Unlocking Winners

Handicapping strategies and picks for top Thoroughbred races

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: The QE II and the Athenia

Keeneland, Race 9, Local Post Time 5:21 pm ET The G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup , 1 1/8 Miles, Turf, 3YO Fillies By Douglas Salvatore It's very frustrating when the 9/5 morning line favorite in a race has no significant advantage on speed figures, but you still can't muster up the courage to oppose her. Alterite just missed twice at the Group 1 level, by margins of only a nose and a head, back... Read More

Brisnet.com's Ultimate Guide To Letting A Wagering Menu Work For You & a $200 Contest

An even money shot who you like but don't love can be a daunting part of any Pick 4 sequence. Winning 50% of the time means they lose 50% of the time, too. If you have two such horses in a sequence then it's as likely that they both lose than both win (25%, 3-to-1 either way). So how do you make money in this scenario? By letting a track's wagering menu work for you. For Past Performances of all races... Read More

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: The Juddmonte Spinster, The Champagne and the Shadwell Turf Mile

Keeneland, Race 8, Local Post Time 4:49 pm ET The G1 Juddmonte Spinster , 1 1/8 Mile, F/M, 3+, Polytrack By Douglas Salvatore The Keeneland Polytrack has been notorious for upsets in stakes races. Yesterday, Wise Dan and Groupie Doll were its two latest victims, even though they've had success over the surface in the past. It's always tempting to hunt for value, especially when the statistics for post... Read More

Brisnet.com's Ultimate Guide To Betting Entries

I've lamented before about the horseplayer compulsion to pick THE winner, and nothing upsets that need more than coupled entries. The Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances now available for Belmont Park this weekend include program numbers and morning line to help you navigate this situation. When it comes to the pari-mutuel pool, though, you don't get extra credit for saying Real Solution will win... Read More

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: The Jockey Club Gold Cup and The Awesome Again

Belmont, Race 10, Local Post Time 5:49 pm ET The G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup , 1 and 1/4 Miles, 3+, Dirt By Douglas Salvatore The Jockey Club Gold Cup is unquestionably the main attraction of this year's Super Saturday card at Belmont Park. The eventual Breeders' Cup Classic winner has used the Jockey Club Gold Cup as his final prep for each of the last three years, and what makes this race all the more... Read More

Brisnet.com's Gallant Bob Preview: Too fast for a speed duel:

When handicappers note that "there is a lot of speed in this race" what they most typically mean is that there are a lot of front-running types--that is a horse who likes to race on or near the front end. It is folly to think that a race loaded with front runners can't be won by a front runner. It's only an issue if those dynamics make logical contenders go faster than is prudent. The Gallant Bob Stakes... Read More

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: The Pennsylvania Derby and The Gallant Bloom

Saturday, Parx, Race 11, Scheduled Local Post Time 5:45 pm ET The G2 Pennsylvania Derby , 1 and 1/8 Miles, Dirt, 3-year-olds By Douglas Salvatore Do your best Dr. Evil impersonation because one million dollars is on the line in the Pennsylvania Derby at slots-fueled Parx. The 2/1 morning line favorite, Will Take Charge , and the 5/2 morning line second choice, Moreno , were separated by only a nose... Read More

Brisnet.com's guide to turning 2-to-5 on Wise Dan into even money

This scene from The Simpsons came to mind when considering whether to single Wise Dan in the $200,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on Sunday at Woodbine , or go against him in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile. Seeing the reigning Horse of the Year win his ninth consecutive race would "please the gentleman" as the shopkeep says in the video above, but he would do so at no more than his morning line odds of 2-to-5 and maybe... Read More

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: The Woodbine Mile

Sunday, Woodbine, Race 10, Scheduled Post Time 5:38pm ET The G1 Woodbine Mile , Turf, 1 Mile, Three-and-up By Douglas Salvatore Even though the Woodbine Mile might be the least attractive betting race on Sunday's entire card, it will be the focus for us because of the celebrity of Wise Dan. In plain English, Wise Dan should dominate this group. In recent races, he's been victimized by heavy weight... Read More

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: The Bowling Green and The Super Derby

The Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap, Saturday at Belmont (Race 8), Inner Turf, Three-Year Olds and Up, One Mile and One Quarter Get Free PP's for the Bowling Green Handicap The hard-hitting six-year-old Boisterous has been installed as the 7/5 morning line favorite even though he finished a disappointing eighth as the 9/5 favorite in the Sword Dancer just three weeks ago. Much has been made of Boisterous... Read More

TimeformUS Sunday Stakes Plays: The Spinaway and the Del Mar Derby

The Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes, Sunday, Saratoga, Two-Year Olds, Main Track, Seven Furlongs Scheduled Post Time: 5:45 PM EDT Get free PP's for the Spinaway Five different horses in today's Spinaway have scored wire-to-wire victories at sprint distances shorter than today's seven furlong distance. The "speed of the speed" is unquestionably Brazen Persuasion (5-1 morning line) from her rail post. She also... Read More

Brisnet.com's Ultimate Case for Mucho Macho Man & Lea

Pace handicapping is actually a two-step process. The question is not "How fast will they go," but (in the case of front runners), "How fast can this horse go and still win?" "A lot of pace in the race" doesn't set the race up for a closer if three front runners are gassed after a :22 first quarter and :45 half but a fourth horse is able to run those fractions and still come home in :24 for 1:09 for... Read More

Brisnet.com's Ultimate Case for Orb To Win the Travers Stakes

The Travers Stakes is one of those races where there is an onus to have A PICK. When someone asks you, "Who is going to win the Grade 1, $1-million Travers Stakes on Saturday at historic Saratoga Race Course?" The convention is that you have a one-horse answer. I.e. hedging for value or pace or other bet types (e.g. "I'm playing an exacta with...") is not allowed. It's also frowned upon to say, "Decide... Read More

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: Saratoga and Del Mar Graded Stakes Races

The Grade 1 TVG Pacific Classic Stakes, Del Mar, Polytrack, Three-and-Up, One Mile and One Quarter Local Post Time - 5:10pm PT Sunday Get Pacific Classic Day PPs at TimeformUS The Pacific Classic has 13 entrants this year and no shortage of long resumes and good recent form. Richard's Kid has already won this race twice and he signalled that he's back in form by winning the Grade 3 Cougar II over this... Read More

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: Sunday Stakes Previews at Saratoga and Del Mar

The Grade 2 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Stakes, Saratoga, Inner Turf, Three-Year Old Fillies, One Mile and One Eighth Caroline Thomas (12-1) is a deep closer who has been subjected to one extremely slow pace after another. (Note that fractions rated to be particularly slow are shown in blue.) She also had some trouble at the start in her last which is not noted in the shorter chart comments you see... Read More

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: Saratoga and Del Mar Graded Stakes Races

Sunday, Saratoga, Race 10, 5:45 PM EDT The Grade 2 Saratoga Special, Six and a Half Furlongs, Two-Year Olds And Up, Main Track Foal crop sizes have gotten smaller since the mid 1980s, and as a consequence, trainers have become much more patient in their handling of juveniles. When City Zip won the 2000 edition of the Saratoga Special, he did it while making the seventh start of his career. Fast-forward... Read More

TimeformUS Weekend Plays: Saratoga and Del Mar Graded Stakes Races

Sunday Saratoga, Race 9, 5:12 pm ET The Grade 1 Vandebilt, 3-and-up, 6 fulongs, Dirt Betting strategy: Straight exacta: Delaunay over Justin Phillip A field of five is assembled for the Vanderbilt. Delaunay and Gentlemen's Bet both exit the Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows, while Bahamian Squall and Justin Phillip exit the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder, and the indefatigable Caixa Eletronica... Read More

The Evolution of 'Unlocking Winners'

We are introducing new content to the "Unlocking Winners" blog from handicappers with TimeformUS, a new digital past performance service that launched July 17 . TimeformUS will be offering insight to select weekend stakes and provide updates on the blog as track conditions and/or horses entered change, so check in regularly throughout the weekend for updates. And as always, please add your comments... Read More

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