Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

30 September 2008

European Acclimation Issues At Santa Anita

With the new pro-ride track at Santa Anita the Breeders Cup is expecting a large contingent of European horses to contest the cup this year. While the Europeans may like the sound of a $5 million race over a synthetic surface I am not sure if their horses will like the weather. The temperature on track has been close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. European horses that are used to cool fall temperatures are going to be in for a shock when they arrive in California and it is not only hot but on fire. The end of October is the fire season in California. If these tempertures continue and a Santa Ana wind develops the canyons surronding Santa Anita will surely ignite. Turning a tempertuire issue into a air quality-temperturte issue.

Spirit One won the Arlington Million with authority. He was bet all the way down to 9-2 in last weekends Goodwood. The horse was visually washed out and having issues with the heat in the post parade. While it has been hot before when the Breeders Cup was run at Santa Anita never before has it been run over a synthetic surface. This Pro-Ride track is dark in color and it absorbs the heat. Combine that with the odor of the polymers, plastics and soft rubber it is not a pleasant experience for horse or rider. From DRF: Bejarano's agent, Joe Ferrer, said Bejarano told him, "I have never been so hot in my life."

28 September 2008

10 Year Old Evening Attire Retired

One of our favorites, ten year old Evening Attire has been retired. Year after year this guy has run his heart out. Here are a few of my favorite Evening Attire races.

Here Evening Attire faces off with Champion Street Cry, a horse that already has sons at stud.

Here Evening Attire runs in a graded stakes at 9 years old. A race that made many people very happy.

21 September 2008

Improved Race Commentary At NYRA

Andy Serling has joined the on-air team at NYRA and really has pumped up the media content from NYRA. He actually picks winners at a price and provides his personal handicapping insight. A good example of his work is the new Trips and Traps segment that he and Eric Donovan hosted on the NYRA Youtube channel. This is very good information for a public handicapper.

21st September Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 6
#2 William T has this field over a barrel. He is the only horse here that has been making up ground in the lane. Willy sports fresh third off layoff form and goes to the post for a top barn. The distance of 1 1/8th could be a issue for many horses, but with Willy T's breeding and prior record at longer distances this should not be an issue. Look for this guy to overhaul this field in the lane. Good key in the horizontal exotics.

Belmont Race 6 Win #2 William T

45 8-7-6
strike rate 18%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $2.09

17 September 2008

Belmont Park September 17th Trip report

Spent a rare Wednesday at Belmont. It was a beautiful late summer afternoon. A welcome nip is spicing the air. Took a nice long ride down on the 7th ave IRT and the LIRR. Started the trip in the Bronx.

225 Street #1 Subway where the trip began

Penn Station platform for the train to Belmont, train was at 2% passenger capacity. The LIRR could have subbed a minibus instead of an 8 car transit behemoth for the trip Penn-Belmont.

The desolate ramp leading to the LIRR station at Belmont after the finale.

NYRA is doing to everything they can to promote Curlin. Posters all over the track along with emails and websites dedicated to his run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Race Notes

Race 1
I was in the paddock for this race. John's Jean is a fractious filly. She refused to be saddled and almost held up the post
parade. When the groom and valet finally had her ready to go she spooked,
reared and flipped. Her skull absorbed much the impact of her crash into the ground, it was
ugly. John's Jean walked away but keep this in mind next time she runs. The
winner from Maryland Ocala Gator was an absolute steal at 4-1. The
trainer sent up his hottest blond groom and I knew this
one was a go as soon as looked at her last race. Gator is a runner.

Race 3

Goldsville had a horror trip. Trapped on the rail and lost all momentum at the top of lane. Surprised this one was not on the pace. Jeffrey Sanchez strikes his first blow.

Race 6
Spoke to a pair of California tourists on the LIRR inbound to Belmont. We
spoke about how safe the Spa was compared to Del Mar with nil
breakdowns on the Spa main track compared to five at Del Mar. After the sixth race I felt like I jinxed it. Poor Cape Cod Escape could not escape her fate and died on the track today at the top of the lane. I felt so bad for her.

Race 7
Jeffrey Sanchez strikes again. Alyssa Givonna was full of run on the rail for 3/8ths of a mile but Sanchez could not work his way out of the switch. This mare needs a trip, she seems generous.

Race 8
The winner of this race Blitzen Too is going places. Future NYB
stakes winner. Tractable and powerful in the lane, she is a very nice filly.

Race 9
Do not bet anyone out of this race unless they drop in class to the
bottom. All ten of them had the reverse lights on in the lane.

A few low quality pics from my mobile phone.

Barclay Tagg saddling Daring Dreamer race 1

Eibar Coa mounting Wonderwho'sbest before the 6th race

The game and honest Peleliu has her picture taken after winning race 6. Jorge Chavez was up Randi Persaud is the trainer for Calabrese Partners Racing Stable.

15 September 2008

What Is A Power Cap?

What is a Power Cap, is it this thing?

Definitely not.

Is it a special hat that you wear that magically directs you towards the winners of horse races?
No, once again it is not a cap that you wear.

Is it a computer program or a motor driven tool?
No it is not, the only power is organic and is supplied by the hand, wrist and arm muscles.

If it is not powered or a Cap what the heck is it?
The Powercap is an old fashioned pen and ink handicapping method to find winners at overlaid prices.

The Powercap is inspired by the principles of William Scott and Total Victory At The Track. Basically you are taking basic math, some elbow grease and track positional bias knowledge to outwork your parimutuel adversaries. While it can be tedious filling up notebooks with hand scribbled speed figures and run style equations it can also be very rewarding when your hand made proprietary information leads you to a generous scores.

Pictured below is the actual Powercap for Belmont race 8 and 9 for the 14 of September 2008. The circled numbers represent a form factor edge. A horse with numbers circled across the page holds an edge in every factor of the Powercap. The first equation on the left is PCR (Performance class rating) and is a equation that shows run style and overall ability. The higher the solution to the equation the better the horse. The second equation is ability time and the lower the number the faster the horse. The third group of three letters is a visual short hand for form. The forth notation is a class ranking based on the highest win/place finish and the final notation on the right may be shorthand for a cutback in distance a stretchout in distance or second race off the layoff or something else pertinent. The numbers on the opposite side of the page were the days late wagers, a grand slam and a late pick 4.

The primary edge of the Powercap is that you are creating your own information. This is proprietary information that nobody else has, unless they steal your ledger. Most of your adversaries in the parimutuel pools are relying on commercial speed figures, sheets or computer picks. Few have the time or will to produce something unique. With commercial speed figures similar information leads to common answers. The Powercap picks originate from a unique point of view, which means a Powercapper is trampling an unworn path, which leads to uncommon answers to the handicapping puzzle. Uncommon answers are the key to parimutuel success. I urge you to heed the words of Robert Frost and find your own road to success in this game.

13 September 2008

Big Brown Showed Some Heart Today

Big Brown showed real gameness in the lane today holding off the trio of Shakis, Proudinsky and Silver Tree. At the top of the lane it looked like he was going to get overwhelmed and passed by that threesome of older graded stakes winners. He held well and was as game as could be. As a three year old beating older on a surface switch I thought it was a great effort. However at 3-5 all I could do was tip my cap to him as I thought he was a huge bet against today. Wrong again, but it was sure fun watching.

13th Of September Power play

Cozzi Capital looks like a potential huge overlay. Still in the sweet
spot of the form cycle and cuts back from 9 and 8.5 furlongs to a
mile. Seems to love wet turf. Beat Waquoits Love at Monmouth and
that one will likely be half the price of Cozzi Capital today. Cozzi is the one to use
in exotics as the value horse. Use with Say You Will and Criminologist. Turf only play.

Belmont Park Race 6 Win #2 Cozzi Capital 20-1 ML

45 8-7-6
strike rate 18%
cumulative return $94.20
$2 ROI $2.09

12 September 2008

Sale Of Stonerside;The Foreshadowing Of The Future Of American Racing

The sale of Stonerside Stable last week was a should be a wake up call for American racing. American racing lost one of the big owners. These were the people that campaigned stakes horses like Congeree, Too Much Bling and Halory Hunter. With Darley swallowing yet another American operation the horses, the properties and the future of Stonerside are all in foreign hands. This is not an isolated event, it is part of a larger trend where Americans are selling out of the racing business, usually to overseas interests. While this trend of Americans selling out their racing interest is not isolated to racing it is a trend that only figures to continue especially in a sick industry like racing. The trend will accelerate as racing loses its fans and the economy continues to tank.

While the game has lost it's luster outside forces are also at work here. The weak dollar, crashing real estate values and energy prices are driving American equine holdings overseas. Not only are most top stallions and broodmares are finding their way into foreign hands but so are the farms. This same thing happened in the first half of the 20th century but it was the Americans, flush with success purchasing European bloodstock for their American farms. Now the trend has reversed.

While the tracks are still North American owned they are hemorrhaging cash. With the track operators like Magna and NYRA on the ropes it would not be a surprise to see an overseas investor take over Magna and it's vast property holdings for pennies on the dollar. American tracks are sick and are on slot life support. Overseas the horse wagering market is entirely more sophisticated than the American parimutuel system. Overseas a horseplayer has choices, with player friendly betting exchanges like BETFAIR and on-line sports books giving the player low takeout and rebates. Here the horseplayer has few choices and the parimutuel system needs extensive government protection to operate outside of the fair market. This system almost assures that the horseplayer will lose his bankroll so fewer and fewer horseplayers play the game. Here in New York the tracks compete with government controlled OTB's and the government often purposely sabotages the tracks operations to preserve the the government controlled OTB's competitive edge. An overseas operator surely would do a better job. Can the industry wake up before it is too late?

For years racing has tried to reach out to younger fans but the attempts have hit a wall. Racing just can not find a way to make itself relevant to the youth. Instead of improving the vitality of racing the tracks have opted for artificial life support from a slot I.V. While purses may be up, the soul of the game is dying. The artificial life support is destroying the cardiovascular system of the game and the game is becoming dependent on slots to survive. The slot savior is creating a game that nobody cares about and a game that can not live without slots. Even the tracks without slots are affected as they find it hard to compete for horses with the tracks with slot money.

Outside of Keeneland, The Triple Crown, Del Mar and The Spa, few tracks have significant daily attendance. There are too many races, too few horses and rows and rows of empty stands. Thanks to slots the amount of races has increased to the point where we have a glut of endless races. Tracks like Philly Park or Presque Isle conduct racing as a sport without fans. These racinos are like a restaurant with no patrons or a nightclub with an empty dancefloor. Yet the racing restaurant continues to cook meals and the DJ continues tol spin records for the empty dance floor as slots float the entire operation. Some of these tracks with slot fueled purses have purses many times larger than amount of money bet on the race. Eventually will they wake up and realize that a gaming facility does not need horses to have profitable slots. In fact slots are much more profitable without horses.

The combination of lame fan support and a weak American economy led R McNair the owner of Stonerside Stable to say this “We don’t have enough sports fans in racing,” he said. “It’s frustrating because racetrack operators cling to the notion that they have to cater to the gambling audience. I think they are wrong and you can go to racetracks and see the empty seats. They have to increase their fan base and make sports fans develop an interest in racing.” With a boring sport that is not a thrill, why would multi-millionaire owners want to get into this game? For a few slot purses? The sporting aspect of the game seems to be withering.

As owners continue to sell out to overseas investors and top stock moves overseas, American racing will continue to see cheap stock racing for inflated purses in short fields. It is a nasty problem and it is a trend that will continue for the next decade or so until the game hits rock bottom. With no improvement in sight this is the sort of problem that needs to bottom out before it gets any better.

The Monmouth Stakes Is Time To Toss Big Brown

The Monmouth Stakes looks like a great betting opportunity. Big Brown will likely be 4-5 in here and would not be a surprise to be up the track. The field in the Haskell was weak for a 3YO Grade 1 with Coal Play coming back in the Travers only to be shellacked at a huge price. This three year old crop needs to prove itself against older before they have the right to be favored. With Big Brown the likely favorite, the value here is tremendous and it is not everyday you can toss a heavy favorite with such ease from the top two frames.

Even though this custom made race is ungraded it is versus older Graded stakes winner and is a huge step up in class for the Brown one. Brown may this custom, made to order race needs to see the tailor before he fits in perfectly. Other than the class issues there is the nagging foot issues with Big Brown. If class and bad feet are not enough to make you toss Big Brown then there is the trainer, while Dutrow who is great extracting for a few months of sterling form out of his horses, he is also known for having his horses hit a wall if they stay in training for too long. It is time Big Brown hits the wall.

The basic move here is to box the class older horses in here in exactas, tri and supers.

#3 Shakis / #6 Proudinsky / #7 Drum Major / #11 Silver Tree boxed in every thing.

Play Of the Day 12SEP

Belmont Race 6
This condition is my specialty. All about class and time. Nobody really has the time edge as not one of these have won this year. There are a number of easy tosses here with no shot. But for me Missile Motor has the field buried in all departments. The most rock solid single in the pick six sequence. No power price as we go with the chalk.

Race 6 Win #9 Missile Motor

44 7-7-6
strike rate 15%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.03

Belmont $600K Pick 6 Carryover

Huge carryover. Have to take a crack at it even if it is a guppy-type nibble. My philosophy is if you are under $32 bucks you are okay and if you are over $200 you are okay too. Anything in between is too small to have much of a shot and utilizes too much bankroll for such an unlikely winner. A $24 stab at a $1.5 million pot is the way to be.

Race 4
Starting off here singling the Albertrani entry. Like the works on the FTS and the 2B should be ready to win getting off the rail and 2nd off layoff.


Race 5
Vision Of Sunrise has the class edge here and won off a year layoff in a similar condition 03MAy. Another single for the budget crowd.


Race 6
This race is my specialty. All about class and time. Nobody really has the time edge and not one of these have won this year. There are a number of easy tosses here with no shot. But for me Missile Motor has the field buried in all departments. Third single in a row and the most rock solid single in the six race sequence. Missile Motor will also be the play of the day.

Race 7
Going to the class angle here to dope out my horse. #4 Hall Of Famer won vs open MSW going long which bodes well here and he figures to be stout in the lane especially on the cutback. Couple works since the last effort and perhaps some value with the Mig keeping the mount over JV.

Race 8
Finally a race where I am not singled. I could not separate #2Diverse and #10 impressionism, Indeed when they faced each other last out they finished a neck apart. Do not like the seconditus record of Impressionism, but I will cover both.

Race 9
Take a deep breath. this race is not as hard as it looks, I hope. You just have to open hope the banlkroll and say your novellas and clutch your rosary or any similar religious-event influencing device. Using those horses that have not burned bridges just yet and have taken some money in the past.

$2 pick 6 2 / 4 / 9 / 4 / 2,10 /2,3,6,8,9,11 =$24 play

10 September 2008

Play Of The Day 11SEP

Provolone, Munster, Buffalo Mozzarella, none of these are Better Than Swiss who is my single in tomorrows late pick 4 at Belmont. This filly has gone long, sprinted and will be ready to win tomorrow and break the maiden. The main rival Sweet Bama Breeze has a terminal case of seconditus and can be counted on to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory late. Swiss is a solid single in the $200K pick 6 carryover too.

Race 9

Win #4 Better Than Swiss
43 7-7-6
strike rate 16%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.08

04 September 2008

Curlin Not A Big Draw For The Masses

We all recognize that Curlin is some sort of equine superstar. His run in the Man O' War was the highlight of that weekend for me. While it may be that Curlin is a icon for the hardcore fans, he is barely a blib on the radar for the masses.

Many people complained about the third Saturday of the Spa meet and how it did not have a single Graded or Listed stakes, they said there was no draw. There was a fairly big buzz about the last Saturday of the spa meet and the presence of Curlin in the Woodward along with the Grade I Forego. There was a special Curlin website, numerous posts about the race and articles in every trade paper. After all is said and done the Saturday with no stakes race outdrew the Curlin Woodward day by 6,000 fans. 31K showed up on the 9th of August while 25K showed up for Curlin.

This sport is all about gambling and TV coverage. If the horse is not marketed to the masses during the mainstream triple crown series the masses do not care. The big horses do not bring the boys to the yard without TV. The NTRA should take note.

01 September 2008

01SEP Play Of The Day

Saratoga Race 4

Hoping to close out the Spa meet with a winner. In race 4 the Loudonville Stakes the #4 Johnnie By Night is the clear speed of the speed at a speed favoring distance. In fact Johnnie By Night is a powerful lone speed and I am certain that he will win this stakes race wire to wire.

Race 4 Win #4

42 7-7-6
strike rate 17%
cumulative return $89.30
$2 ROI $2.13