First of all I want to report that my new RAFF POWER Selections Service has gotten off to a great start, and I thank each of you who have subscribed.

Among the many, many successful payoffs that were derived from the RAFF POWER printouts during the first month of distributing this valuable data, as shown in my weekly review for all subscribers dated Monday September 22nd, the winning Pick 4 payoff was clearly indicated for the last 4 races at Belmont Park on Thursday September 18th.

The top listed and qualified horse in three of the legs, races 6, 8, and 9 paid $11.00, $10.20 and $16.20 respectively, which made structuring this particular wager a whole lot simpler and at less cost than normal.

The 2nd leg winner and key to the 6th-7th D/D of $167.00, the Pick 3 in the amount of $1,381.00, and the Pick 4 of $7,741.00 was among the top listed group in that race 7, and for users of "Calibration Handicapping", which I strongly suggest subscribers utilize in conjunction with the RAFF POWER data, stood out as the top selection.

That was because in his last 2 outings he displayed the running lines of my top 2 most powerful "moves-within-a-race" as explained in the book, which you can review by clicking here.

I suggest using "Calibration Handicapping" because the principles stressed in that approach to handicapping the thoroughbreds are the crux of the software program that produces the RAFF POWER data.

This past Saturday 9/27/03 was a big day at Belmont Park with 11 races, including 4 consecutive Grade 1 events. So I emailed every one of my RAFF POWER subscribers my selections in order of preference:

Race 1 - 3-8-2/10 - $8.30, 8-2 $34.80, 8-2-10 $134.50

Race 2 - 3-5-2 - $23.20, 3-5 $173.50, D/D $120.50

Race 3 - Pass

Race 4 - 11-10-8/6 - $7.20

Race 5 - 5-2-1/8 - $7.50, 1-8 $78.00

Race 6 - 2-6-3/8 - $6.50, 8-6 $29.20, 8-6-3 $244.00, P-3 $71.00

Race 7 - 1-3-9/6 - $8.20, D/D $26.40, P-3 $77.00

Race 8 - 6-7-5 - $9.40, P-3 $184.00

Race 9 - 4-6-2 - $3.50

Race 10 - 3-5-2 - $2.80, D/D $4.80, P-3 $32.40, P-4 $122.50, P-6 $1,793.00

Race 11 - 11-2-4/9 - $7.10, 4-11 $62.50, D/D $10.00

Since this turned out to be such a success, I may email my slant on things more often.

Of course everyone is anticipating the upcoming Breeder's Cup races on the 25th of October at the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita, which kicked off its meet on opening day this past Sunday September 28th.

I want to make it clear that all subscribers to my RAFF POWER service, no matter what subscription they have signed up for, will receive the printouts for the entire Santa Anita card on Saturday October 25th.

If you want to see for yourself what RAFF POWER is capable of, including in this month's Breeder's Cup Classic races, for a one month subscription click here.


After noticing a clear pattern in the RAFF POWER results during the first couple of weeks of its release, I came up with the topic for this month's newsletter, and it seems to be a potent angle for sure.

It's called "The Surface Switch Play."

And it's a turf to dirt angle.

You may have heard of it before, but I believe this play has a few new wrinkles associated with it.

I'm going to review 2 successful Surface Switch Plays from the same day at Belmont Park on 9/14/03, races 2 and 10 on that card.

For each race I'll list the entries in post position order and follow with running style, last out Beyer speed figure, last out raw/actual final fractions, and any last out "moves-within-a-race."

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

And the results chart is here.

1. Karakorum Dixie EP 51 23.1/25.3 ---

2. Stars Aligned P 75 25.2/24.1 SRE

3. Cargo Ship EP 58 26.1/26.1 ---

4. Majestic Miesque EP 39 23.1/27.1 ---

5. Promise Mountain P 67 25.2/25.1 ---

6. Wonderful Victory S 54 24.2/25.2 ---

This was a field of 6 that included 3 early speed types going 6F at the N.Y.S.B. preliminary allowance level.

Now let's take a closer look at each of these entries.

1.) Karakorum Dixie was indeed making a surface switch, but in his case he did not qualify as a Surface Switch Play, the criteria for which I will identify shortly. His last effort on the grass was simply dull all the way around the track. And in his prior at this track at the same distance and in the same class as today's race he pretty much stopped and finished dead last 7th - non contender.

2.) Stars Aligned not only was an SRE "move-within-a-race" play, but also had recorded the best last out final fraction on a dry fast main track. And that was when finishing 2nd by a nose despite being pinched back at the start. In addition he had broken his maiden in his previous start, so this one seemed likely to do well in this match up in his current career best form - on the short contender list.

3.) Cargo Ship figured to be the favorite in here off his debut outing in which he went wire to wire at the N.Y.S.B. maiden special weight level. Figured to be that is as far as the general public was concerned, which I thought would focus in on his lone outing score, his early speed capability, and his trainer Scott Lake as being strong indicators of a potential repeat performance.

The RAFF POWER printout had this horse listed last, however, in the field of 6, and I saw him as a definite bet against favorite, at least as far as the win was concerned. His final fraction in that lone career race was clearly inferior to that of #2 Stars Aligned; 26.1 vs. 24.1, and as the results chart shows, Stars Aligned did indeed beat Cargo Ship by 5 lengths.

Because of his early speed and the lack of good recent form of some of the others in here, I thought Cargo Ship would have to be included in any exacta/and or trifecta plays, but definitely not in the win slot.

4. Majestic Miesque is the Surface Switch Play in this race. He was exiting the same turf race as #1 Karakorum Dixie, but put in a completely different effort than that one, and as such qualified as the play that is the subject of this newsletter.

Here is the definition of The Surface Switch Play:

• Last raced in a route turf race and is returning to a race on the main track

• Must have shown early speed in the route turf race from the start to the 6F point in the race, which in route races is also referred to as the pace call

• Early speed for the first 6 furlongs is defined as: on or within 2 1/2 lengths of the lead or in 1st or 2nd position, and ahead of at least half the field

• Must have faded back out of the money from the pace call to the finish

• The best scenario is for the follow up race to be run in a main track sprint, but a horse still qualifies if it goes turf route to dirt route

If you look at the past performances of #4 Majestic Miesque, in particular his last, you will see that he took the lead in that 8 1/2F turf route race and held it for the first couple of calls. He was still only 3/4 of a length behind in 5th (in a field of 12) at the pace call before the jockey eased up and let the horse fade back to dead last.

In essence, this horse was on the lead or close to it for the distance of his next outing, this 6F review race.

It didn't hurt that his prior two races at this trip on this track were a speed and fade try against a strong 103 Beyer winner that stopped the teletimer at 1:09.1, and a wire to wire maiden breaking score.

As you can see, it pays to take a close look at the recent past performances. This horse was listed right on top (along with the dull throw out #1 horse) of the RAFF POWER printout, and after a review of his past performances, he could definitely have been qualified as today's newsletter topic play, The Surface Switch Play.

He would have to have been considered a top 2 contender along with #2 Stars Aligned.

5.) Promise Mountain, a 1 for 16 gelding that had unsuccessfully tried to get through this condition in his previous 11 outings had the look of a horse who might get a piece of this, namely 2nd or more likely 3rd, but did not have the appearance of a top 2 contender.

6.) Wonderful Victory ran dull efforts in each of his last 5 tries, and as such had to be placed on the non contender list for this race.

The results chart shows that #4 Majestic Miesque was indeed primed and ready for this encounter as he sat just off the expected pace setter and favorite #3 Cargo Ship before moving away to the lead at the top of the stretch and an easy win by nearly 2 lengths.

The payoffs were:

4. $22.40
2. 2nd - 4-2 ex. $78.00
3. 3rd - 4-2-3 tri. $261.00

D/D - with $5.70 winner in race 1 - $99.50


Race 10 on 9/14/03 at Belmont Park was a field of 9 going 6F with claiming tags of $35K down to $25K, 3 of which possessed running styles that usually have them situated up on or close to the lead.

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

And the results chart is here.

Here is the field:

1. Superlang P 63 25.3/25.2 ---

2. The Sherminator P 58 25.2/26.4 ---

3. The Clown EP 65 24.2/25.2 ---

4. Barbara's Jewel EP 69 26.3/26.3 ---

5. Brick's P 76 26.0/26.1 T/M play

6. Numattic S 77 25.2/25.0 ---

8. Secret Run EP 34 24.0/28.0 ---

9. Fines Creek P 76 24.4/24.4 ---

10. Underpinning P 62 26.0/26.1 ---

Let's look at each horse in this field:

1.) Superlang - in his previous race he showed pretty good early presence from the start to the pace call in a turf route race, but did not qualifying as a Surface Switch Play due to being positioned in 7th at the pace call in a field of 12. After stumbling at the start he did not fire in his return try finishing 7th in a field of 9 - non contender in this match up.

2.) The Sherminator - had last run up the track in 7th, beaten 20 1/2 lengths 51 days earlier when going at a mile and an 8th. In spite of dropping off the claim for $50K, I didn't consider him a contender in this race since he had never tried the 6F trip and had run his last 3 outings at 2 turn routes.

3.) The Clown - had run a fairly even race after stumbling at the start when going at this 6F distance on this track for $40K 74 days earlier. I made him a top 2 player in this field despite the lengthy layoff and work tab consisting of only 2 morning trials. In 20-20 hindsight after seeing that he finished dead last 9th, I should have been a little more leery of only 2 mediocre works off a 74 day break with the last coming a full 26 days before this race. Mistake on my part, and I guess I got too hung up on his last out raw/actual FF's of 24.2/25.2.

4. Barbara's Jewel - probably the main speed of the 3 that possessed the early running style, he was coming off a wire to wire romp at the $25K claiming level. His last looked good on paper, but one had to wonder if he was top 2 contender material with his winning raw/actual FF's of 26.3/26.3 and his prior 11 outings being at Philadelphia Park and Delaware Park.

5. Brick's - had run as one of my "moves-within-a-race", the T/M play in his last 49 days earlier, finishing 2nd when in for $45K. He was obviously in form with a win and 2 seconds in his last 3 tries, and because of being one of my top "move" plays should have been a top 3 contender. While demonstrating the Surface Switch Play, I'm also showing in this review how no one is perfect in their handicapping on every occasion, because for some inexplicable reason, this horse never became part of my wagering plan.

6. Numattic - ran his lifetime best performance in his last when blinkers were added for the first time in his 5 race career. He also earned a solid final fraction of 25.0. But there were negatives showing too, including the fact that he was a sustained closer in a pace shape that favored early speed, was stepping up $10K in claiming price, and was a definite bounce candidate off the 12 point increase from his previous high Beyer speed figure. I kept him on the contender list as a periphery play. In sharply focused hindsight, there is simply no way I should have had him and/or Barbara's Jewel rated above Brick's.

8. Secret Run - is the Surface Switch Play. And when reviewing this race the afternoon of that day's card, I formulated this play. I had not previously considered Secret Run a prime contender, but remembering the winner of race 2 and looking around at some previous turf to dirt winners at the meet, I realized that this was indeed a play to be considered seriously, so I made him a top 2 contender in this match up.

As you can see by the past performance line of his last race, which was on the Saratoga Inner turf course at a mile and a 16th with a tag of $50K, he broke on top, was 3rd by 1/2 at the first call, and a length and 3/4 behind in 5th (ahead of more than half the field of 12) at the pace call before fading back to 12th and last.

This Surface Switch Play can often win at a nice price, especially when it drops back out of it after making the key move, which is speed to the 6F point in the turf route race.

Many handicappers looked at Secret Run as having finished way up the track out of the money, and of course they were right, but that is not a bad thing to those of us who know about this play, because the prep for his next outing had been accomplished by "running hard" for 6F before dropping back out of the money. In the case of Secret Run, he had a previous good try in a 9F off the turf race when finishing 3rd and earning a solid speed figure.

9.) Fines Creek - ran a nice even 3rd place finish in his last when claimed for $35K, and earned the field's best FF of 24.4. He had run 2nd in his previous try for $50K and would have to be considered a top 3 contender in this spot.

10.) Underpinning - was claimed from his last for $35K after showing speed for 8 of the 9F he ran when winding up 4th. Cutting back to 6F in this race he did not figure to fare well breaking from the outside 9 slot despite going for a top barn.

After realizing that #8 Secret Run was what I had tabbed my new Surface Switch Play, my adjusted order of preference for this race was 8-3-9/4.

While less than efficient handicapping concerning #5 Brick's made me miss the exacta and the trifecta (which both figured if one used Secret Run as a top 2 contender), I was able to connect on the Pick 4 of $3,512.00 using the RAFF POWER data, which pointed to the first leg top listed winner and B.C. Juvenile favorite Cuvee who kicked it off at a price of $4.60.

Secret Run was a top listed RAFF POWER winner in the finale, and the winners of legs 2 and 3, races 8 and 9, were among the top 3 listed entries.

I guess you could say RAFF POWER had a magnificent Sunday.

The payoffs were:

8. $14.00
5. 2nd - 8-5 ex. $68.00
9. 3rd - 8-5-9 tri. $331.50


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:

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

Or you can click here.

Until Saturday November 1, 2003, I wish you Fair Skies and Fast Tracks.

Jim

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