As promised in my last post, here is my review of Equibase’s Smart Pick tool. You first need to setup an account on Equibase.com to get access to their free horse picking tools. The tools can be found when you look at the race entries page for a race. The two I use most often are Entries Plus and Smart Pick. Entries Plus gives you past performance data in graph and chart form so that you can compare the entries. You need to decide what data is important and make your own picks. Smart Pick is much easier to use and makes the picks for you based on which criteria you want to emphasize. On the “customize wagering strategy” page, you can choose any combination of trainer, jockey, or pedigree to apply to the picks. I usually select the highest risk level. This will show you the top 3 horses. Changing the maximum dollar amount will suggest different wagers but has no impact on the top picks. The Emphasis Strategy section is where you control the picks.
I wanted to see which strategy resulted in a winner among the top 3 picks or hit the trifecta most often. I recorded the results from the first seven race days at Canterbury Park this year (2022). Then documented the picks from various smart pick strategy settings. There is no way to go back and check the accuracy of the smart pick tool, other than writing down the picks before the end of each race day. The criteria I used was Trainer/Jockey/ Pedigree, Trainer/Jockey, Trainer, Jockey, Pedigree, and none. Here are the results from 61 races:
Hit Trifecta: T/J/P (5), T/J (4), Trainer (5), Jockey (8), Pedigree (4), None (7)
Winner: T/J/P (28), T/J (34), Trainer (34), Jockey (40), Pedigree (37), None (37)
The best trifecta result came from selecting the jockey or no criteria at all. The winner was found in 66% of races by selecting the jockey. My own picks would have resulted in 8 trifectas and 42 winners. None of the picks would have given you consistent positive results. You would think that using the most frequently appearing numbers would be a good approach. But that wasn’t always the case. You would need to include some expert picks to boost your odds of finding the winner because 11 out of 61 times Smart Pick didn’t have the winning horse among the top 3.
My picks for the 2022 Belmont Stakes: 1 (We the People), 3 (Nest), 6 (Mo Donegal). To wager on the Belmont, use my affiliate link to open a TVG account.