Earlier this month, we released a new version of our ThoroPACE product. I did a quick write-up of the new format here.
If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for a FREE Account, what are you waiting for?
Today, I wanted to walk through my process for using ThoroPACE. And we’ll cover a few races from Oaklawn Park’s Rebel Card.
Let’s acknowledge that three products are presented in a single PDF. The ThoroPACE Forecast, ThoroPACE Spotlight Plays, and ThoroPACE Insider. While they’re all related, the utility of each is worth exploring independently.
The ThoroPACE Forecast is our core product and is where I start my handicapping process. The idea is to provide a snapshot of the pace dynamics for all races across the country – Typically in 2-3 pages depending on the number of tracks running.
ThoroPACE Forecasts range from -35 (best for speed) to +35 (best for stretch runners).
Our products are updated to reflect scratches as they become available (typically, an update of our products occurs around 11AM, 3PM and 6PM ET each day). This is important, especially in races that appear to favor stretch runners.
I scan the ThoroPACE Forecast daily and look for extreme-pace scenarios (my definition is anything in the outer two blue or red bands).
Races with a forecast that predict extreme pace scenarios are races that I will handicap. Will I handicap other races? Yes, but I make it a point to focus on those with extreme scenarios. This can be a huge time saver.
I’ve stated in multiple forums that this has changed my handle percentages. Prior to ThoroPACE, my bankroll was heavily skewed toward multi-race wagers. Now, I focus on Win, Place, and vertical exotics. The rationale is that it is rare to have a sequence where multiple races have pace scenarios that can be exploited. So I’ve become more focused.
Since we are focusing our analysis on Oaklawn Park, I want to look at Races 10 and 11. These races feature a ThoroPACE Forecast of +35.0 and +28.6, respectively. I’m looking for stretch runners, assuming scratches don’t eliminate the speed horses.
With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the ThoroPACE Spotlight Plays.
This product provides a summary of horses getting easier (consider playing) or tougher (consider fading) pace setups in today’s race.
The green and red carrots are pretty self-explanatory, more of them means a higher % and/or ROI.
For my own wagering, I’ve found “Vertical Value” horses to be extremely useful. The Green Carrots indicate runners are more likely to hit the board relative to their Morning Line expectations.
Of note, Race 8 at Oaklawn features one horse getting an easier and another getting a tougher setup today. This might seem surprising since the Forecast for the race is Neutral at -1.9. But remember, this is possible because we are looking at previous pace scenarios in the context of today’s ThoroPACE Forecast.
#6 Spankster hails from the relatively cold Lukas barn (though it was good to ThoroPACE last Saturday with Last Samurai). He is a stretch runner who exits races with -23.0 and -30.0 Forecasts. So, the -1.9 Forecast should be much more favorable to his style, and as a result, he shows up on our Spotlight Play Report.
Conversely, #1 Flap Jack is from a red hot barn but has the “Vulnerable Chalk” designation. He’s coming off a pair of wins (notably on off tracks) that featured -30.0 and -13.0 Pace Forecasts. Again, though today’s Forecast is neutral, it’s taken into context relative to his recent races. Since he will face more pace pressure today (assuming no scratches) and spots the field weight, I will consider fading at a short price – unless the track is muddy?
The ThoroPACE Insider is the newest addition to our lineup, containing tons of valuable information.
I’ll highlight the Pace Points first to orient you to the report. We assign pace points to each runner, collectively, along with field size, this is the basis of the Forecast for a given race.
We also show you the Pace rating from the prior two races, along with the general placement of the horse.
You will occasionally see red or green boxes around certain races. This indicates whether the runner was pace advantaged or disadvantaged in the race.
Finally, our TP Fig is a recent ability figure. I find it most useful when determining how much a horse might need to improve to compete. That said, we are currently trying to identify further utility of the TP Fig, which will likely be incorporated into Spotlight Plays. Stay tuned.
We’ve already discussed race 8, but the ThoroPACE Insider provides more detail that was the rationale for the “vulnerable chalk” designation on Flap Jack. Again, the red box indicates that he was pace advantaged in his last win as he led in a -30.0 race.
There’s nothing on the surface that excites me about Race 9. It’s a neutral forecast of +6.5, so I will handicap using other factors if I play the race.
The Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes has a Forecast of +35.0, and it should setup for stretch runners. There’s speed inside and outside, so assuming a fair track, I’ll look for the best closer.
#7 Wet Paint won the Martha Washington impressively and figures to get similar if not better setup today. She’s undefeated on dirt, proven at the distance and track, and shows a bullet work last weekend. I will consider a win bet at anything over 5/2.
Tomorrow afternoon, all eyes will be on the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. This is an accomplished bunch, many with considerable upside.
The Forecast is +28.6, so we are, again, searching for stretch runners.
I will start by saying that #1 Verifying is a horse I like a lot. I backed him in the recent KDFW, pairing him in exactas with the field. I expect him to run well, but he’s no cinch. While he should be forward, he’s shown the ability to rate and pass horses. Still, I don’t love the rail draw, he’s dropping Lasix and is spotting weight to several runners.
The horse that should benefit the most from the expected pace dynamics is #3 Red Route One. While he was no match for Arabian Knight in his last race, he did run well over the surface. Santana opted for the other Asmussen, but Torres is more than capable. At 10-1, he would be a vertical key horse for me, and I’ll hopefully be alive in doubles from Wet Paint.
Best of luck. Please follow us on Twitter @ThoroPACE