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PaceAppraiser Newsletter 05.06.2010

Good news: We have a new standalone program that will locate early pace box horses in a flash. You can sort by CSFR (Competitive Speed Figure Range), FFR3+ (Form Factor Rating of 3 or better), 2dEPB (Early Pace Box horses along with Lone Early Pace Box qualifiers), PCZ (Horses that qualify in the Pace Comfort Zone category last race, and F6+ (Horse coming out of Key Pace Races starting at Fast 6).

With this small standalone program you can sort for the above factors in any combination in a split second. For example, I downloaded 10 tracks for today and found the Early Pace Box horses at all those tracks instantly. What a time saver. My goal has always been this: Find ways to process as much information as possible and as efficiently as possible; fast without oversights. If you want to find the Fast 6 horses, done. Looking only for Fast 6 and CSFR horses? Done…etc.

I’ve been testing the program since March 14th and it’s been doing the job spot on. As a matter of fact, I’ve been concentrating on Early Pace Box horses exclusively since that date. All I’ve had to do is download my files from BRIS, unzip them with UnPacker (You can download that unzip utility at PaceAppraiser Extra), launch the little program, load the folder where my BRIS files live, and there they are, listed and ready to print. From there I load the PaceAppraiser PPs and go directly to those races at the listed track and hit print. At this point, and this is important, I’m ready to look at the eligibility conditions and form cycles. Remember, this is not an automatic betting system but rather a very fast way to zero in on horses that will be traveling in a comfortable pace environment and qualify on the other important factors powered by the program. If you want you can drop the early pace box option and look at any other combination. For example, I like to look for Form Factor Rating 3+ horses that are coming out of a Fast 6 pace of the race velocity. That’s a good combination and one I’m adding to my pace box plays.

How to: Download the program zip file. Unzip it to your Desktop. Open the folder. Click the program and you’re ready to go. Jason and I are working on adding some additional factors to the program like surprise in the money finishes ($!), surprise pace race (PR+), superior pace figure horses (PF!), extreme pace match-up horses, all the horses that fit in pace boxes, which includes lone front-runners, lone pressers, and late pace advantaged horses. We’re also looking into adding all the factors to the web based PPs. Once we do that you won’t need the standalone program.

Please Note: You will need NET Framework 2.0 or higher to run the program. Check your Windows Updates or your Control Panel. Most computers are set to go so try the program first.

More good news: It’s FREE (for subscribers current only).

Subscribers have been notified. If you’re a subscriber but didn’t receive the notification let me know and I’ll get the program to you ASAP. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

Regards,

Randy

May 6, 2010 • Posted in: Articles, Updates • No Comments

Horse Racing, Baseball and Emotions

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“Showing emotion is just not done because baseball (horse racing) is such a humbling game. The exultation of success is going to be followed in short order by the cold slap of failure. Any team’s success. Anyone’s success. So why get high when a low is just around the corner. Baseball (horse racing) is a life best lived in an emotionally temperate zone.” Men At Work by George F. Will.

May 5, 2010 • Posted in: Articles • No Comments

The Power of Pace Velocity Ratings

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Want to know how that speed figure was earned? What about flagging horses on the improve? Would you like to know a horse’s pace ability – how it handles a certain pace velocity? What about discovering the quality of the race a horse faced in the past? Want to uncover key pace races? Would like to build a new kind of pace shape? Well, you can do all of this with Pace Velocity Ratings. Here are the six important reasons that pace velocity ratings are so powerful.

1. Speed figures are influenced by pace velocity. The pace of the race velocity rating adjusts the “raw” speed figures. The data file version has two speed figures. The second one is the adjusted one. So what? Well, imagine a favorite with the best unadjusted speed figure in the field, a 100. Let’s say the pace was slow 5 in its last race. Depending on the speed figure vendor the adjusted speed figure could be a 92! Depending on the speed figures of the other horses in the field and the pace match-up, we have just exposed a false favorite. The betting public usually makes the top speed figure horse the favorite. Not always but most of the time. Without pace of the race velocity ratings you could not have adjusted the speed figure to expose the false favorite.

2. Just like stock market traders who are looking for stocks on the way up, handicappers are looking for horses on the upward side of their form cycle. Declining stocks and horses do not help the bottom line. So how does a pace velocity rating help in this regard? PaceAppraiser research shows that horses moving into the turn against a fast pace improve in subsequent races – especially in the maiden ranks. A fast pace plus a move into the turn is a flag for improving form. With pace of the race velocity ratings you will flag those horses for improvement.

3. Horses that stay close to the pace against a fast pace velocity rating and continue on to record par speed figures are the best horses in their class. These horses are more likely to succeed as they move up the class ladder. A par speed figure earned against a fast pace represents above average ability. So? How do you know? The velocity rating tells the tale. Simply check the velocity rating and position at the pace call. But remember, off pace horses (P/C, C) are disadvantaged if the pace of the race was slow. A Slow 5 does not help ordinary off pace horses come on late.

4. Check the pace of the race velocity rating and the speed figure of the winner. Superior races are fast at the pace call and par or better for the winner’s speed figure. How does this help the bottom line? It helps to know the quality of a race when Maiden Special Weights move into Non-Winners Allowance races. Slow pace Maiden winners routinely fail at the next higher class level if their win was against a slow pace. Plus, it’s simply fun to sit down with a stack of past performances and rate the quality of Stake Races, Graded and all.

5. Key pace races are Fast 5 and higher. These races routinely produce winners. So how do you use it? Simple. You must take a second look at any horse coming out of a Fast 5 and higher race. These are the best races, the highest quality, so make sure you don’t miss potential overlays. The Fast 5 flags these races.

6. The inverse relationship between pace and final time is revealed with pace shapes. Again, so what? Off pace horses that have “bad” last race pacelines could have been the recipient of a Slow/Fast pace shape. Not good. Fast/Slow would be ideal. Pace shapes give us that information. Here’s how to do it with pace of the race ratings: Note the pace rating, par or whatever, and the speed figure of the winner relative to par for that class. A Fast/Fast pace are the best. As I mentioned above off pace horses are disadvantaged when confronted with a pace shape of Slow/Fast. Using the pace of the race ratings and par speed figure charts creates a powerful tool to determine if a certain horse was at a pace disadvantage or not.

So there it is. A simple number that ends up as a powerful handicapping tool, an overlay producer.

April 27, 2010 • Posted in: Articles • No Comments

The Handicapper’s Condition Book and Pace

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I don’t recommend books very often but there’s one you just have to have to be a complete player, I think. It’s called The Handicapper’s Condition Book by James Quinn. If you have it read it again and again. Keep it close by. If you don’t have it then buy it. I think it comes down to this: Find horses that fit the eligibility conditions of the race and make sure those horses will be comfortable with the pace match-up. That’s called class and pace – the best combination. You’ll play fewer races. You’ll make more money. That’s been my experience. Try it.

Buy The Handicapper’s Condition Book here.

April 20, 2010 • Posted in: Articles • No Comments

Physiology and Speed Figures

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Let’s say a horse gets loose on the lead and runs a final time of 1:47 at 1 1/8 mile. And let’s say the pace was 1:09 4/5th. Now let’s say the average or par pace time for this final time is 1:08 flat. The race comes up slow 9 at the pace call and earns a speed figure of 120. Okay.

Now let’s pretend this horse comes back in 3 weeks and gets loose on the lead again and finishes at the same 1:47 but posted this final time with a par pace of 1:08 flat. This would lead you to believe that pace velocity does not matter. Final time is all that matters. In other words, pace does not influence final time. But wait. Let’s try one more scenario. Three weeks after the last performance our good thing comes back and tries to get loose on the lead again as his running style requires but this time there are two challengers. At the pace call they battle it out in a 1:07 flat but our good thing wins in a photo finish at 1:47 again. That’s a fast 5 at the pace call!

Now which race deserves the best speed figure?

Here’s my answer. The race of 1:09 4/5th was run mostly from the aerobic system. There was plenty of oxygen and the anaerobic:aerobic ratio was low enough that the build up of lactic acid was removed efficiently. The horse never seriously approached the anaerobic threshold, sometimes called the lactate threshold; this is where at some point oxygen debt must be paid. Lollygagged to the pace call and then sprinted home. Easy 1:47. The 1:47 earned with a par pace of 1:08 called on extra reserves of energy but still not fast enough to cause serious problems. That’s a nice 1:47

Okay. As I said the race came up a Fast 5 in that third race! Horses faced with that kind of velocity at the pace call must call upon deep reserves of oxygen and energy in order to sustain the drive to the finish line in decent time. So the sprint to the 1:07 in our route used the anaerobic system that creates a build up of lactic acid that’s greater than its removal and so the final fraction reflects the fatigue – pace fast, final fraction slow; more energy early, less energy late. Plus, since horses don’t run one at a time the pace match-up and the pressure generated by the match-up can create, I believe, similar physiological effects due to stress and adrenalin. That’s another post about this controversial subject for later.

So, my hypothetical horse with the Fast 5 pace gets the best speed figure. That 1:47 was a tough one to earn and the resulting speed figure should reflect that reality. Give me a 120 speed figure against a par pace and I’m a believer. Adjusting for pace velocity adds the physiological effects of racing to the mix when final time figures are calculated. How was that figure earned? That’s an important question to me.

April 15, 2010 • Posted in: Articles • No Comments

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 • No Comments

Longshot of the Day

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April 3
Philadelphia – Race 2 – 10Kn3L – #1 Marek’s Czech – ML 15/1 (Late pace advantage. Pass if one or more horses scratch. We do not want the late pace advantage to disappear due to early pace scratches) Result – Early pace horse scratch – pass.

April 3, 2010 • Posted in: Updates • No Comments