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    Handicapping Essay: Spotting $36 & $13.40 Winners at Saratoga

Here's an email we received from a handicapper who read this essay as soon as it came out and who already uses The Fitness Factor:

  • "just read your essay on the fitness factor great stuff. The factor helped me hit the first race Saturday 7/30 at Saratoga. The winner was a firster trained by Mark Casse. Reading your article  I realized I did not have the addendum to fitness factor. Can you purchase the addendum separate. ,,.love this time with Saratoga and Del Mar. hope you and the family are all good. Thanks again"  G. of Maryland

NOTE: I updated the end of the essay to touch upon the race to which G. of Maryland refer. Please click here to view the update.


Summer and fall can be among the very best of times for ‘fishing,’ that is fishing for long shots! There are many, many races for maidens carded during this time, and there are numerous upcoming opportunities to solve the ‘maiden puzzle’ using one of our most popular methods, one that is geared specifically for maidens and young horses, namely The Fitness Factor. In fact, in addition to a race I handicapped this past weekend, (July 24), I heard from a couple of other handicappers who also found hidden gems using this method as well. I say hidden gems because judging by their odds, they were hidden from most of the handicapping public, and they returned some terrific long shot prices! If you currently use The Fitness Factor, this essay should inspire you, and if you don’t currently own this method, be sure to take a look at the end of the essay on how you can get it.

On Sunday, July 24, 2016, the 6th at Parx was carded for 2 year old maidens.  These types of races are perfect for handicapping with The Fitness Factor. Within just a couple of minutes, I saw that only a few of the 12 entries passed the main contender screen. These horses were:

  • #3 Weekend Babe - 12-1 morning line
  • #5 Resistance - 10-1 ml
  • #7 Frank’s Folly - 3-1 ml
  • #11 Beautiful Lady - 15-1 ml

Now, there are some terrific long shot odds among our four Fitness Factor contenders. However, guidelines in the original method, pertinent to the trainer, would eliminate Weekend Babe & Beautiful Lady. This leaves us with Frank’s Folly, 3-1 Morning Line, and Resistance, 10-1 Morning Line. However, in our July/August 2012 TIPS Report, we discuss in great detail another element in handicapping, one which is often overlooked, one which can be absolutely critical when handicapping young horses, and this information goes hand in glove with the Fitness Factor. When you reexamine the two final contenders in light of this crucial ingredient of handicapping, there is only one choice as your selection, and after connecting the dots within minutes in a step by step, logical progression, the only choice as a Fitness Factor selection was clear: Resistance!  

I watched the race on the computer, and Resistance broke well, and according to the chart, “dueled for command in the five path, shook loose leaving the turn, opened a long lead in the stretch, and then won under strong handling.”  Better yet, besides making every call a leading one, Resistance did all this at 17-1!  

Resistance returned:  $36.00 win  $11.80 place  $6.40 show

In addition, I spoke this past week with a couple of other handicappers who were in very high spirits regarding the Fitness Factor! Both noted they had collected on numerous long shots using the method. One, P.N., a mid-western handicapper, was especially enthused that he was using the Fitness Factor in regular claiming races as well, with terrific results. In fact, as he excitedly related his observations about a race from Saratoga’s opening weekend of the 2016 meet my ears perked up even more!

July 24, the 7th race at Saratoga was an open claiming race for older horses.  However, our mid-western handicapper noted the role the Fitness Factor played in helping him isolate his selection. There were four horses who passed the main contender screen for the Fitness Factor:

  • #2    Coalport - 5-1 ml
  • #4    Captain’s Affair - 12-1 ml
  • #7    Abtaal - 10-1 ml
  • #10  Farhaan - 4-1 ml

Coalport qualified for the highest level of the main contender screen. Farhaan and Abtaal qualified for the next highest level. Finally, Captain’s Affair met the weakest or minimum level of the main Fitness Factor contender screen. And then our mid-west handicapper, who is well versed in our TIPS Methodology, spotted a few powerhouse Horse TIPS Farhaan was showing which swayed the balance in that horse’s favor.

As ‘TIPS handicappers’ know, Horse TIPS can make a big difference, and I urge you if you do not already own a copy, to obtain the TIPS Update now.No matter what your main handicapping style, the tipoffs, especially the Horse TIPS can improve any handicapping approach

Finally, while our mid-western handicapper didn’t note the following, I did when I reviewed his race, and that is that Saratoga has long been noted as a “course for the horse.” Simply, horses who have shown an ability to win at Saratoga should be ignored at your peril! Of the 4 Fitness Factor horses in the 7th at Saratoga on July 24, only 2 had previous wins at that track:  Abtaal and Farhaan.

In addition to the other Horse TIPS that P.N. noted, I believed the ability to win at Saratoga clinched the nod for Farhaan, P.N’s final selection. Here is how they finished:

  • 1st    Farhaan    $13.40   $6        $4.30
  • 2nd   Coalport         ---       $3.80   $2.90
  • 3rd    Abtaal            ---        ---      $6.90
  • Exacta   $  54.50 (for $2)
  • Triple     $539.00 (for $2)
  • 50-cent Triple: $134.75 (cost of wager $12) 

Update: The race to which G. of Maryland wrote me about in his email quoted at the of this page is the opener at Saratoga on July 30, 2016. It is a picture perfect example of a Fitness Factor selection. Not only was the horse, Ancient Warfare, the strongest qualified selection, but also, Warfare ran and finished by pouring it on in the stretch, passing rivals easily and quickly between the second call and the finish, going from 6th to 1st, and drawing off seemingly at will to win by more than 2 lengths!  This ability to "turn it on," expecially in the latter stages of a race, is a terrific trait shared by many, many Fitness Factor horses, and is also a reason that we suggest you back them up in the place and show slots, as they tend to finish strongly!  Many thanks to G. in writing and congrats on cashing in on a nice, well-meant long shot!

In short, The Fitness Factor, Addendum to the Fitness Factor, and the July/Aug 2012 TIPS Report are must-haves for your handicapping library portfolio.

Special packages are below. Order by phone at 401-921-5158 or through any of the links below:

Package #1
Order The Fitness Factor, Addendum to the FF, and the July/Aug 2012 TIPS Report, print versions at a significant discount savings of $29.95, plus $5.95 shipping to USA addresses.* This is a savings of 40%!  Click here to order this package

Package #2
Want to save more, plus get them almost instantly? Order the downloadable versions of all 3 for just $25!!  Order here.

Package #3
Finally, the TIPS Update is a powerful addition to any handicapper’s library. You may order it for a discounted price of $14.95 (normally $19.95) plus $3.95 shipping for USA addresses.* The Update is 48 pages and jam packed with contender screens, power plays, significant groups of angles. 
The Update is only available in print version. You may order here.

Also, the May/June 2016 TIPS Report is now available, print only. Order it for $12 with FREE shipping to USA addresses.* You may order the issue here.

*For orders outside the USA, please email mary@worthhandicapping.com for S&H. Thank you.

And of course, as always, please call me at 401-921-5158 or email me at: jonworth@worthhandicapping.com or tipsreport@aol.com with any questions.

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Jon Worth  Tom Worth Publishing Co.  PO Box 7054  Warwick, RI 02887-7054

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