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

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