July  2001, Number 22
ALL-WaysTM Newsletter


Inside This Newsletter

Wagering Tips

Do’s, Don’ts, and Discipline

Handicapping Tips

Handicapping at Saratoga
Handicapping at Del Mar

ALL-Ways Software Update


Announcements

   Version 8.32 Released

 ALL-Ways Version 8.32 is now available. See page 4 for details.

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.


Wagering Tips

Do’s, Don’ts, and Discipline

This 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.

Over 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.

        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.

Discipline 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 plan.

 The Wagering Plan 

A 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.

To 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.

Start 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”.

Wagering Plan Objectives 

“If 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:

 1. A good objective is measurable

 2. A good objective has a time frame

 3. A good objective is realistic/attainable

 An 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.

Wagering 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.

Start defining your wagering objectives by asking some questions. Here are some examples:

  -   How 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 such as:

 1. Enough profit each month to cover $25 daily expenses for 3 trips to the track each week.

 2. No loss on any day greater than $100.

3. My $1,500 bankroll never drops below $800. 

The professional player with a $100,000 bankroll might have objectives such as:

1. The bankroll never drops below $80,000 at any time during the year.

2. Make 8% ROI on $630,000 wagered during the year plus enough to cover daily expenses.

3. Operate profitably every rolling three month period.

As 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.

You 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.

Wagering Plan Strategy 

A 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. 

Start 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?”. 

There are many good ways to pursue these objectives. An effective strategy statement for our retired/fixed income player might look like this

      “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.

This 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”

This 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.

  -   DO 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.

Now, 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 add:

  -   DO 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.

Now 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.  

Subject NL#
Spot plays using pace handicapping
Exactas and Trifectas using pace
2-horse win betting
Trifecta - part 1
Daily Double
Pick 3
Superfecta
#3
#3
#5
#5, #6,  #7
#10
#15
#20

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

This 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.

Win Wagering 

      -     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.

Exacta Wagering 

      -     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 
        Matrix.

Daily Double Wagering 

Bet 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.

No 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 plan.

Summary 

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 Tips 

Handicapping at Saratoga and Del Mar 

Saratoga 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.

Handicapping at Saratoga 

The Saratoga meet in 2001 runs from July 25th through September 3rd. Here are the best handicapping factors.

Non-Maiden Dirt Sprints
Factor

Race Good
BRIS Back Speed
BRIS Combined 2/3  
Total Comprehensive

IV

1.91
1.99
2.25
2.54 

$2 ROI

$2.98
$2.29
$1.71
$2.02

      -   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.

Non-maiden Dirt Routes
Factor

BRIS True Class
BRIS Back Speed
Total Comprehensive


IV

2.95
1.76
2.56

2 ROI

$2.
83
$2.
11
$2.01

A whopping 80% of non-maiden dirt routes are won by horses ranked in the top three Total Comprehensive rating.

Non-maiden Turf Routes (main turf) 
Factor

Turf Class
BRIS Speed Last 
BRIS Combined 2/3
Total Comprehensive

IV

3.59
2.66
2.29
3.14 

$2 ROI

$2.
89
$2.
98
$2.43
$2.60

These Main Turf races at Saratoga provide great potential for profits. 

Non-maiden Turf Routes (Inner Turf)
Factor
Turf Class
BRIS Speed Last 
BRIS Combined Paceline
Total Comprehensive


IV

2.09
1.81
1.69
2.18 

$2 ROI

$2.
81
$2.
61
$2.60
$2.89

Inner Turf races are a bit more difficult to handicap, but the $2 ROI holds up.

Maiden Dirt Sprints  
Factor
Scott Ability Time
Hall Speed 2/3 
Hall Combined 2/3
Total Comprehensive


IV

2.29
2.75
3.09
2.94 

$2 ROI

$2.
19
$2.
32
$2.59
$1.91

Some Gems at Saratoga

We 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 cards.

Maiden Dirt Sprints with an ALL-Ways software calculated BRIS Race Rating of 108-115 and an ALL-Ways software designation of Orderly.

Factor
Race Good 
BRIS Class
True Dirt Speed
Total Comprehensive
IV
3.41
4.03
4.20
4.48 
$2 ROI
$2.57
$2.36
$3.17
$3.28

Non Maiden Turf Routes designated by ALL-Ways software as Contentious.  

Factor
Turf Class
BRIS Speed
BRIS Combined Paceline
Total Comprehensive
IV
4.39
3.39
2.87
3.71 
$2 ROI
$3.13
$2.86
$2.20
$2.98

Handicapping at Del Mar

The Del Mar meet in 2001 runs from July 18th through September 5th. Here are the best handicapping factors.

Non-Maiden Dirt Sprints  
Factor

Recency (Within 10 Days)
BRIS Back Class
BRIS Speed 2/3
BRIS Combined 2/3

IV

1.63
2.51
1.99
1.90 

$2 ROI

$2.56
$2.22
$1.72
$2.28

All 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.

Non-Maiden Dirt Routes
Factor
BRIS Class
BRIS Speed 2/3
Hall Combined 2/3
Total Comprehensive


IV

2.48
2.10
1.94
2.11 

$2 ROI

$2.30
$2.14
$2.63
$2.09

 

Non-Maiden Turf Routes Factor
BRIS Back Class 
BRIS Speed 2/3
Hall Combined 2/3
Total Comprehensive


IV

2.37
1.98
1.99
2.13 

$2 ROI

$2.19
$2.04
$2.10
$1.81

52% of Non-Maiden turf races were won by either the first or second ranked horse for the Total Comprehensive factor.

Maiden Dirt Sprints  
Factor

BRIS Class 
BRIS Speed 2/3
Hall Combined 2/3
Brohamer FX
Total Comprehensive


IV

2.55
2.70
3.00
2.66
2.73 

$2 ROI

$2.37
$2.28
$2.52
$2.37
2.01

Some Gems at Del Mar

The 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.

Factor
BRIS Class 
BRIS Speed 2/3
Brohamer Total
Total Comprehensive
IV
2.98
3.64
3.00
3.58 
$2 ROI
$2.07
$2.94
$3.81
$2.33

 

Maiden Dirt Routes.  
Factor

True Class  
True Dirt Speed
Brohamer Average Pace
Total Comprehensive


IV

3.20
3.19
3.30
2.61 

$2 ROI

$3.29
$2.61
$2.78
$2.07

Maiden Turf Routes

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.

Special Handicapping Profiles 

We 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.

Summary 

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 

ALL-Ways 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.


Be sure to check the What’s New page on our Web Site for the latest announcements and alerts.


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