I was thinking the other day about the Kentucky Derby and the “wet” track conditions and then the Preakness, which had perfect weather conditions right up until the race before the Preakness when it down poured for 5 minutes.
Many gamblers really do not know how to wager on a track that is “wet” or “sloppy.” A racing form has what is known as a “Tomlinson” figure. This is a number shown on the racing form.
In the upper right hand corner, you can see a bunch of lines and numbers. These are the stats for a horse racing in certain weather conditions. D.Fst (Dry fast), WET (383) is a wet track and the 383 is his “wet track figure.” The higher the number the better the horse “should be” on a wet track. I say, “should be” because it is gambling and you never know.
When the weather is bad and races are removed from the turf and placed on the dirt there are, usually horse that have an “AE” next to their name. “AE” stand for “ALSO ELEIGABLE.” These horses are eligible to race when a scratch occurs. Scratches happen often when a race is off the turf and placed on dirt. This is when you can make some money on a wet track. These horses tend to run better on dirt, and most of the time you will see a very high “wet track figure.”
Another angle to look at is “mud caulks.” A mud caulk are pieces that stick out of the shoe so that horses can get extra gripping when it is raining or the track is muddy. It almost like threads on your shoes.
Another angel I use, but very rarely, I came across after listening to some horse experts years ago is a horses’ tail in a “bun” or “braded”, YES, I said a bun! You may laugh at this, but I have made money when I bet the slop with this angel. A horse running in the slop can put up to 20 additional pounds in the form of mud from the start of the race to the finish. Almost 10 of the 20 pounds of that mud can become matted in the tail of the horse.
True story, I was watching Santa Anita Race course one day, it was a sloppy track that day which is rare for California, but the weather out West has been very wet this past winter. I just happened to catch a horse in the post parade with his tail in a wrap and I remembered this betting angel. I bet it to show and it ended up winning. I continued this angel for the next three races and I hit money three of four races. Not all trainers do this, in fact, very few do which is why it hard to use, but try remember. Think about it, if you are running a mile and you had to put on 20 lbs. the last 1/8 of a mile you would be very tired.
The number one handicapping angel in betting a wet track is BREEDING! Sires who have raced very well over wet tracks tend to have better good wet track off spring. As a general rule, horses that are very good on turf are bred to run on turf, and dirt horses have dirt breeding. In simple terms that means that their sire and dam have shown the ability to run over turf.
Pedigree analysis is far too complex for a lot of casual bettors to do themselves, but it is something you’ll read a lot about leading up to major races, and it’s an important thing to be aware of. A horse that is not bred for turf can still run well on turf, but it certainly isn’t as likely or as easy as if they have the bloodlines behind them and that means they may not be a good bet. The two that I look for are DYNOFORMER and ARCH. These two horses combined have a win percentage of 28%.