2001, Number 20
for Handicapping Profiles
Playing the Superfecta
: “From Top to Bottom”
2000 Breeder’s Cup
Some Lessons for Next Year
ALL-Ways Software Version 8.32
Software Version 8.32
At the time we went to press with
this newsletter, ALL-Ways software version 8.32 was about to go into final Beta
Testing. Deliveries of the final
software are expected to commence in February 2001. This is the 32 bit version
of ALL-Ways software. Please see the article on page four to learn more about
what is included in this technical update of ALL-Ways software and how to obtain
for Handicapping Profiles
As we begin 2001, we would like to update the
profiles posted on our Web site for tracks that will be running during the first
part of the year. We are requesting the assistance of ALL-Ways software users to
send us their profiles for the following tracks:
Simply attached two files for each track to an e-mail
that you send to us. The two files, which are in your Franfile folder, are
IV.xxx and IVDEX.xxx where “xxx” is the track code. Please also let us know
the number of races that were in your Race Database for the track. Thank you.
So far, in our series on Handicapping with Brohamer
Figures (based on the Sartin Methodology), we have covered: 1) Velocity based
pace figures; 2) Brohamer Compound Pace Ratings; 3) the Brohamer Track Decision
Model and 4) Percent Early Energy Distribution. The one remaining topic to be
covered in this series is an in-depth discussion of Turn Time. We have decided
to delay this article until after we release ALL-Ways software Version 9.0
during the summer of 2001. This major upgrade will have extensive new features
including some powerful new ways to utilize all the Brohamer figures.
Tom Brohamer’s outstanding book “Modern Pace Handicapping” is now back in print. You can purchase the book on Amazon.com or bn.com. If you never read another handicapping book, you should read this one.
Playing the Superfecta
We always look forward to what we consider to be
“playable” Superfectas. There generally is at least one good play on a card.
And, many tracks are offering this wager on more and more races. This makes it
easier to be patient and selective in the races we play.
The Superfecta clearly offers the opportunity for big
scores with payoffs frequently in the thousands of dollars and sometimes even
tens of thousands. And, it is much easier to hit than the Pick Six. The
Breeder’s Cup article later in this newsletter shows that all five Superfectas
on the BC card paid $5,000 or more (based on a $1 wager), including the whopping
$99,813 payoff in the BC Turf. As another example, just before sending this
newsletter to print, this author hit back-to-back Superfectas in the 4th and 5th
races at Turfway Park on December 9th. The $2 payoffs were $4,378 and $6,239
respectively. We had $1 tickets.
In this article, we are going to explore four
different areas that will help point us in the right direction for playing this
wager successfully. We will cover:
1. Top heavy tickets
2. When to pass or play
3. How to reduce combinations wagered
4. Handicapping for 3rd and 4th place
Top Heavy Tickets
Ask yourself, “Is it easier to handicap for win and
place horses or is it easier to handicap for the 3rd and 4th place finishers?”
The answer, of course, is that it is much easier to handicap for the top two
finishers. Now, consider one very popular way to play the Superfecta. Here is
what the ticket would look like.
/ ABCD / ABCDE / ABCDEF
A $1 Superfecta ticket of this type costs $81.
Actually, in the right circumstances, this ticket makes sense. Indeed, we
have played it successfully on occasion. However, more often than not, we would
consider this to be a “Top Heavy” ticket.
Now, consider the following ticket.
/ ABC / ABCDEFG / ABCDEFG
When to Pass or Play
More often than not, the Superfecta should be passed.
It is very important to be selective. This is a high-risk bet and you should
play it only if you have the opportunity for a big payoff. There are two simple
rules we follow to determine if we will pass or play the Superfecta.
1. The underlying Trifecta must be playable.
2. The going-off crowd favorite must be, in our
opinion, a false favorite. We must be convinced the favorite will not win.
To determine if the underlying Trifecta is playable,
we use the chart below which we first presented in our July 1997 Newsletter.
Pass or Play
In-the-Money In-the-Money Play
yes yes play
no no play
no yes crush
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. The Trifecta is not
playable if the favorite figures to finish in-the-money and no long-odds horse
figures to finish in-the-money. Otherwise
the Trifecta is generally playable including the probability of high payoffs
when the favorite figures to finish off-the-board.
To repeat: We
will play the Superfecta ONLY if the Trifecta is playable AND the favorite is a
Reducing the Number of
There are good ways to reduce the number of
combinations you play in your Superfecta ticket. This will reduce the cost of
the ticket. You can pocket the dollars you save or you may want to reinvest them
to add additional horses on the bottom of the ticket (moving combinations from
top to bottom). Let’s look at techniques for reducing combinations. We will
relate these back to the common Superfecta ticket presented earlier. Here is
that $81 ticket for a $1 Superfecta.
ABC / ABCD / ABCDE / ABCDEF
There are two key methods of reducing the number of
combinations or moving combinations from top to bottom. They are: 1) Trifecta
Plus and; 2) Key Horse With Required Finish.
In our July 1997 Newsletter, in the second part of
our series on playing the Trifecta, we introduced the concept of developing your
Trifecta ticket by first developing an Exacta ticket. We showed how to take an
Exacta ticket of AB/ABC and turn it into a Trifecta ticket of AB/ABC/ABCDE. You
might want to go back and look at the newsletter. It has some very good ideas
for selecting these horses. Now, what we are saying regarding the Superfecta, is
to take this Trifecta ticket and turn it into a Superfecta ticket. It might look
AB / ABC / ABCDE / ABCDEF
This reduces the wager from $81 to only $36 and we
have added Horse F into the wager, now covering a total of six horses in the
race. You have a choice at this point. You can pocket the savings in the cost of
the wager or you can add additional combinations to the bottom of the ticket.
For example, the ticket below adds horses “G”, “H” and “I” to the
/ ABC / ABCDE / ABCDEFGHI
This ticket costs $72 but now covers nine horses in
Again, we suggest you read the July 1997 Newsletter.
It will be very helpful constructing a Trifecta Plus ticket. You can view/print
the newsletter on our Web site at www.frandsen.com or you can call us at 952.
937. 9180 and we will mail all the back issues to you.
Key Horse With
Very simply, this requires that we select one of the
top horses as our Key Horse. This is a horse that we feel confident will finish
in the Top 3. What we are really hoping for in the Superfecta is for the crowd
favorite to finish off-the-board. So, the crowd favorite must never be our Key
Horse. Here is what the ticket above would look like if we select horse “A”
as our Key Horse. Actually, it is three tickets, one for each of the possible
finishing positions of the Key Horse.
$ 1 Cost
A / BC / BCDE / BCDEFGHI
B / A / CDE / CDEFGHI $18
B / C / A / DEFGHI $ 6
using a key horse, we reduce the total cost to just $60. We can either
“pocket” this savings or we can invest it to put more horses in the 3rd
and/or 4th spot. For example, we could add 2 more horses to the 4th slot as
A / BC / BCDE / BCDEFGHIJK
B / A / CDE / CDEFGHIJK $24
B / C / A / DEFGHIJK $ 8
This gets us back to an $80 ticket, but the ticket
covers eleven horses in the field. Stop and think now how far we have come. We
started with an $81 ticket that covered six horses. We now have an $80 ticket
that covers eleven horses. We did this by moving combinations from the top half
of the ticket (which is easier to handicap) to the bottom half of the ticket
(which is difficult to handicap) and by requiring that we select one horse in
the race (not the favorite) to finish either first, second or third.
We are not suggesting that all your Superfecta
tickets include eleven horses. Indeed, the $6239 Superfecta in the fifth at TPX
had only eight horses in the race. What we are suggesting is that you construct
your wager such that you have fewer combinations in the Win and Place slots in
favor of more combinations in the 3rd and 4th slots.
Handicapping for 3rd and 4th
It is very difficult to handicap for the third place
finisher and even more difficult for the fourth place finisher. That is why we
have spent so much time figuring out how to get more horses into our wager at
the bottom of the ticket. There are, however, some very good handicapping
factors in ALL-Ways software that have proven to be effective for selecting
By far, the most powerful single handicapping factor
for finding the 3rd and 4th place finishers is a horse’s Final Fraction Pace
figure. You should include all horses that rank in the top part of the field for
any of the BRIS or Hall Final Fraction figures including either the Paceline FF
figure or the Best 2 of 3 FF figure. By “top part of the field” we mean
there is a noticeable gap of at least two or three points between the last horse
you include and the first horse you exclude.
The Combined Pace Rating in ALL-Ways software is the
sum of a horse’s Early Pace Rating and its Final Fraction Rating. Include all
horses in the top part of the field for the BRIS or Hall Combined Pace Rating.
In this case, we usually restrict this to the Best 2 of 3 figures.
After ALL-Ways software automatically selects
contenders in a race, it looks at each remaining horse to see if it can spot
anything that may make it “dangerous” in today’s race. If it finds
something, it designates the horse as a Dangerous Non-Contender. We suggest you
include such horses in the bottom part of your Superfecta ticket.
The ALL-Ways Paceline Report is great for
handicapping Superfecta plays. In addition to fundamental class, speed and
comprehensive figures, it includes all the pace figures and track bias
statistics. Contenders and Dangerous Non Contenders are highlighted as well.
A Word About
Class and Layoffs
Low class horses and long layoff horses do indeed
often finish 3rd or 4th. So, we do not eliminate such horses. If we just have
too many horses for our ticket and feel we must eliminate one or two of these
kinds of horses, be sure NOT to eliminate horses with good Back Speed or good
A few years back, a new ALL-Ways handicapper with a
young family and modest means telephoned to thank us for a wonderful Christmas
present. He had bet a straight $2 Superfecta ticket using ALL-Way software’s
first four picks in exact order. He won the Superfecta with a $10,000 payoff.
Like the television commercial says: “I love my job!”. Obviously,
Superfectas usually require that we bet a number of combinations. We hope this
article helps you to decide which Superfectas to play and which to pass and how
best to craft your tickets.
The 2000 Breeder’s Cup
Some Lessons for Next Year
Just about every good handicapper we know makes it a point to review races after they are run to see what new insights they might gain from a handicapping or wagering perspective. In this article, we thought we would share some of our thoughts about the Breeder’s Cup races run on November 4, 2000 at Churchill Downs. We had a very successful day, but we also learned or at least reinforced a few things.
Fast Early Pace Races
again, we noticed that fast early pace races put the front runners at an extreme
disadvantage, including outstanding horses such as Beautiful Pleasure in the
Distaff. These races are designated by ALL-Ways software as “EEE” races
meaning there are three or more early speed burners in the race. Take a look at
the running styles and going-off odds (odds-to-1) of all the in-the-money horses
for the three “EEE” races on the BC card.
|Juv Fillies||1 1/16||EP
Note that every race was won by an Early Presser.
They have the ability to stay in touch with the fast moving field but without
getting caught up in the speed duel. Note also that only one “E” horse
finished in the money. As usual, the Pressers and Sustainers did well.
Trifectas and Superfectas
The “within race” exotics had, as usual, excellent payoffs. This reinforces a very important point about the best way to approach handicapping the BC races. You do not want to over handicap for the winner. The big Pick 6 pool tends to motivate handicappers in this direction. A better approach, we believe, is to handicap for the top three or four finishers and to spend considerable time before going to the track to structure Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta wagers. That is where most players will have the best chance of big payoffs. Look at the payoffs (rounded to the nearest dollar) for this years Breeder’s Cup Races. Exactas and Trifectas are $2 payoffs. Superfectas are $1 payoffs.
These kinds of payoffs are a hallmark of Breeder’s
Cup day. Try focusing on these wagers in 2001.
The Timeform Ratings that are available from BRIS are an indispensable tool for handicapping the three Breeder’s Cup Turf races, particularly for evaluating foreign horses. Here is how foreign horses did in the three Breeder’s Cup turf races. In The Mile, Dansili was the show horse with going-off odds of 12.40-1. The horse had the 2nd highest Timeform Rating, only one point lower than the highest ranked horse. In the Fillies and Mare Turf, the show horse was Catella at 14.10-1. The horse was also the second highest Timeform horse. In The Turf, the winner was Kalanisi at 4.60-1 and the fourth place finisher was Mutaman at 37.10-1. Kalanisi was the #2 Timeform horse and Mutaman was the #4 Timeform horse. This happens year after year and makes the Timeform Ratings a solid investment at BC time.
Trust Your Own Handicapping
and Expect the Unexpected
There is always a lot of “expert” advice available for the Breeder’s Cup. Our experience is that we prefer to follow our own thinking and we proactively look for what surprises might happen. The two “locks” according to the experts were Riboletta in the Distaff (0.40 - 1) and Fusaichi Pegasus in the Classic (1.20 -1). Our handicapping pointed to Riboletta as well. However, ALL-Ways software also showed Swain to be a clear standout in the Distaff for being in-the-money at 55.10 - 1. Swain won the race. ALL-Ways software also showed that Fusaichi Pegasus was clearly vulnerable. By the way, the public tends not to do as well in the BC either. The only favorite that won all day was Kona Gold in the Sprint at 1.70 - 1. Next year, search hard for possible surprises. They will happen again.
The Real Longshots
ALL-Ways software had three winners cold and did a
good job again of pointing out the long shots. There were five in-the-money
finishers in the eight BC races that went off at 30-1 or higher.
Swain was clearly the third best horse in the race behind Riboletta and
Beautiful Pleasure. Beautiful Pleasure figured to get caught up in the speed
duel in this “EEE” race. Spain had the best Brohamer Total Ranking and third
best Combined Rating. Swain won, paying $113.80.
Caressing had the top Daily Racing Form Speed Rating Plus Track Variant in the
race by three full points. This single figure in ALL-Ways software points to
long shot winner time and time again. We have learned to never ignore a top DRF
SRTV horse if there is a 3 point or more gap to the next horse. Caressing won
the race paying $96.00.
North East Bound was the place horse. He went off at 42.30-1. ALL-Ways software
identified the horse as a true contender. Plus the horse had a Quirin Speed
Point Rating of 8, the highest rating possible and 3 points better than the next
closest horse. North East Bound was due too get loose on the lead in this Honest
Honest Lady was the Place horse at odds of 31.30 - 1. The horse was designated
by ALL-Ways software as a Dangerous Non-Contender and the horse had the 3rd
highest Combined Pace Rating in the field.
Quiet Resolve was the Place horse at odds of 41.90 -1. ALL-Ways software
designated the horse as a Dangerous Non Contender. It also had the 2nd highest
Combined Rating in the Race and was the top horse in Brohamer Total Ranking.
The figures discussed above along with the top Final
Fraction Ratings and with Timeform Ratings in Turf races, are always powerful
tools for finding longer odds horses. All told, 18 horses that went off at
9-to-1 or higher figured in the BC card’s Trifectas and Superfectas. Of the 18
horses, 16 ranked in the top 3 of one or more of these factors, with 13 ranked
in the top two.
Version 8.32 is the 32 bit Windows version of
ALL-Ways software. Prior versions have all been 16 bit Windows software. You
will need the Windows 95 operating system or later in order to use version 8.32.
Windows 3.1 does not support 32 bit software. This is a very important upgrade
for ALL-Ways software users because, before long, Microsoft operating systems
will no longer support both 16 bit and 32 bit software. ALL-Ways software users
can now be assured that they will be able to run on any Windows operating system
for many years to come. This includes Windows NT.
Version 8.32 is a technical upgrade, not a feature
upgrade. ALL-Ways software version 9.0 which is already in development has
extensive new handicapping and wagering features. It is scheduled for release
sometime this summer.
Version 8.32 does have a robust new Zip/Unzip
function. It also has Minimize/Maximize buttons for moving between ALL-Ways
software and other programs. (Note: Past versions of ALL-Ways software can also
be minimized by pressing the CTRL-ESC keys.) Finally, there is a new User’s
Manual with embedded graphics that can be downloaded on the Internet.
Sometime in February, ALL-Ways Standard Edition
handicappers will be able to download the new software from the ALL-Ways area in
the Free Software section of the BRIS Web site. At the same time, Frandsen
Publishing will automatically mail the new software and User’s Manual to
Professional Edition 8.0 users as a free upgrade. Users of prior versions
ALL-Ways Professional Edition software can order the upgrade by contacting
Frandsen Publishing at 952.937.9180.
The release of Version 9.0 this summer will be our sixth full upgrade of ALL-Ways software in the six years since its introduction in 1995. Frandsen Publishing is keeping its commitment to continually keep ALL-Ways software as fresh and as powerful as can be. Stay tuned!
NEXT: ALL-Ways Newsletters
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