According to Dick Powell, there are a number of counterintuitive factors involved with handicapping horse racing. In other words, “You think it's one way and it's actually the other.” In a blog post on TwinSpires.com, Powell demonstrated this phenomenon in relation to the inner dirt track racing at Aqueduct.
Many bettors adhere to the belief that early speed is not a positive in a route race, according to Powell. However, Aqueduct's inner dirt has a strong reputation for favoring horses with early speed, and in fact, the speed bias is much stronger for route races than it is for sprints.
Another example is that bettors believe an apprentice jockey's five-pound weight advantage will be particularly helpful going a route distance. In fact, the opposite is true: the two apprentices at Aqueduct right now are both winning more sprint races than route races. However, each apprentice's return-on-investment figures suggest that they are overbet when going a route distance, resulting in a poorer ROI for route races than sprint races.
Read more on Powell's perspective at TwinSpires.com.
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