Using Brisnet stats for first time starters.

With little form to refer to, hidden value can often be uncovered on first time starters using Brisnet's unique pedigree and trainer statistics in the Ultimate Past Performances. A few examples are found in the two-year-old maidens at Calder and Arlington this weekend.

Saturday, Arlington Race 3: In this maiden special weight event restricted to Illinois-bred fillies seven of the twelve entered are first time starters. Donnie Von Hemel, who wins with 11 percent of his debutants, saddles the firster Run Mama Beare Run who has solid works and is by 12 percent first time starter sire, Friends Lake. However, the most intriguing debutant is # 9, GENTLEMAN'S DANCER who has been training at Fairmont Park where she has a solid worktab. The bay filly is by Yankee Gentleman whose offspring have an average winning distance (AWD) of a short 6.4 furlongs, has a good Sire Production Index (SPI) of 1.79 and whose firsters win at a very respectable 13 percent. Gentleman's Dancer's damsire is Meadowlake whose credentials are even more impressive. His SPI is 2.05, his first timers score at a high rate of 18 percent and his AWD is 6.8 furlongs. While the trainer, Anna Navarrete, is relatively unknown at Arlington and is saddling her first starter of the meet, the statistics in the Ultimate Past Performances reveal that she has been winning at a 26 percent win rate this year and her lone first time starter was a winner. These factors, added to the booking of jockey Junior Alvarado who has nearly 50 wins at the meet make Gentleman's Dancer an interesting play if she is dispatched anywhere near the 30/1 odds of her morning line.

Saturday, Calder Race 9. In a field where only one of the 11 entered has raced, there are a couple of interesting first time starters. #5, IN FOR A SONG is by Songandaprayer whose AWD is 6.0f and whose debutants win at a decent 14 percent. Despite his trainer, Ron Spatz, owning a rather low strike rate of seven percent with first time starters one might expect In For A Song to be ready for this evidenced by his recent four furlong bullet workout. Even more interesting is #3, MAGNETIC ENERGY whose trainer, Myra Mora has saddled three winners from her last nine first time starters. He is by the young 14 percent first time starter sire Olmodavor. Magnetic Energy's damsire, Gone West wins at a high rate of 17 percent with debutants  and his dam has produced three foals to race as juveniles, of which two were winners. With a morning line of 10/1, this colt may provide value.

Sunday, Calder Race 9. Despite her trainer, Edward Plesa Jr, having a low win percentage of seven percent with his first time starters, #4, SARAFRAS maybe worth a close look. She is by Dance Master whose AWD is a speedy 5.7 furlongs and whose firsters win at a 16 percent clip. The damsire is Dehere whose SPI is 2.54 and his debutants also win at 16 percent and the dam of Sarafras has produced one two-year-old winner and has a DPI of 2.6.

Sunday, Arlington Race 2. Another low percentage first time starter trainer is Moises Yanez. However, according to the trainer stats in the Ultimate Past Performances, his debutants generate a positive ROI. Here, Yanez saddles #6, HELLOAGAINMYFRIEND who is by the young sire Mingun whose debutants have won 14 percent of the time. The colt's damsire is Relaunch who owns an impressive SPI of 3.21, whose AWD is 6.9 furlongs and whose first timers win at a rate of 15 percent. Babala, the dam of Helloagainmyfriend has produced two foals to race of which one won as a juvenile and both are stakes winners.

Tim Holland 7-24-09.

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