Saratoga: Summer 2019 meet data overview (Chad Brown)


It’s Chad Brown’s world and we’re just here to (hopefully) profit in it

As everyone seems to know, Chad Brown is an extremely good trainer. Just how good? Well, at Saratoga, since 2015, he has won at a 25% clip.

Chad Brown1556300.250.255110.810.99

Not only that, he boasts an impact value of very close to one, suggesting that he wins at the rate the public expects him to in the long run, and his ROI, while negative for a dollar investment, is only just below the takeout rate. Those are some pretty darn good numbers.

The real question is: how do we make money with a guy who clearly sends out competent horses, but is still human and loses races occasionally?

One of the more disappointing parts of data analysis is getting really excited about jumping into analysis (yes, okay, I might be a nerd) chugging on some numbers, and coming out at the end with an unsurprising result. The excitement about analytics, and horse racing (for me at least) is trying to find the needle in the haystack that will unlock long term profit. The rest of this piece is dedicated to trying to find that needle, or at least a stick in the haystack.

Chad Brown by age resticted races at Saratoga

We don’t have to go very far to come close to a needle. If one were to filter the races Chad has run horses in since 2015, by age restriction you would get a chart that looks like the following:

Chad Brown4+9330.270.2922.20.670.93
Chad Brown3+1013880.260.25339.10.871.03
Chad Brown323950.240.2272.350.761.12
Chad Brown2221140.190.2477.350.680.79

There is an extraordinary delineation between Chad Brown’s when races are filtered for 2 year old only, 3 year old only, 3 and up and 4 and up. Just as horses improve as they mature and grow from 2 to 3 to 4, Chad Brown seems to get the most out of his older horses, as opposed to those who may be known for younger horses.

Of further interest, if you filter the statistics by year you would get a chart like this one:

Chad Brown20184+4160.250.3111.20.70.81
Chad Brown20174+
Chad Brown20164+360.50.365.850.981.38
Chad Brown20154+
Chad Brown20183+24850.280.2786.451.021.03
Chad Brown20173+281060.260.2684.30.81
Chad Brown20163+261050.250.2573.850.70.98
Chad Brown20153+23920.250.2294.51.031.12
Chad Brown201837260.270.2219.050.731.22
Chad Brown201736210.290.2617.10.811.09
Chad Brown201636250.240.2117.750.711.12
Chad Brown201534230.170.1718.450.81.01
Chad Brown2018210390.260.2534.650.891.04
Chad Brown201724240.
Chad Brown201625280.180.2518.10.650.71
Chad Brown201523230.130.2115.70.680.61

The win percentages are all astounding, but that 3+ bucket really pops with a postive expected return for a dollar investment. Maybe that trend will continue this summer. However, I wouldn’t expect to get there without taking a good deal of very short priced horses (check out what percentage of the time the public expects him to win!).

The other interesting note from the 2018 chart is just how much better he has gotten with horses he runs in races with age restrictions to 2 or 3. The ROI on the other hand is still quite low, but perhaps the most intriguing stat is the massive increase in win percentage with 2 year olds.

Chad Brown by gender restricted races at Saratoga

Now we continue to look at restricted races, but this time not through the lens of age, but the lens of gender.

Since 2015, the stats are as follows:

Chad BrownFillies & Mares592170.270.25197.950.911.09
Chad BrownFillies19990.190.2362.40.630.85
Chad BrownOpen773140.250.25250.650.80.96

There appears to be a very clear distinction between races for older female horses, and races for younger female horses.

Peeling back the onion a bit:

Chad Brown2018F&M11480.230.2740.30.840.84
Chad Brown2017F&M16540.30.2543.750.811.18
Chad Brown2016F&M13590.220.2537.20.630.89
Chad Brown2015F&M19560.340.2376.71.371.49
Chad Brown2018F9350.260.2325.10.721.11
Chad Brown2017F4190.
Chad Brown2016F3210.140.2110.70.510.66
Chad Brown2015F3240.120.1917.80.740.68
Chad Brown2018A25830.30.2785.951.041.12
Chad Brown2017A19850.220.2659.30.70.85
Chad Brown2016A24840.290.2667.650.811.1
Chad Brown2015A9620.150.2137.750.610.68

We see another massive improvement in the races that are restricted to just Fillies. The ROI hasn’t moved much at all, but the win percentage jumped from 12% to 26% in just a matter of a few years. It appears he has found some type of secret sauce.

Another plus is seeing that positive ROI for races run in open company.

All this being said, the guy still wins 1 out of every 4 races he runs horses in, so choose against him the 3 out of 4 times he loses 🙂

Chad Brown by distance and course

Finally, surface and distance is one last thing to pick apart for Chad Brown.

Chad BrownSprintTurf20182130.
Chad BrownSprintTurf20173100.30.2680.81.14
Chad BrownSprintTurf20162100.
Chad BrownSprintTurf20150500.22000
Chad BrownSprintDirt201813500.260.2551.21.021.02
Chad BrownSprintDirt201712460.260.2830.150.660.94
Chad BrownSprintDirt20168300.270.27220.731.01
Chad BrownSprintDirt20157250.280.2326.71.071.24
Chad BrownRouteTurf201813310.420.2738.91.251.56
Chad BrownRouteTurf20177350.20.2618.250.520.78
Chad BrownRouteTurf201611390.280.2235.20.91.28
Chad BrownRouteTurf201511510.220.1856.351.11.19
Chad BrownRouteInner Turf201813530.250.2643.10.810.95
Chad BrownRouteInner Turf201714520.270.2350.60.971.18
Chad BrownRouteInner Turf201613690.190.2634.550.50.72
Chad BrownRouteInner Turf201511500.220.2439.80.80.93
Chad BrownRouteDirt20184190.210.3111.650.610.67
Chad BrownRouteDirt20173150.20.344.850.320.6
Chad BrownRouteDirt20166160.380.2515.550.971.48
Chad BrownRouteDirt20152110.

It’s truly a travesty that hindsight is 20-20. If you were to have played only Chad turf routers last year, you would’ve made a 25% return. And just to be sure, that’s not the Inner Turf course. A 42% win percentage to go along with it, this is one that I would monitor to start the year at Saratoga. If he’s found the recipe, there might be some juice left in this stat as the public is far more confident in Chad’s dirt routers. Unfortunately, for all of us, the word may now be out.

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