• $25,000 Profit in 30-40 Days?

    POSTED Mar 23, 2011
    I’m pleased to announce that the “Score with Simon” promotion kicks off this week. For those too busy catching up on old episodes of “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Vampire Diaries” to notice or care, i.e. my wife and kids, let me explain. “Score with Simon” is basically a weekly pari-mutuel mutual fund, capped at $10,000, that allows TwinSpires customers to wager along with me on a variety of races each Saturday. I’ll handle all of the handicapping duties, as well as make all of the wagering decisions. The only thing TwinSpires clients need to do is buy into the pool (for as little as $10) and be prepared to praise me for winning weekends or curse me for losing ones — a “win-win” situation, according to one of my many sick and twisted Facebook friends.

    Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to this arrangement:

    1) The bets have to be in well before post time (denying me the knowledge of scratches or, in some cases, surface switches).

    2) I will not be able to use my fair odds and, thus, will have to guess which horses are likely to be overlays and which figure to be underlays.

    3) All pool participants will know who and what I’m betting; hence, I run the (great) risk of becoming a modern-day Robert Saunders Dowst.

    NOTE: A lawyer by trade, Robert Saunders Dowst discovered a way to beat the races, which he published in “Profits on Horses” and Esquire magazine in 1937. The Dowst Consistency System produced 315 qualified plays, 108 winners (34.3 percent) and a healthy return on investment (ROI) of 30.2 percent from Jan. 20, 1937 to Oct. 13, 1937. However, as more and more players learned of Dowst’s success and hitched their wagons to his star, the system quit working.

    Of course, there’s nothing that can be done in regard to points 1 & 2, but the Dowst effect can, at the very least, be minimized… with a little help from my friends. If you invest in the pool, I beg of you: do not share the information you receive with anybody else — not even an imaginary friend or inquisitive sock puppet. Also, if you simply must bet the picks on your own (outside of the group), please do so in ways not specified on the “Score with Simon” ticket. In other words, if the SWS wager is to win and place on The Green Monkey, go ahead and use the horse in the exacta, trifecta, pick three, etc. — just avoid the win and place pools.

    Now, for my part, I make everybody that participates in the assorted weekly pools this promise: I will give my very best handicapping and wagering effort. Furthermore, I have set a rather lofty goal. Many of you will remember — and, perhaps like me, were inspired by — Andrew Beyer’s book “My $50,000 Year at the Races,” in which Beyer detailed the year he won 50-large betting on thoroughbreds. Well, I’m only going to have 30-40 betting days available to me, but based on a variety of calculations and a few prayers, I am setting a profit target of $25,000 by the end of the year (provided the promotion runs that long). Obviously this is ambitious, maybe even foolhardy, but I always say a handicapper needs to be bold and confident in his/her abilities — and I am both. In fact, I just got a blood transfusion from some guy named Sheen and I now believe that anything is possible, especially the impossible.

    Exotic Betting

    One of the first things I did upon learning about the aforementioned “Score with Simon” promotion was buy a trench coat and learn everything I could about the various Colombian Cartels. Then, once the promotion was fully explained to me and I realized that I’d made a few faulty assumptions, I determined to study exotic wagering, using my Win Factor Report (computerized fair odds line) as a guidepost. The following is a video presentation detailing that study.

    P.S. I kept the trench coat.

    No More Speed

    Last week, I discussed the erosion of early speed in the Kentucky Derby and I noted that many of today’s riders seem to have adopted the “European approach, i.e. a moderate beginning followed by a flying finish,” which I traced to the scheduling of more grass and AWS races. A peek at some of this year’s graded Derby preps to date compared to those from 2007, the year prior to the CHRB mandate requiring that California switch from dirt to synthetic surfaces, shows that this erosion is widespread:

    (Click on image to enlarge)

    Notice that only at Santa Anita, and to a lesser degree Oaklawn Park (The Factor earned a -6 ESR in his Rebel romp), does early speed still reign supreme. And let’s be honest: much of what we’re seeing at the Great Race Place is due to jockeys urging their mounts out of the gate to take advantage of a supposed bias said to be propelling horses to victory like one of those old Hot Wheels Turbo Boosters.

    What’s interesting to me is what this “new” emphasis on speed in California will mean in Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. Something tells me that Derby preps in the Golden State (at least those at Santa Anita) have become relevant again.

    Early Speed Ration (ESR): A measurement of a horse’s early energy expenditure in relation to the total race requirements. The lower the figure, the greater the horse’s early exertion in that event.

    * Demanding (-15)
    * Brisk (-10)
    * Moderate (-5)
    * Soft (0)
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