Racing! Some thoughts on CRW (Computer Robotic Wagering)

November 29, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome to our horse racing newsletter as we hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

One of the questions I get frequently is why do odds change so drastically after the gates open. I hear a lot of conspiracy theories and how maddening it is to have a 5-1 horse go to 5-2 in one blink. Well, one of our contributors, Rob Henie, the wizard of the West Coast Handicapping Report (and East Coast, too) send his subscribers a brief primer on CRW. Wonder what that is? Rob will explain it all.

“I wanted to address CRW, which is Computer Robotic Wagering. For those unaware of what this is, this is where computers are used to produce the probable payouts right before a race goes off, with the ability to wager literally thousands of combinations, incorporating the probability of a winner with relation to the odds being offered.

“In a nutshell, here’s how it works, a ‘Cliff Notes’ version. Programs are written, inputting years of stats and data, addressing all race conditions, etc, and the computer will then create odds based on that horses chances, and then, right before the race, money is automatically wagered, honing in on horses offering fair value based on what the computer determines to be worthy of value.

“Here’s where it gets tricky, odds are reduced, often after the gates open, infuriating many of us, but by the same token, adding considerably to the pool size.

“Many scream foul, as the wagering can be done through programs which tracks cater to, giving rebates to these particular groups, since they’re adding so much in handle, but infuriating day players whose wagers are done manually, snail time compared to these computer systems.

“So how do I feel about this? I have no problem with any of it. First, keep in mind, the added pool money is never a bad thing. Most of these groups aren’t exactly winning hand over fist, but rather, they’re looking to create small profits with the track rebates putting them over the top fiscally. It takes multiple employees to run these things, a lot of money to fund them. In summation, I prefer and welcome the added pool money, compared to a reduction in price after the gates open which we all encounter. Also remember, these wagers are based on historical information, without understanding any current info such as red hot barns, track biases, etc., meaning, the CRW concept is not without flaws, and really, doesn’t this sport need all the money and help we can find? So yes, I’m fine with CRW.”

The West Coast Handicapping Report can be found at It has been endorsed by leading trainers, handicappers and industry sources.

Del Mar preview

Tom Robbins called it right again by canceling Thursday’s card at Del Mar. There was rain all up and down the coast in Southern California. There will be some residual rain on Friday, a reason to take all the races off the turf, which the track did. But, Saturday and Sunday appear rain free.

Friday’s card is nine races starting at 12:30 p.m. It’s not the best card we’ve ever seen with six of nine races classified as claiming (and a starter allowance, which is a claiming race in which horses can’t be claimed).

The feature is a six furlong allowance/optional claimer for horses 3 and up running for a purse of $53,000. It is a field of 10. The favorite is Madman, at 7-2, a one-time starter who won his race by seven lengths. Richard Baltas is the trainer and Flavien Prat is the jockey. The second favorite, at 4-1, is Soldier Boy for John Sadler and Tyler Baze. He won last out by 5 ¼ lengths. It was his fourth start. He was a $350,000 purchase so expectations are high.

Here are the field sizes, now, but don’t be surprised if there are a fair amount of scratches: 7, 8, 8 7, 11, 8, 9, 10, 12 (2 also eligibles).

Bob Ike’s Dmr pick of the day

EIGHTH RACE: No. 7 Top Brass (9-2)

In what appears to be the best gambling race on the card (competitive field of first-level allowance/optional claimers going six furlongs on dirt), I will go with this sharp recent claim from the Bob Hess stable. He ran well to be second for $32,000, gets a one-level bump by his new connections and won here during the summer meet. Win Bet and exacta boxes with main threats to his outside, Soldier Boy (4-1) and Madman (7-2).

Sunday’s result: Harmless ($28.40) got the front-running trip we envisioned, dug in gamely through the stretch and held sway as the top three runners finished noses apart.

Bob Ike is a Partner/VP of (here’s a video) and the proprietor of (full-card picks, 3 Best Plays and betting strategy).

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Golden Gate weekend preview

Here’s our weekly look at the best racing going on at Golden Gate Fields. As with the last meeting, we’re delighted to have race caller and all-around good guy Matt Dinerman as our host for previews and other musings. So, take it away, Matt.

“After a festive Thanksgiving card, terday, Golden Gate Fields offers three more live racing days this week, and runs two stakes races: the Golden Gate Debutante Stakes on Friday, and the marquee race of our fall meet, the Grade 3 $100,000 Berkeley Handicap, on Saturday.

“A field of nine has been assembled for the Golden Gate Debutante, the seventh of eight races. In the six-furlong Tapeta sprint contest, the 5-2 morning-line favorite is local contender Misirlou, a full sibling to 2017 El Camino Real Derby winner Zakaroff. She has won three straight, including a pair of allowance events, and boasts a three-for-three record on the Tapeta. Frank Alvarado has the call for trainer Steve Specht. They teamed up to win last year’s Golden Gate Debutante with Tomlin. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert ships in Éclair, who breaks from the four and is 9-2 on the morning line. Other notables include Shanghai Keely, who ran fourth in the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar this summer, impressive maiden winners Mischievous Curlin and Stradari, and the Tommy Town Thoroughbreds homebred No Cover Charge.

“The $100,000 Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap drew 11 contenders. Grade I winner What a View makes his first start for trainer Sherrie Monroe in the Bay Area after three straight losses down south over the summer. He may be getting ‘class relief,’ but this is not an easy spot by any means. Other Southern California shippers include Leading Score from the Baffert barn and the Michael McCarthy trained Ohio, who won the Grade I Kilroe Mile in March. Four-time Grade 2 winner Ashleyluvssugar is also entered for trainer Peter Eurton and jockey Brice Blanc. The one who figures to get the most play out of all the local contenders is Mugaritz, an ultra-game gelding that comes off a gutsy win in the Joseph T. Grace Stakes on turf. Synthetic specialist Lymebird loves the Tapeta and merits respect with his best run while Camino Del Paraiso, who lost by a neck to Mugaritz in the Joseph T. Grace, always seems to be around at the wire.

“Leg B (the second leg) of the Stronach 5 this week is Race two. Taste’s Legend takes a steep drop in class for high percentage trainer Ari Herbertson and may be a single on many tickets. That said, I can also make a case for Charlie Cowden, who comes off a win last month. From my point of view, it looks like a two-horse between these two unless one of the other entrants reverses poor recent form.

“Finally, a shout out to leading fall meet jockey Juan Hernandez. On Tuesday, Hernandez was awarded the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week award for November 18-24. Through the seven-day span, Hernandez won 12 races, which was the most by any North American jockey last week. The highlight of his week: a five-win day on Saturday, including a pair of victories in two co-featured allowance races. Hernandez came back on Sunday and won three more races.”

Los Alamitos weekend preview

It’s time to turn things over to marketing and meda guru Orlando Gutierrez, who will tell us about the upcoming weekend at Los Alamitos. Orlando, the floor is yours.

“The quarter-horse racing action returns Friday with the last set of derby trials of the Los Alamitos season. Legacy Ranch’s Mister Appolitical and Ed Allred’s Chocolatito put on a show the last time they met in the Grade 3 PCQHRA Breeders Derby final on Oct. 4. In that race, Mister Appolitical took a slight lead, but they went head to head from there Mister Appolitical winning the photo finish by an inch over Chocolatito.

“Mister Appolitical and Chocolatito will meet in Friday’s third-of-four trials to the Grade 2, $168,700 Southern California Derby. Thirty sophomores will compete in the 400-yard trials with the 10 fastest qualifiers advancing to the Dec. 13 final. The Southern California Derby will kick-off the meet’s closing week of racing that will also include the Champion of Champions on Saturday, Dec. 14 and the 25th running of the Los Alamitos Two Million on Ed Burgart’s final night as track announcer here on Sunday, Dec. 15.

Martha Wells’ Yanque will go after his second stakes win of the year at 550 yards when he faces a compact field led by 870-yard star Run Raging Rhino Run and newcomer CM Once Ina Bluemoon in the $15,000 Paul Ford Memorial Handicap on Sunday. Trained by Matt Fales, Yanque delivered in a big way at this distance in the Scott Lewis Handicap on Nov. 8, as he broke on top and cruised to an easy 1 ½-length win. The Favorite Cartel gelding had always shown a big closing kick and figured to be a star at 550 yards if he ever got the chance. That time is now, particularly after winning the Paul Ford in a time of 26.80.

“Recapping last Sunday’s trials to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, Ed Allred’s Nomadic posted the fastest qualifying time after winning the 10th of 12 trials. Ridden by Vinnie Bednar for trainer Scott Willoughby, Nomadic posted a 1 ¾-lengths win while covering the 400 yards in 19.675 seconds. His winning time was a length faster than the time posted by second fastest qualifier Flokie. Nomadic is a full-brother to Golden State Million Futurity runner-up Circle City, who also posted some impressive victories earlier this year.

“’His full brother can also really run,’ Allred said. ‘I kind of thought that (Nomadic) was the better of the two, and maybe he is the better of the two. It’s incredible to have two from the same crop that can run so seamlessly.’

“In addition to Nomadic and Grade 1 Ed Burke Million winner Flokie, the field to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity will also feature Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity winner Runforyourlife and Hobbs America Futurity runner-up Sacred Nation. One final note, Los Alamitos’ new sports bar was officially named Burgart’s in honor of our great track announcer. The name was unveiled during the sports bar’s grand opening last Friday night. Burgart’s is open Friday through Sunday. On weekends, it’ll open at 9:30 a.m.”

Ed Burgart’s LA pick of the day

EIGHTH RACE: No. 4 Symbol Of Faith (5-2)

She missed the break by at least two lengths when finishing ninth in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby three weeks ago. She looked very strong in her prior neck trial win over Dexxter, who appears her main foe here. Trainer Juan Aleman and jockey Carlos Huerta qualified two runners into the Dec. 15 Los Alamitos Two Million from last Sunday’s trials.

Final thought

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Now, the star of the show, Friday’s entries.

Del Mar Entries for Friday, November 29.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar, California. $2 Win, Place and Show; $1 Exacta, $2 Quinella, 50-cent Trifecta, $2 Rolling Double, 50-cent rolling Pick 3; 10-cent Superfecta; 50-cent Pick 4 last 4 races; 50-cent Players Pick 5 first 5 races; $2 Pick 6 last 6 races; $1 Place Pick All; $1 Super High Five last race. Trifecta needs 4 betting interests; Superfecta needs 6. 13th day of a 15-day meet.


1 Mile. Purse: $52,000. Maiden Special Weight. 3 year olds and up.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Abusive Gary Tiago Pereira 122 Philip D’Amato 9-2
2 Cardiff Cay Mike Smith 122 Don Chatlos 7-2
3 Paint Me Lucky Drayden Van Dyke 124 Bob Baffert 3-1
4 Stretford End Flavien Prat 122 Simon Callaghan 5-2
5 Lambeau Victor Espinoza 122 John A. Shirreffs 12-1
6 Muskoka Jose Valdivia, Jr. 122 J. Keith Desormeaux 4-1
7 Malibu Moonlight Tyler Baze 122 Anna Meah 12-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Maiden Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $40,000-$35,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Awesome Score Abel Cedillo 122 Kristin Mulhall 4-1 40,000
2 Will Dancer Tiago Pereira 122 Eddie Truman 12-1 40,000
3 Aggressivity Jose Valdivia, Jr. 124 Ronald W. Ellis 2-1 40,000
4 Royal Ranger Agapito Delgadillo 120 Juan Carlos Lopez 20-1 35,000
5 Dairy Kid Henry Lopez 109 Robert J. Lucas 20-1 40,000
6 Chosen Moon Drayden Van Dyke 122 Ronald W. Ellis 5-1 40,000
7 Truest Reward Rafael Bejarano 122 Doug F. O’Neill 5-1 40,000
8 Music to My Ears Aaron Gryder 122 Brian J. Koriner 5-2 40,000


6½ Furlongs. Purse: $20,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $16,000-$14,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Black Storm Heriberto Figueroa 124 Lloyd C. Wicker 5-1 16,000
2 Don’tteasethetiger Rafael Bejarano 122 Genaro Vallejo 8-1 16,000
3 Surfside Sunset Jose Valdivia, Jr. 122 Dean Greenman 12-1 14,000
4 More Honor Flavien Prat 124 Mark Glatt 3-1 16,000
5 Verynsky Tyler Baze 120 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 4-1 14,000
6 Whatsittoya J.C. Diaz, Jr. 117 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 7-2 16,000
7 According to Buddy Eswan Flores 124 Hector O. Palma 15-1 16,000
8 Imagineiamfastest Abel Cedillo 124 Jack Carava 4-1 16,000


1 Mile. Purse: $33,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $32,000-$28,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Impression Tiago Pereira 120 William Spawr 5-2 32,000
2 Lagoon Macaroon Edwin Maldonado 118 George Papaprodromou 15-1 32,000
3 Kylemore Tyler Baze 118 Paul G. Aguirre 6-1 28,000
4 Leroy Heriberto Figueroa 120 Anthony K. Saavedra 6-1 32,000
5 Kenzou’s Rhythm Flavien Prat 118 Jeff Mullins 9-2 28,000
6 Dukes Up Abel Cedillo 120 Peter Eurton 3-1 32,000
7 Winning Element Rafael Bejarano 122 Doug F. O’Neill 7-2 32,000


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $29,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $50,000. State bred.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Bella D Flavien Prat 120 Mike Puype 5-1 50,000
2 Fierce Kitty Edwin Maldonado 120 Shelbe Ruis 20-1 50,000
3 Secret Square Tyler Baze 120 John W. Sadler 5-2 50,000
4 La Croix Geovanni Franco 120 Rene Amescua 5-1 50,000
5 Stateforest J.C. Diaz, Jr. 115 Leonard Powell 8-1 50,000
6 Goveness Sheila Eswan Flores 120 Neil A. Koch 20-1 50,000
7 Rickie Nine Toe’s Tiago Pereira 120 Brian J. Koriner 15-1 50,000
8 Swift Socks Agapito Delgadillo 120 William Spawr 5-1 50,000
9 Ladies Luv Munny Abel Cedillo 120 Doug F. O’Neill 7-2 50,000
10 Unusual Secret Brice Blanc 120 Alexis Barba 20-1 50,000


6 Furlongs. Purse: $22,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $32,000-$28,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Sabinos Pride J.C. Diaz, Jr. 115 David E. Hofmans 5-1 32,000
2 Trouville Flavien Prat 120 Leonard Powell 5-2 32,000
3 Cowboys Daughter Brice Blanc 120 Thomas Ray Bell, II 20-1 32,000
4 Sister Diablo Rafael Bejarano 120 Richard Baltas 8-1 32,000
5 Miss Kitness Assael Espinoza 120 Shelbe Ruis 6-1 32,000
6 It’s a Riddle Abel Cedillo 118 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 2-1 28,000
7 Kuda Huraa Mario Gutierrez 120 George Papaprodromou 6-1 32,000
8 For My Brother Agapito Delgadillo 118 Juan Carlos Lopez 12-1 28,000


1 Mile. Purse: $30,000. Starter Allowance. 3 year olds and up.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 High Five J.C. Diaz, Jr. 114 Vladimir Cerin 6-1
2 You Must Chill Mario Gutierrez 119 George Papaprodromou 12-1
3 Bold Endeavor Drayden Van Dyke 119 George Papaprodromou 12-1
4 Unbroken Star Flavien Prat 121 Mike Puype 5-2
5 Brazilian Summer Tiago Pereira 119 Matthew Chew 15-1
6 Canadian Game Abel Cedillo 124 Jack Carava 6-1
7 Mutineer Rafael Bejarano 119 Doug F. O’Neill 7-2
8 Platinum Nights Mike Smith 119 Peter Eurton 9-2
9 Mongolian Hero Assael Espinoza 119 Enebish Ganbat 8-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $53,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Truck Salesman Evin Roman 120 Doug F. O’Neill 8-1
2 Parsimony Mario Gutierrez 120 Doug F. O’Neill 12-1
3 Royal Trump Edwin Maldonado 124 Mark Glatt 12-1
4 Adens Dream Cerapio Figueroa 124 John W. Sadler 6-1 40,000
5 Touching Rainbows Abel Cedillo 124 Philip D’Amato 6-1 40,000
6 Candy Cornell J.C. Diaz, Jr. 117 John A. Shirreffs 8-1
7 Top Brass Victor Espinoza 124 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 9-2 40,000
8 Soldier Boy Tyler Baze 120 John W. Sadler 4-1
9 Madman Flavien Prat 120 Richard Baltas 7-2


6 Furlongs. Purse: $22,000. Maiden Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $32,000-$28,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Mr. Unusual Agapito Delgadillo 120 Edward R. Freeman 8-1 32,000
2 Call Me Daddy Abel Cedillo 120 Doug F. O’Neill 7-2 32,000
3 Matson Geovanni Franco 120 George Papaprodromou 30-1 32,000
4 Promise Nothing Evin Roman 120 Shelbe Ruis 9-2 32,000
5 Debt Monger Tiago Pereira 120 William Spawr 5-1 32,000
6 Eustace Rafael Bejarano 120 Ed Moger, Jr. 5-1 32,000
7 You’reright Again Heriberto Figueroa 120 Lloyd C. Wicker 8-1 32,000
8 Cherry Pie Edwin Maldonado 120 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 6-1 32,000
9 Flawless Clyde Ignacio Puglisi 120 Nestor M. Capitaine 30-1 32,000
10 Shootin Money Tyler Baze 120 Philip A. Oviedo 12-1 32,000
11 Sound Checkers J.C. Diaz, Jr. 115 Eddie Truman 20-1 32,000