Track Reports

Churchill Downs: By the Numbers

With the Churchill Downs meet gearing up and everyone getting ready for the Kentucky Derby, I wanted to point out some things that may get missed with hoopla of the first Saturday in May. Everybody knows the stats you see at the bottom of the form that give you the trainer’s percentages in scenarios that pertain to the horse in question.

For example, this Tom Proctor’s stats with first time starting maidens sprinting in Maiden Special Weights on dirt.

Past Performances Trainer Stats

But I am going to drill down deeper and lay out the best and worst angles as they relate to Churchill Downs and the trainers that will fill the program every day. I will mainly be looking back to the past two years at Churchill and pointing out numbers that would most likely not be found unless you going looking for them.

Michael Maker

Michael MakerMaker sports some pretty decent some numbers overall, winning races at a 22% clip and finishing in the money 52% of the time. But did you know that 1st off the claim on the grass Maker is winning at astounding 57% rate with an ROI of $6.63 the past two years at Churchill? This number comes from only 12 starters but with the Ramsey’s behind him throwing money around I would be on the lookout for this angle this spring at Churchill.

Steve Asmussen

Steve AsmussenAsmussen is a guy who wins races all over the country. He could have horses from New York to New Mexico running on the same day and anywhere in between. He doesn’t discourage either. A $5k claimer is just as important as stake horse in that barn. Steve sports a gaudy 39% win rate in maiden claiming sprint races at Churchill since 2013. You are probably thinking that they are all favored but he actually has an ROI of $3.19 in these races. On the flip side, he is hanging a goose egg up in the win column with maiden claimer routers at Churchill. However, he has only had 7 start going a route of ground but it seemed worth noting.

Ian Wilkes

Ian WilkesThis is a fun one for me. I have always thought Ian’s bread and butter was Churchill and these stats do not lie.

With 2nd career starters at Churchill in the past two years, Wilkes has a 31% win rate and an ROI of $3.01. Proving that he likes to give his horses a race to get them into shape, mark of a true horseman.  This gets even better, if you can believe it. If these are on dirt, the number jumps to 36% with and ROI of $3.49 and to one up that if Brian Hernandez Jr. is in the saddle you can bump that up to 46% with a ROI of $3.80. So be on the lookout for Wilkes 2nd timers at this meet especially with meet he just had at Keeneland. That barn is getting hot.

Mark Casse

Mark CasseCasse has been getting better and better every year. His horses always look amazing and his team is always having fun.

Mark usually has a pretty good barn at Churchill but don’t expect much first off the layoff from the fun filled barn. Casse only hits at 6% off the layoff from 35 starts in the past two years under the Spires. However, 3rd off the layoff that number catapults to 40% with a ROI of $4.24. That is quite the turn around.

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