August 2001 VOL. 14, NO. 8

Table of Contents

Tips for Del Mar & Saratoga Handicapping Challenge
August Special : Neurax Pro
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Table of Contents

Tips for Del Mar & Saratoga Handicapping Challenge
August Special : Neurax Pro
At Your Service

Tips for Del Mar & Saratoga

By Richard J. Nilsen


Saratoga racecourse, open from July 25 to September 3, is a picture-perfect vacation spot nestled in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. Here, we look at a few angles that have proven to work well at this historic racetrack.

For starters, make sure to employ BRIS Pace Ratings when handicapping Saratoga. This is especially important at six furlongs, where 37% of the races were won wire-to-wire in 1999 and 2000. At 1 1/8-miles on the dirt, exactly one-third (of the winners) won in front running style in 1999, and 31% in 2000. Keep in mind that those are high win rates for a dirt route distance.

Horses for Courses is often a potent angle at the Spa. Whether it's the water or the mountain air, some horses, like the renowned Fourstardave, just come alive when shipped to the Adirondack region. Here's a few runners to keep a close eye on for the 2001 meet:

Affirmed Success Beware on any surface at the Spa.
Calca Won in 3rd start off the layoff going seven furlongs.
Champagneforlisa Rockingham-based mare has won four years in a row against claimers!
Double Screen Recently claimed at Belmont; watch for against state-bred company.
Dream Supreme Top filly is undefeated in three Saratoga starts.
Emily's Dad watch for the ship-in from Finger Lakes.
Fast And Fortunate Only loss in four starts was in debut.
Gander NY-bred has won from 6f to 9f here.
Ground Storm Won three times in 2000, all around two turns.
Hap Won Fourstardave-G2 and Bernard Baruch-G2 last year.
Indy Vidual Owns two wins on both main and inner turf courses.
Phil The Grip KY shipper would figure tough against state-breds.
Shadow Caster Upset the Forego H-G2 last year.
Trubreadpudding Both career wins here on the main turf course.
Un Fino Vino Both wins here in 1999 were in sprints.

Graveyard of favorites? According to the TSN Track Stats books, public choices won 36 percent of the races each of the last two years. The median Pick-3 payoff (based on $2 wager) for the past three years were $232.25, $186.50 and $252.25, respectively.

Certain trainers tend to dominate at the Spa. Bill Mott has captured 46 races at a 22% rate since 1998, putting him on top as the leading trainer over the past three meets. He is followed by Todd Pletcher with 40 wins (16%). Thanks to D. Wayne Lukas' miserable 2000 meet (3 for 48), John Kimmel moved into third place with 30 wins (21%). Keep an eye out for Allen Iwinski and Linda Rice, both of whom went 6 for 11 last year!

Given Mott is the top trainer, it comes as no surprise that Jerry Bailey leads the way among riders with 126 wins at a 24% clip since 1998. Jorge Chavez is a distant second with 97 wins (15%), and Pat Day follows in third with 90 wins (16%). Edgar Prado has won 60 races over the past 2 years.

Rolling Pick-3's and Trifectas are offered in every race with six or more entries at Saratoga. Consider the Wizard's Pick-3/Pick-6/Trifecta Plays sheet for assistance with those difficult wagers.

Del Mar

Of course, on the other side of the country located close to the Pacific Ocean is Del Mar, which began July 18 and will conclude on September 5.

Outside posts held the advantage in most dirt sprints in 2000. As expected, Early types (E) were dominant in all sprint distances with the exception of seven furlongs. Of course, BRIS Pace Ratings are the best tool for predicting the pace setup in any race. Find them in Premium Plus, Quick Play and Ultimate PPs.

When handicapping grass events, employ BRIS Late Pace (LP) Ratings as your guide to which runners have the best closing kick. The Late Pace numbers are also available in the online Past Performances. Pressers (P) fared best last year in both one-mile and nine-furlong races, so knowing which runners finish best is a must for Del Mar handicappers.

Horses for Courses is also a strong angle near the Surf, and we've got a few runners to watch at the upcoming meet:

Brite Reality Claimer won three in a row in 2000 for Jack Carava.
Cameron Pass 4yo is getting geared back up for the Summer meet.
Daring General Has won from 6 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles.
Fastasaspeednbulit Won twice on the turf last year versus claimers.
Filigree Three wins all at 6 1/2 furlongs!
Gamblingisavirtue Figures tough against $50,000 turf claimers.
Kona Gold Top sprinter is undefeated in four starts here.
Lady Cadet Turf sprinter also loves this main dirt course.
National Saint Fits well against non-graded stakes company.
Peter's Pond Recently claimed at Hollywood; owns three claiming wins.
Royal Hill (GB) Won in '95, '96, '98 and last year on the turf.

Consider adding your Del Mar and Saratoga Horses to Watch to STABLE ALERT, a FREE e-mail service provided by BRIS that can save savvy handicappers a tremendous amount of time. Trainers can also be entered for FREE.

Just like at Saratoga, the favorite does well here. The public choice has won at a 37-percent clip in 1999 and a 38-percent rate last year, according to the last two editions of Track Stats.

The median Pick-3 payoff (based on $2 wager) for the past three years were $238.40, $291.80 and $230.20, respectively. Despite a high success rate for favorites, there were plenty of lucrative payoffs here on the Pick-3.

Bob Baffert, not surprisingly, has won the most races by far over the past three years, capturing 77 races at a 26% clip. Amazingly, a $2 wager on all of Baffert's runners each of the past three years yielded a flat bet profit! He is followed by Mike Mitchell with 39 wins (22%) and Robert Hess Jr with 38 wins (16%). Keep an eye out on John Dolan, who scored with 7 of 22 starters last year (32%).

Alex Solis has won 89 races since 1998, two wins ahead of Kent Desormeaux with 87. Chris McCarron rounds out the top three with 78 victories over the past three Del Mar meets.

Good luck, and enjoy the best racing in the country from Spa to Surf!

Table of Contents

Tips for Del Mar & Saratoga Handicapping Challenge
August Special : Neurax Pro
At Your Service

Two Open Spots for Las Vegas!

Mark your calendars because the next $25,000 Online Handicapping Challenge is scheduled for September 29 through October 20, 2001. Register FREE for the Challenge now at (registration is required even if you participated in prior contests).

Thank you to everyone who participated in the June contest. Congratulations to Edward Gasperi of Gansevoort, New York, the overall winner for total points (most winners). Edward won the tiebreaker over Dennis Patton by virtue of the higher win payoff.

Edward used Ultimate PPs to earn a spot in the 2001 NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.

"I take an all encompassing look to handicapping when using the Ultimates," explained Edward. "Initially, I use the race summary to determine which horses have the right running style for the race. Then I use the [BRIS Pace & Speed] Pars to look for contenders with the right profile for the race. After that, I check out their current form, workouts, trainer stats, etc. The comments came in handy when we had to handicap some of the smaller tracks. It really gave a quick snapshot of who was hot and helped me get up to speed. I really want to thank BRIS for the tournament."

Congratulations on your victory and good luck in Las Vegas, Edward! The Overall Challenge winner based on highest ROI was Ron Howard of Clare, Michigan.

After 4 weeks of intense competition, Ron Howard captured the top spot in the ROI division of the Online Handicapping Challenge. Ron was extremely pleased to see that the ROI had been added as a qualifier to the Challenge. "To me, ROI is the true measure of handicapping so I was very happy to see the switch."

A member for the last couple of years, Ron used a combination of Winner's Choice and Condensed PPs to become the overall bankroll champ. "The Condensed PPs helped me pick out my longshot bomb Hailtheliquidator."

Both Ron and Edward will represent, along with two qualifiers from the fall contest, in the 3rd annual DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in January, 2002. In the first two years of that prestigious event, members have won over $200,000 in prize money!

Again, would like to thank each and every one of the participants in the $25,000 Online Handicapping Challenge. September 29 - October 20, 2001 will be your next chance to qualify for Las Vegas.

Table of Contents

Tips for Del Mar & Saratoga Handicapping Challenge
August Special : Neurax Pro
At Your Service

5 FREE Neurax PRO datafiles in August!

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It is surprising to most handicappers how easy Neurax PRO is to use. Download the datafile for your desired track, and the program will automatically make the necessary translations complete with program numbers and morning line odds! Data set and profit/loss information can even be generated into comma delimited formats for importing into spreadsheets and word processing programs. Another popular feature is Neurax PRO's ability to integrate with our FREE PP Generator software to print and view Ultimate PPs or Quick Play PPs at no extra cost!

Never tried our FREE handicapping software? Try the 5 FREE Neurax PRO datafiles in August and improve your odds overnight. Valued at over $70 it doesn't take artificial intelligence to figure out this is great deal. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to test out this sophisticated software risk-free in August.

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Table of Contents

Tips for Del Mar & Saratoga Handicapping Challenge
August Special : Neurax Pro
At Your Service

August 2001 Racing Calendar

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