The Bottom Line
- Excellent resource for fans of betting angle analysis of Triple Crown races
- A fun, enjoyable read for any fan, well written by and for the serious bettor
- Points the bettor towards viable longshots in races where longshots do come in
- Also covers angles to point out horses likely to complete the exotics
- May not appeal to all fans, especially those who don't handicap or wager
- Front-runners/need-the-lead types are overall bad bets in the Kentucky Derby, while wide posts may be preferable.
- The vast majority of Derby winners rally from off-the-pace but a slow pace gives the edge to stalkers.
- Closers are sub-divided into Mid-Pack Stalkers and Deep Ralliers. Deep ralliers need a very hot pace up front.
- An off-track can quickly change the race shape and shift the advantage to different horses.
- Mazur also devised a quick-and-dirty method called the "Mazur Index" or MI.
- The MI is used in conjunction with the horses' odds to quickly sort out overlays and underlays.
- An entire chapter on Derby runners-up is an excellent weapon for the exacta. Larry Jones has trained the last two.
- A week before each race, you can also purchase The Derby Zone, Preakness Zone, and Belmont Zone
- These short publications summarize the handicapping, dividing the field up into contenders, gray zoners, and pretenders.
- The Zones are updated online for download from proghandicap.com; the password is included in the publication.
Guide Review - Triple Crown Handicapper 2009
Each race gets its own chapter. In each, he starts off with a list of the last 23 winners, then goes through the most powerful angles to use. These may come from sources such as earnings, pedigree, Beyer figures, trainer, and number of prep races. This is the most important section to study, since some of these angles have held true for years and may point to a short-priced horse that, under this system would be an automatic toss-out. Each angle is assigned a knock or two depending on the severity of the angle. Horses with the least number of knocks are considered contenders, while those with too many are pretenders. "The Gray Zone" is the mid-range group, horses which have a few knocks but some positive attributes and may be worth a bet at a decent price, but should be dismissed at low odds. Needless to say, the objective of this exercise is to find the elusive "crush", given that Triple Crown races, and especially the Kentucky Derby, are often the home of boxcar payouts, given the large fields and large betting pools.
Also included in each chapter are the Daily Racing Form past performances of the last 17 winners and the last 14 Derby runners-up, so you can see where the knocks can be found and know what to look for this year. A quick glance at the winner PP's clearly shows his Beyer par angle, as every Derby winner but Giacomo and Lil E. Tee had run a triple-digit figure at some point.