So if you wisely applied Queen’s Plate “rules” to the $750,000 E.P. Taylor for fillies and mares on Saturday, you should have won the triactor and/or the superfecta. The $1 triactor paid $279, and the $1 superfecta paid $1,893.

The Queen’s Plate and the E.P. Taylor are both 1 1/.4-mile races and the rule is to compute closing fractions of horses who had raced in 1 1/8-mile races. In the Queen’s Plate, 16-1 Hall of Dreams, who finished second, had the quickest closing fractions. In the E.P. Taylor, #6 Flirting Bridge (8-1) had the quickest closing fraction of 34 1/5-seconds followed by #9 (9-1) with 34 3/5-seconds. They finished second and third after Queen’s Plate winner Moira (even odds) was set down from second to eighth for interfering with #7 in the stretch run.

The winner of the race, #4 Rougir (5-1), had the third-best closing fraction of 35 seconds. In other words, the horses with the best closing fractions in the nine-horse field comprised the triactor.

I know. Computing fractions perhaps is still something you’re not prepared to wrap your mind around—which is exactly what those who are cashing tickets like to hear. They’re glad you’re not doing so because that gives them bigger payoffs.

Essentially, you calculate how quickly horses close from the 6f point of route races to the end of the race. When a horse makes up ground, you reduce the time by 1/5-second for each length the horse has gained. And you add 1/5-second for each length a horse loses. In a 1 1/8-mile race, 36 seconds is the standard for a good performance. So you see why Flirting Bridge’s fraction of 34 1/5-second jumped off the page and had me, at least, licking my chops.

So, once again, when you’re looking for contenders in a 1 ¼-mile race—which you’ll have to do in the Kentucky Derby–calculate how quickly horses have been coming home in 1 1/8-mile races.

What about a rule you learned in last Monday’s column?

Last Monday, I noted that a top handicapper in a Las Vegas panel discussion said his most profitable angle is betting horses that cut back to a sprint race after showing quick early pace in a route race. Well, in race 4 at Woodbine on Saturday, #6 Makes Sense to Me (morning line 10-1) was cutting back to the sprint distance of 7 furlongs after showing a blistering early pace figure of 115 in a 1 ¼-mile race, a number that was way ahead of any other horse in the race. He actually lost that race by 24 lengths. But who cares? The early fraction is what meant so much. He won Saturday’s sprint race at odds of 11-1 and helped set up a 20-cent pick-5 that paid $2,217—which I’m happy to say was won by the weekly betting group at Assiniboia Downs which I co-host.

Nobody had Saturday’s 20-cent Power Pick-6 in the last six races at Woodbine so it paid out on five winners ($1,346). The sequence ended with the dreaded non-winners of 2 races lifetime condition (nw2L). A $24 horse won that leg. Winners of the other five legs paid $12.40, $18.40, $20.10, $12.60 and $5.40.

Download Saturday’s Woodbine program here.