From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
Dear ValueCapper and Friend:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Please be patient as Derby weekend is always a busy time.
If you have technical questions, please email them to email@example.com, 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,