How to Improve your ROI with Early Pace Boxes

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Since March 14th I’ve been playing only Early Pace Box qualifiers with a Form Factor Rating of 3 or better, and they fit the eligibility conditions profiles. I played them all to win. This morning I did my books. I was astonished at the results. I broke them down into two groups. The first group had one of six important “edgy” form factors, which I’ll list in a minute. The other group did not; they simply fit the eligibility conditions, had a FFR of 3 or better, and were Early Pace Box qualifiers. I had 51 total plays. Obviously, we’re talking simulcasting here; you can’t get that many plays following a couple of tracks per day. Here are the total results and the grouped results.

All 51 plays -
Invested: $102 (Figured on flat $2 bets)
Gross Return: $155.40
Profit: $53.40
ROI: +52.3 %

Group without one of the “edgy” factors
Total plays for this group: 22
Invested: $44
Gross Return: 24.60
Profit: -$19.40
ROI: -44%

Group with one of the “edgy” factors: (Factors based on extensive research)
Total plays for this group: 29
Invested: $58
Gross Return: $130.80
Profit: $72.80
ROI: +125 %

As you can see the 51 total plays came in with an excellent ROI of +52.3 %. I’ll take that any month. But look at the group without the “edgy” factors – a loss of $19.40 for the $44 invested along with a negative ROI of 44 %. That’s almost half the invested dollars. Horrible.

Now look the group with the “edgy” factors – an incredible ROI of +125 %. Wow. So let’s get to the six “edgy” factors that flag a horse for improvement. But first remember we’re talking about horses that will be racing in a very comfortable pace match-up environment; the pace boxes give us that information. And too we’re talking about horses the fit the eligibility conditions spot on. Plus, the Form Factor Rating of 3 or better does a lot of handicapping for us. If you’re having trouble with the eligibility conditions part of this approach, please get your hands on a copy of James Quinn’s The Handicapper’s Condition Book. You’ll be up to speed in no time. Now for those 6 important factors. (I’ll list them so it’s easy to scan the PA PPs from left to right.)

1. L1 or L2: The horse is coming off a layoff of less than 3 months or the horse is entered second start of a layoff. We want fresh horses.
2. CP: This class profile is a as follows – dropping to the lowest level out of the last three races. Class and pace is a killer combination and a great bet at any track on any day.
3. PF!: The last three PA pace figures are 100 or better. Excellent pace ability in a comfortable pace environment is a powerful combination. We’re talking about dominating the early pace of the race.
4. F6+: The horse is coming out of a key pace race of Fast 6 or better. These horses are wound up and ready to uncoil for an improved effort.
5. PR+: This one is the surprise pace race. I owe this one to Bob Heyburn. His book Fast & Fit Horses pointed this one out a number of years ago. It’s a powerful indicator that a horse is ready for improvement. The surprise pace race is flagged when a horse is less than ¾ of a length off the pace at the second/pace call (including leading at the second/pace call) but did not do it in it’s previous race; that’s why it’s a surprise.
6. $!: This is the surprise in the money finish. The horse finished 2nd or 3rd for the first time in 3 races. For example, the horse finished 6th three races back then 4th the second race back then finished third, say, in it’s last race. You’ll get some good odds with this one because the betting public seems to think it was a fluke. I love this one.

Remember, the Early Pace Box qualifiers need only one of these factors. One other thing, no winners last race unless the win was earned against a Fast 6 or better. That’s a powerful performance and a profile that repeats if the horse is moving up in class.

I use a green highlighter to mark these factors on my PPs. I call them “edgy” because, well, they’re not mushy. The horses that burned so much money are in the mushy group. They had a lot going for them but something was missing, and as it turns out they were missing one of these important improvement (“edgy”) form factor flags.

Follow this link for Early Pace Box instructions.

April 9, 2010 • Posted in: Articles

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