1) Do not bet any horse who is running on synthetics for the B.C., if their last race was on dirt, irregardless of whether they have run on the wax before and/or have done well on it previously. Just Don't Do It! Give added credit for any horse that has also worked local B4 race.
2) Two turn races, synth. or turf, look for horses with some break from the gate, but not horses on the lead. Look for the horses with jocks that will keep horses inside and covered up, until the real racing begins and they spread out turning for home. Watch the replays from last year; jocks tend to fan out much more than in normal races. Always seems to be room for horses with run to burst thru.
3) Euros will rule. But don't just focus on the hyped ones. Look for the Euros that might not be coming into the race off winning or hitting the board, but have improved slightly over last few months. If an owner and trainer over in Europe is shipping a horse that doesn't look great in form, there is a reason. The've often been pointed to massively increase their performance for this one race.
4) Two year old races often go to horses that have run third or fourth in their last prep. Same "peaking" rules in #3 go against the more hyped winners of the prep races.
5) Lastly, place and show bets, exactas and the such pay so much more than normal for the odds of the horses that will hit. Coming in third often doesn't feel like you've won, unless you got $20 to show on a 7 or 8 to 1 shot that pays $6.80 or higher.
Hope all you mooks make big hits with your picks and here's to all of us having to give an autograph to the good folks at the I.R.S.