Tip of the Week: Stats All, Folks


Ken Ramsey (immediate right of horse) celebrates after a win during the 2013 Gulfstream Park meet (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire).

Statistics don’t lie. They might fib a little, but lie? Never.

Much of the guess work can be removed from handicapping simply by following the meet’s best jockey, trainer or owner and putting the percentages to work for you instead of against you.

All of these leaders share one common bond: that being a propensity for winding up in the winner’s circle. So it would naturally follow that backing them gives you a highly desirable statistical edge in the pursuit of a winner – especially when you have more than one of them involved with your horse and the price on the toteboard is not miniscule.

On Sunday, Feb. 16, statistics painted a bright future for Itsreigningkittens in the 11th race at Gulfstream Park. The 3-year-old filly was making her career debut and had impeccable connections behind her.

She was owned and bred by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the leading owners during the current Gulfstream meet by a landslide margin and the very same Ramseys who received the 2013 Eclipse Awards as the nation’s best owner and breeder.

She was trained by Michael Maker, who trailed only Todd Pletcher in the Gulfstream trainer standings, and sported an impressive 31 percent win mark at the meet.

The rider was Javier Castellano, who not only topped the track’s jockey standings but also took home a 2013 Eclipse Award as the year’s top rider.

Given that trifecta of Maker, Castellano and the Ramseys, a horse like Itsreigningkittens had all of the necessary ingredients to be a compelling – and odds-on - favorite in the race.

But apparently a large chunk of the crowd at Gulfstream had other thoughts as Itsreigningkittens was sent off at 6-1.

Meanwhile, those who had faith in statistics were rewarded with a $14.40 payoff as Itsreigningkittens registered a two-length victory.

See, statistics don’t lie.

THE LESSON: Backing high-percentage connections can often lead to a high percentage of cashed mutuel tickets.


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