Value Play Picks

The Origin
I just got my bets in for the day, over 100 total legal wagers on the races across 11 tracks. Almost every bet is a win bet. It only took me about 20 minutes - that's it.

I am not necessarily saying that this is the most effective strategy, or even the most practical way to use our analysis, but it is possible and our research has indicated that it is profitable as well.

It's an incredibly exciting time at the site. We feel we have found a way to implement Pace and Form into ways that translate directly to actionable picks in a simple, clear manner. How was I able to analyze that many races that quickly?'s newly launched Value Plays analysis does all the work (part of the normal subscription, these are found on every Pace Figures page at the top and bottom of every race and as a separate Value Plays view).

Layering together the great work of Cary Fotias to understand and quantify pace and form with our automated processes to evaluate every track and race as well as the team's analytical expertise, we can now rank every horse by its likelihood of winning the race and value (initially relative to morning line odds). That analysis gives way to classifications on every horse in every race (like you may be used to seeing in Dan Zucker's thorough analysis of featured races on the blog).

The foundation of the Value Plays concept remains the Pace Figures (final and 4F), both in their calculated form and interaction with each other in a horse's history. From there, in order to assess each runner's chances of winning the race, we incorporate additional factors to better understand what to expect from the specific upcoming race being evaluated. These factors include:

  • Performance at this track
  • Performance on this surface
  • Performance racing this distance
  • Performance competing in this class
  • Days since last race
  • Pace Figure Form Cycle Patterns for this race
  • Post position
  • Lasix/Blinders
  • Trainer/Jockey changes
  • Extreme changes in distance from previous races

This in-depth analysis allows us to rank every horse by its projected finishing order as well as to classify each horse (the most likely winner is always the Top Contender in the race). To finalize the Value Plays concept, we incorporate morning line odds to uncover under or overvalued runners.

At the top and bottom of every race, the top four picks based on value are ordered for the race. We have also added the Value Plays View option (you can set this as your default view on the Account page - that is what I have done) that allows for sorting of horses on various metrics, including value and class.

Horses are classified in the following manner:

Horse Classifications (Value Play View)
  • Top Contender - The horse most likely to win the race.
  • Fringe Contender(s) - Any horse projected to finish within a length of the top contender in the most likely outcome of the race.
  • Too Slow - A horse that should not be considered likely to contend (in testing, these horses only win about 6% of the time despite being most common classification).
  • Breakout - Any horse that is not a Top or Fringe Contender, yet is expected to improve significantly from previous races based on pace and form. These are generally undervalued horses.
  • Regressor - The opposite of a Breakout runner, Regressors are often overvalued as they are expected to take noticeable steps back from previous races based on form and pace.
  • Average - The catch-all classification for any remaining horse, Average runners are not expected to win, break out or regress, but could be in the mix for contention.

In testing of this approach, which has spanned 5,000+ races, Top Contenders won more than 25% of the time and finished in the top three more than 60% of the time. Fringe contenders, won 19% of the time and finished in the top three 51% of the time. Average and Too Slow are the most common designations (averaging 2-3 per race), while Fringe Contenders and Breakouts show up (on average) every other race or so.

Historically, favorites in a race win just under 25% and hit the board between 50% and 60% of the time, so our projected favorite falls in line with that expectation. HOWEVER, the Top Contender in the Value Plays is not always the betting favorite. In fact, the Top Contender has been the actual betting favorite less than half the time. To still win at that rate has illustrated that simply playing Top Contenders to win has generated a healthy ROI (return on investment).

Value Plays give answers, in an automated, objective fashion for every single race (and every single horse in those races). It is the closest thing to a simple, clear, end-all, be-all approach that the market has seen. Obviously, additional strategies can be incorporated based on each individual's approach and preference. For example, in testing this, my father (a 40 year horse player) mentioned that he only plays fast tracks and generally avoids the first and last races at each track (though testing did not indicate this as a necessary stipulation). The riskier bettor may prefer to play long-shots that we value more than the market or exotics (exactas, trifectas) in which a few horses are clearly grouped together at the top of the race based on this analysis in hopes of the biggest pay days.

Many strategies are viable, now that the tools are in place to clearly interpret Pace, Form and Value.

- Paul Bessire
General Manager


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Welcome to Predicteform Pace Figures, Form Cycle Patterns and Value Play picks will tell you if a horse is likely to improve or regress in its next start. Easily accessible from any computer, tablet or mobile device, services horse players of all types. Access to printing PDF's is also available.

How do I get started?
Visit the Learn tab on the navigation bar where you'll find the Legend and Pattern Guide. These two tools combined will give you the knowledge you need to use

The Legend helps to explain how best to read the Pace Figures. It clearly defines what every line, symbol and figure means.

The Pattern Guide highlights Form Cycle Patterns, a series of 12 symbols/abbreviations, each with its own definition. These patterns are the easiest and most effective way to evaluate what we can expect from a horse's future performance and expected form cycle.

Value Play Picks use the automated technology and process to evaluate every track and race as well as the team's analytical expertise, we can now rank every horse by its likelihood of winning the race and value (initially relative to morning line odds).
Value Play picks are included as part of all subscriptions and you can view now on the Free Race of the Day.

Blinker's Off - We have also published founder Cary Fotias' unabridged book on Form Cycle Analysis, available by chapter free to all who register.

Free Race of the Day – Every day, we will make available the Pace Figures and Value Play Picks for at least one race. Pace Figures are what subscribers, both in the Value Play Picks and the comprehensive "advanced" view, can see for every horse of every race at every track. Check out today's free race here.

Free Track of the Weekend - Each weekend (Fri. - Sun.), Predicteform will offer access to the Value Play Picks, Pace Figures and Form Cycle Patterns. Access to this data will provide new users an ability to follow along and learn how read, analyze and use the Predicteform technology.

Where can I see sample races?
Click here to read examples of the Pace Figures and Form Cycle Pattern Analysis for the 2016 Preakness Stakes. Many more race examples and other content has been made available within the Blog section of the site.

Feedback is incredibly important to the team as we attempt to keep the spirit of founder, Cary Fotias' handicapping vision alive while also providing you with the best possible product. We encourage you to register/log in and send us comments, thoughts and questions about the site through Customer Support.

Let us know what you like and what you want to see more of. We are big believers in collaboration and hope you are as excited as we are about