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Two to watch
Here are a couple of horses to put on the old "Watch List."
A 7-year-old mare by Stormy Atlantic, Stormy Lucy always seems to fire and fits in beautifully with the turf distaffers out in Southern California. She shocked her opponents in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Del Mar on November 29, was beaten a neck in the Grade 3 Robert J. Frankel in December, was nosed by Keri Belle in the Grade 3 Megahertz in January and was necked by the good-trip Paulina's Love last Saturday in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes. In that race, she settled near the back of the pack while inside, angled 4 wide on the far turn and finished with her usual interest. Capable at middle distances, Stormy Lucy bears watching the next time the SoCal turf fillies and mares line up.
Vigorous Titan reeled off three consecutive victories to close out 2015, but bombed badly in his first start this year, the 5 1/2-furlong Bonapaw Stakes that was rained off the turf. The 5-year-old returned to form last Saturday in the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes at Fair Grounds with a solid runner-up performance at big odds behind gate-to-wire winner Cinco Charlie. Vigorous Titan couldn't overcome Cinco Charlie's tactical advantage, but stayed on willingly and is worth following in listed stakes races for trainer Bernie Flint.
*I'd like to thank all of the FormBloggers that attended last week's Convention at Gulfstream Park. I'm humbled and touched by your kindness, friendship, generosity, passion for horse racing and sense of community. I'm lucky and blessed to be surrounded by such quality people.
Thanks so much to Laura for planning the event. It went off without a hitch and everyone had a wonderful time. You can find some excellent horse racing-related information on her website at http://www.imtbreds.com/
Thanks to Bob C for chauffeuring me around the South Florida area and for finding some quality dining options as well as some Jorge Navarro-trained runners (Navarro was in the midst of sending out eight consecutive winners last week). Bob's a great friend and a pretty sharp handicapper. You can read his recap on the last thread.
Dennis from Moline and his wonderful wife, Rose, are treasures and it's always great to see them at the Convention. I don't know how he does it, but Dennis always seems to be at the cashing window. He took me for a few dollars in our "Horse for Horse" challenge as well.
Jeff and Annette are always so kind and I really appreciate the gifts for my daughter (she loves them, by the way!). Annette gave a great showing in the Gulfstream-sponsored handicapping contest on Saturday afternoon.
Taz and Ernie designed some Convention hats that were much appreciated and it was fantastic to talk horses with them over dinner on Friday evening. Here's hoping they get back in the winner's circle as owners in the near future.
We missed Cathy and Sharon this year, but got a chance to wave at Cathy from the paddock. Sharon provided some lucky Kentucky Derby Future tickets that were a real hit as always. Many thanks!
It was fantastic to meet some new friends from ThoroFan. You can find out more about ThoroFan at http://www.thorofan.com/
I can't forget Mike Nyman, who graciously provided a suite for us at the track. He's a wonderful host and I am so grateful for his hospitality.
*Let's get to some of your questions:
What is your assessment of the GP turf course now that you have seen it up close? It looks awful worn and used to me. Is it comparable to the Turf Paradise "dirt" turf course? Is it playing fair? Currently playing to a particular running style? Did you notice if they spread sand on it?
Last Saturday, the turf course produced some fast times and seemed to favor horses racing on the lead and near the rail. Handicappers had to alter their process once confronted with the bias.
Once they took the rails down to 0 on Friday afternoon, horses near the fresh inside lanes moved up in a major way. In the tenth race, the first turf race of the day with the rails down, 10 to 1 longshot First Embrace scooted up the inside to get there at the wire. My selection, Bai Bai Baby, sped to the lead and the rail, set fractions of 22.84 and 46.64 for the 7 1/2 furlong test and was beaten three-quarters of a length for the win at 24 to 1. I believe that she runs second, at least, if she doesn't drift significantly off the rail in the final eighth.
The Saturday opener, a maiden claimer with the rails out 60 feet, was a merry-go-round affair with the top three finishers running 1-2-3 around the track. McFly and Ransack then went 1-2 around the course in the seventh race (maiden claimer with rail at 60 feet) with the third-finisher, 66 to 1 Grand Venezuelan, riding the inside pocket throughout.
Lasso went gate-to-wire as the favorite in the tenth (claiming race, rail at 60 feet) with pocket-sitting Live in Joy chasing in vain for second. The eleventh was the sprint stake marred by the frightening spill. Favored Cash Back emerged from the inside pocket, angled out in midstretch and came with an electrifying kick to win nicely. Inside pacesetter More Royalty completed the exacta. In the finale, Little Scotty and Derby Champagne occupied the top two positions from start to finish.
One particular race stood out to me this past weekend, Calculator's win over the game Fusaichi Samurai. Worried when Calculator missed the start, but he gradually moved steadily past them all, tired with a furlong to go, but held on. Thought the performance by both runners was noteworthy. I figured a mid 90's Beyer for Calculator, and am surprised not to see him amongst the top 25 Beyer list. Insight?
Calculator's race on February 13, his first start in over a year, produced a relatively-slow number (88), but that didn't tell the story. As you noted, Calculator broke terribly, rushed up with a premature bid while extremely wide on the backstretch, took over on the turn and dug in grimly when the Bob Baffert-trained Fusaichi Samurai challenged him from the rail in the stretch. If he can stay healthy, he looms an interesting graded stakes performer at middle distances.
It would be nice if Airoforce won for the simple reason he is one of the last of the Man O' War line..
Question; aside from your working for DRF, just what do the Beyer's have to do with how good a horse is?
Fast horses are preferable to slow ones. I'll guess that Man O'War popped a few triple-digit Beyers in his day and he was pretty good.
Am sorry to see Sunny Ridge is no longer on the Derby Trail. Sunny Ridge is the beautiful street where Dennis Drazin lives. In the 80's, that was a huge piece of property in the center of my town in NJ. He even had his layups of the property. It was lovely to see the horses out grazing as I drove by on errands. The third dam of Sunny Ridge is my old favorite, Bodacious Tatas. I tried to get her full record up on Equibase to no avail. She made 57 starts and was definitely an east coast gal. I loved her.
Dan, if you can get them, could you post her PPs?
Her lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 2/16/16 - 2/22/16:
1. CINCO CHARLIE - 103 - Duncan F. Kenner Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 20Feb16-7FG
2. MAJESTIC HARBOR - 99 - Mineshaft Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 20Feb16-5FG
2. UNIFIED - 99 - Md Sp Wt 40k - 6 Furlongs - 21Feb16-2GP
4. SHAFT OF LIGHT - 97 - Clm 12500N2L - 6 Furlongs - 17Feb16-2GP
5. CHOCOLATE RIDE - 96 - Fair Grounds Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 20Feb16-10FG
5. PAULINA'S LOVE - 96 - Buena Vista Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 20Feb16-8SA
7. BELLAMY WAY - 95 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - 19Feb16-8AQU
8. DOMAIN'S RAP - 94 - OC 62k/N2Y - 1 Mile - 21Feb16-8OP
8. LUCKY LOTTO - 94 - Alw 25000s - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - 20Feb16-8AQU
8. ZAMBIAN DREAM (CHI) - 94 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - 20Feb16-5AQU
11. BASS RIVER ROAD - 93 - Clm 25000 - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 21Feb16-6AQU
12. CASH CONTROL - 92 - Daisy Devine Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 20Feb16-8FG
13. COURT DANCER - 91 - Broadway Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - 21Feb16-5AQU
13. GOOD LUCK GUS - 91 - Haynesfield Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - 21Feb16-8AQU
13. HE'S VERY RARE - 91 - OC 25k/C - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 21Feb16-7TUP
13. QUIET RULER - 91 - Alw 70000N2L - 1 Mile - 19Feb16-7OP
13. ROYAL BANKER (GB) - 91 - Clm 35000(40-35) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Clm 35000(40-35)
13. SIMON BAR SINISTER - 91 - OC 62k/C -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 18Feb16-9GP
19. ARBORVILLE - 90 - Clm 25000(35-25)B - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 19Feb16-5GP
19. GUN RUNNER - 90 - Risen Star Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 20Feb16-11FG
19. GUNS LOADED - 90 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 20Feb16-6SA
19. HAMMERS TERROR - 90 - OC 40k/N2X - 1 Mile (Turf) - 20Feb16-6FG
19. LASSO - 90 - Clm 16000 - 1 Mile (Turf) - 20Feb16-10GP
24. BOB'S GONE WILD - 89- Wcl 7500N1Y - 1 1/8 Miles - 19Feb16-6OP
24. HAVEYOUGONEAWAY - 89 - Spring Fever Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 20Feb16-8OP
*The lifetime past performances for CINCO CHARLIE are available at the bottom of this blog post.
Video stakes analyses for many of the weekend's major stakes will be available later this week at http://www.drf.com/videos
You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.
Matt Bernier, Mike Beer and I will be on for free, fun and, hopefully, profitable live handicapping analysis for Gulfstream, Aqueduct, and Santa Anita beginning at 3pm ET on live.drf.com.
Congrats to Curt V. for winning last week's HandiGambling challenge.
Curt V. selected Saturday's 13th from Gulfstream for this week's exercise.
PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.
SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...
HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:
Let's remember WHY we began the HandiGambling races in the first place.
The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses and why we're betting them the way we are. We are not asking for a novel but SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING .
1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.
2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.
3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR POST. Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST SIGN YOURSELF AT THE END (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to identify who you are.
4. (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes. Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.
5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
** In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.
** The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"
As an example :
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.
$10 EX 6 / 1,2,5, 8 = $40
$5 TRI 6 / 1,2,5,8 / 1,2,5,8 = $60
A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.
ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A SATURDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)
|BODACIOUS TATAS.pdf||645.01 KB|
|CINCO CHARLIE.pdf||721.22 KB|
|Copy of HG 2 20 16 Risen Star.xls||50.5 KB|
MKB UPDATE With BERNARD'S Matt King Coal not entered there will be three MKBs in the Gotham on Sat.: TURF RULER'S Shagaf OKIESHARP'S Conquest Big E BROTHER TOM'S Sunny Ridge Good luck, guys!! Annie
SR Vegas, Steve Haskin said he heard from a reliable source that your GIFT BOX will be out until summer, regardless of what his trainer says. Looks like you will be getting another horse soon. Too bad though, he looked very promising. I went through and saw that several Formbloggers, including myself, have horses that have not worked in a month or more. Likely candidates for the March Draw. More on that later. Annie
Sigh! Can anyone read why BERNARD DOWNES' (AOS) Matt King Coal will not enter the Gotham? Annie
Jim Peregoy, I enjoyed your comments on Beyer speed figures, along with the contributions of all that followed. All the discrepancies have mystified me, but not surprised me over the years as I do believe the task of valuing all races at every track every day across the US is a Herculean task which involves a large number of people making judgment calls on what is supposed to be a "scientific" system. Having said that, there are certain types of races where these figures are very valuable and others, not so much. As Mike has written, there is a small spread between turfers among the claiming ranks to allowance conditions. At the stakes level, some graded races really are filled with allowance types. Because the class of the horses bias the figures, judging horses using the figures blindly will get you beat. I think it happens on the dirt too. However, where I have had success using them is in the Kentucky Derby and Maiden Specials at high quality tracks. There is a Derby Super Screener sold by Horse Racing Nation that has a algorithm that shows that when multiple entries in the Derby run figs over 100, the likelihood of a longshot winner is greatly diminished. In particular it has played out pretty well in several of the last 10 years. (No tomato throwing here because Andy in particular has used his figures to pick the horse who didn't win the last several!) But, this last Handigambling exercise was a text book example of how to use them at a high quality meet. There were a number of well bred horses by well known sires and dams. Many had run before at other high class meets. None had gaudy numbers and most had fairly non eventful trips in their first races. These are the kind of races that are the ANTI pick of guys like Steve and Mike. Most horses came from the same quality of race, they were pretty even in terms of breeding quality, there were plenty of works to peruse, reputable trainers (forgive me if I missed a Navarro) and those that hadn't raced recently had been at Saratoga or another quality meet. I love this kind of race if I am on track to get a look at the horses. Not being as logical or detail oriented as many, I find this type of orderly race a nice spot to apply my brain to the puzzle of picking a winner.........as long as I then remember to construct my bet properly and not get sucked into a silly name or favorite sire bet. There were three Hard Spuns in that Handigambling race..............
David A gauge is the best term.....but here is a quick story that just happened two weeks ago. I love reading...but my natural Irish cheapness precludes me from buying books(and I have NEVER made the library a routine) at retail prices. We go to yard sales, flea markets and used book stores often. The other week we were poking around a very dangerous book store(it looked like an episode of Hoarders). as books were stacked in there at the craziest of angles. In the mess I ran across the Beyer Bible 'Picking Winners" in its initial 1975 run. The original owner had read it stem to stern and back again. As I asked "how much"? and the owner of the store made up a price on the fly by how I and my companion were dressed(Nice on a Saturday morning) he says "2 dollars". NO WAY say I and I didn't buy it......but I thumbed through it. Weird, that CLASS was a component of the original text BUT had NO relevance to the NUMBER. In fact Beyer stated that one of the main factors in defining the number was to make it raw.....and IF a horse was capable of beating "classier" horses up the scale. That is not what it is now. EXPECTATIONS of a number are what the number becomes. I expect some heat on this.....but I am by nature a contrarian. . Like Captain Renault declaring that he is "shocked, shocked that there is gambling here"...as they give him his winnings. Alan has told me that for YEARS one of his best gambits is to identify the "bad Beyer". My mind doesn't work that way. I don't need perfection, I like randomness and I really enjoy the way the world works. To each thing we must look at it as it is and not impose our bias on it. VERY tough thing to do and no one can operate their life in this manner EVERY time.....because we would be insane if we did it this way. All that being said we all have our way....and sometimes they work. When I was betting hundreds of races in any one session....I was ANGLE ANGLE ANGLE....and used tons of them....randomly. Now I only bet LIVE(for the most part)....as slower pace...but better for me.
Mike/Pat, I like the concept of using BSF as a gauge. I have issues with BSF from the view that class quality is factored into the figure. If a 12.5 claimers runs big he should get a big fig. If a grade one horse runs slow because of pace, style or trouble give him a low number. Handicappers can look inside the number for the reason or not but I like “pure” figures. I was thinking they were designed originally as a speed rating not class rating. For that reason I often do not literally hang my hat on the top fig or the fig. Frankly I can’t tell you how much faster an 85 is than an 80 in lengths. Quit caring years ago maybe I should but don’t. Pat- like you am a class heavy guy that is why I put that on the list as step one but labeled it reading the conditions. I try to know up front whether a horse is facing better or weaker that day. I hope class stays relevant but meds can trump class for 70 seconds. I see live racing maybe 7 times a year so it is all OTB. Trying to assess flesh on bad Hoosier Park Zenith’s and quick glances in post parades is a challenge. I agree with your approach there. You make it work so well. We REALLY need you on Twitter for the live PIM and LRL meets. Like you I cannot often tell you who is riding my horse. We agree sires are less important with racing and for me after all the boxes have been checked. Sprint, route, grass, off tracks, etc. It can take a few races for a horse to get thru all the options. Please see comments on Gauche below (4 sprint starts before Sunday). That 8th race on Sunday at GP was a killer for me. REDBOARD alert - It should have been a $3,000 race for me but was an ulcer instead. Using my methods I listed yesterday folks can see how I got it down to 4 horses real quick. Coldgreydawn, Alotta Skirt, Gauche and Mo Green. I love second time starters at odds with potential attributes who perform poorly in debuts. Mo Green’s dam - She’s a Rebel Too I knew from the Kentucky circuit. Uncle Mo’s click at high %’s as I have posted here ad nauseum. They have been great for my wallet. I figured the horse had a shot to be better than the debut so I viewed the debut as a workout. I believe Orseno is not known for debut crank jobs. Gauche was another one that figured in the warped mind of this horseplayer. A Smart Strike sprinting can win but I prefer routing. Gauche was finally getting the first route in her life after a sprint speed/fade off the layoff. A solid dam in play here again that we all remember. I figured Sunday it was her shot to show if she can run or not although I would have considered her first grass too. Of the horses that had ran two had shown moderate ability. They figured to be in the mix but both had below par ratings for the class level. I viewed this as a weaker than par MSW group for GP. However, my construction was terrible. I should have bet a ticket that reflected my opinion using the four and possibly Aurora Point on bottom only. Instead I key Skirt and Grey on top of the others I mentioned under. We all know now it comes Mo (17-1), Gauche (31-1), Grey (3/5) for a signer exacta and trifecta. The pick 3’s roll in logical, logical, 17-1 and so on. Lesson learned again. Have the ticket reflect your best opinion. My ticket reflected part of my opinion but not all of it. I really was not surprised Mo won or Gauche showed more but my ticket did not have either on top. The good news is there will be more of these MSW races where this exact dynamic repeats. Well bred, well connected young horses at odds over horses that have shown moderate ability at much lower odds. Hopefully I play it smarter the next time. Again sorry friends for the dead/redboard as it seems self-serving going 1-2-3 but a Form Blog Friend who is a very good handicapper was on line with at the time shared my pain over this race.
Annie and David: Thanks for taking the time to comment on my post relative to the Beyer figs. I am well aware of the fact the they are only one of many handicapping factors. The point of my post has been hammered into my account several time in the past year. When betting my own cash, I watch a replay of the prior race for all of the entrants. Several times I watched as some older turf runners encountered very troubled trips. I got all excited about betting them back at big odds in their next start. Invariably, they do run better. When they do I can be rewarded. However, a horse with a lifetime best 72 BSF after 10 starts or more entered in a grade 3 where the average winning fig is 97+- cannot be backed in the win position. Andy's numbers do not have that kind of variance. I have learned "under only" is a hard rule to follow and have to make small saver win bets that are, usually, wasted cash. I used to make my own figures after attending a seminar at the local Essex, MD community college where Andy was featured. So happy, I have time for golf now that he does it for us. JIMPEREGOY
How lucky is the formblog community? To have two posts back to back that address handicapping methods in such diverse terms. MIke(and Steve's) mining for gold in an out of the box way. Looking for an opportunity that may or may not arise. Culling through large amounts of data in the hopes(maybe a poor word choice) for a race that is ripe for blowing up and producing large scores. I really like the Pletcher angle(play against) in getting rid of a suck along Beyer number. The use of anti-logic(my term) in what can happen....and waiting for their chance at the kind of race that FITS their pattern. The bottom line....Mike is CREATIVE and dare I say whimsical in his methods. Not for everyone.....but if you have ever spoken with Mike....it sure fits his pleasant and out sized personality(a nice, fun guy). His thoughts are then followed by the methodical, self deprecating, thoughtful and rules follower David. David's accountant personality comes out. I've been told by those in the know that David is a real fun outgoing guy with an amazing amount of knowledge. Those qualities ooze out of every post. His thoughtfulness is on full display. It is his makeup to TRY to follow a LOGICAL way. His use of information as the "source of solutions" attempts to make things proceed in an organized way. (My Opinion) David is really against the rule breakers because it hurts the organized, linear universe that surrounds his thought process. Those curveballs can make ALL of the work he does.........moot, because it ruins the process. Both ways are correct......which makes the PUZZLE of horse racing all the better. Both ways can work(or not). My way is different. The older rules like CLASS are still relevant. I trust(yet verify through stats) trainer INTENT. Change is important..especially in the terms of getting better or worse. THE day of the race is most important.....the look of the horse is VITAL. "Could do" is a very important long shot angle. What to do with the favorite is OFTEN the most important part of the process. Race shape Winning % of the horse. What is not important(to me) Jockeys Time Sires(after a few races) pat gavin
David, You missed the # 4 reason....people who do not hang their hat on them but use them as a gauge.....I've always used course speed, overall times and competition to judge horses before Beyers and well after.......The beyer figures for me are used only in the context of judging just what a horse I may be considering has to beat......Because when a horse who has averaged 10 to 15 pts lower on the "scale" suddenly wins Mr. Beyer has only 2 choices....He either has to downgrade everyone else or he has to upgrade the winner. Since downgrading everyone else would be tantamount to admitting a a faux paux he raises the winner up, seems logical....and if you look at many horses beyers you will see those variations up and down.....While a horse may run faster or slower race to race the two main factors are competition, course speed and equipment changes...it really isn't as if the horses suddenly can't run the same over and over. Once a horse is in physical condition to run their best they will....how good that is depends on the horse and the circumstances of each race they run. That is my problem with beyers overall....no equation or formula will take all factors into consideration....if they could Coldgreydawon, Alotta Skirt and Aurora Point would have run 1-2-3 in the 8th Sunday, except the didn't and ran 3rd, 4th and 6th....to two new shooters at a new distance who were 17-1 and 30-1 respectively did run 1-2.... The point being I don't need someone else to tell me what I can see plainly with my own eyes....because I do take into account the variables. A horse gets beat in a 35,000 claimer in a 1:11:2....by 5. Drops down to 12,500 goes gate to wire and runs a 1:10:2....two weeks later......what does beyer do? He will certainly gauge the race by competition....being 12,5 claimers he will have a ceiling or an average beyer for that class and he will give said horse a number that he feels comfortable with. But it may not account that said horse was running second back and perhaps had beaten better before......so with a beyer in the low 70's you had better do more homework when he comes back in an OC 35,000 race where they've been running in the low to mid 80's.....otherwise horses like Mitos Y Leyendas will come back to haunt you.... Every handicapping "tool" has it's place when used in the proper context.....used as an end all nothing works enough that you can hang your hat on it......Mike A
Jim, Thanks for offering up an insight into how you use BSF in your handicapping. With BSF I think there are a few schools. School One - those that hate them and see them as useless. School Two -those that love them and rely heavily on them. School Three - those that use them but won’t admit to doing so. These folks are still in the closet. Some years ago it became fashionable to hate or disparage Andy Beyer. Why not, the guy gets paid nicely to supply information that any of us can produce but are too lazy. To cap it all off apparently Andy has a caustic personality and bold opinions. People in America tend to resent bold opinions even if they right more than those people want to admit. For me, I play mainly in the MSW and turf space. BSF’s can be more irrelevant in a field of second time starters many of whom are transferring to turf from dirt. Just me, but I assume little to no correlation from dirt to turf. In these instances, pedigree, barn, works, intent often align to provide large prices. I tend to do a number of things in my handicapping. None real well but they include the following for MSW and grass: Conditions of race looking for obvious/hidden drops and a feeble attempt at competition assessment. Internal fractional analysis with more emphasis on closing in grass routes. I am decent with numbers so this is quick. View BSF rating along with old school race rating and variance that day. I like to identify who ran the raw fastest even if many dynamics can influence a fast or slow time. I like to view Trakus on grass to identify velocity rates and ground traveled. Trakus is an amazing tool and for the math challenged it provides the internals. Pedigree. Here I am non-traditional. For example, if I see a low profile Cactus Ridge out of non-turf producing Rahy mare I may still bet it. I assume not all dams are blue hens. Not all families will hit each time. It can be more of hit/miss. But at elevated odds I will take my chances with certain turf sires or turf over turf matings. Everyone has their own list of under the radar turf sires. I won’t bore anyone with that. Video – key races where I plan to plunge I go to the tape to verify what I think I saw live a few weeks ago. Maybe 5-10 races on Saturday or Sunday. Review of Clocker reports and various handicapper sheets. This has proven a wise investment for me despite the ridiculous escalating pricing. I cannot tell you how many times I have thrown out a low priced favorite because of a poor work comments. I say “comments” because raw workout time is misleading without a context of how it occurred. For example a Fast/Slow/Wrong lead/Ask = 59 flat versus a Slow/Fast/Right lead/No Ask = 59 flat. Also who worked with whom and who was best is useful. I also get a couple of free tip sheets from generous Form Bloggers that are excellent. Unlike many in the print DRF they search for the outsiders not the obvious. Do I bet what they offer? Maybe but usually not, but I am keenly aware of how real professionals who have to sell their products view the race. They are right more than I am. Projected odds. I form a quick unscientific opinion of my off odds and then compare to what is being offered if I am playing to win. I like to take advantage of bad ML’s to embedding those animals in pick 3’s. ML quality in America these days is very hit or miss. The thing that is obviously missing is ticket construction and money management. I do like to ask myself this : does my ticket reflect my opinion. However, often by the time I get thru all this I am exhausted and just fire away. A man without this disciplined element in his game is likely to lose. I can testify.