Race 5 at Belmont Park on July 13th gave me the idea for this month's topic, namely, a continuation of the very important subject of wagering that was begun in the 2nd issue of this newsletter on November 2, 2002.

Wagering of course is actually only one part of the overall process of making money on the thoroughbreds. There is contender selection, as well as the other things that we can do that will also improve our chances of success, like assigning our own odds to the contenders we've come up with, and keeping records of our wagers.

But the main focus of today's discussion is, "when do we bet to win, and when do we make exotic wagers?"

First of all, it's a personal choice. Some players swear by win bets only, while others play primarily exactas and trifectas. Some do both, and include D/D's, superfectas, Pick 3's, Pick 4's and even Pick 6's in the mix.

I would guess that if we took a survey of a few thousand players that included occasional, recreational, and professional, we would find that there is a fairly even mix between those who make only win wagers, and those who combine win with exotic plays.

Again, record keeping can point you to the wagering strategies that are right for you. If you keep accurate records of all bets you make, you may find that all indications are that the great bulk of your winnings come from win wagers.

On the other hand, you may see that you do okay with win bets, but your exacta and trifecta wagering is what keeps you near or in the black.

My choice? A combination of both win wagering and exotic wagering. As you will see, my standard wager options are win, exacta and trifecta.

I've heard it said that the art of wagering is actually more important than the ability to come up with viable contenders. Some have put it at as much as 60-40, and I cannot disagree with that assessment.

For many the handicapping process can boil down to spending most of their time on contender selection before suddenly asking themselves something along the lines of, "now what?"

It's my belief that we should know precisely what to do with our contenders when crunch time arrives and it's time to make wagers.

It should be understood that this discussion is simply my opinion and demonstrates the way I go about things myself. It's not etched in stone as the one and only path to success, but the ideas presented here are the ones that work for me.

So how do I suggest determining the right wagers for any particular situation?

To begin with, of course, one needs a good enough contender selection process to come up with the right horses (at the right odds) enough of the time to make a profit. And if you're interested in my particular strategies in this area as well as the topics I refer to as valuation and strategic action, you can check out my book, "Calibration Handicapping - The Next Level" by clicking here.

My approach to wagering is simple. What I do is let the odds board and probable payoffs tell me if I should be making bets on any particular race, and if so which ones.

As I've said in the past, before I gather the critical information from the near post time odds, I first need answers to some important questions.

1.) Which are the contenders in this race?

2.) Which of those do I think can win this race?

3.) What are all of my wagering options?

The reason I ask these questions of myself is to make sure that before I begin to construct appropriate wagers as given to me by the odds board, I have decisively concluded exactly which of my contenders are win candidates.

You see, I believe that when it comes to exacta and trifecta wagering it's important to assign each contender its appropriate slot, win, place or show. I don't think it's a great idea to simply box all of the contenders every time we find a race that we believe presents enough value for us to construct wagers.

Surely we will prefer one or two over the others for the win most of the time. On the rare occasions when we think that the top 3 contenders have an equal chance to win, then the 3-horse exacta and or/trifecta box becomes an option.

Providing of course that all 6 probable exacta combinations pay our minimum set amount, which in my case is $30 to $35. If all 6 probable payoffs are not at least in that range, then a 3-horse box (either exacta or trifecta) should not be considered an option that is worth the risk.

Other than on those occasions in which we can begin by "boxing", wagers should be made using key horses in the win slot. Most of the time, when I play the exacta or trifecta, I'll have 2 contenders that I think have a real shot at the win, and on most occasions use them and them alone in the win slot with the others only in the place and/or show slot.

And being keenly aware of what all of the wagering options are will allow me to be guided most appropriately by those near post odds.

By near post odds I mean the odds on the tote board at approximately 15 minutes before post time. Followed by a careful monitoring of the odds up until 3 or 4 minutes before the gates are due to open, at which point I will know exactly which bets, if any, I will make on a given race.

In the November '02 issue of this newsletter I presented a fairly comprehensive wagering plan that I devised and use. In that there is a statement that says I believe there should be no more than 3 contenders in fields of 8 horses or less.

In larger fields one can add what I refer to as a "periphery play", or a horse that looks like it can hit the board, but is not as likely as the top 3 contenders to win the race. In full fields of 12 I can see having up to 3 main contenders and 2 periphery plays.

Race 5 at Belmont on July 13th, however has now made me amend that thinking slightly. After not connecting on the exacta and trifecta in that race, I now firmly believe that we can use a periphery play in smaller fields also.

As long as the proper value is present, as discussed just above.

My reasoning for the old thinking was that if we are convinced that there are 4 contenders in a short field, say composed of 6 to 8 horses, the race is too contentious, meaning too many that can win the race and it would take too much of an investment to cover all of them.

But the key to the wagering process is as No. 2 of the questions I mentioned asks, "which of these contenders can actually win this race?"

If you have 4 contenders in a 7 horse field and you answer "all 4" to that question, then you very likely do have a race that is too contentious to risk your money on. Passing on such a race is the most prudent option. Simply don't play it. Wait until the next good value situation presents itself.

And make no mistake about it. Many if not most of the races we encounter will be for one reason or another (too contentious, too many first time starters present, too many distance or surface switches, standout odds-on favorite, etc.) will be non playing events.

In this game, those that make money are also those with patience.

Remember,patience attains all that it strives for.

If, however, the answer to question #2 is 1 or 2 horses, then you can proceed with the rest of the wager construction process using only that or those horses in the win slot (again, as I say most of the time, because as you will see there will be occasions in which I will key the value win contender in the win and place slots in exotic wagers).

There are a couple of other key questions I want answered also.

Do I have an edge in this match up?

And do I have value in this situation?

And I get into those questions in a little more detail in the November '02 issue. A link to all the archived issues of this newsletter can be found at the very end of today's and every month's edition (as well as on the Newsletter Subscriber Free Selections page).

Let's get to that 5th race at Belmont I've been referring to, and I'll go through my actual thought process and my new amended philosophy about constructing the right wagers for any situation.

You can view and/or print the p.p.'s for this race by clicking here.

And the results chart is here.

I recommend waiting until after we review the races before you check on the results.

Below are the selections with analysis I made for this race as posted on the private web page for subscribers to this newsletter, the link to that page being here.

Race 5 - Post 3:04 EDT

5. Karakorum Crusader (4-1) (3-1)
6. Muggles (7-2) (2-1)
4. Cologny (5-2) (5-2)

This is a field of 6 going 6F at the N.Y.S.B. NW2X allowance level, with 4 being early speed types.

D/P (71/25.0) #5 Karakorum Crusader ran well in her last to grab 2nd when going 7F at odds of 65-1. If she is unaware of her many defeats at this level and her overall career record of 38/2-11-9, she could very well finally get through her N.Y.S.B. conditions cutting back to her preferred distance in a field void of any greatness.

#6 Muggles finished in front of the top pick in her last couple, including her last speed and fade effort in the Belmont slop back on May 22nd. She also finished behind that one when they ran 2nd and 3rd in her 3rd race back. Going with blinkers for the first time today, coupled with her short break in the action, makes her a top 2 contender in this match up.

#4 Cologny earned her initial allowance score when winning her 7th attempt at the N.Y.S.B. NW1X level. It was a near wire to wire effort in the slop, and she should go well in this spot trying this condition for the first time.

As you can see in the p.p.'s for this race, it was a short field of 6 going 6 furlongs.

Until this race made me amend my thinking, in a race with this few runners, I would want no more than 3 contenders, or as I said above it would be considered too contentious. After all, how can you effectively use 4 horses in a field of 6?

Well, we'll now see how. And this is a demonstration of why no matter how long you have been playing the horses, and whether or not you make money at it, you are still eligible to learn new things that will help your bottom line.

In this race I saw a pace shape that would favor a horse that would come from off the pace. Simply because there were 4 early speed horses entered, my order of those being 3-6-4-2.

In such a pace shape the first thing I will want to take a close look at is the closing punch of each entry or as I call it the final fraction (FF). This race being run at 6F, that final fraction would be the 3rd quarter.

The horse with the clear cut last out FF advantage was #5 Karakorum Crusader, and despite her career record of 38/2-11-2 I made her my top choice.

Since #6 Muggles ran her last in the slop, I went back to her prior and off that outing made her my 2nd pick.

Now here is where I realize I went wrong. I remember thinking that I have my top 2 selections, which would definitely be the horses I would consider using for the win wager and in the win slot for any exotic wagers I may make.

But I had to make a decision between two other horses (that I considered having a chance at getting the place or show slots) to include only three picks for this race.

I could not list both (or use both) because it was only a 6 horse field and according to my wagering plan that would be one too many.

There was bad and there was good that came out of this dilemma. First of all, I chose the wrong one of two as my 3rd and only other contender. But from that incorrect stipulation in my wagering plan, not only was this newsletter spawned, but a clearly needed amendment to my wagering process was generated also.

The 2 horses I was considering as my 3rd choice in this race each had their own positives and negatives. They were #1 Hussy and #3 Cologny. Obviously, I went with Cologny.

Hussy had not run since February 15th, a layoff of 148 days, and I call any horse stale that has not run inside of 90 days or so. Stale meaning very likely in need of a race before being tabbed a contender.

But there are 2 things I will look for when trying to assess whether or not a stale horse is worth considering. How she was running prior to the layoff, and her recent workout activity.

Those factors caught my attention regarding Hussy. First of all, her last outing was against tougher competition when she ran dead last in an $81K stakes race. In her prior, however, she won a N.Y.S.B. NW1X allowance race with a comparable FF of 25.4.

And I had underlined in red her last couple of workouts, 59.3 on June 26th and 100.2 on July 3rd.

#4 Cologny on the other hand had just gotten through her preliminary state bred allowance condition in her last outing on June 1st. That was in the slop, and her prior outing was good also, a 3rd place finish with a 25.4 FF.

Since I had to choose between Hussy and Cologny, I had to go with Cologny.

But that was a critical mistake that cost me and others that played this race based on my selections (unless they played only to win, in which case they won). Those of us that played to win plus exactas and/or trifectas made money also, but should have connected on the exotic plays as well.

The answers to my 3 pre-wagering questions were, "#'s 5, 6, and 4", "#'s 5 and 6", and "win, exacta and trifecta."

If this race was going to be run today, in spite of it being a field of only 6, the answer to questions 2 and 3 would remain the same, but the answer to question 1 would be "#'s 5, 6, 4, and 1."

Why? Because despite Hussy having not run in 5 months, there was enough of a question in my mind of the possibility of her running well enough to catch a part of this race that should have had her included as a periphery play.

Here is how I let the odds board tell me what wagers I should make in any given situation, and we'll begin with race 5 at Belmont Park on July 13th.

Since I had clearly defined my win candidates as #5 Karakorum Crusader and #6 Muggles, those were my only two options for the win bet. The respective morning line and my value line for each were 4-1/3-1 and 7-2/2-1.

As I began to track the near post odds for both of those as well as the exacta probable payoffs of the combinations of 5-6, 6-5, 5-4, 4-5, 6-4, and 4-6, I could see pretty clearly that my win bet was going to be on my top choice #5 Karakorum Crusader.

Since I had only 2 possibilities for a win bet, the way I let the near final odds determine that wager was to compare actual near final odds to my value lines.

With Karakorum Crusader hovering at around 6 or 7 to 1 and Muggles at 5-2 or 2-1, it was a no-brainer as to which was the overlay or value play.

Now you might say, "what if it was the other way around?" "Does this mean that if your 2nd choice was 5-1 and your 1st choice was 2-1 you would automatically go with your 2nd choice?"

The answer is yes. If this was a circumstance in which I felt that each of my top 3 contenders had a shot at the win slot I would go with the one (if any) that was the biggest overlay, or the one that had the greatest odds over my value line.

The reasoning is simple. If I think that 2 (or even 3) horses have at least some chance of winning the race, then why even consider going with the lesser odds? The only time I will have only one win contender is when I find a race in which I can only answer with that horse the question of which can win this race.

By choosing my win wagers this way, I make more money in the long run. Yes, there are times when the 2-1 shot (or even 6-5) shot horse like Muggles will win and my wager on a horse like Karakorum Crusader will go down.

But making value lines that are simply odds below which I cannot place a win bet make determining that win wager horse an easy decision. And I have found that playing the win candidate with the greatest overlay odds produces the best long term R.O.I.

In my book I go into some detail concerning how to go about making accurate value lines.

There is of course a win wager option called "dutching" or playing 2 horses to win, but I don't consider that unless each is at least 7-1. A $16 payoff for a $4 outlay is still a good profit (3-1), but it's a rare situation in which I'll "dutch."

Some people swear by "dutching", and I know it works for them. For me, however, being a player who not only bets to win, but also plays exactas and/or trifectas, "dutching" does not fit into my plans very often.

So the odds board made my decision for the win bet Karakorum Crusader. What about the exacta or trifecta bet?

The standard answer to question 3 above is "win, exacta, and trifecta." Those are my standard options.

Most of the time I prefer to stay within a race, which means to try and take what each race can give me rather than parlay any potential winnings onto another race in the form of a D/D, Pick 3 or Pick 4.

There are exceptions of course. Especially if I like the 2nd half of a D/D or the last leg or 2 of a Pick 3. On those occasions I'll sometimes try to figure the right contenders in the first leg.

But the large majority of times I'll stay within the race.

The next option is the exacta. In order to play an exacta, I will want to see that each of the 6 combinations of my 3 main contenders has a near post probable payoff of at least $30 to $35.

Otherwise, what's the sense? Do I really need a $14 payoff? Normally, the reward does not justify the risk for that return. As with everything there are exceptions, and on some occasions, like in a 5 horse field where I really like only 2 horses and the combinations of those 2 are 6 or 7 to 1 or better, I'll go for it.

In this example race, however, the 6-4 exacta probable was well below $30. So as far as exactas went, I had 2 options. Either skip that play or key only my overlay top pick that I was going to use in the win wager.

When the odds are good enough on that win bet contender, as they were in this case, I'll play exactas using that overlay horse in the win and place slots with my other contenders. I did that for this race and my exacta plays in order of preference and amount wagered were: 5-6, 6-5, 5-4, and 4-5.

If this race were being run today, my wagers would have been 5-6, 6-5, 5/1-4 and 1-4/5, always in lesser amounts for the reverse wagers, which in this case would have been 6-5, 4-5, and 1-5.

The 3rd and final wagering option was the trifecta play. Again I let the near post odds determine whether or not I will make this wager. My rule of thumb is that I want the near post time odds of my top 3 contenders to add up to 15 or more.

This is a general rule of thumb, and like the situation above with the exacta rule, if one of my win contenders has good enough odds, I can still make trifecta wagers if the sum of the odds falls slightly below 15 as it did in this case.

I went ahead and made this trifecta wager: 5-6/4-5-6/4-5-6. Obviously, had I been playing the way I do now, which would allow me to include a 4th horse in a 6 horse field, the trifecta wager would have been: 5-6/1-4-5-6/1-4-5-6. To play it safe, I could even cover at a lesser amount with my 3rd and 4th choices (whom I did not answer as being among my candidates for the win) with: 1-4/5-6/1-4-5-6.

If you haven't yet downloaded the free exotic wager calculator from my web site, I advise you to do so now, so you can quickly calculate the cost of any and all of the above wagers.

To download to your desktop this free exotic wager calculator, click here.

As per the results chart, the payoffs were:

5. $18.40
1. 2nd - 5-1 ex. $86.50
4. 3rd - 5-1-4 tri. $390.00

As you can see, putting a limit on the number of horses I allowed myself to use, despite the fact that I knew #1 Hussy had an in the money shot, cost me a bundle.

The top choice win candidate came through with a nice payoff, but the exacta and trifecta bets failed, simply because of erroneously omitting an on the board contender. What turned out to be a decent profit in essence should have been a great one.

But I believe it will be a lesson well learned.

Don't think for a moment that good value cannot be found in small fields. The first example race shown above illustrates that, and so does this next one, which was Race 5 again at Belmont, this time on July 10th.

You can view and/or print the p.p.'s for this race by clicking here.

And the results chart is here.

This was a group of 5 going 7F at the NW3X allowance level.

I'll list this short field by saddle cloth number from the rail out, followed by running style, last out Beyer speed figure, last out raw/actual FF, and any "moves-within-a-race."

1. Sovereign Sweep EP 98 24.2/24.2 ---

2. Turn Back The Time S 98 (slop) 23.2/24.0 ---

3. Brightest Ice EP 52 Stale ---

4. Midnight Charlie P 91 (slop) 24.1/24.1 ---

5. First Blush EP 93 25.2/25.2 ---

The reason I posted picks for this race and thought there may be some value shown by near post odds was because of its pace shape.

My picks on the private web page were in order 4-1-2.

Here were my thoughts on the field:

1.) Sovereign Sweep - I had connected on this one in his last out win when he paid $11.40. He was a Double Play horse in this match up, meaning a horse in the field with the best last out final fraction, 24.2 as well as the best last out Beyer speed figure (on a dry track), 98.

Since the high Beyer speed figure horse in dirt races wins about 27% of the time, I figure the D/P horse wins at a considerably higher rate than that. His last out track/distance score made me consider him a top 2 contender, but I was concerned about a couple of things.

First of all he was breaking from the rail, and having won his last wire to wire, I figured he might be sent hard again from that post position. And since there was other strong speed in the race, his chances could be compromised if he indeed was pushed hard to the front early.

The other question was the big last out speed figure. Would he regress from that effort? I ultimately decided that his last outing was so good that I would have to consider him a top 2 candidate in this small field.

2.) Turn Back The Time - his last race was good, a 3rd place finish at this NW3X allowance condition despite it being in the slop. In that outing he recorded a FF of 24.0, which was in essence the field's best. But again, it was earned in the off going.

I liked his chances off that last race, but because it was a sloppy surface, I went back further to see if there were additional clues. His prior was on the turf at a mile, so despite him finishing 8th, I tossed that effort and went to his 3rd race back, which also was at this condition and this time at this 7F distance.

That was the race that sealed the deal for me as far as making him a top 3 contender in this field as it was a strong closing effort when missing in 2nd by a neck and earning a big 22.4 FF.

3.) Brightest Ice - he had not been out since February 12th, nearly the same kind of stale horse as Hussy was in the first example race. He showed a couple of good recent works, 59.4 and 100.2. But unlike Hussy, he did not have the pace shape flow in his favor.

He was a speed horse that off his recent works looked like he would for sure be sent out hard for the lead. But with the presence of likely favorite #5 First Blush, who also showed good early lick in his last, as well as rail horse Sovereign Sweep, his chances seemed diminished.

As a speed horse with 2 others of the same style who had won their last recently, he was projected to show early presence and then fade out of it.

4.) Midnight Charlie - the key to this one being my top choice was his last couple of races. Although he earned a good 24.1 FF in his last, it was a 5th place finish in a field of 8. That running line didn't look real good against this group.

But that last one was in the Grade 2 Riva Ridge stakes. So since it was in the mud against much better, I had to go back to his prior race. That one showed a win at today's 7F distance (beating Sovereign Sweep by 3 3/4 lengths) with a FF of 24.3, in a career best performance.

Because of that prior race performance as well as the pace shape of this race, I made #4 Midnight Charlie my top selection.

5.) First Blush - was the likely post time favorite off his last out win and year long success of his trainer. He was, however, stepping up from NW2X company, and in my estimation figured to be involved with what I projected to be a quick and contested early pace.

Final fraction comparison alone would have him omitted from my top 3. His last out 25.2 did not match up with those of #'s 1, 2, and 4. As a result, I viewed this one as a bet against favorite.

My win candidates were #4 Midnight Charlie and #1 Sovereign Sweep. Letting the near post time odds dictate my wagering, the obvious win bet was with my top selection Midnight Charlie.

Since this was a 5-horse field, there was no trifecta wagering, leaving only the exacta as an additional wagering option. With the 1-2 probable exacta payoff too low, I again chose to play exactas using only my win bet candidate in the first 2 slots as such in order of preference and amount: 4-1, 1-4, 4-2 and 2-4.

As per the results chart, the payoffs were:

4. $14.80
2. 2nd - 4-2 ex. $45.60
5. 3rd

Obviously I use as examples in this forum races with which I've had success. Two things go without saying. I lose many races I play, and also it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to go over races that I was wrong about.

But I can tell you this. These two races and the one to follow are good examples of successful contender selection by doing some "reading between the lines." In this age of computer generated data, which in my humble opinion can at times be viewed as information overload, the old pen in hand approach that I use can out perform new age technology in a whole lot of race match ups.

And as long as those of us who handicap this way know what to do with our contenders, meaning how to bet them, we can cash on more than our share of wagers.

But I would like to make mention here about a handicapping software program for those who prefer that approach, or like to use it in conjunction with the pen on paper style I use to make money on the thoroughbreds.

In essence, there is nothing wrong with combining the best of both worlds.

I myself have tested various programs, including Multicaps and Allways, among others. But the one I would recommend you checking out above all others is HSH, the Horse Street Handicapper.

It pretty much dwarfs, in terms of sophistication and results, most of the other handicapping software programs on the market today, and allows a player to utilize any one or all of its many features.

I suggest those who have an interest in a very flexible and powerful handicapping software program check out this product by clicking here.

The URL is: www.horsestreet.com

Anyone who does decide to order HSH before August 15, 2003 and mentions that "Jim Lehane sent me" will receive a discount on this program of $150.

In my opinion, this is a very good limited time offer given by Dave Schwartz only to the readers of this newsletter.

The third and final race example this month is one more case in point of "reading between the lines" or taking the one additional step that many will not. It is Race 4 that was run at Hollywood Park on July 13th.

You can view and/or print the p.p.'s for this race by clicking here.

And the results chart is here.

With the scratch of #3 Brisquette the field was narrowed to only 5. I would guess that many players took a quick look at this match up and seriously questioned if there could be any value payoffs likely.

After all, two of the five entries had run first and second 3 times each in Grade 1 races, and this affair was a Grade 2 event. None of the remaining three had ever even run in a Grade 2 race, let alone a Grade 1 race.

What was the sense in bothering with this race? The 1-5 or 5-1 exacta combination figured to pay less than $10.

Well, as it turned out, final fraction comparison clearly indicated that a 3rd horse, despite never having faced anywhere near the same caliber of competition as the two Grade 1 winners, may just have a shot at a top 2 finish in this short field.

And using the wagering strategies outlined in this newsletter, one could have indeed made a very nice profit in what originally may have looked like a race that had pass written all over it.

Below is the field, listed from the rail out with running style, last out Beyer speed figure, last out raw/actual final fractions, and any "moves-within-a-race."

1. You EP 103 24.4/23.3 D/P

2. Bear Fan EP 92 26.0/26.0 ---

4. Cee's Elegance EP 76 26.0/27.1 Profile play

5. Affluent P 90 24.4/25.2 ---

6. Wild Tickle P 84 26.0/26.0 ---

The 2 obvious multiple Grade 1 winner contenders were #1 You and #5 Affluent. I'll briefly go over each entry.

1.) You - was a proven quality filly. She had won at today's 7F distance, and was a Double Play horse, having the best last out Beyer speed figure of 103 as well as the best last out final fraction of 23.3 (her 24.3 reduced a full 5/5ths for having last run and won at 9F). She had to be a top 2 player in anyone's book.

2.) Bear Fan - was exiting the same Grade 3 race as #4 and #6, and because of the first couple of splits being so quick the raw FF of this event was a slow 26.0. I thought it would be fair to check out the previous races of these three, especially those of Bear Fan and Cee's Elegance because they were going today in their 3rd race off a layoff.

Bear Fan earned a 25.1 FF in her prior outing, a high priced claiming race, and that did not stack up well enough against these.

4.) Cee's Elegance - her last was a speed and fade effort (and a move within a race I refer to as Profile play) that probably didn't sit too well with most who looked at this race. She was soundly beaten by both of the other 2 in here that she faced in that outing, and earned a shabby 76 Beyer as well as a lackluster FF of 27.1.

Case closed? Far from it. Check out her prior race, the first off a layoff effort. In that one she earned her first triple digit Beyer speed figure while winning a $150K un graded stakes race with a FF of 24 flat! That race proved that she had at least a fighting chance against the 2 favorites.

5.) Affluent - the other multiple Grade 1 winner was coming off a 50 day layoff, having run 4th and 5th in her last 2 tries against the great Azeri. Her actual FF of 26.2 was lowered 5/5ths to 25.2 for having run her last at 8 1/2F.

If one were to go to her 3rd race back, in which she ran 7F while winning one of her Grade 1 races, her FF in that one was 23.4. A definite in the money filly in this match up.

6.) Wild Tickle - going back to her prior race turned up the same FF of 25.1 that Bear Fan showed, and this coupled with her never having run a Beyer speed figure of 100 or more eliminated her from consideration.

So the final 3 contenders were #1 You, #4 Cee's Elegance, and #5 Affluent. That answered my question #1.

Now for the big question, #2, which of these can win this race? The answer was that each of them had a shot at the win. But in order of preference I made it #1 You, #4 Cee's Elegance, and #5 Affluent.

You's trainer Bobby Frankel's Graded stakes win percentage over the past 3 or 4 years is legendary, and I was impressed with the prior out win of Cee's Elegance.

The wagering options for this race were win, exacta and in spite of it being only a field of 5, trifecta.

I think you can guess how I played it.

A win bet on the only overlay horse #4 Cee's Elegance. Since a 3-horse box exacta and/or trifecta was out of the question, this was again a case of going all the way with the value win contender.

These were my exotic plays:

Exactas in order of preference and amount: 1-4, 4-1, 4-5, and 5-4.

Trifectas: 1-4/1-4-5/1-4-5, 1-4-5, 4-1-5.

As per the results chart, the $2 payoffs were:

4. $21.40
1. 2nd - 4-1 ex. $54.00
5. 3rd - 4-1-5 tri. $119.40

Cee's Elegance ran her career best effort, earning a 103 Beyer while beating the 2 Grade 1 winners (a length and a half over You, who was a nose in front of Affluent).

Do I claim to win most of these types of match ups? No way.

But I do recognize a value situation when I see one, and if I believe strongly enough that my top value win contender has at least some kind of a chance to win, I'll make plays like this every time.

I'll lose quite a few, but when I'm right on occasions like this one, I can make up for the losers and then some.

Before I sign off I want to mention a fairly new service that some of you may not yet be familiar with.

It's bascially a horseplayer's dream come true, and it's called Race Replays. To check out the details on this great technological, breakthrough please click here.

For the free selections I post each racing day on my private web page for subscribers to this newsletter, you can bookmark this web page:


Or you can click here.

Until Saturday September 6, 2003, I wish you Fair Skies and Fast Tracks.


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