|1 1/16 Miles at Laurel Park: Is There Really a Bias?|
|This question turned out to be amazingly simple to answer. In our database, we show 1,524 races run on fast tracks. If we simply break them down by post position, here are the results.
This data shows without a doubt that the 1 1/16 mile distance at Laurel truly is beatable simply with post position.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this study is that the public has knowledge of this bias as evidenced by the average odds and public choice columns. In spite of their knowledge they simply under bet these horses.
Let’s break this study down by Quirin Early Speed Points and see if there is any pattern.
(Editor’s note: The totals in the following sections will not match the totals above because first-time starters and foreign starters have been removed.)
And what of the obvious question of track condition?
In this sample, we consider only those races run on “off” tracks. That is, races that were not “fast” or “good.”
Here we see that the bias is about the same from a standpoint of win%, but that the public manages to forget to consider post position all together!
By the way, the sample of “good” tracks was small (70 races) and showed a diminished bias.
There really is a post position bias at Laurel! It is so pronounced that if one had done nothing but bet horses in post position one over the last few years, a profit of at least 16% per wagered dollar would have been realized.
Furthermore, looking at the impact of running style, using the Quirin Early Speed Point approach, shows us that the greater the likelihood of the horse being a front runner, the stronger the bias becomes.
On off tracks, the mid-pack horses showed improvement over the front runners, but closers did dismally. In other words, the bias is still intact.