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July/August, 2008                                   VOL. 22, NO. 6


>> Tackling the Spa and Surf
>> FREE Past Performances every day for the tracks you wager on
>> NHC World Qualifiers - Mark Your Calendars!
>> $pecialization
>> Arlington Million
>> July Racing Calendar

Saratoga Race Course, a picture-perfect vacation spot nestled in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, annually offers some of the best racing in the country. Tackling this track successfully is never an easy task but with the help of superior Brisnet.com information and some diligent research, it can prove to be both a profitable and fun meet.


Secretariat may have been upset here by Onion, but this is hardly the graveyard of favorites. From 2003 through 2005 favorites won at a success rate close to 40 percent. Think twice before excluding the favorite from your exotic wagers.

Year Win % Trifecta
2007 32% $330.00
2006 33% $232.00
2005 38% $234.25
2004 38% $219.25
2003 40% $280.00
2002 34% $222.00


Two year old racing is a highlight of the meet, and a majority of the juvenile events are won by certain trainers. Steve Asmussen (31%), Bob Baffert (50%), Rick Dutrow, Jr. (33%), Dominic Galluscio (25%), Ramon Hernandez (29%), Mike Hushion (25%), Graham Motion (27%), Richard Violette, Jr. (18%) and Nick Zito (18%) are the trainers you need to know when it comes to Saratoga two-year-old races. Take note that Todd Pletcher's win rate in two year old races has dropped to 17% the past three years, sharply lower than his usual 25% success rate. [More on Pletcher later.]

All of these fine horseman have won a healthy percentage of their two-year-old starts over the past three seasons according to the popular handicapping guide Track Stats 2008 (available at www.brisnet.com/trackstats, 1-800-354-9206, x. 254).


Whether we're talking human or equine, the cream of the crop dominates this meeting. Although Prado dropped out of the top four last year, finishing fifth, note the similar names in the final jockey standings over the past four seasons.

2007 Top Jockeys Starts Wins Win% itm%
Cornelio Velasquez 258 44 17% 40%
Kent Desormeaux 227 43 19% 44%
Garrett Gomez 175 29 17% 45%
Ramon Dominguez 212 28 13% 39%
2006 Top Jockeys Starts Wins Win% itm%
Edgar Prado 216 46 21% 49%
Garrett Gomez 191 42 22% 54%
John Velazquez 192 30 16% 46%
Cornelio Velasquez 220 30 14% 42%
2005 Top Jockeys Starts Wins Win% itm%
Edgar Prado 231 44 19% 52%
John Velazquez 229 40 17% 43%
Javier Castellano 200 36 18% 44%
Jerry Bailey (retired) 136 32 24% 60%
2004 Top Jockeys Starts Wins Win% itm%
John Velazquez 227 65 19% 54%
Edgar Prado 242 39 16% 50%
Jerry Bailey (retired) 131 29 22% 58%
Javier Castellano 220 29 13% 45%

Pay attention to lower profile riders who come into the meeting riding well and getting "live" mounts. At high profiles meets such as Saratoga, the jockeys and trainers who start out "cold" typically don't turn it around.


In this section we're going take an in-depth look at some of the high profiles trainers. At least one of these guys (and gal) typically will have a horse in every race at the Spa. We've looked back at the past three seasons to figure out their specific strengths and weaknesses at Saratoga. Next to each trainer's name is their record at the Spa dating back to 2005.

STEVEN ASMUSSEN (93-22-13-10, 23.7% Win, -0.03 ROI)

It seems unlikely that Curlin will start here this summer, but trainer Steve Asmussen always has a presence at the Spa. We found two categories that have been very profitable for players. Asmussen has won with 8 of his 30 runners (26.7%, 0.42) who finished second or third in their last start. He is also profitable with shippers coming in from out of state, hitting with 9 of 38 such starters (23.7%, 0.29).

THOMAS BUSH (95-20-15-12, 21.1% Win, 1.26 ROI)

One could have made a living betting on this lower profile horseman over the past several years. Bush shows huge ROI figures in multiple categories: Sprints of 6.5 to 7 furlongs (46.2%, 6.15); Turf to Dirt (37.5%, 12.00); Longshots of 10-1 or higher (15%, 3.27); 4th or worse in last start (15.6%, 2.96).

Betting all of his 95 starters over the past three years resulted in a $1.26 positive return for every $2 wagered.

GARY CONTESSA (319-27-44-43, 8.5% Win, -0.50 ROI)

Claiming specialist Gary Contessa has had limited success at the Spa. Surprisingly, it has been a disaster playing his horses first off the claim. Contessa has only scored with one of 30 starters (3.3%, -1.43). Contessa's one shining spot is with horses making their first start at a route (37.5%, 7.23).

Go to www.brisnet.com/library to view the entire Del Mar/Saratoga article, along with profiles of trainers Clement, Dutrow, Frankel, Hushion, Kimmel, McLaughlin, Motion, Mott, Pletcher, Rice, and Tagg!

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Are you taking full advantage of the valuable benefits available to you as a TwinSpires.com member? Make sure you have an active Brisnet.com data account. See below for instructions on activating this free membership.

Did you know that you can access FREE Ultimate Past Performances and Insider Picks & Power Plays for the tracks you wager on every day at TwinSpires.com? This is an exclusive benefit of being a TwinSpires.com active member. The Ultimate PPs from Brisnet are the best in the industry, offering powerful handicapping tools such as BRIS Pace Ratings, Track Bias information, and the exclusive Prime Power Rating.

Insider Picks & Power Plays is a unique selection sheet that doubles as a handicapping aid by pinpointing handicapping angles such as horses "Exiting a Key Race," "Blue Chip Trainer Plays," and much more.

Activating your Account is Easy

To activate your Brisnet.com data membership, click on "Manage My Account" at TwinSpires.com and follow the link entitled "activate/reactivate your brisnet information account." It only takes a minute to activate your account and start reaping the benefits. Then, click on the "Handicapping" link to take advantage of these powerful handicapping tools.

Why pay for your PPs when you can get the best for FREE...exclusively at TwinSpires.com! Log on to "Manage My Account" and activate your Brisnet account today.

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The remaining two opportunities to win your way to Las Vegas will be held September 20 and October 18 at Brisnet.com. Play free from the comfort of home with no travel expenses or entries fees. Does it get any better than that? Claim your free entry at www.brisnet.com/challenge.

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Even if you are not an ALL-Ways handicapper, you will want to take advantage of this special offer. Read on and you will see why!

When you play the horses, you are not playing against "the house" as you would in a casino. Instead, you must do a better job of handicapping and wagering than your competitors, specifically the other horseplayers playing the same races. One way to accomplish this superior play is to specialize in playing certain kinds of races and/or certain race situations. There is simply no better way to accomplish this specialization than to use the special ALL-Ways version of Custom Card.

The Special ALL-Ways Version of Custom Card

The standard version of BRIS Custom Card is incredibly powerful by itself. You can specify any combination of race criteria including distance, surface, field size, race type (Maiden, Allowance, Claiming, etc.), state bred options, first timer options, purse value, age/sex restrictions and wager types. Custom Card then searches all races running at every track in North America, or at the track(s) you specify, finds the races that that meet your specifications and creates a data file made up of only those races.

The special ALL-Ways version of Custom Card adds two additional selection criteria. One is the range of ALL-Ways Race Ratings, which lets you "zero in" on the class of the races. Now, here is the big one! The special ALL-Ways version of Custom Card actually lets you specify the likely amount of early pace pressure in the race. For example, you can create a race card made up of just races that will likely have a lot of early pace pressure, possibly setting the race up for high priced closers and/or you could set up a race card made up of races likely to have lone front runners loose on the lead.

Become Expert at the Exacta Wager

The free ALL-Ways Newsletters can be accessed through the Library Page on the BRIS Web site. Newsletter #49 (April 2008) includes an extensive article titled "Become Expert at Something." Newsletter #50 (July 2008) includes an extensive article with ideas for playing the Exacta. Taken together, these two newsletters provide a convincing case for specializing on successfully playing the Exacta. One great way to approach the Exacta is to focus on race types and race situations that yield the best Exacta payoffs. Here are two such criteria to use with the ALL-Ways version of Custom Card: 1) "Fast" early paced races designated by ALL-Ways as "EEE" or "EE." These races often set up for high priced closers; 2) "Honest" pace races designated by ALL-Ways as "E-EP" or "EP-EP." These races often set up for an Exacta combination of the best early running horse and the best late running horse in the field. Other helpful Custom Card race selection criteria for playing the Exacta include field sizes of nine and more horses, sprint races longer than 6 furlongs, route races greater than one mile and virtually all Turf races.

Using the ALL-Ways Custom Card Data File

If you are an ALL-Ways handicapper: You know that you will be building a database of these "Exacta specific" races and you can use the Impact Value Analysis and the Gap Analysis in ALL-Ways to find the keys to playing these races. And, at handicapping time, you can use the Handicapping Profiles automatically created by ALL-Ways as well as your own personal angles (ALL-Ways Custom Search Definitions), both targeted precisely at the specialized races in your ALL-Ways Custom Card.

If you are not an ALL-Ways handicapper: You can still use the ALL-Ways Custom Card data file with the free BRIS Past Performance Generator software to print the BRIS Ultimate Past Performances with Comments at no additional charge. And, you can use the analysis capabilities in the free ALL-Ways software to build and analyze your database of specialized races.

If you are a Twin Spires Customer: Imagine sitting at your computer, on-line with Twin Spires, and that you are specializing on playing the Exacta. Then imagine you are playing races selected by ALL-Ways Custom Card that offer the best Exacta payoffs and that you are using ALL-Ways software, widely regarded as "the best in the business," to help you analyze and handicap these specialized races and to help you structure your Exacta wagers as well. It just doesn't get any better!

About the ALL-Ways Custom Card Special

During the month of July 2008, you can download ALL-Ways Custom Cards for two different race dates with as many as 20 races in each card, absolutely free. Additional races over the free 20 races are only $1 - $1.50 per race. You can access ALL-Ways Custom Card via a link on the ALL-Ways Data File page on the BRIS Web site. Reminder: This offer applies only to the special ALL-Ways version of Custom Card.

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Arlington Million XXVI and the International Festival of Racing is Saturday, Aug. 9. All Brisnet.com reports will be online Wednesday, Aug. 6 to give you the edge for this fantastic day of racing featuring some of the best turf runners in the world.

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July Racing Calendar

[Click Here] - Updated on the 1st of every month

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