Case the Race recently interviewed longtime handicapper and author of The One Minute Handicapper
, Frank DiTondo. He spoke enthusiastically about his approach and the recent Breeder’s Cup.
Case the Race: Please explain the basic approach outlined in your book, The One Minute Handicapper.
OMH: The One Minute Handicapper (OMH) Worksheet was created to identify OMH Betting Situations and to reduce the race to one sheet of paper. People who complete the worksheet avoid overlooking valuable information. The worksheet helps them make an informed wagering decision.
Case the Race: What do you mean by “betting situations”?
OMH: Rather than the traditional racetrack vernacular of “angles” which may have a negative connotation, my concept is to uncover “betting situations” and only bet when the betting situations dictate [a bet].
Case the Race: Your book includes illustrative examples of how your worksheets can be used to identify betting situations for each horse in a race. In the examples, there were several betting situations present. In fact, many horses had more than one situation identified. When there are so many situations identified in a race, is it just a matter of picking the horse (or horses) with the highest number of situations? In other words, of the 22 betting situations you reveal in your book, would you weigh them all equally?
OMH: Each horse [with situations identified] might not be a betting situation. One or two factors usually don’t make up a betting situation, but they could. You look for a key situation supported by an accompanying situation(s). It’s not just the number of situations you can count…If you want to weigh one situation more than another or to quantify it, you can do that according to your own criteria… For me, [handicapping] is both art and science. That’s why I don’t assign numbers. One subtle situation may trigger a bet.
Case the Race: Can you give me an example of how to apply your ideas in practice?
OMH: On Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup, the forth race was a mile on the turf…. Kip Deville had raced 13 times going a mile. He had 18 lifetime races on turf with 9 wins, all going a mile. Incredibly, every turf win had been going a mile, a phenomenal 70% win rate. Two of his 18 turf starts were at Santa Anita. Saturday’s race was at Santa Anita. He loves the grass at Santa Anita. In my betting situations lingo, that’s called a “preferred track”. He also won the same Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile Race last year. When you put that all together, that’s a bet! He ran second.
The winner was an Irish-bred filly named Goldikova with eight lifetime starts in France. It costs about $30,000 to ship over a horse and bring her regular jockey. In addition, there is a 50,000 entry fee -- for a total of $85,000 or more to simply run. She is also a three-year-old filly running against three-year-old and older males. Why do you think they would run a filly in a race that is open to older males and females? The DRF shows she has proven record. She has beaten older Grade 1 males in France. Usually, a three-year old filly does not beat older horses or males. The icing on the cake is that seven of her eight races were at a mile. She won 5 of the 7 and placed in the other two. Of seven starts at a mile, she had five wins and two seconds. Wow! Betting situations galore and an exacta bet with Kip Deville! The betting public saw that too.
Case the Race: What are your thoughts about using Case the Race data in handicapping?
OMH: Your measurements provide a way of determining the horses’ physical ability. In my opinion, I think [Case the Race] data can be very valuable when handicapping lightly-raced two- or three-year-old horses. There are two instances where it can be especially helpful. The first instance is when a horse is running a first or second race. The second instance is when lightly-raced two- and three-year-olds stretch out (going from a sprint to a route).
Case the Race: When I received The One Minute Handicapper, it was a whole package. What are all the things contained in the package?
OMH: You can buy the book separately from the package if you like. It includes ten worksheets in the back. For an additional ten dollars, you can also receive the OMH Value Package you described. The OMH Value Package includes: 100 double-sided worksheets, a laminated, reusable, wipe-away workbook, and five, no-smudge-wipe-away markers. All purchases include the One Minute Handicapper Newsletter -- including back issues, and ongoing support through phone and e-mail.
has been a race horse owner and long time student of horse racing. The lessons learned, knowledge, and experience he gained by associating with accomplished racing industry professionals helped hone his handicapping skills. The One Minute Handicapper
is the culmination of 63 years of learning. His book is available at The One Minute Handicapper