2002, Number 27
Inside This Newsletter
The 2002 Breeder’s Cup
• Out With Conventional Wisdom
• Arlington Park Track Analysis
• Making Money at This Year’s BC
• “The Great Eliminators”
If You Are Not an ALL-Ways Software Handicapper
Version 10 Progress Report
Arlington Park Breeder’s Cup Profiles
Special Handicapping Profiles aimed at the 2002 Breeder’s Cup races to be run at Arlington Park have been posted for downloading in the User’s Corner of our Web site at www.frandsen.com. As we approach Breeder’s Cup day on October 26, be sure to check the “What’s New” page on our Web site for other postings that may be helpful for playing this year’s Breeder’s Cup races.
The 2002 Breeder’s Cup at Arlington ParkHere we go again... the very best day each year in the entire world of horse racing. The 2002 Breeder’s Cup World Thoroughbred Championship will be conducted on October 26th at Arlington Park race track in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Arlington is a great track! The track first opened in 1927. The entire facility was destroyed by fire in 1985. It then re-opened in 1989. In 2000, after a two year hiatus, the track was purchased by Churchill Downs Incorporated.
As usual, there are eight Breeder’s Cup races, races #3 through #10 on the day’s race card. All races are Grade I Stakes.
|3)||Distaff||3 YO+F&M||1 1/8||$2 mil|
|4)||Juvenile Fillies||2 YO F||1 1/8||$1 mil|
|5)||Mile (turf)||3 YO+||1 mile||$1 mil|
|6)||Sprint||3 YO+||6 fur||$1 mil|
|7)||Filly/Mare(turf)||3 YO+ F&M||1 1/4||$1 mil|
|8)||Juvenile||2 YO C&G||1 1/8||$1 mil|
|9)||Turf (turf)||3 YO+||1 1/2||$2 mil|
|10)||Classic||3 YO+||1 1/4||$4 mil|
Note that the two juvenile races are at 1 1/8 mile this year and not the usual 1 1/16 mile. This was changed so that all routes would be run around two turns. Arlington’s dirt track is a 1 1/8 mile oval. The turf course is a one mile oval. The under-card races will be races #1, #2 and #11 on the card. All three are Handicap races with $100,000 purses. The Breeder’s Cup $2 Ultra Pick 6 will have a $3 million guaranteed payout and will start with the BC Mile. The Pick 4 will start with the BC Filly and Mare Turf. All Breeder’s Cup races, as well as race #11, will offer Superfecta wagering.
There will also be a new wager called Head2Head. Details were not available at the time we went to press.
Out With Conventional WisdomThe Breeder’s Cup provides us with the best single day of high profit wagering opportunities than any other day of racing in the year. Taking advantage of these opportunities is, however, easier said than done. We have a suggestion for a different way to approach wagering on Breeder’s Cup races. “To make big money on Breeder’s Cup day you should throw conventional wisdom out the window. You should think outside the box.” (Sorry for the clichés.) In the balance of this newsletter article, we will expand on this thinking. We will also show you four great handicapping factors that we think of as “The Great Eliminators”. Let’s start by looking at the payoff results of the last three Breeder’s Cup days. They are shown in the box on page 2.
Gulfstream Park 1999
Churchill Downs 2000
Belmont Park 2001
Another piece of conventional wisdom is that virtually all the horses are excellent athletes and in such good shape that they will tend to run to form. Specifically, the conventional idea is to look for the best speed figures earned in the best class races in each horse’s recent past performances. To some extent this is valid. Speed figures and class figures have high Impact Values for Breeder’s Cup races. The problem is that everybody in the world is looking at these factors and it is next to impossible to make a profit on this basis. You will see a little later that this is particularly likely at Arlington. If you want significant profits on Breeder’s Cup day, you must look deeper than speed and class to find the horses you want to wager on. Towards the end of this article, we will give you some ideas of what to look for beyond speed and class.
If you believe you have spotted a decent priced winner or if you think that two or three horses are capable of beating the crowd favorite, we recommend you look for ways to play the Exacta and/or the Trifecta and/or the Superfecta. Just look at the results of the last three years and how large the Exacta and Trifecta payoffs have been for every race that had a winner paying more than $10.00. Here is our non-conventional key. Do not use a Key Horse in your Breeder’s Cup wagers. If you have been reading our newsletters over the years, you know that we are very strong proponents of using a Key Horse in our exotic wagers. For example, our Key Horse in a Trifecta wager would be the horse that we would single in the win, place and show positions of our multiple Trifecta tickets. We do indeed recommend this for most playable races run 364 days during the year ... but, not on Breeder’s Cup day. The fact is, just about every horse is capable of finishing in-the-money in a Breeder’s Cup race. Conversely, just about every one of the very best horses in a Breeder’s Cup race is susceptible to being forced off-the-board by an apparent “also ran”. This makes it a very risky business to use a Key Horse in a Breeder’s Cup race, particularly with the very large Breeder’s Cup fields made up of the best horses in the world.
So, what does all this mean? We believe the key to hitting big Trifecta and Superfecta payoffs, and even large Pick 3 payoffs, on Breeder’s Cup day is to be willing to wager large tickets with many combinations. $1 Trifecta wagers that cost upwards of $100 to $200 and $1 Superfecta tickets above $200 are the order of the day if you want to cash a big ticket. Most people, understandably, will not be comfortable with this size wager. If this is your case, we suggest two possible solutions. First, you could handicap the entire Breeder’s Cup race card and select the two or three races on which you are going to focus your wagering. This is better, in our opinion, than spreading your wagers too thin over all the Breeder’s Cup races. Second, and we think this is the very best approach, partner up with some other handicappers and wager as a team on the key opportunities. Barry Meadow is often quoted as saying something like: “It is better to have 10% of a $700 Pick 6 ticket than 100% of a $70 Pick 6 ticket.” We think this logic applies to all exotic wagers on Breeder’s Cup day. For example, we believe it is better to have 25% of a $200 Trifecta ticket than 100% of a $50 Trifecta ticket. The same logic applies to Superfectas and to Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers as well.
Arlington Park Track AnalysisWe believe this year’s Breeder’s Cup is going to be particularly friendly to horse players who do their homework. We expect significant payoffs that can be scoped out ahead of time by astute handicappers. Our positive outlook can be traced directly to the fact that the 2002 Breeder’s Cup is being run at Arlington Park. Most people who will be playing the Breeder’s Cup races will have never handicapped a race at Arlington, perhaps other than the Arlington Million. Consider also that, except for one Breeder’s Cup at Woodbine and one at Aqueduct, all Breeder’s Cup races have been run at either Belmont (3x), Churchill Downs (5x), Gulfstream (3x), Hollywood (3X) or Santa Anita (2x). Well, as you are about to see, Arlington Park is very different. After we look at this track information, we will wrap up this article with some specific suggestions for capitalizing on this knowledge on October 26th.
As has been our custom the past several years, we are providing some insight into the probable track influences on the Breeder’s Cup races. We used the ALL-Ways Impact Value Analysis and Top 3 Analysis functions to examine our ALL-Ways Race Database for Arlington Park, which is now over 1,000 races. All the races were run since Arlington re-opened in 2000, so the data accurately reflects the track surface now in use. We did restrict the analyses to just high caliber races. As a reminder, an Impact Value (IV) of 1.0 is neutral. An IV of 2.1 means that horses ranked first for the factor win 2.1 times their fair share of races. Also, a $2 ROI over $2.00 means a profitable situation. For example, a $2 ROI of $2.20 means you would make, on average, 20 cents profit for every $2 wagered.What really struck us about the data you are about to see, is the very major difference between track bias statistics at Arlington compared to last year’s Breeder’s Cup venue at Belmont Park. Belmont has a strong bias favoring horses on or near the pace, specifically horses with Early (“E”) and Early Presser (“EP”) running styles. Late runners did not have much of a chance at Belmont. Arlington, on the other hand, is friendly to “E”, “EP”, and Presser (“P”) horses and it is not nearly as unkind to horses that come from well off the pace. This is “Show me the money!” information.
Arlington Dirt SprintsFirst, lets look at the track bias statistics for Arlington dirt sprints using the position and beaten lengths analysis in ALL-Ways software. ALL-Ways software provides this analysis for all Points-of-Call. We will focus here on the 2nd Call, which is at the four furlong point in sprints and the 6 furlong point in routes.
Second Call Position and Beaten Lengths for
Arlington Dirt Sprints
Here are the best handicapping factors for high caliber dirt sprints at Arlington based on their Impact Values and return on flat $2 bets. We are going to show you two sets of data here. The first is for all high caliber dirt sprints. The second is for only high caliber dirt sprints with a very fast ALL-Ways Race Pace Shape of “EEE”.
All High Caliber Dirt Sprints
| $2 ROI
PCR = Performance Class
Combined = Early Pace + Final Fraction
2/3 = average of the best 2 out of last 3 races
Comprehensive is derived from 22 different factors
We now look at the fast paced races. We do so because things change a lot and because the Breeder’s Cup Sprint is virtually always loaded with early speed.
“EEE” Race Pace Shape Dirt Sprints
BRIS Back Class
| $2 ROI
Look at the dramatic improvement in the $2 ROI figures. If the Breeder’s Cup Sprint is an “EEE” race, we suggest you isolate your potential win horses with the help of these factors. Then favor those that have shown they can win against a blistering pace. ALL-Ways software users will want to look for a winning effort against Quirin Race Shapes of FF and FP in each horse’s past performances. The Brohamer Plus handicapping report is another good way to look at how well every horse has done against different degrees of pace pressure.
Arlington Dirt Routes
Not surprisingly, we see a shift even more towards off-the-pace horses in dirt routes.
Second Call Position and Beaten Lengths for Arlington Dirt Routes
Winners are either 1st or 2nd at the 2nd Call 52% of the time (24% + 28%) and they are on the lead or within two lengths of the leader 65% of the time (54% + 11%). Compare this to Belmont where 85% of winners are on the lead or within 2 lengths of the lead. Note again that “E”, “EP” and “P” horses all have positive Impact Values at Arlington for dirt routes.
Here are the best handicapping factors for high caliber dirt routes at Arlington:
| $2 ROI
Arlington Turf Routes
Second Call Position and Beaten
Lengths for Arlington Turf Routes
Here are the best handicapping factors for high caliber turf routes at Arlington:
| $2 ROI
Once again, it is clear that you must dig deeper than just speed and class to make money on these races.
Making Money at This Year’s Breeders Cup
When looking for information beyond speed and class, try to find information that is not in the hands the general public.Overall, Arlington Park will be much kinder to off-the-pace horses than other Breeder’s Cup venues during recent years. Be sure to place significant emphasis on Final Fraction pace ratings when crafting your Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta wagers. DO NOT leave any solid closer out of your ticket. And, if the race has an ALL-Ways Race Pace Shape of “EEE”, put the best closers on the top of your tickets too. The public pays little attention to final fraction times/pace figures. Be sure to look at both the BRIS and Hall Final Fraction figures. All Hall pace and speed figures are particularly strong for horses shipping in to a track, which, of course, applies to just about every horse on Breeder’s Cup day.
The Scott Performance Class Rating (PCR) is a great “hidden” factor. Scott PCR is always a good handicapping factor in Breeder’s Cup races due, in part, because a horse gets a higher PCR rating if it has done well in large race fields. Almost all Breeder’s Cup races have large fields. And, the public never sees the Scott PCR rating.Another set of information you should look at are the TimeForm Ratings that BRIS makes available for Breeder’s Cup day. These ratings are an absolute must handicapping tool, particularly for all the foreign horses shipping in to the Breeder’s Cup. And, the general public does not see these ratings either.
“The Great Eliminators”An effective handicapping approach that we first introduced in ALL-Ways Newsletter #8 is the “Best Early - Best Late” technique. This is where you identify the best horses that like to run early and the best horses that like to run late. This is another good way to approach the Breeder’s Cup. In our development work for ALL-Ways Version 10, we have been able to isolate four very important new compound pace factors that make the task of identifying these best early/best late horses easier. And, as you will see, these new compound pace ratings can be used specifically for Breeder’s Cup races to eliminate non contenders. We will show you just how powerful these factors are in a moment. Here are the four “Great Eliminator” factors:
BRIS Early Pace + Bris
Hall Early Pace + Hall Speed
BRIS Final Fraction +
Hall Final Fraction + Hall Speed
BRIS BRIS BRIS BRIS
RACE EP FF SPD EP+SPD FF+SPD
99 92 97 196 189
2 back 93 92 91 184 183
3 back 91 87 87 178 174
Now, here is why we recommend you use these VERY powerful figures to go beyond speed and class handicapping for the Breeder’s Cup. We examined all Breeder’s Cup races run in 1999, 2000 and 2001. There were, of course, a total of 24 winning horses. Three of the winners were foreign horses and we had no pace or speed figures for them. Of the remaining 21 winners, 20 of them ranked in the top 3 of one of these four “Great Eliminator” factors. This means that 95% of the winners passed this simple test. The only winner that did not pass this test was Cash Run in the 1999 Juvenile Fillies. She paid $67.00 for the win. Caution: You must use both the BRIS and Hall factors. The BRIS factors found 3 unique winners not spotted by the Hall factors. The Hall factors found 6 unique winners not spotted by the BRIS factors.
There is more. After eliminating foreign horses that finished in-the-money in the three years of Breeder’s Cup races we examined, 75% of the place and show horses also passed the qualification test of being ranked in the top 3 of one of these four factors. If history holds, this Best Early-Best Late test will eliminate about 40% of the horses and only 2 to 3 of these eliminated horses will end up finishing in-the-money on Breeder’s Cup day. Now you see why we call these four factors “The Great Eliminators”. And the public never sees the figures.
SummaryWe believe the 2002 Breeder’s Cup at Arlington may provide a bonanza of high payoffs. And, if you arm yourself with the information in this newsletter, we believe you will have a real “leg up” on other handicappers who are not looking at similar information. We suggest you use the Best Early-Best Late factors to isolate the contenders. Then use the best handicapping factors presented earlier to narrow down your selections. Finally, apply track bias and pace pressure considerations to arrive at your decisions.
Be sure to visit the “What’s New” page on our Web site for other information that may be helpful to you on Breeder’s Cup day.
If You Are Not an ALL-Ways HandicapperEven if you are not currently an ALL-Ways handicapper, you can still easily use ALL-Ways software just for Breeder’s 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 special Arlington Park Breeder’s Cup Handicapping Profiles from the Frandsen Publishing Web site; 4. For the Breeder’s Cup itself, simply download the ALL-Ways software data file from BRIS and repeat what you did in Step #2 above.
Version 10 Progress ReportWe would like to thank all the ALL-Ways software handicappers who submitted hundreds of very solid suggestions for Version 10. Version 10 is still on track for release late this year or very early in 2003. We believe this new release is the most significant upgrade we have ever made to ALL-Ways software. All told, there are more than twenty significant new handicapping features in Version 10. This includes powerful new handicapping factors that are available for Handicapping Profiles and for automatic analysis and a major new analysis tool that will provide ALL-Ways handicappers with handicapping information no other person on the planet has access to, except, of course, for other ALL-Ways handicappers.
NEXT: January 2003, Number 28
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