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Tom
11-05-2015, 03:43 PM
Anatomy of a long shot-

So letís dicuss a real race. Iím playing around with an approach that doesnít use, or at least rely on pace or speed figure, just changes in a horseís situation that might signal improvement today.

Opening day at Aqueduct, Race 5, #5, Lyrical Miracle, wins and pays $71.00.

Why so much, and how did he win?

I made him a contender, he had some postive angles going for him:

-3rd start off a layoff, some early speed last out
-positive barn change to a trainer who hits 25% with horses first time in his silks
- the rider who rode his to his onhly win is back on board today.
- not a proven loser, he has only lost three times at this level, and two of those were bookends around a layoff
- he is back at Aqueduct on the main, where his record is 3 0-1-1, so
- he had the second best back speed figure in the field

But is it enough to get past his not so appealing recent record and his high number of starts with only 1 win?

I could not throw him out, but I could not pull the trigger on himm either, and the whole point of my research is to find horses like this, and to bet them at big prices.

What are you thoughts on the race?
Anyone else play it, or better yet, have the winer?
How did you get him if you did, or why did you pass on him it you didnít?

Ocala Mike
11-05-2015, 03:49 PM
Had the winner and the exacta, thanks mostly to Serling:

From the Andy Serling thread -

tlg just had a $71.50 horse right on top (AQU Race 5), and the $361.50 exacta 1st and 3rd. Welcome back, Big A!

cj
11-05-2015, 03:57 PM
He was right up with the other leader (the 7) in the Pace Projector in a race favoring those on/near the early lead with a big gap back to the others. I always give these kind a shot on dirt. On turf, I'm more skeptical, have to have speed figures that are in the ballpark.

pandy
11-05-2015, 04:10 PM
I would imagine that Andy picked him because of the trainer change, but just a guess. The speed and fade angle was very week because he essentially was distanced in his last two starts at the same distance and a one mile race is not a good spot for a horse that crawls home every start. Speed and fade longshots are better bets in sprints.

Basically, the only angle that made any sense was the barn change. Without the trainer change, you'd have to hate your money to bet a horse like that, especially at the NYRA tracks, which are generally not kind to cheap speed horses that stop cold in the final quarter.


Two more trainer change winners today at Aqueduct, $20.80, $10.40, both going to trainers that have a higher win percentage than the former trainer.



According to Classhandicapper (on the Andy Serling thread), the new trainer (Donk) changed the horse's shoes and bit, and the horse was in good physical shape when they got it. But, things like that can make a huge difference. Sometimes when a trainers is struggling, and this horse's former trainer only had 1 win all year, the barn is not going to spend a lot of money making changes and that could be one of several reasons why they are ice cold and a trainer change helps.

Tom
11-05-2015, 04:25 PM
So I guess I could just save myself a lot of time and listen to Andy and CJ! :D

Overlay
11-05-2015, 09:00 PM
I don't have access to the past performances (so I can't say for sure), but from the elements already discussed, it sounds as if a multi-factor, full-field fair-odds line (such as the type that I develop) might have rated the horse as an overlay at those odds (even if not necessarily the one most probable winner of the race), and thus have been more likely to keep him on a bettor's radar, as opposed to a figure-based or elimination-based method of narrowing the field down to a single selection.

Oracle
11-05-2015, 09:54 PM
My thought is if you have decided the horse is a contender, and the horse is sitting on the board at >30-1, then by definition he would qualify as an overlay and should absolutely be bet in some fashion.

This is where taking a long-run view (1,000 plays for example, or 1 years play) makes it easier to bet these longshots. they probably won't win today, but over 1,000 plays if your handicapping is sound you should catch your fair share.

Great handicapping to not draw a line through him!

EMD4ME
11-05-2015, 09:59 PM
A bad favorite in that race, a key ingredient to betting a bomb ON TOP.

Stillriledup
11-06-2015, 12:30 AM
I would imagine that Andy picked him because of the trainer change, but just a guess. The speed and fade angle was very week because he essentially was distanced in his last two starts at the same distance and a one mile race is not a good spot for a horse that crawls home every start. Speed and fade longshots are better bets in sprints.

Basically, the only angle that made any sense was the barn change. Without the trainer change, you'd have to hate your money to bet a horse like that, especially at the NYRA tracks, which are generally not kind to cheap speed horses that stop cold in the final quarter.


Two more trainer change winners today at Aqueduct, $20.80, $10.40, both going to trainers that have a higher win percentage than the former trainer.



According to Classhandicapper (on the Andy Serling thread), the new trainer (Donk) changed the horse's shoes and bit, and the horse was in good physical shape when they got it. But, things like that can make a huge difference. Sometimes when a trainers is struggling, and this horse's former trainer only had 1 win all year, the barn is not going to spend a lot of money making changes and that could be one of several reasons why they are ice cold and a trainer change helps.

That's the guy who trained Seattle Slew. (The previous trainer)

thaskalos
11-06-2015, 01:47 AM
Anatomy of a long shot-

So letís dicuss a real race. Iím playing around with an approach that doesnít use, or at least rely on pace or speed figure, just changes in a horseís situation that might signal improvement today.

Opening day at Aqueduct, Race 5, #5, Lyrical Miracle, wins and pays $71.00.

Why so much, and how did he win?

I made him a contender, he had some postive angles going for him:

-3rd start off a layoff, some early speed last out
-positive barn change to a trainer who hits 25% with horses first time in his silks
- the rider who rode his to his onhly win is back on board today.
- not a proven loser, he has only lost three times at this level, and two of those were bookends around a layoff
- he is back at Aqueduct on the main, where his record is 3 0-1-1, so
- he had the second best back speed figure in the field

But is it enough to get past his not so appealing recent record and his high number of starts with only 1 win?

I could not throw him out, but I could not pull the trigger on himm either, and the whole point of my research is to find horses like this, and to bet them at big prices.

What are you thoughts on the race?
Anyone else play it, or better yet, have the winer?
How did you get him if you did, or why did you pass on him it you didnít?

I looked at the race briefly (as I usually do with the races at Aqueduct)...and found absolutely nothing to like about this longshot winner. And the thought that this form reversal was due to a change in shoes has me feverously searching to buy the best running shoes that I can find...because I am entered in a marathon race this Sunday in Naperville, Illinois.

Cholly
11-06-2015, 05:36 AM
I looked at the race briefly (as I usually do with the races at Aqueduct)...and found absolutely nothing to like about this longshot winner. And the thought that this form reversal was due to a change in shoes has me feverously searching to buy the best running shoes that I can find...because I am entered in a marathon race this Sunday in Naperville, Illinois.

Good luck on Sunday! Where does Timeform have you on their Pace Projector?

MJC922
11-06-2015, 07:55 AM
I looked at the race after the fact and like EMD's thought of a vulnerable favorite being the entry point to catch this type of horse. IMO the chalk was ok on class but ranked dead last on early pace, and not just the pace figure but zero Quirin points too. On dirt that's a Quirin 101 situation to 'go fishing'.

About the winner, he's tied as the Quirin speed point leader with 6 -- having no 7 or 8 in the race is a decent indication the early pace might project to the soft side which helps. I (as did CJ) had him pegged for 2nd on early pace. Looking at 'back numbers', had his 15Dec14 race tied for the best number any of these had ever run but it's an isolated number, he has run that number once in 22 tries, 22-1 ballpark makes sense, he's 34-1.

I personally don't see much value here, I see more of the random element of the game popping up. These things just happen when the wheel is spun enough times the horse finally feels like running. IMO winning longshots like this are typically just single-factor horses.

pandy
11-06-2015, 08:12 AM
And the key with this horse was, if not for the trainer change, I don't see how anyone in their right mind could bet the horse. He had been trounced against similar at the same distance in his last two starts. Long term, without the trainer change, this type of horse will produce a huge negative ROI. There are a lot of good longshot angles, this horse only had one, positive trainer change.

MJC922
11-06-2015, 08:35 AM
You could very easily size up this race as the heavy favorite has no early speed at all, I'm going to take the top two early pace horses on a stab ticket, hope they don't knock heads and hope it carries at a price. It's superficial but you're lashing out at the crowd where they're most vulnerable. I'm fine with people saying in hindsight the trainer change is the 'reason'. After the fact it's a tighter 'fit', before the fact I'm not so sure. :) A solid understanding of the long term percentages of the game with respect to running styles and prices is equally as valid IMO and just as obvious before the race.

Tom
11-06-2015, 08:39 AM
The key to my interest was that he was not a proven loser at the class.
He only had a handful of races at the class and several positives in those races. Every race above $16knw2 was a throw out for me.

As a long time Finger Lakes player, this is a familiar pattern. We call it the "form horse." ;)

pandy
11-06-2015, 09:08 AM
The key to my interest was that he was not a proven loser at the class.
He only had a handful of races at the class and several positives in those races. Every race above $16knw2 was a throw out for me.

As a long time Finger Lakes player, this is a familiar pattern. We call it the "form horse." ;)

I didn't see it that way since he had raced at the same 16000 N2L level three starts in a row and lost by a combined total of 66 lengths including his last two at the same distance by a combined total of 54 lengths. My feeling about big longshots that show very poor current form, they're rarely worth a bet unless they're dropping in class. A drop in class is a potent wake up angle. Without a drop in class, these are long term redline ROI bets. Of course, a key trainer change is also a potent longshot angle and that's the only angle this horse had. It was a pretty good angle in this case because the former trainer is so ice cold, 1 win in 46 starts and Donk showed 25% with horses making their first start in his barn.

The shoeing change alone can make a huge difference. I've interviewed many trainers, some of whom are known for re-shoeing horses. Just last year I interviewed a harness trainer who got a horse that had sort of a high stepping gait. Well, it turned out the horse had a bad foot. The trainer removed the horse's shoes and glued plastic shoes to his feet (no nails). Not only did the horse's gait return to a smoother, more natural gait, but the horse improved by two seconds and went on a tear, winning several races in a row while climbing in class.

EMD4ME
11-06-2015, 09:12 AM
Horse's best races were at BIG A last DEC.

His best race was only 2 lengths slower than fav's top fig.

First Time Trainer

No pace in race.

Was 3rd off a layoff and both races off layoff involved fast paces.

Not a horse to throw out by any means. Not a single but a use.

pandy
11-06-2015, 09:19 AM
But his best race was around two turns. His one turn races were horrible. This is a good lesson for Pick 4, 5 or 6 bettors, you should include longshots that are getting big trainer changes.

pandy
11-06-2015, 09:24 AM
I copied something from the Pace Makes The Race (Schwartz) thread that Dick Schmidt wrote (below), which I thought was interesting.

4) Like all athletes, horse have form cycles. Again, this is where pace line selection and the Model become paramount. On the other hand, it is rare for a horse to show a dramatic improvement on a really bad race last out without a very clear excuse. I almost never saw a horse win that wasn't rated in the top five from the last pace line.

jahura2
11-06-2015, 09:41 AM
I copied something from the Pace Makes The Race (Schwartz) thread that Dick Schmidt wrote (below), which I thought was interesting.

4) Like all athletes, horse have form cycles. Again, this is where pace line selection and the Model become paramount. On the other hand, it is rare for a horse to show a dramatic improvement on a really bad race last out without a very clear excuse. I almost never saw a horse win that wasn't rated in the top five from the last pace line.

This entire thread is precisely why I come back to this forum EVERY day! Insightful and opposing views all from experienced players. No bragging or calling names just great useful opinions. Great discussion starter Tom.

Tom
11-06-2015, 10:05 AM
Thanks, jahura...I heard the race on the radio, and after looking at the horse for so long, the stomach was churning as he came home at a price! :(

delayjf
11-06-2015, 01:08 PM
My 2 cents.

3rd start off a layoff, some early speed last out
Curious - how did his last race pace figure compare with the field, and was it a pace top for the horse?
the rider who rode his to his only win is back on board today.
This would get my attention, along with the trainer change I would consider this a positive sign of intention.
he had the second best back speed figure in the field
When I started looking a longshots back in the day, one common attribute I found was that often they had figures in their PPs, even if it was some time ago that would make the horse competitive with the field.

With regards to the drop in class / bad performance. There is an old Taulbot angle where the trainer drops in class but does not send his horse, knowing that the drop in class will usually draw betting action. If he waits until the next start to go for the win, the public will be off the horse due to his previous lack luster performance at the same class level.

I heard the race on the radio, and after looking at the horse for so long, the stomach was churning as he came home at a price!
Tom - me too, I would have been sick.

pandy
11-06-2015, 01:33 PM
His last race pace figure was not a new top and was just fair compared to the rest of the field.

Stillriledup
11-06-2015, 01:36 PM
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=123509&highlight=Paper

lansdale
11-06-2015, 02:34 PM
I didn't see it that way since he had raced at the same 16000 N2L level three starts in a row and lost by a combined total of 66 lengths including his last two at the same distance by a combined total of 54 lengths. My feeling about big longshots that show very poor current form, they're rarely worth a bet unless they're dropping in class. A drop in class is a potent wake up angle. Without a drop in class, these are long term redline ROI bets. Of course, a key trainer change is also a potent longshot angle and that's the only angle this horse had. It was a pretty good angle in this case because the former trainer is so ice cold, 1 win in 46 starts and Donk showed 25% with horses making their first start in his barn.

The shoeing change alone can make a huge difference. I've interviewed many trainers, some of whom are known for re-shoeing horses. Just last year I interviewed a harness trainer who got a horse that had sort of a high stepping gait. Well, it turned out the horse had a bad foot. The trainer removed the horse's shoes and glued plastic shoes to his feet (no nails). Not only did the horse's gait return to a smoother, more natural gait, but the horse improved by two seconds and went on a tear, winning several races in a row while climbing in class.

Hi Pandy,

Although my knowledge of the effect of equipment changes on horses is minimal, it seems to me you're on to something in thinking that that factor might best explan this win - for this reason. Shoe changes, and especially shoes changes at Aqueduct, were a major factor used by Ernie Dahlman in his play at that track. I understand these changes are now listed in the DFR but at one time they were not, and Dahmer stationed a guy at the track whose sole job was to call him with detailed description of the horses' footwear. Easy to do when you're betting 15k exactas. He never discussed this is any detail, but mentioned that the track surface could present serious problems for many horses, especially during the fall and winter seasons, and knowing how various horses responded to the footwear choices of various trainers, gave him a big edge over the crowd. And what you say about possible foot injuries, is an example that can be generalized to all tracks.

I've seen Ernie's posts on this site a few times - would be interesting if he would comment on this subject. I believe he's in his mid-'70s now, so maybe less active or retired from the game. Truly a legendary handicapper.

Cheers,

lansdale

thaskalos
11-06-2015, 03:34 PM
IMO...post-race "reevaluating" is a must, but post-race "handicapping" is not a good idea if the player is already accomplished in the craft of handicapping. It is a dangerous practice to review the past performances of these improbable longshot winners looking for "clues"...because virtually ALL of them will reveal some sort of "angle", which the player might mistake for a "wake-up" factor, after the fact. If it isn't a "new trainer", then it might be a "new jockey"...or a "change in distance"...or a "work two days before the race"..."improving speed figures"...a "new pace top"...ran in a "tandem race"...was at a "new low"...etc. There are many, many angles out there, and almost all of them have been discredited from a handicapping value point of view...but we still have them stored in our mind...and we bring them out in cases like these...while telling ourselves that this "post-race handicapping" practice is "helping us to better understand the game". IMO...it does nothing but confuse us, and make us doubt the methods that we are already employing.

When you are handicapping a race whose winner you already know, you are (perhaps unconsciously) fixated on the winner...and you ignore the fact that all the losers in the race have their share of these "wake-up" factors too.

"KNOW THYSELVES", a very wise Greek declared thousands of years ago...and it's a message that the horseplayer should take to heart. As handicappers, we are preoccupied with the task of evaluating the ability of the horses that we analyze...but the more important task is to truthfully evaluate our own ability as players. Are we still searching to find ourselves in this game...or are we "accomplished players"...who have mastered the "fundamentals", and are seeking to further hone their craft by honest work based on independent research?

The "accomplished player", whose game has been crafted by the thorough analysis of thousands of races, realizes that he cannot be expected to "understand" every race outcome that he sees. This is a very complicated game...and the improbable will occur...at times with alarming regularity. IMO...the right thing to do in these cases is to shrug our shoulders and move on to the next race.

We've seen everything...and we'll see it again. This game will forever confound us...and there is nothing that we can do about it. Just because we lost a bet does not necessarily mean that we made a mistake in the race.

Overlay
11-06-2015, 03:50 PM
I don't have access to the past performances (so I can't say for sure), but from the elements already discussed, it sounds as if a multi-factor, full-field fair-odds line (such as the type that I develop) might have rated the horse as an overlay at those odds (even if not necessarily the one most probable winner of the race), and thus have been more likely to keep him on a bettor's radar, as opposed to a figure-based or elimination-based method of narrowing the field down to a single selection.

Having now looked at the past performances (thanks to Tom :) ), the main things that Lyrical Miracle had going for him (according to the way that I handicap) were his early speed and his jockey, who had won with him in the past. Also, none of the other horses had shown markedly better recent form (according to the criteria by which I judge form and recency) than Lyrical Miracle had. I had him fourth-best in the field at fair odds of 24-1, compared to the 34-1 he went off at, making him one of four overlays in the field. The only other horse that I rated as an overlay that went off at lower actual odds than Lyrical Miracle was Sugar Gold (fair odds of 3-1 and went off at 8-1), and they finished 1-2.

As I indicated in my original post, Lyrical Miracle may not have been the most likely winner, but I would have been hesitant to discard him out-of-hand from a handicapping or betting standpoint. Also, please absolve me of redboarding. As I said previously, I didn't handicap or bet the race in real time, and the stated purpose of this thread was to discuss how Lyrical Miracle could have won (not to mention that the procedure that I use to arrive at my fair odds has been available for years).

JimG
11-06-2015, 05:01 PM
Tom,

I think Oracle said it well. Given the horses odds, if you found him to be a win contender, then at least a small play would be warranted. Horses at those odds rarely have everything going for them or the MOTOS would make him a favorite.

Jim

whodoyoulike
11-06-2015, 06:29 PM
Thanks, jahura...I heard the race on the radio, and after looking at the horse for so long, the stomach was churning as he came home at a price! :(

That's too bad you heard the race on the radio because I was going to ask how this horse looked in the paddock and warming up etc. These types of races at this level are difficult to re-evaluate based on pp's (see Pandy's post) since as you know horses do improve or regress over a time period and probably is just unexplainable unless you are fortunate to be around the horse 24/7.

Do you think the connections made a score because this would have been the time?

I recall recently a HOF trainer who was 0 for the year (may have been last year) won with a 99 - 1 or so and afterwards stated he didn't bet the race.

whodoyoulike
11-06-2015, 06:35 PM
Hi Pandy,

Although my knowledge of the effect of equipment changes on horses is minimal, it seems to me you're on to something in thinking that that factor might best explan this win - for this reason. Shoe changes, and especially shoes changes at Aqueduct, were a major factor used by Ernie Dahlman in his play at that track. I understand these changes are now listed in the DFR but at one time they were not, and Dahmer stationed a guy at the track whose sole job was to call him with detailed description of the horses' footwear. Easy to do when you're betting 15k exactas. He never discussed this is any detail, but mentioned that the track surface could present serious problems for many horses, especially during the fall and winter seasons, and knowing how various horses responded to the footwear choices of various trainers, gave him a big edge over the crowd. And what you say about possible foot injuries, is an example that can be generalized to all tracks.

I've seen Ernie's posts on this site a few times - would be interesting if he would comment on this subject. I believe he's in his mid-'70s now, so maybe less active or retired from the game. Truly a legendary handicapper.

Cheers,

lansdale

As I recall from the stories I've read, the shoe info wasn't readily available but was posted at certain tracks and he only used it for certain type of track conditions e.g., sloppy etc.

whodoyoulike
11-06-2015, 06:44 PM
... I had him fourth-best in the field at fair odds of 24-1, compared to the 34-1 he went off at, ...

Does anyone remember what he opened at (was it indeed something like 24 - 1)?

I was wondering if his odds drifted up or did it go down. If it drifted up from 10 or 15 - 1 then did you stay with him?

Overlay
11-06-2015, 06:58 PM
Does anyone remember what he opened at (was it indeed something like 24 - 1)?

I was wondering if his odds drifted up or did it go down. If it drifted up from 10 or 15 - 1 then did you stay with him?

Just to be clear, 24-1 was what I would have had him at in my personal line. (He was 15-1 in the morning line (tied for second-highest out of the eight horses), so his public odds went even higher during the betting.) Also, I would not have been influenced by the morning-line odds, or by any patterns of movement in the horse's odds (other than from the standpoint of whether the movement made the horse an underlay or an overlay compared to my line).

whodoyoulike
11-06-2015, 07:15 PM
Just to be clear, 24-1 was what I would have had him at in my personal line. (He was 15-1 in the morning line (tied for second-highest out of the eight horses), so his public odds went even higher during the betting.) Also, I would not have been influenced by the morning-line odds, or by any patterns of movement in the horse's odds (other than from the standpoint of whether the movement made the horse an underlay or an overlay compared to my line).

I understood your reply which is why I worded it as "was it indeed". I'm surprised the m/l was 15 - 1 given the horse's pp's. For the people who selected him at the opening hope you stayed on him.

MJC922
11-06-2015, 07:41 PM
IMO...post-race "reevaluating" is a must, but post-race "handicapping" is not a good idea if the player is already accomplished in the craft of handicapping. It is a dangerous practice to review the past performances of these improbable longshot winners looking for "clues"...because virtually ALL of them will reveal some sort of "angle", which the player might mistake for a "wake-up" factor, after the fact. If it isn't a "new trainer", then it might be a "new jockey"...or a "change in distance"...or a "work two days before the race"..."improving speed figures"...a "new pace top"...ran in a "tandem race"...was at a "new low"...etc. There are many, many angles out there, and almost all of them have been discredited from a handicapping value point of view...but we still have them stored in our mind...and we bring them out in cases like these...while telling ourselves that this "post-race handicapping" practice is "helping us to better understand the game". IMO...it does nothing but confuse us, and make us doubt the methods that we are already employing.

When you are handicapping a race whose winner you already know, you are (perhaps unconsciously) fixated on the winner...and you ignore the fact that all the losers in the race have their share of these "wake-up" factors too.

"KNOW THYSELVES", a very wise Greek declared thousands of years ago...and it's a message that the horseplayer should take to heart. As handicappers, we are preoccupied with the task of evaluating the ability of the horses that we analyze...but the more important task is to truthfully evaluate our own ability as players. Are we still searching to find ourselves in this game...or are we "accomplished players"...who have mastered the "fundamentals", and are seeking to further hone their craft by honest work based on independent research?

The "accomplished player", whose game has been crafted by the thorough analysis of thousands of races, realizes that he cannot be expected to "understand" every race outcome that he sees. This is a very complicated game...and the improbable will occur...at times with alarming regularity. IMO...the right thing to do in these cases is to shrug our shoulders and move on to the next race.

We've seen everything...and we'll see it again. This game will forever confound us...and there is nothing that we can do about it. Just because we lost a bet does not necessarily mean that we made a mistake in the race.

Agree with a lot of what you said. Several more observations, IMO the key thing to note for that race is the overbet favorite and why it's overbet (running style). Throwing darts at a board against a 1/2 favorite like this probably doesn't lose much money. So whomever you picked here is IMO less critical to long-term success, as long as it isn't the favorite we're probably on the right track. Several horses may have been playable. I agree with the earlier poster who mentioned the 1-Sugar Gold, also not bad at 8/1. The 1 and 2 were both decent options but also lacked any early speed which is why the favorite is bad in the first place... it just came up as a very odd race. And I know this will be an unpopular notion but there's nothing set in stone which can prove to me this horse doesn't win without the trainer change. This is a wakeup horse, and I agree most likely we pin the tail on the trainer because it's easy... a high percentage of the time much of this looking back and 'fitting' is like track bias, handicappers comfort food... or apophenia. :)

thaskalos
11-06-2015, 08:20 PM
This is a wakeup horse, and I agree most likely we pin the tail on the trainer because it's easy... a high percentage of the time much of this looking back and 'fitting' is like track bias, handicappers comfort food... or apophenia. :)

IMO...the main thing is to realize that we don't really have to supply a "valid reason" to try and explain these improbabilities. They are an inherent part of the game, and we can't avoid them...so, the best that we can do is to learn to cope with them without having them affect our equilibrium going forward.

A lot of this game remains out of our control...and we should learn to shrug our shoulders and move on. THAT'S the sign of a truly disciplined player...IMO.

thaskalos
11-06-2015, 08:24 PM
I had him fourth-best in the field at fair odds of 24-1, compared to the 34-1 he went off at, making him one of four overlays in the field. The only other horse that I rated as an overlay that went off at lower actual odds than Lyrical Miracle was Sugar Gold (fair odds of 3-1 and went off at 8-1), and they finished 1-2.

As I indicated in my original post, Lyrical Miracle may not have been the most likely winner, but I would have been hesitant to discard him out-of-hand from a handicapping or betting standpoint.


Your last sentence above confuses me. What is your normal procedure when encountering a horse whom you consider to be the "fourth-best in the field at fair odds of 24-1"...but you see this horse offered at 34-1 odds on the tote board? Is this a legitimate BET...as far as you are concerned?

MJC922
11-06-2015, 10:35 PM
IMO...the main thing is to realize that we don't really have to supply a "valid reason" to try and explain these improbabilities. They are an inherent part of the game, and we can't avoid them...so, the best that we can do is to learn to cope with them without having them affect our equilibrium going forward.

A lot of this game remains out of our control...and we should learn to shrug our shoulders and move on. THAT'S the sign of a truly disciplined player...IMO.

I don't disagree. A profitable player can see the difference between a winning horse that he should have vs those few winners he really has no business having if he wants to be profitable over the long haul.

However it is instructive (I think) to go back and dissect / discuss / identify the types of races that may be considered long-term beatable even in hindsight as far too many races don't fit the bill. That the end result was somewhat improbable in this case I see as beside the point.

cbp
11-06-2015, 11:06 PM
I would imagine that Andy picked him because of the trainer change, but just a guess. The speed and fade angle was very week because he essentially was distanced in his last two starts at the same distance and a one mile race is not a good spot for a horse that crawls home every start. Speed and fade longshots are better bets in sprints.



10/2: a sloppy track where many were 'distanced': duels early, opens a lead, then backs up. Other than the top two, that had a nice setup, everything else was going backwards the last three calls. Ran better than the other speed.

10/11: A race where Pin and Win finally lived up to his 7/05 race, WIPING OUT the field: made a nice wide run on the turn before backing up entering. But EVERYTHING else in the race backed up the last THREE calls.

Speed fade is one thing; speed/turn move then fade in a WIPEOUT is another.

Just speculating, but Serling probably noticed the wide turn run and the shape of the race.

Not saying this one stood out but it was a subtle move last race and the odds were certainly high enough. These comments are without looking at the field of the winning race.

Overlay
11-07-2015, 01:34 AM
Your last sentence above confuses me. What is your normal procedure when encountering a horse whom you consider to be the "fourth-best in the field at fair odds of 24-1"...but you see this horse offered at 34-1 odds on the tote board? Is this a legitimate BET...as far as you are concerned?

It's relatively rare that a horse that is markedly superior to its competition will be allowed to go off even as an overlay, let alone a high-odds overlay. And, although blindly stabbing at longshots is a recipe for failure, higher-odds winners (when they occur) can potentially make the difference between long-run profit or loss.

Maintaining visibility of those higher-odds horses (coupled with a quantitative, compartmentalized handicapping method that permits visibility of exactly how a horse received its fair odds) permits determination of both when and why a longshot might have a significantly better chance of winning than its odds indicate, and the selective placement of wagers on that basis. Basing wager sizes on degree of edge (which will normally be less on higher-odds overlays) also serves to limit potential losses, while preserving the possibility of sizable gains.

thaskalos
11-07-2015, 02:08 AM
It's relatively rare that a horse that is markedly superior to its competition will be allowed to go off even as an overlay, let alone a high-odds overlay. And, although blindly stabbing at longshots is a recipe for failure, higher-odds winners (when they occur) can potentially make the difference between long-run profit or loss.

Maintaining visibility of those higher-odds horses (coupled with a quantitative, compartmentalized handicapping method that permits visibility of exactly how a horse received its fair odds) permits determination of both when and why a longshot might have a significantly better chance of winning than its odds indicate, and the selective placement of wagers on that basis. Basing wager sizes on degree of edge (which will normally be less on higher-odds overlays) also serves to limit potential losses, while preserving the possibility of sizable gains.

Overlay...in English please. Would a horse who is selected by you as the 4th-best horse in the race at true odds of 24-1, qualify as a bet at the post-time odds of 34-1?

Overlay
11-07-2015, 07:40 AM
Overlay...in English please. Would a horse who is selected by you as the 4th-best horse in the race at true odds of 24-1, qualify as a bet at the post-time odds of 34-1?
Yes, it would qualify as a wager that I myself would not hesitate to make, both because I have complete confidence in the elements and calculations that my method would have used to arrive at the horse's fair odds, and because my personal experience has repeatedly validated that confidence.

Will such higher-odds wagers always win, or is the fact that they are an overlay a guarantee of success? No. But they will win often enough at sufficiently high odds to produce a greater level of profit than if they were excluded.

One of the strengths of my methods is that they permit individual users to tailor them to their own handicapping and wagering preferences. If wagering on such a horse (even though, as I said, I would have no problem doing so) would be beyond the comfort zone of an individual user, that user could certainly choose to restrict play to overlaid horses with either fair odds or actual odds below a personally-set odds ceiling. Either way, the important consideration is that the wagers will be overlays.

Lemon Drop Husker
11-07-2015, 09:06 AM
All longshots look like garbage on the form.

EMD actually hit the nail on the head. Find a race with a weak favorite and what you see as a wide open field and then.... fire.

Yours truly did just that last night. And it paid handsomely.

http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=127074

The key is to not be afraid to take your shot, and at the same time lick your wounds when it doesn't. I did both last night in back to back races.

lansdale
11-07-2015, 01:59 PM
As I recall from the stories I've read, the shoe info wasn't readily available but was posted at certain tracks and he only used it for certain type of track conditions e.g., sloppy etc.


Information about shoes was a big part of his game, and whatever the track made available was never sufficient. So he had a guy with binoculars at the track describing the shoe situation in detail, as the Times article states. Races switched from turf to dirt provided the best opportunities, as one might guess.



'Dahlman also pays close attention to pace, or the time for each quarter mile of a race, which he jots down in one of two fat, spiral-bound notebooks. The other is devoted to his overriding preoccupation, horseshoes. Years ago, Dahlman began noticing something funny about horses equipped with mud calks, cleats that some trainers use for extra traction when rain turns dirt into mud. Dahlman noted that even when rain failed to materialize, a lot of horses seemed to improve several lengths when wearing mud calks for the first time.

He began keeping detailed records, and he now considers it his biggest edge. It's the reason he loves Golden Gate Fields, near San Francisco. It rains a lot there, so plenty of mediocre-seeming horses are switching to mud calks for the first time and then sneaking into exactas at good prices. A second reason for loving Golden Gate is that the track posts very detailed shoe information before each race. Not all mud shoes are created equal, in Dahlman's view. Mud nails, which turn shoes into a kind of hobnailed boot, make no difference, in his opinion. But jar calks, which have a kind of high heel, do. The New York tracks do not provide detailed shoe information, so 10 minutes before every race, the phone in Dahlman's office rings. It's a man named Gene (Dahlman professes not to know his last name), a sharp-eyed informant in New York who stands by the paddock with a pair of binoculars and relays shoe information to Dahlman.

''No one,'' says Chip Taylor, ''has made as much money off shoes as Ernie has.''

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/03/magazine/the-wizard-of-odds.html?pagewanted=all

whodoyoulike
11-07-2015, 06:34 PM
You would think that this angle would still be effective today unless most of the entries now are shoed this way which complicates the selection process.

The link may have been the same I read since it was dated early 2000's.

pandy
11-07-2015, 07:16 PM
Ernie got a lot of these plays from horses adding mud caulks, and in New York they banned mud caulks years ago.

whodoyoulike
11-07-2015, 07:43 PM
Ernie got a lot of these plays from horses adding mud caulks, and in New York they banned mud caulks years ago.

Wasn't aware of them banned but, are they banned everywhere?

My point was this angle should otherwise still be good since it's not a well known factor.

lansdale
11-08-2015, 03:46 PM
Ernie got a lot of these plays from horses adding mud caulks, and in New York they banned mud caulks years ago.


Yes. But the point I was making by citing Ernie, was that a shoe change
is a very plausible explanation (imho the most plausible) of why this horse might have won this race, as you said in the post I quoted.

BTW, interesting thread from a couple of years ago which you may remember, in which Ernie discusses the banning of traction shoes and turndowns in NY.

http://216.92.33.211/forum/showthread.php?t=100823&page=1&pp=15

lansdale
11-08-2015, 04:02 PM
Wasn't aware of them banned but, are they banned everywhere?

My point was this angle should otherwise still be good since it's not a well known factor.

It should still be good. I get the sense from what Ernie said in the thread in the PA link in my previous post, that little or no shoe information is the norm rather than the exception. And contrary to what I said earlier, it seems that the NY circuit still publishes only limited information. Would be interesting to see some stats on shoe changes by someone who plays this angle and has detailed information.

As pondman has posted many times, niche play can be very profitable. It certainly seems like less fun for the average recreational handicapper, but this is true of any kind of play where the primary intent is profit.

whodoyoulike
11-08-2015, 06:05 PM
Thanks for providing the older link. I don't recall seeing it the first time around.

And, another thank you to both DSB and Mr. Dahlman for their insights on the value of just shoe changes. Too bad neither of them have posted in quite awhile since I'd like to ask some additional questions esp., Mr. Dahlman (not handicapping related). He's an interesting handicapping personality at least to me.

lansdale
11-08-2015, 10:20 PM
Thanks for providing the older link. I don't recall seeing it the first time around.

And, another thank you to both DSB and Mr. Dahlman for their insights on the value of just shoe changes. Too bad neither of them have posted in quite awhile since I'd like to ask some additional questions esp., Mr. Dahlman (not handicapping related). He's an interesting handicapping personality at least to me.

After all this re shoes, I really think the best way to have approached this race might have been to just follow TLG - an outstanding public handicapper. The guy who did cashed.

Ocala Mike
11-09-2015, 07:28 AM
After all this re shoes, I really think the best way to have approached this race might have been to just follow TLG - an outstanding public handicapper. The guy who did cashed.




:ThmbUp: :ThmbUp: :ThmbUp:

cj
11-09-2015, 11:50 AM
I always get a kick out of people that pick apart longshots and why they were bad bets. Um...they are longshots for a reason. There isn't much going for them on paper or they wouldn't be longshots.

Tom
11-09-2015, 11:59 AM
Agree.
the whole purpose of what I was doing is looking at races without relying on pace of speed figures, just looking for non-number things that might point out horses speed and pace won't.

We had a guy at HTR years ago, Carl, who posted here, too, that like to find spot plays and always put in a step to make the horse look bad. Ugly horses pay more.

delayjf
11-09-2015, 12:13 PM
Ernie got a lot of these plays from horses adding mud caulks, and in New York they banned mud caulks years ago.

As I recall, Bobby Frankel was one trainer that used mud caulks or turn downs on horses he recently claimed - and with much success.

mikesal57
11-09-2015, 12:58 PM
Did anyone mention "track bias" ?

Opening day at track...Would you know how it plays?

Of course not.....watch a few races, see that horses no more than running 3rd and no more than 2 lengths behind are winning....

Now you have an idea that speed is better ....the favorite closer is now a vulnerable play....the longshot is one of the better early horses in this terrible field (NW 2 lifetime)..

Would you now say he has a chance?

Mike

thaskalos
11-09-2015, 01:06 PM
Did anyone mention "track bias" ?

Opening day at track...Would you know how it plays?

Of course not.....watch a few races, see that horses no more than running 3rd and no more than 2 lengths behind are winning....

Now you have an idea that speed is better ....the favorite closer is now a vulnerable play....the longshot is one of the better early horses in this terrible field (NW 2 lifetime)..

Would you now say he has a chance?

Mike
IMO...the biggest joke at the track is the guy who struts in after the third race, walks up to the TV where others are watching the replay...and asks in a conspiratorial tone: "Is speed any good?"

mikesal57
11-09-2015, 01:18 PM
IMO...the biggest joke at the track is the guy who struts in after the third race, walks up to the TV where others are watching the replay...and asks in a conspiratorial tone: "Is speed any good?"


yes , it is a joke if they are watching replays of Churchill Downs not Aqu.... :lol:

thaskalos
11-09-2015, 01:29 PM
yes , it is a joke if they are watching replays of Churchill Downs not Aqu.... :lol:
You don't need to watch the replays at Aqueduct. With the six horses in the field...you can see all there is to see while the race is running live.

whodoyoulike
11-09-2015, 05:43 PM
As I recall, Bobby Frankel was one trainer that used mud caulks or turn downs on horses he recently claimed - and with much success.

How do you find this type of info before a race?

cj
11-09-2015, 05:58 PM
IMO...the biggest joke at the track is the guy who struts in after the third race, walks up to the TV where others are watching the replay...and asks in a conspiratorial tone: "Is speed any good?"

I love this info. As soon as a bias is pronounced just bet the closers. I don't frequent OTBs much at all any more, but Twitter is like the online OTB.

classhandicapper
11-09-2015, 08:56 PM
It's never easy to tell if there's a bias after just a couple of races. It requires that your opinions about the horses going into the race are correct to begin with. Then you also have to be sharp enough to tell the difference between a logical result given those horses, the pace, and the race development vs one that may have been influenced by the surface.

How many people are good enough at all those facets of the game to be accurate quickly?

Not many.

Yet every single person watching the races will have an opinion and start adjusting. That's why so many people are wrong so often. That's also what makes it fertile grounds.

Biases are a major component of my game and I make mistakes all the time, sometimes even after reviewing all 9 races several times.

So when I make live calls after a few races I do it in a somewhat reasonable way.

If there's a horse I'm already considering making a play on and I think he might be getting a bias to his advantage, I'll upgrade him. If it's against him, I'll back off. It's a good tiebreaker on the tougher calls. I won't play a horse I wasn't considering to begin with off a speculative bias call.

Same thing when it's negative.

If there's a favorite I'm considering keying against and now he has a potential bias in his favor, I back off. If it's against him, the decision is easier.

classhandicapper
11-09-2015, 09:04 PM
IMO, if you are going to play longshots on top you better have a good reason to think the horse is good enough to win if he runs his race today or that he's likely to improve a lot today. IMO, fishing for prices on mediocre horses is usually a good way to go broke even if you have a trip or some angle.

EMD4ME
11-09-2015, 09:08 PM
IMO, if you are going to play longshots on top you better have a good reason to think the horse is good enough to win if he runs his race today or that he's likely to improve a lot today. IMO, fishing for prices on mediocre horses is usually a good way to go broke even if you have a trip or some angle.

Yes, they need to have their A race be comparable to the field. If not, one better hope they are a closer in a collapse race where all better horses run to their worst of their abilities due to pace/dynamics. Or the horse better be a solid speed with the track in their favor.

In this case, the winner's A race was 2 lengths comparable to the winner's top effort (and the chalk's races were in the slop not dirt). With the early races showing speed as a plus on opening day, this horse was far from impossible.

thaskalos
11-09-2015, 09:33 PM
IMO, if you are going to play longshots on top you better have a good reason to think the horse is good enough to win if he runs his race today or that he's likely to improve a lot today. IMO, fishing for prices on mediocre horses is usually a good way to go broke even if you have a trip or some angle.

IMO...you bet the longshots to win because you realize after a while that the "good enough to win" horses just don't win as often as perhaps they should. Yes...common sense says that we shouldn't bet on a horse unless it "looks good enough to win"...but the sad truth is that these types of horses seldom return the kinds of payoffs that make the "longshots" deserving of the name.

When a horse like Keen Ice faces a horse like American Pharoah...are you really betting on Keen Ice because you think that he is "good enough to win if he runs his race", or, because he is "likely to improve a lot today"? Of course not. You bet him strictly because of PRICE! You KNOW that Keen Ice is the vastly inferior horse...and you bet on him simply because experience tells you that ALL the horses lose, from time to time.

After playing this game for many years, the studious player sometimes develops an "instinct"; a "sixth sense"...if you will. He relies on this instinct to guide him when he branches into "longshot play". And the accuracy of this "instinct" decides his fate.

IMO...although "science" has its place in handicapping...the horseplayer's craft is mostly an ART.

Tom
11-09-2015, 09:41 PM
Yes, they need to have their A race be comparable to the field.

But that race should project to be comparable or better.
Young horses improve their Beyers by 10-30 points and knowing when they might can lead to big scores.

EMD4ME
11-09-2015, 09:54 PM
But that race should project to be comparable or better.
Young horses improve their Beyers by 10-30 points and knowing when they might can lead to big scores.

I absolutely agree. I love the 3 year old who has returned to the races who has matched his 2 year old best fig AND is ready to surge past that number.

Or the 1st off a long layoff 3 year old who can project much higher than the existing 3 year old foes.

Also love the late season 3 year old who comes back on the wrong surface, in preps and then POPS on the correct surface, improving 10-20-30 points in the process.

When that happens, ITSMYLUCKYDAY :lol: :lol:

Tom
11-09-2015, 10:11 PM
Very good!

NorCalGreg
11-09-2015, 10:36 PM
But that race should project to be comparable or better.
Young horses improve their Beyers by 10-30 points and knowing when they might can lead to big scores.

Good example, Tom....you made the point right there. :ThmbUp:

cbp
11-09-2015, 11:20 PM
Did anyone mention "track bias" ?

Opening day at track...Would you know how it plays?

Of course not.....watch a few races, see that horses no more than running 3rd and no more than 2 lengths behind are winning....

Now you have an idea that speed is better ....the favorite closer is now a vulnerable play....the longshot is one of the better early horses in this terrible field (NW 2 lifetime)..

Would you now say he has a chance?

Mike

I looked at the charts for the day and I don't see a bias. A speed bias would mean that frontRUNNERS would get the better of it. Interestingly, in the race in question, EVERTHING in the race, with the exception of the runner up, who was LAST the first two calls, backed up vis a vis the winner the last THREE calls (last 4 with the exception of the fourth horse, who gained from the 1st to the 2nd call). The winner was 3rd early, sitting just off the pace. If there was a speed bias, why did the other 6 horses that were within 2.5 lengths of the lead at the first call ALL BACK UP?

This horse just dropped them all.

For an example of an actual bias, a closers bias look at the turf races @ BEL 10/25/15. I was playing speed all day even though I KNEW after the 2nd race, when Excellent Royale cruised to the lead in hand, and then just flat out collapsed in the stretch.

mikesal57
11-09-2015, 11:39 PM
a speed bias doesn't mean that every front runner is going to win...
in all the dirt races except one...the winner was within 2 lts of the lead

When I try to get a feeling on the track I look at where the winners are coming from..
Is it early, mid pack , or late...

this is me ...

classhandicapper
11-10-2015, 01:02 PM
IMO...you bet the longshots to win because you realize after a while that the "good enough to win" horses just don't win as often as perhaps they should. Yes...common sense says that we shouldn't bet on a horse unless it "looks good enough to win"...but the sad truth is that these types of horses seldom return the kinds of payoffs that make the "longshots" deserving of the name.

When a horse like Keen Ice faces a horse like American Pharoah...are you really betting on Keen Ice because you think that he is "good enough to win if he runs his race", or, because he is "likely to improve a lot today"? Of course not. You bet him strictly because of PRICE! You KNOW that Keen Ice is the vastly inferior horse...and you bet on him simply because experience tells you that ALL the horses lose, from time to time.

After playing this game for many years, the studious player sometimes develops an "instinct"; a "sixth sense"...if you will. He relies on this instinct to guide him when he branches into "longshot play". And the accuracy of this "instinct" decides his fate.

IMO...although "science" has its place in handicapping...the horseplayer's craft is mostly an ART.

The data I have studied on horses I thought were better than they looked on paper suggested that unless the horse fit fairly close with the better horses in the race, I was unlikely to make money betting on them. In fact, the lower ranked ones underperformed the track take. Sure, some won and paid big prices because some of every category of horses wins, but not enough. The ones that were near the top in rank and fit the race did much better.

I didn't play Keen Ice (18.30 -1), but I wouldn't argue with anyone that thought he had a similar chance to win as Frosted (7.60 -1), Texas Red (5.80 -1), and Upstart 15.60-1)

Give AP 65%-70% of the race????

Give KI, F, TR, and Upstart 20%-25% broken up as you see it.

I'm not a big fan of betting against horses like AP in spots like that, but I can see someone concluding KI was an overlay there.

delayjf
11-10-2015, 02:33 PM
The data I have studied on horses I thought were better than they looked on paper suggested that unless the horse fit fairly close with the better horses in the race,

That's what I was seeing as well - my definition was - a speed figure that was competitive with this field somewhere in his PPs.

Now according to CJ, this longshot was #2 on the projected pace, which makes me curious as to how his timeform pace figures related to this field to be rated so high by the project pace. In addition, an argument could be made that his last race pace figure might actually understate his effort as according to TLG, he was wide on the turn.

I'm not a big fan of betting against horses like AP in spots like that
The only rational I could have for betting against AP was my anticipation of a bounce coming off his efforts in the TC and the Haskell.

cj
11-10-2015, 03:27 PM
I'm not a big fan of betting against horses like AP in spots like that, but I can see someone concluding KI was an overlay there.

My only concern with American Pharoah before the Travers was all the question marks about where he'd run. How do you train a horse for a peak effort if you don't know when and where he'll run? Eventually picking the earlier race made this even tougher.

classhandicapper
11-10-2015, 03:36 PM
My only concern with American Pharoah before the Travers was all the question marks about where he'd run. How do you train a horse for a peak effort if you don't know when and where he'll run? Eventually picking the earlier race made this even tougher.

I'm not a big fan of that either.

The really suspect ones are when they have either a route or sprint in mind or a dirt or turf in mind. At least have a similar race in mind. :confused:

cj
11-10-2015, 03:41 PM
I'm not a big fan of that either.

The really suspect ones are when they have either a route or sprint in mind or a dirt or turf in mind. At least have a similar race in mind. :confused:

I could probably think of several examples if I really thought about, but it has always been a big negative for me.