January 1997, Number 4
INSIDE THIS NEWSLETTER
ALL-Ways software Version 6.0 is now available for both the Standard and Professional Editions. Version 6.0 is packed with new features including automatic Handicapping Profile generation using Multiple Regression Analysis to find the optimum combination of handicapping factors for virtually every type of race. See the article at the end of this newsletter for highlights.
QUIRIN RACE SHAPES
One of the most important of Bill Quirins many contributions to handicapping is his original concept of Race Shapes. It is simple in concept, but, incredibly powerful in its application.
Quirin Race Shapes use a short hand notation to describe how fast the early pace of a past performance race was run to the second call (4 furlongs in sprints and 6 furlongs in routes) and how fast the complete past performance race was run (final time). Bill Quirin used a slow-average-fast notation scheme. ALL-Ways software uses a slow-average-par-fast notation scheme as shown below.
S slow time A not quite a par time (average) P par time F fast time
This scheme give you sixteen possible Race Shapes.
|SS||slow early||slow final|
|SA||slow early||average final|
|SP||slow early||par final|
|SF||slow early||fast final|
|AS||average early||slow final|
|AA||average early||average final|
|AP||average early||par final|
|AF||average early||fast final|
|PS||par early||slow final|
|PA||par early||average final|
|PP||par early||par final|
|PF||par early||fast final|
|FS||fast early||slow final|
|FA||fast early||average final|
|FP||fast early||par final|
|FF||fast early||fast final|
To arrive at these Race Shape designations requires very complex calculations. You must have pace and final time pars for every past performance track. You must calculate daily track variants for each race day for each of these tracks. You must know the second call time of the lead horse and the final time of the winner. You must then compare these times against the pars after the times have been adjusted by the daily track variants. For very obvious reasons, very few handicappers have access to accurate Race Shapes. Fortunately, ALL-Ways software automatically makes all these calculations and, thus, arms you with this powerful handicapping factor.
There are two fundamental ways to use Race Shapes in your handicapping:
1. As a Key Race indicator
2. To evaluate a horses ability to handle different pace scenarios
You have probably heard the term Key Race. The theory is, if two or more horses that raced each other in a past race go on to win their next races, then the past race is designated as a Key Race. Other horses that ran in the Key Race can reasonably be expected to do better in their next effort. This is a powerful concept that does indeed work. The problem with this approach, however, is that two or three horses must have won their subsequent races before their earlier race is designated as a Key Race. The cat is out of the bag so to speak. Ideally, you would like to bet on these subsequent winners when they run their next races, not after they have already won them. The power of Quirin Race Shapes is that Key Races are spotted before the horses run subsequent races.
You can consider any race with a FF designation as a Key Race. Some people may also want to consider FP and PF races as Key Races. The winner of a key race has a very strong chance to win its next race. However, the public may well bet the horse down just based on the win, making the horse unplayable. A powerful handicapping angle is to look for horses exiting these Key Races that did reasonably well in the Key Race. We define reasonably well as not winning the race but finishing in-the-money or within a reasonable number of lengths of the winner (perhaps 3 to 6 lengths in sprints or 5 to 8 lengths in routes). It is not at all uncommon for a horse to finish 8 lengths back in a Key Race route only to come back and win their next effort, almost always at a big price. The public shuns horses that finish that far back. But, the public hasnt the foggiest idea of the Key Race angle.
The second way to use Quirin Race Shapes is to evaluate how well horses are likely to perform against the probable pace of todays race. ALL-Ways software helps you project the pace of todays race in a couple of ways. First, ALL-Ways software shows you the probable ESP shape of the race based on the preferred ESP running styles of the entrants (See the October 1996 newsletter). Projected ESP shapes of EEE and EE will generally be run very fast to the second call. ESP shapes of PP, P, PS and SS will generally be run very slow. Second, the Hall early pace figures can be compared to the Race Rating of todays race to determine if the horse has demonstrated the ability to run to or exceed the pace par times for the race. If the top Hall early pace figures are 3 to 5 points above the Race Rating (such as a Hall EP figure of 116 in a race rated at 112), the race very likely will eventually receive a fast Quirin Race Shape designation for early pace, particularly if there are two or more Early or Early Presser ESP running types in the race.
Once you know the probable pace of todays race, you can use the Quirin Race Shape information on the ALL-Ways Past Performance report to evaluate each horses ability to handle the pace. First, you can probably toss out any horse that didnt run well in a SS, SA, SP, AS or AA race. Chances are, such horses wont do well today regardless of the probable pace of todays race. You will also spot horses that do very well in slow, average or even par early pace shape races but that fall apart if they have to run against a fast early pace. Toss them out if todays race sets up for a fast early pace. The opposite often holds true as well. There are horses that do very well against a fast early pace but do poorly if the pace of the race is too slow. Generally such horses are late runners that need a fast pace up front to set the race up for their closing run.
You can find the Quirin Race Shapes in all ALL-Ways software handicapping reports that show past performance races. You can also find them on the Contender Summary in the last race summary line directly under the horses last race speed figure. It looks something like this:
This shows that the horses last race was a dirt route run on a fast track with a Quirin Race Shape designation of FF and that the horse finished fourth. Anyone want to bet that this horse is a prime contender today?
Turn Time measures a horses speed between the first and second call of a race. This is from the 2 furlong point to the 4 furlong point in sprints and between the 4 furlong point and the 6 furlong point in most routes.
You can effectively use Turn Time to evaluate if a horse is improving or declining in form. Improving turn time often signals improving form. One of the questions we are frequently asked is why we do not include Turn Time as a handicapping factor available for Handicapping Profiles. The reason is that Turn Time is generally not a good factor to use to compare the abilities of different horses unless the horses have the same ESP preferred running style. After all, a sustainer horse will most likely have a faster Turn Time than an early runner even though the sustainer doesnt stand a chance of being in front at the finish. Sustainer horses usually start to make their move around the turn so you would expect their Turn Times to be faster than early types.
You can find Turn Time on the Form By the Numbers report in the form of weighted moving averages (a powerful way to evaluate a horses form) and on the Pace Past Performance Report. In the Professional Edition, Turn Time is also shown on the Form Graph Report and the All Pace Report.
SIMPLIFIED MONEY MANAGEMENT
A FACT: The world is full of great handicappers that lose money because they do not practice good money management. There are some very sophisticated techniques that can be used to maximize winnings at the track. These include making wagering decisions based on your calculated mathematical edge, determining amounts to wager based on the edge-to-odds ratio and maximizing the growth of your bankroll by using the Kelly Criterion. We will cover these sophisticated techniques later in 1997 as we approach the release of ALL-Ways software Version 7.0
For now, we will focus on some very simple guidelines and techniques (no calculator required!) that, when coupled with sound handicapping, will lead to consistent long term profitability. We will call these rules because they should always be followed.
Only make a wager if you will get a premium payoff. If the tote board odds are higher for a horse than the odds calculated by ALL-Ways software, you have an overlay. If you like the horse, bet it. If the tote board odds are lower than ALL-Ways softwares odds, dont play the horse even if you are convinced the horse will win. For example, if ALL-Ways software has a horse at 2-1 and the public is letting it go off at 3-1, you have an overlay and a good wagering opportunity. But, if ALL-Ways software has a horse at 3-1 and the tote board shows 2-1, you have an underlay and no wager should be made on the horse.
The Exacta Matrix on the ALL-Ways Contender Report shows you the fair payoff (the left-hand number) and the premium payoff (the right-hand number). You should demand the premium payoff before playing an Exacta combination. Just look at the probable Exacta payoffs displayed at the track to determine if you have a value play. Also, if the exacta payoff for a two horse combination is a value play, the trifecta involving the same horses will, more often then not, also be a value play.
Establish a separate bankroll for each type of wager you customarily make. You should have a separate bankroll for win bets, place bets, exacta bets, trifecta bets, Pick Threes, etc. .... you get the idea.
Base the amount of any wager you make on a percentage of the corresponding bankroll. Do not bet $10 one time $50 the next, $20 the next and so on. Do establish a percentage of bankroll to wager and stick with it. As your bankroll grows, your wagers will get larger which is the optimum situation when you are winning and, particularly, for those wonderful, long winning streaks. Conversely, the amount you wager will go down as your bankroll decreases. Again, this is just what you want to have when you hit the inevitable losing streak.
A good percentage of bankroll to bet on any one wager is 3 to 5 percent. If your win bankroll is $200, then your win wager would be $6 to $10. When your win bankroll grows to $500, your typical win wager will be $15 to $25.
Lets put these simple rules together. Betting only on overlays assures that every wager has a positive edge ... the odds are in your favor. Betting 3 to 5 percent of your bankroll gives you a good compounding effect to grow your bankroll and gives you a good balance between the rate of growth of your bankroll and protection against getting tapped out during a losing spell. Maintaining separate bankrolls for each type of wager and keeping honest records will make you gleefully aware of where you are having success and readily aware of where you need to improve. It does no good to do well with exactas only to give it all back with losing trifecta wagers. In such a case, lay off the trifectas or at least reduce the percentage of your trifecta bankroll that you bet until you have figured out how to play trifectas more successfully.
TWO HORSE WIN BETTING
A basic tenet of followers of the Sartin Methodology is betting two horses to win. Not everyone buys in to this because you are guaranteed one losing ticket. However, we do like two horse win betting and here is why. A very good handicapper will probably average about 30 to 35 percent wins betting one horse to win. The two horse win bettor will probably average about 60 to 65 percent wins. Now it is true that the two horse win bettor will always have one losing ticket and if both bettors wager the same dollar amount on a race, the two horse win bettor will have a smaller average net profit per winning bet. Here is what tips the scale in favor of the two horse bettor. Losing streaks will be far less frequent and will be shorter in duration. Your chances of tapping out will be greatly diminished. Because of this, the percentage of your win bet bankroll that you wager on a race can very safely be increased from the 3 to 5 percent range to the 5 to 8 percent range. The disadvantage of a guaranteed losing ticket is more than offset by a higher win percentage at a higher average bet size.
If there is a clear cut winner, then a one horse win bet is in order as long as it is an overlay. If two horses have a decent shot at the race and at least one is a significant overlay, then bet them both. If three horses figure, then bet the two that are overlays.
Now, you must structure your wager. Lets say that your win bet bankroll is $500 and you feel confident about the wager so you are willing to bet 8% of your bankroll. This gives you a total of $40 to wager on the two horses. Some followers of the Sartin Methodology suggest you can do well by simply always splitting the bet with 60% ($24) placed on the lowest odds horse and 40% ($16) on the longer odds horse. Lets say you bet $24 on a 2 to 1 shot $16 on a 4 to 1 shot. If the 2 to 1 horse wins, you collect $72 for a $32 net profit. If the 4 to 1 horse wins, you collect $80 with a $40 profit.
Another way to apportion the wager is to Dutch the bet. Here is the Dutching formula:
|Horse A Bet||=||(Odds to 1 of horse B) +1|
|Horse B Bet||(Odds to 1 of horse A) +1|
Lets say we have 2 to 1 and 4 to 1 horses. The formula looks like this:
|Horse A Bet||=||4 + 1||=||5|
|Horse B Bet||2 + 1||3|
This means that for every $3 you wager on horse B, you should wager $5 on Horse A. Our total $40 wager is thus split with $25 bet on Horse A and $15 bet on horse B. Regardless of which horse wins, we will get back $75 and our profit will be $35.
Two horse win betting may not be particularly exciting in itself. But consistently winning and a rapidly growing bankroll is a pretty exciting prospect for most horse players.
ALL-WAYS VERSION 6.0
Many important new features have been added in Version 6.0 of ALL-Ways software. You will want to start using this new version as soon as possible. Here are the highlights.
Mutuel Payoff Race Screen
Now you can run an analysis of only races where the winners payoff was over whatever figure you choose or within whatever range you choose. This is great for building Handicapping Profiles that look for longer odds horses.
Automatic Profile Generation Using Multiple Regression Analysis
ALL-Ways software can now analyze your Race Database for a track and determine the optimum combination of factors to use in a profile. Then, by simply clicking a button, ALL-Ways software will create the custom Handicapping Profile for you. There are two ways to use this new capability. The MRA Default function automatically modifies the default profiles supplied with ALL-Ways software to be specifically tuned and optimized for the track you are handicapping. The MRA Custom function* allows you to automatically create custom profiles. For example, if you want to create a profile for non-maiden dirt sprints under 7 furlongs where the winner had a payoff over $12, simply set the race screens and click the MRA Custom button to automatically create the profile.
ALL-Ways software now allows you to design your own reports with only the information you want to see by simply clicking with your mouse button. You can then select if you want the reports to print on your printer or to display on your computer screen or both.
ALL-Ways software now gives you a simple way to select a different paceline than the one automatically selected by ALL-Ways software.
Notebook Transfer Disk
Some people like to handicap the races on their desktop computer and then take their notebook computer to the track. This new feature makes it quick and easy to transfer data from a desktop computer to a notebook computer.
All Factors Report with Absolute Rankings
Now you can choose to print the All Factors report with the horses ranking for each factor or the horses values for each factor or both.
The Track Bias and Jockey/Trainer Report now includes statistics that show how well the jockey and trainer have done as a team.
There are a whole host of additional features in Version 6.0 including a Paper Saver feature and many features that make ALL-Ways software even easier to use.
HOW TO OBTAIN YOUR COPY OF ALL-WAYS VERSION 6.0
Standard Edition: You can download the Version 6.0 upgrade from the Handicappers Library or call BRIS at 1-800-354-9026 and BRIS will mail the new software to you. (There is a $6.95 shipping and handling charge).
Professional Edition: You can order the Professional Edition by calling Frandsen Publishing at 612-937-9180.
Note: * indicates the feature is available only in the Professional edition.
BRIS TRAINER STATS SCORE BIG AT GOLDEN GATE
This one happened in the ninth race at Golden Gate Fields (San Francisco Bay Area) on November 30th. The ALL-Ways software default Handicapping Profiles selected Chevalier Charlie at 2-1 and Last Crusade at 4-1 as the top two contenders. Chevalier Charlie went off as a slight underlay. Last Crusade went off as a huge overlay. An examination of the BRIS Trainer stats on the ALL-Ways software Track Bias and Jockey/Trainer Report turned up Lanky Lord with a trainer pattern of a whopping 37% wins and 67% in-the-money. This horse went off at 45 to 1. Chevalier Charlie was the best closer in the race and Last Crusade was the best early running horse. The obvious play was to play a trifecta and key Lanky Lord in the win, place and show position with these two horses and one other horse that ALL-Ways software identified as a contender. This was a $36 bet for a $2 trifecta. Lanky Lord won the race with Chevalier Charlie placing second and Last Crusade placing third (paying $8.40 to show). The $2 exacta paid $322. The $2 trifecta paid $5,106. Thank you BRIS for your Trainer stats!
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Frandsen Publishing Corporation
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