April 1998, Number 9
INSIDE THIS NEWSLETTER
Handicapping Profile Series (Part 5 of 5)
Version 7.0 Progress Report
New ALL-Ways Web Site
The new ALL-Ways Web site is up and running at www.frandsen.com and is being visited by hundreds of handicappers each week. We hope you will visit the site and give us your feedback using the electronic sign-in form. We also hope ALL-Ways software handicappers will contribute to the Users Corner section of the site. (See the article below.)
User Contributions to the Web Site
There are four main areas that make up the new ALL-Ways Web site: 1) Information: This includes general information about ALL-Ways software. 2) Newsletters: ALL-Ways Newsletters are posted here including all past issues. 3) Support: This area includes recent news, important Alert Notices, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), software for downloading and special subject papers. Special subject papers currently available are a five page paper that describes How ALL-Ways Works and a 58 page White Paper covering the topic of creating custom Handicapping Profiles. 4) Users Corner: This is where you will be able to download Handicapping Profiles for many tracks in North America and where you will find additional handicapping tips.
The Users Corner is now open to receive input from ALL-Ways software handicappers that we can post for other ALL-Ways software users to view and download. Specifically, we are requesting you to contribute your handicapping tips for using ALL-Ways software successfully and we are asking you to send to us the Handicapping Profiles you have developed for the tracks you handicap.
We are particularly interested in the Handicapping Profiles. We will build and post a library of these profiles so that any ALL-Ways software user that wants to handicap a track for the first time can download Handicapping Profiles for the track.
Remember: This part of the ALL-Ways Web site will be as effective as the contributions made to the site by ALL-Ways software handicappers. Sending your handicapping tips and/or Handicapping Profiles to us is very easy to do. Simple instructions for doing so are now posted in the Users Corner area of our Web site.
In our October 1996 newsletter, we introduced the concept that all races have one of four fundamental Race Pace Shapes of either Fast Early, Lone Early, Honest or Slow. Then, in our April 1997 newsletter, we discussed how to create custom Handicapping Profiles that are aimed directly at these Race Pace Shapes. In the ensuing months, we have heard from literally hundreds of ALL-Ways software handicappers who have employed this strategy with excellent results. Incidentally, you can obtain these newsletters on our Web site or you can contact us and we will send them to you.
Ron Stuart, an ALL-Ways software handicapper based out of Florida, sent the excellent article that is reprinted below. We particularly like this article because it is typical of the reports we receive about the Race Pace Shape methodology as well as our own experience with the method.
Here is Rons article.
I thought you might like to hear an ALL-Ways success story.
It was the 7th race at Calder on November 22, a full field for a $100,000 stakes race on the turf at 1 1/16 mile. Most of the action was going to Sheikh Rattle, being ridden by Mike Smith, in town for another ride later on the card. The profile I had written for an Honest turf route came up with a first choice of East of Easy with Sheikh Rattle as the second choice.
An examination of the ALL-Ways All Factors Report showed East of Easy as the top rated horse for Turf Record, Workout(s), Hall Speed 2/3, Hall EP 2/3 (Early Pace) and Hall Combined 2/3 (Early Pace plus Final Fraction). He had several other bold face type ratings, including a third on the Brohamer Total Ranking. East of Easy looked like a good alternative to the crowd favorite, and the fact that Romero was riding was considered by me to be a big bonus.
East of Easy opened at about 10-1 and climbed steadily to a post time 25-1. Because of the possibility of a huge Exacta, I decided to wheel him on top of the Exacta and play him under four horses (including the favorite). Romero rode masterfully, passed the pace horses in the stretch and battled off a challenge from Sheikh Rattle, who was caught in the final yards by The Kaiser, a 13-1 runner.
The result: $52.80 to win and $995.20 for the Exacta, the largest I have ever cashed.
A few days before, based on your White Paper, I had begun to experiment with profiles for place and show horses. Because of the wheel, I didnt even bother to check that. But, when I did look at the place profile for turf routes, guess who was at the top of the list? The Kaiser.
The icing on the cake to this day was the very next race which was a 7-furlongs, $20,000 Allowance on the dirt. My profile (honest sprints for non-maidens) produced Always Wild as the top rated horse. Always Wild went off at 10-1. I played him to win and over three horses in the Exacta. He won, followed by Streeterville, the ALL-Ways third rated pick and one of my exactas. $22.50 to win and $108.20 for the Exacta.
Thanks for an effective program.
Congratulations Ron on using ALL-Ways software effectively and letting us know about your success.
Handicapping Profile Series
Handicapping Profile Strategies
In our previous newsletter (January 1998) we started to explore different strategies for creating and using custom Handicapping Profiles. Specifically, we discussed two different strategies. One was the High Percentage Win Strategy. The other was the Opposing Pace Strategy.
In this newsletter, we are going to introduce you to three more Handicapping Profile strategies. They are the Second Opinion Strategy, the Unbalanced Horse Strategy and the Long Shot Strategy.
The Second Opinion Strategy
The key to this Handicapping Profile strategy is to NOT use the same handicapping factors that are used in the High Percentage Win profiles. This strategy allows you to handicap a race from entirely different perspectives. This is a very powerful capability that ALL-Ways software provides for you. Most horse players only have time to handicap a race one way. ALL-Ways software, on the other hand, makes it easy for you to handicap a race two or three times, in just a matter of seconds. And, each time you handicap you can use a different Handicapping Profile that looks at the race in a different way.
This is a matter of personal choice, but we still like to include one handicapping factor from the group of form factors, one from the group of class factors and one from the group of speed factors. We will generally include two or three other handicapping factors in each Second Opinion profile as well. This is the same way we like to construct the High Win Percentage profiles.
Remember, though, that we want to use different factors in the Second Opinion profiles than we use in the High Percentage Win profiles. For example, the Impact Value Analysis might show you that the BRIS Back Class and BRIS Back Speed factors have good Impact Values. These two factors, by the way, are often very powerful when used to handicap dirt and turf route races. So, perhaps you will want to use these factors in your Second Opinion profile instead of the BRIS and Hall speed figures and the BRIS class figures that are derived primarily from recent races. This really makes for a powerful Second Opinion profile because it will find horses that are likely winners if they can run back to their previous best figures. These profiles often find higher priced horses.
Another class factor that you may want to use is the Scott Performance Class Rating. Another speed figure you may want to try is the Scott Last Race Ability Time. In the group of form factors, the Hambleton Form Points is often very powerful, particularly for maiden races. All three of these factors mentioned in this paragraph can lead to nice scores because the public does not see them and has no idea how to calculate the figures on their own.
For factors outside of form, class and speed you may want to add factors such as the horses pedigree figures or the horses jockey and trainer figures or the very powerful Brohamer Compound Pace Ratings.
ALL-Ways software provides you with 71 key handicapping factors, many of which are not available to the general public. ALL-Ways software provides you with a very simple way to determine the Impact Values (the power) of each of these handicapping factors. ALL-Ways software gives you a simple way to create Handicapping Profiles made up of selected factors weighted by their Impact Values. ALL-Ways software also gives you a simple way to test the effectiveness of any profile by running it through the Race Database for the track.
The point of all this is that there is no reason for you to be locked into a single method of handicapping. Use the power of ALL-Ways software to give you its primary opinion using the High Win Percentage profile and then one or more second opinions using different Handicapping Profiles.
The Unbalanced Horse Strategy
First, lets see what we mean by an unbalanced horse. An unbalanced horse either looks good from a speed figure standpoint but bad from a class standpoint or, just the opposite, looks good from a class standpoint but bad from a speed figure standpoint.
So, why should we be interested in an unbalanced horse that, by definition, has a major flaw when it come to either speed or class? Here is the answer. The public, in its quite proper effort to narrow the horses down to just a few contenders and to do so in a limited amount of time, is very quick to throw out low speed figure horses, never looking at the class factor. Likewise, unless the horse is the top speed figure horse, the public will also discount low class horses. Consequently, these unbalanced horses tend to go off at very nice mutuel prices. They can even make it to long shot status which we arbitrarily define as 10 to 1 or higher.
There are two reasons to be interested in these high paying unbalanced horses:
1. These horses very often will be the place and/or show horses. Their strong factor (speed or class) got them in-the-money but their weak factor (speed or class) kept them from winning the race.
2. These horses sometimes put it all together and win the race. The low speed/high class horse all of a sudden carries its speed further and posts a speed figure good enough to win. The low class/high speed horse raises its competitive level a couple of notches. Unbalanced horses are often the woulda, coulda, shoulda horses. After they unexpectedly win a race or mess up the Exacta or Trifecta, we take another look at the horse and say I should have seen that.
Two different Handicapping Profiles are needed for this strategy. One will look for the high speed/low class horse. The other will look for the high class/low speed horse. Here is how we suggest you create them. For the high speed/low class profile, just duplicate the High Win Percentage profile except do not use any class handicapping factors. For the high class/low speed profile, just duplicate the High Win Percentage profile except do not use any speed handicapping factors.
When you use this method, you are essentially telling ALL-Ways software to show you its top picks ignoring speed and to show you its top picks ignoring class. It has the advantage of using all the other factors in the High Win Percentage profile. This insures that the horses selected by these special profiles have at least something going for them besides just class or speed.
Once the profiles are created, just handicap the race three times, once each for the High Win Percentage profile, the high speed/low class profile and the high class/low speed profile. Users of the Professional Edition of ALL-Ways software can obviously use all three profiles at the same time.
Note that you should consider the top three picks of these profiles, not just the top pick. Indeed, all three profiles may well select the same horse as the top pick. However, they will generally not select the same horses as their top three picks. The second and third picks of the Unbalanced Horse Strategy profiles may well be the unbalanced horses we are trying to find.
The Long Shot Strategy
The IV Analysis Report is used to spot the factors that are long shot oriented. The selection of these factors is quite different than selecting factors for the High Win Percentage profile. When we run the IV Analysis, we will first set the Race Screens to analyze only races where the winner paid over a certain amount. For example, you can tell ALL-Ways software to analyze only races where the winner paid more than $20 to win. To do this, go to the Analysis Module, enter the track code for the track you want to analyze, click the Create button, set the Mutuel Win Payoff to $20 and then run the Impact Value Analysis. ALL-Ways software will now analyze only those races where the winner paid $20 or more to win.
When looking at a long shot oriented IV Analysis Report, here are some things that you will notice:
The Impact Values will be low. Few, if any, will be as high as 2.0. Rarely will you see anything as high as 3.0. On the other hand, return on $2 bets will be high including, generally, some as high as $4 to $5 and even some as high as $6 to $7. When you think about this, it makes perfect sense. Long shot horses are harder to predict, so IVs will be low. On the other hand, long shots will, in our example, pay more than $20 to win. Since we are looking only at races with these kind of payoffs, it stands to reason that the return on $2 wagers will be high.
There will be very logical reasons why certain factors stand out in the first ranking slot on our long shot IV Analysis. Here are some of the logical reasons that seem to show up at most tracks:
For the same reason, you will often see one or more of the early pace ratings such as BRIS EP or HALL EP. These ratings are measured to the second call (4 furlongs in sprints and 6 furlongs in routes). The combination of FCP and EP appears to be very strong for finding long shots. This is very logical since horses loose on the lead seem to account for a significant number of surprise winners.
Finally, you will also frequently see a final fraction pace figure to be significant such as BRIS FF (final fraction) or Hall FF. Again, this is very logical since many surprise winners seem to be horses that come out of nowhere at the end of the race to upset at a nice price.
So much for logic. Here is one we have not figured out in terms of a logical explanation. Perhaps that is why it leads to so many long shot plays. The Mud ratings are dynamite at finding long shots on fast dirt tracks at virtually every distance and at virtually every track in North America. This includes BRIS Mud Speed, BRIS Mud Class, Mud Effort and Mud Record. You will see this when you run an IV Analysis for long shot horses. It truly is amazing. Ordinarily, we would advise against using mud factors for fast track races. However, in long shot profiles we do indeed suggest that you use them if the IV Analysis Report shows them to have good IVs. The consistency of these mud factors for just about every kind of race run at just about every track when long shots win the races is just too strong to ignore.
Here are some key guidelines for selecting long shot factors:
Limit your long shot profiles to 3 or 4 factors. There will often be 6 to 8 factors from which to choose. This is why you may want to have two different long shot profiles for a particular race type. When constructing a profile, avoid using two factors that measure the same thing. For example, do not use BRIS EP and Hall EP in the same profile. Also, do not use two factors that measure opposites such as Early Pace and Final Fraction. Split these factors into two different profiles.
Use the Calculated IVs without lowering or smoothing them. In other words, just use the calculated IVs as is.
Determining which combination of factors works best may take some trial and error efforts. Just construct a profile one way and then run the Database Run Analysis. Then construct it another way and run the analysis again. Remember to set the Mutuel Payoff Race Screen to $20 before running the DB Run Analysis.
Now, here is a very important point: These results are based on looking only at races where the winner paid $20 or more. But, you will use the Long Shot profiles for all races. So, the question is: When will the long shots really come in? ALL-Ways software really helps us here. What you will find is that these long shot profiles, more often than not, will select a horse that is going off at less than $20. In these cases, you will probably want to ignore the long shot selection in favor of the selection made by the High Win Percentage profile. But, when the long shot profile does identify a horse that the public is letting go off at $20 or more and you concur that the horse has a legitimate shot, then you should be all over the horse with multiple bets. We would probably play it to win and place and we would surely include the horse in Exactas and Trifectas.
A fairly typical example of how a Long Shot Strategy profile works occurred in the eighth race at Santa Anita on January 31, 1998. Elmhurst was the very heavy favorite at post time and indeed was selected by the High Win Percentage profile. The Long Shot Strategy profile, on the other hand, liked Fun On the Run first and Red second. Both Fun On the Run and Red had decent speed and class figures, so it was not a stretch to think they could finish in-the-money. Well, they came in first and second respectively and Elmhurst finished third. Fun On the Run paid $29.40 to win. The Exacta paid $203 and the Trifecta paid $378.
Version 7.0 Progress Report
ALL-Ways software Version 7.0 development is on schedule for delivery late this Spring. We are still not going to divulge all the new features that have been added. We will say this, however. If you play Exactas or Trifectas, you are going to love version 7.0. If you use the Race Pace Shape methodology that we introduced in our October 1996 newsletter (Fast Early, Lone Early, Honest and Slow), you are going to love version 7.0. Plus there is a lot more included that will be of great interest to all ALL-Ways software handicappers.
The Race Databases automatically built for tracks by ALL-Ways software every time you handicap a race card are at the core of the success of ALL-Ways software. These databases are what make ALL-Ways software both track specific and race type specific. The ability to fine tune ALL-Ways software to specific race types run at specific tracks is what makes ALL-Ways software so powerful.
Version 7.0 unleashes even more of the power of these track specific Race Databases. If you are just starting to use ALL-Ways software or if you are about to start using ALL-Ways software for the first time, we suggest you concentrate on building Race Databases for the tracks you handicap the most often. The new features in version 7.0 seem to "kick into high gear" at about 150 to 200 total races (total of all types) for a track. Note that you can download and process the ALL-Ways software data files and the Flash Results files without actually handicapping the races. When you click the "Automatic Button" to automatically enter the race results, ALL-Ways software actually handicaps the races, adds the race results and then updates the Race Database for the track.
NEXT: July 1998, Number 10
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