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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

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