US Racing Track Guide: Presque Isle Downs

Betfair now offers Exchange markets on a whole host of tracks in the United States. In his latest in-depth guide, US racing handicapper Dean Keppler takes a look at Presque Isle Downs...

Presque Isle Downs

What kind of racecourse is it?

• The 1 mile oval main track is a synthetic Tapeta surface which is made up of a
mixture of sand, rubber, and fiber with a wax coating.

Tell me something I don't know about this track

• It's the first synthetic horse racetrack that is longer than 1 mile in the Northeast,
and the first racetrack paved with Tapeta in the United States.

When do they race?

Mainly Sunday through Thursday afternoons May Through October - starting at 22:25
p.m. GMT.

Best Ever Race - Grade 2 The Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes September 9, 2013

The Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes has evolved into a Grade Two competition since its introduction in 2007. This race is for fillies and mares 3-years-old & up going 6 1/2-furlongs, featuring a purse of $400,000, which is the biggest at the track. Two horses have won this event back-to-back, with Informed Decision winning in 2009 and2010 and Groupie Doll taking the title in 2012 and 2013.

Groupie Doll, with regular rider Rajiv Maragh and trained by Bill Bradley, took the 2013 edition with a final time for the 6 1/2-furlong contest in 1:14.88, a new track record. She used this sharp victory as a stepping stone to her victory in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita seven weeks later.

Most Popular Jockeys

Gallardo, Antonio A.
Morales, Pablo
Pino, Mario G.

Most Popular Trainers

Potts, Ron G.
Connelly, Teresa
Capuano, Dale

How to find winners at Presque Isle....

First and foremost, look for proven form specifically on the Presque Isle Tapeta surface. The common misconception is that All synthetic surfaces are created equal - and that's simply not the case. The "horse for course" angle is very important at Presque Isle. Even after a long break or freshening, some horses pick right back up where they left off getting back to their preferred synthetic surface.

It's also important to recognizing how the surface plays day-to-day. This is especially important with Tapeta, a surface that can favor different running styles and lanes (rail/outside) from day-to-day. For trip handicappers, it is key to chart those differences and use that information to upgrade or downgrade those horses in their next starts.

Draw Positions

At Presque Isle, the closer you are to the inside sprinting is usually the best draw positions with slots 1 through 6 winning their equal share of races. However, in 6 ½-furlong sprints the outside posts can and do perform much better especially when combined with a horse that has some good tactical early foot. In rout events, the inside is the place to be with post 1 and 2 winning a combined 39% of the races.

Running Styles

Early Speed types does very well in 5 ½-furlong events winning close to 40% of the races. In other sprint events up to 7 furlongs, speed and pressers win about 25% of the time, but lone speed is not nearly as effective as it is within the shorter distances. In route races going 1 mile or longer, early zip and horses pressing the pace win about 20 to 25% of the races, and do best when drawn inside.

When betting Presque Isle look out for...

Early or pressing speed-types drawn inside in route races. The horse-for-course angle should be high on your list of priorities at Presque Isle.