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Today's Racing Digest Secret Menu?

All the buzz these days in the fast food industry is the so called secret menu items. Social media has pretty much exposed the "secret" of these items and basically they are just "off the menu" items which can be ordered if you ask for them. While the Digest doesn't have a secret menu or items that are not seen inside, you may have overlooked certain features that can be valuable to your handicapping. We have highlighted five of them that you can find in any Digest whether it is Basic, Advanced or Premium.

Secret Menu 1

1. Percentage of Favorites: Favorites win on average at 33% and finish in the money at 67% at all race tracks. This has happened for decades, but how do favorites do in a specific type of race? The Digest displays this information for you for races based on class, age, distance and surface. The example above suggests that favorites do better than average for this type of race (6 furlongs on dirt, 3 year olds and older, $50,000 Starter Allowance). Use this to your advantage especially when favorites tend to struggle under today's conditions for higher payoffs at the windows.

2. Sire stats: Breeding can play a factor in your handicapping especially when a horse is trying something new. The Digest displays the win percentage for the sire's offspring for turf (T), synthetics (S) and wet dirt tracks (M) such as muddy or sloppy. We see races go from the turf to the main track due to rain quite often and you can use the sire stats to give you an edge on who might handle the wet dirt track more than others based on their breeding. The same idea can be used when a horse tries the turf or a synthetic track for the first time.

3. Key race stat: If you have ever heard someone say "the horse came out of a key race", this is where you can find this information. A key race can be described as a race which produced a number of next-out winners. In the example above, the horse's last race (3/27/13) has produced one next-out winner while the two races before that has produced two next-out winners each. This horse has raced in some key races of late which suggests he has raced in some good competition. This can be especially useful in Maiden races since none of them have won before, but a key race can suggest it was a stronger than normal field.

4. Morning line odds: Most all past performances show what the final odds for a horse was for each race, but where else can you find the morning line odds for past races? While the morning line is just what one person thinks how the betting public will bet the horse, it can be used to see if a runner is well-bet or "live" at the windows or if it is as they say "dead on the board". This can be another good handicapping tool for Maiden races as a "live" runner who did not show much first time out may be one to play next time as there was money backing that runner up suggesting that runner has more talent than shown.

5. Last fraction: We have had plenty of comments from our readers on how much they love the last fraction especially for turf races. The last fraction is the time of that runner for the (you guessed it) last fraction of the race. Most turf races are run with a slow early/fast late pace and this is where the last fraction can be useful for handicapping. Those horses with a strong late kick are often contenders in turf races and now that we know many synthetic races are run this way as well, this can be helpful to determine who may be the ones to watch for in the stretch. We hope you can use this and all the information in the Digest to help you find more winners. And don't worry, we would not be mad if you shared this "secret menu" with other handicappers!

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