handicapping horse races

Home » handicapping horse races

Equine Health And Handicapping Horse Races

in Uncategorized by Michael Pizzolla Comments are off


 Commentary: The Racetrack, A Changing Perspective


Reading an interesting article from Equine Disease Quarterly about the changing criteria of horses’ health and soundness.


Here’s an interesting thing the author had to say and this may relate to handicapping horse races:



“Times have clearly changed. The definition of racing soundness is now predicated on equine health, safety, and welfare. The health of horse racing is directly tied to the health of the horses. Every industry stakeholder has an incentive to identify and engage in practices that promote responsible stewardship of the racehorse. The industry has been engaged in some critical self-evaluation, and change is being embraced. The traditions of racing have collided with the frontiers of science, and the horse is the ultimate beneficiary.”





For the full story, visit:




Why Slot Players Are Unlikely To Be Handicapping Horse Races

in handicapping horse races by Michael Pizzolla Comments are off

I was reading an article from the Anderson Herald Bulletin, asking the question ‘Will slot players become race fans?’

Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs (I love handicapping horse races at night time tracks that I can play here in Vegas while it’s still early evening!) have gotten slots this year.

For all of us handicappers, the answer to this question was as easy as picking a 1 to 5 shot. With no disrespect meant to slot players, the mentality of those playing the slots and those handicapping horse races is almost diametrically opposed.

“The horse racing industry lobbied hard to get slots at the tracks, telling lawmakers last year that the money brought in by slots could be funneled into horse racing purses. Bigger prizes attract better horses, they said, and that means more money for breeders and more interest in racing.

That may be the case, Wilcke and other experts say, but creating racing fans from the slot machine crowd can be difficult.”


A slot player sits down, takes out a bill, puts it in the machine, and in seconds is banging at keys, getting action every few nanoseconds. Even with video poker, there are some very simple strategies that will keep the player from losing too quickly.

But the slot player knows or should know that he is playing a game that cannot be beaten long term because he is playing against fixed odds against him.

Perhaps he hasn’t thought that far ahead. Perhaps he’s just there for relaxation.

But I had to laugh at this line from that article:

“People are looking out at live racing and seeing it take place and saying, ’How do I bet on a horse?”’ he said. The track is helping new horse racing fans with pamphlets explaining the betting system.

How do I bet on a horse indeed! Live racing, simulcasting, win-place-show, exactas, trifectas, superfectas, pentafectas, daily doubles, pick 3s (not to be confused with the trifecta, sometimes referred to as a ‘triple’), pick 4s, pick 6s, etc., seems to me completely overwhelming to the slot player.

Not to mention that before he makes one of those bets, he would have had to handicap the race.

Great. There are track programs, racing forms (both online, like posttimedaily.com and printed), tip sheets, touts.

I’m a handicapper. Although I’m usually handicapping horse races, If I’m predicting the outcome of that question, I’d say it’s an easy bet. The slot player picks a number, bets a few bucks on a horse, cheers it as it runs (or doesn’t), and then after a race or two, grabs another bill from his pocket, puts it in his favorite machine, and is back in thoughtless gambling bliss.

Read the whole article here:

Copyright 2008 By Michael Pizzolla

Experts Gather In Saratoga To Predict That Thoroughbred Racing Is Unlikely To Relive Glory Days

in handicapping horse races by Michael Pizzolla Comments are off


News flash.

The Schenectady, NY Daily Gazette reported on a gathering of industry professionals at the swanky Gideon Putnam Hotel. I can remember many halcyon August evenings after the racing at the Spa spent in that place. I felt as if I had died and gone to the special section ih heaven reserved for those handicapping horse races.

The dire comments talked about the viewership numbers, and how NASCAR has a race a week, while there are 70,000 thoroughbred races around the country each year.

I know, I publish past performances for each and every one of them (posttimedaily.com, publishers of the original online racing form).

Steven Crist, publisher of the Daily Racing Form said that tracks had been trying for a quarter of a century to increase attendance, and, as he tersely, if not optimistically stated, “It’s not going to happen.”


Yet, here I sit in Las Vegas, having just made a nice hit at a race at Mountaineer Race Trace, having watched and wagered the race in a Vegas race book. Who am I to talk? I’m not in Saratoga Springs.

Yet, I was sad to note that attendance at the picturesque and storied Saratoga was down almost 60,000 for the first two weeks.

Yes, I know it’s hardly shocking. It’s an easy call to say that something difficult is not going to happen. I don’t mean any disrespect to that august group, but I’d suggest that perhaps the root of the problem lies in the attitude of resignation as much as demographics and metrics.

So it goes.

There’s an Latin maxim that goes, Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis. It’s been much too long since my high school Latin, but it’s close. It means ‘Times change, and we change with them.’

It doesn’t mean that I have to like the change. Give me the crowds on a steamy August day, the longshot romping home, the roar of the Saratoga crowd, the swells in their finery, and the knowledge that the Gideon Putnam and an evening of good food, good drink and the subtle joys of handicapping horse races for the next day’s races awaited me.

Read the whole article here:


Copyright 2008 By Michael Pizzolla

Michael Pizzolla’s Handicapping Rant:The 2008 Summertime Rant

in handicapping horse races by Michael Pizzolla 2 Comments

From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
Las Vegas, Nevada
July 26, 2008
5:57 A.M

Dear Friend:
You know, you don’t even need be a handicapper to love this time of year.
Saratoga and Del Mar have begun, and summer is officially in full swing. Funny how I take it for granted that I mark the passing of the seasons with the opening and closing of tracks.
The bloom of Spring, Churchill, the Derby, and the Triple Crown. Belmont in the Spring for the big race. And then again in the Fall, the backstretch framed against a backdrop of orange and gold leaves, the cooling air of autumn.
But summer?
Saratoga and Del Mar.
I remember the first time I saw the Gideon Putnam, years and years ago, and driving up to this hotel with the big columns in front, it was like another world, as if I had gone back in time. Ah, the Performing Arts Center, long summer nights.
And Del Mar, hearing Bing crooning, ‘where the turf meets the surf’, the utter shock of seeing my first avocado, and being able to see the Pacific right from the track.
The writer in me swoons over summer and the Spa, and San Diego.
The racetrack investor in me says you can keep them.
Handicapping puzzles abound, head-scratching race after head-scratching race. Two and a sixteenth mile turf races. Short fields. First time starters by the bushel basket.
Oh I’m sure I’ll find some good bets there this season. As well as at Del Mar.
But my most tidy score so far this month was at Prairie Meadows in Iowa.
A racetrack which, alas, may never be the subject of poetry.
Yet it is there running in the evening, after the flash and glitter of the marquis tracks has slipped into the night, there is sturdy, solid, Iowan racing, along with Evangeline and Lone Star.
Heck no.
More often than not.
It reminds me of the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Money, which represents the prose of life, and which is hardly spoken of in parlors without an apology, is, in its effects and laws, as beautiful as roses.”
Take, for example, the race on July 3rd, 2008, the 7th at Prairie Meadows.
Nine $5,000 claimers, most of which had seen better days.
Yet, here was a Heavy Pressure race.
Lots of horses with similar early fractions that looked to set up the race for a closer.
And even by eye, you could see that there were two confirmed closers in the race, the 3, Fitzroyal, and the 7, Rejuvenate.
Bear in mind, these did not look like world beaters. Fitzroyal, a horse old enough to remember the Paleolithic era, ad finished 6th, 12th and 6th in its last 3 races.
The 7, Rejuvenate, didn’t look quite that good. 7 by 13 in its last, 8 by 19 the time before, and on a layoff.
Yet by eye, you could see that these were the closers.
The Master Magician, and Black Magic, designated both of these horses as S, or Sustained horses.
Their final fractions were the strongest in the field.
Value Tech (built into Black Magic) pointed out the very big ratio between the 3’s Ultimate Odds Line and its Contention Line. The 7 had a huge ratio as well, but wasn’t quite as strong on the line.
This is perhaps the single most important factor to look at in a race when deciding whether to invest.
The ideal bet has us backing horses that we like that the public shouldn’t.
A relatively strong odds line, and a weak contention line, brought about that horses that ran like the 3 and 7 did in its recent races, is ideal.
It has taken me probably twenty times as long to talk about this then it did to find it.
I’ve been spoiled by Black Magic’s portfolios. With a click, I can look at all of the Heavy Pressure races from the entire country. It’s frankly how I was attracted to this race.
See, the fundamental handicapping of this race was pretty straight ahead. Two committed closers in a race full of speed.
Good odds based on their late fractions and overall velocity, on horses the public should avoid.
The real work was FINDING this race.
That’s why I say Black Magic has spoiled me. Oh, I would have found this race. It just would have taken me hours instead of a minute.
Anyway, the 7, Rejuvenate, just nipped the 3, Fitzroyal, at the wire. I preferred the 3 to the 7 to win the race. But I was comforted by the fact that the 7 went off at 21-1, paying $44.60 while the 3 was a paltry 10-1.
The exacta paid $642.80. For each dollar exacta box, the return was $321.40.
The trifecta, with Black Magic’s top horse finishing third, was $1,740.
Here were some of my tickets on the race:


So while my warm and fuzzy side yearns for the Spa, and the shores of the Pacific, my greedy little reptilian brain finds this race in Iowa as beautiful as roses.
Well, that’s it for this Rant.
For those of you who have asked, I’m finally going to re-open Black Magic. It’s been 6 months now, and I’m able to handle the Wizards’ Forum well (although I must tell you that one of the reasons these Rants come so intermittently is that I am constantly either on the Forum, or preparing a DVD or audio for the Forum). So, I’m going to open it up for a few more.
Post Time is also going to be making an unprecedented offer that will make getting Black Magic painless and easy. I’m happy for this too, as I know that putting this in a decent handicapper’s hands will make a big difference, not only in their handicapping, but in finding spots like that Prairie Meadows race. (Most of the BLAM Wizards take the unlimited data deal, so that they can look at all tracks).
The biggest advantage of Black Magic is the Wizards’ Forum. I only wish I had a supportive and friendly group like this to discuss racing and techniques when I was honing my technique.
Sometimes, our database drops a name or two, so if you want the details on the Black Magic offer (should be out in a week or two), drop me an email with your name and snail mail address. The only catch is that you need to either have an account with Post Time, or have some Post Time software.
One more thing.
Warning: Blatant Commercial Message coming!
The special Post Time ran last month was a big hit. I’ve gotten a I’ve got a slew of thank yous from those who got the Mega Seminar In A Box.
I still have a handful of my latest seminar package, Handicapping Magic Mega Seminar in a Box at the office: 11 to be precise.
It is usually $497, and comes with $1,500 in free bonuses.
You can read all about it here:
Bottom line, on those seminar DVDs is just about every trick, tip, pattern, and tactic I use to make my scores. It’s a powerful tool kit, and for those of you who have BLAM, you’ll find it invaluable. For those of you who don’t know about these tactics and patterns, you’ll start using them right away and see a difference in your bottom line (and get a really good understanding of why BLAM is so powerful, because it incorporates the concepts and tactics I explain in that Seminar).
Anyway, I’ve got 11 of them at the office, but I don’t have the accompanying manuals in hard copy.
And my printer really socks it to me if I only want a few manuals printed.
So, here’s what I’m offering. I’ve had the manual put into PDF format, so it comes to you on a disk.
You can have the whole $497 package, complete with the $1,500 of bonuses, including the Per
sonal Lesson from yours truly for half price, $247, the only difference is that the manual will be on disk instead of hard copy.
Do NOT order it from the website, or you’ll be charged the full $497.
Instead, send me an email at support@posttimedaily.com, and the subject line ‘Seminar In A Box Special Offer’.
The first 11 get the deal.
Then call the office at 702-889-2814, and tell whoever answers that you want the Seminar In A Box Special, and they’ll get one right out to you.
End of blatant commercial message!
There have been some very exciting developments in BLAM land, and the Wizards’ Forum has been a success beyond my dreams, mostly in terms of the support and enthusiasm (and yes, some truly monster scores by the Wizards) on the Forum.
I’m just thrilled that it has continued and grown, month by month.
I am so grateful to those who are making this community of support so successful by their sharing. Whether it’s a race coming up, or a technique that they’re working on, or just a word or two of encouragement, there’s always something on that Forum that’s useful.
I hope this finds you well, and as always, I welcome your comments, and always look forward to hearing from you.

The best of luck to you on today and always,

Michael Pizzolla

Copyright 2008 by Michael Pizzolla.� All Rights Reserved.