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To The Cappers
A Message to Users of The Capper - November 21, 2003

Chart Handicapping:
Using the PQ Spot Plays Report and the Spot Play Charts

Here�s an example of a way to use a couple of The Capper�s new features: the Performance Qualified Spot Plays report and the Spot Play Charts. Together, they offer a new way of handicapping that I�m calling �chart handicapping.�

The Performance Qualified (PQ) Spot Plays report can be used to find a group of potentially bettable Spot Play/SubCategories.

The Spot Play Charts can then be used to verify that you want to bet that particular situation.

Here�s how it works:

�First, go to the Output tab of the Setup dialog. Check the Sort by Spot Play + SubCategory + Track + Race + PN option so that your PQ Spot Plays report is sorted in a way that will make it easier to use the report with the spot play charts.

�Then go to the Spot Plays tab of the Setup dialog and set the Spot Plays Short Term Starting Cutoff Date to 1 Week Ago. Set the Spot Plays Long Term Starting Cutoff Date to 2 Months Ago.

�Next, go to the Qualified Spot Plays tab of the Setup dialog. This is where you set up the requirements for the Spot Play/SubCategories you want to show up in the report. Here are the settings I�m trying right now:

�Handicap today�s races, either automatically or by picking your own pacelines and creating a betting line.

�Go to the PQ Spot Plays tab of the General Reports dialog and highlight the date for the races you�ve handicapped. Then click the big button beneath the calendar. After a few seconds of processing, you'll get something like this:

I usually print out this report by clicking the Print This Report button. That way it�s easy to mark with a highlighter the horses I want to play after checking their charts:

�Now go to the Spot Play Charting tab of the General Reports dialog. The first spot play chart I want to look at is Blinkers Off/MCL, because that�s the first possible that shows up on my PQ Spot Plays report:

Reading charts is a whole nuther topic, but basically, this chart�s general trend is up, both its Bollinger bands are going up, the Profit/Loss line is above the 2 Week Moving Average line, and there are some but not too many spikes in the Profit/Loss line, so I like this play. I will highlight Prefer Blondes and Hey Baby Hey as horses I want to play.

Then I move on to the next possible spot play/subcategory (Blinkers Off/ML Rank 6+) and check its chart, and so on.  I end up with a printed PQ Spot Plays report with the bets I want to make highlighted.   I�m still working out ways to use these new tools.  I may tweak the settings of the PQ Spot Plays report or the way I read the charts. 

There are lots of ways to use The Capper.  It's a very versatile and customizable program -- if you want to do strict pace handicapping, betting line handicapping, trainer handicapping, etc., you can do it.  But chart handicapping appeals to me -- I like the fact that nobody else is doing anything like this.  And spot plays are interesting because you're not rating every horse in every race on the same factors.  You're looking for specific situations that only occur sporadically.  The spot play charts tell you if a particular play is successful.  Look at the chart above -- any play that can defy the "gravity" of the takeout line for an extended period of time as Blinkers Off/MCL does interests me.  We're not expecting it to work forever.  At some point I guarantee that Blinkers Off/MCL will start trending down.  There's no guarantee that a particular play will continue to be profitable.  (In fact, the whole idea that you can find some play that will always win at all times of the year and in all situations is suspect.)  The charts give you notice when a play is starting to go south, so you have a chance to get off it.

Talk to you later,
Gordon Pine

Copyright �2003 NetCapper Inc. All rights reserved.

Tech Tips: Using The Capper

�You can enlarge a certain area of the Spot Play Charts by dragging your mouse pointer over the area you want enlarged in an "L" pattern.  Be sure to hold down your left mouse button while dragging the L pattern.  To bring the chart back to full size, drag a backwards L pattern.

�You can set the performance qualifiers in the Qualified Spot Plays tab of the Setup dialog to B for Best.  For instance, if you set the Minimum LT Flat ROI to B, a qualifying spot play will only display if it is from the subcategory with the best long-term Return On Investment.  If, for the Fundamental Contenders spot play, MSW is the subcategory with the highest LT ROI, then a Fundamental Contender spot play will only show up in the Performance Qualified Spot Play report for MSW races.

�To keep The Capper running as fast as possible, keep your database lean and mean.  The best way to do this is to delete your race data as soon as possible.  After you've downloaded, imported and recalculated the binary charts for a particular day, you can delete the old race data from that day.  Here's what I do: every day, before I download yesterday's binaries and today's race files, I go into the Delete Race Data tab of the Utilities dialog and use the calendar to delete all race data from the day before yesterday and before.  Then I quit The Capper, start the Database Utility and hit the Compact/Repair button.  That compacts the database and helps speed it up significantly.  Then, when I download and Import, Recalculate and Print New Races, everything goes really fast.  With a relatively new computer, each race file will generally import in about half a second.  Also, note that I pretty much never delete model data (using the Delete Model Data tab) -- only race data.

�If you have a reasonably fast computer, it's a good idea to download all 1 Month Surface Model files whenever you're downloading race files.  That way, when you import and recalculate, the TSDs (Track/Surface/Distance adjustments) will be as current as possible.  A good alternative is just to download the 1 Month Surface Model files for the tracks you're handicapping each day, and then, once a week or so, download all the tracks.  This will ensure that shippers from tracks you don't normally handicapped will be judged properly by The Capper.

Copyright �2003 NetCapper Inc. All rights reserved.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.

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