2001, Number 22
Handicapping at Del Mar
ALL-Ways Software Update
ALL-Ways Version 8.32 is now available. See page 4
Track Information Web Page
We have added a new Track Information page in the Support section of the Frandsen Publishing Web site. This page lists all tracks in North America along with the track codes and the racing dates for 2001. It also includes a direct link to the weather forecast for the city in which the track is located.
Do’s, Don’ts, and Discipline
article is not about handicapping. It is all about wagering, a subject rarely
given enough attention by most horseplayers. To those who are losing money at
the track, this article may just provide the insight you have been looking for
to achieve profitable play.
the years, we have spoken with literally thousands of ALL-Ways software
handicappers. There are a couple of traits that we consistently spot in people
whom we characterize as serious handicappers. First, they read a lot. They read
newsletters. They read handicapping magazines. They read handicapping books. A
second trait is that they continually seek out information that is not in the
hands of the general public. They do this by subscribing to an on-line service
such as BRIS and by using proprietary handicapping software such as ALL-Ways
software. Some time ago, we came to some important conclusions about these
Serious horseplayers are almost always good handicappers. They have more
information than the general public and they know how to apply it. This gives
them a clear edge over most of the their competitors at the track. Serious
horseplayers are quite capable of making consistent profits at the track.
Serious handicappers that lose money do so not because of handicapping
problems, but because of wagering problems. Wagering problems are caused, more
often than not, by the lack of a well thought out wagering plan. This is a
“deadly” mistake that leads to undisciplined wagering which, in turn, leads
to persistent losses.
means doing your “do’s” and not doing your “don’ts”. And, the way to
determine your “do’s” and “don’ts” is to develop a simple wagering
wagering plan is a very personal thing. We cannot say “Here is the best
wagering plan for you” because we do not know your specific personal
situation. What we will do is suggest a simple process you can follow to create
your own effective wagering plan.
be of maximum benefit to you, you should strive to “net” your plan down to a
single sheet of paper and keep it with you when you are handicapping, planning
your wagers and making your bets at the track.
Do not confuse this brevity as meaning the plan can be created with
little thought and effort. A playwright once wrote a letter to a friend that
started: “I am sorry I have written you such a long letter. I did not have
time to write a short one.” A concise wagering plan is the result of a
thorough, thoughtful process to develop the plan.
by drawing three sections on a piece of paper and label them as
“Objectives”, “Strategy” and “Do’s” & “Don’ts”.
The process of developing a wagering plan includes setting your wagering objectives, then designing your wagering strategy in support of your objectives and then identifying the specific tactics you will employ to implement your strategy. These tactics become your “Do’s & Don’ts”. Again, profitable play comes from the discipline to adhere to your “Do’s & Don’ts”.
you do not know your destination, you can’t very well draw a road map to get
there.” Every wagering plan needs to start with one, two or, at most, three
objectives. To be effective, an objective needs to have three attributes:
good objective is measurable
A good objective has a time frame
A good objective is realistic/attainable
objective must be measurable and have a time frame so you can tell whether or
not you achieved it. It must be realistic/attainable so you have a reasonable
chance of success. It is very discouraging to be chasing a goal that can’t be
reached. If you were to set an objective of making money every trip to the
track, you would soon get very discouraged indeed.
objectives should reflect your personal situation. At the extremes, a
“professional” horseplayer with a $100,000 bankroll will have very different
objectives than a retired person living on a modest fixed income. Some people
might say:” A retired person living on a modest fixed income has no business
playing the horses.” Nonsense! Such a retired person can indeed set reasonable
objectives, attain them and have a whole lot of fun in the process. More later.
defining your wagering objectives by asking some questions. Here are some
big is your starting bankroll?
- Is your bankroll disposable or must you avoid being tapped out?
- What are your daily expenses?
- How often do you want to go to the track?
- Are you trying to generate income or just trying to cover expenses?
- How much are you “comfortable” losing in a day? Do you need to limit this exposure?
- What constitutes “fun” for you at the track? Lots of action? Any profit? An occasional IRS payoff?
Our retired person living on a modest fixed income might set objectives
Enough profit each month to cover $25 daily expenses for 3 trips to the
track each week.
No loss on any day greater than $100.
My $1,500 bankroll never drops below $800.
The professional player with a $100,000 bankroll might have objectives
The bankroll never drops below $80,000 at any time during the year.
Make 8% ROI on $630,000 wagered during the year plus enough to cover
Operate profitably every rolling three month period.
you can see, success is relative. Our retired person measures success by being
able to go to the track three days a week and cover all expenses. The
professional measures success by making a net $50,000 a year with no long or
deep losing streaks.
should keep track of how you are doing compared to your objectives. It may be
necessary to make mid-course corrections if things are not going as planned. You
should update your objectives at least every year.
If your bankroll has grown, you may want to increase your objective(s)
for the next year and reflect the change in your wagering strategy.
strategy describes the general approach you will follow in pursuit of your
objective(s). Your strategy will provide the framework for the tactics you will
develop in the “Do’s and Don’ts” part of the process. You have probably
heard the expression “thinking outside the box”. This phrase is generally
used when someone wants to stress the importance of being creative. It means
forget the rules or forget conventional wisdom. In a disciplined approach to
wagering on horse races, you must “think INSIDE the box”. Your wagering
strategy defines “the box” within which you will conduct your wagering.
developing your strategy by simply asking: “What is the best way for me to
achieve my wagering objective(s)?”. Our retired/fixed income player would ask:
“How can I average $25 a day in profits to cover my expenses but without
losing more than $100 on any given day and protecting my bankroll so it never
dips below $800?”.
are many good ways to pursue these objectives. An
effective strategy statement for our retired/fixed income player might look like
“To avoid significant daily losses and to avoid a drastic reduction in
my bankroll, I will focus on high percentage wagers that yield frequent payoffs.
Specifically, I will become expert at two-horse win betting and I will
“Dutch” my wagers. Under controlled circumstances, I may play an Exacta
and/or Daily Double.
I will use a cash voucher to keep track of how I am doing as the day
progresses. I will start the voucher at $100 and remove (pocket) any
balance over $100 until I cover my expenses. If the voucher reaches zero, I am done for the day. I will examine the whole race card ahead
of time to make sure I set aside funds to wager on good plays that come later in the day. I will not squander away my profits towards the
end of the day.
is a concise statement that provides the framework for how this person will
approach his/her wagering. The “box” is now defined. Again, there are
certainly other strategy statements that could be used for these specific
objectives. The real key is to have some reasonable strategy in place.
Wagering Plan “Do’s and “Don’ts”
is the final step in building a wagering plan. It is the tactical part of your
plan, a checklist to use to make sure you wager in a disciplined manner. It
insures that you stay true to your wagering strategy. This, in turn, gives you
the best chance of achieving your wagering objectives.
You can start this section of your plan by listing some universal good wagering practices. Here are a few that come to mind. No doubt you can think of others.
NOT bet against legitimate favorites.
- DO NOT bet on races you do not understand.
- DO NOT bet too many combinations.
- DO identify a key horse in each race.
add appropriate items that repeat key points in your strategy statement. In the case of our retired/fixed income player, here is what we would
start the day with a $100 voucher.
- DO cash in amounts over $100 until the day’s expenses are covered.
- DO stop play if the voucher reaches zero.
- Do not squander my profits at the end of the day.
add items that are wager-type specific. Here
is a list of articles that have been printed in ALL-Ways Newsletters that may be
helpful to you.
plays using pace handicapping
Exactas and Trifectas using pace
2-horse win betting
Trifecta - part 1
#5, #6, #7
There are some wagers that are just not practical for our retired/fixed
income player, so we will list them as “don’ts”.
DO NOT wager on Trifectas
- DO NOT wager on Superfectas
- DO NOT wager on Pick 3’s, 4’s or 6’s
person may want to “leave the door open” to play these wagers as part of a
group or syndicate with friends at the track.
The strategy for our retired/fixed income player calls for him/her to become “expert” at two-horse win betting and to “Dutch” the wagers, meaning the wagers on the two horses will be proportional so that the same payoff will result regardless of which horse wins the race.
Pass races with a legitimate, short priced favorite.
- Play a single horse to win if I am very confident of my selection.
- Otherwise, identify the top two candidates to win the race and “Dutch” my wager.
- If I think there are three horses that could win, bet the two that are going off at the highest odds and “Dutch” the
wager. If I can’t narrow it down to three horses, pass the race.
Play the Exacta only if I have identified a horse to key over and under,
only if I can make a total wager that does not
exceed $8 and only if the projected payoffs are at or above the premium payoffs identified on the ALL-Ways Exacta
on the Double only if I can play two tickets with a single horse in race one on
one ticket and a single horse in race two on the other ticket such as A/ABC,
ABC/A and can hold the wager to $12.
doubt there are other ways to approach this person’s wagering. This is just an
example to give you a feel for how to put together a coherent wagering plan.
Players with bigger bankrolls obviously have a good deal more flexibility. But,
they should still go through this process and create their own personal wagering
Again, we believe serious horseplayers are almost always good handicappers and quite capable of making consistent profits at the track. If such a person is losing money, they will not solve the problem with more or better handicapping. They will solve it by wagering smarter. A good wagering plan coupled with ALL-Ways software is indeed a powerful combination.
Handicapping at Saratoga and Del Mar
and Del Mar are two of America’s premier racing venues. They feature the best
horses, the best trainers and the best jockeys in the country. These tracks draw
huge crowds, both on-site and at simulcast locations all across North America.
We used the Impact Value Analysis report in ALL-Ways software to look at our ALL-Ways software databases for Saratoga and Del Mar to find the most powerful and profitable handicapping factors. An Impact Value (IV) of 2.2 means a horse ranked first for this factor wins 2.2 times its fair share of races. A $2 ROI figure above $2.00 is profitable. Note that this assumes you bet $2 on every horse ranked first for the factor including betting on multiple horses in the case of ties.
Saratoga meet in 2001 runs from July 25th through September 3rd. Here are the
best handicapping factors.
BRIS Back Speed
BRIS Combined 2/3
- Race Good: The
highest BRIS Race Rating in which the horse ran a good race.
- BRIS Combined 2/3: The sum of the horses Early Pace and Final Fraction (EP + FF) pace ratings, averaged for the horse’s best two out
of its last three races.
- Total Comprehensive: An overall rating of the horse based on its suitability to distance, suitability to surface, current
form, class, speed and jockey/trainer.
A whopping 80% of non-maiden dirt routes are won by horses ranked in the top three
Total Comprehensive rating.
Turf Routes (main turf)
BRIS Speed Last
BRIS Combined 2/3
Main Turf races at Saratoga provide great potential for profits.
Turf Routes (Inner Turf)
Turf races are a bit more difficult to handicap, but the $2 ROI holds up.
Gems at Saratoga
found two particular types of races at Saratoga that yield tremendous sets of
Handicapping Factors and one or more of these race types appear on most race
Maiden Dirt Sprints with an ALL-Ways software calculated BRIS Race Rating of 108-115 and an ALL-Ways software designation of Orderly.
True Dirt Speed
Maiden Turf Routes designated by ALL-Ways software as Contentious.
BRIS Combined Paceline
at Del Mar
Del Mar meet in 2001 runs from July 18th through September 5th. Here are the
best handicapping factors.
Recency (Within 10 Days)
BRIS Back Class
BRIS Speed 2/3
BRIS Combined 2/3
speed rating factors, if used by themselves, produced a negative return. The
message here is to look beyond speed figures in non-maiden dirt sprints.
of Non-Maiden turf races were won by either the first or second ranked horse for
the Total Comprehensive factor.
Gems at Del Mar
real gems at Del Mar are in the maiden race categories.
Maiden Dirt Sprints with an ALL-Ways software calculated BRIS Race Rating of 108-115 and designated by ALL-Ways software as Orderly.
BRIS Speed 2/3
While there are not a lot of Maiden Turf Routes run at Del Mar, 81% of winners were ranked in the top 3 of BRIS Class and 62% were ranked in the top 2 of Total Comprehensive.
will post special Handicapping Profiles in the User’s Corner of the Frandsen
Publishing Web Site that you can download and use to handicap Saratoga and Del
Mar. This will include Win Horse profiles using the handicapping factors and
Impact Values shown in this article.
We hope this valuable handicapping information coupled with a good wagering plan help you have great meets at Saratoga and Del Mar.
ALL-Ways Software Update
software Version 8.32 has been released. This is a technical update to Windows
32 bit software. Windows 95/Windows NT 4.0 or higher is required. The most
notable changes are a new Zip/Unzip function in the Toolbox and the addition of
Window Minimize/Maximize buttons. The new software also includes a new User’s
Manual. Standard Edition users can obtain their update from the ALL-Ways
software section of the BRIS Web site. The Professional Edition is being
automatically mailed by Frandsen Publishing to all registered users of ALL-Ways
Professional version 8.0. Users of earlier versions of the Professional Edition
can upgrade to 8.32 by contacting Frandsen Publishing.
We also want to express our appreciation to the hundreds of ALL-Ways software handicappers who sent us their “Wish Lists” for version 9. There were a lot of good ideas and many will make it into the new version 9 software that is well along in development and scheduled for release late this year.
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