Welcome to another edition of Horseracing Info Newsletter.

Before I get into this month's "November Nuggets" newsletter I have to tell you about the wild ride I and many other users of my C.H. Data Report had in last Saturday's Breeder's Cup Championship races.

If you are not totally satisfied with the results you are achieving with your plays on the thoroughbreds, and if you didn't make a minimum of a $1,000 profit on the recently concluded B.C. races (and I'm talking $2 wagers), I strongly suggest you check out C.H. Data Service.

You can see for yourself the selections I made stressing what I discuss repeatedly in these monthly articles, using information taken right from the Lone Star C.H. Data Report dated 10/30/04, by clicking here!

Clicking on the link in that page will lead you to where you can register for your free 14-day look and learn experience using the Calibration Handicapping approach to making money, which is pretty much diametrically opposed to simply playing the horses.


I'll begin this newsletter with an excerpt from one of the Insights articles that I write and upload 5 times weekly to all C.H. Viewers (the C.H. Viewer being free state-of-the-art software in which all C.H. Data Reports are located, past and present, and which is loaded with many valuable features and benefits).

It's about having a routine that establishes repetitive actions which result in a positive success rate.

The 2004 Breeder’s Cup Championship races emphasized to me the need for a routine we as horseplayers must habitually perform so that we go about the business of being successful (in our case making money) the way players in other sports do.

Golfers have pre-shot routines before every shot off the tee, on the fairway and on the green.

Baseball hitters have a set routine they go through before each and every pitch comes their way.

And basketball players also have their very own precise routine prior to tossing up each and every free throw.

The end result of these routines for successful players, including horseplayers, is a repetitive action of something that works for them.

The repetitive routine I have personally established and used for years is made up of answers to 5 key pre-wager construction questions:

  • Is the required Edge present in this race?

  • Is the required Value present in this race?

  • What are All of my contenders?

  • Which of these do I believe can Win this race?

  • What are All of the Wagers available in this race, and which apply best to this particular situation?

    This spontaneous routine enabled me to have tremendous success in the always value-loaded Breeder's Cup races.

    Using my "pre-shot" routine to identify races in which I had a very strong opinion on one particular horse, as you have seen or can see on the web page I mentioned above, I was able to take advantage of those 3 favorites and cash on many value payoffs through multi-race wagers (and also on some within-the-race bets).

    In my case I had lone win contenders in The Distaff, The Juvenile Fillies and the Filly & Mare Turf, races 2, 3 and 6 on the program.

    When one can have singles in Daily Double, Pick 3, and Pick 4 wagers they have a great chance of cashing if those singles win (obviously a 100% chance in the D/D).

    Of course there is no denying that I got lucky when my 4th pick Singletary won The Mile at $35.00.

    But it's also very possible that without a repetitive, spontaneous routine I may not have even realized that the Pick 3 and Pick 4 plays involving the 3 singles were my best wagering options for the entire 8 races.

    I'm part of the group of people who firmly believe that wagering is at least as important to making money as contender selection.

    We can have the greatest handicapping approach there is, but without an equally strong wagering strategy it will be very difficult to stay ahead of this game.

    Vijay Singh, David Ortiz and Allen Iverson are at the top of their respective games because they are able to get it done in crunch time.

    And crunch time for us is when it comes time to lay out our bets.


    If you had to name the one most important handicapping factor of them all, what would be your answer?

    Speed figures, class, trainer/jockey stats, pace, trips, record at the track and/or the distance, internal fractions?

    I'll bet a dollar three-eighty you didn't name this one.

    How about running style recap?

    Not high on your list?

    You're certainly not alone if you answer yes.

    I don't know if running style recap is the absolute most important handicapping factor of all, but it's awfully significant, that I can assure you.

    And also one that I think most players don't even include as part of their handicapping arsenal.

    It happens to be a real good place to begin our handicapping approach.

    Why?

    Because after labeling each entry with it's running style, and it doesn't matter what your labels are, as long as you identify early speed, early speed presser, presser, and closer, my preferences being E, EP, P and S, you can make a recap that will on a number of occasions immediately give you important clues.

    And those clues will be potential for early pace advantages.

    For instance, what horses could we conclude at once as having the best chance for the win in this running style recap: 2E 4P 4S (10)?

    With only 2 early speeds signed on they could be thought of to have the advantage.

    Of course it would be wise to check their current form, but without even handicapping further we could surmise that the 2 speeds in this case would have a better chance than the pressers and closers because one or both of them have the potential to run reasonable to slow early splits due to the likelihood that they will be the only horses that will go out for the early lead.

    And they would have a better chance than if the running style recap were: 4E 4EP 2P (10), because that match up would indicate the likelihood of a much quicker early pace and less of a chance for one of the early speeds to "steal" it on top.

    How about this running style recap; is there a perceived early pace advantage for any of the entries: 2E 3EP 3P 2S (10)?

    The answer is no because of the presence of 5 early runners and 5 pressers & closers.

    The rule of thumb is that the lower the ratio of early to late the more of an advantage goes to the early runners.

    And the best scenario we can have is 1 or 2 early runners, either E or EP with the rest of the field S runners, which are horses that by the nature of their running style will allow the speeds to set a more leisurely pace than usual and make it very difficult for closers to catch and pass them.

    A similarly good running style recap is the occasion in which there are only 1 or 2 P runners with the rest being S closers.

    In this scenario the P runner or runners will be the most likely to get to an easy lead.

    And the whole point of this discussion is that a horse or horses with an easy early lead (not pushed to record swift early fractions) are often the likeliest of winners we can locate.

    Following are 2 examples of the strong-edge pace scenarios I've been discussing.

    The first had a running style recap of: 2E 2EP 3S (7) while the second had a recap of 2P 6S 1? (9), the question mark representing a first-time starter.

    My policy is to accept maiden races as playable those that include no more than 2 entries making their racing debuts.

    Of course this aspect of the handicapping process, namely having the running style recap alert us at once to the possibility that a horse or horses has or have a strong pace advantage, is instantly provided to users of The C.H. Data Report, which always labels running styles for each horse as well as including a running style recap and of course the The C.H. Data Pace Shape Analysis.

    In Race 3 at Belmont Park on 10/15/04 with no entries in the field other than early runners and closers, the absence of horses that could be expected to press the early pace (P-labeled) gave a significant advantage to those that would be positioned on or near the front, and a distinct disadvantage to those that will be attempting to close from well off the pace.

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

    And the results chart is here.

    A small field of 7 three-year-olds & upward were assembled to go a mile and one-sixteenth around one turn at the maiden special weight level.

    The keys to this race were the pace shape analysis: [1,3] +1 > [7] +18 > 6 and the running style recap: 2E 2EP 3S (7) with a pace shape of Ad Early.

    In a speed favoring pace shape that includes only E and/or EP runners and sustained closers (S), more of an edge goes to those that our analysis estimates will be on or near the lead at the pace call.

    C.H. data makes it quite apparent that in this match up there is quite an advantage for the 4 early speed types.

    There is a total pace shape analysis quickness point advantage of 19, those points being only a measurement of speed, having nothing to do with time or beaten lengths.

    And their advantage is enhanced by the presence of the 3 S runners (and no pressers).

    Think about that for a moment.

    If we can locate a race in which there is a sizeable pace shape analysis advantage, which is a pretty good estimation of the order of speeds at the pace call, and there are no pressers to push them to quick early fractions, only late closers who will likely be too far behind as the front runners are coasting along, what better ticket-cashing scenario can we ask for?

    As things unfolded in this race, the 3 horses with an S running style label finished last, second to last and third to last, including the 3-5 prohibitive favorite.

    Two of the 4 early speeds, #1 Niadhas and #3 Salic Law had an advantage simply because they were both exiting the same last-out heat that featured very quick early splits, while the others, #7 Goal Post and stale (105 days away) #6 Lennoxwood were exiting turf races.

    The value presented by keying for the win the top 2 pace shape advantage horses in an exacta and/or a trifecta part-wheel wager was in abundance when the public hammered the wrong horse down to 3-5.

    #4 Macao was exiting the same race as Niadhas and Salic Law, and earned a far superior actual final fraction when he closed powerfully to miss by one-half length in 3rd while the others faded back for respective finishes of 5th by 8 1/4 and 3rd by 4 1/4.

    Here were the C.H. Data lines (RFF, AFF and I38) for the 3 entries exiting the same race as well as for the other pace shape advantage horses.

    #1 Niadhas – 26.2/28.0/39.0

    #3 Salic Law – 26.2/27.1/38.3

    #4 Macao – 26.2/25.1/36.2 T+, F+

    #6 Lennoxwood - 25.2/26.2/38.0 Stl, Srf

    #7 Goal Post – 23.4/25.1/36.2 Evn, Srf

    A look at the past performance listings revealed that in the common race run 33 days earlier Niadhas and Salic Law carved out very quick early splits of 22.4 and 45.1 in a fast race that had a 6F (pace call) split of 1:09.3 and a final time of 1:43.0.

    As those 2 were gasping for air after 4 furlongs, Macao launched a powerful bid from 6th and last.

    And his last-out AFF of 25.1 was certainly the best of this bunch other than that of Goal Post, who earned the same figure in his turf race at the same trip.

    But match ups are everything in this game, and the 2 top speeds that faltered in their last had the advantage this time over S runner Macao in spite of being thrashed by that one in their last meeting.

    In this match up Macao would be relegated to use "underneath" in exotics wagers, while the contender list would be headed by Niadhas and Salic Law because of the splits they ran in their last encounter vs. the much slower early fractions set by Goal Post in his grass try.

    And Niadhas, having run 3-wide while Salic Law was traveling along the inside path would get the edge as top contender, the list for which follows with morning line/final odds in parenthesis.

    Win: #1 Niadhas (5-1/8-1), and #3 Salic Law (7-2/7-1)

    Place and Show: #7 Goal Post (5-1/9-1), #6 Lennoxwood (8-1/14-1) and #4 Macao (2-1/3-5)

    The win wager could have been placed on either Niadhas or in a dutch bet on both him and Salic Law.

    Appropriate exotics wagers would be along these lines:

    Ex.: box 1-3, part-wheel 1-3/1-3-4-6-7

    Tri. p/w 1-3/1-3-4-6-7/1-3-4-6-7, the $1 wager cost for which being $24 to receive one-half of a winning payoff or $48 for a $2 wager to receive the full payoff

    The payoffs were:

    1 $18.40

    1-3 Exacta $95.00

    1-3-6 Trifecta $745.00

    The race unfolded with Salic Law and Goal Post going head to head to the pace call, at which point Niadhas joined the fray.

    They battled down to the wire with Niadhas coming off the rail in an effort to catch Salic Law, who then drifted out and impeded his progress that looked like it would take him to victory.

    Although finishing first under the wire by a length, Salic Law was disqualified to second, with Niadhas moved up for the win while finishing 1 3/4 lengths over Lennoxwood, who out gamed Goal Post for the show.

    Because of the pace shape and running style recap of this field the early fractions were much more reasonable for the pace advantage horses, and that much more difficult for Macao to close into.

    Instead of the common race splits recorded 33 days earlier at the same trip on the same track of 22.4 45.0 1:09.4 1:43.0 this race was run in 23.3 46.4 1:11.3 1:45.2.


    Race 1 at Aqueduct on 11/2/04 featured a field of 9 (including the 1-entry) 2-year-olds going a one-turn mile at the maiden claiming level of $45K/$35K.

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

    And the results chart is here.

    While this is not exactly the most typically attractive race type on a particular day’s card, on this occasion because of the pace set up it was worth constructing wagers because of the presence of the 2 absolute prerequisites, edge and value.

    Of particular importance again in this match up was the running style recap.

    The pace shape label was Strong Ad Early, which alerted us to the potential for early speed holding up.

    The best situation in a Strong Ad Early pace shape is having only one or two entries in the pace shape analysis.

    And this group was unique in that there were no horses with E or EP running styles.

    With a running style recap of 2P 6S 1? (9), those 2 P-labeled runners should be the focus of our attention, and they were the lone horses in the pace shape analysis of [3] +6 > [6].

    Handicapping races that include horses with less than 3 career outings can result in much less than ideal results on a number of occasions, and 7 of the 9 in this field fit that description.

    In a situation like this in which there are only 2 entries in the pace shape analysis with no P-labeled runners on board, however, we should go for it, perhaps with not as much gusto as in other less chaotic match ups, but go for it at least somewhat.

    An inspection of past performance listings revealed that the 2 colts in the pace shape analysis had competed in the same race 22 days earlier.

    Although #3 Stephen Got Lucky had a 6 quickness point advantage over #6 Need to Please, the latter could have been expected to take the lead in this affair.

    Looking at the early positioning of these two in that last common race, which was by the way at the maiden special weight level, one could see that Need to Please was closer at the first call, 4th by 3 as opposed to Stephen Got Lucky being 7th by 3 3/4 after 2 furlongs.

    At the very least we could have rated these two equal in terms of likelihood to win this race from on or close to the early lead.

    In a strong advantage early scenario like this, in which 2 horses project to have a significant early pace advantage that is very much strengthened by the presence of 6 S-labeled runners, what those horses did in their last outing after showing some degree of early speed is not as important as in other match ups.

    In other words we don’t stress internal fractions in this spot.

    It would be a whole different story if in a Strong Ad Early pace shape the running style recap was 1E 1EP 7P (9).

    In that situation there would be 7 pressers, any one or more of which could possibly put enough early pressure on the expected leaders up the backstretch to have them wilt in the final couple of furlongs.

    But this time things worked out as hoped for.

    The early splits in the prior 6F race for our 2 speeds were 22.4 and 46.0 with a final time of 110.3; again, at the maiden special weight level.

    As the results chart shows, the splits of this 1-turn mile race were 22.4 46.3 112.1 139.3.

    The pace-setter in this longer race went just as quickly in the first quarter, but slowed things down after 4 furlongs and then really took a breather with a 25.3 3rd quarter and a 112.1 pace call split.

    This was achieved by having only closers behind the speed.

    The final quarter was run in a very slow 27.2 when the winner stopped the teletimer in 139.3.

    #6 Need to Please shot right to the front and after disposing of #2 Know the Judge (who faded back to beat one horse) after the first quarter, quickly opened up a commanding lead and was left unchallenged to waltz home to an easy 5 3/4 length score.

    #3 Stephen Got Lucky tracked in 3rd for most of the race before getting up by 2 1/4 lengths for the place.

    With morning line and final odds of 8-1/8-1 and 3-1/2-1 respectively, the win wager was a no-brainer; Need to Please was the one, regardless of the outcome.

    After that initial win bet the very logical exacta wager was a 3-6 box.

    Going further than that in terms of a trifecta wager would have been a bit more of a challenge.

    There were a few options that one could have chosen from, although with the exacta probable payoffs showing the value they did for the exacta box, one of those options would be to skip the trifecta and focus on win and exacta plays.

    One could have simply played the tri. as such: 3-6/3-6/All (or put another way 3-6/3-6/1-2-4-5-7-8, which for a $2 wager would have cost $24.

    Or to cut back on the wager cost one could have opted to use for the show only those colts that were dropping from the maiden special weight level as were the 2 pace advantage horses: 3-6/3-6/1-4 at a $2 wager cost of $8.

    The payoffs were:

    6 $19.00

    6-3 Exacta $73.50

    6-3-4 Trifecta $648.00

    Keep a sharp eye out for pace advantages pointed out by running style recaps.


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    For some spot plays I post many racing days on my private web page for subscribers to this newsletter, you can bookmark this page:

    http://www.free-horseracing-info.com/hinpsp.html

    Or you can click here.

    Until Saturday December 4, 2004, I wish you Fair Skies and Fast Tracks.

    Jim

    C.H. Handicapping - The Ultimate Approach!