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.
The repetitive routine I have personally established and used for years is made up of answers
to 5 key pre-wager construction questions:
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
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
It happens to be a real good place to begin our handicapping approach.
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
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
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 >  +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 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
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:
1-3 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
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
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
 +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
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:
6-3 Exacta $73.50
6-3-4 Trifecta $648.00
Keep a sharp eye out for pace advantages pointed out by running style recaps.
If you are not receiving enough cash back from your online wagering outlet, you may want
to join the legion of players who are receiving a 7%
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In my particular case the cash back credited to my wagering account for 2004 will be well
into the 5-figure range.
That's not chicken feed; just free money.
For details about the best online wagering facility
available today, please click here.
For some spot plays I post many racing
days on my private web page for subscribers to this
newsletter, you can bookmark this page:
Or you can click here.
Until Saturday December 4, 2004, I wish you Fair Skies and Fast Tracks.
C.H. Handicapping - The Ultimate Approach!