Two weeks before the Derby, and now Mark Cramer is ready to ring in with his initial impressions of the big race. If Cramer is starting to think about the first Saturday in May, so should we. After all, it was none other than Cramer who warned us not to get too keyed up too soon about racing's glamour events; in fact, he likened all that pre-handicapping -- in the media, in our dens -- to excessive foreplay!
With Cramer beginning to get in the mood, we've opened up the C&X Web site again, just like we did six months ago just before the Breeders' Cup. And you know what happened then. And you know what's likely to happen this time, too.
In case you don't know, here's a summary: Reports of big scores and amazement at Cramer's lucid, powerful, practical and, best of all, wildly profitable analysis are still coming in. The man keyed us in on the live Europeans, and they came through, especially Banks Hill at 6-1. He sold us on the rock-solid Fantastic Light in the Turf, a great single to have in the multiple-win exotics. In all, a few minutes invested in Cramer's decisive, clear-cut analysis (quite different from the "you-cannot-be-wrong, your-reality-is-the-thame-ath-abtholute-reality" touchy-feely claptrap making the rounds right now) proved rather lucrative. And it was as instructive as it was rewarding. It combined skill and humor, talent and specifics.
Well, there's more where that came from, and it's up on the board right now. Go to the crisp and clean C&X Web site and see what Cramer thinks about the Derby, first-pass.
This is a free service to current subscribers to C&X Report. If you accessed Cramer's Breeders' Cup analysis last October, your User Name and Password are the same; just note the new address www.cynthiapublishing.com/candx. Have fun.
And if you're new to this, how do you get involved? Easy. Subscribe now to Mark Cramer's C&X Report and you'll be granted access to Cramer's online reports. Information is available at the Cynthia Publishing Company Handicapping Store. When we receive your order -- whether online or by phone -- we'll move you toward the next step.
If you're currently a subscriber but don't have a User Name and Password, please e-mail us and we'll help you get set up.
Of course, Merry Derby!
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 30, 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.)
Mike Helm has done it again.
Last time, we introduced his Freshman Sires of 2002. Now is the moment to unveil his most recent edition of Debut Sires
The 2002 edition contains the latest and greatest updated winning first-time-starter sire profiles. More descriptive and effective than plain old numbers, Helm's Debut Sires lists the exact conditions under which a sire's debutantes raced to win. Not all of a sire's first-time starters and alike, and Debut Sires will help you distinguish the live issues from the duds. It gives you a nice edge on the stats freaks -- your pedigree plays will become much more effective, thanks to the texture and depth Helm offers. You'll begin to understand and appreciate this often tricky aspect of handicapping.
That's the first edge Helm provides. The other is his Freshman Sires of 2002. It tells you who'll be the hot new studs dominating juvenile racing this year. It's like putting yourself 12 months ahead of fellow handicappers, who won't know this information until next year. Get it now!
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.
Week 2 is in the books, and there have been even more terrific showings already after four days of play.
The nice things about this contest is that it combines the Kentucky Derby prep races into the calculations. It's like tournaments with "mandatory" races. 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 we'll be rooting for you.
Cramer is great, but we're jealous. He makes us look bad. The guy just joins in at the eighth-pole of the Derby chase -- after we've been setting a fast and labored pace -- and he just blows by us in a matter of strides. His commentary -- in but a few hundred words -- is more authoritative and compelling than pages and reams and tomes of our own. Thank goodness for Cramer! Bless him! There's room for all kinds.
Nevertheless, we trudge on, undaunted. The sense of clarity that was supposed to result from the final round of major Derby preps indeed came about, except only one thing became clearer: the picture is even more scrambled than before.
Nothing eye-popping or definitive emerged from last Saturday. There was no this-is-the-one-horse-to-beat certainty at the end of any of the three races. Rather, the talk turned to thoughts of another 20-horse full field and seeing which hopefuls would wind up out of the running because they couldn't qualify on graded-stakes earnings.
Sunday Break is one of the current interlopers. He isn't in the top 20 in earnings, and he couldn't blow past the dueling Buddha and Medaglia d'Oro in the final stages of the Wood. Those three finished within a half-length of each other, a clear three lengths ahead of the ever-plodding Saarland.
Harlan's Holiday took the Blue Grass by nearly five lengths, but none of the horses he vanquished exactly harbored big Derby hopes. It was no coronation, despite the large margin.
Of all places, perhaps the best performance came out of Oaklawn Park, where Private Emblem continued his improvement, lashing out at a woefully light Arkansas Derby field that was probably even less competitive than the one in the Blue Grass.
In the Wood, Buddha and Medaglia d'Oro displayed their blossoming talent as well as their immaturity. Neither could put his rival away in a race that marked the first time that either had been tested in deep stretch. Sunday Break was either being saved for the Derby, or the opposition has caught up with him. Saarland moved forward in his second start as a three-year-old. Is he ever going to get there?
Harlan's Holiday did what he was supposed to -- win the Blue Grass -- but there was nothing emphatic about the way he went about his business. A field of frontrunning quitters and and Euro-style plodders provided zero challenge in the late stages, as if they were going to trouble him at Keeneland in the first place. By virtue of his back-to-back prep scores, Harlan's Holiday becomes the early favorite in this year's Derby. Good luck.
Private Emblem did as much as he could -- whoop-up on the midwesterners -- but the jury's still out. Could he maintain the lead against the likes of Buddha and Medaglia d'Oro and Harlan's Holiday? That's the question.
If it all sounds familiar, go back three years to 1999, when a melange of Derby hopefuls named General Challenge and Vicar and Cat Thief and Prime Timber and so many others were unable to prevent the shocker of Charismatic and Menifee, two stone closers whose only claim to fame was a Tampa Bay Derby win between them -- and it wasn't Charismatic who accounted for that, even. There's your so-called template. That's the race type, eh? Gotta be right, they tell us! Hoo boy.
Fitting that plod-along, not-brilliant-but-still-a-winner profile this year are the long-suffering Saarland and the improbable Lusty Latin (doubtful, but like Charismatic, a onetime claimer). The fresh-horse stunner could be Perfect Drift, whose keen, nowhere-near-his-top win in the Spiral is looking better all the time, nevermind Azillion's non-showing on the Keeneland speedtrap.
Whew. That's a lot of hyphens.
Officer won't go in tomorrow's Coolmore Lexington, which is too bad, because he might have had all his detractors (yeh, us included) swallowing long and hard.
Ethan Man moves into the role of favorite, and deservedly so. While this guy does make his route debut, he couldn't have a better spot for it: on the lonely lead, at Keeneland.
If he falters in the lane, the likeliest upsetters should be second-favorite Easyfromthegitgo and the longer-priced Proud Citizen, who should be right behind 'Ethan and ready to inherit the lead if the other's genetics come up short. Also in the 'Citizen's favor: one Mr. D. Wayne Lukas cinching the saddle.
Tails of the Crypt is the best, most consistent rallier in here, but this is not the track for those late-running heroics. However, if he somehow gets into the mix at Churchill 14 days hence, he could be one of your Invisible Ink/Menifee-type ralliers on the board!
In the end, we'll try a win bet on Lukas -- er Proud Citizen -- and have exactas with Ethan Man on top of Proud Citizen and Tails of the Crypt.
In Maryland, Cal Ripken Jr. might be retired, but Magic Weisner is doing his best to keep the Baltimore legacy alive. He goes in the Federico Tesio at Pimlico, aiming for his sixth consecutive victory. If you're worried about the track switch, maybe, but he did break his maiden at this trip six months ago.
Amazingly, despite all that winning, 'Magic isn't even the morning-line favorite. That honor goes to Smoked Em off the layoff and down from New York for trainer Todd Pletcher. This would be like rooting for the Yankees at Camden Yards. No respect for the homer!
Beyond those two, your upsetter could be Heir d'Twine, a useful sort also from New York. He should be rolling along late.
Best wishes for a profitable weekend.
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