|DECEMBER 1997||VOL. 10, NO. 12|
Table Of Contents
"It is apparent to me why you have named the Ultimate PP option
as you did. It is the 'ultimate'!"
If you haven't already tried the Ultimate Past Performances, you've been missing out on one of the most significant advantages a handicapper can have. The Ultimate PP's are simply not just regular past performances. Just take a look at the BRIS value-added information:
The name "Ultimate Past Performances" is no hyperbole, given the tremendous amount of value-added information found in these innovative past performances. With features such as enhanced trainer stats, trainer/jockey combos, Pace and Speed Pars, and Track Bias and Race Summary, the Ultimate PPs truly live up to their name. It is arguably the No. 1 tool for handicapping Thoroughbred horse races.
So, take advantage of the unbelievable FREE offer for December and January. Access the best in past performances absolutely free and unlimited. This offer applies to PDF files only.
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(Reprinted from Handicapper's Edge, May 1997)
Breeding Tool Now Caters to Handicappers
Since the early 1970s, a staple in the racing and breeding industry has been the American Produce Records (APR), a resource for Thoroughbred pedigrees dating back to the early part of the century. First available in 10 hard-backed volumes, the APR was quickly converted into a loose leaf-binder format to accommodate supplements. Back then in the stone ages, the user had to meet two requirements: an abundance of shelf space and many free nights in order to pore over the wealth of data.
As we approach the 21st century, anyone with a PC and a CD-ROM drive can access the same information and much more at the push of a button. The APR is in its fifth year of publication on CD-ROM and includes more data relevant to handicappers. Best of all, this data traces broodmare produce records back to 1920 and is contained on a single CD-ROM disc.
Bloodstock Research has recognized the needs of handicappers and included several new features, beginning with last year's CD-ROM version. Horseplayers are now given expanded race records for progeny in the following categories: dirt sprints, dirt routes, turf races, "off" track starts, foreign starts and two-year-old races. To further assist handicappers in predicting distance capability, the new version includes the dosage index, center of distribution and dosage profile. Finally, if a runner won his two-year-old debut or turf debut, an asterisk, "*," highlights this factor.
Anyone who has used the traditional APR format or who has sifted through the Encyclopedia Britannica in search of information will acknowledge the simplistic use of the CD-ROM as a breath of fresh air. By knowing the name of either the dam or foal, the produce record can be accessed in a matter of seconds. As the user begins to type in the horse's name, the menu scrolls to that part of the alphabet. The user simply clicks on the appropriate name, and presto, the produce record of the dam appears on the screen. Another click of a button sends the report to the printer.
The simplicity of the APR and the wealth of data make it essential to handicappers, especially when playing maiden and turf events. The sixth race at Fair Grounds on March 23, 1996 was the classic example of the power of this unique product.
For users of the American Produce Records, CHIEF BEARHART (eventual winner of the 1997 Breeders' Cup Turf) was a standout in this lackluster field. The sophomore son of Chief's Crown was coming off a layoff but had several strong attributes. Not only was trainer Mark Frostad a high percentage trainer who was strong with this type of horse, but Chief Bearhart was bred to win first time on the lawn.
APR users were cognizant of the fact that Chief Bearhart was a half-brother to Explosive Red, a Grade 1 winner with \$815,378 in earnings on the grass from only 18 starts. An asterisk, "*," next to Explosive Red's sensational turf record indicated that this top grass horse had won his turf debut.
The dam, Amelia Bearhart, had two other runners who had shown a tendency to run well on the lawn. One of her offspring, Ruby Ransom, had won two-of-five starts on the grass. The other runner, Regal Strike, had finished in the money in four-of-five grass starts.
CD-ROM users also had the luxury of investigating the second dam of Chief Bearhart. Myrtlewood Lass had produced only one runner who had started on the turf, and that horse won his grass debut, again indicated by the "*." Clearly, the American Produce Records was telling us that Chief Bearhart should relish the new surface.
The only other question which remained was whether or not Chief Bearhart could handle the stretchout in distance from five furlongs to about one mile. His sire, Chief's Crown, had an average winning distance (AWD) of 8.2 furlongs, and his dam's AWD was 7.2 furlongs. Both factors, coupled with a well proportioned dosage index, stated in no uncertain terms that Chief Bearhart could handle the distance.
Rated in sixth position early, Chief Bearhart was moved to the front at the top of the stretch and drew off impressively for a four-length victory. This standout on pedigree statistics returned \$15, \$9 and \$5.40 across the board while keying a \$630.40 exacta and \$4,619.20 trifecta.
Considering that many horsemen pay between \$5 and \$20 for a produce record or pedigree on an individual horse, the price tag on this product is a true bargain. Handicappers can pull up the produce records for every runner in a maiden or turf race in minutes, and consequently have a tremendous advantage over the general public.
There is nothing like seeing a demonstration of a product, so Bloodstock Research provides a test drive of this innovative tool. For a free demo disk, call BRIS at 1-800-354-9206, ext. 253. Right now there is a HOLIDAY SALE, offering the current 1997 version for only \$200 (regular price is \$325).
-- Richard Nilsen
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The ultimate goal in using any kind of handicapping program is to pick more winners. Multicaps has a built in odds - line based upon some of the most universally predictive factors. The user can download the program, install it and immediately be in the business of predicting a decent percentage of winners based upon the odds - line. However, the software is designed to be so much more than this. As with any universal model, what does pretty good overall, does extremely well under most circumstances but mediocre or poorly under other circumstances. In order to maximize the potential of the program the user should view the default settings as a starting point. The programs have been created to be flexible and responsive to the different conditions that naturally exist at each track. This is extremely important considering the proliferation of simulcast wagering throughout the nation. Handicappers are now in a position to shop around for the kinds of races at which they excel. Because of this adaptability, Multicaps is the perfect weapon for the simulcast handicapper.
Users of Multicaps are familiar with the ability of the program to build models and track the success rate of a multitude of factors such as the speed rating, first fraction, late pace, class rating, and even the morning line odds. By importing the results file, users can track the win percentage of these factors and the return on investment (ROI) of consistently betting on these factors. The models function also allows the user to create Win, Exacta, Quinella and Trifecta tickets that can also be tracked by win percentage and ROI. By using the models function the handicapper can take the results and work backwords to find the dominant factors at the tracks you are playing. It is as easy as changing the default settings to emphasize certain factors over others and then sitting back and letting the program calculate the changes to determine the impact the changes have on your win percentages and ROI.
The default settings are accessed through the CHANGE option. Choose the sub-option CONFIGURE DEFAULTS and then choose from either (1) All Races in Database, (2) Current Track Only, or (3) Current Race Type Only. This will take you to the heart of the handicapping function of the software.
The first option is the Default Sort Order. The user can choose one of twenty-four ways to sort the field of horses ranging from 1st Call, Factor X, to Speed number, to Class Rating. The effect on the program is the way the horses are initially sorted when moving from race to race. Of course when viewing a particular screen such as the Total Pace Rating view, the user can re-sort on Morning line odds, Multicaps/Procaps odds line, 1st Call, Early Pace Rating, Final Fraction, TPR, Early/Late, or Early Total rating.
The next option is the Default Color Sort. By using the color sort, Multicaps gives the user the unique ability to see two different sorts at once. For example, if the Default Sort Order is set on Speed and the Default Color Sort is set on Average Class, the user can see two different sorts on the same screen -- speed is sorted in descending order and Average Class rating is sorted by the different colors according to ranking. The color sort in descending order is red, white, blue, yellow, black and grey.
There are seventeen different options for Default Screen. The screen that is selected as the default is the one that the user views until another view is selected manually. The user can manually change the ratings screen by choosing the view option and selecting from the options listed. Careful observers will note that there are seventeen different views that may be selected as the Default Screen but only fourteen to choose from in the View option. This means that there are three screens that can only be seen by choosing them as the Default Screen.
The Paceline Factor is perhaps the most important setting in the whole program and the one which should be experimented with most by the user to optimize the program for the various tracks being played. The program is paceline driven, meaning that it is going to use past history to predict future performance. The past history used to predict today's performance is a past performance line (or an average of up to three pacelines - more on that below). The program works by picking a past performance line(s) going no further than ten races back based upon the factor chosen as the default setting. The user can choose from twenty different factors to determine which paceline gets selected. The paceline(s) selected for each horse are used to compare the various different horses to one another. When the user sorts a screen according to speed, 1st call pace rating or final fraction pace rating, the order of ranking is determined according to the rating achieved by the horse in the paceline selected as its representative. If the user wants to get the representative paceline based upon the best performance that each horse achieved then consider a default setting based upon overall performance such as the speed rating, total pace rating, average pace rating or class rating. If the user wants the representative line selected based upon the most competitive fields the horses have confronted, then choose Race Rating which is a measure of the level of competition the horse faced in each race. If the conditions at your track seem to be favoring the horse that gets to the lead first, then consider making the default setting 1st Call Pace.
The remainder of the default settings further refine which paceline is selected to represent each horse. Best Race allows the user to choose either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd highest rating of a past performance line based upon the default setting for Paceline Factor. For example, if Speed is the default paceline factor and the user chooses 2nd best race as the setting for this field, then the program will look through the pacelines of each horse and choose the paceline with the 2nd highest Speed Rating each horse achieved and use the various ratings in that paceline to compare against each other.
Races To Go Back limits how many races the program will go back to choose pacelines. The user can choose from 1 - 10 races back in a horse's history. Used in conjunction with the settings above as an example, if five is the number selected, then the program will look for the paceline with the 2nd highest Speed rating each horse achieved going back no further than the last five races.
Include Off Tracks allows the user to exclude or include off-track conditions. If the user chooses "No" here then the Multicaps will ignore each race in the past history with off-track conditions. Used to further refine the example above, choosing "No" here will cause the program to choose pacelines according to the 2nd highest Speed rating going back no further than the last five races unless any of the last five were raced under off-track conditions. If two of the last five races were on an off-track, then the program will ignore those races and go no further back than seven races.
Include Other Tracks allows the user to exclude races from race tracks other than the track the horses are racing at today. If "No" is selected, then the program will ignore the pacelines from other tracks. For example, choosing "No" will cause the program to choose pacelines according to the 2nd best Speed rating achieved at this track and ignoring all races with off-track conditions and going no further than five races back that meet all of these conditions.
Automatic Method again offers the opportunity to further refine and define which paceline is selected. The user can determine whether or not to use a single paceline or average multiple pacelines. The user can choose only pacelines from the same distance and surface (turf or dirt) as today's race or limit the choice from only pacelines on the same surface as today while ignoring any differences in distance. The third option here is to ignore any differences in distance and surface as compared to today's race and select from all pacelines. Be aware that same distance means exact distance. If this limitation is selected and today's race is 6 furlongs, the program will ignore 5.5, 6.5 and 7.0 furlong races and will look for a paceline with the 2nd best Speed rating at 6 furlongs on today's surface, while ignoring off-track conditions. The program could go all the way back to the 10th paceline looking for 5 pacelines that meet these conditions in order to choose the paceline with the 2nd highest Speed rating.
The final default setting option is choosing whether to use two or three pacelines to average. If a single paceline option is selected from the Automatic Method (described above) then the Multiple # of Races option is ignored. If however , an option is selected from the Multiple Pacelines area, then the program will look to this setting to determine whether to average either 2 or 3 pacelines that meet the criteria as defined in the settings described above.
Tweaking the Default settings will allow the program to automatically pick winners based upon the dominant factors that have actually been coming in as recorded in your Results Models. However, even after you have arrived at the optimal default settings, you can still manually select pacelines based upon information that might not be present or considered by Multicaps. To do this simply choose the Select Paceline option and choose the paceline(s) that you think best represent the way this horse is likely to run against this field in today's race.
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