Horse Betting: Understanding Trainer Patterns and Statistics
by Pro Horse Race Capper Kenneth Strong
The bottom section of the past performances contains two solid pieces of information – trainer pattern statistics and workouts. This article gives an overview of the trainer pattern statistics – you should never bet a race without checking them.
Trainer patterns are called that for one reason – trainers follow patterns. They establish win percentages and winning patterns throughout their careers that tend to show up year-after-year. Trainer patterns in general rarely change once they have been established; yet most trainers will argue with you until they are blue in the face that they can’t be read. They say that each horse is an individual and is conditioned differently. But statistics don’t lie, trainers do repeat their patterns, and there are sharp handicappers who bet horses on these patterns alone.
The racing form currently tracks a number of trainer patterns and statistics for the current year and the prior year. Up to six different trainer patterns may be shown underneath the workouts at the bottom of the past performances. Each set of trainer pattern statistics will show the number of starts for the particular pattern, the win percentage and the return on investment (ROI) based on a $2 wager. Trainer patterns that are not relevant to the specific race situation in question will not be shown. For example, if a horse is running on the turf, the trainer pattern statistics for a dirt surface will not be shown.
An example of a simple trainer pattern statistic would be as follows: Dirt (103 .14 $1.17)
This tells you the trainer has started 103 horses over a dirt surface and won with 14 percent of those starters. It also tells you that if you bet $2 on every one of this trainer’s starters on the dirt, you would receive a negative ROI of $1.17, a loss of $0.83 for every $2 wagered. Obviously this is not a winning investment. You will however, definitely see some positive ROI stats when you look over the various trainer patterns. And when you do find a positive ROI on a trainer in a particular situation, you should give that horse extra consideration in your handicapping.
Common trainer pattern examples contained at the bottom of the past performances
Dirt (103 .14 $1.17)
This trainer started 103 horses on the dirt and won with 14 percent of them for a negative ROI of $1.17.
Turf (37 .25 $2.25)
This trainer started 37 horses on the turf and won at a strong 25% clip for a positive ROI of $2.25.
Dirt/Turf (28 .14 $2.10)
This trainer started 28 horses on the turf that had made their previous start on the dirt, winning 14 percent of the time for a positive ROI of $2.10.
MdnSpWt (95 .19 $2.36)
This trainer started 95 horses in Maiden Special Weight races and won with 19 percent of them for a positive ROI of $2.36)
MdnClm (47 .15 $1.54)
This trainer started 47 horses in Maiden Claiming Races, winning with 15 percent of those starters for a negative ROI of 1.54.
Claim (159 0.12 $1.95)
This trainer started 159 horses in claiming races, winning with 12 percent of them for a slightly negative ROI of $1.95.
Alw (75 .19 $1.37)
This trainer started 75 horses in allowance races and won with 19 percent of them for a negative ROI of $1.37.
GrdStk (14 .15 4 $2.45)
This trainer started 14 horses in Graded Stakes Races, winning with 15 percent of those horses for a solid positive ROI of 2.45.
Sprint (80 .18 $1.66)
This trainer started 80 horses in sprints and won with 18 percent of them for a negative ROI of $1.66.
Routes (120 .15 $1.88)
This trainer started 120 horses in routes, usually considered a mile or over, and won with 15 percent of them for a negative ROI of $1.88.
Sprint/Route (38 0.25 $2.10)
This trainer started 38 horses in route races that had made their previous start in a sprint, winning with 25 percent of those starters for a positive ROI of 2.10. A good angle play.
Route/Sprint (26 0.08 $0.85)
This trainer started 38 horses in sprint races that had made their previous start in a route, winning with eight percent of those starters for a negative ROI of $0.85.
WonLastStart (22 .40 $2.80)
This trainer started 22 horses that had won their last start and won with a good 40 percent of them for a positive ROI of $2.80 – definitely worth looking at!
1stStart (16 .25 $1.31) This trainer saddled 16 horses making their first life time start and won with a good 25 percent of them for a negative ROI of $1.31.
2ndStart (12 .25 $2.20)
This trainer started 12 horses that were making their second lifetime start and won with 25 percent of them for a positive ROI of $2.20.
1stLasix (22 .24 $2.35)
This trainer started 22 horses that were getting Lasix for the first time and won with 24 percent of them for a positive ROI of $2.35.
2Off45-180 (20 .12 0.76)
This trainer started 20 horses that were making their second start off a 45-180 day layoff and won with 12 percent of them for a negative ROI of $0.76.
31-60Days (40 .20 $1.77)
This trainer started 40 horses that were coming into a race off a 31-60 day layoff and won with 20 percent of them for a negative ROI of $1.77.
61-180Days (15 .08 $2.11)
This trainer started 15 horses that were coming into a race off a 61-180 day layoff and won with only eight percent of them, yet they returned a positive ROI of $2.11 – worth noting.
+180Days(8 .00 $0.00)
This trainer started eight horses coming off layoffs of longer than 180 days and won 0 races for an obviously negative ROI. Probably not a good bet in layoff situations.
BlinkOn (15 .20 $1.47)
This trainer started 15 horses getting blinkers on for the first time, winning at a 20 percent clip for a negative ROI of $1.47)
BlinkOff (20 .10 $1.34)
This trainer started 20 horses that were getting blinkers off and won with 10 percent of them for a negative ROI of $1.34)
There are many more trainer patterns, too many to be discussed here. Suffice it to say that all sharp handicappers use trainer patterns to some degree when deciding which horses are worth a second look – and worth betting on.
Some handicappers also keep their own records of trainer patterns. This allows them to spot additional trainer patterns that are not listed in the past performances.
Compiling your own set of trainer pattern statistics gives you an additional edge on the crowd, and can definitely result in some lucrative scores.