July 1998, Number 10
INSIDE THIS NEWSLETTER
Handicapping Profile Series
ALL-Ways Software Version 7.0
ALL-Ways Version 7.0 is now available. Version 7.0 is packed with impressive new features including important new tools for finding place and show horses and automatic Multiple Regression Handicapping Profiles for Fast Early, Lone Early, Honest and Slow Race Pace Shapes. A description of the more than 20 new features in Version 7.0 and instructions for obtaining your copy of the new software begin on page 4 of this Newsletter.
Frandsen Publishing is a family run business. We work hard to provide you with more and more powerful versions of ALL-Ways software, with insightful information in our newsletters and on our Web site and we believe we provide the best customer support in the business. Well, we are ready for what we believe is a well deserved family vacation. So, Frandsen Publishing will be temporarily shutting down its support operations for a few days in July and August. We will be closed from July 17th through August 5th. During this time, you can still leave messages for us (telephone or e-mail) and we will answer them when we return. You can also continue to call Bloodstock Research for support at 1- 800-354-9206.
For the Newsletter: We would very much like to receive materials from ALL-Ways software users that we can publish in our Newsletters. We would like to publish articles written by ALL-Ways software handicappers that cover their experiences and techniques for using ALL-Ways software successfully. We are not after testimonials. Instead we would like this Newsletter to become a forum for ALL-Ways software handicappers to share their ideas and experiences.
For the Web site: Work has begun on completing the Users Corner of our Web site (www.frandsen.com). One feature of this part of the site will be the availability of Handicapping Profiles for different tracks in North America. You will be able to download Handicapping Profiles for a track into your computer and use them until you have built up your own Race Database for the track. These Handicapping Profiles are contributed by other ALL-Ways software handicappers. If you are a taker, please be a maker! Please e-mail your Handicapping Profile files to us or send them to us on a disk. Please be sure to run the MRA Default function before sending your profiles. The files are in the FRANFILE directory/folder in your computer. There are two files for each track: 1) iv.xxx 2) ivdex.xxx. The "xxx" is the track code. For example, the Handicapping Profiles for Belmont would be in the two files named iv.bel and ivdex.bel. So, if you have a good sized Race Database for a track, say 200 or more races, please share your Handicapping Profiles for the track with other ALL-Ways software handicappers.
Handicapping Profile Series
In ALL-Ways software newsletters numbers five through nine, we published a five-part series on Handicapping Profiles. This postscript article briefly summarizes the series and makes some final observations.
To handicap the races and arrive at an oddsline, ALL-Ways software uses Handicapping Profiles typically made up of four to six handicapping factors that are weighted by their Impact Values. There are three kinds of Handicapping Profiles in ALL-Ways software; 1) The Default Profiles which you use when handicapping a track for the first few times; 2) Multiple Regression Analysis (MRA) Profiles which are profiles automatically created based on an analysis of your Race Database for a track; 3) Custom Profiles that you make on your own using a simple point and click process.
In the first two installments of the series, we showed you how important it is to segment races. For example, we showed how a single profile aimed at both maiden and non-maiden races had a negative ROI. But, when separate profiles were created, one for maidens and one for non-maidens, they both had very substantial positive ROIs. We discussed the nine different Race Screens in ALL-Ways software that can be used in any combination, providing the ability to segment the races just about any way imaginable. We also recommended that you try the race segmentation scheme based on Race Pace Shapes (Fast Early, Lone Early, Honest, Slow). This is such a powerful method that, in Version 7.0, we automated the process of creating Race Pace Shape profiles (See page 4).
If a profile is not working well for you for a particular set of race types, the solution almost always can be found by a more narrow segmentation of the races.
In the third installment of the series we showed you how to create your own profiles and gave you some tips for making the profiles as predictive as possible.
In the final two installments we discussed five different Handicapping Profile strategies.
1. High Percentage Win Strategy
2. Opposing Pace Strategy
3. Second Opinion Strategy
4. Unbalanced Horses Strategy
5. Long Shot Strategy.
All of these strategies are powerful. It would be worth your while to go back and re-read them.
There you have it. For those of you who are analytical, and most handicappers are, you will find making custom handicapping profiles to be both profitable and very enjoyable.
We hope we have peaked your interest and stimulated your thinking. ALL-Ways software is an incredibly powerful handicapping tool that can be used in a myriad of ways. We encourage you to explore and experiment. And, we insist that you HAVE FUN!
Betting the Daily Double
Ask just about any group of handicappers to name their favorite wager and chances are that not one of them will mention the Daily Double. For some reason, the Double is viewed as kind of old fashioned and not very exciting. So, why are we presenting this article on the Double? Pure and simple, the Double is one of the very best wagers in all of racing. True, the Double does not offer the prospect of the mega-payoffs we see from time to time from Trifecta and Pick 3 wagers. But, it does offer a consistent source of overlay wagers where you have a nice positive edge, the key to profitability. And, the Double is easier to win then Exactas and Trifectas simply because it is easier to select winners than it is to select place and show horses. So, if you are only after excitement, by all means stick only with Trifectas and Pick 3s. If you are serious about making money at the track, add the Double to your arsenal of wagers.
In this article, we will examine the Double to see why it is such a good type of wager. Then we will explore effective wagering practices for the Double.
Double payoffs are, far more often than not, solid overlay wagers. We consider the Double payoff to be an overlay if the payoff is higher than what you would have received for a straight two race win bet parlay. For example, lets say the winner of the first leg paid $10 to win and the winner of the second leg paid $8 to win. If you bet $2 on the winner of the first leg, you would receive a $10 payoff. In a parlay, you would then wager the $10 on the second race. If you bet on the winner of the second race, you win the $8 payoff five times. Hence, the parlay paid $40. If the Double combination on these two horses pays more than $40, it is an overlay. If it pays $44, it is a 10% overlay. If it pays $50, it is a 25% overlay. Several years ago, Dick Mitchell, an author of handicapping and wagering books, did a study of the Double at Southern California tracks. He found that fully seventy-five percent of all Doubles were overlays. That number is even more impressive when you consider that Southern California tracks typically have short fields.
There two good reasons why Doubles are generally good overlays.
1. First, track pay out a high percentage of the Double pool compared to what it pays for a two race win parlay. In a two race win parlay, you pay the track win takeout twice, once for each race. You only pay one takeout for the Double. It is pretty clear that one Double takeout of say 20% is better than two win takeouts of say 17% each. Also, Breakage, which is the money kept by tracks when they round payoffs down to avoid paying off pennies, is far more significant as a percentage of win payoffs than it is for the much larger Double payoffs.
2. The second reason Double payoffs generally are overlays is because the crowd is very inefficient at wagering on the Double. The crowds favorite Double wager is the 3 horse criss cross which is all possible combinations of three horses in the first race with three horses in the second race. That is a total of nine combination wagers. Dick Mitchells study mentioned above showed that the 3 x 3 criss cross resulted in a negative ROI of -37% at Southern California tracks. This is pretty easy to understand when you consider that the 3 x 3 criss cross guarantees you at least eight losing wagers to get one possible winning wager.
There is still another reason the public is so inefficient at wagering on the Double. They tend to bet the same amount on each combination without regard to the probable payoffs for each combination. They will call the wager something like this: Give me a $5 double with the 1, 3 and 5 horses in the first and the 2, 4 and 6 horses in the second. This violates one of the basic fundamentals of good wagering practices which is to bet more money on the higher probability combinations (lower odds) than on the lower probability combinations (higher odds).
Listen to what James Quinn, another author of handicapping books, says about the public wagering on the Double. Paraphrasing Gordon Jones, James Quinn said: The betting public is held to behave foolishly at the Exacta and Double windows. They bet jockey combos, trainer combos, number combos and color combos. Saturated with bets based on whim, whisper, sentiment and hope, exotic pools do not resemble the normal distribution of money characteristics of straight pools.
Another nice thing about the Double is that you get to see the probable payoffs. You do not have to bet it blindly.
Now, lets turn our attention to how best to play the Double. First, lets look at some situations to avoid.
- Avoid Double combinations that require the same trainer to win both legs. These are typically over bet by the public thus creating underlays and they rarely work.
- Avoid double combinations that require the same jockey to win both legs. These are typically over bet by the public thus creating underlays. You can limit this restriction to the best and most well known jockeys at the track.
- Avoid Double combinations that pair the crowds favorite in the first leg with the crowds probable favorite in the second leg. The public over bets this combination as well and it is almost always an underlay.
- Avoid Doubles where both legs have short fields. One field being short is OK, but not both.
If you avoid the situations described above, the vast majority of the remaining Doubles will be overlays.
Enough about what not to do. Now, we will cover some things that you should look for.
- Look for false favorites in either leg of the Double. This is where you see a good reason why the crowds favorite will not, in your opinion, win the race. Very often such a situation arises when the favorite does not fit well with the pace scenario of the race.
- Look for a legitimate long shot in either leg.
- Studies indicate that the crowd seriously under-bets short odds favorites in the second leg of the Double. Remember the point we made earlier about the public betting the same amount on each combination. Here is where it really helps us. If a legitimate favorite is going off at 3 to 2 or lower odds in the second race of the Double you can use that horse in combinations with confidence that you are getting nice overlays. Of course you do not want to bet such a horse in combination with a legitimate low odds favorite in the first race.
- Most tracks include an early Double and a late Double on a race card. The late Double almost always presents great wagering opportunities. At this point in the day, the public is generally trying to catch up and makes indiscriminate and larger wagers on the Double. Be on the lookout for good plays in the late Double.
Now, we will look at how we might structure our wagers on the Double. First, here is an absolutely vital rule:
Remember this. Too many combinations mean too many losing tickets such that the losing combinations ruin a solid overlay winning double combination. Remember that the Double is a great wager because the public bets too many combinations. You will lose your advantage if you bet too many combinations as well.
Here is a simple and very clever way to cut down on the combinations you play and that also gives you the possibility of winning the Double twice. Lets say you like horses A, B and C in the first race and you think horse A has the best chance of winning. Then lets say you like horses A, B and C in the second race and you think horse A has the best chance of winning. The public would bet this as a 3 x 3 criss cross with 9 combinations. Their wager would be ABC with ABC. Here is how we would make this wager:
|Race 1||Race 2|
|Wager set #1||A||ABC|
|Wager set #2||ABC||A|
In other words, we would bet combinations of horse A in race one with the three horses in race two and we would bet combinations of the three horses in race one with the A horse in race two. That is a total of six combinations instead of the nine combinations of a 3 x 3 criss cross. And, if your favorite, horse A, wins both legs, you win the bet twice.
This wager structure works well for other situations as well. Lets say you like four horses in the first race and two in the second race, again with the A horses being your favorites. Here is how we would structure the wager:
|Race 1||Race 2|
|Wager set #1||A||AB|
|Wager set #2||ABCD||A|
Again, we have only six combinations and we have the opportunity to win the wager twice.
Remember to bet proportionately more on the lower paying combinations than the higher paying combinations. You do not need to be precise. Approximations will do. Here is an example of betting four horses in the first leg with a single Key horse in the second leg:
Wagering experts will tell you that the proper way to play the double is to use the win odds for each horse to calculate the fair payoff for every two horse combination and then increase this amount by the amount necessary to cover your losing combinations. Then you would wager on only those combinations where the probable payoff exceeded your calculated figure. That is indeed the right way. However, it is very time consuming and quite difficult to do at the track, particularly when the odds and the probable payoffs keep changing right up to post time.
The Double is a very unique wager. If you avoid the specific situations we described earlier, the Double almost assuredly will be a nice overlay. When you see the probable payoffs, you will most likely instinctively know if there is enough of a premium to cover your losing combinations. Just remember that you want a premium over what a two race parlay would pay.
The Double is a great wager. Plain and simple, it will help you be profitable at the track .
ALL-Ways Version 7.0
ALL-Ways software Version 7.0 is now available for immediate delivery.
Powerful New Features
Perhaps the most notable new feature in Version 7.0 is the Multiple Regression Analysis (MRA) Pace function. Now, with the simple click of the mouse button, ALL-Ways software will automatically create Handicapping Profiles based on the Race Pace Shape concepts we first introduced in our October 1996 Newsletter (Fast Early, Lone Early, Honest and Slow). We have heard from literally hundreds of ALL-Ways handicappers that are using this Race Pace Shape strategy with truly great success.
Also, in Version 7.0 we have added to ALL-Ways softwares already impressive capabilities to spot place and show horses. Specifically, there is a new Impact Value (IV) Analysis Report for place horses and another for show horses. Now, with the simple click of the mouse button, you can see exactly how powerful each of ALL-Ways software 71 key handicapping factors is in terms of finding place and show horses. You can use this information to build Handicapping Profiles aimed directly at place and at show horses.
All told, there are more than 20 new features in ALL-Ways software Version 7.0. They are listed below.
- MRA Pace function for making Handicapping Profiles based on Race Pace Shapes
- Impact Value Analysis for place horses
- Impact Value Analysis for show horses
- MRA Custom function for automatically making place horse Handicapping Profiles (*)
- MRA Custom function for automatically making show horse Handicapping Profiles (*)
- Automatic handicapping of first time starters with an integrated oddsline
- Database Export function for exporting ALL-Ways software data to popular spreadsheet and database programs (*)
- Morning Line odds and saddlecloth numbers on handicapping reports
- A comprehensive Track Payoff Analysis Report for win, Exacta and Trifecta payoffs
- Separate Analysis Reports for main and inner tracks at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga
- Separate MRA Custom Handicapping Profiles for main and inner tracks (*)
- Separate Brohamer Track Models for main and inner tracks
- User Preference Settings for the rules governing contender selection
- Tightened rules for identifying Dangerous Non-Contenders
- Recent workouts added to the Past Performance Report including displaying seconds per furlong
- Install and operate ALL-Ways software on any disk drive
Plus there are many new features that make ALL-Ways software even easier to use. Among other things, this includes the ability to delete/undelete ranges of races and the ability to select file names from lists instead of having to key enter them.
(*) Features with an asterisk are exclusive to the Professional Edition.
We strongly urge you to stay current with the most recent version of ALL-Ways software. Versions 5.0 and 6.0 are compatible with Version 7.0. However, they will not be compatible with Version 8.0 which is currently under development. "Behind the scenes", Version 7.0 is collecting data/information that will be used in Version 8.0. You will only be able to upgrade to Version 8.0 from Version 7.0.
How to Get Your Copy of Version 7.0
ALL-Ways software Version 7.0 Standard Edition can be downloaded from the Handicappers Library on the BRIS dial-up service. It can be downloaded from the BRIS Web site (www.brisnet.com) in the ALL-Ways software part of the Free Software section of the site. You can also call BRIS at 1-800-354-9206 and ask them to mail the software to you along with the Users Manual. There is a $6.95 charge for shipping and handling.
ALL-Ways software Version 7.0 Professional Edition is available from Frandsen Publishing by calling 612-937-9180.
NEXT: October 1998, Number 11
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