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Michael Pizzolla’s 2017 ValueCapping™ Video Rant

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
May 18, 2017
1:37 PM
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

It’s time for the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes, to be run this Saturday, May 20, 2017 at Pimlico.​​​​​​​

I’ve made a video for you analyzing the race as well as some races on the Pimlico undercard.

Before we get to that, I want to say a big thank you to all of you who wrote such kind things about the 2017 Kentucky Derby Rant.

Many of the comments had to do with how the software programs had Always Dreaming on top, and while that’s nothing to sneeze at, what with 20 colts, trouble in the race, sloppy track, etc., it wasn’t a great value bet.

Most of the undercard potential wagers got bet down, so it wasn’t a replay of last year where there were a number of bomb prices. As a result, several of the undercard races wound up being pass races for me.

Look, the primary reason I do these videos is not to ‘pick horses’, but rather to demonstrate the process of ValueCapping-the interplay of the fundamentals of the race-like the pace/position scenario-with the prices involved.

The game has become all about making good value bets. Gone are the days when a pace overlay pays a big price.

I’ll have a lot more to say about that in the upcoming “ValueCapping Basic Training Course’, which is in production now, and should be ready for you in a couple of weeks.

In this 2017 Preakness Stakes Video, I’ll take you through the Preakness as well as a couple of undercard races at Pimlico, and one at Parx. Bear in mind that I’m looking at these races today, Thursday, May 18, 2017, 2 days before the races, and there can be scratches, weather changes, etc.

About the Preakness-Spoiler alert: Always Dreaming is at the top of the odds line. Having said that, there might be a couple of upsetters that look reasonable if they go off at long-enough odds.

Remember, there are lots of opportunities on big days such as Preakness Day, so be sure to wait for your price.

I’ll often encourage you to let the bet make you, and what I mean by that is to use the ‘felt sense’ that comes from practicing the principles of ValueCapping, and wait for those bets that look and feel very ‘right’ to you.

I hope you enjoy the video, and I thank you again for your encouragement and support. I can’t say thank you enough for the kind words and emails. And for those of you on the Wizards’ Forum, the support and help you give one another is something for which I am grateful every single day.
All the best,


Michael Pizzolla’s 2017 Kentucky Derby ValueCapping™ Video Rant

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
1:57 P.M.

Dear ValueCapper and Friend:

It’s here:

The 143rd Kentucky Derby, running on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Churchill Downs.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been bombarded with the usual ‘Whodoyalike in the Derby?’ this year.

I’m not sure if it’s because there’s not a standout in the race, or that there’s no media buzz promoting a horse, as there was with the Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah.

There’s another strange thing I’ve noticed looking back over the past few Derbies.

The betting favorite has won the last 4 Kentucky Derbies!

Orb in 2013, California Chrome in 2014, American Pharoah in 2015, and Nyquist last year, all betting favorites.

This in a race with 20 3 year-old colts, many of them champions, going a mile and a quarter for the first time in front of almost 147,000 screaming fans.

Can it be that the public is getting better at this game?

I think it’s very possible.

I’m working on a new video course for you called the ValueCapping Basic Training Course, and one of the thing’s I’ll discuss is that the game has changed in the past few years, and the public has easy access to solid numbers.

(The ValueCapping Basic Training Course is free, and I’ll be releasing it in the next few weeks, and will notify you through these Rants.)

The Course is a thorough exploration of the theory and practice of ValueCapping, and I think you’re going to enjoy it and the positive effect it will have on your game.

Back to the 2017 Kentucky Derby:

Let’s see: 20 colts, going a mile and a quarter for the first time, auxiliary gate, 50% chance of rain, with the possibility of a sloppy or good or muddy track, and on and on.

And it’s Thursday, 2 days before the Derby, no board, no changes, and my first response is ‘no thanks’.

Yet, every year I do it, because as an ‘expert’ I’m supposed to have an opinion.

It goes against everything I teach, that is to wait for your spots and wait until things are in your favor.

I suppose it’s a nod to my ‘hobbyist’ days when ‘picking winners’ was my focus, and showing off how clever I was (or thought I was) was fun.

I’ve come a long way since the days of screaming my head off at race book television screens, oblivious to the fact that I was yelling at a projected image of a horse running hundreds or thousands of miles away and that the horse most likely couldn’t hear me.

One good thing that came out of that is that I was very aware when I started making the transition from hobbyist and handicapper to investor and ValueCapper.

I’ve been able to communicate about this transition to those using Black Magic: Handicapping Software who participate on the Wizards’ Forum.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me happier than when the lightbulb goes on for one of them, and their view of the races is instantly and permanently transformed.

I’ve gotten several emails the past few weeks from Wizards who told me they really ‘got’ the ValueCapping process and were experiencing more success than they ever had before.

I know many of you are excited by the upcoming release of the ValueCapper Software-Black Magic Handicapper 2.0.

If I may be immodest, it’s a really fine piece of work, and I’m very proud of it.

Yet, it’s not a black box.

The underlying frameworks of ValueCapping is crucial to success, and that’s why I’m releasing the free ValueCapping Basic Training Course soon.

In the second video of the ValueCapper Basic Training Course, I talk about differences between ‘picking winners’ and finding good value bets.

The paradigm that we’ve accepted of picking winners, is one that seems so self evident that we seldom, if ever, question it.

But there’s much, much more to the modern game than simply finding the ‘best’ horse.

It’s all about value-not price-value. That’s why I call the process ValueCapping, not handicapping.


Just because a horse is a price, does not mean it’s a value play. There will be a TON of price horses in the 2017 Kentucky Derby. It’s a very wide open race.

But I’m not sure there will be any VALUE.

I’ll show you what I mean in the video.

Whether you use Black Magic Handicapping Software 1.0, or any of the techniques I have written about through the years, or none of them at all (perhaps you’re using your own numbers, your own approach), nothing, and I mean nothing will do more for your bottom line than using the ValueCapping Frameworks.

If you’re not exactly sure what that is, or want a refresher, you’re going to love the ValueCapping Basic Training Course.

In a nutshell, the task is to find horses you like that the public shouldn’t. Wait for your spots.

This year’s Derby may be the exact opposite situation: Horses at the top of the line that the software doesn’t really ‘like’ that the public SHOULD.

In Saturday’s Derby, there are 12 horses above random, and 5 Reversal Races.

The lowest odds on the BLAM Odds Line is 11-1 on the 5, Always Dreaming, followed by 13-1 on the 14, Classic Empire, and the 15, McCraken.

Translated into percentages, that means the BLAM Odds Line is telling me that
the top horses at 11-1 and 13-1 have about a 7-8% percent chance of winning. If they run the race 100 times, they win 7 or 8 of those.

Remember that the first part of the ValueCapping Framework is to find horses you ‘like’ or prefer? Well, 7 to 8 percent is hardly something to really ‘like’.

I know in these Rants, I’ve shared with you some really good calls that the Black Magic Handicapping Software and the ValueCapper Software has made: Arrogate in the Travers at $25.40, and Champagne Gal Juvenile at $69.20.

Even though those were ‘big races’, they were fairly straightforward.

This year’s Kentucky Derby is hardly straightforward.

I prefer races in which there’s only a small handful of horses with good BLAM odds, look for one of them with extras going off at an expected overlay against flawed horses.

Simple. Clear. Obvious.

There are a couple of races on the undercards that look pretty simple, and there might be a value play lurking.

I’ll share those with you in the video.

Well, that’s about it for this Rant. I hope this finds you well, in good health, and in good luck.

Thank you again for all the kind emails and feedback, I really appreciate it. You can always get me at Please be patient as Derby weekend is always a busy time.

If you have technical questions, please email them to, and try to do it before the weekend.

Good luck on Derby Day and always! Remember to wait for your price and let the bet make you,

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla’s 2016 Breeders’ Cup ValueCapping™ Video Rant

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Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

Breeders’ Cup 2016 is on this Friday and Saturday, November 4th and 5th, 2016.

I’ve done a ValueCapping™ Video Rant for you on the Breeders’ Cup races, and you can watch it by clicking on the link below.

Some of you have given me some suggestions for these videos and have asked that I don’t do such detailed analysis, and to get to the races I think are worth looking at.

With that in mind, I did my level best to get right to the point. Instead of explaining why I’d be passing several races on Saturday, I give you some examples on the Friday Breeders’ Cup card and then just let you know which races I’d be focusing on.

Bear in mind that in order to do this video in time, I had to start the ValueCapping process late on Tuesday night, and the video was done today, so I don’t have scratches, information about the Also Eligibles, and the weather.

Weather might be a factor, because there are a few races where I’m looking for a Highly Pressured scenario and favoring the closing horses. If the track comes up sloppy, that scenario is possible, but less likely. So, the work I did was for a fast track.

Many of you have written with questions and encouragement about the upcoming ValueCapper™ Black Magic 2.0 Software.

I’ll have an announcement soon about the first, limited release of that software. That limited release will most probably be after the holidays. As you know, it’s been under constant development for the past 5 years, involving testing with hundreds of thousands of races. There will be an instructional video site with loads of videos, and some very valuable bonuses.

I appreciate your patience-it’s been an herculean task improving on the original Black Magic Software numbers and odds lines, and arranging the information so that the all of the important issues, primarily the value in the races is immediately apparent. I know the term ‘game changer’ is terribly overused, but in this case, it’s fitting. Stay tuned.

Thank you so much again to those who have written with your encouragement and support, and sharing with me your progress and successes. It means more to me than I have words to say thank you.

Enjoy the Breeders’ Cup, don’t forget about the undercards at the other tracks, make sure you get your prices, and let the bet make you.

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla’s 2016 Belmont Stakes Video ValueCapping™ Rant

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
Las Vegas, Nevada
June 9, 2016 1:47 PM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

The Third ‘Jewel’ of the Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes will be here in two days.

There won’t be another showdown between Nyquist and Exaggerator because Nyquist is out with a fever.

Not surprisingly, Exaggerator’s at the top of the Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software™ Odds Line, but there are some interesting things to notice about the race.

Once again, there’s are some interesting wrinkles having to do with the Track Profile and how the past Belmont Stakes winners have positioned themselves in the race and how they expended their energy.

I did a video for you on the Belmont Stakes, and also looked at some races from the Belmont undercard. One of my favorite races is the 7 furlong Woody Stephens Stakes (it’s the 7th race at Belmont on Saturday), because it’s usually a Highly Pressured affair. This year is no different, and there’s a lone closer in the race as well.

It’s two days before the races I’m discussing, so I don’t have all the scratches, changes, etc., and the weather forecast is predicting rain over the weekend in Elmont, but you’ll get the idea of the approach to finding Value investments (as opposed to the ‘gotta pick a winner’ ‘who do ya like?’ approach).

What’s important is not so much those specific races and their outcomes, but the approach of ValueCapping™. The shift from ‘handicapper/horseplayer’ to Investor/ ValueCapper is more than just words. It’s a different game. And in this video, I hope you’ll gain some additional insight into the ValueCapping approach.

I hope this finds you well, and I’d like to extend again my sincere thanks to you for all the kind words, email, support, and encouragement. You can always email me at and let me know of your progress or ask any questions you have. (If you have technical questions, you’ll get a quicker answer by emailing As it’s Belmont week, be patient with me, as it may take me some extra time to get back to you.

Those of you who are now or have ever been on the Wizards’ Forum will be getting a snail mail letter next week about the new video streaming, pricing structure, etc. I’ve been able to delay the new pricing structure until July 1st, and all the details are in the letter.

Finally, ValueCapper is coming along very nicely. Thanks for your patience: I think you’re going to find it to be a game changer.

Best of luck always and remember to let the bet make you!

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla

Michael Pizzolla’s 2016 Preakness ValueCapping™ Video Rant

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
May 19, 2016
5:37 PM
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

It’s time for the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes, to be run this Saturday, May 21, 2016 at Pimlico.

I’ve made a video for you analyzing the race as well as some races on the Pimlico undercard.

Before we get to that, I want to say a big thank you to all of you who wrote such kind things about the Kentucky Derby Rant.

I have to admit, it was a spectacular day. There was the Derby, of course, where the obvious colt, Nyquist won, but the other three races on the Churchill undercard were amazing.

In the first race, the horse was scratched, in the second race, the 9 horse, Call the Colonel, won and paid $38.60, and in the 11th race, the 8 horse, Diversidero, won and paid $15.60.

In addition to that, there were two races discussed on the Wizards’ Forum, the CD 4th and 7th, that paid amazingly as well.

Now, I have to say this, and listen carefully:

This was a remarkable day where the winners clustered. Having 4 good priced winners on one card of races is fantastic, and that it happened on Kentucky Derby day is just great.

But, even if those horses didn’t decide to run, I hope that what you took away from the video was the process of ValueCapping-the interplay of the fundamentals of the race-like the pace/position scenario-with the prices involved.

It’s all about making good value bets.

Having said that, I’ve received several emails with reports of jaw-dropping results on Derby Day, and I couldn’t be happier for them.

In this video, I’ll briefly recap those races on Derby Day, and show you some of my tickets. I don’t usually do this in a public video, but one viewer questioned whether I actually bet (and cashed on) these races.

I do.

I’ll tell you the story on the video.

I talk a lot about discipline and patience, and a sober, investment-minded approach to the game. Yet, a day like Derby Day can remind us of why we love this great game.

I hope you enjoy it, and I thank you again for your encouragement and support. I can’t say thank you enough for the kind words and emails. And for those of you on the Wizards’ Forum, the support and help you give one another is something for which I am grateful every single day.

Enjoy, be sure you get your price, and let the bet make you!

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla

Michael Pizzolla’s 2016 Kentucky Derby ValueCapping™ Video Rant

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
May 5, 2016 1:37 PM
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

This Saturday is Kentucky Derby Day! The 2016 Kentucky Derby is the 142nd running of the race and will be the 12th race at Churchill Downs this Saturday, May 7, 2016.

As I write this, it’s Thursday afternoon, I don’t know what the weather will be like, don’t know if the two Also Eligibles will draw in due to an unforeseen scratch, I don’t know if a key player in the pace scenario will be scratched, etc.

In this ValueCapping Video Rant, I’ll talk with you about the core differences between the Stage 1 player-the handicapper and the Stage 2 player-the ValueCapper.

There’s a very interesting lesson in this year’s Derby-an unusual one. This year, the positional set up of the races seems to favor an early placed horse, while the velocity analysis favors the closers.

I’ll show you how I handle this situation using tools such as the Track Profile, AccuPressureV2, and some common sense.

In the end, the price will be the final determining factor of whether there’s a decent investment.

I’ll also show you how I make some very simple adjustments to the software’s calls, as I did in last year’s Derby. While I don’t do that often, this year’s Derby calls for it.

While Nyquist may be tough to beat, there are a few other colts that may be worth a second look.

I’ll also take you through 3 other races from the Churchill Downs card-they can often provide decent overlays because of the ‘big day’ crowd that’s pouring money into the pools without knowing what they’re doing.
As it turned out, one of those races is a very simple call, one is fairly straightforward, one requires some work, and then there’s the Derby with the usual complications.

I’ll also have a progress report for you on the ValueCapper software. All of the numbers, changes to the lines, etc., etc. have been finalized, and now it’s just a matter of getting the instructional site organized, and the programming for the new style security devices done. Thanks for your patience on this, but I assure you it will be well worth waiting for. There’s also an update on the pricing changes on the Forum and Unlimited data that applies to those on the Wizards’ Forum. You’ll be getting a snail mail letter for me bringing you up to date, but the good news is that the price change won’t take effect until June 1 rather than May 1 as originally planned.

A big thank you also for your support and encouragement, and the many kind emails. I appreciate it more than I can tell you.

Hope this finds you well, enjoy the Kentucky Derby, and remember to let the bet make you!

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping™ Rant: 2016 Wood Memorial And Blue Grass Stakes

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From the Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
April 8, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada
8:07 AM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend:

Three big Derby preps are running tomorrow, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the Blue Grass at Keeneland, and the Santa Anita Derby.

Santa Anita has been sluggish in getting the saddlecloths, morning lines, etc. processed, and as of now, I don’t have a final file.

By now, some of you may be getting a little frustrated that very often these ‘big’ races don’t yield a clear value investment.

I know exactly how you feel. For all the time I’ve spent making calculated value bets, there’s still a racing fan inside, and I’d LIKE to be betting these races.

But I’ve learned from hard experience that waiting for the right situations is a big key to success in this game.

In the Wood Memorial, the 10th race at Aqueduct tomorrow, April 9, 2016, there are 5 colts above random, and three of them are the ML favorites: the 1, Shagaf, the Fulcrum in the race, the 8, Outwork, and the 6, Matt King Coal. Basically, even with the contrarian approach of the Black Magic software and ValueCapping, the assessment agrees with the public.

Here’s where some aspiring ValueCappers get into trouble: They start making distinctions among those horses and land on one, but the bottom line is that if the price isn’t there, it isn’t there!

Two longer priced horses appear above random, the 5, Flexibility, on a layoff since January when it finished 4th in the Withers, and the 7, Dalmore, a colt that broke its Maiden last out in its 7th attempt.

The mile and an eighth at Aqueduct tends to run late, and the race looks to be Highly Pressured as well, so I would favor a closing colt. That would tend to favor the 5, which expends its energy late. The 7 is a bit of a mystery, as it ran a fantastic closing fraction in that maiden win, the equivalent of a 23 and 3, but that fraction is much higher than it earned in its previous races. Is it because of the maiden field, or did this colt suddenly improve?

With all the questions, and with the top 3 ML favorites being in the mix, I’d need very long prices to invest in either the 5 or the 7, and even then it doesn’t ‘feel’ like a solid bet to me.

In the Blue Grass, there are 16 colts entered. The BLAM Odds Line starts at 8-1 for the ML favorite, Zulu. 9 of the colts are above random, and there are prices all over, mostly on colts that have just broken their maiden or won Allowance races. This race is FAR from the simple, clear, and obvious situations that I prefer, so I’ll be watching this as a fan, with an eye to the Derby.

As I do on most ‘big’ days, I’ll be looking at the undercards for clearer situations. Horses such as the 10, Gap Year, in the 6th race at Aqueduct, the Fulcrum that’s tied for second on the line. I’d invest at 8-1.

For those of you who would like some insight on the process of ValueCapping, and why patience is so important, I did a two-part video on ‘The Biggest Difference’ where we discuss the biggest difference between the recreational player and the person who is interested in making professional value investments at the track.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with playing this game recreationally-heck it’s such a great game, and so much fun, but it’s important to know the difference between when you’re betting for fun and recreation, and when you’re investing with the sole intention of making a long-term profit.

You can find part 1 HERE

and part 2 HERE

My thanks to you for the very kind words about the Rants, and for your support and encouragement.

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping™ Rant: The 2016 Florida Derby And Spiral Stakes

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From the Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
April 1, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada
9:07 AM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

Remember Goldilocks?

She’s the one that found one bear’s porridge too hot, the other’s too cold, and one just right. Same with beds that were too soft and too hard, until she found one that was just right.

See, in ValueCapping, we’re looking for good Value investments, and we need a race that has an odds line we can work with. Some are too ‘pat’-the obvious horses that the public like are at the top of your odds line.

Some are too ‘wild’-there are so many horses above random, and there’s so little distinction among them that betting the race becomes akin to playing the lottery.

This brings us to the two Derby Preps this week: The Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park and The Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, which are being run this Saturday, April 2, 2016.

In the Florida Derby, the Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software odds line puts the 9, Mohaymen right on top, and right underneath it, second, is the 4, Nyquist. Mohaymen is the Fulcrum; Nyquist might get the jump in the first call.

This race is too ‘pat’.

Why? Mohaymen is even money Morning Line; Nyquist is 6/5.

In other words, our numbers, our contrarian-based line, applying all of those techniques, couldn’t come up with an opinion other than that shared by the crowd. These are two colts that are collectively 11 for 11-neither has lost a race, Mohaymen just won the Fountain of Youth, Nyquist won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in October.

These are champions. Applying all the techniques of Ultimate Pace Ratings, Advanced Form Patterns, Reversals, Fulcrum, AccuPressureV2, etc., etc., there’s no getting around them.

Remember, the purpose of ValueCapping™ is to find horses you like that the public shouldn’t. So we ‘like’ these horses. No kidding. But the public SHOULD as well. In my work, I pass these races.

For you who just want to speculate, third on the BLAM Odds Line is the 7, Takeittotheedge, at 6-1 on the line. At 20-1 or so, perhaps a speculative bet may be acceptable-this colt has had one start, and won its Maiden Special Weight very easily.

But the wiser course is to pass, because the race is too ‘pat’.

Now, in the Spiral Stakes at Turfway, we have the opposite case: Right now, before scratches, there are 14 colts and geldings in the race. Of those, 10 are above the random line, and the BLAM Odds line starts at 9-1, has 4 horses tied at 10-1, an 11-1, three 12-1s, and a 13-1.

To translate the line into English, it’s saying that even the top horse (which is the 12, Azar, the Fulcrum) is 9-1 on the odds line. That means according to this line, you’d need more than 9-1, more like 15-1 to bet this colt.


I’m asked all the time whether one cannot just go ‘shopping’ in those races, to look for overlays from the BLAM Odds Line. Sure. But with so many horses above random and the line that begins so high and is so ‘smooth’, you’re likely to be looking at many potential overlays.

No ‘Goldilocks’ race. One-the Florida Derby-is too ‘pat’, the other-the Spiral Stakes-is too wide open.

They’re just not part of my investment strategy. I’ll be much more likely to look at the undercards, looking for value investments in more ‘modest’ races. For example, the 2nd race at Turfway is a $5,000 claiming race. Tied for top of the line is the 9, Grand Kuma, albeit at 7-1 on the line. It’s 10-1 on the Morning Line, and I’d be looking to invest at 12-1 or so.

Or the 5th race at Turfway, where the top horse on the line is the 7, Cup of Joy, the Fulcrum horse, 9/2 on the BLAM Odds Line, 11-1 on the Contention Line, 15-1 Morning Line. At 9 or 10 to 1, I’d invest.

So, the takeaway is that successful investing at the track requires patience-waiting for your spots, and not betting because you want to, or it’s the right day of the week, or it’s a ‘big’ race.

My thanks again to those of you who have written to let me know of your progress and successes, it’s so great to hear. And to answer the scores of questions about the new ValueCapper software, it’s very close. Stay tuned.

Good luck at the races on Saturday, and remember to let the bet make you!

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping™ Video Rant: The 2016 Louisiana Derby

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
March 24, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada
8:47 PM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend:

This ValueCapping™ Rant is about the 2016 Louisiana Derby, which will be run on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at Fair Grounds.

I’ve had several requests for a video, and one or two asking me to get right into the feature race.


I’ve done a video for you looking at the 2016 Louisiana Derby through the ValueCapping™ lens and using Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software™.

As always, the races are our best teachers, and this race presents several lessons:

What percentage of overlay should you require?

How do I use Early Energy Expenditure?

What’s the relationship between the fundamentals of a race-in this race, the potential pace scenario-and the value issues?

I hope you enjoy it

Thank you so much again for all the positive feedback, and for sharing your successes with me. It makes it all worth while!

Good luck at the races, and let the bet make you,

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla

P.S. For those of you who have the Black Magic software, and are on the Wizards’ Forum, I want to remind you that this month’s Inner Secrets Video, Series 9 Number 2, is now on the Forum, and there are several really valuable tips and lessons

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping™ Rant: The 2016 Tampa Bay Derby

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
March 11, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada
7:57 AM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

The main Derby Prep this week is the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, to be run tomorrow, Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Tampa Bay Park.

There’s another good ValueCapping lesson to be gleaned from this race. It’s how to answer the question, ‘why did my horse not win?’

If you remember, two weeks ago, I wrote to you about the Fountain of Youth, and how the Black Magic software had Awesome Banner well placed on the line.

Well, in tomorrow’s Tampa Bay Derby, Awesome Banner is well placed on the line, along with the 1, Morning Fire, and the 3, Outwork.

This begs the question-what the heck happened in the FOY? Awesome Banner finished next to last, beaten by 26 lengths.

Was it that the field was too ‘classy’ for the colt?

Did the bumping at the break cause the colt to rush too hard for the lead in the early call and then fade?

Were the numbers from the GP sprints inflated, and this was reflected in the loss, or did the last race indicate the horse is out of form and condition?

Is the colt not a ‘router’, given that its 3 for 3 lifetime record going into the race were all in sprints?

Now the ‘answer’ to those questions is we can’t know for sure.

As a good exercise, just answer these to yourself, and then make the opposite case. See? You can easily argue both sides.

Here’s how ValueCapping answers that question.

It’s much like hiring a lawyer. Truth to many-not all, of course-lawyers is a fluid concept.

Basically, a lawyer will argue the side of the client that’s paying him or her.

It’s much the same with ValueCapping.

See, the 10, Awesome Banner is 6-1 on the BLAM Odds Line. If it goes off at 12-1 or so, I’ll answer those questions in favor of the colt and invest.

If the colt goes off at 5 or 6-1, I’ll answer that the last race was terrible, the colt’s out of form and condition, outclassed, etc., etc.

And naturally, I’ll be looking for another ‘client’.

The other two colts above the line are the 1, Morning Fire, 4-1 on the BLAM Odds Line and the 3, Outwork, 5-1 on the line. At double digit odds, 10-1 and better, I’ll be looking to invest in one of these.

This is a very different approach from traditional handicapping, which focuses on the question of ‘who do you like?’ or ‘who will win this race?’

Since one of the main tenets of ValueCapping is that we cannot know the answer to that with complete certainty, the intelligent strategy is to find horses you like, that have extras like Advanced Form Patterns, and wait for the public to under bet these horses, giving you a decent overlay and investment potential.

So that’s the ValueCapping lesson from the Tampa Bay Derby.

On these big days, I advise you to look at the undercard at Tampa Bay as well as the other 150 races or so running on Saturday.

Many of you told me of how you did nicely with the undercard horse I mentioned in the last Rant on the Gotham Stakes, the 5 horse in the 5th race at Aqueduct last week, Hector’s Pride, paying $14.40.

The scratches aren’t out, nor the changes, and I don’t know what the weather will be like, so I didn’t do in depth work on those 150 races, but I’ll be looking at races such as the 1st at Gulfstream, where the 2 horse, Ebreeq, is at the top of the BLAM Odds line at 5-1, a horse that projects to have an easy lead in a turf race, and I’d be looking for 10-1 on that. The Morning Line maker puts this one at 10-1.

Or the 6th race at Mahoning Valley where the Fulcrum horse, the 1, Tilt the Balance, is at the top of the BLAM Odds Line at 5-1, big Contention Line (what I expect the public to do) and again 10-1 Morning Line. At 10-1 and up, I’d be looking to invest.

Or the 6th race at Oaklawn Park, where the top horse on the line, the 5, Tekton, is on a layoff and in a virtual tie on the BLAM Odds Line, the 1, Obsidian Splendor, is 5-1 on the BLAM Odds line, a good Contention Line, and 6-1 on the Morning Line. Again, I’d look for 10-1 and up.

Now, these are races I’m looking at a day an a half before they run, and scratches and changes can really change the Pace/Position projections of the races, but I wanted to give you an idea of the kind of horses I apply the ValueCapping principles to, and the simple value investment approach I take.

Well, that’s it for this Rant, I hope the lesson on how to answer ‘unanswerable’ questions is helpful.

I’m getting close on completing the ValueCapper Software project-stay tuned, as I’ll keep you posted on when it’s ready.

As always, I can’t say thank you enough for your encouragement, support, and the kind emails you’ve sent about the Rants and your progress.

Good luck at the races, and remember to let the bet make you.

All the best,


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