
Tampa - displays full fields, great turf course as has been mentioned and rarely gets effected by poor weather. I know some people love the slop (Mr. Purple), but I don't and I can usually bank on there not being too many scratches.
Anyway, I too am going to find one track and concentrate solely on that one and see if I can produce better returns.
Its pretty much the same circuit. Many of the same horses will be running. Similar trainers although with some differences. It would make your transition from each meet much easier.
And dont sleep on Sunland Park. Racing there isnt half bad.
I would be a vegetarian if BACON grew on trees
How about Penn National?
year round racing
Shippers from around the east coast and the mid-atlantic region to add another puzzle piece to your handicapping.
Jockey colony changes with the seasons.
multiple claiming class' and conditions.
...and PA is a state that is adding to their pre-race drug testing menu.
...and they got a fancy website...
Thanks for all the replies and well wishes so far. Some good cases were made for some of the tracks. I still haven't decided what track to follow, but I will let you know when I do decide. Thanks again for all the responses.
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