From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
March 14, 2014 8:17 AM
Las Vegas, Nevada
Dear ValueCapper and Friend,
Hope this finds you well and enjoying this great game of ours. In this week’s Rant: The Rebel Stakes, a colt named Social Inclusion, and some thoughts about winners.
The Rebel Stakes
The only official Derby Prep this week is the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
The crowd will be betting the two colts that finished 1st and 2nd last out in the Southwest at Oaklawn, the 4, Strong Mandate, and the 3, Tapiture. The 3 is not only the Reversal Winner but the Fulcrum in the race as well. Those of you who’ve followed my work know that that is a strong combination especially for a place horse. That means there might not be value in the exotics.
Those colts are at the top of the BLAM line, as they should be. The third on the line is the 7, Street Strategy. Just missed in its first start, and then an impressive win last out in its maiden at a mile at Oaklawn. The Morning Line maker somehow makes this 8-1. I don’t think it will go off at anywhere near that. The race sets up for a closer, and the one that closes consistently is the 8, Kobe’s Back. Unfortunately, this colt is the 3rd Morning Line favorite, and might be bet.
Without seeing the betting, I don’t think this race will provide a value investment opportunity. Perhaps if the crowd overlooks the 8, I may get involved, using the other late horse, the 5, and the obvious horses. If you asked me now, based on how I think the crowd will bet, I would say I’ll be passing this race.
I did see a race on Wednesday that made me sit up and take notice. It was an Allowance race at Gulfstream Park, the 8th race, and the 1-2 favorite was Honor Code, the Shug McGaughey trained colt that won the Remsen in November and which just missed in the Champagne in its second lifetime start. Three lifetime starts, won its Maiden at first asking, then just missed in the Grade 1 Champagne, then wins the Remsen, a Grade II.
This is a potential champion.
Yet BLAM’s top colt on the line was Social Inclusion. Social Inclusion had only had one lifetime race, and it was its maiden win on February 22nd at Gulfstream.
Since BLAM made Social Inclusion and Honor Code the top two horses, and they were 7/5 and 1-2, it wasn’t much of a betting race, but I happened to be at the race book. Social Inclusion just blew away the field, trouncing Honor Code by 10 lengths at the finish. It set the track record for a mile and a sixteenth. This is an impressive colt, and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing him in the Triple Crown races.
Value and Winners
During the running of the race, the race book at which I was playing was a wall of sound. They were cheering madly for either Social Inclusion or Honor Code (mostly for Honor Code as far as I can tell). And the ‘victors’ were high fiving each other as Social Inclusion passed the finish line.
All of this over a 7/5 winner.
Rejoice, ValueCappers, rejoice.
This is our competition.
They care not for profit, only for being ‘right’, for being held in high esteem for those few fleeting seconds after the race when their genius has been validated, and all is right in their world.
This, of course, is a losing strategy, but one that feels good. Death by one thousand cuts.
Don’t get me wrong. Winners are necessary.
And you’ve seen-and have written to me about this-how Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software does such a good job at getting the winners. I suppose I’ve seen this for over 7 years now, and it’s old hat to me. It no longer comes as a surprise when BLAM has the win, exacta, trifecta, etc. among the horses at the top of its line.
But that’s NOT the point of the exercise. The point is WAITING until a potentially strong horse is being UNDERBET by the public and is running against a horse or horses that is being OVERBET.
Easy? Not so much.
You see, we are human, we want to ‘play’ the races, to be ‘right’, to be considered an ‘expert’, a ‘sharpie’. The professional, on the other hand, sits and waits until everything is in his or her favor, including getting a price that compensates for the risk. And then makes a measured investment.
His focus is on profits, on value, not winners.
The professional is a ValueCapper.
I hope this finds you well, and again thank each of you so much for your kind words, for your support and encouragement, and your good wishes. The reports of the progress and the insight you are experiencing makes what I do rewarding, and for that I am grateful to you indeed.
With my very best regards,