In the maiden special weight ranks I look for two different scenarios based on gender-
For males I look for one of the last two races to have been finished within 5 lengths of the winner, any position, as a beaten favorite.
For females I look for the morning line to be 5/2 or less and the last race to have been finished within 5 lengths of the winner, any position.

I typically use these plays in exotics and multi-race wagers as they are often at lower off odds, however sometimes there are nice layovers.
I have decided to share some of the spot plays that I use over the course of the next year.  I will start with maiden claimers.

The play is for any maiden claimer and is simply the horse with the lowest morning line that has had a race over the track that it is running on today.
The cap for the morning line is 6-1.

This works best if there is only a single qualifier, but the percentage only drops a little with multiples.  Target odds should be 3-1 and over, no cap for final odds.  If the odds are lower you may want to look for an exotic play would offer better opportunities, or simply pass the race.

I cannot believe that it has been so long since the last post!  So much has been going on both personally and professionally that I must have lost track.  For that I apologize, if there is anyone out there who actually cares. 

But for those of you who occasionally land here I would like to ask you a question: How often do you handicap, yourself?

I don't mean that you do the number crunching on your own, I mean that you look to your records and your processes.  

I recently fell upon a site,, and instantly became hooked.
I also found myself in a unique circumstance where I was expected to handicap races that I normally would pass on.

Much to my chagrin I realized that some of those races were actually strong holds for my win percentage.  So I started to handicap myself. 

Rather than looking at specific races that I thought would hold the best opportunities, I looked to the races that I faired best in.  Those races that I seemed to be able to come up with the best competitors most often.

This process led to much better decisions regarding money management, which has lead to a better profit margin.

It's true that you should revise the methodology you use every so often in order to stay ahead of the curve, but you need to be aware of where your strengths truly lie, it may even surprise you.

We may see history today as California Chrome attempts to win the Belmont and become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

I am rooting for the colt to pull it off, but my wagering strategy will be guarded.  

Commanding Curve is back after skipping the Preakness and should be fresh and ready. So are Wicked Strong, Samraat and Medal Count.

Ride On Curlin gets a new rider as Rosario shifts to Tonalist. 

Could it be a repeat of the Derby?

I guess it's wait and see.  
I hope you caught the Kentucky Derby trivia over at, while I shied away from the favorite, California Chrome, my key horse, Commanding Curve, ran a game second giving me a tidy profit.  

The field for the Preakness is traditionally smaller than that of the KD and that makes for interesting pace scenarios this year.  The weather should not play a factor, and the track should be fast by post.

If the pace is not pressed, as in the KD, California Chrome holds a slight advantage.  Let's face it, even if you're not wagering on him you may still be rooting for him to be the next Triple Crown recipient.  The key here is to find the value in the scenario.

I am curious as to why Borrel shifted mounts to the lone filly Ria Antonia.  I will consider her, and Ride On Curlin (Borrel's KD mount) for my second subset.  As for right now, at 6:30 am eastern, my key combo is going to be Kid Cruz and California Chrome.

I don't see where any in this field could be absolutely ruled out under numerous pace scenarios.  A few that I would like to see before making my final decision are Bayern, Social Inclusion and Pablo Del Monte.

I went for prices in the special double and pick 3, however my choice in the Pimlico Special, Cat Burglar, ran third so I am out of those.

I used Chamois, Up With The Birds and Quick Wit in the Dixie with California Chrome and Kid Cruz in the Preakness.  That combo may still make an interesting double play, and maybe even a late pick three play capping off with Larry Le Roi and Nevsky in the 13th.

On a side note, here is an article covering the French Grand National.  I like the steeple chase events and wish there where more here in the States.  It may be tough to find it on tv, so you may have to watch the replay of Auteuil here.

Best of luck!
Back at it again as the richest day of racing is upon us.  My initial picks for Meydan follow, starting in race two.  Between now and the Belmont Stakes all of the best horses are under the microscope and champions will emerge.  I hope to back some of those for some profit as I am sure you would like to as well.

So my initial selections for Meydan are:
R2- 4
R3- 7
R4- 8
R5- 4/11
R6- 9
R7- 10
R8- 1/4/11
R9- 12/16

I need to whittle down my selections for the stakes races at Gulf Stream, and the Fair Grounds, but m
I hope you had a great BC Saturday!  The results of the Tote Method are:
R1- 9-   --     4.20     2.80
R2- 1-   --     2.20     2.10
R3-13-  6.60  4.00     3.00
R4- 7-   --      --         --
   10-   --      6.40     3.00
R5- 1-  5.00   3.40     2.80
R6- 6-    --      --        --
    12-    --      --        --
R7-12- 7.40    4.40    3.40
R8- 6-    --      --        --
R9- 4-    --      --        --
      7-    --     4.40    3.00
R10-9-   7.00   4.80    3.60
R11- NQ
R12- NQ

Across the board showed $7.30 profit  and w/p showed a $7.80 profit.
That's 9% gain for across the board, 15% for w/p and 14% for p/s.
Simply playing place wagers would put it at an even 30% profit.  
The name of the game is steady growth and BC Saturday certainly offered that!
Late start, but in the 4th race at Longchamp Tasaday flirted with qualifying but never actually did with 2 mtp.  An interesting phenom in the exotics though.  The 5/6 quinella is being bet strongly, however the exacta is not (thus far).  Presents a good value wager if you care for those two entries.

Go figure, the 8- Silasol qualified after the close of wagering, however didn't last.  A nice price to be had as the 1- Dalkala appears to have nosed out the fav.

Again, the exacta made a better value wager, returning almost three times that of the quinella.

Early on in the Arc the 6- Orfevre and the 14- Kizuna both qualify as plays.  We'll see what else transpires as there is plenty of time to go.

With 5 mtp it appears that they will be the only qualifiers of the bunch, if the prices hold may be worth a 2-1 dutch.

The 6 ran behind Treve who ran a beautiful race and won convincingly. 

To round up value vs. risk I am going to share a simple statement:

If your strike percentage is low, you need to have a high rate of return.
If your strike percentage is high, you can withstand a lower rate of return.

Too many people find themselves at a constant negative with regards to their bankroll because they don't address the aforementioned statement.

Keep it simple and keep your records when it comes to your bread and butter wagers.  If you don't have any, or are unsure what they are, your records of your wagers will help you locate them.

An example-  A strike rate of 20% indicates that for every 100 wagers, you should hit 20.  In order to come out with a profit you will need to get at least 5-1 odds on those wagers.  

5-1 equates to a $12.00 return, so wagering across 100 opportunities costs $200 with a return of $240 (20 x 12= 240). A 20% ( 40/200 = 1/5 or 20%) profit.  Providing you didn't spend $50 on lunch ;)

Turning that around some, if you are able to have a strike rate of 50%, maybe with a show wagering strategy (placepot) than the return you will need to seek is a bit lower in order to make a profit.

Hitting 50 of every 100 wagers is 50%.  Odds of 6-5 will return $4.80.
100 wagering opportunities would then yield the same profit as the previous example.  $200 wagered, a return of $240, profit of $40, or 20%.

Of course the payouts for show (placepot) wagers can often drop to as low as $2.10.  This still gives a return of 5%, certainly not sexy, but none the less a profit, providing your strike rate is 100%.  Ouch.

It all comes down to finding the balance between your strike rate and expected returns, the value of the return vs. the risk of the wager.

A 5% return at a lower strike rate is achievable, and shouldn't be discounted, though a grind when looking to build your bankroll.

In order to weather the losing streaks when dealing with expected returns you will need to know what size bank you should have and what the length of the streaks you should expect.  Below I put links to two articles that will help.  The first will aide in the establishment of your bread and butter methodology and the second goes to the heart of losing streaks.

There is a great article at The Raceadvisor about Bayes Theorem and an article at The Skybluekangaroo about losing streaks that ties in perfectly with what I am discussing here.  Both sites are well worth following.

I hope to be spending some time on the Longchamp card tomorrow, using the tote method live.  Be sure to check back and follow along.

That also leads to another article at geegeez covering the Arc.  Worth a read. Another site worth following.  

Best of racing luck!

How many pockets do you have?  How many do you use?

What am I talking about, you ask?

I am referring to the difference between returns and risk.  If you are using one bankroll to make every wager, you are probably not doing yourself justice.  Think about it.  If you can make a positive return on win wagers, but consistently find yourself challenged by exotics (those wagers that depend on multiple outcomes), why would you lump them all together?

Win, place, show wagers are very simple and straight forward.  But it all starts to get more complicated once you go beyond those.  Some of the wagers that are out there are enticing with large payouts and carryovers.  Some wagers actually make sense when dealing with multiple favorites.  But that doesn't preclude the fact that those wagers are a much lower percentage strike rate for most.

To become familiar with what is needed to hit some of these type of wagers you only need to watch one of the horse racing networks for an afternoon.  The bankrolls that they use and the multiple horse selections for their tickets are well documented, as well as the multiple loses they encounter.  

You need to have deep pockets to continue down those roads.  Or a way of revitalizing your "exotic" bankroll.

I like to look at it this way:  

The wagers that I am most successful with will have the largest bankroll.
From there, I will pull costs and fund my exotic bankroll.
I maintain strict limits on the amount of the exotic wagers, specific to wager type and expected returns.

That last statement is what I will be touching on this week and next.

With the Math Behind the Method I provide you the opportunity to be as selective as you wish with its guidelines.  Wether you opt for tight parameters with fewer qualifiers or less restrictive parameters for more qualifiers you will come across situations where an exotic play is more cost effective.

First let me state that in the book I provide the formula's to use.  It is advisable that you create the charts for the most common race sizes as that will expedite the process and give you the ability to check races you might not have considered playing, if processing the information prior to race time.  It just makes it easier.

So, let's say you have a qualifying horse in a race that offers a daily double (winners in two consecutive races must be selected).
That horse is also a heavy favorite.  Where you would normally play a win, place or show wager you are now faced with a situation where the return is not worth the risk.  The daily double can be another option.

In this instance there are a few lines to take, and value is the key.  The first thing that I will usually look for are those horses in the second leg of the double that are not over bet in the double.

To see if they are over bet I see what a current win parlay might pay as compared to the payout of the double.

If the first leg favorite is paying $2.40 to win and a horse in the second leg has a morning line of 4-1, a parlay may pay $12.00. That is the $2.40 return on win wager one put into win wager two, returning $10.00 for every $2 wager.  2.4 X (10/2) = 2.4 X 5 = 12.  (The win return is calculated as the per dollar wager (odds) plus the wager- (2 X 4) + 2.)

If the double is paying more than $12 on a $2 wager it provides good value.
If the double is paying in the range of $4 to $12 it may be considered acceptable.  If not, pass, as the risk does not warrant the return.

The more horses that are used in the second leg of the double, the higher the return will need to be in order to justify the wager.

To be considered an "acceptable" wager I look to the return of the lowest double compared to the cost of the wager vs. the win odds of the first leg horse.

In the above scenario, if $12 is the lowest double payout, what would be the  number of horses we could use for the second leg?

The win odds of the first leg horse .2 - 1, or 1-5.  One wager gives us a 5-1 return on the double.  Two wagers, 2-1.  Three wagers, 1-1.  Four wagers, .5-1 or 1-2.  Five wagers, 1.4-1 or 7-5.  Six wagers, 0, or break even.

These are shown as- (12 - x) / x , where x = amount wagered in $2 increments.  (12 - 4) / 4 = 2.

So six wagers is $12, put to win on the horse in leg one would return $14.40.  That many horses in leg two is not acceptable. A win wager on leg one of $12 would be.

Five wagers is $10.  Put to win on the leg one horse returns $12.  Our break even, still justifying a win wager of this amount rather than the double, a higher risk wager.

Four wagers is $8.  The payout on win for leg one is $9.60.  Less than the $12 for the double, thus making 4 horses in the second leg our 'cap', providing that $12 is the smallest payout of any of the four wagers.

You need to keep in mind that the daily double wager is dependent on hitting the winner of both races, simply choosing random horses for leg two won't keep your strike rate high enough so you need to do some handicapping or use professional selectors (there are many 

What we have done is limit the bankroll exposure compared to the risk vs. the return.  There are no guarantees in horse racing and there will be loses. It is up to you to be responsible and limit your exposure to those loses by seeking out the best value for your money.  Risk the least amount to gain the best return.

And don't worry, it may appear daunting at first glance, but the math becomes second nature the more you apply it.

Until next week, luck to all!