April 1997, Number 5
ALL-WaysTM Newsletter


INSIDE THIS NEWSLETTER

Handicapping Profile Series (Part 1 of 5)

Guest Article

Wagering Tips


ANNOUNCEMENTS

All-Ways Software Version 6.1 is now released. The Standard Edition of this mini upgrade can be downloaded from the BRIS Handicapper’s Library as a simple patch. The Professional Edition upgrade will automatically be sent by Frandsen Publishing to users of the Professional Edition Version 6.0. Version 6.1 tightens up on contender selection, supports higher communication baud rates and makes some minor “tweaks” to other parts of the software.


HANDICAPPING PROFILE SERIES

Many computer handicapping programs use fixed software routines that do not differentiate between types of races or between different tracks. ALL-Ways software, on the other hand, gives you the capability to automatically analyze virtually every kind of race run at each individual track you handicap. ALL-Ways software then gives you very simple ways to create Handicapping Profiles that are keyed to these specific race types at these specific tracks. ALL-Ways software uses these Handicapping Profiles to handicap the races including selecting contenders and determining the win probability for every horse and the corresponding oddsline. This, along with ALL-Ways software’s 71 handicapping factors, many of which are unique to ALL-Ways software and not available to the general public, is what makes it possible for ALL-Ways software to point you toward profitable overlay wagers and some very nice long odds horses missed by the public.

Handicapping Profiles are both the heart and the art of ALL-Ways software ... the proverbial “key to the mother load”. For this reason, in this and subsequent newsletters, we will be publishing a five part series that covers, in some depth, the whole subject of Handicapping Profiles.

HANDICAPPING PROFILE SERIES

Part One

Race Segmentation

The single most important thing you can do right now to improve your selections and your profitability is to aim your Handicapping Profiles directly at specific types of races run at the tracks you handicap. Sprints are fundamentally different than routes. Dirt races are fundamentally different than turf races. Maiden races are fundamentally different than non-maiden races. These are the three areas that represent the minimum level of race segmentation.

To illustrate the point, let’s look at the results of some Impact Value Analyses for the eight factors making up the form group of ALL-Ways software’s handicapping factors. We ran the IV Analysis individually for dirt sprints at four different tracks, first for maiden and non- maiden races combined and then individually. The table below shows the top handicapping factor in the form group based on the highest Impact Value.

Non-Maiden and Maiden Together

Track   Best Form Factor             IV
SAX   Effort 2/3             1.7
BMX   Effort Last             1.3
OPX   Effort 2/3             2.3
TUP   Effort 2/3             2.2

Maidens Only

Track   Best Form Factor             IV
SAX   Hambleton Form             2.2
BMX   Hambleton Form             1.8
OPX   Workouts             2.3
TUP   Hambleton Form             2.2

Non-Maidens Only

Track   Best Form Factor             IV
SAX   Effort 2/3             1.9
BMX   Effort 2/3             1.4
OPX   Effort Last             1.8
TUP   Effort 2/3             1.9

Notice how the IV Analysis for maidens identified Hambleton Form Points and the Workout Index as the most powerful form factors for maiden dirt sprints, yet they did not even show up in the IV Analysis for maidens and non- maidens combined.

We used the MRA Custom Function to automatically create Handicapping Profiles for dirt sprints, with one combining maidens and non-maidens and then separate profiles for maiden and non- maidens. Look at the dramatic ROI improvement when maiden and non- maiden races are separated.

Non-Maiden and Maiden Together

Track   Win %   ROI
SAX   31%   -9%
BMX   31%   -16%
OPX   36%   -3%
TUP   39%   7%

Maidens Only

Track   Win %   ROI
SAX   44%   34%
BMX   37%   63%
OPX   31%   27%
TUP   35%   26%

Non-Maidens Only

Track   Win %   ROI
SAX   32%   15%
BMX   39%   25%
OPX   38%   18%
TUP   46%   47%

The Default Handicapping Profiles, both those originally supplied with ALL-Ways software and those automatically generated by the MRA Default function, use this minimum level of race segmentation. In both cases, there are five groups of three profiles. There is a group for non-maiden dirt sprints, non-maiden dirt routes, all turf races, maiden dirt sprints and maiden dirt routes.

To decide which profile to use for a particular race, simply look at the race information display in the Handicapping Module. Dirt vs. turf is obvious. Sprints are under a mile and routes are one mile or longer. Maiden races have a Race Type designation of “M” for Maiden Claiming and “S” for Maiden Special Weight. All other Race Type designations are non maiden. So, just looking at the race information display points you to the right group to use. Each group has three profiles, one with no pace bias, one with an early pace bias and one with a late pace bias. In the Standard Edition of ALL-Ways software, you need to further narrow your choice down to one of the three profiles in the group. We suggest you always use the non pace biased profile except in some special cases. Use the appropriate early or late biased profile if your track has a very strong pace bias for this type of race. Use the early bias profile for dirt sprints at 5 1/2 furlongs or shorter, for turf sprints and for all 2 year old races (ASR = 3).

Original Default vs. MRA Default Profiles

The default profiles originally supplied with ALL-Ways software were derived from averages for many tracks in North America. They work above average for some tracks and below average for others. These default profiles were provided just to get you started. They do a pretty good job of identifying the top contenders. As soon as your Race Database for a track builds up to 60 to 80 races or so, you should click the MRA Default button in the Analysis Module to automatically replace the original default profiles with new profiles that are keyed to the specific track. Note that the MRA Default function will only replace a particular default profile if the number of races is above the minimum required for Multiple Regression Analysis. The minimum is set at 20 races of a single race type. You can lower this to as few as 10 races in the Preference section of the Custom Module. Our experience has shown that Multiple Regression Analysis, as we have implemented it in ALL-Ways software, seems to work pretty well even if you do not have a lot of races in your Race Database.

Lets stop a minute. You now know that both the original and the MRA default profiles segment the races into five types of races, which we consider to be the minimum segmentation to be successful. You know how to select the appropriate profile for the race you are handicapping. You also know that you should run the MRA Default function as soon as possible so that the default profiles are tuned to the specific track. You could stop right here and do exceedingly well with ALL-Ways software by simply making sound wagers and practicing good money management.

We have just scratched the surface on the subject of race type segmentation. We will dig even deeper into this subject in our next newsletter. But, we do not want to leave the subject just yet. We are getting great reports from a number of ALL-Ways software users regarding one particular race segmentation strategy. We have tried it, also with impressive results. We don’t want to wait until our next newsletter to tell you about it, so here it is.

We will call this The Race Shape Segmentation Strategy. In our October, 1996 newsletter, we showed you how to put the eleven possible ESP Race Shapes that ALL-Ways software designates for a race into four different categories. Here is the chart that we showed you.

Category   ESP Race Shape
     
FAST   EEE, EE
LONE EARLY   E, EP, EP-P
HONEST   E-EP, EP-EP
SLOW   P, PP, PS, S

Incidentally, if you do not have our October, 1996 newsletter, just contact Frandsen Publishing and we will send it to you.

The Race Shape Segmentation Strategy calls for you to create a set of Handicapping Profiles for non-maiden races for each of the four categories and another set for maidens. Here is a list of the Handicapping Profiles you may end up with:

fast dirt sprint non-maiden (fast ds nm)
fast dirt route non-maiden (fast dr nm)
fast turf non-maiden (fast turf nm)

lone early dirt sprint non-maiden(lone ds nm)
lone early dirt route non-maiden (lone dr nm)
lone early turf non-maiden (lone turf nm)

honest dirt sprint non-maiden (hon ds nm)
honest dirt route non-maiden (hon dr nm)
honest turf non-maiden (hon turf nm)

slow dirt sprint non-maiden (slow ds nm)
slow dirt route non-maiden (slow dr nm)
slow turf non-maiden (slow turf nm)

You will also have a set for maiden races. In reality, you will not have all these Handicapping Profiles until your Race Database for a track is quite large. For example, you will find that there are not many non-maiden SLOW category races. Almost all SLOW races are maiden races. Note also that, at some point, you may have enough races for off tracks and for turf sprints.

Creating these Handicapping Profiles is very easy. As an example, consider creating the FAST NON-MAIDEN profiles. Step one is to click the CREATE button in the Analysis Module. This gets you to the race screens. Simply turn on all Race Types except maidens and turn on only the “EEE” and “EE” ESP Race Shapes. Then create the dirt sprint, dirt route and turf profiles as you normally do by running the IV Analysis, saving the calculated Impact Values, selecting the best handicapping factors and then going to the Profile Module to actually create the profiles. If you are unsure how to do this, please read the two chapters in the ALL-Ways Software User Manual covering the Analysis Module and the Profile Module. Professional Edition users may choose to use the Multiple Regression Analysis Custom function to automatically create the profiles. If so, you should turn the pace factors on before running the MRA Custom function.

If you have not yet advanced to the point of creating your own Handicapping Profiles in ALL-Ways software, you really should make it a point to do so. This is how you can really unleash the power of ALL-Ways software. It is very easy to do and you will be rewarded well for doing so. Plus, it is a lot of fun. How many other things can you think of that are both fun and profitable.

That’s it for now. We will cover race segmentation some more in our next newsletter.


GUEST ARTICLE

The following article was submitted by Dan Vogel from Edmond, Oklahoma. Dan also submitted a complete work-up of the race cards he writes about including the ALL-Ways software handicapping reports and the results charts out of the paper. Because of space constraints, we cannot print the work-up. But, we thought Dan reinforces a couple of important messages, namely to apply some personal handicapping judgment, along with what ALL-Ways software is telling you, to arrive at your final wagering decisions and to select the Handicapping Profiles that best fit the race situation.

Here is Dan’s article.

I have been playing the horses on a recreational basis for the past four years. Approximately three months ago I started using ALL-Ways. I had previously used other software to handicap the races but was not satisfied with the results and, quite frankly, was skeptical of ALL-Ways. That opinion underwent a major change on November 23, 24 and 30, 1996 at Remington Park, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

On November 23, 1996, at Remington Park, the late Pick Three consisted of the sixth, seventh and eighth races. The sixth race was an allowance for three and up males at 6.5 furlongs. Using the default handicapping profile for dirt sprints, the computer selected Exclusive Zone, Trouble On The Line and White Wheels. Exclusive Zone was coming off a 389 day layoff and most likely an automatic throw out, but because of the trainer/jockey combination, had to be considered. White Wheels, the number three computer pick, won and paid $11.60. He had the best Hall and BRIS Final Fractions, and had a “2” for Brohamer FX rank. The next race was a mile and one eighth stakes race for three and up males. The number one computer pick (default profile for dirt routes) won and paid $9.00. In the next and last race of the Pick Three, a mile and a sixteenth allowance for three and up males, the number one computer pick (default profile for dirt routes) won easily and paid $14.20. The Pick Three paid $746.80.

On November 24, 1996, the sixth race at Remington Park was a six furlong allowance for three and up females. The top computer pick (default profile for dirt sprints) won easily and paid $3.60. The seventh race was a mile and seventy yards stakes for two year old males. The top computer pick (default profile for dirt routes) won and paid $6.40. The eighth race was a 6.5 furlong allowance for three and up males. The number one computer pick (default profile for dirt sprints) ran second and was beaten by an ALL-Ways contender (black type). I felt that the top computer pick was vulnerable so decided to review the ALL-Ways Suitability and Pedigree Report and determined that Dr. Jinsky was 5/ 3-1-0 (three wins and a second place finish in five races) at the exact distance of 6.5 furlongs. Also, he was ranked number one in the Distance and Form components of the Comprehensive Rating on the Paceline Report. The rest is history. He won by inches and paid $56.60. (Remember that the horse was an ALL-Ways contender.) The pick Three paid $672.00.

On November 30, 1996, the Remington Park track was listed as Muddy and the weather was cool and rainy. Aware of these conditions and knowing that front speed wins a great deal of races at Remington on a wet track, I used the Default Dirt Route - Early profile to handicap the last three races (all routes) and the Pick Three. The number two computer picks won the sixth and seventh races ($17.20 and $8.00), the number one computer pick won the eighth and final race ($8.40) and the Pick Three paid $362.20. Betting the top two computer picks in each of the last three races cost $16.00 for a two dollar Pick Three and $8.00 for a one dollar Pick Three. The late Double paid $56.60. By the way, horses from the ALL-Ways “Potentially Dangerous Non Contenders List” ran second in the sixth and eighth races paying $21.00 and $12.80 to place.

Since using ALL-Ways, I have no need to buy the Daily Racing Form ($4.00) or the Remington Park program ($1.75). I can get the saddle cloth numbers from the BRIS Early Track Program or from the local newspaper the morning of the races. The $7.00 that BRIS charges per download is a bargain.

You have an excellent software product and I look forward to continued success. Many Thanks.

 

Many thanks to you too, Dan!


WAGERING TIPS

THE TRIFECTA (Part 1 of 2)

Ah ... the Trifecta. This is a wager that almost everyone likes to play. This is a wager that is a losing proposition for most players. This is a wager that, when played properly, can produce consistent, long term profits. This is a wager that can lead to those “box car” payoffs. This is the first of a two part series wherein we will share our formula for successfully playing the Trifecta. Part one covers when and when not to wager and how to structure the wager. Part two will cover how to select the horses.

Let’s look at the two reasons why most people lose money playing the Trifecta. First, they play Trifectas when the probable payoffs are almost assured to be underlays (less than a fair value payoff). This almost always occurs when the favorite finishes in-the-money and no long odds horse finishes in-the-money. This situation accounts for a large majority of Trifectas. Second, they play too many combinations. To make matters worse, they play too many combinations when the payoff is almost assured to be an underlay. The result is an occasional underlay win and a whole fist full of losing underlay tickets.

Avoiding Underlays

Let’s first look at avoiding the underlay payoffs. Note; when we refer to a “long odds” horse, we are referring to horses that are going off at 10 to 1 or higher, the higher the better, of course. Divide the potential Trifecta opportunity into one of four scenarios.

1 The favorite figures to run in-the-money and no long odds horse figures to run in-the-money. Unfortunately, these account for the majority of Trifectas and you should almost always pass the wager. You are virtually assured of an under valued payoff.

2 The favorite figures to finish in-the-money and a long odds horse figures to finish in-the-money. This will generally be a playable Trifecta.

3 The favorite figures to finish out-of-the-money and no long odds horse figures to finish in-the-money. This Trifecta, with a false favorite, will almost always be playable.

4 The favorite figures to finish out-of-the-money and a long odds horse figures to finish in-the-money. This is the time to open your wallet and crush the Trifecta.

Here is a table that summarizes all of this.

Favorite
in-the-money

     

Long Odds
in-the-money

     

Play or
Pass

yes       no       pass
yes       yes       play
no       no       play
no       yes       crush

Follow this table and you will do a good job of avoiding underlays. A good way to verify an overlay versus underlay situation is to check the probable Exacta payoffs for the Exacta portion of the Trifecta wager. If the Exacta probable is an overlay, then the Trifecta will most likely be an overlay as well. Just compare the Exacta probable payoffs with the figures in the Exacta Matrix on the bottom of the ALL-Ways Contender Summary Report.

The second key to profitable Trifecta play is to avoid playing too many combinations. One of the most common Trifecta wagers is the four horse box.

ABCD/ABCD/ABCD

This is a $48 bet for a $2 Trifecta. Over time, consistently making this kind of wager will surely cost you money. There are two different Trifecta combination wagers that we have found to be effective. We showed you the first one in our October, 1996 newsletter. Here it is again:

AB/ABC/ABCDE

This is only a $24 wager for a $2 Trifecta. Plus, you now have five horses in the wager instead of only four as you have in a four horse box. If we have $48 to wager, we would rather play a $4 Trifecta of this type instead of a $2 four horse box. If you are unable to isolate the horses that will probably figure in the Trifecta to this number of combinations, then it is best to pass the race. Indeed some races are too tough to figure out.

The second way to avoid too many combinations is to key a single horse in the win, place and show positions. Assuming we have four horses that figure, our wagers would look like this:

A/BCD/BCD
BCD/A/BCD
BCD/BCD/A

The total wager for all of these tickets is $36 for a $2 Trifecta ... still a lot better than $48 for four horses. Of course, it is important to select the right key horse (horse “A”). The key horse should be one that you are supremely confident will finish in-the-money. However, it absolutely should not be the betting favorite. Remember, if one of the horses (“B”, “C”, or “D”) is the favorite, then one of the other horses must be a long odds horse. We pretty much limit this key horse wager to races where there is a long odds horse. However, we do not always key the long odds horse. Instead, we key a horse other than the long odds horse or the favorite. This way, if the long odds horse misses the board, we still have a shot at collecting on the wager. It all depends on our confidence that the long odds horse will finish in-the-money.

To summarize, if the favorite figures to finish in-the-money and no long odds horse figures to finish in-the-money, pass the race. This will be the case in most Trifectas so be prepared to pass more Trifectas than you play. The other three scenarios are most likely playable. But, avoid playing too many combinations by using one of the combination betting schemes shown above.

Again, in our next newsletter, we will cover our ideas for selecting the horses for a Trifecta wager including a host of methods for identifying the long odds horses that can lead to very large payoffs.


ALL-Ways Newsletters


Copyright 1996
Frandsen Publishing Corporation
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