Betting on two-year-old racing can be simple or as complex as you make it. When it comes to unraced juveniles, the morning line odds usually follow the “hyped” horses with fast workouts and a strong trainer presence. Looking for price horses can take some dedication and research, but is well worth the reward.
Aside from strong connections, quick workout times, and general excitement leading to a horse’s debut, pedigree is a major factor in how they might run. Into Mischief is the leading sire of two-year-olds this year with 34 winners from 86 runners. Uncle Mo is a leading sire as well with 18 to win from 59 runners. Those numbers are important compared to a horse like Flashback, who is eighth on the list but only has seven winners to his name, with one of them being Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and future Eclipse champion British Idiom.
As for freshman sires, meaning horses with their very first crops debuting in 2019, American Pharoah has trounced the competition with 23 winners from 63 starters. His horses ran exceptionally well on grass, making them valuable plays early on before the general public caught on to their prowess.
Constitution comes next, with 19 winners in 59 starters. But his highest earner only has $76,000 to his name, compared to American Pharoah’s leading earner Four Wheel Drive, who put together $428,200 in earnings, thanks chiefly to a Breeders’ Cup win.
Khozan came out firing early in the year, throwing together 14 winners from 35 runners at a whopping 40%. After the first few won, he quickly became a sire of precocious horses to watch.
It helps to be aware of stallions that get the mares when they retire. Mr Speaker is a freshman stallion this year who boasts a considerable pedigree and strong race record, the two makings of a future sire. Although he was slow to get going – which makes sense, given that he took three tries to break his maiden and didn’t win in grade 1 company until July of his sophomore year – he has gone on to sire popular juvenile Three Technique, who has won his last two starts impressively.
Know the market, as well. In California at Santa Anita and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, outfits such as Terry Lovingier’s Lovacres Ranch has two-year-olds ready to fly as early as April and May, and New York-bred races at Belmont Park and Aqueduct can often be won by trainers different than those heavyweights competing in maiden special company. Wesley Ward does astoundingly well at Keeneland in the spring.
Bet on two-year old racing with TVG from April to December.