To Play or Not To Play:  3 Horse Racing Angles

To Play or Not To Play:  3 Horse Racing Angles

Are you new to horse race betting?   Are you a racing degenerate, I mean horseplayer, like me. Here are some potentially easy angles to play or some information to think about before you play blindly into an angle. If you hang out at the track, you will inevitably hear someone act as if these angles are automatic plays that pay every time. If it were only that easy, we would quit our day jobs.

1. The Longer Half of the Uncoupled Entry

When two horses either owned by the same owner or trained by the same trainer, the owner or trainer can choose to run them as a coupled entry -- 1 and 1A --  or they can be run as uncoupled (separate) entries --1 and 2.  When the horses run as uncoupled (separate) entries, one horse usually is a shorter price like 3-1 and the other horse could be 10-1.  It happens frequently that the horse with the longer odds wins the race.  Therefore, the angle is to bet the Longer Half of the uncoupled entry.  The angle hits frequently and since you are getting the longer odds, better price, it pays.  Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher frequently saddle multiple horses in a race.  More recently, Aiden O'Brien saddles three horses in the Breeder's Cup Turf Mile with the longest of the uncoupled entry at  73-1 shot, 15 Order of Australia, winning the race.

Interesting article trying to stop the uncoupled entry because it favors racetracks and not bettors:


In spite of the premise of this article, playing the longer half of the uncoupled entry has been a profitable bet over time, and since the longer half has higher odds, it offers more value.

2. Long Price Short Field

This angle occurs when the race has five or six entries are in a race.  The race may contain two legitimate contenders; however, with only a few number of horses, the race may not have a normal flow, the two contenders may battle upfront and be run down by a closer at a big price, or a speedster may run off uncontested and forget to stop running and wins at a big price.

While this angle seems to occur frequently, mathematically the angle is not sound. However. it is a lot more fun to root against the favorites and get some value for your wager.

Again, I am offering some simple plays that require little effort.  Anyone can win on a 4/5 favorite in a 5 horse field, but it is a lot more fun when a horse a double digit odds run down the 4/5 favorite in the final strides.

3. The Holy Trinity (A Visceral Play) for late in the race card!

I believe I heard about the Holy Trinity Angle from a friend, but if my memory serves me correctly, I read it in Harvey Pack's book May The Horse Be With You. So I cannot take credit for it, but I can definitely share it.  It is a simple angle that takes no handicapping knowledge. The Holy Trinity angle occurs when either a jockey or a number has won twice earlier on the card; there is a good chance the jockey or the number will win for the third time on that card.  For example, if a jockey, say Luis Saez wins Race 1 and Race 5, Luis Saez has a great chance of winning a third race before the end of the card.  Similarly, if the number 3 horse wins two races, Race 1 and Race 5, the number 3 horse has a great chance of winning a third time on the card.  For mathematical reasons, the lower number horses 1-4 have a better chance of this angle occurring then the horses number 10-12 because not every race has 10-12 horses entered.

The choice to play these angles is yours, but please be an informed about the mathematical accuracy of this angle occurring.

The Principal