It's now time to update your Cynthia Publishing par times, and for a limited time, you can save some money and get some terrific bonuses, too. These profuse rewards are our way of thanking you for your patience and support.
Translation: Your copy of the 2002 PARS PLUS Special 10th Anniversary Edition will be available for shipment soon, and that's only some of the good news. This year's pars are cause for celebration. You'll draw on our solid decade of experience in providing the ultimate in par-time information. But that's not all. You'll also leap ahead of the rest by taking your knowledge and application of pars to a spectacular new level no one else can show you. And you'll get all of this at a remarkable discount and with some very special gifts.
Back to the pars. You'll get them in our traditional, time-honored, three-call format for all the racetracks, both dirt and turf, in North America. So if you're accustomed to using the par times as the basis for your handicapping, you're set. You know the value of updating your pars annually.
But if you're hungry for extra handicapping tools, 2002 PARS PLUS has plenty to satisfy your needs. We're excited to be able to provide average daily variants; improved, more-realistic track-class levels; and more-practical intertrack class-level ratings than before. They'll help simplify your handicapping experience. These three tools alone are dynamite in getting quick reads on track-surface speeds and shippers, without needing to go through the entire exercise of comparing pars from one track to the next. In this age of full-card multi-track simulcasting, quick-handicapping is the key, and having handicapping information such as average daily variants, track-class levels and intertrack class-level ratings will slash hours from your handicapping load.
There's more. We're also pleased to be able to provide you with a brand-new way of evaluating how tracks behave for each combination of track, distance and surface. We call it WMF (Winning Move Factor), but you'll call it money. You'll use WMF to confidently eliminate noncontenders and understand how changes as subtle as switching distance or moving from one track to another can boost a horse that looks dull, or help knock off a low-odds horse that looks sharp.
Better yet, WMF is a real eye-opener that translates easily take from track to track. Ever wonder why your pet early-speed plays do better at some tracks than others? With the handy WMF, you won't be left wondering anymore. You'll know. Better yet, you'll be able to temper your enthusiasm for these plays when they take place at tracks whose WMF is disadvantageous to frontrunners. And bet with confidence over surfaces where the WMF is in your favor.
And don't worry - if you're allergic to numbers, there'll be meaningful, practical articles to help explain the numbers to you and how you can use them to help your handicapping.
By themselves, these outstanding information resources and articles would be enough. But why stop there? Perhaps the most exciting aspect of your 2002 PARS PLUS materials are the bold advances we've made in taking the practice and theory of par times to the next level. We have combined many more hours of research plus a savvy for all-important local knowledge to change the way you approach and think about the game. On each coast and everywhere in-between, you'll begin to understand the game like never before, thanks to logical, sensible and thought-provoking inquiries that should have been made long ago but, amazingly enough, appear for the first time only in 2002 PARS PLUS. We're committed to seeing your handicapping is as well-informed as possible.
These developments in 2002 PARS PLUS Special 10th Anniversary Edition truly are cause for a lot of celebration, but the icing on the cake is the price: 2002 PARS PLUS is unchanged at $107 (including shipping and handling; $115.25 for California residents to cover applicable state sales tax). That's right! You get three-call par times for all the tracks in North America, PLUS terrific handicapping tools like average daily variants, track-class levels, intertrack class-level ratings, PLUS the WMFs for every track PLUS eye-opening articles tying it all together PLUS great local-knowledge pointers for a hundred bucks, plus shipping and handling. What an overlay!
It gets even better. In our quest to continually delight you, we'll make the deal even sweeter. We're obviously excited about the 2002 PARS PLUS Special 10th Anniversary Edition and everything inside. But if you place your order for the 2002 PARS PLUS Special 10th Anniversary Edition book now, we'll deliver two extra-special bonuses before May 1 - at no additional charge. They're called "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties," one for Southern California trainers and another for their New York Racing Association counterparts. Don't let the crazy title fool you - these excellent guides give you more than just the usual, tired-old stats. You'll get vivid word-pictures and descriptions that actually put you inside the trainers' heads to uncover their winning m.o.'s. In other words, you'll know when a trainer is ready to strike - or not, as the case may be. Valued at $25 apiece, that's a $50 bonus, yours free with your prompt order of the 2002 PARS PLUS Special 10th Anniversary Edition.
So let's recap. It's time to update your par times, not to mention get such improved supplemental tools as average daily variants, track-class levels, intertrack class-level ratings and WMFs for all North American tracks. It's also time to tie it all together with fascinating, provocative and thought-provoking articles on the very latest par-time handicapping techniques based on local knowledge of the various tracks. And if you order now, you receive all these outstanding handicapping resources for $107 ($115.25 for California residents) - PLUS you get two more extra-special bonuses ("The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties" for Southern California and New York) FREE! How can you lose?
If you're an ALL-IN-ONE, Easy Capper or Fast Capper user and want to upgrade to the 2002 par times, no problem. Order by April 15 and for $107 ($115.25 for California residents) you get the 2002 par-times update for your software, the printed supplemental material from the 2002 PARS PLUS Special 10th Anniversary Edition book AND your two "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Trainer Subtleties" bonuses at no extra charge.
To order by phone with a major credit card, call (323) 876-7325. Or fax your order information to (323) 874-1591. Or visit our brand-new Web site at www.cynthiapublishing.com and click on any link alongside announcing the 2002 PARS PLUS Special 10th Anniversary Edition. Or if you like to do business the old-fashioned way, please mail your payment to Cynthia Publishing Company, 11314 Ventura Blvd. #524, Studio City, CA 91604. P.S. Remember, this very special offer is good only for orders placed by April 15, so don't delay. We appreciate your business. (And if you need more information, please enjoy the additional information at the Cynthia Publishing Company Handicapping Store.)
Who'll be the hot new studs dominating juvenile racing this year? Get the jump on your fellow handicappers with Mike Helm's new publication Freshman Sires of 2002.
Helm previews numerous sires whose first crop to race will be coming in 2002. He reviews each sire's racing career with an eye toward predicting in which situations their progeny should succeed. Best of all, since these sires have yet to compile any statistics, they go ignored by 99.9 percent of the betting public, which means you'll be able to cash in on some juicy prices.
A terrific complement to Freshman Sires of 2002 is Helm's Debut Trainer Guide 2002. It goes beyond the unthinking monotony of the fat numbers-crunchers by providing specific situations behind a trainer's debut wins. It adds texture to the numbing stats provided by everyone else. For a better understanding of the hows and whys behind debut-trainer patterns, definitely check out Helm's work. It combines the cold, hard facts with the warm touch only the soul of a poet could provide. For more on Debut Trainers and Freshman Sires, please click on this link to the Cynthia Publishing Company Handicapping Store.
Of course, don't forget about the newest offering from the illustrious Mark Cramer: the authoritatively titled Hidden Probabilities: Hard-Core Research for X-Rated Horseplayers.
In inimitable Cramer style and packed with unique research, Galileo-inspired thinking and writing (with high-level concepts made easy to grasp, thanks to Cramer's renowned facility with the English language), this new booklet is an ambitious blend of the nearly mechanical, the almost-magical and the fully inspired. That's because our friend Cramer takes 10 time-honored and simple handicapping concepts and pulses them through the kink-o-master machine, coming up with a stunning creation of staggering beauty and elegance that's good enough to eat.
Whoa. That's just plain silly. But you get the idea. Hidden Probabilities: Hard-Core Research for X-Rated Horseplayers is going to be another valuable addition to the handicapping literature, courtesy of someone who knows how to do just that.
Reset the counters to zero. Engines to steam. Warp speed, Mr. Sulu. Or something like that.
It's time for everybody to get (back) into the act with a new monthlong contest involving real American dollars. There are two opportunities to score, and you'll find all the details on our contest page.
Oh, yeah. Best wishes for a good contest, and congratulations to our two finalists from March Madness -- Scott K. (your winner) and Robert D. (your valiant runner-up).
Spring is, well, springing. Keeneland opened today, Lone Star last night. Jerry Bailey dominated both premieres, but if anyone can follow that, it's Willie Nelson! (In case you didn't know, he's performing at Lone Star tonight!)
Keeneland behaved to type. All the dirt races were gate-to-wire affairs, except at seven furlongs. The moves were all inside, and in terms of your handicapping, proceed accordingly, until further notice.
Trainer W. Elliott Walden won a pair of races, and he's always a man to be reckoned with among the stone-and-ivy setting of the venerable Lexington oval. Also as usual, never neglect the amazing combination of Bailey with trainer Bill Mott.
If it's Texas, it's Steve Asmussen, who won three times on the Lone Star curtain-raiser. The turf was its usual late-running self, but the main track figures to be a fair surface all meet long.
Good luck over there.
Magic Weisner wins for the fifth consecutive time. Good for him, bad for the rest of the burgeoning (OK, that's a joke) three-year-old ranks in Maryland.
And there you have it.
This is it.
No turning back now. The next two weekends will determine the shape and complexion of the 2002 Kentucky Derby field. The winners will move forward, as will the close runner-ups. Upsetters will keep the dream alive, while those who continue to get thrashed will have to settle for a little rest, relaxation and a trip back to the conditioned-allowance ranks at their home track. It happens.
The big races tomorrow are the Santa Anita Derby and the Illinois Derby, with the latter actually drawing more attention than the former for perhaps the first and last time in history.
That's because the Illinois Derby has drawn a bona fide superstar (or at least a largely overhyped horse), while the Santa Anita version has a bunch of horses who stayed on the grounds while the budding hotshots left town for other races in other places.
Your bona fide superstar is, of course, Repent, rallying winner of two races this winter at Fair Grounds and now moving to Sportsman's Park in Chicago for the Illinois Derby. Not exactly a traditional Derby prep or route to Louisville, but a million-dollar bonus (for completing the Illinois-Kentucky double) is a million-dollar bonus.
At Santa Anita, no Siphonic, no Medaglia d'Oro, no Sunday Break. "Just" Came Home and Mayakovsky and Danthebluegrassman and a couple of others who will defend the honor of Magna West.
Don't forget, either, that Keeneland has a wonderful three-year-old filly race, the Ashland, headed by the frontrunning Take Charge Lady. (Gee -- frontrunners and Keeneland -- why don't they just take her picture right now?)
First off, the Illinois Derby. Nine others will try to stare down Repent. A couple might be able to do it.
At his best, Repent has been significantly faster than most of these. However, as a three-year-old he has yet to show that same flash of brilliance he showed in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile behind Johannesburg. Is he tailing off? Are his best days behind him?
That white-knuckle rally he made his backers endure in the Louisiana Derby probably won't get it done in here, to say nothing of the big Derby. For one, the track at Sportsman's just hasn't been as hospitable to late-runners the way Fair Grounds was. At Sportsman's, horses that don't draw abreast of the lead by the three-sixteenths are usually done.
But that trend was possibly a function of a bunch of races contested by fainthearted Ill.-breds, so a legitimate rallier such as Repent may be able to buck the trend. Or maybe not. If not, there's a particular up-close horse in here who could win by default.
That horse is the Southern California shipper Fonz's, who won't be on the lead early but could be all over it late. Fonz's is used to tracking just off fast SoCal fractions before turning it on late. His runner-up behind Siphonic in last year's Hollywood Futurity would be more than enough in here, and there was no disgrace in his comebacker, in which he engaged in the futility of trying to run down Came Home.
Fonz's has shown the important ability to sit off the pace before doing some quality running at the end, and he gets the jump on these guys, at a price bordering on double-figures.
Also look out for Publication, who has been a blank page as a three-year-old, but with excuses. Ability-wise, he's not far off Fonz's or Repent, and if he's cranked and ready, could come rolling hard in the final furlong.
Over in L.A., the Santa Anita Derby's top two morning-line choices are Came Home and Mayakovsky. Came Home has been Southern California's top three-year-old, but from the hype some of the expats (read: Medaglia d'Oro and Sunday Break) are getting, you might not have realized it. Came Home has posted stellar final-time figures, too, and no doubt has the talent to win any race he's in.
The nagging question? The bloodlines. It's been said that any Thoroughbred, under the right conditions, can go a long distance he's not bred for. Are these the right conditions? There are no world-beaters in here, and there are a bunch of fellow frontrunning-types entered, too.
Hard to say, but the price will not be as forgiving. Figure Came Home as a decisive favorite, probably less than 8-5.
In that case, the options depend on how the race unfolds. (When do they not?) Mayakovsky is going to be your leader, as evidenced by trainer Patrick Biancone's choice of rider, one Mr. Patrick Angel Valenzuela. Danthebluegrassman, fellow gate-rider David Romero Flores on board, holds the key to the race. If Flores pressures Valenzuela and Mayakovsky, Came Home has first run and a strong chance at a win by default.
If Flores shows restraint, one of two things happens: Mayakovsky skates to a romping win, or Danthebluegrassman runs down Maykovsky. Note that in neither of those calculations does Came Home figure. Came Home will need every bit of help from a Mayakovsky-Danthebluegrassman battle on the lead. Otherwise, one of those two will have enough in the lane to repel Came Home.
That doesn't even entertain the chances of the really deep closers, such as the maiden Jack Silver or the steady U S S Tinosa or Easy Grades, who rallied to finish second recently behind Came Home.
However you play it, look for something wacky to happen, perhaps up top, but definitely in the lower spots of the vertical exotics.
And then there's Take Charge Lady. Trainer Kenny McPeek was on the scene at Keeneland on Opening Day and was presumably watching the races, so he'll instruct jockey Tony D'Amico to play the cards same as always -- straight to the lead. However, McPeek isn't the only sharp conditioner on the grounds, and it's a fair bet some of the others will try to keep close company with Take Charge Lady down the backstretch, if they can. (It didn't work at Fair Grounds.)
If 'Lady doesn't appreciate the heat, and the track tries to undo the bias overnight, Belterra figures to have all the best of it. Dynamically, she's the most reliable closer in the field, if a closer is suddenly given a reasonable shot of winning at Keeneland.
One horse to look out for as an improving type: First Again, for Walden. She showed some talent as a two-year-old rallier, and might be a lot better off with a race under her belt.
As always, best wishes for a big weekend!
Two big races for older horses at Oaklawn, which begins its weeklong Racing Festival of the South.
In the Oaklawn Handicap, we'll try Kudos, a Southern Californian whose two dirt races have been competitive and are certainly within the scope of this group. Eddie D. gets him home in time ahead of the perennial late-run of the much-maligned-but-actually-a-contender-in-here Dollar Bill.
Three races later, it's the Apple Blossom for older females, and what a contentious affair it is. Miss Linda will try to take 'em all the way, but that's a tough job off the bench, especially against these gals. Look for Azeri, another Southern California shipper, to confirm her last-race explosion by prevailing in upper stretch here. Miss Linda to hang on to complete the exacta.
We appreciate your comments about this newsletter. Please send them to our staff. Thank you!
Cynthia Publishing 11314 Ventura Boulevard,
Suite 524 Studio City CA 91604
Voice (323) 876-7325 Fax (323) 874-1591