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

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