From the Desk of Michael Pizzolla
March 21, 2014 7:37 PM, Las Vegas, Nevada
Dear ValueCapper and Friend:
I want to tell you how lucky I feel to have a group like you with whom to share my thoughts about the Derby Preps.
As you know, there haven’t been very solid bets in these preps, and I’ve said so-on videos, on podcasts, and in these emails.
I was concerned that this would be the case, that the races would be, as they often are, muddled. That they would not yield solid investment opportunities. I thought that this analysis would not be very well received.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve received so many emails expressing appreciation that I shared my honest analysis about these races, rather than trying to ‘force’ a bet or a selection.
That’s why I feel so fortunate.
The level of maturity and insight into the game that those comments reflects is fantastic. It shows that you ValueCappers are truly looking at this great game as an investment opportunity rather than looking to make wild speculations.
I’m afraid that the two Derby Preps this weekend, the Spiral on Saturday and the Sunland Derby on Sunday, are very wide open races, and Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software (BLAM) indicates that very clearly.
This week I felt again that a video would not be all that instructive, so I’ve written my brief thoughts on these races below:
The Spiral Stakes
The Spiral Stakes (actually, the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Racing Spiral Stakes) is a Grade 3 to be run at Turfway Park on Saturday March 22, 2014. Of the 12 colts, 7 of them are above random in a very weak betting line.
By that I mean that the top colts, the 2, Asserting Bear, and the 10, Harry’s Holiday, are at 6-1 in the BLAM line. After that, the colts above random are at 8, 9, and 10-1. In plain English, it’s a wide open race.
Of the 12 colts, only 2 have ever run a mile and an eighth, the 4, Tamarando, the Morning Line favorite and the 2, Asserting Bear. Both won their only start at 9 furlongs.
The 10, Harry’s Holiday projects to be on or near the lead, and yet will break from the 10 post.
There’s no clarity in the race for me for a solid value investment. Normally, this would be a pass race for me. As far as speculation, if the odds on the 10 and the 2 are long, I might take some exotics using those with the 8, Solitary Ranger which is both the Fulcrum, and one of the Reversal Winners. I’ll use the 4 if price allows, and perhaps put one of the big closers at long prices, the 1 or the 7 in the mix. Admittedly, this is a lot of ‘spreading’ on a very unclear race. Even my exotic strategy as I type this sounds like a bit of a mess, which reflects the lack of clarity in the race.
The Sunland Derby
The Sunland Derby, a Grade 3 Stakes, is on Sunday March 23, 2014, and it’s to be run at a mile and an eighth at Sunland Park. As with the Spiral, most of the colts have never gone a mile and an eighth. There are 6 entrants above the random mark in the BLAM Oddsline, 4 of them are the Morning Line Favorites. Two of the colts in the mix are prices, the 8, Rebranded, and the 6, Lawly’s Goal.
With all the unknowns in the race, I can’t say that these represent solid value investments. The top colt on the line is the 9, Chitu, 2 for 3 lifetime, and just missed at the RB Lewis at Santa Anita last out. He’s the one that projects to have a clear lead, and could wire the field. However, if it goes off near its 4-1 Morning Line, I wouldn’t take the risk, again, given the unknowns in the race. A modest exacta and trifecta box of the 9, 8, and 6 will probably be the extent of my speculation (read gambling) in the race.
I hope this finds you well, and thank you again so much for your encouragement and support.
All the best,
P.S. You can always drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to share you thoughts, analysis, progress, questions, and insights about ValueCapping. I freely admit to knowing just enough about the technical aspects of things to be dangerous, so if you have a technical question, drop a line to email@example.com, and they’ll be able to assist.
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