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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,


Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping™ Rant: The 2016 Gotham Stakes

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
March 3, 2016
Las Vegas, NV
8:47 PM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend: 

The Gotham Stakes, a Derby Prep, is being run this Saturday, March 5, 2016. This one is a very interesting race, and I think it’s a good example of a question that vexes handicappers.

But first, I’d like to say a word about the Fountain of Youth. I’ve been asked how I handled the race in my own betting. To be perfectly honest, I wound up not betting the race. Because of very pressing issues with family, I could not stay at the book for the race, and therefore, couldn’t know what the odds would be. As I said in the Rant, if I got a price on Awesome Banner (which I predicted could happen if the crowd made Mohaymen odds on-which they did) I would bet it. 

Problem is, I couldn’t be sure since I would have to bet in advance, and therefore passed. But-and I’m not sure how many experts would admit to this-if I stayed and saw 6-1 on Awesome Banner, I would have bet. And lost that bet.

When you bet price horses, there will be more ‘non-cashing’ bets than bets you cash. That’s just the reality of the game we’re playing. The good news is that the ones you cash will more than make up for the non cashers and then some.

So on to this week’s Derby Prep, The Gotham at Aqueduct this Saturday, March 5, 2016.

This is an interesting race, and presents an issue that advanced pace handicappers face often.

From a Pace/Position perspective, Black Magic Handicapping Software makes the race an Unpressured race. So far so good. 

The issue is that the race is at a mile and a sixteenth on the Aqueduct Inner Track. From a velocity point of view, the recent races at Aqueduct at this distance have gone late. Not positionally, but from an energy expenditure point of view. 

So that will inform my value decisions about the race.

In the BLAM software, from the early scenario perspective, there are 5 horses above random, with a gap after the top 3. The top rated horse is the 7, Sunny Ridge, the winner last out of the Grade 3 Withers, and this colt was second in the Grade 1 Champagne in October.

Second and third on the line are the 8, Rally Cry, and the 2, Shagaf, two colts that ran against each other last out in an Allowance race at Gulfstream. Shagaf won that race, its second lifetime start and second win. Rally Cry is another lightly raced colt, but the fact that it lost to Shagaf should mean that it will be a better price than either Sunny Ridge or Shagaf, the two colts that should be favored by the public.

On the plus side, Rally Cry is the Fulcrum in the race, and has strong early numbers.

And there’s the rub. 

If the race goes as it projects-early-Rally Cry might be a decent bet. On the BLAM line, it’s 7/2. I would need at least 7-1 to take this colt against those other two. And against Adventist, the colt that ran third in the Withers against Sunny Ridge.

By the way, this is a classic caution to me, because the software does not put Adventist as a strong contender. While that’s how you get price, it doesn’t mean that we can’t use some common sense and approach the race cautiously.

So, I would take Rally Cry at 7-1, and have an exacta play that looks to leverage the Reversal-an exacta with Shagaf and a straight exacta with Rally Cry on top.

The intriguing possibility is what if the race goes more like the recent 8.5 furlong inner track races have gone, favoring late energy horses.

That scenario brings the longest price on the board, the 4, Vincento, into play. Although this colt has won 2 of its 4 starts, those wins were in NY State Bred races, its maiden win and an allowance.

Nonetheless, it is a closer, and the recent races have favored that scenario.

Very often, the quality of the questions we ask determine our results. Ask any good trial attorney!

The question many handicappers would ask is ‘How do I figure out whether the race will go according to how the race projects or how the track is running?’

This is not a terribly useful question, because before the fact there’s no way to know with certainty. Depending on the instructions the jockeys receive, and a hundred other random factors, the race can shape up in many different ways.

A more useful question-the ValueCapper’s question is ‘Where is the value in the race?’

My personal answer would be to take Rally Cry at a good overlay and, if I don’t get that price, consider taking a secondary bet on the longshot Vincento at very long odds.

This is the ValueCapper’s answer: He or she knows what they know, respects what they don’t know, and lets the price be the deciding factor.

Another very good-more conservative-strategy, is to acknowledge that there is doubt about the race, respect that and pass. This all depends on how risk adverse the player is. The swashbuckler player will jump in, the more cautious will pass.

As always, on these big race days, I urge you to pay attention to the hundred and fifty or so other races going on in North America. The crowd often overlooks these races, looking forward to the ‘big race’.

For example, the 5th race at Aqueduct on Saturday is a modest $35,000 claiming race. There isn’t really a standout. Tied for second on the BLAM line is the  5, Hectors Pride, 5-1 on the BLAM line, 3rd start after a layoff, Reverser to the 6 horse, blinkers off, going back to the apprentice that rode it to a second place finish second race back, solid numbers from Gulfstream. I would consider this at 8-1.

I hope this analysis is helpful, not so much in the ‘who do you like’ or ‘who’s going to win’ point of view, but how to integrate the handicapping aspects of the game with the overriding question of value.

My sincere thanks again to those of you who have written and your kind words about these Rants. Also, hearing about your progress and successes makes it all worthwhile.

Hope this finds you well, and best of luck at the races. Don’t forget to let the bet make you.

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping Rant: The 2016 Fountain Of Youth

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From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
Las Vegas, Nevada
February 25, 2016 7:17 PM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend:

The Fountain of Youth, an important Derby Prep, is running this Saturday, February 27, 2016, the 12th race at Gulfstream Park.

Before getting into a ValueCapping™ analysis of that race, I want to say thanks to the many of you who wrote back after the last Rant.

I’m thrilled with the progress many of you are making; hearing of your breakthroughs makes my work all worth while!

And really excited about your feedback about how convenient it is to have the monthly Wizards’ Forum Inner Secrets videos available online.

OK, onto the Fountain of Youth.

It’s Thursday, two full days before the race, so I don’t have scratches or changes.

But this has got to be one of the easiest ValueCapping decisions ever.

Black Magic Handicapper Software 1.0 has the top 4 colts as the 5, 6, 4, and 2. Collectively, they’ve had 13 races and have won 12 of them!

The morning line favorite is second on the BLAM line, the 6, Mohaymen, a Tapit colt that won the Holy Bull on January 30th at Gulfstream, its 4th lifetime start, and 4th lifetime win. The colt has won 3 straight Grade 2s, the Nashua and Remsen in New York, and the Holy Bull. Potential champion.

Top of the BLAM line is the 5, Awesome Banner, winner of the Grade 2 Swale last out, before that it won the Grade 3 Hutcheson. 3 for 3 lifetime. Another potential champ.

The 4, Awesome Speed, and the 2, Zulu, are 3rd and 4th on the line, lightly raced-the 4 has won 3 of 4 races, The 2 horse, Zulu, is perfect at 2 for 2. Quality colts.

Here’s why it’s such an easy ValueCapping call:

The BLAM Odds line on the 5 is 5/2. Morning Line 7/2
The 6 on the BLAM Odds line is 3-1. Morning Line 6/5
The 4 on the BLAM Odds line is 4-1. Morning Line 4-1
The 2 on the BLAM Odds line is 9/2. Morning Line 3-1

The Contention Line (what the public should do based on conventional handicapping) pretty much tracks the Morning Line, perhaps the 3 and 4 are a bit higher.

Here’s the thing: According to BLAM, the ‘best’ horses in the race are the probable favorite and co-second favorite. The other two contenders above random are the other Morning Line favorites.

While it might be fun to make a case for why one of these colts has an advantage over the other, the simple truth is that none of them is likely to be a decent value investment.

It never ceases to amaze me when BLAM 1.0 and the upcoming ValueCapper software puts live long shots high up on the odds line.

But the cold hard truth is that very often, no matter how much we want to be contrarian investors, the best horses are going to be short prices. And BLAM 1.0 and ValueCapper will indicate that. In which case, the inherent randomness in this great game dictates a pass.

ValueCapping™ is all about looking for horses you like/favor/prefer that the pubic SHOULDN’T. Horses that will be underbet compared to their chances. Preferably running against horses that will be overbet compared to their chances.

If the public has the strong horses in their crosshairs, and are likely to bet them properly, there is usually no good value investment. (Of course, the public sometimes massively overbets one of the horses in which case there’s a potential for a decent bet. I’d be tempted to take the 5 horse, Awesome Banner, at something like 9/2, but the only way I can see that happening is if they bet Mohaymen down to a heavy odds-on favorite, and also overbet Zulu).

Rather than getting fixated with the featured race, a ValueCapper would be looking at the undercard at Gulfstream (and the other cards of races running at so called ‘minor’ tracks) looking for horses the public might overlook.

For example on the Saturday Gulfstream undercard, the 8th race is the Canadian Turf Stakes.
In that race, 6 of the 9 horses are on layoffs. So any investment for me will require a large overlay in my book to offset the risk that situation presents.

Having said that, tied at the top of the line is the 9, Passion for Action, 6-1 on the BLAM line, 11-1 on the Contention Line, and 12-1 on the Morning Line. It’s also the only horse in the field that has an Advanced Form Pattern, showing some early speed last out after a layoff against a very fast pace in a 6 furlong race. On Saturday, it’s going a mile on the turf, a surface on which the colt has 2 wins and 2 places in 6 starts. At something like 12-1, I’d be inclined to invest.

I hope you see how contrarian the approach of ValueCapping™ is. The average, conventional handicapper would see the Fountain of Youth as a much more ‘certain’ race, a race where ‘solid’ conventional handicapping will point to the ‘good’ horses. No argument there. The problem is that there’s no value there, no price that offsets the risk of the bet.

On the other hand, the Canadian Turf Stakes is a much more ‘iffy’ race to the conventional handicapper-it’s on the turf, many horses on layoffs, etc. Yet, there’s a horse near the top of the line that’s likely to be underbet by the crowd, making a potential overlay for the ValueCapper.

A better horse, more ‘solid’ than those running in the Fountain?

Definitely not.

A better bet? At 12-1 or so, yes.

These ‘better bets’-these value investments-don’t necessarily all win, heaven knows, but investing in these value situations yields enough wins at prices that can make up for the losses, and provide a long-term profit.

That’s why it’s called ValueCapping rather than handicapping.

I want to emphasize again that these Rants on the Triple Crown preps and the Triple Crown races themselves are not intended to ’tout’ or ‘pick’ horses. Rather, I’m hoping that by giving examples of how a ValueCapper looks at different races, it may help you in making the transition from a handicapper, more interested in picking a winner, to a ValueCapper, an investor interested in finding and profiting from good value bets.

My thanks to you again for your support and encouragement, good luck at the races on Saturday, stay focused and disciplined, and let the bet make you,

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla

Michael Pizzolla’s ValueCapping™ Rant: Derby Prep Season, Big Advances On Wizards’ Forum

in Uncategorized by Michael Pizzolla Comments are off

From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
February 23, 2016
Las Vegas 2:07 PM

Dear ValueCapper and Friend,

Hope this finds you well.

The Derby Preps begin in earnest this coming Saturday with the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. I’ll be sending rants out over the next few weeks leading up to the Triple Crown, and will have in-depth coverage of the Triple Crown races themselves.

As always, the object of sharing my thoughts and analysis with you is to describe a way of thinking about the races-as an investor as opposed to a recreational horseplayer. The actual results of any given race are not as important as the method of analysis. This is especially true of the Kentucky Derby, with 20 3 year old colts going a mile and a quarter for the first time.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written, as we’re working very hard putting the final touches on the new ValueCapper Software. I’m hoping that we can get a limited release right before Derby time.

Some other big news has to do with the Wizards’ Forum. Those of you who have Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software and are members of the Wizards’ Forum may know that this month, the beginning of our 9th year of the Forum, marks the beginning of our providing the monthly videos online, right within the Wizards’ Forum, rather than a hard copy DVD. This was partly in response to many of you asking for this (so you can watch the videos on your mobile devices as well as your computer).

The other reason we did this was part of the response to an increase in our data costs. Post Time Solutions has absorbed the increases in the cost of our data over the past 8 years, but with this latest major increase, we are forced to pass some of the cost increase to you.

I say ‘some’ because I’m hoping that with the online distribution of the DVDs, we can save on duplication and postage costs, which will offset some of the increased expenses for data so we don’t have to pass along ALL of the increased costs. We’re doing our level best to make this as affordable as possible and still provide the highest quality of data and support at a price that is still the best in the industry.

The increase is in cost will be modest. If you want to continue staying on the Forum, you don’t need to do a thing, if you want to change or discontinue, simply log into your account by going to the Post Time website and clicking on Log In or My Account, and you can change it there. Or just give the office a call.

The modest price increase does not go into effect until May 1, 2016.

This does NOT affect any other pricing, just the pricing on the Wizards’ Forum and the Data Package available to those on the Forum. For those of you who are not on the Forum, there is no change in our pricing.

In addition to the online videos, there’s more good news: Subscribers to the Wizards’ Forum will be also be getting updated track performance numbers more frequently in Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software. As part of our research on ValueCapper, we’ve developed a new technique of generating these. While I still don’t think tracks change ALL that much from month to month, there are some subtle changes which the new technique of generating these pars can pick up.

And frankly I wanted to do something nice for our Wizards’ Forum members by providing these updates to BLAM more frequently and as part of their membership.

I cover all of these details on the Series 8 Volume 12 DVD (January 2016) DVD, and an online version of that is now posted on the Wizards’ Forum for you to review along with the current Wizards’ Forum Inner Secrets Video Series 9 Volume 1 (February 2016) .

Thanks again for all the kind emails and your reports on your progress and successful scores. I’m looking forward to this year’s Triple Crown season and sharing with you the ValueCapping approach to these races.

All the best,


Michael Pizzolla

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