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The George Royal
Issue # 29
Pandycapping by Bob Pandolfo… A New Approach—The Performance Consensus Box
In the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with an entirely new approach. After I finish handicapping, I make up a Consensus Box for the entire card. We’ve actually programmed this right into my Diamond System computer handicapping program, but you can easily do the same thing with paper and pen. The box consists of 3 categories. EARLY SPEED, FINAL SPEED, LATE SPEED. I believe that late speed is often overlooked in handicapping. Most players put too much emphasis on Speed figures. Many players now use “pace” or early speed as part of the handicapping process. Early pace is very important. But few players look at late pace. A good late pace rating, or Kick rating can actually hold its own as a stand alone long shot selection method. There are a numbers of ways to create a late pace rating. I prefer to use a longer segment of the race for the late pace rating. I think it’s more accurate. My “Formula” system creates a Kick rating that’s created from the distance past the opening half. For instance, in a one mile race, I based my Kick rating on the last half mile. This shows you which horses are capable of “sustained late speed”. The consensus box is easy to incorporate into your handicapping. Step 1). Handicap the race as you usually do, eliminating horses and focusing in on the main contenders, then pick your 3 top horses. Step 2). Go over the past performances again. The object here is to select the three best early speed horses. Based on each horse’s best recent pace figures or early fractions. For all of these steps, try to use appropriate pacelines. For example, if the race is a sprint, use each horse’s best recent sprint efforts. I like to pick one of the last two sprint pacelines whenever possible, but if Race 1
Final Speed MR QUICK BUSY BOY IN FRONT SAM
the horse had bad trips, tough posts, or was outclassed in its last two starts, go three back. Put a P1 next to the horse with the best pace figures, and use P2 and P3 to mark the next two runners up. Step 3). The object here is to select the 3 horses with the best recent speed figures. Put a S1 next to the horse with the best recent speed figures, and use S2 and S3 to mark the other ones. Step 4). Now we want to find the 3 horses with the best recent late-pace ratings or the best closers. Mark these using L1, L2, and L3. (Note: If you don’t have access to early and late pace figures, or speed figures, you can even eyeball the pps and simply pick the 3 horses that appear to have the best early speed, the 3 horses that close strongest, and just plug your top 3 win contenders into the Final Speed category.) Step 5). After you’ve done this for each race, create a simple Consensus Box format such as the one below: For illustrative purposes, I’ve made up fictional names of horses. In each category, I simply listed each horse in ranking order. For example, Mr. Quick is marked P1, because he had the best recent pace figures of any horse in the race. So, he is ranked first in the Early Speed box. Busy Boy was S2, because he had the 2nd best recent speed figures, so he is ranked 2nd in the Final Speed box. In the Totals box, I’ve allocated 3 points for 1st, 2 points for 2nd, and 1 point for being ranked 3rd. The top choice is Mr. Quick. He earned 3 points for being ranked 1st in Final Speed, 2 points for being ranked 2nd in Early Speed, and 1 point for being ranked 3rd in Late Speed. Mr. Quick is a solid choice here. He has competitive early and late speed, and the top speed rating. This is a horse that is not only fast enough to win the race, but he has tactical speed and can finish. Follow this approach for each race. Now you may ask, “If I’ve already done my handicapping, why should I bother to take these extra steps?” As I’ve stated in past writings, all handicappers, myself included, have the tendency to land on the obvious horses. Common sense just points Early Speed MR TOP MR QUICK BUSY BOY
Late Speed MR CLOSER ONE RUN GUY MR QUICK
Issue # 29
us to the horse with the best recent that appears to be good value. speed figure, or the horse that set a But, if you want to be successful as fast pace and just missed in last. The an exotic bettor, you have to leave consensus box establishes a new the window open and allow for the protocol. fact that the horses that finish behind This consensus box actually helps the winner are not always one of the me think inside of the box! First prime win contenders. of all, the horses listed in this box I’ve been fortunate in my career may not even be the same horses to have known some very good that I picked following my regular successful bettors. All of them handicapping process. My goal is to are exotic bettors. But they have find the long shot or overlay winners something else in common. They that the general public overlooked. know how to handicap for 2nd and When you begin to use this 3rd. Consensus Box approach, you’ll see Multiple Race Exotics that quite a few of the Early Speed At first glance, multiple race exotics, contenders win and pay big prices, such as the Daily Double and Pick even if they are not one of the Final 3, appear to fall into a different Speed contenders. Thoroughbred category. Just try to pick the main win horses that possess sharp early speed contenders. Unfortunately, using the can get used in the pace and get tired most common handicapping process in the late stages. But, these speed doesn’t cut it. Yes, you will pick types often hang on when least enough win contenders to cash Pick expected when the beneficiary of a 3 tickets. But too often, players end softer pace scenario. up hitting the lower-priced tickets. The Late Speed horses are also The long term profit in these types of live at a price. Think of all the times bets comes from the long shots that when you had the winner keyed in are not used on many tickets. trifectas or exactas, and some long Again, the Consensus Box method shot came out of the clouds at the is an enormous help, because it last second and nosed you out of the will list many of these long shot winning number. The Late Speed winners in one of the 3 categories. horses in your Consensus Box are It helps you find live contenders that those horses. Now you know who to fall outside of your regular way of use ‘underneath’. handicapping. This Consensus Box method is To learn more about Bob Pandolfo’s particularly effective for structuring systems and handicapping methodolexotic wagers. The key word here ogy, including the Harness Diamond is “structuring.” Too often, this final part of the handicapping process falls System, go to www.trotpicks.com or write to: apart. We go through the necessary steps to pick the winner, but the not Pandymonium Publications, the correct steps to pick the horses 3386 Creek Rd,. that will be used in exotics. Northampton, PA. 18067 You don’t have to stop your regular … handicapping process. Horses to watch at Hastings By all means, try to find the top 3 win contenders. G Its Late—should improve off his first start If you’re a good Out of the Clouds—best at a distance of ground handicapper, more than 50% of the time, one of Zimba—wide trip hurt his chances last time out those 3 horses will win Nine O’Clock Gun—should see improvement the race. By eliminating next start horses and narrowing Flaming Seven—a post closer inside will help the race down to 3 solid next time out win contenders, you put yourself in a position Marketize—just missed last time where you can evaluate Aztec Ruler-laying closer to the pace could do the odds and key a horse the trick
Totals MR QUICK 6 BUSY BOY 3 MR TOP 3
Roses For Ben—an awkward start last time compromised his chances Cry Cry Cry—needed that first start
Doc Nick’s Vet Talk
Issue # 29
… Outbreak of neurological disease caused by EHV-1
by Dr. Nick Kleider DVM
Currently, there are reports of equine herpes virus myeloencephalopathy (EHM) affecting an unconfirmed number of horses in the U.S. and Canada. This outbreak appears related to initial cases at a cutting horse show in Ogden Utah, which was held from April 29th – May 8th. The AAEP has gathered information on this outbreak and other resources for your reference here: Equine herpes virus myeloencephalopathy (EHM) is another name for the neurologic disease associated with equine herpes virus (EHV) infections. Neurological signs appear as a result of damage to blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord associated with EHV infection. Interference with the blood supply leads to tissue damage and a subsequent loss in normal function of areas in the brain and spinal cord. To date, nine EHVs have been identified worldwide. Three of these—EHV-1, EHV-3, and EHV4—pose the most serious health risks for domesticated horses and can have significant economic impacts on the equine industry. EHV-1: Can cause four manifestations of disease in horses, including a neurological form, respiratory disease, abortion, and neonatal death. EHM is most often due to mutant or neuropathogenic strains of EHV-1, so called because of a particular mutation in the genome. EHV-3: Causes a venereal disease called equine coital exanthema that affects the external genitalia. EHV-4: Causes a nonfatal upper respiratory tract disease in foals and is uncommonly associated with abortion and rarely with neurologic disease. Neurological signs appear as a result of damage to blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord associated with EHV infection. How common are EHV-1 infections? By 2 years of age, almost all horses have been infected with EHV-1. The initial exposure generally occurs in foals from contact with their dams. The virus can then become latent, or inactive, in the horse’s body, setting up a carrier state that is life-long. Horses of any age that are carriers of EHV-1 do not show any external signs of disease when the virus is in a latent form. The virus can be reactivated during times of stress, such as strenuous exercise, longdistance transport, or at weaning. The transmission of EHV-1 occurs after an exposure to an adult horse or foal with an active EHV-1 viral infection. This exposure generally occurs via respiratory shedding of the virus. The infected adult horse or foal may or may not be exhibiting clinical signs of disease.
Why should we be concerned about EHV-1? EHV-1 is the primary cause of EHM. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of EHV-1 cases, especially EHM, reported in the United States. There have also been several outbreaks of EHM at large horse facilities and events—at racetracks, horse show grounds, veterinary clinics, and boarding stables. The large number of horses that can be exposed on such premises and the serious nature of the disease have caused significant concern within the animal health community and the US horse industry. Furthermore, these recent occurrences of EHM appear to meet the criteria of an emerging disease. A disease is considered to be “emerging” when it satisfies at least one of three criteria: 1. The disease is identified for the first time in a region or country; 2. A disease changes in severity, type of animal that can be infected, or other changes in pathogen behaviour; or 3. There is a change in geographic range of a disease or in its incidence within a range. EHM likely meets the second criterion of an emerging disease, as the recent EHV-1 outbreaks seem to be associated with a change in the severity and behaviour of the virus. It is possible that the reporting of EHV-1 cases has increased, rather than an actual increase in the number and severity of cases; however, more data are needed to make such a distinction. The virus can be reactivated during times of stress, such as strenuous exercise, long distance transport, or at weaning. The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact. This virus is shed from infected horses via the respiratory tract or through direct or indirect contact with an infected aborted fetus and fetal membranes. Horses may appear to be perfectly healthy yet spread the virus via the secretions from their nostrils. It is important
to realize that EHV-1 can also be spread indirectly through contact with physical objects contaminated with infectious virus. Examples of such objects include: Tack, wipe rags or other grooming equipment, feed and water buckets, people’s hands or clothing. The air around a horse that is shedding the virus can also be contaminated with infectious virus. Although we know that the virus can become airborne, it is difficult to establish the distance the virus can spread in this manner under typical horse management and environmental conditions. Signs of EHM include: • Fever preceding neurologic signs (either in a horse diagnosed with EHM or in horses that have been exposed to a horse diagnosed with EHM), • Decreased coordination, • Urine dribbling, • Loss of tail tone, • Hind limb weakness, • Leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, • Lethargy, and • Inability to rise. Horses may appear to be perfectly healthy yet spread the virus via the secretions from their nostrils. How is the disease diagnosed? Ideally, your veterinarian will collect both nasal swab and blood samples to optimize arriving at a diagnosis. • Nasal swab collection for laboratory examination and detection of virus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay or by virus isolation. • Blood collection to detect the virus by PCR assay or by virus isolation. Blood samples should be collected 2 to 3 weeks apart for levels of antibodies specific to EHV-1. • Necropsy examination of a horse with neurologic disease that dies or has to be euthanized, or necropsy examination of an aborted fetus/fetal membranes. Necropsy provides an important means of confirming the presence of EHV-1 disease. The standard form of care for EHM is primarily supportive. Treatments may include intravenous fluids or anti-inflammatory drugs. Antibiotics may be used to treat a secondary bacterial infection if one develops; however, antibiotics have no effect on the equine herpes virus itself.
Antiviral drugs have also been used to treat EHM cases. Research on the efficacy of these drugs, their cost effectiveness, and the optimal dosing regimen for EHM is still underway. There are many steps you can take to help prevent the spread of EHV-1. • Stop horse movement if your animals may be infected with EHV1. This is the most important first step horse owners can take. Horses should neither enter nor leave a premises where EHM has been diagnosed until cleared by the veterinarian. • Do not allow horses exposed to EHM case(s) to have contact with unexposed horses on the premises. • Isolate sick horses. Horses that have aborted or shown signs of fever, respiratory disease, or neurologic disease should be separated from healthy horses. Ideally, the sick horse(s) should be moved into a separate building or paddock on the premises, or be transported to a veterinary hospital with an isolation facility. • Do not share equipment among horses on the facility. Since this virus can be spread from horse to horse via contaminated objects such as water/ feed buckets or bridles, equipment should not be shared among horses. • Practice proper biosecurity measures to prevent people from spreading the virus. Since people can transfer this virus from horse to horse via their hands and clothing, personnel should wash their hands after handling one horse and before handling another. They should also change their clothes and footwear after working with a sick horse. Optimally, a person who takes care of a sick horse should not work with healthy horses. When this is not practical, healthy horses should be handled first and sick horses last. Wearing gloves and using disinfectant to sanitize footwear can also help minimize the risk of people spreading the virus between animals. Vaccines exist to control the respiratory and abortion manifestations of EHV-1; however, the currently licensed vaccines are not labeled for the prevention of EHM. University and private researchers are looking into several existing vaccines to determine if they protect against EHM. New vaccines for EHM are also being studied.
With four wins and a pair of runner-up performances, harness driver Jody Jamieson topped the point standings to win the 2011 National Driving Championship on Saturday, May 7 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park in P.E.I., and will represent Canada in the World Driving Championship this summer. Jamieson, the 2001 World Driving Champion, took the lead in the point standings early on with a pair of second-place finishes aboard Distinctive Lewy and Unfluffnbelievable in the first two legs of the eight-race competition. The 34-year-old resident of Moffat, Ont. then followed up those close performances with four consecutive victories to extend his lead in the standings. Jamieson sent Joshs Deal three-wide past the third quarter mark and opened up nine and a half lengths enroute to his first win of the day in the third leg. He then sent Courtside to command from third at the half-mile mark and cruised to a two length victory in the fourth leg. Jamieson and Pan Cushion cleared the lead at the quarter pole in the next leg and kicked away to score by six and a half lengths. Jamieson picked up his fourth consecutive victory in the sixth leg aboard Howdidchado, who went three-deep down the backstretch and kicked away to score by five and a half lengths. Jamieson finished eighth in the final two legs of the competition but his four-win performance earned him enough points to secure his spot atop the standings at the finish line. Atlantic Canada
A Letter from Derek Sturko
To Key Industry Principals:
I am writing concerning the 2011 financial allocations in support of horse racing in British Columbia. The difficult financial circumstances in which the industry finds itself and the significant decline in revenue in recent years has created ongoing challenges for revitalizing the industry, despite the modest budget surplus in 2010 and the increase in government funding. Since January, the industry’s financial working group has been monitoring actual revenue, compared to the revenue forecasted for the industry on which initial 2011 allocations were made. Your representatives on the working group
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Issue # 29
representatives Gilles Barrieau and Kenny Arsenault finished second and third respectively. Barrieau picked up two wins and Arsenault earned one victory. Western Canada representative Brandon Campbell also picked up one victory. “I couldn’t be happier,” said Jamieson during the winner’s presentation. “Honestly, when I first signed the contract to represent Woodbine at the regionals my goal was to win the whole thing. To be lucky enough to win the regionals and win the National Driving Championship, I’m so Mr. Cloverdale, a.k.a. Dave Hudon, finished a respectable fifth with 38 thrilled there is only points in the Canadian National Driving Championships on May 7th. one driver from 10 countries including Jamieson, one more thing to win and that’s the World Driving Championship. I’m the reigning World Driving Champion Birger Jørgensen of Denmark, Enrico Bellei of Italy, really pumped about it. I can’t wait.” Jamieson will represent Canada in the 2011 Michael Nimczyk of Germany, Björn Goop of World Driving Championship hosted by the Sweden, Franck Nivard of France, Juan Antonio United States Trotting Association from July 31 Riera-Rosello of Spain, Chris Lewis of Australia, to August 5. The 20-heat tournament will feature Dexter Dunn of New Zealand and Jason Bartlett of the United States. have; • Kept you informed about the results of that process; • Made you aware that wagering has not reached the forecasted levels for the year to date; and • Advised you that all parties to that process (which includes all key industry organizations) have concluded that allocations need to be reduced in order to avoid a deficit. The shortfall to date is $628,000, primarily because of a decline in wagering at Fraser Downs. The working group’s analysis indicates that, by the end of the year, revenue will be approximately $840,000 less than the forecasted amount. As a result of the conclusions of the working group, the Management Committee is reducing allocations to the track operator, the thoroughbred sector and the standardbred sector in proportion to their respective percentages of the overall industry allocation in line with the forecasted shortfall. The changes are summarized in the following table. ALLOCATION REDUCTIONS ($millions) Allocation as of January 2011
New Allocation as of May 2011 Change Great Canadian Gaming Corporation 17.16 16.74 -0.42 TBC Teletheatre BC 13.00 0.00 Thoroughbred sector 10.26 10.01 -0.25 Standardbred sector 6.83 6.66 - 0.17 Advertising and Marketing fund 0.80 0.80 0.00 Total 48.05 47.21 -0.84 Target 47.21 -0.84 As soon as possible, and no later than June 10, please provide Jenny Poon of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation firstname.lastname@example.org with a revised budget that corresponds to the new allocation amounts. We appreciate your assistance in this difficult matter as we continue to work collectively to sustain and ultimately revitalize the industry. Sincerely, Derek Sturko Chair, BC Horse Racing Industry Management Committee
Remembering… Bryant McAfee
With great sadness we observe the passing of our longtime Secretary-Treasurer Bryant McAfee. Bryant served the racing community, locally and nationally, for 40 years. He loved racing and he spent much of his life helping people who felt the same way. He owned horses for many years, had some that could run, notably Professor Moriarty and Seminole Brave, and some others that might have been a step slower. Regardless of the outcome, he relished being in the race. While serving as Secretary-Treasurer of the HBPA of BC, Bryant was instrumental in establishing most of the programs that have over the years benefited our members. Dental care, scholarships, benevolence to help good people get through bad times, they were all important to him, but it was the Winner’s Foundation and helping others deal with substance abuse that was particularly close to his heart. Bryant knew a demon or two in his time, but none that he did not overcome. That knowledge and experience led him to devote enormous time and effort to helping others win their battles with addiction. There are many people, at the track and elsewhere, who owe their normal and productive lives to the fact that Bryant McAfee understood their struggles and cared. Bryant attended King Edward High School where he excelled academically and as an athlete in basketball, baseball and football. He also made lifelong friends there as sixty years later he was still getting together with his former teammates for lunch. Accounting school and a degree followed. After graduation, he established a career and was designated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC as a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA). Over time he built a large accounting firm that he subsequently sold. After selling his company, Bryant moved his life fulltime to the track and despite retiring from the HBPA in 2010, he never really left. He went into the hospital 3 weeks ago for a procedure that was delayed several times due to complications. A number of people talked and visited with him during that time and all reported that he was upbeat and looking forward to the season. His long time friend and horse partner Michael Bye visited with him the day before he passed. They talked for more than an hour in a conversation that was always pointed toward the future. A two-year old they mutually owned had just worked for the first time and Bryant was eager for the details. “And how did he gallop out,” Bryant wanted to know? Well friends, Bryant McAfee galloped out while thinking about the future and races to come. May we all do the same. Bryant is survived by Ethel, his wife of 55 years as well as three children, Bob, Lynn, and Susan and two grand children, Scott and Madeline. Courtesy HBPA of BC
Issue # 29
Colt foaled March 2 by Abraaj - Honey Brown by Topsider, property of Rob MacDonald
Filly foaled February 23 by Abraaj - Four Girls by Foxhound, property of Rob MacDonald
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The Gilker Clan is a Dedicated Group
by Kent Gilchrist
There is something more believable when a trainer backs up his talk by putting up his own money when he happens to see a horse he likes. Sometimes it seems as if veteran Hastings Racecourse conditioner Rob Gilker has more of his own horses in the barn on the backstretch than those of others. But when Gilker sees a horse he fancies he suggests to his owners that they should put in a claim. After he goes through his list of owners and if there are no takers, he and wife/partner Vicky often will claim ones they particularly like. Of the 19 he presently has at the track he and Vicky own eight. Lots of times they have claimed, lost and reclaimed favourites. While he isn’t the only one, Newton John was one in particular that Gilker liked. He claimed him, lost him and his new owners shipped him to California and Gilker actually went down and claimed him back. There are few things better than having one of their own respond to the Gilker’s gentle handling. That was probably why he wore a smile a mile wide last Saturday in the winner’s circle after Cherokee Tear had finally reeled in race favourite Riboletto on the home stretch in the second race. Cherokee Tear went off as the 6-to-1 third betting choice and paid $14.10 for a $2 investment. He showed a lot of heart dueling Riboletto from the outside all the way around the 6 furlong race. It was his second win in as many starts this year for the seven-year-old gelding Gilker claimed from Lara Racing Stables last July for $5,000. Gilker has been around the track his entire life. His father Walter was a trainer and son Rob hot-walked horses since he was a small boy. Now he has his own son Shane, 6, spouting French around the backstretch because he’s going to a French Immersion kindergarten. Proud papa believes Shane has turned ambivalent folks into kid lovers on the backside just as he is trying to encourage more folks into becoming race horse owners. To that end he is on about every Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) committee he can be. “We live and breathe the business so we need to do what we can.” Being an owner and trainer is often fun, but there’s no shortage of pain, either. “We had to put Bank Emblem (winner of three stakes in 2009 including the Longden 6000) down because of a fractured ankle,” said a still upset Gilker. “We tried everything. That’s the toughest thing to have to do.”
Issue # 29
The Good Old Days
Asked by many h o r sem en Why isn’t Bob Hall in the Hall of Fame. He is the only owner in BC racing history to have two Stakes races named after horses he has owned and trained, George Royal and Timber Music.
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