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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 4:34 PM

Wednesday, September 27, 2017




We’ve discussed before how at any race track, or in too many “Guides” bettors are told of the value of watching the tote board with juvenile races.

I have many times written extensively on why this JUST DOESN’T WORK any better than not watching the tote. But rather than repeat these reasons yet again. Let us simply take a look at the bottom line by going over the juvenile races over the first 11 days of the Belmont fall Championship Meet.

There have been 20 such races over the time span. Of the 20, there have been 6 winning favorites (30 %.) The average winning payoff for the 20 races has been $18.43.

When you compare that with the overall numbers for the meet you find that 33% of favorites win at an average payoff of $13.90. In other words, don’t rely too heavily on the tote for the juveniles.


As of Wednesday a quick check of the jockey standings is going to tell most bettors what they already know. The top 4 jockeys in the standings are Javier Castellano (58-16)…Irad Ortiz, Jr. (89-12)…Joel Rosario (55-12)…Luis Saez (67-12.)

Missing is Jose Ortiz due to an injury suffered in a fall two weeks back.

The next in line is Jose Lezcano (51-5) and John Velazquez (39-5) followed by a quartet of jockeys at 4 each, including the subject today’s Jockey Watch, Dylan Davis.

If you have joined me on these pages at all over the years you know that I do not weigh anywhere as heavily as the public does, the importance of a jockey. With the kind of training job a Chad Brown does with his horses, do you think there is much difference (other than the odds due to the public weight) if these horses would be ridden by any one of the arguably ten best riders on the ground?

Fortunately for bettors who are paying attention, there is definitely a way to ascertain value from under-the-radar to completely discounted riders.

Look at it this way. Irad Ortiz, Jr. has become a tip of the tongue accolade receptor, whether from pundits, fellow riders, trainers and race fans. Dylan Davis? Not so much. But here is the very big BUT…

As of the finish of racing at Belmont on Sunday 9/24, in 11 days of racing:

Irad Ortiz, Jr. – 89 Mounts – 12 Winners – 13.4%
His 12 total winners had an average payoff of $8.63…return on investment for each $2 wager…$1.16

Dylan Davis – 34 Mounts – 4 Winners – 11.8%
His 4 total winners had an average payoff of $19.88
Terralsole - $27.20…Try Flying $26.80…Proper Freud $15.60…Dr. Edgar $9.90
The return on investment for each $2 wager…$2.34

Now, I can’t blame you if you say, who wants to spend every racing day playing every Dylan Davis horse in order to eke out a profit? That my friends is a logical question. And since you asked I’ll let you in on one of the ways you can pare this down even further.

Of the 34 horses Dylan Davis has ridden to this point of the Belmont Fall Championship, not a single one has gone off as the favorite (remember, the public you are betting against does not pay attention.) But I do. And so does a very small number of successful handicappers. Because these numbers can be broken down even more.

The range of Davis’ 4 winners was from 12.6-1 to 3.95-1. Within that range he rode only 11 horses. In fact, since Davis is still an unknown commodity among most bettors his 34 horses so far went off at an average price of 33.5-1. You begin to see why he might not have the kind of win numbers which come close to those of the household jockey names.

So if you decided to wait for the Dylan Davis runners to garner interest at the windows (that 3.95-1 to 12.6-1 range) or even filtered in the additional 2 runners that went off under 20.8-1 you would make 13 bets or a $26 investment for a return of $103.50. There are other jockeys that I break down this way, but I’m not going to do all the work.

However, you can see why I consider Dylan Davis WORTH WATCHING! 

(BELMONT HORSES TO WATCH – Wednesday 9/20 – Sunday 9/24)

– As this Horses-To-Watch was published on Wednesday our first horse from the Belmont List (beginning 9/8 with the start to the Belmont Fall Championship Meet) ran back today in Race 3…ISOTOPE – WIN $15.00

CERRO – First off a 62.5K claim by Mitch Friedman the veteran sprinter was no late match for the David Jacobson drop down winner in the 50K 6 furlong test but set all the pace, relented at the sixteenth pole and was 2 ½ lengths clear of the show horse in 1:10 2/5. Has speed, is in form and wins at this level next time.

JODY'S SONG – Another sharp NYSB juvenile, this filly from the last crop of too-early deceased sire Scat Daddy was well-prepared for excellent but yet under-the-radar trainer Jorge Abreu and was all business in her debut in the Mile MSW Turf test.  She was always in hand, took command approaching the quarter pole and still raced in hand through the final eighth. It was the kind of debut that bodes well for seeping restricted conditions or venturing into open company. 

MOM’S A COUGAR – In a rapidly run 50K starter/entry level allowance 6 furlong turf sprint the Delaware shipper was making her first start since 7/6. She was bumped at the break, ran into contention aggressively thereafter, had to angle out 5 wide in the lane, got to the lead a furlong out and weakened late. Should be more settled and fit vs same in next.

PORTANDO – If you throw out the mile turf try at the Spa on 7/30, which trainer Linda Rice obviously did, as she waited until her gelding returned to Belmont and sprinting you can feel confident in his prospects. He was 2-for-2 on the Belmont lawn heading into the 6 furlong allowance test, broke from the outside and challenged a contentious group before falling a half-length short in 1:07 2/5. Hurtles the condition next time.

SPIN CYCLE - Away alertly, was well held on the lead until asked for more approaching the 3/16ths pole. Given that there have been only two wire-wo-wire winners at any distance on turf over the first 8 days of the meet the son of Hard Spun did well to hold second in the 9 furlong NYSB entry level allowance/optional claiming turf test. Breaks through soon.

WARRANTY – In her first start since mid-January at Gulfstream, trainer Chad Brown had this 4-year old Artie Schiller filly well-prepped for the 50K starter/entry level allowance 8 ½ furlong turf try. She was reserved for the first 6 furlongs, angled six wide into the stretch and had little trouble edging away and creating a margin in the lane. Will continue to move forward, especially in this barn.

WAY EARLY – The George Weaver trained gelded juvenile son of Tizway was more than ready for his debut vs restricted NYSB MSW rivals. After bobbling at the break he was settled towards the rear of the Mile Turf test. Kept under wraps by Joel Rosario they waited until the top of the lane, eased out 6 wide and easily drew clear. He looks like a youngster that won’t be long going through state-bred conditions.





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