2005, Number 39
Inside This Newsletter
2005 Breeders' Cup at Belmont
• Using Pace to Find the Top 4
The Breeders' Cup for Non-ALL-Ways Users
Note: Part 4 of our Wagering Series has been postponed until the January 2006 newsletter issue.
Keep Checking In !
We encourage everyone reading this newsletter, whether an ALL-Ways software handicapper or not, to frequently check the Frandsen Publishing Web site (www.frandsen.com) during October and November of 2005. It will be an active couple of months. There will be a number of important, time-sensitive announcements. Plus, new Handicapping Profiles will be posted for many North American tracks, including a special set of profiles for the 2005 Breeders' Cup to be run at Belmont Park. Other Breeders' Cup related materials will be available as well. And, ALL-Ways software handicappers will be able to track the progress of ALL-Ways Version 12 software that now appears headed for a mid October release.
The 2005 Breeders' Cup at Belmont
The Breeders''’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championship returns on October 29, 2005 to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Belmont Park last hosted the Breeders' Cup in 2001 (See ALL-Ways Newsletter #23). tc "The Breeders''’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championship returns on October 29, 2005 to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Belmont Park last hosted the Breeders' Cup in 2001 (See ALL-Ways Newsletter #23). "
The payoffs at last years 2004 Breeders' Cup run at Lone Star Park were, in general, a bit on the low side compared to other Breeders' Cup venues over the past few years. We are hopeful for a favorable “bounce” in 2005 to higher payoffs. The chart below illustrates this point. Note that “>$100” means “payoffs above $100” and “7/8” means “7 out of 8 races”.
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
> $10 6 / 8 7 / 8 4 / 8 6 / 8 3 / 8
>$100 8 / 8 7 / 8 5 / 8 7 / 8 3 / 8
>$1,000 7 / 8 7 / 8 4 / 8 6 / 8 3 / 8
>$5,000 5 / 5 4 / 5 4 / 8 6 / 8 3 / 8
Comparing Belmont Park Breeders' Cup payoffs with those at Lone Star Park, we see that 7 of the 8 BC races at Belmont paid more than $10 for the winning horses compared to only 3 of 8 at Lone Star. Further, we see that 7 of 8 BC races at Belmont paid more than $100 for Exactas and more than $1,000 for Trifectas and that 4 of the 5 Superfecta races paid more than $5,000. At Lone Star only 3 of 8 races had these kinds of payoffs.
Here are the BC races on the
Belmont Breeders' Cup day race card (races 3 -10)
4 Juvenile Fillies
7 Filly/Mare Turf
|1 1/8 mile
1 1/16 mile
1 mile Turf
1 1/4 Turf
1 1/16 mile
1 1/2 Turf
1 1/4 mile
All ten races on the card, including the eight BC races shown above, have win, place, show, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta and Head2Head wagers. Daily Doubles will be available in races 1, 3 and 9. Pick 3’s will be available in races 1 through 8 with Pick 4’s available in races 3 and 7.
The Breeders' Cup Payoff chart on page 2 of this newsletter shows the win, Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta payoffs for the last five Breeders' Cup race days. Here are some observations that may be helpful for the upcoming Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park.
• The BC Mile (Turf) and the BC Juvenile races consistently have good payoffs.
• The BC Sprints often have low payoffs for the winning horse, but very high payoffs for Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta payoffs. Our experience is that is it wise to look for high priced closers (“P” and “S” horses) that may do well in the usually very fast paced BC Sprint.
• The BC Filly and Mare Turf and the BC Classic have had nice payoffs at all tracks other than Lone Star Park.
For several years now, we have put forward some key thoughts about how best to handicap and wager on Breeders' Cup races, going into some depth on these suggestions in ALL-Ways Newsletters #23, #27, #31 and #35. These suggestions continue to “pass the test of time”, so we will briefly present them again.
Pro-Actively look for surprises.
The public and the “experts” tend to focus on class and speed. But, virtually all Breeders' Cup entrants are high-class/ high-speed horses. As the payoffs show, a significant number of the top four finishers are not high up on the public’s and pundit’s lists. Pace pressure and track bias explain many of these surprises. In this newsletter, we will be showing you some things to look for that will help you spot the surprises in advance.
Do not over handicap for the win horse.
We believe it is wise to spend just a little time to narrow down the potential winners to 2 or 3 horses and to spend the bulk of your handicapping efforts to identify reasons why the favorite may not win and to identify the horses that will do better than the crowd thinks.
Play larger than usual Exactas, Trifectas and Superfectas.
Many Pick 3’s and Pick 4’s have one or more legs that are won by low priced horses which, of course, lowers the size of these payoffs. If you think at least two legs of Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers will be won by high priced horses, by all means “go for it”. But, we think it is wise to focus more on the possible large Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta payoffs that happen in multiple Breeders' Cup races every year. And, we believe it is wise to spend more on these wagers on Breeders' Cup day than you would normally spend during the rest of the year. Breeders' Cup payoffs for these wagers frequently support higher investments.
Get the TimeForm ratings from BRIS.
The TimeForm ratings are an important tool for handicapping foreign horses in Breeders' Cup races and absolutely essential for the three turf races. These comprehensive ratings and comments cover all foreign horse entries and also cover the North American horses, giving you some added insight into these races. You should also look at the various BRIS class ratings of foreign horses. And, pay particular attention to foreign horses that are using Lasix for the first time.
(All Payoffs are for $2 Wagers)
Churchill Downs 2000
Belmont Park 2001
Arlington Park 2002
Santa Anita 2003
* Dead Heat for Win
Lone Star Park 2004
The main dirt track at Belmont is a long 1 ½ miles. The Widener Turf Course is a 1 5/16 mile oval and the Inner Turf Course measures 1 3/16 miles. One nice thing about using ALL-Ways software for races on the New York circuit is that ALL-Ways software maintains completely separate statistics for the main and inner tracks.
We looked at the statistics for Belmont Park that were included in our October 2001 Newsletter and the statistics that are generated now by our larger databases for Belmont. We found there were not a lot of differences over the intervening years. You may want to go back and read ALL-Ways Newsletter #23 which is posted on the Frandsen Publishing Web site. What we are going to do now is look at some new things we believe will be helpful for your handicapping and wagering on the 2005 Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park. Because many of the surprise finishes in Breeders' Cup races can be explained by pace considerations, we are going to look at Belmont Park track bias statistics for win horses. And, unique to ALL-Ways software, we will also look at place horse bias statistics as well.
Before we look at the bias statistics, we thought it would be best to provide some suggestions for how to merge the bias information with available pace information into your handicapping process on Breeders''’ Cup day. The handicapping factors in ALL-Ways software that will be very useful for this purpose are explained below. Note that we suggest using the 2/3 figures that show the average of the horse’s best 2 out of it last 3 races. Paceline figures are also available, but we prefer the 2/3 variation. Note that in ALL-Ways software, all of these handicapping factors are available as both BRIS figures and Hall figures. The Hall figures are all normalized to the exact distance and surface as today’s race and are particularly helpful when handicapping horses that are changing distance. BRIS factors will generally have higher Impact Values whereas the Hall figures will generally find higher priced horses. Using both these factor sets gives you a real “leg up” on your competing handicappers on Breeders' Cup day.
• BRIS and Hall Early Pace 2/3
These factors measure a horse’s speed from the gate to the 2nd Call that is the 4 furlong point in sprints and the 6 furlong point in routes.
• BRIS and Hall Final Fraction 2/3
These factors measure a horse’s speed from the 2nd Call to the finish. The distance of the final fraction is dependent on the length of the race, which we discuss a little later on.
Compound Pace Ratings:
The Compound Pace factors shown below are very helpful in determining if early running horses will be able to hang on until the finish or if late runners will be able to catch them in the stretch run.
• BRIS and Hall Combined 2/3
These ratings are the sum of the horse’s Early Pace and Final Fraction ratings (EP + FF). Top horses for the Combined ratings should be close enough at the 2nd Call and have enough “left in the tank” to have a chance of doing well in the race.
• BRIS and Hall Total 2/3
These ratings are the sum of the horse’s Early Pace and Speed ratings (EP + Speed). The top horses for the Total ratings have demonstrated both early speed and the ability to carry that speed to at least a decent final time.
• BRIS and Hall Late 2/3
These ratings are the sum of the horse’s Final Fraction and Speed ratings (FF + Speed). Top horses for the Late ratings have demonstrated good final fraction speed and the ability to use it to finish with at least a decent final time.
When we review the Belmont Park track bias statistics for win horses and for place horses, it will become evident why these five particular handicapping factors are so important on Breeders' Cup day. Remember, we are not just looking for winning horses. We are looking for the most likely top four finishers. This process will help us get ready to play Exactas, Trifectas and Superfectas. Note that we are not proposing you include only four horses in Trifecta and Superfecta wagers. The process of looking for the top 4 horses will point out additional horses to include in these wagers. This process will also help us select the horses for each leg of Double, Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers.
Here are some points to keep in mind when using these handicapping factors:
• For all dirt and turf routes on the Breeders' Cup race card, the longer the race, the more distance the pacesetters will be forced to fend off their fast closing, late running competitors. On the other hand, shorter routes make it harder for the late runners to catch the pacesetters because they have less distance to work with when coming down the stretch trying to pass them.
• Races designated by ALL-Ways software as having a Race Pace Shape of “EEE” will have extreme early pace pressure because there are at least three “E” horses all wanting the lead. This is also true for “EE” races, but to a somewhat lesser degree. The BC Sprint, for example, is often an “EEE” race. In “EEE” races, look for “the best” horses coming from off the pace to figure prominently in the top four finish positions, perhaps even taking all of them. This is particularly the case in the route races.
• In the absence of strong early pace pressure, look for the top four finishers to be a combination of the “best early” and the “best late” running horses.
Best Early: Assuming no form or class problem, consider the “best early” running horses to be those with “E” or “EP” running styles, with good Early Pace 2/3 ratings and among the best Combined 2/3 and/or the best Total 2/3 rated horses.
Best Late: Assuming no form or class problem, consider the “best late” running horses to be those with “P” or “S” running styles, with good Final Fraction 2/3 pace ratings and among the best Combined 2/3 and/or the best Late 2/3 rated horses.
The five pace oriented handicapping factors discussed above, each having both a BRIS value and a Hall value, give you powerful tools to help identify the top four finishers in each Breeders' Cup race. And, these handicapping factors are not in the hands of the general public giving you and other BRIS/ALL-Ways handicappers a nice edge on Breeders' Cup day.
In ALL-Ways software, the Top 10/Ranking Report, the Search Handicapping Report and the All Factors Report provide all the data you need to effectively handicap Breeders' Cup races including using the pace factors we just discussed.
Belmont Track Bias Statistics
BC Dirt Sprint
Second Call Beaten Lengths for Belmont Park Dirt Sprints
1 2 3 4 5 +
Win 72% 15% 4% 4% 2% 3%
Place 56% 18% 9% 7% 2% 8%
Here is how to interpret these numbers:
Winning horses are on the lead or within 1 length of the leader at the 2nd Call 72% of the time. Winning horses are either on the lead or within 2 lengths of the leader 87% of the time (72% + 15%). Place horses are either on the lead or within 3 lengths of the leader 83% of the time (56% + 18% + 9%).
Here is how to use this information:
As mentioned above, the BRIS Early
Pace 2/3 figures and the Hall Early Pace 2/3 figures measure the horse’s speed
to the 2nd Call. Each Early Pace Rating point is the equivalent of ½ length
at the 2nd Call. So, for the BC Sprint, you should look for win and place
horse candidates with Early Pace Ratings that are within 4 to 6 points (2 to 3
lengths) of the probable leader at the 2nd Call. Again, we recommend using the
BRIS and Hall EP 2/3 Ratings which is the average of the horse’s best two Early
Pace ratings out of the horses last 3 races.
Remember, if ALL-Ways software designates the race as having an “EEE” Race Pace Shape, you are going to want to add the best late running horses to your wagers as well. If the pace is more modest, (Honest Pace Shape) the top 4 finishers in the BC Sprint are most likely going to come from a combination of horses with good early pace figures that are able to hang on under the pace pressure and the best closers that are going to catch some of the early running horses down the stretch. One word of caution here: The very deep closing horses (“S” Sustainer) do not win many dirt sprint races at Belmont. ALL-Ways Impact Value Analysis for high caliber dirt sprints at Belmont show that “S” horses win only about .38 times their fair share of races. They certainly can, however, figure in the other top finish positions.
BC Dirt Routes
Second Call Beaten Lengths for Belmont Park Dirt Routes
1 2 3 4 5 +
Win 71% 13% 5% 6% 1% 4%
Place 60% 19% 9% 1% 3% 8%
Here we see that winning horses are on the lead or within 2 lengths of the leader at the 2nd Call 84% of the time (71% + 13%). Place horses are on the lead or within 3 lengths of the leader 88% of the time (60% + 19% + 9%). Again, you will want to look for horses that have Early Pace Ratings within 4 to 6 points (2 to 3 lengths) of the probable leader at the 2nd Call. And, if the race looks like it is setting up for a fast pace, once again you should be looking for horses with good BRIS and Hall Final Fraction Ratings, but avoiding the really deep closers for the win slot. The 1 ¼ mile BC Classic will tend to be more kind to deep closers than the shorter dirt routes on the card. The top four finishers in Breeders' Cup routes are most likely going to be a combination of the best early and best late running horses as defined earlier, giving an extra nod to the closers in the longer dirt routes.
Here are the bias statistics for the two turf courses at Belmont Park:
Second Call Beaten Lengths for Belmont Park Turf Routes
(Widener Turf Course)
1 2 3 4 5 +
Place 48% 20% 17% 9% 3% 3%
This shows us that winning horses are on the lead or within 4 lengths of the leader 88% of the time (40% + 17% + 20% + 11%). Place horses are on the lead or within 4 lengths of the leader a whopping 94% of the time (48% + 20% + 17% + 9%).
Second Call Beaten Lengths for Belmont Park Turf Routes
1 2 3 4 5 +
Win 42% 18% 27% 6% 4% 3%
Place 40% 10% 24% 12% 11% 3%
Here we see that winning horses are on the lead or within 3 lengths of the leader 87% of the time and place horses are on the lead or within 4 lengths of the leader 86% of the time.
The two turf tracks have very similar bias statistics. And, as expected, the bias of both turf courses, compared to dirt routes, shifts somewhat away from the pace setters towards horses coming from off the pace.
A couple of interesting insights can be seen in these numbers. First, in the case of dirt races, we saw a noticeable shift from the win line to the place line in terms of closers doing better in the place position. This is not the case with the turf courses. On the Widener course, we actually see a win line (40%) to place line (48%) shift in favor of the early runners. What this tells us is that, while closers do better in turf races compared to dirt races, the pace setter(s) in turf routes still tend to hang on for the place position.
The second insight we see is that even though there is a clear shift from pace setters to closers from dirt races to turf races, the really deep closing “S” horses still have trouble finishing in the win and place positions. You should not ignore these deep closers, however, for show and 4th place finishes.
So, for the Breeders' Cup turf races, you should be looking for horses that will be within 3 to 4 lengths of the leaders at the 2nd Call (6 to 8 BRIS and Hall Early Pace points). You should look at the probable pace setters to spot those that may well hang on for a place finish. You should still be wary of the very deep closers for the win and place positions.
A good way to approach the Breeders' Cup races is to use the BRIS and Hall Early Pace 2/3 ratings to determine which horses are going to be close enough to the pace at the 2nd Call to figure in the outcome of the race. Use the BRIS and Hall Combined 2/3 ratings (EP + FF), the BRIS and Hall Total 2/3 ratings (EP + Speed) and the BRIS and Hall Late 2/3 ratings (FF + Speed) to identify the horse(s) that may be able to hold on down the stretch and the horse(s) that may come from off the pace to pass the early runners. Again, the top four finishers in most Breeders' Cup races will most likely be a mix of the “best early” and “best late” running horses as described on the previous page. This simple Summary paragraph will help you find the win, place, show and 4th place finishers in each Breeders' Cup race. And, don’t forget to use the TimeForm ratings to help you spot the foreign horses that you should also consider for your wagers, particularly in the turf races.
Handicapping the Breeders' Cup if you are Not an ALL-Ways Handicapper
Even if you are not currently an ALL-Ways handicapper, you can still easily use ALL-Ways software just for Breeders' Cup day. Here is how: 1. Download and install the FREE ALL-Ways software from the BRIS Web site; 2. Do the practice handicapping session described in the 2-page Quick Start Guide. It will only take a few minutes; 3. Download the FREE special Belmont Park Breeders' Cup Handicapping Profiles from the Frandsen Publishing Web site; 4. For the Breeders' Cup itself, simply download the ALL-Ways data file from BRIS and repeat what you did in Step #2 above.
That’s it. It really is that easy. We suggest you print the Top 10/Ranking Report, the Search Handicapping Report and All Factors Report. Appendix “B” in the User Manual explains all of the handicapping factors in ALL-Ways software. Appendix “C” in the User Manual explains all three of these handicapping reports. This will arm you with everything you need to handicap the Breeders' Cup using the information presented in this newsletter.
Please note that Part 4 of our Wagering Series, originally planned for this October 2005 newsletter issue, will now be published in our January 2006 ALL-Ways Newsletter. Part 4 will cover the subject of moving up the logical progression of wager types. It will also include a summary to wrap up the Wagering Series and it will include a Summary Reference Sheet you can use to help remind you of the key things you should be doing.
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