RPM Information Systems Blog

Pari-Mutuel Theory: 101 — What is Really Going On in those Mutuel Pools?  Real ‘Insider’ Knowledge!

by David Powers

Let’s begin by revealing one of the few real ‘truths’ about this game – knowledge that is available to all horseplayers, but ignored by most. 

We’re going to take a look at the very obvious.

What we are about to say is so apparent, in fact, that most horseplayers never even think about it; but they should, and often, because it puts everything at the racetrack in perfect perspective.  And this is it:

 

    Very simply, the racetrack is nothing more than a money-exchange operation run by the bettors.

 

In other words, when we cash a winning mutuel ticket, we are receiving money put into the pool by the other bettors.

Of course, before this occurs, the track takes their 15% or so, but the rest of the pool is returned to the winning bettors.  So if you win $25 on the #1 horse, everyone who bet on the #2, #3, #4, etc., and lost, is

contributing to the profit you realized.  Likewise, when you tear up a losing ticket, most of those proceeds go to bettors holding winning tickets on that race.

 

 O.K., so what, you say.  What does this have to do with winning at the races?

 

 Well, if it’s your desire to win consistently at the racetrack, this concept has everything to do with it.  Let’s look at some hard-cold numbers:

 

    Average % of Bettors who walk away winners on any one day at the track: 10%

    % of Bettors who win consistently on a long-term basis: 5%.

 

What this tells us is that on any one day 90% of the bettors are losers, and that over the long run, 95% of all bettors come out on the short end.

 

What is it that separates the small percentage of winners from the legions of losers?  All are extremely competent handicappers, obviously, but it goes much deeper than that.

Many of you may have experience in the financial markets, particularly the options game.  Purchasing options on common stocks can give the speculator enormous leverage.

You are in a sense, making a ‘bet’ that a stock will go either up or down, and if you’re right, the rewards can be handsome, indeed.

 

Many small investors are intrigued by options because it looks like a spot where one can make big money quickly, just like at the racetrack.

But the percentage of investors who actually make money in options is miniscule, perhaps even smaller than at the mutuel windows.  And who are these fellow making the big bucks?

Why, the professionals, of course, who have the knowledge that the bulk of the small-fries who buy options have no idea of what they’re doing.

 

Thus, we have another money-exchange situation where the small minority of winners make (‘take’ is probably a better word) virtually all of their income from the mass of losing options speculators.

    And so it is at the racetrack:  A clever few are on the scene daily to make (take) their income from the uninformed masses.

    Picture it mentally, much as the pros do: 

 

Thousands of fans attend the races daily, most having no idea of what they’re doing.  Others are good handicappers, but completely fall apart when it comes to managing their bankroll or handling the psychological stress

that is an inevitable part of this game. 

Millions of dollars are bet at the major ovals every afternoon. 

 

That money is just sitting there, waiting for someone to grab.  

 

    You see, a professional in any speculative venture is nothing more than an opportunist. 

He or she has the ability to recognize when a potential opportunity exists, and then position himself to take advantage of the situation.  At the racetrack, these situations present themselves daily.

 

    Now, that’s not to say the pros win everyday.  This is a tough game, and even the most competent pros are lucky to win 30% of their bets. 

 

Translated into days, that means that over any 10-day period at the races, they may win on three days and lose on seven. 

 

But what separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls in this game is that the pros have the ability to make the winners really count, thus making up for their losses and then some over the long run. 

And the way they do this is by spotting opportunities that few others are aware of, which more often then not results in an enhanced mutuel, otherwise known as an ‘overlay’.

 

    Now while some circuits boast a higher percentage of pros than others, the fact is that at every racetrack 90%+ of the people suffer from shortcomings that will cause them to lose much more often than they win. 

The reason for this is that on any given day, and especially on weekends, racetracks are populated by fans who are either vacationers or locals who are out for a day of fun. 

 

Most of these folks, of course, have limited knowledge about the thoroughbreds. 

 

Many bring nothing more than the local sports section from the newspaper to the track, which features the picks of the public handicappers. 

 

And as we all know, the public handicappers don’t exactly go out on a limb, so most of their selections go off as the favorites.

 

    So what we end up with is a lot more ‘funny money’, as we call it, in the mutuel pools.  Now prior to satellite wagering, this phenomenon was even more pronounced. 

 

But even though many racetrack’s signals are being beamed to the heavy hitters  nationwide now, the vast majority of the money in the mutuel pools is of the ‘uninformed’ variety.

 

    What this means is that a large percentage of the time most of these novice race fans are betting on the favorite. 

 

Often you will see horses that have no business being the chalk getting bet down to 3-to-5 and finishing off the board. 

 

This practice, of course, enhances the price on the other contenders. 

 

We’ve cashed bets on many runners who in our estimation should have been one of the favorites who instead went off at 5 or 6-to-1! 

 

These folks also tend to throw money at the Exactas and Trifectas in the same haphazard manner, thus often providing the serious bettor some nice overlays in the exotic pools.

 

    In reality, just a little knowledge can go a long way when wagering under these conditions. 

 

Remember that the thousands of uninformed folks that wager on the races daily do little else than follow a public handicapper or tip sheet, or perhaps bet on names, gray horses, jockey silk colors, etc., etc. 

 

They have no clue as to how the track is playing, or even what the term ‘bias’ means. 

 

Some have knowledge about the leading jockeys and trainers, but that knowledge is often old news. 

For example, they may remember, or have read somewhere, that in California rider Gomez and trainer Baffert are a strong jockey/trainer team. 

Well, the fact is that they do win a lot of races together, but if you had blindly bet this team every time they raced thus far this year, for example, you would have lost 34 cents on every dollar wagered! 

On the other hand, they probably have no clue that there are many lesser know jocks and trainers who team up regularly to make a nice profit!


 OK, so now you know that all racetracks are little more than ‘money exchange’ outlets. 

And you also know that there are millions of dollars up for grabs every day, and the money basically flows from the hands of uninformed bettors and into the pockets of knowledgable handicappers.

    Now pause for a minute, and realize that what you have read thus far is how every professional speculator views his or her game. 

You are now on the ‘inside’, so to speak, because if you are serious about this game this viewpoint will aid you immensely in discovering ways to get your piece of this very large pie. 

 

It’s our job to figure out how to best lay our hands on the million-plus uninformed dollars that are bet daily.

It’s not only our job, in fact – it’s our duty!

 

 

NEW ENTRY

 

 

Winning: A State of Mind

by Dr. Nord Jamison

 

There is so much more to this game than just ‘handicapping’.  Your ‘mindset’ has a whole lot to do with whether you win or lose at the track.  READ:

 

There’s an old joke that goes like this:  A man walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says:  “Doctor, my brother thinks he’s a chicken.”  “Bring him in,” the doctor says, ” I think I can cure him.”  “I’d like to,” the man replies, “but I need the eggs!”

 

I offer this bit of cornpone to illustrate what I believe to be the dilemma many horseplayers find themselves in today:  “I’m a competent handicapper who loves to bet on the horses, but I continually lose” – ‘losing’ being the ‘eggs’ in this example.  In other words, does he need the eggs, or losses, enough to continue being the chicken, i.e., the horseplayer?

 

As a professional who has been involved in the study of human psychology for most of my life, one of the most common problems I’ve dealt with is the inability of men and women involved in creative and speculative endeavors to properly translate their years of training into financial success.  In most cases, I find that these folks are competent, well trained and perfectly capable of rising to the top of their respective professions, but something gets in the way – something that confines them to only marginal success and prevents them from taking full advantage of opportunities that could result in career advancement.

 

What does this have to do with playing the horses, you ask?  I’ll answer by saying all the knowledge in the world does not guarantee success in a particular field.  It’s how you apply that knowledge, and applying it properly is more a function of mental attitude and discipline than anything else.  I do not believe I’m exaggerating when I say that proper mental attitude to the horseplayer is as important as knowing how to fly is to being an airline pilot.  It’s what makes or breaks a horseplayer.  Now, I’m not going to tell you that by developing the proper mental approach to the game any Joe Blow can go out and beat the horses.  A thorough knowledge of the sport and years of experience are first required to develop the necessary tools.  After that, though, dicipline and mental attitude become the guideposts to success at this game.

 

I became interested in the horses in the early 60’s.  ‘Interested’ is understating it a bit, I was hooked the first time I attended the races, at Del Mar in 1962.  And, I won’t fool you, I didn’t become a winning horseplayer overnight.  I went through the same angst that most fans do.  I lost hundreds of dollars buying useless systems, and thousands more at the windows trying to make them work.  I was working on my Masters in psychology at the time, but was young and still hadn’t learned that  success at any endeavor required years of hard work, and it hadn’t occured to me yet that mental attitude could play an important role.  That happened years later, after I opened my practice and began dealing with people who, as I mentioned above, were able to attain only marginal success in their professions despite the best credentials money could buy.

 

I was traveling to Houston for a conference in 1970, when it suddenly occured to me that the tools I had trained my clients to use to further their careers were likely the same tools the horseplayer required to turn the bottom line from red to black.  Because of the demands of my practice, I attended the races only occasionally, but this ‘revelation’ perked my interest considerably, and I became a semi-regular at the track thereafter.  What follows are the basic guidelines I, and many hoseplayers since, have applied to instill discipline, promote a positive mental attitude and translate a thorough knowledge of the game into success at the mutuel windows.

 

(IMPORTANT:  It is widely recognized by biologists and psychologists alike that the human brain closely emulates a computer.  In other words, it can be programmed, and reprogrammed, to respond to stimuli as instructed.  Understand that your brain is currently programmed to respond in a certain manner at the track.  Usually, it is a haphazard approach that lacks discipline.  Most horeplayer’s brains are programmed this way because they have never made a serious attempt to reprogram.  Reprogramming is often necessary to instill a proper mental approach to this or any other endeavor.  Don’t panic, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.  Most experts in the field of psychoanalysis agree that it generally takes about 30 days to reprogram the human brain to force a change in pattern; this despite the fact that the current pattern may have been in force for decades.  Therefore, you will likely have to practice the suggested routine for at least 30 days before the process begins to become automatic.  The suggested courses of action are highlighted in the following paragraphs by italics.  These are designed to be mental exercises, which should be read and repeated ‘mentally’ regularly.  It is important that you put these exercises to use at the track, especially when you find yourself falling into one of the traps described below.)

 

‘If I’d; Shoulda; Woulda’

            All of you will, of course, recognize the above laments.  They are, afterall, the most used of all words in the horseplayer’s dictionary of slang.  And, they’re the first words you need to eliminate from your vocabulary to even get past ‘go’.  Nothing positive can come from lamenting how you should have handled situations that have already transpired.  In fact, this kind of action can only reinforce the negative image you have of yourself as a decision maker.  If you feel you should have bet on another horse, you obviously didn’t have a clear-cut idea of how the race would be run, so why did you wager on it in the first place?  The lesson here is simple, but it is violated by even the most knowledgable of handicappers on a regular basis.  So, beginning today, you will only make a bet when your knowledge and experience tells you that a horse has a very good chance of winning, or placing, if that is your cup of tea.  If you even consider betting another horse, bet both or pass the race.  In other words, if you have any doubts at all as to the validity of your selection, forget him as a viable play.  This will prevent you from ever regretting a course of action again.  You will only make a play when you, as a professional, determine that everything is in your favor.  And you will never, never utter any of the phrases that head this paragraph again.  You can’t change the past, so forget it, and concentrate on the present!

 

That Old Black Magic

            I was watching the horses parade in the paddock on a sunny Saturday afternoon, when the fellow beside me turned to his friend and said:  “I told you, didn’t I?  That horse couldn’t lose, wouldn’t have lost, if I hadn’t bet on it.  I can’t believe it, a horse turns up perfect in the Form, but as soon as I lay a wager on him, he runs up the track – (expletive deleted)!”  I thought to myself, ‘what is this guy doing here?  Why isn’t he doing something productive with his life rather than subject himself to this kind of misery?’  You know the kind of fellow I’m talking about.  He’s convinced that an evil genie hovers over his shoulder at the betting window, and the minute he calls out his horse, the invisible mischief-maker fixes the race so his wager flops.  Pretty silly, isn’t it.  But who among us can say that we haven’t likewise cursed the fates at one time oranother?  This perception of somehow being predestined to lose, or at the mercy of the racing gods, is the most detrimental of all symptoms that affect the losing horseplayer.  If you suffer often from this misconception, it’s important to put things in perspective.

 

In the midst of a losing streak, it’s very easy to fall into this trap.  It’s human nature to abdicate personal responsibility for one’s actions by blaming others.  At the workplace, the object of your wrath will likely be a fellow employee, the boss or the policies of the company.  At the racetrack, however, the blame falls on the ‘unknown’, or those mystic forces that cause your horse to lose simply because you bet on it.  Looking at it that way, it’s a ridiculous concept, isn’t it?  I’m glad you agree.  Now, to make certain that you never entertain these ridiculous thoughts again, you will remind yourself constantly of the following:  I am the master of my fate.  I trust my decisions.  Losing streaks are a part of this game.  I accept them as that and nothing more.  No one or no thing can cause me to stray from my chosen path, which is to maintain my sense of balance and concentrate on what is really important in this game:  Winning! 

 

This may seem simplistic, but it doesn’t matter!  If you are able to genuinely adopt this attitude, your aggravation level at the track will be reduced substantially.  An observation:  If you are reading this report, you are likely a sophisticated horseplayer of longstanding.  You no doubt have observed how closely the racetrack mimics life in general.  We all go through periods where nothing seems to go right – cars break down, the kids get in trouble, health problems crop up, etc.  On the other hand, there are times when you can do no wrong, and everything comes up roses.  Life, work, the economy, the stock market, the racetrack, all run in streaks, good and bad.  Call them cycles if you will.  But just as you work at living which, despite all the unpleasant occurences along the way, you generally end up with a net gain, whether it be in money, prestige, happiness or a combination thereof, you will do likewise in any other endeavor at which you work as diligently.  Fortunately, few of us choose to give up on life because things are going badly.  We know they will eventually turn around.  It’s no different at the racetrack.  Trust me.

 

Confidentially…

            I want you to imagine for a minute that you are in a meeting room and Lee Iacocca is approaching the podium.  What is your initial response to his appearance?  I believe that most people would be a bit in awe of the man, given his accomp-lishments and household-name status.  But what is he really conveying to the crowd – what one trait stands out among all the others?  Charisma?  Yes, but what is it’s source?  Very simply, it’s confidence – the trait that more than any other separates winners from losers.

 

Unless you are fully confident in your ability to perform in your chosen field, you will never rise above the mediocre.  At the racetrack, where one rides an emotional roller coaster several times a day, a lack of confidence is a one-way ticket to the poorhouse, period.  If you have nagging doubts about your competence, you don’t belong in the game, period.

 

You must approach all your dealings at the racetrack in a confident and self-assured manner.  You must divorce yourself from negative influences, which often means closing your ears to the ravings coming from the guy next to you. You must forget about excuses.  For the professional, there are no excuses, only learning experiences.  You must be secure in the knowledge that, over the long run, bad luck and good luck wash.  Your horse may be disqualified today, but on another occasion he will be promoted to the win.  Your horse may find himself boxed in down the lane today, but on another occasion the best horse will encounter traffic, allowing yours to win.  You must shrug off losing streaks as part of the game, and take advantage of times when you’re ‘hot’.  You must  ignore outside influences, touts, public selectors and the like.  You must have the confidence to make your own decisions and stick to them.  If you can implement and continually practice all of the above until it becomes habit, you will be successful, period.

 

Accentuate The Positive

 

            The ability to view things positively is the most important element in reaching any goal.  When you are in this mindset, nothing is impossible!  Roadblocks are viewed not as impassable objects, but rather as challenges.  You will find a way to either move the object or go around it, and learn from the experience in the process.  The further we progress, the easier it becomes to sidestep these obstacles, until none remain in our path.  Think about it.  Isn’t that exactly how you’ve achieved success in the past?  We’ve all traveled this path, most often when life, or responsibility (work, family, position, etc.) has been thrust upon us.  We do most of these things without thinking about them; our determination guides us.  But, and it’s a big BUT, few of us learn from these experiences to the extent that we are able to apply the knowledge to other endeavors, for example, the racetrack.  Why?  Because we don’t view them as seriously.  Now, I’m not trying to equate success at the track with any of those other, frankly, much more important matters, but it’s been my experience that many a competent handicapper fails to make the grade because he does not put forward the effort necessary to formulate a positive mental attitude to accentuate his or her knowledge of the game.  You’ve obviously gathered that much from what you’ve read thus far, and the mental exercises preceding this discussion are designed to reach that end.

 

Now, initially, the effort to reprogram your approach to the game will be difficult, but it gets much easier after the first couple of weeks, and by the time it becomes automatic, you’ll forget that you ever lifted a finger to change your pattern of thought.  I am going to offer an exercise that, when used in concert with the other important tenants of this discussion, will guarantee a positive mental posture in your dealings at the racetrack.  From personal experience, I can tell you that what follows does work.  It allows your mind to take the game seriously, while you have some fun.

 

            It’s based on the tried and proven concept known as the power of positive thinking, which is the backbone of motivational programs all over the globe.  It basically involves a concept known as ‘imaging’, where you envision yourself in a situation that makes you feel very happy and content – a sense that you have ‘arrived’, so to speak.  Now, this can be based on an experience you wish to have, or one you have already had.  At the racetrack, the experience should involve the cashing of a large bet and the accumulation of wads of crisp green bills, preferably in large denominations.  You must make this experience as realistic as possible in your mind.  That means you must include the sights, sounds and smells that you would normally be submerged in in that situation.  You must also ‘feel’ the excitement you would experience if this event actually occured.  This kind of mental activity is designed to help you reach the point of actually realizing a situation similar to or, at times, exactly like the experience.  This is a common practice with athletes, performers, public speakers, entrepreneurs, etc.  They ‘practice’ their trades mentally on a regular basis, envisioning the best possible outcome.  Imaging actually programs your brain to find the best way to attain the imagined goal.  It’s much like programming a sophisticated computer to perform a task – it responds by searching its memory and utilizing the necessary ‘cells’ to best arrive at the correct conclusion.  In other words, once you’ve successfully launched the program, which requires daily practice sessions over many months (recommended – two 10 minute sessions per day), your brain will actuallysteer you toward that goal.  You don’t need to do anything else – your grey matter will take control and cause you to perform the tasks necessary to reach the end you desire.  There’s nothing magical about this process.  It works, and has been proven over and over again in the laboratory and the real world.

 

Let me provide an example by describing the imaging I use.  I’m not big on exotic bets, but I have cashed two sizeable Pick Six wagers.  I continually relive in my mind the first time, since it was the most exciting.  I first imagine myself in my seat at the track.  I ‘feel’ the warm summer breeze, ‘see’ the racetrack and beautiful infield, ‘smell’ the mixture of fast food and cigarette smoke wafting past my nostrils, ‘grasp’ the program tightly in my hand as the field turns for home, ‘hear’ the race announcer’s call, ‘root’ my horse in with all my energy and ‘savor’ the victory as my horse crosses under the finish line 1st.  I quickly run through all six races in my mind, concentrating on the last race, the clincher for the Pick Six.  I ‘experience’ the same thrill and satisfaction, confidently ‘walk’ to the window (I ignore the part about filling out the tax form – I don’t want to mix unpleasantries into the equation), and ‘watch’ the cashier push piles of new 100-dollar bills into my hands, occasionally ‘crumpling’ one of the crisp notes in my hands and ‘enjoying’ the comforting sound it makes.

 

Now, I haven’t won a Pick Six in a long time, but the imagery keeps my mind in tune and I have no doubt that it contributes to the frequency of my visits to the cashier’s window.  And, to be frank, I fully expect to win another large bet of this type in the future, but in the meantime I’ll settle for the positive effect this practice elicits.  This exercise is a great confidence builder.  Try it for 60 days along with the other excercises, and I guarantee that you will experience an improvement in your overall attitude toward the game, life in general and, most importantly, increase your percentage of winning wagers.

 

So Who’s Going To Win The 4th?

            One thing you no doubt noticed while perusing these pages is that there’s not a word about how to select a winner.  That was done purposely, of course, since this manual is designed to improve one’s attitude and elicit a positive mental approach to the game; not to delve into the scores of methods that actually make money at the track.  Most of us come by the knowledge to beat the game only after years of experience and after paying a dear price at the cashier’s window.  I personally developed my own methods after years of trial and error.  Once I was convinced that a method worked, I simply had to apply the principles laid out here previously to make it a consistent winner.

 

For those of you still looking for that final piece of the puzzle that will put you over the top, though, I do have some suggestions.  Let me say again, however, that I know plenty of players who already have a method that is capable of winning consistently; they simply don’t have the mental attitude or discipline to maintain a straight and true course.  And the inability to practice proper discipline always proves fatal.

 

The suggestions I have revolve around some handicapping services available to the horseplayer.  All of these services are moderately priced and provide what I believe to be the key to success at the track:  Performance Ratings for individual horses and races.  Performance ratings differ from speed ratings in that while the latter takes into account only final time, the former is derived by taking several factors into consideration (early and late fractions, track variant, track bias, class of animal, etc.).  I constructed my own performance ratings several years ago and use them to this day.  They are not for sale, but the services I will list below all have ratings I feel are equal to mine.

 

The importance of performance ratings is that they give you a solid base from which to work.  In other words, they help isolate contenders, and help eliminate losers.  A good performance rating system will have the winner among the top three scorers between 65% and 70% of the time.  The rating services listed below all qualify on that count.  I do not recommend one over the other, and the fact that a couple of them also distribute my publications does not influence me.  They all have merit and all are capable of providing the horseplayer who feels he or she is lost in space a solid foundation to build upon.  Here’s the list:

 

Power Plus Ratings, published by David Powers (So. California only)

Master Win Ratings, published by Barry Meadow (California only)

Today’s Racing Digest’s CPR’s (California only)

Bris Ratings, published by Bloodstock Research (National)

 

If you are not currently using one of these handicapping tools, or are relying totally on speed ratings (very unreliable!), I would suggest you give one of the above services a try.

 

That’s about it, except for one final subject, which carries a lot of weight with all of the successful horseplayers I know.

 

Thank You

            The racetrack is a ‘proving’ ground for those of us who are serious about meeting the challenges it offers and attemping to overcome them.  I know of no other environment that offers the same thrills, chills, highs and lows.  The sight of thoroughbreds thundering down the stretch still takes my breath away, despite the fact I’ve been at the game for almost 30 years.  The exhilaration and satisfaction that accompany success at this game, I believe, are unmatched in any other field of endeavor.  We should all be thankful for the opportunity to participate in this magnificent pastime.  Thankfulness is the mortar that cements the bricks in this program together.  A deep appreciation of the game as we know it in this country is essential to put the big picture in perspective.  So, regardless of whether you believe in a supreme being or not, take the opportunity at least once a day, whether you’re winning or losing, to look up at the sky (or at the pages of the Daily Racing Form, if you wish), and just say Thank You.  It will make you feel a whole lot better, and ‘feeling good’ about yourself is what this program is all about.  See you at the windows!

 

 

 

NEW ENTRY 2/12

You Want to be a Winning Horseplayer But You Have Never Read Cramer’s Kinky Handicapping??

Tsk. Tsk.

NEW ENTRY 1/12

How We Research Systems

Customers often ask how we conduct our research on systems, methods and software.  We have a database containing well over 500,000 races.  Len, our programmer, has constructed ‘fields’ for every possible entry on a past performance chart or on a results chart.  He has also created an advanced query system where he can ‘ask’ the software one or more (up to hundreds) of questions or instruct the software to find certain criteria.  The ‘questions’ are usually in the form of a system’s rules – so if a system has a rule that says a horse must have been at odds of between 3-to-1 and 7-to-1 in its most recent race, Len instructs the software to locate only horses fitting that criteria.  Below you will find a very typical study Len did for The Zarn Effect system.  While the columns didn’t transfer to the blog in a nice straight format, what Len did here was ask the software to display the overall percentage of winners, win ROI, Exacta % hits and Exacta ROI.  This gives the potential user a good idea of what he/she can expect from the system.

 

Breakdown of The Zarn Effect Test Results – 4-1/2 Year Study
The following study was conducted using the RPM database which consists of @521,000 thoroughbred races.  The rules were followed to the letter, average # of plays per track per day = 3.3.   The first column shows the overall win rate at each track and the return on investment.  A 35.0 figure in the ROI column tells us that you are getting back 1.35 for every dollar you bet.   A handful of tracks showed negative ROI’s.  Since we feel our testing is accurate as well as extremely extensive, these tracks should be avoided in the categories where the losses were shown..  The second column is interesting in that it demonstrates the power of the Zarn system in Exacta play.  What we did here was take the TZE qualifier if he was 7/2 or better on the morning line and play him in Exacta boxes with the three horses with the top last-race speed figures other than the TZE qualifier.  We were surprised ourselves at how many tracks actually showed positive ROI’s using this strategy.  We used the 7/2 minimum because that resulted in a significant amount of Exacta action.  However, restricting Exacta play to TZE horses at morning line odds of 6-to-1 or better resulted in significantly higher profits, albeit the amount of action was reduced significantly.

Track            %winners         ROI            %Exactas won        ROI

Aqueduct            31.3        40.1                35.3            28.0

Bay Meadows            34.1        45.6                38.0            38.6

Belmont            28.7        33.2                30.3            19.2

Beulah                35.0        51.0                38.6            51.5

Calder                24.1        -6.3                29.1            8.6

Churchill            33.8        34.3                38.2            41.1

Del Mar            29.1        24.2                30.2            18.3

Ellis Park            28.7        9.8                31.7            -11.1

Emerald            27.6        21.1                29.8            -12.3

Fairgrounds            35.4        39.7                38.8            41.2

Fairmount            27.6        -14.1                28.2            -19.8

Finger Lakes            34.2        29.0                35.8            19.1

Golden Gate            37.1        43.1                39.1            49.3

Gulfstream            34.1        40.6                36.1            28.6

Hawthorne            29.6        24.4                31.6            29.3

Hollywood Park        31.0        32.4                40.1            43.2

Hoosier Park            26.9        9.7                29.6            -9.7

Keeneland            35.1        40.7                35.8            54.1

Laurel                27.6        1.2                31.0            -14.0

Lone Star            32.1        23.5                34.6            59.7

Louisiana Downs        32.9        41.1                37.2            41.3

Penn National            29.1        14.5                29.8            -7.6

Phil Park            31.4        21.1                35.7            22.3

Pimlico            31.0        18.7                33.7            24.2

River Downs            27.7        -4.2                29.1            -12.1

Sam Houston            32.8        40.0                39.6            43.1

Santa Anita            33.9        39.6                37.8            34.7

Saratoga            28.9        14.4                35.0            30.1

Suffolk                29.1        21.2                36.3            35.4

Tampa Bay            33.3        31.5                38.2            41.0
Thistledown            32.1        22.8                36.9            28.1
Turf Paradise*            28.1        -2.3                35.1            7.6
*playing Zarn qualifiers with 5-to-1 minimum ROI resulted in a +12.1% profit

Turfway Park            30.2        27.1                33.1            -8.6

Other notes:  Wet tracks were included in the original study.  When removed the differences in overall win % and ROI were minor.  In fact, at Aqueduct, Laurel, Pimlico, Louisiana Downs, Suffolk and Thistledown, the win % dropped a bit when wet tracks were taken out of the database.  The method did not perform well in turf sprints, so it’s suggested that you avoid those, but did just fine in turf routes.  The turf route win %’s and ROI’s, when evaluated separately, were very similar to the dirt results.  The above percentages include both dirt and turf routes, of course.  Breaking the study down further, the overall percentages were better in sprints than routes, which is the case with most solid methods.  From a win % standpoint, sprints averaged about a 3% better overall win rate and roughly a 6% better profit rate.  So if you want to use TZE optimally, stick to sprints.  You won’t get as much action, of course, but you will maximize profits.  Exacta profits could definitely be improved if you monitor the payoffs before you play.  In otherwords, if you’re betting 3 $2 boxes, it’s going to cost you $12. If many of the potential payoffs are in the $9 to $20 range, why bother?  On the otherhand, if several of the payoffs are in the $40+ range, then it’s worth risking the investment for a 3-to-1 or better return.

 

 

 

 

Not an exaggeration.  We continue to receive excellent feedback on the Hidden Horse Software Program by Conrad Crease.  A sampling:

From John Southard, Wilmington, DE

Hi Conrad,

OK- this is the kind of professional guidance which is invaluable. I now have a new plan per your suggestions! I am going to start looking at the top contenders at 4-1 or better for straight bets.
The tiebreakers are really going to relax my indecision when sorting out the exactas but sounds like they would also help in sorting out the straight bets as well. I usually go with confirmations vs. non-confirmations on ties anyway but this is even better. Maybe even weight the  late pace for longer races or stalking style paces.
Thanks again, John

p.s. Hey, just got the Re-cap email. Great!

From Ray S., Plano, TX

Dave,
Check out AP(9/25) race 4: Fhh winner #9   $81.60(by the way a win more express top pick also!) That exacta was awesome  9-7(fhh pick also)  $881.00 for 2 bucks!!!!!
MIssed the trifecta, but who would care with a monster exacta like this one!  Also Bel(9/22)  Race 1  #7 Fhh horse paid $119.50; unfortunately no exacta score in that race; none of my others programs had that one picked.
Thought you would like to know.

Ray

From Jim Wyrick, PA

Your Hidden Horse continues to amaze me — I have noticed that even if horses have NO Tells –but are the Best Last Pace — these horses often score either a win or a second at long odds and produce some fantastic exactas.  This past Saturday 9/24 at Golden Gate Fields — the 2nd race was a Starter Allowance with 6 entries-  On the TURF – and for the distance of 1 MILE.  None of the horses had been on Turf nor had run a mile in the past.  My original intent was to pass such a race with that kind of background.  The # 5 horse (with a morning line of 12/1) was bet heavily from the start and went off at 2/1.  This horse received nothing in the Hidden Horse or a companion value system i use.  I was concerned about some inside connection.  The top horse in Hidden Horse was being bet strongly and went off at 3/2 — The second value horse with just one tell less than the top was being ignored and went off at 11/1 – he had a Best Last value to go with him — the 3rd choice tell system horse went off at 9/2.  I keyed the 2nd and 3rd choice as Win Bets — Keyed a box on the top 3 Hidden Horse Picks in both exacta and triple Pools.   The #4 (second value horse) took the lead from the start and never looked back — the 3rd and 1st pick followed him home — to yield a 24.00 Win — a 124.00 exacta and a 275.00-  dollar triple .   The #5 – I was worried about ran poorly.  I could not believe your system had highlighted this group — on the Turf and at one mile – with NO previous experience with either.  I am in awe of your work and am enjoying reading your book as well.  Thanks again   — Jim Wyrick

Seriously, if you haven’t given HH a try, you should.  You have nothing to lose, and a whole lot more to gain at the mutuel windows.

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