The primary focus for today's column is to share with you a report I received from a Pennsylvania handicapper who spotted an Even Finish horse who delivered with a $119.60 Win mutuel. Before we get to the particulars, please allow me to exclaim as I often have and that is: I just love hearing from fellow handicappers!
It's wonderful to hear from you whether it's to talk about horse racing and handicapping in general; share your latest results with any of our spot plays and TIPS; ask questions; or provide feedback, both positive and constructive to help us improve in serving you.
We have quite a talented and insightful group in the Tom Worth handicapping community, as witnessed by the many effective contributions and refinements that so many have graciously contributed over the years so that we may share with fellow 'Worth' handicappers.
My dad, the late Tom Worth, would be pleased especially since the educator in him believed we must continuously learn, be informed, share knowledge, and be open minded in considering another person's point of view or commentary so that we can improve in our chosen fields of endeavors and pursuits, and in turn, strive to help others. This tenet fueled his life, including his passion for horse racing and handicapping.
Today's dispatch is what Tom would have called "a report from the field." It's a real humdinger in the form of a terrific long shot spotted by Joe of Michigan. His email was decidedly upbeat---and for good reason as he had just isolated a $100+ longshot. As you can imagine he was greatly encouraged, and (yet) again it was the Even Finish TIP, (EV), and his sharp eye that isolated the triple-digit long shot horse.
The Even Finish TIP, including its four variations, is one of the most effective tried & true handicapping angles I have ever used.
I'll share the email Joe sent me in just a minute, but I first want to explain a term he notes repeatedly in his email. During my live play research for the Even Finish Spot Play, which obviously incorporates the EV TIP, my results indicated that the most profitable EV plays were those when there was only one horse in the field who qualified as an EV selection, which I thus labled as 'singles.' Upon release of the EV Spot Play, a handicapper emailed me in agreement, describing 'singles' as "pure dynamite—just waiting to explode" to give us handicappers a well meant and very consistent profitable opportunity.
Indeed, the Even Finish TIP is dynamite and effective especially when only one horse shows this angle , as with other powerful factors such as horse entered for first time in claiming race. We have previously discussed this concept at length, using what most handicappers believe is the biggest class drop in all of racing: first time a horse drops from maiden special weights into a maiden claimer. Yes, this angle is powerful and effective. A horse can often 'wake up' based on this huge class drop alone and win or finish in-the-money at a nice long shot price, (7/2 or higher).
However, if, there are say 3 or 4 class droppers in the field as opposed to just 1, then you almost certainly need to examine the past performances for other positive handicapping factors in order to break the 'tie' which exists when multiple horses all show the same class drop. The Even Finish angle, while perhaps not as powerful as the maiden class drop, is nevertheless a potent factor, and when just one entry qualifies for it, so much the better!
Now, let’s return to Joe’s report from Woodbine Thoroughbred on Friday, December 7, 2018. His email is below—you can see from his excited tone and the time stamp that he couldn’t wait to share the news. I'll now turn the floor over to Joe:
Fri, Dec 7th, 2018 6:02 pm
To: TIPS Report
check out todays 6th race at Woodbine. #9 Yoda Man. If you look over this race you will quickly see that the #9 was a SINGLE EVEN FINISH
Yes.....the Qualifying Speed Rating is not there......however Jon I have noticed that when you have a SINGLE......regardless for the lack of QSR.....you MUST consider it as a play.
There is a "qualifying tip" though (for me) .....the trainer is a 9% ytd win..... HOWEVER ......he’s at his VERY BEST 2nd off the layoff.... 15% and PROFIT YTD!!!
Add the fact .....that I saw no one else in this race I was too interested in....including the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd favorite of the race.
Now ..... I missed this play because I got distracted and I was heartbroken to see the results:
A $119.60 HORSE !!!!!!!!!! no way I could pick this horse without the EV !!!!!!!!!!!!
Also it was a $999.65 pick three starting with a 7/2.... 3-1 ......and then Yoda Man .....A single EV !!!
YIKES .... AND .....the punch line..... I didn’t play it !!!!!!! OMG .......DISTRACTIONS !!!! anyway ......
The EV continues to perform .... I look for singles EVERY DAY I play ......usually the FIRST thing .. I thought you might enjoy the story .......even though I missed out ... take a look at the race Jon.....
Really no standouts ......at all ......and a SINGLE EV .....at the very least $2 across the board would give you $154.80 back !!!
Again with SINGLES .....I will forgive no QSR .....especially if the trainer gives me a "Reason" to play him.
Let mine know what you think ........hope you enjoyed my "Tragic" little story ....
Before we address the elephant in the room, namely DISTRACTIONS, let's first talk about the horse and the EV angle. As noted, Joe is certainly correct about the 'singles.' I would also agree with Joe that with the EV, especially if the horse is a single, you do not need much else in the way of positive signals—especially if said horse is going off at BIG odds of 25-1, 40-1, or as Joe notes nearly, 60-1!! An Even horse at those odds is worth at least something like Joe’s suggestion, such as $2 across the board. If the EV horse also has a couple of additional positives, as was the case with the trainer of Yoda Man such as a huge flat bet profit in one or more of the categories/conditions present today. And indeed as Joe notes, the trainer, while he has a low win %, for horses going to a route today, he shows an excellent flat bet profit.
Joe gives a first-rate analysis of this race and of our long shot contender Yoda Man, noting accurately that with a few terrific and strong tipoffs/angles present, (such as an Even Finish 'singles' horse), the situation for today's race dovetails perfectly with one of the trainer’s most profitable moves. Yoda Man at 60-1 along with the positive factors he shows makes him a real bargain and fantastic overlay.
Finally, Joe also points out another very important factor–namely that at these huge odds, along with the other positive factor present, I would agree with Joe's suggestion of $2 across the board as a wager as an excellent suggestion. However, additionally, I would suggest that considering the positives present for Yoda Man, I would suggest that at any odds of 25, 30-1 I would consider $2 win, backed with $2-$4 show.
Our discussion on the EV continues below this box, but let's take a moment to address how easy it is to get distracted from making a wager or to encounter a glitch when doing so. I think most of us feel empathy when Joe describes his heartache at seeing the results after being sidetracked from making an intended wager after isolating Yoda Man. I think it's a safe bet to say that most of us have 'been there-done that' - I know I certainly have!
In fact, some of our long time readers may remember how in one of the early issues of the TIPS Report, in 1994 I believe, I had described how frequent contributor and longtime southern California TIPS handicapper, had sent me $1,000 for a joint Place-to-Win Spot Play bankroll. I did have a phone account back then but it was at times plagued with technical issues, so I drove to the then Lincoln Greyhound Park simulcast facility. It was a Saturday afternoon, and the selection was at Hollywood Park and at the time our bet was $50.
I got into line with about 5-6 minutes to post. There were 9-10 people ahead of me. With perhaps 2-3 minutes left there were 4-5 people. I realized with growing anxiety that now there were only 2 people ahead of me, but one of the two had been at the window a good minute. I tuned in more to listen a bit, and he was making all his wagers on the upcoming evening card which had not started and for all nine of the races!!
I thought of jumping to the next line, as it too had only a couple of people in the line but didn't. Bottom line, the fellow finally finished making his wagers but not before the fellow in front of me and I were shut out. I watched with growing dismay on the monitor as the horses at the gate broke free, and our P-T-W selection ran really well, Won, and paid $9 Win and $4.20 Place. Our wager would have been $15 to Win and $35 to Place and was our only selection on the day...Now that payoff is a far cry from Yoda Man's $119, but the same ending: a win but no bet!
As we all too well know, life is busy and full of distractions. It's so easy to get 'off-track' and move onto other arenas in our day-to-day lives. We can all learn a lesson here to prevent a missed opportunity. One thought is that if you plan to wager close to post time so as to keep one eye on the odds, set an alarm on your phone or your watch with at least five to eight minutes to spare, just in case there are technical glitches. If you're at the track, casino or simulcast facility, you may want to get in line with time to spare in the event there's a bettor or a clerk having a tough go at it. Wagering early bird is another option, but of course the odds may go down or up in the time between your wager and post time. These are just a couple of suggestions. I welcome any that you have that we may share with readers.
Let's get back to our discussion on the Even Finish, this time as it relates to The Even Finish Spot Play. I found that the win % jumped from 30% to 37% when the spot play isolated a 'single.' The EV TIP is strong by itself, but when you include a few other carefully chosen angles, such as the ones in the spot play, they can improve your collection rate and ROI.
Here is a brief overview of how Even Finish Spot Play 'singles' compared to Even Finish selections overall:
||EV Selections Overall
There is a very decent profit, especially in the win and place slots with overall Even Finish selections, with win ROI at 53% and place ROI a more than respectable 35%. But see how the ROI in the win slot more than quadruples—from 53%, (more than respectable in its own right), to 231% when you focus strictly on the singles.
Let’s briefly return to the race Joe analyzed. The logic of a 'single' qualifier was first introduced in the Even Finish Spot Play. I would say that logic could also be applied to the Even Finish TIP, just as Joe did when he was looking over the Woodbine race. I would further suggest you might have a stronger play if you see a 'single' EV has a couple of other positives present as well, such as a trainer who excels at today’s conditions. The more positives present with such an Even Finish entry, the better. If there are Horse TIPS present then they would signal a green light for a wager. And of course, post time odds enter the mix as well.
What an excellent analysis Joe provided. It's so kind and generous that he is willing to share his story.
In closing, let me share with you just one of many emails I've receved regarding the Even Finish. It's a coincidence that this handicapper's name is Joe, a totally different handicapper! Here is Joe from New York.
Sent: Wed, Jan 4, 2017 8:51 pm
Jon....purchased your Even Finish method last month. I could not be more pleased. For the month of December over 6 tracks I wagered on 87 races with 29 winners and 77% of the selections
finishing in-the-money. I wagered 10-20-x on all horses going off at 4 to 1 or less and 5-10-20 if they were 9/2 or more. I cleared $1648. 77 of the selections were singles. Thanks and keep up the
Be sure to read the Addendum further below
for late breaking news on Yoda Man!
The Even Finish TIP has proven itself for many years, nearly 20 since we published our first article on this angle. It continues to point directly to strong horses often winning or finishing in-the-money at long shot odds and shows no signs of slowing down.
Like the Even Finish, many tipoffs continue to be effective to this day. For example, three which immediately spring to mind include Richard Sullivan’s Up-Down-Below and Near-Up-Down-Below; the Wound Up Tight (Tight); and H.F.’s Well Spaced Workout Pattern. Over the years, countless handicappers have reported their effectiveness in delivering profitable results. Because the TIPS Methodology is correlational and therefore inclusive with almost any method or system you use, you don’t have to toss out the tried and true tipoffs in favor of new angles, a new system or even newer tipoffs.
With so much information available to us nowadays, it's easy to get bogged down in a lot of minutia. Of course we should always be receptive to new ideas and approaches to handicapping, just as my father ingrained in me for all aspects of life with of course careful consideration before diving in. No matter what your field or personal hobby or interest, it's best to stay up-to-date of new ideas and developments. However, but not to the point of excluding tried and true approaches which have proven themselves time after time. The TIPS Report is a terrific way to stay informed of the "reports from the field" that we receive here at Tom Worth. And we hope to share more on the website as well, so please keep them coming!
Thank you to Joe for letting us share his report with all of you!
♦ ♦ ♦ Addendum ♦ ♦ ♦
As I was handicapping Sunday morning, December 16, 2018, for our daily selection services, as is my custom my very first step is to scan the past performances for three pieces of information:
1. Trainers I follow;
2. Horses I follow; and
3. Jockeys I follow.
I was pleasantly surprised as I scanned Woodbine, and spotted Yoda Man in Race 4! He had broken his maiden just nine days earlier at nearly 60-1 and was now facing winners for the first time.
Yoda Man was 12-1 in the Morning Line, would likely go to post at long shot odds and yet he was showing a few positive tipoffs including 3 Horse TIPS! In addition, the trainer showed a juicy flat bet profit in a couple of categories.
After I handicapped the race, here's the email I sent Joe to alert him:
From: TIPS Report
Sent: Sun, Dec 16, 2018 8:01 am
Subject: re: yoda man runnning today
Yoda man is running today; 12-1ML at woodbine
In my email to Selection Service subscribers, I included a wager on Yoda Man, noting that I myself was planning ½ unit win on Yoda Man, though decided to increase it to a 1 unit win, and also planning 2.5 unit show wager. (Selection service subscribers know that 99% of the time, especially with long shots, I include a leveraged show wager, usually in a 3-1 or 4-1 ratio, so that for every unit wagered to win, I add a 3 or 4 unit show bet.)
So how did Yoda Man fare? Find out in my follow-up email to Joe:
From: TIPS Report
Sent: Mon, Dec 17, 2018 2:04 am
Subject: re: yoda man
Good morning, Joe,
I hope you received my e-mail Sunday morning, around 9 am...about Yoda Man.
(Yoda) off 26-1
a couple of positives, (especially at that price)
I went with win show, 1 unit backed up with 2.5 unt show for every win
A few very positive signals...
Yoda broke well, ran well, [Yoda was] in the thick of it, [close to the lead throughout], held 3rd; $10.70 show, very decent roi, (275%!!) on race, I sure hope you got my email and at least put something on it.
Trainer some very decent signals... [also]3 horse tipoffs present.
thank you again for heads up last week, Joe.
All in all, a great play despite not coming in for the win. The $10.70 show mutuel made it well worth it! Thank you again to Joe for bringing Yoda Man to my attention.
The Even Finish is a terrific TIP and the Even Finish Spot Play is a great way to spot some dynamite horses. I encourage all of you to brush up on both, and if you don't have The EV Spot Play or The TIPS Update, I strongly recommend both. They will serve you well.
As always, we welcome your phone calls at 401-921-5158 and emails at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, reports, to place an order or to discuss handicapping and horse racing in general.