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RIsurfcaster
04-05-2016, 06:46 PM
The best comparison i can think of is this... I never took a golf lesson in my life. I'd go to the driving range, and learn and practice basics, and eventually i got to a point where i could hit the ball straight and for a decent distance. Then i took a golf lesson. Now on my backswing, i'm thinking of 100 things i need to to correctly, and can't hit a ball straight to save my life.

2013 was my introduction to handicapping. I started with speed figures, then incorporated pace, then class, then trainer statistics. My first year was my most productive of racing. I was in the green and then some. Being a 2-10 dollar horseplayer, my idea of productive may differ from yours, but never the less, i won more than i lost.

Fast forward to 2016. I supposedly know way more about handicapping than i did 3 years ago. Putting it all together is another story. When you're growing and learning as a horse player, how do you keep your handicapping in check? I know my best bet is to get back to the basics. I fear I'm over-thinking things. It's just when you get more tools to add to your toolbox, your first instinct is to use them. Is this a mistake?

Dark Horse
04-05-2016, 08:07 PM
You've probably learned who to bet. But now you may be looking at too many races, and thereby lowering the bar, setting yourself up for losses. The next thing is knowing when to bet. If the playing field is not positive, pass. This question and inherent challenge is as important as the first. It means that you have to learn to create your own lines. Once you can do this, you can add up the percentages of your contenders (after tossouts), and see if you're betting into a positive playing field. If not, no bet. And after that comes learning how to bet. Again, a field with as much of a learning curve as the first two requirements. It's a trifecta. Two out of three ain't enough. Good luck.

NorCalGreg
04-05-2016, 08:17 PM
The best comparison i can think of is this... I never took a golf lesson in my life. I'd go to the driving range, and learn and practice basics, and eventually i got to a point where i could hit the ball straight and for a decent distance. Then i took a golf lesson. Now on my backswing, i'm thinking of 100 things i need to to correctly, and can't hit a ball straight to save my life.

2013 was my introduction to handicapping. I started with speed figures, then incorporated pace, then class, then trainer statistics. My first year was my most productive of racing. I was in the green and then some. Being a 2-10 dollar horseplayer, my idea of productive may differ from yours, but never the less, i won more than i lost.

Fast forward to 2016. I supposedly know way more about handicapping than i did 3 years ago. Putting it all together is another story. When you're growing and learning as a horse player, how do you keep your handicapping in check? I know my best bet is to get back to the basics. I fear I'm over-thinking things. It's just when you get more tools to add to your toolbox, your first instinct is to use them. Is this a mistake?


Think this is just part of the process--you'll need to work through this on your own, IMO. Sometimes it seems the more you know--the more you overthink the situation.
I've been at this a lot longer--but still make rookie mistakes regularly. I look at a race and can tell the favorite is in a dominant position.

Yet I still try to be innovative and clever, til I've convinced myself that obvious winner isn't so dominant after all. Instead of a $6.00 winner, I try to force a $16 winner where there isn't one. Hit a few nice winners--all is right with the world. Couple days later...seems I may never hit another winner again--I suffer a confidence crisis regularly.

You can read all the books, get all the ideas new ideas (if any exist)--but in the end, it's you, my friend....putting it together.

Good luck and hang in there :)

-NCG

Capper Al
04-05-2016, 09:00 PM
That's right. It's how you put them together. Many times when a capper is in a winning streak, he's in the zone so to speak. He's seeing the races and risk for what they're worth. Staying in the zone takes practice.

NorCalGreg
04-05-2016, 09:16 PM
That's right. It's how you put them together. Many times when a capper is in a winning streak, he's in the zone so to speak. He's seeing the races and risk for what they're worth. Staying in the zone takes practice.


Know EXACTLY what you mean, C-A. That zone when everything is crystal clear, every move you make works and you wonder why wasn't this so obvious yesterday?

Then tomorrow comes...and it's like you've never seen a Racing Form in your life--nothing makes sense. Nothing fits.

Like a drug-addict chasing that high--we're forever stuck chasing that zone.

pandy
04-06-2016, 12:29 AM
The best comparison i can think of is this... I never took a golf lesson in my life. I'd go to the driving range, and learn and practice basics, and eventually i got to a point where i could hit the ball straight and for a decent distance. Then i took a golf lesson. Now on my backswing, i'm thinking of 100 things i need to to correctly, and can't hit a ball straight to save my life.

2013 was my introduction to handicapping. I started with speed figures, then incorporated pace, then class, then trainer statistics. My first year was my most productive of racing. I was in the green and then some. Being a 2-10 dollar horseplayer, my idea of productive may differ from yours, but never the less, i won more than i lost.

Fast forward to 2016. I supposedly know way more about handicapping than i did 3 years ago. Putting it all together is another story. When you're growing and learning as a horse player, how do you keep your handicapping in check? I know my best bet is to get back to the basics. I fear I'm over-thinking things. It's just when you get more tools to add to your toolbox, your first instinct is to use them. Is this a mistake?

This is not an unusual pattern. I had the same thing happen to me when I first started years ago. We want to be an expert handicapper, but sometimes without realizing it, we end up more on the path of being an expert on handicapping. Knowing everything about handicapping could ruin you. I had to actually forget half of the stuff I learned before I could start winning again.

Certain so-called handicapping factors are ambiguous and just confuse things. For instance, someone started a thread on race shape, trying to figure out of today's pace will be fast or slow. That's a waste of time for most people. Sure, sometimes you'll guess right, but overall, waste of time. It's all about ability, and since you use pace and speed figures, you understand that. Find a horse that has a lot of ability for that race and is good at doing what it's being asked to do today.

For instance, in a 9 furlong race, you need a horse that is one of the fastest horses in the race and has the stamina to go 9 furlongs. If you find that horse and the odds are fair, then you let the horse and rider handle the rest.

In a 6 furlong race, you have to find a horse that is fast enough to stay within 2 1/2 lengths of the lead. Any horse that seem unlikely to be able to stay close to the pace can be eliminated. (Sure, they win sometimes, but not often enough, and you have to play the percentages).

pandy
04-06-2016, 12:36 AM
Know EXACTLY what you mean, C-A. That zone when everything is crystal clear, every move you make works and you wonder why wasn't this so obvious yesterday?

Then tomorrow comes...and it's like you've never seen a Racing Form in your life--nothing makes sense. Nothing fits.

Like a drug-addict chasing that high--we're forever stuck chasing that zone.


This is one of the fascinating aspects of gambling. Totally agree, when you're hot, it's seems so easy, then suddenly the racing form looks like a Ouija Board.

But this happens in many other areas, that's why baseball players get into batting slumps, basketball players get into shooting slumps, and on and on.

arw629
04-06-2016, 12:38 AM
This is one of the fascinating aspects of gambling. Totally agree, when you're hot, it's seems so easy, then suddenly the racing form looks like a Ouija Board.

But this happens in many other areas, that's why baseball players get into batting slumps, basketball players get into shooting slumps, and on and on.

Completely agree here....I think knowing when it isn't your day is crucial to minimize losses and attacking when the ball is rolling

pandy
04-06-2016, 12:44 AM
Completely agree here....I think knowing when it isn't your day is crucial to minimize losses and attacking when the ball is rolling

I agree. Some people say that you should bet the same amount on every horse. I prefer to press my bets when I'm hot and vice versa. I've had hot streaks that last for several months. If you don't bet more during that time, you are leaving money on the table.

NorCalGreg
04-06-2016, 01:44 AM
Certain so-called handicapping factors are ambiguous and just confuse things. For instance, someone started a thread on race shape, trying to figure out of today's pace will be fast or slow. That's a waste of time for most people. Sure, sometimes you'll guess right, but overall, waste of time.

Pandy...it was me that started that thread. Where, you ask--did I learn this?

From you!! You wrote a book about this very subject. :D

pandy
04-06-2016, 07:29 AM
Pandy...it was me that started that thread. Where, you ask--did I learn this?

From you!! You wrote a book about this very subject. :D


Yes, I noticed you use some of my methods, but my Pace Shape method doesn't try to predict today's race, it uses the past race shape to point out horses that raced well against a fast pace.

Trying to bet a horse because you think the pace is going to be fast or slow is certainly a legitimate handicapping factor, and it's great when everything works out the way you anticipated and your horse wins. We've all had horses that appeared to be lone speed and wired the field. But many times the race shape doesn't go as we thought and I think people have to be careful about putting too much emphasis on what jockeys may or may not do, when it's more about finding a horse that's fast, fit and ready to fire.

My new book will point out that in terms of a horse's racing style, we get the percentages on our side when we play horses that have the ability that wins the type of race their in. This would mean avoiding horses that don't have the right style for the race, such as a deep closer in a 6 furlong race.

MitchS
04-06-2016, 10:55 AM
This is one of the fascinating aspects of gambling. Totally agree, when you're hot, it's seems so easy, then suddenly the racing form looks like a Ouija Board.

But this happens in many other areas, that's why baseball players get into batting slumps, basketball players get into shooting slumps, and on and on.

Yes, and there actually is a reason for that ;)

pandy
04-06-2016, 11:30 AM
Yes, and there actually is a reason for that ;)


Sometimes we have to be careful not put too much blame on ourselves when it's actually something that's throwing us off.

Years ago when we moved to a different area, my wife and I joined a bowling league. I hadn't bowled in a few years but I was shocked at how badly I was bowling. I worked in a bowling alley when I was in high school and college and I had bowled a lot of games.

Anyway, the guy who owned the bowling alley was a professional bowler. I told him how badly I was doing and he told me to come down and watch him and the other scratch bowlers bowl some night. I did. I saw that they were throwing the outside line, near the gutter, and that he had the lanes "blocked" or oiled in a way where the ball would track well off that line. I was used to a dry house on Long Island where you had to throw inside out because the lanes hooked so much.

Anyway, I changed to the outside and I went on a tear, threw a 678 series, the highest of my bowling career, and stayed hot for the last six weeks of the season.

Sinner369
04-06-2016, 12:40 PM
I agree with all the above but (to me) the number one factor is to KNOW YOURSELF.....your strengths' and your own weakness'.

An example is when I was younger I would have more losing days than winnings days.............on those bad losing days I had difficulty containing myself..........I would end up betting races I did not like nor even handicapped.

I lost control of myself.

raybo
04-06-2016, 02:02 PM
As has been mentioned already, "knowing thyself" is as important as any degree of handicapping expertise. When you're not feeling it, stop, that's my philosophy and has been for years. But, in order to know you're not feeling it, you have to know yourself much better than you know the data you're using.

That said, automation helps tremendously, regarding trying to make sense of the day's races. If you have the ability to automate crunching the numbers/scenarios, then you will be less likely to "get cute", and make unsound wagers.

As has been stated thousands of times before, passing races and taking breaks occasionally is a prerequisite for all of us mere mortals.

Overlay
04-06-2016, 02:36 PM
What works for me is eliminating subjectivity from the handicapping and wagering process as much as possible, and concentrating on the "significant few" from a factor standpoint, as opposed to the "trivial many". That may result in missing some of the nuances or nuggets that can emerge from in-depth qualitative analysis, but, to me, the resulting time-saving and avoidance of information overload, or of endless agonizing over minutiae, more than make up for it.

raybo
04-06-2016, 02:56 PM
What works for me is eliminating subjectivity from the handicapping and wagering process as much as possible, and concentrating on the "significant few" from a factor standpoint, as opposed to the "trivial many". That may result in missing some of the nuances or nuggets that can emerge from in-depth qualitative analysis, but, to me, the resulting time-saving and avoidance of information overload, or of endless agonizing over minutiae, more than make up for it.

I agree, automating things may cause you to lose an individual race or two here and there, but if your goal is long term profit, you'll probably find that missing a few because of automation, will be made up in the long term by better consistency.

RIsurfcaster
04-06-2016, 07:10 PM
Thanks for your responses everyone! I appreciate it very much.

Baron Star Gregg
04-06-2016, 08:53 PM
Remember when Tiger Woods reworked his swing to improve? He experienced some tough times during the process.

pondman
04-18-2016, 04:09 PM
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Fast forward to 2016. I supposedly know way more about handicapping than i did 3 years ago. Putting it all together is another story. When you're growing and learning as a horse player, how do you keep your handicapping in check? I know my best bet is to get back to the basics. I fear I'm over-thinking things. It's just when you get more tools to add to your toolbox, your first instinct is to use them. Is this a mistake?

Maybe your initial instincts were correct, and you began listening to too many other people and buying into their formulas. The best of the players have their own style, and really aren't caught up in playing for the sake of playing.