Idealistic Stats podcast #32

32nd edition of the weekly Idealistic Stats podcast is now available.
RSS: (available at iTunes and
Also accessible permanently at the Internet Archive:
Main website:
Listen to exclusive soundbites of my analysis at Clammr:
This week’s podcast includes the following:
Trends for Atlanta Motor Speedway
Predictions of the Quigg/Frampton boxing match 2/27
Enlightened Trails coverage (Sam Houston Park)
Music used in this program:
Annie Wenz “Play Ball” – Ride The Sky CD
DJ Flowerdove “Sol Aurora”
Thanks for listening!
Dan Herman
twitter: @idealisticstats

Selections/analysis for stakes at Sam Houston Race Park (plus Enlightened Trails update)

On Saturday the Enlightened Trails shift from Arizona’s Turf Paradise to
Texas’s Sam Houston Park for the Texas Heritage Stakes. This race is on my
Derby Trail side and is the next to last race in the Minor division.  Top 4
horses in the division move onto my mythical Derby.  As of now, here are the
top horses in the division:
Nightly News 500, Gunfire 250, Texas Chrome 200, Coolidge and Full Salute
150. Pinnacle Peak has the most of any horses who is actually nominated with
Looking over the card at Sam Houston, this is one of 4 stakes races, all
with double-digit entries. I decided to provide coverage of these for you as
We’ll start with the Jersey Lilly Stakes for fillies/mares 4YO+, 8.5
furlongs on the turf, 50k.   My top 3 are 10-4-8:
#10 Harper’s Princess one of the two longshots of the big field, tho a
modest 15-1 at that.  The favorite, Cassatt, happens to be an equally modest
7/2.    This suggests sure value depending on how the numbers flow here.
Harper’s Princess has mainly raced at Lone Star and Remington, lifetime
30-5-4-8. Since a 5th place finish on 1/22 here vs 35k filly claimers, she
has 3 works here, 2 of them bullets.  6th race since reclaim by Joyce
Salisbury, a 14% winner here. One of several who have the maximum weight
allowance of 9 lbs for being a non winner of 15k in the last year. Waiting
the longest of these to stretch out (half furlong in her case).
#4 I am Jane Dough won the statebred Richard King Stakes and was 5th in the
Houston Turf Stakes in her prior 2016 races, these also after reclaim by
trainer Danny Pish (18% wins). Exploded in pace with the 91 Brisnet in the
Richard King. Survived a bumpy start last out, and was never a real threat
tho she did post an 88 score.  Pattern of speed figures suggest uptick
today. 91 is fastest track performance of the field.
#8 Whiskey Eyes lifetime 12-4-2-1, 2nd in the San Jacinto and Houston
DIstaff here for her 2016 output.  Won prior 2 races at Retama. Also gets
the max allowance of 9 lbs, carrying just 114.   Turn time speed of 23:1,
and a lower speed figure last out makes her a threat.
Suggested odds: Asperites 14-1, I Am Jane Dough 5-1, Cassalt and Welcome
Aboard 29-1, Mexican Miss 9-1, Whiskey Eyes 3-1, Harper’s Princess 2-1.
Overlays: Whiskey Eyes, Harper’s Princess.
Next is the Maxxam Gold Cup Stakes, 100k race for 4YOs+, 9 furlongs.  Top 3
are Hawaakom, Mobile Bay & Coup de Grace
#8 Hawaakom is a deep closer with a strong late kick, helping him to mainly
place in the last series of races going back about a year. Lifetime
21-5-4-4, in various allowance and claiming races mainly in the $20k and
$30k range. Posted small new lifetime best of 98 on 12/26 2 races back,
following up with a 94 last out.  Turn time gain with slight drop in speed
figure suggests he’s got more in the tank.
#5 Mobile Way has raced in stakes company over the last 8 months, with a win
in the Zia Park Derby and 2 more at Evangeline Downs. Often places in the
top 4, tho last out was 8th in the Grade JB Conley here on 1/30. Lifetime
14-6-3-3. 101 speed figure 3 races back is best for distance of this field.
With the bounce to 86 last out, I look for a good bounce back here.
I originally had Behemoth to win for this race. With his scratch today,  I move my original 2nd and 3rd choices up and insert my new 3rd choice under.
#2 Coup de Grace has appeared mainly in stakes company, winning the Amsterdam and the Bay Shore last year.  Out of the money last 3 races. Prior wins with gain in class and stretch in distance, along with a shipping win.  One of several with the 5 lbs allowance, 116 lbs today.   Gained slightly on leader between calls in the Louisiana Stakes last out,and first after layoff showed a slight improvement at 2nd call from prior.  
Suggested odds: Freestyler, Ride On Curlin 29-1; Mobile Bay & Hawaakom 3-1; Ibaka & FJ Uncle Vic 22-1; Lynx, Jessica’s Star & Coup de Grace 8-1. 
Overlays: Hawaakom, Lynx.
Next is the Bucharest Turf Sprint for 4YO+, 5 furlongs, 50k.
Top 3 here are Reflector, El Botas, Marchman.
#2 Reflector is the only deep closer in the field, and can surprise if there
is a fast sustained pace in the first half of the race.   3 works at Fair
Grounds in prep, all very fast.  Pattern of last 3 Brisnet speed figures
keep him around a figure of 90 for this race.  Best turn time speed and gain
of this field measured from the last 2 races.
#4 El Botas forged lifetime best of 100 2 races back in a 25k allowance
race, last December at Gulfstream. Upon claim by trainer Joe Sharp, he
bounced to an 81 in the Sunshine Millions Special last month.  Measured as
fastest of this field via run-style (early presser with E2 numbers of 109,
101, 95 in the last 3).   Despite the bounce, he did increase turn-time.
#11 Marchman has lifetime best 103 at the distance, best of this field and
for turf.   3rd race under reclaim by Bret Calhoun.  One of several horses
who exceed track par for the distance in their last race.
Suggested odds:  Solar Charge,  Galton 29-1; Marchman 7-1; El
Botas 2-1; Reflector 1-1.
Overlays: El Botas, Reflector.
Finally the Enlightened Trails race, the Texas Heritage Stakes.  My top 3
here are Regal Kitten, Fall Of Troy and Texas Jambalaya
#7 Regal Kitten took 4 tries to break maiden, doing so at the 50k level at
Gulfstream a month ago. 83 Brisnet in that race is best of this field for
distance and turf.  83 is a small new top in fact and so he’s primed to
improve off this number despite the sharp gain from 68 prior.  Turn time of
23 seconds is best of the field.
#1 Fall Of Troy raced 4 times in maiden company himself, then placed 3rd in
a 20k allowance nx1 race, just 11 days ago.  This is the other horse who is
forwardly moving in pace form. 64 last out is small new top from 63 in
#2 Texas Jambalaya has a prior win while dropping in class, and 4 works
since 1/9.  Returning to ride is Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez, his first regular
rider, breaking the horse’s maiden on 6/19/15. One of several who increased
gap on leader between 1st and 2nd call in last race; in his case, 9.5
lengths behind to 4.5.
Suggested odds: Mending Fences, Crescent Drive 6-1; Regal Kitten 8-5; Fall
Of Troy 9-1; Two Step Time 7-1; Game Bird 8-1.
Overlays: Regal Kitten, Fall Of Troy.
For some bonus coverage involving top horses this weekend on the actual
Derby Trail, I focus on the Fountain Of Youth Stakes at
Gulfstream Park, a Grade 2 event, 400k, 8.5 furlongs.
Top 3 for me in this 6 horse field:
Awesome Speed(#4) lost his maiden debut, finishing 7th of 11 at 5.5 furlongs
at Parx in late August. After that, wins at maiden 40k, then the 100k James
F Lewis at Laurel, and the Mucho Macho Man here on 1/2/16.  Already a winner
first off layoff as he was last out, paired up Brisnet scores, with 96 and
98, better than his other 2 lifetime efforts. 4 works in prep with 2
bullets. Waiting 2 months to stretch half-furlong. One of 2 horses to gain
on leader from 1st to 2nd call last out.
The other main horse here is the highly regarded Mohaymen (#6). Undefeated
in 4, winning the Nashua, the Remsen and the Holy Bull, each at Grade 2.
Best speed figure for the distance, achieved last out with 97.  Paired with
a 102 prior to this and a turn time of 23.2, he deserves to be favored.
Awesome Banner (#5) is the only other choice here.  Undefeated in 3, winning
the Swale and the Hutcheson, both here and at Grade 3 level. Track best 99
Brisnet achieved last out, best of the field. 97 through 99 for his 3 races,
fastest pace of the field. The other horse besides Mohaymen with consistent
lifetime numbers.
Suggested odds: Fellowship 29-1, Zulu 12-1, Golden Ray 14-1 (barely an
overlay if considering his morning line is 30-1), Awesome Speed 7-5, Awesome
Banner 8-1, Mohaymen 5-2

Quigg/Frampton super bantamweight fight thoughts

Manchester Arena in UK hosts a major boxing match in the super bantamweight
category on 2/27, as IBF title holder Carl Frampton does battle with
challenger Scott Quigg. Both fighters are without a loss and own a KO rate
of at least 2/3rds.
Frampton makes his 3rd defense of the title after defeating Chris Avalos
last year. Previous title holder was Kiko Martinez who lost a unanimous
decision to Frampton in 2013 The WBA Super Bantamweight title changed hands
after Guillermo Rigondeaux’s 3rd successful title defense in 2014.
Rigondeaux was inactive much of 2015 and gave up the title.  He was called
out by both opponents this week for a shot at unifying the titles.
Quigg, from Lancashire is the #3 boxer in the division and #2 in the UK. He
is 31-0-2, 23 KOs. birth 10-9-88.  3rd appearance in this arena, priors
being most recent fight in July 2015 vs Kiko Martinez and vs Rendall Munroe
on 11/24/2012.  Fights exclusively in the UK.  For the first time in 3 years
he’ll take on an undefeated opponent.  Holder of the WBA World division
title since defeating Yoandris Salinas in October 2013, with 5 successful
defenses since.  Last pure KO win was vs William Prado in 2013. Won last 5
fights after draw/majority decision vs Salinas.
On the upswing with all 3 cycles, tho physically is feeling a bit sluggish.
Punching power is getting better, but his mental ability is much stronger
and should be able to anticipate well.
Carlos “The Jackal” is’s top fighter in the division,  born
2/21/87, undefeated in 21, 14 KOs. The Northern Island native also just
fights in the UK tho defended his title in the US last fight out  on
7/18/15.  Ever since being a titleist he’s won vs 4 fighters with 0-1 loss.
Last pure KO was 4/14 vs Hugo Fidel Cazares.  Holder of the title since
defeating Chris Avalos a year to the day, with one defense since.
Decisions in 2 of last 3, then a streak of 4 KOs before that.
Decent cycles at best for Carlos…physically he’s at his nadir..mentally he
fares a lot better, about as well as his opponent. Emotionally he’s been
better, still positive but not as attuned to his environment as in past
days. In fact, he’s going through an emotional criitial days, so he’s prone
to outbursts, tantrums, showing up his opponent, and such, without having
much of a handle on his own responses.
Common: Quigg defeated the previous holder of the IBF Super Bantamweight
title, Kiko Martinez, TKO, 7/18/15.  Frampton with decision vs Martinez
9//6/14 and TKO 2/9/13.
Both have TKO wins vs Gavin Reid and Yuriy Vorinin in their pre titleist
I’m seeing this fight as a decision for Quigg, who will take advantage of
his opponent’s unstableness.

Sprint Cup at Atlanta Motor Speedway facts and driver trends

NASCAR is at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds Of Honor Quick Trip 500.
I’ll post  my Top 5 just prior to the start. For now…here are the stats I’m working
with.  By the way, I didn’t see the Daytona 500 coverage…will definitely
check how Kurt Busch and company fared.
Starts: Michael Waltrip 48, most without a win, Bobby LaBonte with 38, then
Dale Jr with 28 and others in the 20s.
WAins: Labonte 6 of 38. JJ 4 of 24, Kurt Busch 3 of 24, Edwards 3 of 18, KK
3 of 18, Kyle Busch 2 of 17, 3 others with 1.   Winless besides Waltrip
include Kenseth (27 starts), Biffle 21, McMurray 22, Newman 23, Mears 20
Top 5: JJ 13 of 24, Edwards 9 of 18. Others: Labonte 12-38, Kenseth 10-27,
KK 7-19, Dale Jr 9-28.    Never in top 5:  McMurray 0-22, Mears 0-20, Bowyer
Top 10: Kenseth 16-27, JJ 15-24. Others: Edwards 11-18, Labonte 13-28, Dale
13-28, Biffle 10-21, Kurt Busch 10-24, KK 9-19 VIckers 8-17, Hamlin 6-16.
Never in top 10:  Mears 0-20, Gilliland 0-14
Laps turned without win: Waltrip 13157, Kenseth 8392, Newman 7295, McMurray
6830, Biffle 6650, Mears 6431, Truex Jr 5315
Laps led without win:  Kenseth 31, Biffle 29, Truex Jr 24, Newman 17, Logano
16, Bowyer 11
Best improvement over finish, 3 race minimum:  Dale Jr 3.8 positions gained
per race, Kenseth 8.9, AJ Allmendinger 8.0, Danica Patrick 4.2, Aric
Almirola 3.2, Menard 4.8, Regan Smith 9.4, Landon Cassill 9.6, Cole Whitt 7.0
Running at finish:
Waltrip 36 of 48. Perfect scores: Logano 9, Regan Smith 7, Aric Almirola 5.
Others with 1 miss: Kyle Busch 16-17, Menard 13-14, Ragan 12-13,
Allmnendinger 9-10
Lead lap finish: Kenseth 22-27. Others: Dale  21-28, JJ 18-24, Biffle 13-21,
EDwards 12-18, Kyle 12-17, Allmendinger 8-10
Kind courtesy extended to for the usage of their info.

Enlightened Trails update (Fair Grounds) plus Risen Star Stakes thoughts

This week, one race out of 2 in my Enlightened Trails series, turning to the Oaks side and the Arizona Oaks at Turf Paradise. Not having free access to the Derby equivalent, the Turf Paradise Derby, I am skipping coverage of it this year, but I’ll certainly update you on the point totals.

Arizona Oaks is 25k, 1 mile for 3YO fillies.  My top 3 are Protective Shield, Dollys Party Doll, and Big Bad Janine, morning-line favorite plus 2 longshots.
Protective Shield returns from a field-long 8 week layoff, winning the Arizona Juvenile Filly Stakes here at 6.5 furlongs by 7 lengths. Before that, she won her maiden debut, 30k, 6 furlongs 3 weeks prior, winning by 3.  Best track performance came in that debut, an 86. From two lifetime races, appears to be fastest of field according to run style.  4 works since last race, 3 were fastest of group or nearly so.

Dollys Party Doll, 1 win in 4 races,broke maiden status here on 1/9,followed up with a 4th placefinish against 20k maidens. Earned 70 lifetime best in her maiden win on 1/9, bounced to 59 thereafter.  I like playing the bounceback here.
Big Bad Janine with alternating wins in 4 starts, winning vs 12k maidens at Assiniboia Downs last summer, then a 20k optional claimer here last month, first off layoff, earning a strong lifetime best of 73.  Easily the best turn time figures of the field; will not be surprised to see her as a price in the top 3. She is my one overlay here for now.
Suggested odds: Protective Shield 1-1; Big Bad Janine 5-1; Grindstone Shine 11-1; Joan Of Arch 14-1; Dollys Party Doll and Rich Girl 19-1; Hymn’s Girl 29-1.
Switching gears to a major race for the actual Derby Trail plus my own contenders based on the Future Wager, I look at the Risen Star Stakes, Grade 2 event, 8.5 furlongs for top 3YOs, 400k.
My top 2 here are pretty much how the morning line falls:  2-10: Mo Tom and Airoforce.
The case for Mo Tom: winner of the LeComte (Grade 3) here last out, pairing up a 94 Brisnet, which he also scored in the KY Jockey Club prior. Measured as fastest of the field per run style (deep closer).  Only horse here under reclaim (Thomas Amoss). 24 second turn time, quickest of field.
Airoforce won first time with blinkers and first on dirt last out, winning the aforementioned KY Jockey Club. Prior to that, 2nd in the BC Turf, and winner of the Grade 1 Bourbon. This should be his first appearance on fast dirt track.  96 Brisnet in last 2 races, fastest horse for distance here, fastest overall pace. Lifetime scores between 92 and 96.
For 3rd I picked out Forevamo. Winner of the Jean Lafit at Delta Downs in October, 6th in the Delta Downs Jackpot.  Lifetime Brisnets very solid between 80 and 87.  3 fast works in prep, one a bullet at 5 furlongs.  Best turn time gain of the field between last 2 races, 2.2 seconds.
Forevamo is the sole overlay.
Suggested odds: Mo Tom 8-5; Airoforce 7-2; It’s All Relevant and Tom’s Ready 18-1;  Forevamo 9-2;, Zapperini, Candy My Boy 55-1.

Looking back at Saturday results.

 I figured I’d let you into my brain for a bit to share how I’d have placed actual wagers on the races at Laurel and Gulfstream.   The contest limits you to your one best horse, scoring for win or place only.  Being a win/exacta man, this wasn’t terrible for me to endure.  But if I missed out on one value horse, I wouldn’t have a chance.   Yet, I took my best horse in race 1, and ranked the eventual 21-1 winner for 2nd. No style points here, but maybe some notoriety? I wonder how that is flavored.   I’ll present again my top 3 plus fill in which horses were overlays based on the public’s eventual betting as compared to my own betting line.  Then I’ll share what bets I would have made.  This is guesswork to a degree because I usually make bets with 5 minutes before post.  A lot can happen with a race where it’s a small track and handle, or otherwise a race getting a lot of attention.  When the odds change frequently, that’s where one has to keep one’s cool.
I rank horses via odds using a simple lettering system: A for all horses better than 4-1, B for 4-1 to 5/1, C for 6-1 to 9-1, and D for all worse than 9-1 (longshots)
Race 1: Selections were 541: D’Humerus, Bissinger, Hey Wilie.
Public made these A, D, A, ranking 1,6,7 as their top 3.
Overlays: Bissinger 21-1, which I had at 6-5
D’Humerus I wasn’t going to use with Hey Willie as both were doing better than 4-1; once in a while a race will have more than 3 runners in such a category.   The no-brainer move was to use my longshot to win, and just play my other two over it, shelling out $2 for win and $2 ($1 each) for the exactas.   I hit the win ticket for a total of $45.20
Race 2: 3-2-4: Oh What A Delite, Chica Fabulosa, House Red
Public saw them as B,B,D. Mild value up front, no faves to be found.  They ranked #3 as 3rd choice at that. With 2 horses better than 4-1, I felt I get could way with more exactas.  The rule I follow is: No baseball; don’t play all 6 exacta combos in a 3-horse box.  2 looked like the barest of overlays at 5-1, as I had him at 7-5 in my betting line.  4 also seemed like overlay at 22-1; I guessed she was more like 5-1.  So the play was this: Overlays to win if worse than 5-1 (win on 4), and public top 3 over them (8,6,3). I also did exactas between the B horses, and did straight win on #4, and B horses over the D. Total wagered: $11.  Result: 2-3-6, scoring me the $29.10 exacta.
Race 3:  2-3-1: Kowboy King, Farmer Jones, Reach For Yield
Public rank: A,C,B
Overlays: None to be found.

One thing I don’t do is play the 1st and 2nd public choices or 1st/3rd choices together in exactas. With that I placed win bet on my value horse #3, and did 2-3, 2-1, 1-2 and 1-3 as exactas, avoiding doing all 6 combos. $6 wagered. Result was 2-4-8  a chalk finish up front. A small loss, easily absorbed.

Race 4:  5-4-8: Loveable Lady, Avie, Pret Say Aye

Public said: A-C-D, decent value if it hits.
Overlays: 8, whereas my line suggested 8-1, it was going off at 15-1.
Public top 3 were 5-7-6.
I played win bets on 4 and 8, and did exactas between 5-4, 5-8, 4-5 and 4-8. To avoid playing all 6 combos, I took the horse with the worst odds and did not put her in the front position of the exacta.  $8 wagered.
Result was 5-1-2, chalk winning again on top.
Race 5:  3-9-10: Excellent Royale, Andy Picked Me, Gator Gold
In this race there was just one horse, #9, Andy Picked Me, better than 4-1. So there was plenty of value in this one.
Public ranked my horses C,A,B.  Not bad.  They also ranked the top 3 in odds as 9-2-10.
Overlays: Didn’t compute,as I had no past performances for this one. The wager: Win bet on #3, and exactas 3-9, 9-3, 3-10, 10-3, $6 out.
Result: 10-3-9! Not only did I have the contenders pegged, I hit the $1 wager for $43.60Race 6: 2-3-5, public ranked as C and A.  Agawa was a late scratch and I didn’t bother replacing with another for some reason.    Public top choices were 3-1-7    Overlays: Gypsy Judy seemed more like 8-5 to me than 12-1.  My wager was win on 2, then 3-2 and 1-2 in exactas.  Result was 1-7-3, so I took that small loss.

Race 7: 7-8-5: Souper Lucky, Classic Giacnroll, Pappa Portmore.  Public ranked them as A,D,D.  Public top 3: 11-6-7. Overlays: 9,8,5.   I played 8 and 5 to win, and 7 over both in exactas.  I also played an extra win bet on 8 and played 11, 6 and 7 over the 8. $11 wagered.  Result: 11, 7, 3, chalk in the first 2 spots.

Race 8 at Laurel: 5-1-4, A-D-C. Public top 3: 5-3-6.  Overlays: Sweet On Smokey, 1, was the big price at 53-1.    I played 1 and 4 to win, then 5-1, 3-1 and 5-4 in exactas. $7 wagered.  Result: 6-2-5, a loss for 3rd straight race.

Gulfstream race 4  6-1-5: Best Behavior, Call Pat, Sandiva in a likely chalk finish in a 5 horse field.  Call Pat was scratched, so I went instead with 6-4-5, putting Penwith in the 2nd spot.   A-A-A. True chalk here and a race I passed up wagering.    Result: 4-5-6.

Gulfstream race 5: 4-3-6.  C-A-B. Public top 3: 2,3, and then 6 and 9 shared 3rd ranking. Overlays: I’ve since lost my notes but I must have figured Wild About Jass, #4 to be such an overlay. My wager was win on 4, exactas using 3-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, and 2-4 and 3-4 to take care of the overlay.  $8 wagered.  Result: 2-9-3, then 2 was DQ and placed third. Official result became 9-3-2
Overall I played $64 in tickets: 1 winning win bet and 2 exactas.Total payout was $117.90.
Late Thursday I’ll work on 2 races, the Arizona Oaks at Turf Paradise, and the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds and will share my analysis intially on the weekly podcast.  That show will be published Friday. As usual I will follow up with Clammrs and blog post.   I do not have any free access to the Turf Paradise Derby, which has Enlightened Trail points.

Enlightened Derby Trail update

Update to the spreadsheet listing the Enlightened Derby Trail standings, plus my Top 20. This list gives the top 20 scores in my Enlightened Derby Trail. It is meant to list who has the most points to get into my mythical Derby, not whom has the best chance to win it.   I include the top 4 from each of  my divisions, plus the best from all-comers when there are winners in multiple divisions
Horses are removed from the list if they have been nominated and are removed from the actual Derby trail via trainer and/or injury. Horses without nomination are still considered.