by Jeremy Plonk
January 17, 2022
Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.
January and February are when the rising star 3-year-olds make their stakes presence known.
As the road to the Triple Crown picks up passengers early in the year, horseplayers are often looking for the next big thing to take on the known stakes players. But you, as bettors, be looking more for the proven commodities at this point or the rising stars?
I dialed up the Betmix database to look at all 3-year-old stakes in January and February over the past 3-plus years. I sorted each starter by the class of race each horse exited last time out and how they fared in stakes races.
January & February 3-year-old stakes horses exiting maiden claiming races won 4.8% with a $1.16 ROI for every $1 bet.
January & February 3-year-old stakes horses exiting maiden special weight races won 15.8% with a $0.82 ROI for every $1 bet.
January & February 3-year-old stakes horses exiting claiming races won 5.9% with a $0.73 ROI for every $1 bet.
January & February 3-year-old stakes horses exiting allowance races won 10.6% with a $0.58 ROI for every $1 bet.
January & February 3-year-old stakes horses exiting listed stakes races won 13.2% with a $0.64 ROI for every $1 bet.
January & February 3-year-old stakes horses exiting graded stakes races won 17.9% with a $1.01 ROI for every $1 bet.
Graded stakes alumni had the best win percentage by more than 2 points and also the second-best ROI for every $1 bet (note the maiden claiming ROI was principally one $153 upsetter skewing the results). The maiden special weight runners were second-most likely winners , more than 2.5 points higher than listed stakes alumni. But the ROI for the maiden special weight risers was far short of the graded stakes types.
Known commodities from the graded stakes ranks are still the best way to go this time of year in the 3-year-old stakes ranks. While the maiden special weight class risers win a solid share, their ROI indicates they’re over-valued by the betting public at this point on the calendar.
You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, which trainers do best in the 3-year-old stakes via various class levels of development?