These Saturday races at Aqueduct meet the criteria I’ve established for using the superfecta-key betting strategy.
This seven-furlong allowance race on dirt for 3-year-olds and up attracted a field of 10, including two trained by Linda Rice and three coming in off the claim, including both of her runners. The entire field exits dirt races, eight at Aqueduct and two at Keeneland.
The field has combined for an in-the-money rate of one in two starts overall and two of three at the distance.
These runners have combined for a lead at the second call one of every eight starts for races that show. The pace should be slow with the advantage to runners on or near the lead.
No. 5 Ocean’s Reserve has finished in the money in 12 of 16 overall and is seven for seven at the distance, with three wins. He should be right off the lead and grind late for a share at odds of 5-1 as your key runner.
Bill Mott sends out no. 4 Bad to the Bones, who is five of 10 in the money on dirt with one win. A grinder who should be forwardly placed and has some closing kick, he and has met some of the toughest competition in the field and is 12-1 on the morning line.
One of the Rice runner is no. 2 Power Seeker, who has a first and third at the tricky distance of 6 1/2 furlongs, both at Keeneland. He closed from 10th in the win and fourth in the third-place run and should be moving late at odds of 8-1.
Rice also saddles no. 8 Dark Vector, who is three of five in the money at the distance with one win his only one in seven lifetime dirt tries. He should be forwardly placed and last for a share at odds of 6-1.
Todd Pletcher has a runner in no. 3 Overstep, who has three wins and a second in four tries. Two of those wins came in a route and one in a six furlong sprint on debut. This proven router will be very formidable turning back to seven furlongs and have energy in reserve late at odds of 2-1.
The play: 10-cent superfecta key using 5 with 2, 3, 4 and 8 Total wager: $9.60.
The Demoiselle Stakes (G2) at 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 2-year-old fillies attracted a field of nine, including two stretching out on dirt for the first time. All runners exit dirt races, five at Aqueduct and one each at Laurel, Delaware, Santa Anita and Churchill.
The field has combined for an in-the-money rate of three in four starts overall while no runner has raced at the distance.
These runners have combined for a lead at the second call one time in 29 total tries. Runners on or near the lead should have an advantage.
Brad Cox sends out no. 9 Caldwell Luvs Gold, who sports two wins, a second and a third in four lifetime tries and should grind her way to a placing as your key runner with odds of 9-2.
One of the first time routers is no. 6 Caress for George Weaver. This filly broke her maiden on debut at six furlongs and followed that with a fourth in a Laurel stakes at the same distance. She projects to be competitive with the added distance and substantially slower pace at odds of 12-1.
The Chad Brown runner no. 2 Dolomite also tries a route for the first time after winning by open lengths last time out at seven furlongs after logging a fourth-place finish at six furlongs. She should be a midpack presence and kick late at odds of 10-1.
Ken McPeek trains the runner with the most starts, no. 7 Shimmering Allure. The filly has logged four in-the-money finishes in six lifetime starts at five different tracks. She is a grinder and should be part of the mix late at 7-2.
Pletcher saddles no. 3 Life Talk, who has finished in each of the top four positions in all four lifetime tries and looks extremely fast here at odds of 8-5.
The play: 10-cent superfecta key using 9 with 2, 3, 6 and 7 Total wager: $9.60.
The Remsen Stakes (G2), a 1 1/8-mile dirt race for 2-year-olds, attracted a field of 10, including two each trained by Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown and one runner stretching out on dirt for the first time for a new trainer.
The field has combined for an in-the-money rate of three in four starts overall and one runner has tried the distance, resulting in a win.
These runners have combined for a lead at the second call one in three starts. The pace should be fast with the advantage to closers.
Pletcher sends out no. 4 Moonlight, who started out with a solid second in a Saratoga turf route and followed that with a maiden-breaking mile score on Belmont dirt and a solid second in a sloppy Grade 3 stakes at Churchill at 1 1/16 on dirt. This is your key runner at 9-2.
The Cox trainee, no. 5 Drum Roll Please, had trouble on debut in a sprint and followed that with a second and first at Saratoga and Belmont at one mile. He has demonstrated a midpack tractable style which make him a solid player at overlay odds of 10-1.
The Rick Dutrow Jr.-trained no. 8 Where’s Chris has not run a bad race in three lifetime starts, passing horses in two sprints and a one-mile stake victory last out at Aqueduct. He is going to be a factor from midpack and is 6-1.
No. 7 Sierra Leone broke his maiden on debut at Aqueduct at a mile and figures to improve off that effort while closing from off the pace. This Brown trainee is 4-1.
Danny Gargan saddles no. 3 Dornoch, who has two seconds and an open length maiden win at Keeneland last time out. That 1 1/6-mile dirt effort was impressive and suggests he will relish the added distance at odds of 2-1.
The play: 10-cent superfecta key using 4 with 3, 5, 7 and 8 Total wager: $9.60.
A full field of 12 has been entered in the Cigar Mile (G1) on dirt, including three trained by Chad Brown, one who has a new trainer, and one trying a dirt route for the first time. All runners exit dirt races, seven at Aqueduct, three at Santa Anita and one each at Parx and Charles Town.
The field has combined for an in-the-money rate of two in three starts overall and three of four at the distance.
These runners have combined for a lead at the second call one in every six starts for races that show. The pace should be moderate with the advantage to runners coming from off the pace.
No. 10 Accretive, one of the Brown runners, has been a solid performer in his seven-race career, resulting in three wins, two seconds and a third on dirt at distances from six furlongs to one mile. He always shows up and grinds his way to a solid position at odds of 4-1 and is your key runner.
No. 7 Three Technique needs pace to chase and he may get it here, moving him up for superfecta consideration. His record at the distance is 10 for 12 in the money and he comes out of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) finishing an inconsequential seventh. He is 8-1.
Brown also saddles no. 5 Dr. Ardito, who has demonstrated ability at a mile with five wins and a second in eight starts at the distance. He can close or be relatively close and is 8-1.
Cox sends out no. 2 Everso Mischievous, a tractable, balanced runner who should be in position to gauge his opposition from a forward placing. He has never been off the board in six tries, all on dirt at distances ranging from six furlongs to one mile. He is a solid player at 4-1.
The deep closer no. 3 Senor Buscador always seems out of it early and drives relentlessly to be a late threat. His record at the distance is two wins from three starts. He may run out of ground but will be a late factor at 7-2.
The play: 10-cent superfecta key using 10 with 2, 3, 5 and 7 Total wager: $9.60.
Why play superfectas?
For me, one main attraction to superfectas is that a superfecta probable payout pool is not displayed making this bet an unknown endeavor relative to an exacta and even trifectas in some circumstances where the probable payouts are available. However, if you observe the pool results over a long period of time, you will come to realize the heavily wagered upon runners tend to be over bet in the superfecta pool and when outsiders come in especially in the top two positions, explosive payouts might result.
This is why a 10 cent superfecta is a great leveraged wager if you select one runner you strongly believe will land in any one of the top four positions.
table below summarizes the reduction in your outlays for superfecta wagers when
you key one runner essentially boxing it with four to seven other runners.
Superfecta key wagering savings
There are books out
there and it is common logic that the box wager makes no sense unless all horses
are valued equally by the handicapper. Without getting too technical here, it
is obvious if you have an opinion on a race, a straight box of any sort makes
superfecta key strategy illustrated above requires you to ensure that your keyed
horse finish in one of those top four positions. To maximize return, I am
looking for three conditions to create potential for a high payoff.
interests of at least nine entries but not more than 12.
ability to confidently key a horse that is not an odds-on or a heavily bet
that has runners seemingly ignored in the pool that would be at very high odds
at post time but could be in the top four randomly.