Michael Pizzolla's Rant: Breeders' Cup 2009

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Michael Pizzolla's Rant: Breeders' Cup 2009

Post by Michael Pizzolla » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:09 am

Michael Pizzolla's Handicapping Rant:
The 2009 Breeders’ Cup

From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
Las Vegas, Nevada
November 5, 2009
11:57 PM

Dear Handicapper and Friend,

Breeders’ Cup 2009 is here: big purses, big horses.

This is going to be a very different Rant than my usual ‘big day’ Rants.

I’ve just finished doing the 2009 Las Vegas Seminar last weekend, called ‘Mastering The Art Of Handicapping And Value Investing’ featuring Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper™.

I have been blown away-and more than a bit humbled-at the outpouring of praise for the Seminar for those who were in attendance.

Yes, it’s was a marathon, we worked together for long hours; yes, it required months of preparation: yes, I couldn’t have done it without a ton of support: the Wizard Forum moderators, Bob, Sam, and Matt, my dear friends Mike and George who travelled a long way to lend a hand, the Post Time crew, special guest speakers George Kaywood, Dan Serra, and blackgold from The Big Easy; and yes, it was very much worth all the hard work.

Sure, there were great moments at the Seminar, none more fun than 50 or 60 Wizards at the Red Rock Race and Sports Book cheering home a 14-1 shot in the 8th race at Golden Gate Sunday afternoon, with the Fulcrum horse running second. This was a race that we analyzed together that morning in the seminar room, and I actually took pictures of the tickets I bet at 8:20 in the morning and projected them on the screen.

But something much more important than the $30 horse and the $230 exacta (that virtually everyone had) was going on.

There was the strong feeling that the ‘lightbulb’ had finally gone on for many in attendance.

Since the Seminar, they’ve been posting on the Wizards’ Forum of monster horses, clear insights, a solid feeling that they’re finally investing in this game.

The fundamental difference was the fact that we really focused on making good value investments rather than picking winners.

It’s a distinction that very few horseplayers ever get.

The game, if it is to be played for profit, is not about picking winners. It’s about finding an investment with value: A horse with some merit, that the public should not like.

Picking winners is for the recreational player, the one who wants to whoop and hoot about the mortal lock they backed, to show off, to have fun.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Unless you’re in the game for profit.

If playing horses for recreation were a religion, Breeders’ Cup would be one of the high holy days.

And Mr. Who-Do-You-Like the high priest.

So that’s why for the past several years, I’ve given this warning about Breeders’ Cup races:

“Permit me to digress before getting into the races. For someone looking to make professional-level value bets, all races must be treated as what they are—opportunities for a good investment. If a good, solid investment can’t be found, the professional passes. Now, having said that, I know that everyone interested in this great game wants to bet the Breeders’ Cup. Whether for fun, or for the ego-boost, or whatever, the urge to bet these races is very strong.

So I urge discipline! Don’t get swayed—there will be lots of big prices on the board. My advice is to make a game plan in advance, and stick to it as best you can.”

Let me take you through the Breeders’ Cup races as I sit here on Thursday night, without knowing weather conditions or scratches.

Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Races:

Oak Tree At Santa Anita, 3rd Race: Breeders’ Cup Marathon. A mile and ¾ is not a race susceptible to pace analysis. Add in the fact that 40 percent of the horses are foreign horses, and I’m passing.

4th Race: Breeders’ Cup Filly Juvenile Turf. Three foreign horses, including the morning line favorite, the 8, Lillie Langtry. Again, too many unknowns for a serious bet. If the odds are huge, I may take a shot with Black Magic’s top odds line horses, the 5, La Nez, and the 1, Potosina, also the Fulcrum horse. Odds allowing, may have a trifecta box with those 3 and the 3, Smart Seattle. But a serious bet? No.

5th Race: Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Two million for these dozen two year old fillies. The mile and a sixteenth races at Santa Anita lately have been won by horses that expend their energy late: The last 7 races have all been won by horses going under 51%, and one under 50%, and that is very late.

The morning line, favortie, the 3, Blind Luck, expends her energy late. There’s another filly, the 10, Negligee, top of the Black Magic odds line, that put down a very fast late fraction on her way to winning the $500,000 Grade 1 Alcibiad at Keeneland last month, expending her energy in 49.30%. FIts the track profile like a glove.

Don’t know what she’ll be in the betting, but I’ll take her at double digits to one. Will use the Fulcrum, the 8, the 11, Always a Princess, and may dabble with a couple of bombs, the 9, Champagne d’Oro (a maiden who could sneak in the superfecta), perhaps the 5, Bickersons.

While the exotics are a crap shoot, the 10 Negligee seems a solid fit for the track, and I’ll invest at 10-1 or higher.

6th Race: Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

A 10 furlong race on the turf. This, not surprisingly, has also gone to very late horses. The second favorite on the morning line is the 6, Midday, a British filly that is making her US debut. Big unknown.

Tops in the Black Magic Ultimate Odds Line is the 3, Rutherienne. She’s 5 years old, and has won 11 of 22 on the turf. But what caught my eye was a very late energy expenditure, and an eye popping last fraction in her win on September 19th in the Noble Damsel at Belmont at a mile on the turf. A final fraction of 21 and 4. Not in the first quarter, but the last. If the late trend holds up, she could be a serious threat. Will use the probable favorite, the 2, Forever Together, the 5, Pure Clan, and the 7, Dynaforce in exactas and trifectas, and depending how he odds board shakes out, the Fulcrum, the 8 Maram, in the mix. The second morning line favorite, 4, Magical Fantasy will take my bet down. Again, odds depending, may have the British filly with the 3. Will be interested in the 3, Rutherienne at 7-1 and up.

7th Race: Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. 7 furlongs, another distance that has seen late expending horses running well at Santa Anita. I think the crowd will have the right late runners, the 9, Ventura, the 7, Informed Decision, and the 8, Seventh Street. There’s another late filly, the 6, Evita Argentina, that may be completely overlooked by the crowd, and might be worth a bet. Will need long odds. The Fulcrum in the race is the 1, Free Flying Soul, 50-1 Morning Line, and will be in my exotics.

Race 8: Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic:

The Black Magic Ultimate Odds Line shows, not surprisingly, the 1, Careless Jewel, as the one to beat. She takes the lead early and increases her lead. Another runner in the mix is the 7, the morning line favorite, the 7, Music Note, the Fulcrum. Very short prices on both of these.

I’m mildly interested in the 2, Life Is Sweet, primarily because the mile and an eighth distance has also been going to the late-expending runners, and this filly is very late. At 7 or 8-1, I’ll look for her to upset the chalk.

As in years past, I urge you to look at the races run at other tracks. Very often there is a large amount of recreational money in these pools, and overlays can be had.

To get you started, here are a few races I’m interested in on Friday, November 6th.

The 8th race at Delta Downs is a race that Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper™ has going late, and the two fillies on top of the line, the 8, Scarlet Tribute, and the 6, Twelve Stepper, are not only both late horses, they ran against each other last out, with the 8 beating the 6. A nice 6-8 box and 6-8 straight looks good. I’ll use a long price, the 7, Cherry Ide in the exotics, and will have to see the board before deciding on the other horses on the line, the 9 and the 5. The 3 is the Fulcrum, and at 15-1 morning line, will probably find her way into exotic bets.

Finger Lakes Race 5, a late runner in a late race, the 3, Birdseed. There’s a 4 to 5 morning line in the race, the 8, One Sweet Thing, that won a statebred allowance after running credibly in 10,000 claimers. Laid off since May, it’s dropping to $4,000. Will either run away, or run up the track.

Mountaineer Park, Race 5, another late race, another late running 3 horse, Jewel Lake. Nice Advanced Form Pattern, top of the BLAM Ultimate Odds Line, 8-1 Morning Line, will need a solid price to bet.

So, that’s my day on Friday.

Will be very cautious about the Breeders’ Cup races, being patient and demanding prices.

A couple of more things about the Seminar. In the past year and 8 months, I’ve been amazed daily at the community of handicappers that has been formed around Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper™. Those who have the software participate in the Wizards’ Forum, sharing insights, techniques, and most of all support.

It’s remarkable in this day and age of carping and criticizing to find students of this great game supporting each other so generously with their encouragement and knowledge.

At the Seminar, many met each other for the first time in person, and for many, it was like meeting long-lost friends.

The three moderators of the Forum, Bob Harris, Sam Meola, and Matt Russell were known to most of the Wizards mostly by their postings on the Forum.

Well, at the Seminar, that changed as they gave presentations that showed that although they each had their distinct styles of handicapping and betting, they had a true command of the software and the underlying principles of value investing.

In August, the four of us got together in Las Vegas to share our latest strategies. Someone had the idea to tape this, and in retrospect, I’m really glad we did.

What emerged was an 8 DVD set with me, Bob, Sam and Matt, discussing handicapping and betting strategy, using Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper™

I mentioned these DVDs in passing at the Seminar, and a few picked up a copy. (Um, by mention, I mean 1 sentence, which many missed. While I thought these were excellent DVDs, I hate it when the speakers at seminars spend a lot of time selling stuff).

Well, one of the Wizards who got a set posted that these were the best instructional materials we’ve ever done and were extremely helpful to their game. Post Time is making a special offer on these for Breeders Cup weekend only, that I’ll tell you about in a minute.

Back to the Breeders’ Cup:

Saturday, November 7, 2009.

Again, I don’t know the weather conditions, scratches, etc., but here are my preliminary thoughts.

Race 2 Santa Anita: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Way too many unknowns and foreign colts. May take a tiny bet with two horses that Black Magic puts high on the line, the 5, Gallant Gent, 30-1 Morning Line, and the 1, Zip Quik, 50-1 ML. Basically a pass race.

Race 3: Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. Way too many horses with a shot running down the hill, and a couple of unknowns to boot. May look to see what the odds are on the 14, Delta Storm, and would take 20-1 for a small action bet.

Race 4: Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Good news: As usual, the Sprint comes up Highly Pressured. Bad news: the three late biased BLAM Ultimate Odds line horses, 1, Zensational, 5, Gayego, and the 3, Fatal Bullet, are the three morning line favorites. May see if there are bombs lurking with the 4, Crown of Thorns, and the 2, the Fulcrum, Cost of Freedom, but basically, I think the public will get this race right, meaning probably no value.

Race 5: Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Again, too many unknowns for a serious bet. However, the 13, Looking At Lucky is the 8 to 5 Morning Line favorite, second on the BLAM Ultimate Odds Line. The horse on top of the line is the 6, Pulsion, who was only beaten by the 13 by less than 2 lengths last out in the Norfolk at Santa Anita. At 20-1 Morning Line, 25-1 Contention Line, this colt may be worth a small win bet and exacta back wheel.

Race 6: TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile. 4 unknowns again, two of which, the 11, Goldikova, and the 4, Delgator are the Morning Line favorites. Danger sign! Strictly as a lottery, I may box BLAM’s top 5 in a 10 cent superfecta and let it go at that: 7, 5, 2, 3, 6. Basically a pass race.

Race 7: Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Heavy Morning Line favorite is the Irish colt, Mastercraftsman. 6 to 5 morning line. There have to be easier spots! Midshipman, the 3, is top of the BLAM Ultimate Odds Line, followed by the 10, 5, and 4, the Fulcrum and second ML favorite. May take tiny action exotics.

Race 8: Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf. 4 unknowns out of 8 horses, 12 furlongs on the Turf, pass.

Race 9: Breeders’ Cup Classic. Very tough race for an investor. Sentimental favorite will be Zenyatta, the undefeated mare. My sentimental favorite is Summer Bird, who I bet to win the Belmont, explaining why in the Belmont Stakes Rant. The second ML favorite is the Irish champion, Rip Van Winkle. Again, basically a pass, although I may hook up Zenyatta and Summer Bird with the other horses near the top of the BLAM Ultimate Odds Line, the 12, Quality Road, the 11, Regal Ransom, and the 9, the Fulcrum, Girolamo. Action bet only for me.

Again, I urge looking at the undercards and non-Breeders’ Cup races to find overlays.

I’ll be looking at the 1st at Santa Anita, the Damascus Stakes. The heavy favorite will probably be the 3, M One Rifle. Strong, obvious horse. Only flaw is that it’s an early, need to lead type in a race that may be Highly Pressured at 7 furlongs at Santa Anita, which has been going to the late expending horses. The late horse that has my attention is the 7, Viscount. Should be a decent price, and could upset.

Well, that’s about it for my thoughts on the Breeders’ Cup.

Can’t emphasize enough that the job of the investor on Breeders’ Cup and every other day that thoroughbreds run, is to look not for horses, but for good value investments.

Just one bit of news. Just as I did last Breeders’ Cup, I’m opening Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper up and will be accepting about 20 new Wizards. If you’re at all interested, click on this link:


There are some videos there explaining the software and the information management aspects that are truly amazing.

Oh, and for those of you who already have Black Magic and have heard about the 8 DVDs of the Black Magic Ultimate Handicapper Summit Conference, also known as the Secret Ninja Conference, Post Time is having them produced in very limited quantities.

If you want one, Post Time is making a special offer, good through the end of Breeders’ Cup weekend. Regular price is $197, for Breeders’ Cup weekend, they’re selling them for $147. As with all Post Time products, if you don’t love them, you have an unconditional 30 day money back, no questions asked guarantee.

Go to this link to order and enter the discount code NINJA to get the special price.

Here’s the link:

Ninja Weekend DVDs http://www.1shoppingcart.com/SecureCart ... 9b987b4e5c

And don’t forget to put the discount code NINJA to get the special price.

Finally, I want to thank you again for your kind words and emails—I can’t tell you how much I enjoy hearing of your success. Please drop me a line at Michael@posttimedaily.com to let me know how you’re doing, or if you have any questions.

Bet horses you like that the public should not like. Let the bet make you.

Good luck on Breeders’ Cup and always,


P.S. If you have any questions or comments, or just want to let me know how you’re doing with your handicapping, you can drop me a line at michael@posttimedaily.com. Be patient, as this is Breeders’ Cup Weekend, and I’m having loads of scintillating conversations usually beginning with, ‘Hey Michael, who do you like...’

Michael Pizzolla: michael@posttimedaily.com

Post Time Solutions, Inc.: http://www.posttimedaily.com

Handicapping Magic Third Edition: http://www.handicappingmagic.com

Black Magic Ultimate Handicapping Software™: Open for a limited time: http://www.posttimedaily.com/blam01

Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper™ Summit Conference (Secret Ninja Weekend DVDs) Ninja Weekend DVDs http://www.1shoppingcart.com/SecureCart ... 9b987b4e5c

and be sure to enter the Discount Code NINJA to get the special Breeders’ Cup price.
All the best,


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:35 pm
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Re: Michael Pizzolla's Rant: Breeders' Cup 2009

Post by roundtop » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:39 am

I posted last year that I go to the British betting houses to help me make Breeder's Cup bets. I believe the Euros don't let sentiment get in the way. I've just read Michael's rant and want to relay that Race 4, the Juvenile Turf, the Euro crowd likes the #5 La Nez. Its ML 20/1, but been bet between 8 and 10-1 for two days. Also, second on the BLAM oddsline. The Euros also have bet the #3. ML 8-1, and it has been around 5 or 6 for two days. The favorite, Lillie Langtry had been at or slightly above its ML for two days. This may be the best race to play today.
The Euros have also given support to Negligee in the 5th race. ML 6-1 and bet below that line for the last two days. The favorite, Blind Luck has not been below its ML yet.
Of course as Michael warns there are tons of unknowns, but the British betting trends helped me last year on 4 races. Just a thought. Chip

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Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:35 pm
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Re: Michael Pizzolla's Rant: Breeders' Cup 2009

Post by roundtop » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:26 pm

Wow, just got killed in the 5th at SA. Put some bets down, was alive in the pick 3 with the #9 in the 4th and see ya later. As Dan Patrick would say; "the whiff". Chip