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Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping Rant June 13, 2014 A Big Thank You!

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Tonalist-wins-2014-Belmont-Stakes-VIDEO
From the Desk of Michael Pizzolla

June 13, 2014 9:55 AM

Las Vegas, Nevada

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you.

The response to the Triple Crown ValueCapping Rants has been so positive, and I’ve appreciated your comments more than I can tell you.

I’ve done my level best to answer each of your emails personally, but in case a few dropped through the email cracks, please accept my sincere thanks.

Perhaps the most rewarding came from someone who doesn’t use any software to do their work. They usually do their work with the Post Time Daily 2.0 past performances.

Their feedback was that the principles of ValueCapping, of looking for value first has been an eye opener. And that it increased his Return On Investment exponentially.

This fellow was almost apologetic that he didn’t use software to crunch the numbers.

My response was that it’s not the tool, but how you use it.

If you use any software, no matter how excellent it is, no matter how easy it makes the whole process, if you use that software as a ‘black box’, or play it mechanically, or use it to construct a ‘paint-by-numbers’ system, you’re in for a long, hard climb.

Ask me how I know.

I spent years of my life in search of such a system. The good news is that I was able to isolate factors, patterns, and situations that produced extraordinary value investments. The bad news was that any of those factors or patterns in isolation did not produce the same level of success.

Here’s why:

Finding a good value investment in a race is a complex task. There are so many variables, so many calculations, so many adjustments.

The game has changed with the proliferation of information and good numbers everywhere. We’re flat out playing against a more sophisticated betting public.

So expecting that one factor will beat this betting public day in and day out is like thinking that one can go out after reading a tip in Golf Digest and compete in the U.S. Open.

I use software in my work to make the crunching of numbers, and the spotting of those patterns and situations, easy.

This way, I can focus on the real work-spotting the value investments.

Today, there are 156 races I can play in Las Vegas. Doing each of those races by hand is a daunting task. So, I use software as a way to get the tedious work done in seconds.

Then the work begins!

Speaking of software, I’ve received many questions about the new ValueCapper Software. I must apologize again, as I don’t have a definite release date yet.

This software will make spotting value investments very simple. It also will point out when there’s too much going on in a race and when to exercise caution or pass.

Every tweak, every small change in formula, gets subjected to my personal testing of thousands of races to make sure that the formulas are doing what we expect, and that they are effective.

As you might imagine, this is a very labor intensive task.

But we’re making great progress.

I’m also doing my level best to design the instructional process for the software so that it is not overwhelming, that it can be thorough and complete, yet delivered so that it can be understood in bite-sized segments.

I’m working every single day on it, both doing number-crunching research, and investing with live bets at the race book.

As soon as I have any news on when we can expect the software’s release, I promise to let you know.

I’ve also gotten several questions about when the next Seminar will be. This is dependent on the ValueCapper Software. The software makes so much of what I teach so easy to implement that I want to have the software done before committing to a Seminar.

I promise that as soon as I have dates set, I’ll let you know, and that I’ll give enough lead time so that you can make your travel arrangements, etc.

Thank you again, so much, for allowing me to share my thoughts about this great game, and thank you for your encouragement and support.

Remember to bet only when you sense you have an advantage, and to let the bet make you!

Talk soon,

Michael

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping Rant: Post Belmont Shocker

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla

June 8, 2014 7:17 AM

Las Vegas, NV

Dear ValueCapper and Friend:

Well, the Triple Crown is over, and once again, it was disappointment for those who were attempting one of the most difficult feats in all of sport.

Tonalist ran a fine race, Joel Rosario rode him masterfully, and the Reversal from the Peter Pan produced a very nice exacta.

For those of you familiar with my work, you know about the concept of the Fulcrum. Interestingly, Tonalist was the Fulcrum in the Belmont. Also Chrome was the Fulcrum in the Kentucky Derby, and missed by a few ticks being the Fulcrum in the Preakness.

It’s remarkable how so simple a tool can be so effective. I’ll have more to say about that in the coming weeks.

For those who asked, although I was invited to the Belmont Stakes, I wound up not making the trip this year. I didn’t want to mention it before the race, but one of my dearest friends, golf buddy, and pillar of the Las Vegas business community passed away on Wednesday.

Watching the NBC coverage, the crowd and energy at Belmont looked amazing, and part of me wanted to be there.

There was one thing that shocked me though.

Steve Coburn, one of the owners of California Chrome was interviewed after the race. Not only did he not congratulate the connections of Tonalist, he went on a rant calling those who did not run in all Triple Crown races ‘cowards’.

He would make it a requirement that only colts that ran in all three legs of the Triple Crown be allowed to claim that title.

His tone, his apparent anger, the attitude that has been called ‘sore loser’ was unfortunate.

What would we do with future Triple Crown winners under that scheme? Put an asterisk by their names?

Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat took on all comers and prevailed.

The Triple Crown is coveted not because it is easy, but because it is hard. The Belmont is the toughest of the three, in my opinion, a true test of a champion. California Chrome, like so many other very good colts, just could not get it done.

The pace was relatively slow early, 24, 48-and some have criticized Victor Espinosa for not taking the lead. I have stopped second guessing jockeys, especially one that seems to have such a good record with a particular horse-in this case he won 6 straight races since getting the mount on the colt, including the Derby and Preakness.

So, I figured that it was just the disappointment of the moment that caused Mr. Coburn to vent. That he’d calm down after a night’s sleep and think better of his diatribe.

I was wrong.

This morning, he doubled down on his comments, comparing the unfairness that California Chrome faced in the Belmont to a child in a wheelchair playing basketball against him.

I’m not kidding.

You can watch it for yourself here, it’s 5 minutes long and shocking:

Forgive me, I don’t mean to be harsh, but the name of his racing enterprise, Dumb Ass Partners, is apt.

Thanks for taking this Triple Crown journey with me, and I hope you’ve gained some insights about the ValueCapping approach to investing at the race track.

I’ll talk to you soon,

All the best,

Michael

Michael Pizzolla’s 2014 Belmont Stakes ValueCapping Video Rant

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
June 5, 2014 1:01 PM
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

There’s been a huge frenzy about California Chrome and his quest for the Triple Crown.

The Today show had a featured interview this morning with Victor Espinoza, and the major news channels have all had a piece on Chrome’s quest.

I wish him well. Not surprisingly, BLAM has California Chrome right on top.

As it did in the Kentucky Derby. And the Preakness. And the Santa Anita Derby. And The San Felipe.

You get the point.

This is a very solid colt, and that’s been recognized by BLAM.

Making this Belmont Stakes a difficult betting race.

Oh, it’s easy to bet, but whether that bet is a good value investment is the real question.

Betting against a colt like California Chrome just BECAUSE it’s a short price is not a good strategy.
There needs to be reasons to bet against it (I call these Anti-Value factors).

With California Chrome there really aren’t any, unless you consider that it will be overbet, and that the last dozen horses that won both the Derby and Preakness have failed in the Belmont.

In the video I’ve made for you, I’ll show you some actual tickets from a Triple Crown winner.

There are some very legitimate colts running against Chrome, and I review these for you in the 2014 Belmont Stakes ValueCapping Video Rant

It’s been a long road to this race on Saturday, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey and have learned some things along the way about the approach of ValueCapping and making value investments at the race track.

Thanks so much for all of your support and encouragement.

Good luck this weekend, and don’t forget to let the bet make you.

All the best,

Michael

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping Rant: Thoughts On The Belmont Stakes And The Triple Crown Watch

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
May 30, 2014 9:33 PM
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dear ValueCapper and Friend:

The Triple Crown frenzy continues.

I’ve said before that California Chrome is a very good colt, a colt that BLAM put at the top of the line in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

I was chided by a couple of readers because I said that California Chrome might not be a ‘great’ colt.

I suppose that all depends on how high a standard one sets for ‘great’. Certainly his times were good, not great.

And I was fortunate to see several races of a great colt, including the Belmont Stakes in which that colt ran two sub 24 quarters in that race, and after that came home in 25 seconds en route to setting a world record.

That great colt was Secretariat.

So I have admittedly high standards.

While California Chrome’s quest for the Triple Crown is a good thing for racing in that even casual racing fans are talking about it, I’m unsure about what effect his winning the Crown will have on the future of the sport.

Will it inspire large numbers to be suddenly interested in the game, in wagering or investing in the ‘nitty gritty’ low priced claiming races that make up the main menu of most tracks’ day to day offerings?

I rather doubt it.

Still, I’d be happy to see him win, although I won’t be betting on him to do so. Why? The price will be prohibitively low. Perhaps we’ll find a colt with a shot at a price to bet on against him, but if there’s not, I’ll just watch the race like millions of other fans.

I do have another reason for wanting Chrome to win. One of the Wizards who uses Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software has gone on a trip to see all three of this year’s Triple Crown races.

This was a young man who came to ValueCapping and BLAM without a lot of knowledge of handicapping, by his own admission. And he’s found that a distinct advantage. He financed what he calls this ‘trip of a lifetime’ from his winnings, and for his sake I hope he gets to see the first Triple Crown in 36 years.

What makes me even happier is that he wrote me yesterday telling me of his score on a race at Prairie Meadows last night in a lowly $7,500 claimer. A horse that was rather clear on BLAM wired the field and paid an astonishing $33.60. It was so clear that I had bet it in the morning, knowing that it would be a solid price, but I was surprised at the price, and at the $335.20 exacta.

‘Fans’ of the sport, of the great horses, may turn their noses up at these kinds of races, but ValueCappers, investors at the windows, know that these kinds of overlays can produce returns that the Wall Street hedge fund managers can only dream of.

Next week, I’ll send you my take on the 2014 Belmont Stakes and BLAM’s analysis of the race.

Until then, I thank you so much for your encouragement and support, and hope this finds you well.

All the best,

Michael

P.S. In answer to some questions I’ve received: I’ve been invited to attend the Belmont Stakes, but don’t know yet whether I’ll be able to go. I’ll keep you posted.

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping Rant: Triple Crown Watch May 23, 2014

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From the Desk Of Michael Pizzolla

May 23, 2014 11:37 PM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

The Belmont is two weeks away, and of course, there’s a big buzz about a potential Triple Crown champion.

For all my clinical talk about value, about ValueCapping, about finding the best value bets, there’s still a racing fan in me.

Even though many big races present no good betting opportunities, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love the big races and the great horses.

I’ve been to the last three Triple Crown winners’ Belmonts in person-Secretariat in 1973, Seattle Slew in 1977, and Affirmed in 1978.

Secretariat’s Belmont was the single greatest sporting event I’ve ever experienced in my life.

As a pace handicapper, when I saw the time of 1:09 4/5 posted for 6 furlongs, I thought to myself that Ron Turcotte had blown the Triple Crown, that no colt could possible finish, much less win, at a mile and a half after that pace.

As Secretariat pulled away, the crowd was going crazy and I found myself not able to make a sound. I kept waiting for him to start ‘swimming’-moving his legs up and down and coming back to the field. Instead, he pulled away. It was stunning. I still don’t have the words to describe it.

California Chrome is no Secretariat. Still, it would be great for the sport to have a Triple Crown winner.

I’m on the road, in the deep South, and was actually asked by a couple of grandmothers from Alabama if Chrome had a chance at the Triple Crown.

Of course he does, and I told them as much.

He’s not in the same class as Slew or Affirmed.

And no colt may ever be worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as Secretariat.

Still, part of me wants him to win for the good of our game.

As of today, I don’t know if I’ll head back to New York for the race.

I was there for Smarty Jones’s, Real Quiet’s, War Emblem’s, Funny Cide’s, and Big Brown’s losses in the Belmont when they had a chance at the Crown.

The three others that stick out in my mind were ten years apart.

I was there for Spectacular Bid’s loss in 1979. It was a shock. I saw Coastal make this monster move up the rail to run down Bid. That would have been three Triple Crowns in a row!

Fast forward ten years. 1989 was Sunday Silence’s chance. I watched Easy Goer cruise by him to win easily. I had a soft spot in my heart for Easy Goer, as he was a beautiful colt, and a son of Alydar, who I thought was a better colt than Affirmed.

Fast forward ten more years. 1999. This one was the most disappointing.

I was literally laughed at by some racing heavyweights on a radio show when I picked Charismatic to win the Derby that year, and when he paid $64 and change to win, I cashed one of the best bets I’d ever made.

It was heartbreaking to see him lose the Belmont. I knew something was wrong mid stretch. and watching Chris Antley drop to the ground to protect his leg after the finish line was so poignant.

I’m not superstitious, but there’s part of me that knows that I’ve gone 8 times now since Affirmed and have seen 8 potential Crown winners lose.

Crown is not a great colt. But at this point in our game, in thoroughbred racing, he’s got a great chance to spark excitement in our game, which is sorely needed.

He’ll be wearing his nasal strip, and I hope he runs his race.

I’ll let you know if I’ll go, and no matter what, I’ll give you my analysis of the race when we get the final entries in a couple of weeks.

Until then, I hope this finds you well, and please let the bet make you.

All the best,

Michael

Michael Pizzolla

Michael Pizzolla’s 2014 Preakness Stakes ValueCapping Video Rant

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla

May 15, 2014 1:33 PM
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

The 2014 Preakness Stakes is this Saturday, and the racing world is abuzz about the Derby winner, California Chrome, and his chances for the first Triple Crown since 1978.

I’ve made a video for you about the Preakness, analyzing it with Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software.

Spoiler alert: California Chrome is right on the top of the odds line.

No surprise there.

Also, to those of you who follow my work, it will be no surprise that my bet in the Derby, General a Rod, shows up well on the line again.

There’s a late running colt that might find its way into the exotics at a big price if Pimlico is favoring the running style that won the last two Preakness Stakes.

The fact that there are only 3 colts-California Chrome, General a Rod, and Ride on Curlin-in the race from the Derby actually makes it an easier race to analyze than most Preakness Stakes.

Please remember to check out the undercards, not only at Pimlico, but at the other tracks running. There are usually some very big errors made by the ‘big day’ crowd that you can take advantage of.

As always, my sincere thanks to those of you who have written with kind words about the videos and Rants.

You can always write me at michael@posttimedaily.com I’ll be traveling and with the Preakness on Saturday, please be patient as I might not be able to get back to you immediately.

If you have a technical question, drop a line to support@posttimedaily.com

Enjoy, be well, and let the bet make you!

All the best,

Michael Pizzolla

Michael Pizzolla’s 2014 Kentucky Derby ValueCapping Rant

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From The Desk of Michael Pizzolla
May 1, 2014 12:21 PM
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dear ValueCapper and Friend:

Well, it’s finally here.

After months of Derby preps, the 2014 Kentucky Derby is this Saturday.

And I may not be able to bet.

Churchill Downs and Las Vegas have still not reached an agreement, so the Vegas books are not taking any bets on Churchill Downs.

It figures.

This year, for a change, I actually think it’s not a bad betting race.

Of course, with 11 colts above random, it’s not the paradigm of a simple, clear, and obvious race, but there’s a colt with a legitimate shot at a price.

California Chrome’s at the top of the BLAM line, but I have my reservations about him.

My sense is that the second colt down on the line has a chance to do well at a price.

There are some interesting colts near the top of the line that have a running style to be in the exotics.

I’ve made a 25 minute video for you all about this year’s Kentucky Derby. For those of you with really short attention spans, I give the bottom line within the first 5 minutes.

There’s an alternative link in the P.S. if this one doesn’t work.

For those of you (hopefully most of you reading this) who are more interested in the analysis process that goes into finding good value investments, the second part of the video goes into great detail on the pace scenario and the value issues.

I hope this finds you well, and wish you all the best on Derby weekend and always.

All the best,

Michael

P.P.S Don’t forget the undercards! For example, at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, there are a couple of 7 furlong sprints that come up Highly Pressured, the 7th and the 9th. Take a look at those races. There are some deep closers near the top of the line (lucky 7s?) that should be overlooked by the public. Depending on how receptive the track is to closers that day, they may be even better bets than the Derby.

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping Rant: The 2014 Pre-Kentucky Derby Rant

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kentuckyderbyodds
From the Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
April 25, 2014 2:39 PM
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dear ValueCapper and Friend:

The Derby.

It’s a week away. And racing fans around the world are all abuzz.

I overheard a couple of my golfing buddies yesterday discussing ‘the big race’.

They were actually discussing whether a couple of the horses had trouble changing leads.

Fair enough.

And then one of them noticed me sitting there, and came up and asked me how much a 2 horse exacta box cost.

I wish I were kidding.

The sheer volume of minutiae that is being discussed in articles on the internet is astounding.

Those of you who have been following my Rants for years know that I feel the Kentucky Derby really is just another horse race.

And I look at hundreds a day, every day.

Since developing Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper™ Software 5 years ago, I continue to ValueCap every race in North America, every day.

I also coach a small group of committed and dedicated winners on the Wizards’ Forum.

They get my personal attention and coaching and it’s something I’m involved with every day.

Nothing-not even a Derby winner-makes me happier than to see a Wizard finally ‘get it’ about value betting.

This past Tuesday, in the 3rd race at Turf Paradise, several of the Wizards bet on BLAM’s top horse, the 7, Battle School, and were rewarded with an $85.20 mutuel.

This was a $3,000 claimer at Turf Paradise. I imagine that some of the lead ponies for the Derby horses have better breeding than some of the horses that ran in that claimer.

Yet, it was an outstanding value investment.

Not because it won.

But because it was a horse that had some positives going for it that the public was sure to hate.

Like the fact that it finished 40 lengths back in its last race.

The public seemed to overlook that the second and third races back were quite good.

And the fact that BLAM’s algorithms selected a couple of turf running lines to make its odds line.

‘Everybody knows’ you don’t use turf lines in a 6 furlong sprint.

‘Everybody knows’ you don’t bet a horse that finished 40 lengths back in its last race.

It was a perfect example of ‘betting horses you like that the public shouldn’t’.

Of course they don’t all win, but how many $85.20 horses does one need to make up for the ones that didn’t win and show a very tidy profit?

Those of you who have BLAM, go ahead and open up the 3rd race from Turf Paradise from April 22, 2014.

And let me know, if you haven’t seen the race before, if this wasn’t a ‘picture perfect’ simple, clear, and obvious value investment.

One of the themes of my coaching is to wait until the race seems very clear, and the value horse is obvious.

Sure, there are occasions where the Derby is pretty clear, and I’ve done very well on those years.

Yet, the odds are against it.

20 three year old colts who have never gone a mile and a quarter, most of them potential champions running in the ‘chance of a lifetime’ in front of 140,000 screaming fans.

It’s usually more like a lottery than an investment opportunity.

Nonetheless, as soon as we get the final card, I’ll do an analysis of the Derby.

Hopefully, it will present a clear value investment.

If not, I’ll do what I do every day of my life: Pass the race.

Oh, heck, I’m human, and sure, I’ll have a ‘recreational bet’ on the race.

But unless it’s clear as a still pond of water, I won’t invest.

That mindset can make you significant profits in this game.

Treat it as an investment, and you’ll do very well.

Speaking of which, I hope this finds you happy and well.

All the best,

Michael

www.PostTimeDaily.com

P.S. Thanks so much again for all of your encouragement and support. You can always write me at michael@posttimedaily.com. As this is Derby time, please be patient, but I will get back to you. And if you have technical issues, drop a line to support@posttimedaily.com, or call the office Monday through Friday, 9-4 Pacific Time at 702-889-2814

2014 Kentucky Derby Pre Rant Coming Soon

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ptd-hm-slider-v23From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla

April 24, 2014 5:02 PM

For those of you who have asked, yes, I will most definitely be doing a ‘Rant’ on the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

But, as important as that race is to racing fans, I’ll be doing a pre-Derby Rant that I think you will find helpful.

In that, I’ll outline why although the Kentucky Derby is the ‘big race’ of the year, from an investment standpoint, it’s often a poor investment.

Stay tuned!

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping Rant For April 19, 2014 Lexington Stakes

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lexington-attractions4
From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
Las Vegas, Nevada, April 18, 2014 3:37 PM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend:

The coming weekend is a quiet one for Derby prep races. Makes sense-the Kentucky Derby is only two weeks away, and it’s a holiday weekend for many.

The only Derby prep being run this weekend is the Lexington, carrying only 10 Derby points (as opposed to the 100 point preps such as the Louisiana, Florida, Santa Anita, Arkansas, and Blue Grass Derbies).

In the Lexington, the 9th at Keeneland on April 19, 2014, of the 11 colts, 7 are above random (i.e., have a shot), and 5 are off layoffs. When you have nearly half the field off layoffs, projecting the potential pace/position scenario becomes problematic. While you may know that a horse has the tendency to go to the front, or press, the question becomes which of those horses off layoffs will be ready to demonstrate those abilities.

For example, if you have a field with many layoff horses, and think that the race will favor a closer because there are many early horses BUT of the 4 early horses, 2 are coming off layoffs, if those 2 don’t run, you’ve got a very different scenario.

It looks like the 2, Solitary Ranger, will be part of the early pace, and may be able to get on top, but the colt expends its energy very early. The track profile for Keeneland 8.5 furlongs is decidedly late. One late colt that’s interesting is the 7, Ami’s Holiday, second on the BLAM line and has closed in all of its 4 lifetime races, all of which were run at Woodbine.

BLAM’s AccuPressureV2 makes it the lone closer, which is unusual to find in a Fulcrum horse. However, it’s been off since December.

All in all, most likely a pass race for me.

I also took a look at the Illinois Derby which is not technically a Derby Prep, as it doesn’t carry any Derby points.

In the Illinois Derby, the 9th at Hawthorne on April 19, 2014, it looks like the public will have the same 3 horses as BLAM: The 4/5 ML favorite, the 3, Midnight Hawk, the 8, Class Leader, and the 1, Dynamic Impact. While I don’t think the 3 deserves the 4/5 ML, I don’t see a bet ‘making me’. I lean slightly towards the 8, Class Leader, but I doubt I’d get the 6 or 7-1 I’d need to invest.

I hope this finds you well, and no matter what holiday-or no holiday at all-you’re celebrating, I hope that you get to spend some quality time with friends and family.

Let the bet make you, and we’ll talk soon,

All the best,

Michael

P.S. For those of you who prefer to read this on the Post Time Daily Blog, Click Here

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