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Capper Al
07-20-2016, 12:18 PM
Well the big debates used to be on picking pace lines. Now that has seemed to have faded. There has been a lot of movement for using the last race or the next to last race. It's a kind of pace form idea. But that's not my problem here. My problem is in reading the tea leaves of pace. One hears lone pace or early pace or in the lead at the second call or ability time. All great concepts after the race. What about before the race? Can that lone speed hold out? Or can the closer far behind at the second call catch up? If you think you have a handle on this, please explain reading the tea leaves.

Thanks

BTW, I use key race(similar distance and same surface) for my pace selections.

Tor Ekman
07-20-2016, 12:38 PM
Now that you have Pace View in your tool box, perhaps you'll discover some answers to your questions

thaskalos
07-20-2016, 01:52 PM
Pace handicapping can be used in two ways; predicting the future...and understanding the past. I use it mainly to understand the past...because understanding what really happened in the past is, IMO, of paramount importance if we are to endeavor to make predictions about the future.

Without thorough pace analysis, the horseplayer misses too many things about the conditions which affected the horses' prior races...and he can't make the most accurate prediction possible concerning the state that these horses find themselves in today.

Capper Al
07-20-2016, 01:57 PM
Now that you have Pace View in your tool box, perhaps you'll discover some answers to your questions

I am checking it out. A simple Pace View power pick play, picked 3 out of 9 races. That's good without using anything else. And to study pace was why, I bought it. But pace is still a mystery to me.

Capper Al
07-20-2016, 02:00 PM
Pace handicapping can be used in two ways; predicting the future...and understanding the past. I use it mainly to understand the past...because understanding what really happened in the past is, IMO, of paramount importance if we are to endeavor to make predictions about the future.

Without thorough pace analysis, the horseplayer misses too many things about the conditions which affected the horses' prior races...and he can't make the most accurate prediction possible concerning the state that these horses find themselves in today.

I'm hearing that it explains how a speed figure was earned. And this is good information. But it is still mysterious to me.

thaskalos
07-20-2016, 02:03 PM
I'm hearing that it explains how a speed figure was earned. And this is good information. But it is still mysterious to me.

Don't worry, Al...you are still a young man. You'll eventually figure it out. :)

Capper Al
07-20-2016, 02:21 PM
Don't worry, Al...you are still a young man. You'll eventually figure it out. :)

I don't know. All I can say is that I factor pace in a comprehensive formula, but believe the true have of pace might be getting a picture of today's race in a way that doesn't involve numbers. And young, I'm not.

classhandicapper
07-20-2016, 02:37 PM
I'm hearing that it explains how a speed figure was earned. And this is good information. But it is still mysterious to me.

If you are going to get into projecting pace, I think it also makes sense to get comfortable categorizing running styles. Horses will typically only run as fast early as required to get the desired position. Pace figures are measuring how fast they had to run to get that position, but not necessarily how fast they could have run if desired or whether they are comfortable sitting off the pace and finishing well.

PICSIX
07-20-2016, 02:48 PM
I look at speed points, raw early fractions and "class" of the early types.

cj
07-20-2016, 06:14 PM
Pace handicapping can be used in two ways; predicting the future...and understanding the past. I use it mainly to understand the past...because understanding what really happened in the past is, IMO, of paramount importance if we are to endeavor to make predictions about the future.

Without thorough pace analysis, the horseplayer misses too many things about the conditions which affected the horses' prior races...and he can't make the most accurate prediction possible concerning the state that these horses find themselves in today.

Well said. I'm with you. I think there is some value in the latter, but the former is the most important.

Dave Schwartz
07-20-2016, 07:25 PM
Pace handicapping can be used in two ways; predicting the future...and understanding the past. I use it mainly to understand the past...because understanding what really happened in the past is, IMO, of paramount importance if we are to endeavor to make predictions about the future.

Without thorough pace analysis, the horseplayer misses too many things about the conditions which affected the horses' prior races...and he can't make the most accurate prediction possible concerning the state that these horses find themselves in today.

This is actually quite brilliant.

Welcome back, Thask.

whodoyoulike
07-20-2016, 07:36 PM
Well said. I'm with you. I think there is some value in the latter, but the former is the most important.

Isn't this just the opposite of what he stated?

Pace handicapping can be used in two ways; predicting the future...and understanding the past. I use it mainly to understand the past...because understanding what really happened in the past is, IMO, of paramount importance if we are to endeavor to make predictions about the future.

Without thorough pace analysis, the horseplayer misses too many things about the conditions which affected the horses' prior races...and he can't make the most accurate prediction possible concerning the state that these horses find themselves in today.

cj
07-20-2016, 07:40 PM
Isn't this just the opposite of what he stated?

Yes but you were sharp enough to know what I meant :)

EMD4ME
07-20-2016, 07:44 PM
Pace handicapping can be used in two ways; predicting the future...and understanding the past. I use it mainly to understand the past...because understanding what really happened in the past is, IMO, of paramount importance if we are to endeavor to make predictions about the future.

Without thorough pace analysis, the horseplayer misses too many things about the conditions which affected the horses' prior races...and he can't make the most accurate prediction possible concerning the state that these horses find themselves in today.

As Dave said, this is absolutely BRILLIANT.

This is why it's important to know everything about each line.

1) Who was in the race that this horse ran in?
2) What form were they in?
3) Who was out clean from the gate?
4) Who was bumped, rated, choked or ortized?
5) How was the track playing for that race?
6) How was the wind a factor for that specific race?
7) Was there a timer malfunction? (not kidding)
8) Was the run up, the true run up?
9) What were the motivations of the competition that day?

etc etc etc etc.

By understanding all those components, then one can truly understand what each running line and corresponding pace line/speed fig/performance fig means.

Each running line is a chapter of a horse's life and what was happening ALL AROUND the horse's life.

To credit and compliment what Thaskalos said, without thorough analysis of the past, the human brain can't possibly make the best possible guestimate of today's situation.

traynor
07-20-2016, 08:01 PM
Well the big debates used to be on picking pace lines. Now that has seemed to have faded. There has been a lot of movement for using the last race or the next to last race. It's a kind of pace form idea. But that's not my problem here. My problem is in reading the tea leaves of pace. One hears lone pace or early pace or in the lead at the second call or ability time. All great concepts after the race. What about before the race? Can that lone speed hold out? Or can the closer far behind at the second call catch up? If you think you have a handle on this, please explain reading the tea leaves.

Thanks

BTW, I use key race(similar distance and same surface) for my pace selections.

I think a concept that causes many confusion is that of a horse running independently of its jockey (its "preferred running style"), rather than at the direction of its jockey. You seem to be asking if a way exists to accurately predict the interactions of various preferred running styles (and the pace figures associated with them) in an upcoming race, using "pace lines" from previous races.

In (really) broad brush scenarios, yes. Whether that information will provide you with useful foreknowledge of the race winner is another situation entirely, and one in which I tend to agree with CX Wong's opinion (as stated in Precision) that there is little credible support for the use of "pace analysis" as a predictor.
https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Statistical-Mathematical-Methods-Racing/dp/1432768522

whodoyoulike
07-20-2016, 08:11 PM
Yes but you were sharp enough to know what I meant :)

Btw, I use it for both prediction and to understand the past. I'm still trying to figure out the current state of the horses from just the pp's. I think you have to incorporate physicality as shown in the paddock and post parade for that but it's difficult using just what you can see from the ADW tv monitoring.

Capper Al
07-20-2016, 08:19 PM
I have that book and will look his pace theory again. The thing about pace seems to be that it can explain most winners after the race.

EMD4ME
07-20-2016, 08:52 PM
I have that book and will look his pace theory again. The thing about pace seems to be that it can explain most winners after the race.

And this is WHY, I have a major eruption when the lone speed of the race at 5 1/2 F is choked to death for 7/16 and then after the horse has no energy left (from being stiffed) the jock goes into their "all out look at me, I'm trying drive" as closers sprint away from the lone speed.

:mad: :mad: :bang: :bang:

classhandicapper
07-20-2016, 09:00 PM
I agree with what everyone is saying, but sometimes it can be very difficult to make accurate assessments of each component of a horse's trip and weigh them against each other in order to reach a conclusion (especially when it comes to speed/rail biases that can be anywhere from subtle to dictating and not always clear). With many horses there are positives and negatives that still confuse me after 40 years.

Sometimes it makes sense to simply be familiar with the general quality and styles of the horses that were in the race, watch the way the race developed, and assess the performances of each horse relative to others with similar trips. That kind of thing sometimes screams A ran better than B without trying to quantify conflicting impacts of pace, bias, ground loss, wind, pressure etc.. individually.

If there was a duel in fast fractions, did the duelers actually back up the way you would expect or not?

Were the duelers consistent high quality speed horses or horses that show occasional speed?

Who won the duel and how badly did the losers back up relative to expectations?

Have any of the duelers or chasers that tired come back out of the race to run better under more honest circumstances or did they run poorly again?

Was that closer in a slow paced race the only horse to make up a lot of ground in a spectacular closing time or did several horses do the same thing?

Was that horses that looped 4w the only horse that ran well outside or did several horses in the race run huge with wide trips?

EMD4ME
07-20-2016, 09:02 PM
I agree with what everyone is saying, but sometimes it can be very difficult to make accurate assessments of each component of a horse's trip and weigh them against each other in order to reach a conclusion (especially when it comes to speed/rail biases that can be anywhere from subtle to dictating and not always clear). With many horses there are positives and negatives that still confuse me after 40 years.

Sometimes it makes sense to simply be familiar with the general quality and styles of the horses that were in the race, watch the way the race developed, and assess the performances of each horse relative to others with similar trips. That kind of thing sometimes screams A ran better than B without trying to quantify conflicting impacts of pace, bias, ground loss, wind, pressure etc.. individually.

If there was a duel in fast fractions, did the duelers actually back up the way you would expect or not?

Were the duelers consistent high quality speed horses or horses that show occasional speed?

Who won the duel and how badly did the losers back up relative to expectations?

Have any of the duelers or chasers come back out of the race to run better under more honest circumstances or are they running poorly again?

Was that closer in a slow paced race the only horse to make up a lot of ground in a spectacular closing time or did several horses do the same thing?

Was that horses looped 4w the only horse that ran well outside or did several horses in the race run huge with wide trips?


Love all these questions. You and I could go on and on forever about trips! Love it.

classhandicapper
07-20-2016, 09:05 PM
[/B]

Love all these questions. You and I could go on and on forever about trips! Love it.

I'm not some kind of trip expert. I've had good results with bias for a long time and have a lot of experience with pace, but I'm constantly confused about conflicting trip information. I find that questions and comparative handicapping like that helps me a lot.

Capper Al
07-21-2016, 08:02 AM
I agree with what everyone is saying, but sometimes it can be very difficult to make accurate assessments of each component of a horse's trip and weigh them against each other in order to reach a conclusion (especially when it comes to speed/rail biases that can be anywhere from subtle to dictating and not always clear). With many horses there are positives and negatives that still confuse me after 40 years.

Sometimes it makes sense to simply be familiar with the general quality and styles of the horses that were in the race, watch the way the race developed, and assess the performances of each horse relative to others with similar trips. That kind of thing sometimes screams A ran better than B without trying to quantify conflicting impacts of pace, bias, ground loss, wind, pressure etc.. individually.

If there was a duel in fast fractions, did the duelers actually back up the way you would expect or not?

Were the duelers consistent high quality speed horses or horses that show occasional speed?

Who won the duel and how badly did the losers back up relative to expectations?

Have any of the duelers or chasers that tired come back out of the race to run better under more honest circumstances or did they run poorly again?

Was that closer in a slow paced race the only horse to make up a lot of ground in a spectacular closing time or did several horses do the same thing?

Was that horses that looped 4w the only horse that ran well outside or did several horses in the race run huge with wide trips?

Many a time I think racing is more of a chess game than a race. All the barns have a feel for who's who in the race. The question then becomes, 'is their horse capable of beating the alpha ?' If not why challenge him? So they hold their horse back. Or they are out for an exercise and go for the lead just to give it up. Therefore, the validity of the fractions are questionable. The best that I've come up with is to only look at winning efforts.

EMD4ME
07-21-2016, 08:46 AM
Many a time I think racing is more of a chess game than a race. All the barns have a feel for who's who in the race. The question then becomes, 'is their horse capable of beating the alpha ?' If not why challenge him? So they hold their horse back. Or they are out for an exercise and go for the lead just to give it up. Therefore, the validity of the fractions are questionable. The best that I've come up with is to only look at winning efforts.

Some good points Al.

Many times its important to see what shouldve happened and didn't happen... there's an important reason why....and more importantly , an important reason to follow up on that runner.

Dave Schwartz
07-21-2016, 10:39 AM
Many a time I think racing is more of a chess game than a race. All the barns have a feel for who's who in the race. The question then becomes, 'is their horse capable of beating the alpha ?' If not why challenge him? So they hold their horse back. Or they are out for an exercise and go for the lead just to give it up. Therefore, the validity of the fractions are questionable. The best that I've come up with is to only look at winning efforts.

I think you give the trainers too much credit for big thinking and knowing how well a horse will perform.

There are certainly some who do so, but in any given race I doubt that there are more than 3-4 horses (maybe less) that are actually "trying" to win.

pandy
07-21-2016, 12:07 PM
Well the big debates used to be on picking pace lines. Now that has seemed to have faded. There has been a lot of movement for using the last race or the next to last race. It's a kind of pace form idea. But that's not my problem here. My problem is in reading the tea leaves of pace. One hears lone pace or early pace or in the lead at the second call or ability time. All great concepts after the race. What about before the race? Can that lone speed hold out? Or can the closer far behind at the second call catch up? If you think you have a handle on this, please explain reading the tea leaves.

Thanks

BTW, I use key race(similar distance and same surface) for my pace selections.



My new book Power Pace Handicapping will handle all of these questions. One thing I'll say, pace figures, or pace handicapping, whatever you want to call it, is similar to speed figures/handicapping in this way, in some races, the figures are not going to be that much help. If all of the horses have similar figures, you have to either skip the race or use other factors to decipher the past performances. However, in some races, pace figures are powerful indicators.

pandy
07-21-2016, 12:16 PM
I think you give the trainers too much credit for big thinking and knowing how well a horse will perform.

There are certainly some who do so, but in any given race I doubt that there are more than 3-4 horses (maybe less) that are actually "trying" to win.


Do you mean that the horse itself isn't trying to win, or that the trainer isn't try to win? Although either way, I would disagree. I hit a horse at Woodbine yesterday that was 1 for 19 coming into the race. Some people would say that a horse like that doesn't try to win, but since breaking its maiden the horse had been put in tough spots. Yesterday it was dropping into a n2l $20,000 claimer and cutting back from a route to 7 furlongs. When it broke its maiden it was over the same track and distance and for the same price tag. They all seem to try harder when they're not over classed or running at the wrong distance or on the wrong surface.

The only time I think that some horses aren't really intended to win is sometimes off long layoffs, and sometimes the trainer will put a horse in a bad spot for conditioning, for instance, putting a sprinter in a turf route to leg it up a bit. But those are pretty easy to spot. Most of the time, I assume that the horse is trying to win. The horse is an athlete, it's bred to race, and it will race as well as it can in its current physical condition.

traynor
07-21-2016, 12:41 PM
I have that book and will look his pace theory again. The thing about pace seems to be that it can explain most winners after the race.

... there is little credible support for the use of "pace analysis" as a predictor ...

Emphasis on "credible." Most have more than a few examples of scenarios in which pre-race pace analysis "seemed" to predict events in the race. However, apocryphal examples do not do well in prediction. Especially if one intends to wager on such predictions.

In the majority of pace scenarios, the "preferred running style" of the jockey is more significant than the "preferred running style" of the horse (if any such exists in the real world, beyond (very) broad generalities of little or no predictive value).

In many other pace scenarios, post-race pace analysis often degenerates into the equivalent of "the bleeping jockey stiffed him" rationalizations to explain why one lost one's wager(s).

classhandicapper
07-21-2016, 01:18 PM
I know where you are coming from, but I can't agree with you entirely Traynor.

I have some personal queries that will look through the PPs of all the horses in race, generate a running style for each horse, look at some other factors, tell me how much pace pressure is likely to occur in the race, and tell me what is likely to happen at that distance, on that surface, at that track.

When I was developing it, I checked the projected running styles against the results in the race and kept tweaking and adding factors until I got the best results I could (it's an ongoing process with more enhancements to come).

When I project a very fast or slow pace, I also have the ability to check how accurate my projections were.

I can verify them with a positional analysis of where the winner eventually came from, where the speed horses finished, and what pace figures actually occurred in the race. I can do that by distance, surface, track, class or whatever other criteria I'm interested in.

That's a pretty comprehensive and objective approach with the ability to do a lot of testing. I'm not done with it, but it's already pretty good.

Lots of races don't develop the way I expect and I'm sure some of this kind of thing is already built into the odds, but you can certainly make pace projections, start estimating how likely it is you will be correct, and know how that projection will probably play out at that track/distance/surface using a tool like this.

Dave Schwartz
07-21-2016, 01:44 PM
Do you mean that the horse itself isn't trying to win, or that the trainer isn't try to win?

The only time I think that some horses aren't really intended to win is sometimes off long layoffs, and sometimes the trainer will put a horse in a bad spot for conditioning, for instance, putting a sprinter in a turf route to leg it up a bit. But those are pretty easy to spot. Most of the time, I assume that the horse is trying to win. The horse is an athlete, it's bred to race, and it will race as well as it can in its current physical condition.

Pandy, as always, I have great respect for your opinions. That being said, I have to say...

... Absolutely, the trainer.

Back in the early 80s I used to make a habit of grabbing the condition book in SoCal when it became available. Remember that those were the days of 12-horse fields with 3-6 also eligibles in many races.

There was actually a note to trainers in the bottom of the race conditions (not the published part, of course) that said, "If there are also eligibles, trainers will be asked to designate whether or not they are trying today."

The first time I saw that I about fell over. NOT TRYING? You mean not every horse is running hard for my hard-earned dollars? How does one get THAT information?

My opinion is that most races contain only 3 or 4 horses that are really "well intended." Depending upon the trainer, the layoffs may be either a positive or a negative. Statistically, short layoffs (31-35 days) are actually a positive, winning more as well as returning more money.

BTW, that does not mean that the not-well-intended horses never win. Especially true when the anticipated front-running speed collapses or barely fires at all. Strange things happen.

traynor
07-21-2016, 02:09 PM
I know where you are coming from, but I can't agree with you entirely Traynor.

I have some personal queries that will look through the PPs of all the horses in race, generate a running style for each horse, look at some other factors, tell me how much pace pressure is likely to occur in the race, and tell me what is likely to happen at that distance, on that surface, at that track.

When I was developing it, I checked the projected running styles against the results in the race and kept tweaking and adding factors until I got the best results I could (it's an ongoing process with more enhancements to come).

When I project a very fast or slow pace, I also have the ability to check how accurate my projections were.

I can verify them with a positional analysis of where the winner eventually came from, where the speed horses finished, and what pace figures actually occurred in the race. I can do that by distance, surface, track, class or whatever other criteria I'm interested in.

That's a pretty comprehensive and objective approach with the ability to do a lot of testing. I'm not done with it, but it's already pretty good.

Lots of races don't develop the way I expect and I'm sure some of this kind of thing is already built into the odds, but you can certainly make pace projections, start estimating how likely it is you will be correct, and know how that projection will probably play out at that track/distance/surface using a tool like this.

I wrote (and have spent years continually improving) an app that does what your queries do (as you state above), and more. I think when you get to the serious research phase of applying the pace predictions so generated to a large database you will find that much of the promise of pace analysis is only realized after the race is over. And much of "pace theory" is little more than smoke and mirrors--big on promise, but short on useful application to the real world problem of predicting winners.

I am definitely not "anti-pace." I have been using (and continually learning more about) pace analysis since the early 1980s. I even wrote a training app to enable members of the blackjack team I was "associated with" to develop the pattern-recognition skills to find races worth betting, the "true contenders" in such races, and the "most predictive pace lines" for each of those contenders. It was (and is) a non-trivial piece of work.

Pace can be useful in prediction, but that usefulness requires considerably more complex a perspective on pace analysis than the simplistic "popular" theories might suggest is required.

thaskalos
07-21-2016, 02:56 PM
What real proof is there to support the popular notion that the majority of these horses are "slaves" to their own particular (and predictable) "running styles"? Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I will regularly chance a wager at locales such as Portland Meadows, Prairie Meadows and Indiana Downs...where it is common to see the lowliest claimers refrain from setting the early pace, as they normally do...and yet they often manage to win the race quite nicely by charging from well back in the field. If the cheapest horses on the grounds can do it...couldn't it be that the better horses might be able to do this as well?

"Predicting" how the race is likely to unfold today is an endeavor with obvious limitations, IMO...and I doubt that it deserves the sort of attention that most handicappers give it.

Dave Schwartz
07-21-2016, 03:19 PM
Pace can be useful in prediction, but that usefulness requires considerably more complex a perspective on pace analysis than the simplistic "popular" theories might suggest is required.

I completely agree.

In my own endeavors, I tried to get away from pace because it seems to put you on so many low-priced horses. (This is especially true using simple modeling techniques such as Brohamer's approach.)

Instead, I actually wound up making deeper models, or what I call "Sub-Models."


My Modeling Approach
Essentially, I begin with track-surface-distance (TSD) just like the conventional approach. However, the concept of the "small, recent model" just does not seem to work any more.

So, when I filter the past races, I go for TSD, but with a similar pace pressure score. (I use Randy Gile's idea to only count Q-ES 5+ points, which was just brilliant.) I demand +/-4 points from today, searching for a maximum of 100 races.

For common configurations, this will go back 2-3 years but for the rare ones (such as 5 or more front runners) it might go back 6-7 years and still only get a handful of races. The minimum races required are 15.


Sub-Models
What makes this whole thing work is that the system is then queried to build 4 objects, that describe how the races were actually run, relative to the 1st call position of the winner.

Obj3: Only looks at winners that were within 1.00 length at the 1st call.

Obj2: Only looks at winners that were within 3.00 lengths at the 1st call.

Obj1: Only looks at winners that were outside of 3.00 lengths at the 1st call.

Obj0: Only looks at winners that were outside of 6.00 lengths at the 1st call.


Thus, I wind up with 4 objects, each representing who will likely win the race if it runs a particular way.


If any of you are interested in knowing more about how this works, please let me know. With a few responses, I will do a short video seminar on the topic. Just email me and say, "I am interested in the Pace Sub-Model stuff." Please note that you will need to be signed up for the email list to receive an invite.

Click here to join our email list. (http://pacemakestherace.com/)


Dave

classhandicapper
07-21-2016, 03:23 PM
I wrote (and have spent years continually improving) an app that does what your queries do (as you state above), and more. I think when you get to the serious research phase of applying the pace predictions so generated to a large database you will find that much of the promise of pace analysis is only realized after the race is over. And much of "pace theory" is little more than smoke and mirrors--big on promise, but short on useful application to the real world problem of predicting winners.

I am definitely not "anti-pace." I have been using (and continually learning more about) pace analysis since the early 1980s. I even wrote a training app to enable members of the blackjack team I was "associated with" to develop the pattern-recognition skills to find races worth betting, the "true contenders" in such races, and the "most predictive pace lines" for each of those contenders. It was (and is) a non-trivial piece of work.

Pace can be useful in prediction, but that usefulness requires considerably more complex a perspective on pace analysis than the simplistic "popular" theories might suggest is required.

I still can't agree with you. You may be looking for universal truths applicable to all races across your database. I am looking for situations where my probability of being correct is high or where I at least know how likely it is I will be right.

I've already been using pace analysis successfully for a long time (including projections) in certain situations as part of my game. To me, that part of it is already settled.

What I am less certain of is the ability to automate a lot of it so you can be directed to races that may be playable with a stoke of a key instead of a subjective analysis of hundreds of horses and races one by one for hours.

But a side benefit of the research is that I am no longer learning by trial and error. I can ask questions and get exact answers.

classhandicapper
07-21-2016, 03:38 PM
What real proof is there to support the popular notion that the majority of these horses are "slaves" to their own particular (and predictable) "running styles"? Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I will regularly chance a wager at locales such as Portland Meadows, Prairie Meadows and Indiana Downs...where it is common to see the lowliest claimers refrain from setting the early pace, as they normally do...and yet they often manage to win the race quite nicely by charging from well back in the field. If the cheapest horses on the grounds can do it...couldn't it be that the better horses might be able to do this as well?

"Predicting" how the race is likely to unfold today is an endeavor with obvious limitations, IMO...and I doubt that it deserves the sort of attention that most handicappers give it.


I'm going to essentially repeat myself in case you didn't read my previous response.

IMO, the idea is not to come up with some universally applicable formula or way of thinking and apply it to all races. It's to find situations where you are very likely to be right about the running styles, pace, and impact or where you at least know the probability you will be right so you can adjust your thinking on the values.

What works in a high quality 7F sprint in NY/CA may not work so well in a turf route at some second string track.

traynor
07-21-2016, 03:57 PM
I still can't agree with you. You may be looking for universal truths applicable to all races across your database. I am looking for situations where my probability of being correct is high or where I at least know how likely it is I will be right.

I've already been using pace analysis successfully for a long time (including projections) in certain situations as part of my game. To me, that part of it is already settled.

What I am less certain of is the ability to automate a lot of it so you can be directed to races that may be playable with a stoke of a key instead of a subjective analysis of hundreds of horses and races one by one for hours.

But a side benefit of the research is that I am no longer learning by trial and error. I can ask questions and get exact answers.

I have little or no interest in chasing the rainbow of universal truths applicable to all races. Specifically, testing pace analysis involves layering--isolating and extracting those specific races in which the "pace scenario" in question would (be believed to) apply, and testing it against that specific sub-population of races. Plain vanilla, first semester community college data analysis will work fine for starters.

Consider it the equivalent of, "Yeah, this junk looks good in that race, and maybe even in a couple of races from Nowhere Downs, but what is going to happen if I repeat the process in x number of similar races" (in which I would erroneously believe that I have/had some piece of information that was predictive of the result)?

I do not seek agreement. I only suggest that anyone who intends to use "pace analysis" in his or her wagering would do well to go beyond the simplistic ideas most consider "pace analysis."

traynor
07-21-2016, 04:03 PM
What real proof is there to support the popular notion that the majority of these horses are "slaves" to their own particular (and predictable) "running styles"? Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I will regularly chance a wager at locales such as Portland Meadows, Prairie Meadows and Indiana Downs...where it is common to see the lowliest claimers refrain from setting the early pace, as they normally do...and yet they often manage to win the race quite nicely by charging from well back in the field. If the cheapest horses on the grounds can do it...couldn't it be that the better horses might be able to do this as well?

"Predicting" how the race is likely to unfold today is an endeavor with obvious limitations, IMO...and I doubt that it deserves the sort of attention that most handicappers give it.

In the real world, little or none--at least that involves anything remotely resembling "serious " research. As in, "Wow. It is MY money that I'm going to be betting on this nonsense, so I better do everything I can to be sure it is useful nonsense."

classhandicapper
07-21-2016, 04:23 PM
I have little or no interest in chasing the rainbow of universal truths applicable to all races. Specifically, testing pace analysis involves layering--isolating and extracting those specific races in which the "pace scenario" in question would (be believed to) apply, and testing it against that specific sub-population of races. Plain vanilla, first semester community college data analysis will work fine for starters.

Consider it the equivalent of, "Yeah, this junk looks good in that race, and maybe even in a couple of races from Nowhere Downs, but what is going to happen if I repeat the process in x number of similar races" (in which I would erroneously believe that I have/had some piece of information that was predictive of the result)?

I do not seek agreement. I only suggest that anyone who intends to use "pace analysis" in his or her wagering would do well to go beyond the simplistic ideas most consider "pace analysis."

What you seem to be arguing is that you are doing something that you think has more value that pace prediction (which is great). I put more energy into after race pace analysis and watching the races than pre race analysis because I think it has more value. But imo you are vastly overstating the case against being able to predict extreme and impactful paces. I have loads of data that prove it can be done and have done it successfully at the windows. I'm kind of private about picks, but CJ does it publicly in threads and on twitter all the time when it seems clear. There are tools on the market that demonstrate that it can be done well enough to add value.

cj
07-21-2016, 04:27 PM
I do not seek agreement. I only suggest that anyone who intends to use "pace analysis" in his or her wagering would do well to go beyond the simplistic ideas most consider "pace analysis."

The same thing holds true for virtually any factor used to bet on horse racing.

whodoyoulike
07-21-2016, 04:42 PM
I think you give the trainers too much credit for big thinking and knowing how well a horse will perform.

There are certainly some who do so, but in any given race I doubt that there are more than 3-4 horses (maybe less) that are actually "trying" to win.

This is JMO, I don't know the number of trainers "trying" to win but I feel (and hope) it's most of them in any given race. I realize that some are in to fill the race or to give a horse speed or distance etc. I do agree with you that I really think most don't know which races to place their horses probably because they feel their horses are better than they really are. I'm basing my opinion by looking at the ITM% of the horses and the horse's purse earnings. The >15% trainers making good money are probably very few which you can look up the trainer stats on the Equibase website. I've often wondered how a lot of these trainers survive in this economy because it's not from winning a share of the purses.

Capper Al
07-21-2016, 04:43 PM
The same thing holds true for virtually any factor used to bet on horse racing.

Except when class or speed goes wrong usually we can find the horse was improving. Not so with pace.

Capper Al
07-21-2016, 04:47 PM
I think you give the trainers too much credit for big thinking and knowing how well a horse will perform.

There are certainly some who do so, but in any given race I doubt that there are more than 3-4 horses (maybe less) that are actually "trying" to win.

I am not seeing your answer disagreeing with what I said even though it appears that you are thinking we do disagree. When to try is the chess game.

Capper Al
07-21-2016, 04:49 PM
Some good comments.

Thanks

traynor
07-21-2016, 05:06 PM
The same thing holds true for virtually any factor used to bet on horse racing.

Absolutely.

traynor
07-21-2016, 05:16 PM
What you seem to be arguing is that you are doing something that you think has more value that pace prediction (which is great). I put more energy into after race pace analysis and watching the races than pre race analysis because I think it has more value. But imo you are vastly overstating the case against being able to predict extreme and impactful paces. I have loads of data that prove it can be done and have done it successfully at the windows. I'm kind of private about picks, but CJ does it publicly in threads and on twitter all the time when it seems clear. There are tools on the market that demonstrate that it can be done well enough to add value.


"(P)redict(ing) extreme and impactful paces" is not the issue. The issue is how accurately the pop methods of "pace analysis" enable one to divine the winner of upcoming races.

Almost everything works at one time or another. The trick is in not becoming overly enamored of a trivial number of instances, and avoiding mindless extrapolation of that trivial number of instances as being representative of (all or most of) the instances in a (much) larger population. Whether in "pace analysis" or any other aspect of handicapping horse races.

classhandicapper
07-21-2016, 06:12 PM
"(P)redict(ing) extreme and impactful paces" is not the issue. The issue is how accurately the pop methods of "pace analysis" enable one to divine the winner of upcoming races.



Yes. I agree.

But if you are getting the running styles right often enough and getting the extreme paces right often enough, you already have a tool that enables you to downgrade or upgrade certain horses that might not be bet right.

For me at least, none of the pre race stuff is ever enough to stop the rest of the handicapping process right there. You have to look at the ability of the horses that may benefit also. I also try to profile the kinds of horses that win under that scenario .

Capper Al
07-21-2016, 07:37 PM
Traynor and Class,

You two seem to have a different view on the usefulness of pace from one another. I'm in the middle. I agree with you both. Sometimes I see value other times I don't. I'm thinking the word extreme makes some sense with pace. If we have two horses A and B and A has a 120 pace figure and B has an 80 then we might have something, but if we're comparing horse A with 94 to B with an 91 then we don't have anything.

traynor
07-21-2016, 09:19 PM
Yes. I agree.

But if you are getting the running styles right often enough and getting the extreme paces right often enough, you already have a tool that enables you to downgrade or upgrade certain horses that might not be bet right.

For me at least, none of the pre race stuff is ever enough to stop the rest of the handicapping process right there. You have to look at the ability of the horses that may benefit also. I also try to profile the kinds of horses that win under that scenario .

I agree wholeheartedly. That is at odds with those who seem to believe that "pace analysis" (more or less on its own, and however that individual defines the term) is sufficient to use as a basis for wagering. It definitely is not.

The question becomes, then, exactly what is one analyzing? If one can narrow the probable winner of a given race to (for example) four horses that otherwise seem appropriately placed, in decent current form, not brutally outclassed, have reasonably competent trainers and jockeys, and whatever else, "pace analysis" may seem to be predictive. In some extreme cases, it may even be. In many other cases, it is about as useful (and about as predictive) as astrology, numerology, or other more esoteric forms of divination. It can be (generally) ignored with little impact on one's bottom line.

The only real way to determine the value of pace analysis (in isolation) is by conducting reasonably thoughtful research on test sets of similar races. That seems to be the area that many "pace analysts" avoid, most often with interesting and convoluted rationalizations of how and why such cannot (or should not) be done. And that seems to be the area so lacking in "credible research that establishes the validity of pace analysis (as generally viewed in the pop culture of handicapping) in predicting the winners of races."

traynor
07-21-2016, 09:26 PM
Traynor and Class,

You two seem to have a different view on the usefulness of pace from one another. I'm in the middle. I agree with you both. Sometimes I see value other times I don't. I'm thinking the word extreme makes some sense with pace. If we have two horses A and B and A has a 120 pace figure and B has an 80 then we might have something, but if we're comparing horse A with 94 to B with an 91 then we don't have anything.

In a field of entries at six furlongs, two of those entries have never finished in less than 1:10. All the others routinely finish in less than 1:10. I don't care how sophisticated one believes his or her "pace analysis" to be, or how advantaged or disadvantaged one believes the various entries to be in their "projected pace scenarios," I think anyone betting on one of the two entries that have never finished in less than 1:10 had best hold on tightly to his or her day job.

Capper Al
07-21-2016, 11:30 PM
In a field of entries at six furlongs, two of those entries have never finished in less than 1:10. All the others routinely finish in less than 1:10. I don't care how sophisticated one believes his or her "pace analysis" to be, or how advantaged or disadvantaged one believes the various entries to be in their "projected pace scenarios," I think anyone betting on one of the two entries that have never finished in less than 1:10 had best hold on tightly to his or her day job.

Traditional handicapping order is

Form
Class
Speed
Pace
Connection -- some use both Jockey and trainer other use just one

Pace follows speed. Your two slow horses should already be eliminate by the time one gets to pace. I agree with you.

traynor
07-22-2016, 09:07 AM
Traditional handicapping order is

Form
Class
Speed
Pace
Connection -- some use both Jockey and trainer other use just one

Pace follows speed. Your two slow horses should already be eliminate by the time one gets to pace. I agree with you.

The question then becomes, is one actually "using" pace, or is the race already reduced to a sub-set that may simply have "pace values" that seem to be significant, but are only (loosely) correlated with some other factor(s) that may be the actual (and superior) indicators of an upcoming win?

Unfortunately, a lot of "pace analysis" is little more than busywork that produces what seem to be meaningful values that faint-hearted bettors can use to rationalize wagering. (An example is "matching the horse's preferred running style and pace figures to the track profile of winners.") A bit like betting on jockeys with green caps. Sometimes it "seems to work" (occasionally at generous mutuels) but is mostly nonsense.

PICSIX
07-22-2016, 09:26 AM
1. For dirt races where all entrants have five or more running lines.
2. Sort your PP's by speed points (high to low).
3. Look for the winner in the top three, that's it.

Inner Dirt
07-22-2016, 09:52 AM
If you are going to get into projecting pace, I think it also makes sense to get comfortable categorizing running styles. Horses will typically only run as fast early as required to get the desired position. Pace figures are measuring how fast they had to run to get that position, but not necessarily how fast they could have run if desired or whether they are comfortable sitting off the pace and finishing well.

That is what perplexes me, while the methods I use are complex my pace figures end up an adjusted Beyer for each stage of the race. Picking the early leader is probably my strongest trait, I clean up during speed biases, but poor results in other areas leave me just breaking even the last decade.
Lets say we have a two turn mile that is pretty much full of plodders. I use the last 3 races and find a horse who has run against a stronger pace than he will today and gets the 1/2 mile and 3/4 mile mark at a pace figure averaging in the high 60's even though he is mid-pack or worse. No one else in the field has ever exceeded mid 50's at the same early distances.

I envision my horse plodding his was to an easy 4-5 length lead down the back stretch and gliding home to an easy win. Instead another jockey sees an opportunity to control a slow pace and hustles his horse out of the starting gate and wires the field setting pedestrian fractions. My horse breaks mid-pack and rallies in the stretch for show money, not threatening the winner.

Often my horse will do what I expected and find himself leading for the first time in the early stages, but not as often as one would think. I wonder why? Does that horse like to run mid-pack early no matter how fast or slow the pace. Is the jockey going to ride the horse the same no matter what the projected pace? I am curious, what do the masses think?

Capper Al
07-22-2016, 10:12 AM
The question then becomes, is one actually "using" pace, or is the race already reduced to a sub-set that may simply have "pace values" that seem to be significant, but are only (loosely) correlated with some other factor(s) that may be the actual (and superior) indicators of an upcoming win?

Unfortunately, a lot of "pace analysis" is little more than busywork that produces what seem to be meaningful values that faint-hearted bettors can use to rationalize wagering. (An example is "matching the horse's preferred running style and pace figures to the track profile of winners.") A bit like betting on jockeys with green caps. Sometimes it "seems to work" (occasionally at generous mutuels) but is mostly nonsense.

I would say that's were I'm currently at with pace, a sub-set.

classhandicapper
07-22-2016, 10:50 AM
I clean up during speed biases, but poor results in other areas leave me just breaking even the last decade.

Often my horse will do what I expected and find himself leading for the first time in the early stages, but not as often as one would think. I wonder why? Does that horse like to run mid-pack early no matter how fast or slow the pace. Is the jockey going to ride the horse the same no matter what the projected pace? I am curious, what do the masses think?

1. I think you should focus on what you are doing well. I know most horse players like a lot of action, but it's not against the law to pass races or to look for a track where your insights come into play more often.

2. It's probably a little of both. I own a small percentage of a few horses. Just last week one of them drew into a race without much speed after scratches. My horse is versatile. The rider was under instructions to go for the lead (and he did). A few weeks earlier in another race he was under instructions to take back because there were a couple of other fast horses (and he did). So the fact that he has speed or can finish late matters, but so does what the trainer is telling the jockey to do after we all analyze the PPs.

Capper Al
07-22-2016, 10:55 AM
And so, tbat is the chess game.

traynor
07-22-2016, 11:39 AM
1. I think you should focus on what you are doing well. I know most horse players like a lot of action, but it's not against the law to pass races or to look for a track where your insights come into play more often.

2. It's probably a little of both. I own a small percentage of a few horses. Just last week one of them drew into a race without much speed after scratches. My horse is versatile. The rider was under instructions to go for the lead (and he did). A few weeks earlier in another race he was under instructions to take back because there were a couple of other fast horses (and he did). So the fact that he has speed or can finish late matters, but so does what the trainer is telling the jockey to do after we all analyze the PPs.

A VERY important (and routinely overlooked) aspect of pre-race analysis of any flavor. Horses only get to do what the humans want them to do.

thaskalos
07-22-2016, 12:06 PM
In a field of entries at six furlongs, two of those entries have never finished in less than 1:10. All the others routinely finish in less than 1:10. I don't care how sophisticated one believes his or her "pace analysis" to be, or how advantaged or disadvantaged one believes the various entries to be in their "projected pace scenarios," I think anyone betting on one of the two entries that have never finished in less than 1:10 had best hold on tightly to his or her day job.

The merest TYRO is capable of eliminating the two "slow" horses in your above example...usually at first glance. The effectiveness of pace handicapping cannot be seen in the elimination of the obviously slow horses...where words like "never" and "routinely" apply. In the "real world", to which you so often refer, the serious handicapping question confronting the player isn't "how to eliminate the obvious throwouts"; it's "how to separate the remaining contenders". And, if the handicapper is to do an adequate job of THAT...then he will have to use all the tools in his arsenal. And, in that regard, "pace analysis" is a mighty useful "tool" to have.

I would offer a detailed example of what I mean, but I am still a little reluctant at this moment. You know...this being a "competition", and all...

Inner Dirt
07-22-2016, 12:19 PM
1. I think you should focus on what you are doing well. I know most horse players like a lot of action, but it's not against the law to pass races or to look for a track where your insights come into play more often.

2. It's probably a little of both. I own a small percentage of a few horses. Just last week one of them drew into a race without much speed after scratches. My horse is versatile. The rider was under instructions to go for the lead (and he did). A few weeks earlier in another race he was under instructions to take back because there were a couple of other fast horses (and he did). So the fact that he has speed or can finish late matters, but so does what the trainer is telling the jockey to do after we all analyze the PPs.

Thanks for the reply, on #1 so far in 41 years of betting horses (I started at 14, Step dad liked Los Alamitos). I have just recently learned a little patience and only mostly on Pick Sixes. If there isn't at least 3 dirt sprints I don't play, as I am so bad at turf routes I need to go 3 deep to catch a 6-5 shot. I am pretty sure I am a little ahead in my lifetime, but if I was more disciplined I would be well ahead. Back before OTB's (They weren't around till late 80's where I lived) I had a $250 or nothing rule (When in my late teens to mid 20's). If I was less than $250 ahead going into the 9th, it was all getting bet. I was either going to score big or walkout even. On the other side if I was in the hole I would bet enough to get even. Even if that last race was for 3 legged maidens dragging bags of cement.

As far as #2, I am pretty sure most trainers and jockeys do not have the time to become expert pace handicappers. Do they simplistically just look at naked times and running positions in the Racing Form, or do they buy pace figures?

classhandicapper
07-22-2016, 02:48 PM
As far as #2, I am pretty sure most trainers and jockeys do not have the time to become expert pace handicappers. Do they simplistically just look at naked times and running positions in the Racing Form, or do they buy pace figures?

I don't know what other people do. Ownership is relatively new to me. I owned a piece of a horse with Team Valor years ago, but that was a very passive position. Barry Irwin called the shots. I'm a little more active in this case because the major partner is a friend. I handicap the race and discuss it with him the day before. He talks to the trainer, gets feedback, and then they decide. If I see the possibility of a bias before the race is run, I discuss it with the majority owner and it becomes part of the conversation in the paddock.

thaskalos
07-22-2016, 02:52 PM
I don't know what other people do. Ownership is relatively new to me. I owned a piece of a horse with Team Valor years ago, but that was a very passive position. Barry Irwin called the shots. I'm a little more active in this case because the major partner is a friend. I handicap the race and discuss it with him the day before. He talks to the trainer, gets feedback, and then they decide. If I see the possibility of a bias before the race is run, I discuss it with the majority owner and it becomes part of the conversation in the paddock.

In other words...you've become what trainers call a "pain-in-the-ass owner". :)

traynor
07-22-2016, 06:15 PM
The merest TYRO is capable of eliminating the two "slow" horses in your above example...usually at first glance. The effectiveness of pace handicapping cannot be seen in the elimination of the obviously slow horses...where words like "never" and "routinely" apply. In the "real world", to which you so often refer, the serious handicapping question confronting the player isn't "how to eliminate the obvious throwouts"; it's "how to separate the remaining contenders". And, if the handicapper is to do an adequate job of THAT...then he will have to use all the tools in his arsenal. And, in that regard, "pace analysis" is a mighty useful "tool" to have.

I would offer a detailed example of what I mean, but I am still a little reluctant at this moment. You know...this being a "competition", and all...

It is sometimes necessary to belabor the obvious to illustrate a point. I might have written something like, "Don't expect a horse to go faster because its preferred running style and pace figures fit the track profile," or some equivalent clump of insider jargon, but I thought it might go over the heads of the true believers. People tend to process what they think they see written, rather than what is actually there.

The comment was intended as illustrative of foolish concepts--something that pace handicappers and pace analysts seem to adore, with little or no basis for doing so.

thaskalos
07-22-2016, 06:47 PM
It is sometimes necessary to belabor the obvious to illustrate a point. I might have written something like, "Don't expect a horse to go faster because its preferred running style and pace figures fit the track profile," or some equivalent clump of insider jargon, but I thought it might go over the heads of the true believers. People tend to process what they think they see written, rather than what is actually there.

The comment was intended as illustrative of foolish concepts--something that pace handicappers and pace analysts seem to adore, with little or no basis for doing so.

My own experience tells me that the implementation of "foolish concepts" isn't just the "pace enthusiast's" characteristic. In this game...there is enough "foolishness" to go around.

whodoyoulike
07-22-2016, 06:47 PM
... The comment was intended as illustrative of foolish concepts--something that pace handicappers and pace analysts seem to adore, with little or no basis for doing so.

So, there is pace, speed, class handicapping etc. which I'm familiar, what do you usually use or can you describe the basics in layman words?

whodoyoulike
07-22-2016, 07:01 PM
Traditional handicapping order is

Form
Class
Speed
Pace
Connection -- some use both Jockey and trainer other use just one

Pace follows speed. Your two slow horses should already be eliminate by the time one gets to pace. I agree with you.


Where does this traditional order come from because I've found that I can't determine Form until I've looked at speed and pace?

How does one determine improving form?

Even a horse which has run at the back of their last few races can show improving form. Maybe, they were entered against a bunch of speedsters or a router in a sprint race which is the reason for their running position during the races.

Using your handicapping order, I'd probably re-order it as:

Speed
Pace
Class
Form
Connections

but, there are many other criteria everyone should use besides just these 5.

thaskalos
07-22-2016, 07:38 PM
Where does this traditional order come from because I've found that I can't determine Form until I've looked at speed and pace?

How does one determine improving form?

Even a horse which has run at the back of their last few races can show improving form. Maybe, they were entered against a bunch of speedsters or a router in a sprint race which is the reason for their running position during the races.

Using your handicapping order, I'd probably re-order it as:

Speed
Pace
Class
Form
Connections

but, there are many other criteria everyone should use besides just these 5.

These handicapping factors can't be analyzed individually...because, as you say, they overlap greatly.

dilanesp
07-22-2016, 08:12 PM
If you are going to get into projecting pace, I think it also makes sense to get comfortable categorizing running styles. Horses will typically only run as fast early as required to get the desired position. Pace figures are measuring how fast they had to run to get that position, but not necessarily how fast they could have run if desired or whether they are comfortable sitting off the pace and finishing well.

This is consistent with what I observe.

The scenario where a pace figure is most useful is as follows. You have a sprint race with two horses who like to go to the lead. They both have a lot of 1's and 2's in their pp's. But the first horse has pace figures (on my scale) of 110, 108, 112 and the second horse has pace figures of 134, 124, 128.

Both horses are going to go to the front, but the second horse is going to get less tired doing it and is more likely to "win" the speed duel and hold on (all other things being equal), because he is capable of running faster in the early going than the first horse and should get less tired.

On the other hand, pace figures tell you nothing about how a closer is going to run, and are very little help even with a horse with tactical speed if the jockey decides to take her off the pace. You can't evaluate pace figures without looking at running styles.

thaskalos
07-22-2016, 08:34 PM
This is consistent with what I observe.

The scenario where a pace figure is most useful is as follows. You have a sprint race with two horses who like to go to the lead. They both have a lot of 1's and 2's in their pp's. But the first horse has pace figures (on my scale) of 110, 108, 112 and the second horse has pace figures of 134, 124, 128.

Both horses are going to go to the front, but the second horse is going to get less tired doing it and is more likely to "win" the speed duel and hold on (all other things being equal), because he is capable of running faster in the early going than the first horse and should get less tired.

On the other hand, pace figures tell you nothing about how a closer is going to run, and are very little help even with a horse with tactical speed if the jockey decides to take her off the pace. You can't evaluate pace figures without looking at running styles.

Nonsense. Pace figures have plenty to say about the performance of closers. You seem to have a very simplistic opinion about pace handicapping...just as you do about no-limit holdem. It's dangerous to think that your knowledge is vast...when it's really limited to certain confined areas.

Capper Al
07-22-2016, 09:23 PM
Where does this traditional order come from because I've found that I can't determine Form until I've looked at speed and pace?

How does one determine improving form?

Even a horse which has run at the back of their last few races can show improving form. Maybe, they were entered against a bunch of speedsters or a router in a sprint race which is the reason for their running position during the races.

Using your handicapping order, I'd probably re-order it as:

Speed
Pace
Class
Form
Connections

but, there are many other criteria everyone should use besides just these 5.

I gather all the info for each category separately. For example, days since last raced or worked and others for form. And similarly for class, speed, pace and connections. Once I have all the categories figured out then I look at the race in the classical order.

classhandicapper
07-22-2016, 10:43 PM
In other words...you've become what trainers call a "pain-in-the-ass owner". :)

;)

Not in the training, but we do discuss where to spot the horses and where to place them in the race. From what I can gather the trainer is also a very good handicapper because so far everything we've done made perfect sense to me.

classhandicapper
07-22-2016, 11:08 PM
This is consistent with what I observe.

The scenario where a pace figure is most useful is as follows. You have a sprint race with two horses who like to go to the lead. They both have a lot of 1's and 2's in their pp's. But the first horse has pace figures (on my scale) of 110, 108, 112 and the second horse has pace figures of 134, 124, 128.

Both horses are going to go to the front, but the second horse is going to get less tired doing it and is more likely to "win" the speed duel and hold on (all other things being equal), because he is capable of running faster in the early going than the first horse and should get less tired.


I agree with your example.

These days I start with a query that gives me a very basic idea of the likely pace pressure in each race on a card and the profile of the typical winner at that track at that distance on that surface. I can also look up profiles of fast/slow paced races under those conditions. That flags all the races with some obvious potential for a pace play on that day.

Then I go straight to the flagged races and do a more detailed analysis of each horse's running style, their quality, etc... to determine if I can confidently upgrade or downgrade specific horses within that race relative to their general ability given how I expect it to be run and how confident I am in the projection.

The major difference between what I do and what most people do is that my comparisons are more qualitative in nature than based on pace figures. They often agree anyway, but I have techniques I use that are my own. So when the figures and my techniques disagree, I am away from the consensus.

The major difference between what I am doing now and what I've been doing successfully all along is that a lot of it is automated. I don't waste time looking at races where it's very unlikely I'm going to find that kind of play. I can also simply push buttons and get the data and answers I want. This automated portion is new. But it has the potential to expand my activity. I can get a list of flagged races at any number of tracks in 5 minutes. That beats going through them 1 by 1 and wasting tons of time to get through 1 race card.

traynor
07-23-2016, 08:59 AM
I gather all the info for each category separately. For example, days since last raced or worked and others for form. And similarly for class, speed, pace and connections. Once I have all the categories figured out then I look at the race in the classical order.

An experiment that may be worth your while: Save the preferred running style, pace preference, or whatever you want to call it, as indicated by your use of key race lines from PPs. Use the actual race results as an indicator of the winner's pace preferences. Compare the two. I think I posted the code to extract such some time ago.

The perceptions of preferred running style, pace preference, or whatever you want to call it created by viewing one, two, (or some other small number) of races may be (and very often is) different than the reality of winning races.

I realize that it takes a bit of work, but it can readily be seen that the "projected" pace scenarios and the actual pace scenarios are (much) more often different than they are the same. This may not be due to faulty pace projections as much as it is to the basis used for such projections.

Gross oversimplification: Horse A ONLY wins (based on records of its pace profile in its winning races, NOT on projections) in races in which it was leading at the second call. No lead, no win. In today's race, another entry routinely takes the early lead and carries it through the start of the stretch before wilting. Could be a big problem for Horse A.

Not rocket science, not exactly brilliant pace analysis. The only "added" element is the maintenance of records (from results charts) of the actual pace performance of the winners. Rather than extracting (what one believes to be) each entries pace preferences from one or two races in the PPs, use the actual performance of each entry in its previous winning races as the indicator.

A bit of work, but likely to give you a much more realistic (and useful) perspective on "pace matchups" and when, and under what circumstances, an entry is actually advantaged or disadvantaged by the probable pace scenarios of a given race.

traynor
07-23-2016, 09:06 AM
Extracted, saved, and accumulated (in individual entry files) from winning races:

If dbl1CPace <= 1.0 Then
strPreferredPaceStyle = "E"
End If

If dbl1CPace > 1.0 AndAlso dbl2CPace <= 1.0 Then
strPreferredPaceStyle = "P"
End If

If dbl1CPace > 1.0 AndAlso dbl2CPace > 1.0 _
AndAlso dbl3CPace <= 1.0 Then
strPreferredPaceStyle = "M"
End If

If dbl1CPace > 1.0 AndAlso dbl2CPace > 1.0 _
AndAlso dbl3CPace > 1.0 AndAlso dblStrCPace <= 1.0 Then
strPreferredPaceStyle = "L"
End If
If dbl1CPace > 1.0 AndAlso dbl2CPace > 1.0 _
AndAlso dbl3CPace > 1.0 AndAlso dblStrCPace > 1.0 Then
strPreferredPaceStyle = "F"
End If

Basic idea originally in an article link in a post by Bob Pandolfo (which, when I asked, he stated he could not recall posting, and I did not save). I have no idea if the basic concept was his or someone else's. I modified and adopted it for my own use.

traynor
07-23-2016, 09:19 AM
So, there is pace, speed, class handicapping etc. which I'm familiar, what do you usually use or can you describe the basics in layman words?

Simply stated, I create models of the attributes of winners. The data for each entry in a given race is then parsed to extract matches to the models. I spend most of my time analyzing data and creating models. I do very little (conventional) handicapping of individual races on a daily basis.

Capper Al
07-23-2016, 09:37 AM
Thanks Traynor. I group my horses by attempted win which is first, second, or third by a length for pace comparison. I do try to find similar distance and surface key pace lines.

Tom
07-23-2016, 11:38 AM
Originally Posted by traynor
... The comment was intended as illustrative of foolish concepts--something that pace handicappers and pace analysts seem to adore, with little or no basis for doing so.


And so you had to use a totally made up example to make this point?

Uh, huh.....right. :rolleyes:

ebcorde
07-23-2016, 01:41 PM
This is consistent with what I observe.

The scenario where a pace figure is most useful is as follows. You have a sprint race with two horses who like to go to the lead. They both have a lot of 1's and 2's in their pp's. But the first horse has pace figures (on my scale) of 110, 108, 112 and the second horse has pace figures of 134, 124, 128.

Both horses are going to go to the front, but the second horse is going to get less tired doing it and is more likely to "win" the speed duel and hold on (all other things being equal), because he is capable of running faster in the early going than the first horse and should get less tired.

On the other hand, pace figures tell you nothing about how a closer is going to run, and are very little help even with a horse with tactical speed if the jockey decides to take her off the pace. You can't evaluate pace figures without looking at running styles.


On the other hand, pace figures tell you nothing about how a closer is going to run,

It does. Significant high late pace figures. In your example both Horses burn out , allowing a Horse with late pace 130,120,134 to hunt them down. Look at the last call position, final position , energy expended(formula) and Late pace fig.

whodoyoulike
07-23-2016, 04:34 PM
Simply stated, I create models of the attributes of winners. The data for each entry in a given race is then parsed to extract matches to the models. I spend most of my time analyzing data and creating models. I do very little (conventional) handicapping of individual races on a daily basis.

If I'm following your response correctly by "creating a model of the attributes of winners", you must (have to) be incorporating some or all of speed, pace and class handicapping in your models.

So, I don't understand the reason for your low opinion of pace handicapping as well as speed and class handicapping. It appears you don't think others can understand and utilize pace handicapping as well as you do because you probably don't consider it pace handicapping but instead you call it modeling of attributes.

traynor
07-23-2016, 07:28 PM
If I'm following your response correctly by "creating a model of the attributes of winners", you must (have to) be incorporating some or all of speed, pace and class handicapping in your models.

So, I don't understand the reason for your low opinion of pace handicapping as well as speed and class handicapping. It appears you don't think others can understand and utilize pace handicapping as well as you do because you probably don't consider it pace handicapping but instead you call it modeling of attributes.

Not at all. The various handicapping approaches you mention are based (in most cases) on data points extracted from past performance records, manipulated in some pre-defined manner. The result of that manipulation is used as a basis to compare with the resulting values, manipulated in the same manner, of the data points of other entries. The model building process I (and others) use is based on a different approach.

It is not so much that I have a low opinion of pace handicapping. It is that I have a low opinion of simplistic, one-dimensional pace handicapping. Pace handicapping is nowhere near as simple as many believe it to be, and the results of the simplistic, one-dimensional approaches are nowhere near as predictive as many believe them to be.

"Conventional" pace handicapping is good for describing (through some type of numerical conversion process) what happened. It is much less useful as a predictor of what will happen.

traynor
07-23-2016, 08:25 PM
If I'm following your response correctly by "creating a model of the attributes of winners", you must (have to) be incorporating some or all of speed, pace and class handicapping in your models.

So, I don't understand the reason for your low opinion of pace handicapping as well as speed and class handicapping. It appears you don't think others can understand and utilize pace handicapping as well as you do because you probably don't consider it pace handicapping but instead you call it modeling of attributes.

For a more detailed explanation, I recommend consulting those who are much better writers (and possibly even better data analysts) than I am:

As I stated previously on this thread, I tend to agree with CX Wong's opinion (as stated in Precision) that there is little credible support for the use of "pace analysis" as a predictor.
https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Statistical-Mathematical-Methods-Racing/dp/1432768522

Numerous (fairly readable) works on data analysis and data modeling have been recommended on various threads. Most are (or would be) useful to anyone handicapping horse races as anything beyond the recreational.

steveb
07-23-2016, 10:23 PM
Not at all. The various handicapping approaches you mention are based (in most cases) on data points extracted from past performance records, manipulated in some pre-defined manner. The result of that manipulation is used as a basis to compare with the resulting values, manipulated in the same manner, of the data points of other entries. The model building process I (and others) use is based on a different approach.

It is not so much that I have a low opinion of pace handicapping. It is that I have a low opinion of simplistic, one-dimensional pace handicapping. Pace handicapping is nowhere near as simple as many believe it to be, and the results of the simplistic, one-dimensional approaches are nowhere near as predictive as many believe them to be.

"Conventional" pace handicapping is good for describing (through some type of numerical conversion process) what happened. It is much less useful as a predictor of what will happen.

so if in one of my models, i have one particular predictor pace factor as adding .03 to the overall, then it's useless??? :lol:
seriously?

CincyHorseplayer
07-24-2016, 02:17 AM
This thread is called "The Mystery of Pace Figures". Knowing nearly everybody on this thread uh, there is no mystery at all. Understanding the abilities of race horses without looking at pace figures now there is a mystery. Whomever said seeing the form cycle within pace and speed figures had it right. It is not necessarily a predictive tool as it is assessing where a horse is at. Knowing that 5f pace figures can be vastly different from 6f ones because of configuration and 6.5-7 even moreso even within the same horse. That turn times are warped at the 6.5-7f distances because of that configuration as are turn times at 7.5 and occasionally 9f on turf than at 8-8.5f. Or knowing a horse that can close a turf race in 173 at minor track A could beat solid contenders at Major track B but with a 131 he will get smoked even if his competition is roughly the same. Knowing nuances of pace figures and better how they relate to certain tracks specifically or certain distances is more important than pure predictive power. How they relate to not only the nature of a specific track and occasionally on a specific day but to the general nature of a surface such as dirt or turf or synthetic which they do have. I have crossed over into the data age and am glad as it has saved me from the headache of minutia! And a lot of guess work. But I am glad when I sit down and can think through even the best betting model when I suspect something is wrong within this particular race with it. Having the data is reinforcing. Being able to think within the race and track on a particular day to me that is the fun part. OK I like the other work too! I am always looking to learn something new and do and this place is a gold mine of that. But I feel sometimes we tend to berate the other guy's approach too much. Thask made a great point that there is enough foolishness to go round on all our parts. But how it works for us isn't easy to explain because as Traynor pointed out it is a complex puzzle this pace. But we do know what works and amongst individuals I do talk about it openly. But really who wants to talk about the stuff you've been using that works and some of it has worked for 20 years and other new stuff is producing a steady stream of winners over the course of meets and a few years when most people don't believe it or when they do want to lock it down and steal it?! Talk about a lose lose situation! Pace figures aren't a mystery on here. What we're all doing with them can be the mystery. These threads pop up continuously month after month year after year for a reason. Some want the keys to the candy store handed to them without doing the work. I only got a key or two or three but gonna hang on to them a little while and stop talking! :cool:

pandy
07-24-2016, 07:48 AM
On the other hand, pace figures tell you nothing about how a closer is going to run,

It does. Significant high late pace figures. In your example both Horses burn out , allowing a Horse with late pace 130,120,134 to hunt them down. Look at the last call position, final position , energy expended(formula) and Late pace fig.


I agree, late pace figures can be used to determine a horse's closing ability in the particular race. The key then is how fit the horse is today and how far back it will be.

From reading these posts, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that there is disagreement on whether or not we can predict the probable pace of today's race. I discuss this in my new book, Power Pace Handicapping, which isn't finished. In some races, it's easier than others. I try not to make it a priority of my own handicapping. I want to know which horses have the most ability in the race, and if a horse figures to be far back, unless the horse has Zenyatta-like stretch power, I consider it's low early pace figures a knock against its ability. In other words, I prefer horses that figure to be closer to the lead, especially at the quarter pole.

But, my feeling is, if you're good at predicting what the pace will be in certain races, the that could be a useful part of handicapping. If you're good at that. The problem is, was we know, the races isn't always run as we expect. Over the long run, if you bet the horse's that have the most ability and the odds are attractive, that's all you need.

traynor
07-24-2016, 10:00 AM
This thread is called "The Mystery of Pace Figures". Knowing nearly everybody on this thread uh, there is no mystery at all. Understanding the abilities of race horses without looking at pace figures now there is a mystery. Whomever said seeing the form cycle within pace and speed figures had it right. It is not necessarily a predictive tool as it is assessing where a horse is at. Knowing that 5f pace figures can be vastly different from 6f ones because of configuration and 6.5-7 even moreso even within the same horse. That turn times are warped at the 6.5-7f distances because of that configuration as are turn times at 7.5 and occasionally 9f on turf than at 8-8.5f. Or knowing a horse that can close a turf race in 173 at minor track A could beat solid contenders at Major track B but with a 131 he will get smoked even if his competition is roughly the same. Knowing nuances of pace figures and better how they relate to certain tracks specifically or certain distances is more important than pure predictive power. How they relate to not only the nature of a specific track and occasionally on a specific day but to the general nature of a surface such as dirt or turf or synthetic which they do have. I have crossed over into the data age and am glad as it has saved me from the headache of minutia! And a lot of guess work. But I am glad when I sit down and can think through even the best betting model when I suspect something is wrong within this particular race with it. Having the data is reinforcing. Being able to think within the race and track on a particular day to me that is the fun part. OK I like the other work too! I am always looking to learn something new and do and this place is a gold mine of that. But I feel sometimes we tend to berate the other guy's approach too much. Thask made a great point that there is enough foolishness to go round on all our parts. But how it works for us isn't easy to explain because as Traynor pointed out it is a complex puzzle this pace. But we do know what works and amongst individuals I do talk about it openly. But really who wants to talk about the stuff you've been using that works and some of it has worked for 20 years and other new stuff is producing a steady stream of winners over the course of meets and a few years when most people don't believe it or when they do want to lock it down and steal it?! Talk about a lose lose situation! Pace figures aren't a mystery on here. What we're all doing with them can be the mystery. These threads pop up continuously month after month year after year for a reason. Some want the keys to the candy store handed to them without doing the work. I only got a key or two or three but gonna hang on to them a little while and stop talking! :cool:

The deficiencies in "conventional" pace analysis are not on the "theory" side--that seems to be flooded with "examples" from a handful of instances used as the basis for expounding the theories.

The deficiencies are in the near-total absence of anything even remotely resembling statistical proof of the validity of those theories. Even the "woulda-coulda-shoulda" arguments are based on small numbers of highly specific instances--with the unwarranted assumption that those instances somehow represent "universal truths" that one may use to extrapolate the probable outcomes of future events.

Fortunately, it is not difficult for anyone with even a modest size database or set of sample races and (very) basic coding and analytic skills to test the theories and dismiss them as "not particularly useful for betting purposes." Given that ease of testing, one can only wonder why the advocates of "conventional" pace handicapping so studiously avoid such testing. That statistical proof--developed using basic research and analysis protocols considered standard by any beyond the freshman community college researcher level--would go a long way to establish the credibility of their theories.

Capper Al
07-24-2016, 11:47 AM
The deficiencies in "conventional" pace analysis are not on the "theory" side--that seems to be flooded with "examples" from a handful of instances used as the basis for expounding the theories.

The deficiencies are in the near-total absence of anything even remotely resembling statistical proof of the validity of those theories. Even the "woulda-coulda-shoulda" arguments are based on small numbers of highly specific instances--with the unwarranted assumption that those instances somehow represent "universal truths" that one may use to extrapolate the probable outcomes of future events.

Fortunately, it is not difficult for anyone with even a modest size database or set of sample races and (very) basic coding and analytic skills to test the theories and dismiss them as "not particularly useful for betting purposes." Given that ease of testing, one can only wonder why the advocates of "conventional" pace handicapping so studiously avoid such testing. That statistical proof--developed using basic research and analysis protocols considered standard by any beyond the freshman community college researcher level--would go a long way to establish the credibility of their theories.

This is what the mystery of pace is about, strong on logic and poorly defined before the race and statistically not substantiated.

thaskalos
07-24-2016, 02:14 PM
The deficiencies in "conventional" pace analysis are not on the "theory" side--that seems to be flooded with "examples" from a handful of instances used as the basis for expounding the theories.

The deficiencies are in the near-total absence of anything even remotely resembling statistical proof of the validity of those theories. Even the "woulda-coulda-shoulda" arguments are based on small numbers of highly specific instances--with the unwarranted assumption that those instances somehow represent "universal truths" that one may use to extrapolate the probable outcomes of future events.

Fortunately, it is not difficult for anyone with even a modest size database or set of sample races and (very) basic coding and analytic skills to test the theories and dismiss them as "not particularly useful for betting purposes." Given that ease of testing, one can only wonder why the advocates of "conventional" pace handicapping so studiously avoid such testing. That statistical proof--developed using basic research and analysis protocols considered standard by any beyond the freshman community college researcher level--would go a long way to establish the credibility of their theories.

I, personally, have always been a proponent of UNCONVENTIONAL pace handicapping.

traynor
07-24-2016, 02:45 PM
I, personally, have always been a proponent of UNCONVENTIONAL pace handicapping.

Unconventional is good, if it works. Avoiding conventional is also good, because it puts a lot of bettors on the wrong horse when the "predicted" scenarios fail to materialize as expected.

The ego-saving tendency of bettors to remember their successes and ignore/forget/hide their failures is a BIG advantage to those willing to look coldly and objectively at their own methods and processes. And to then ruthlessly and relentlessly discard that which doesn't work, and continually improve that which does work.

In short, ignore what others "recommend" if it proves worthless, regardless of their (usually self-proclaimed and unsubstantiated by credible research) "expertise." Not rocket science. Pretty much absolute basic, plain vanilla strategy in most any other endeavor at which one hopes to generate a profit.

Ideas are good. New ideas, creative ideas, unusual ideas--all good. The best ideas of all are (to me) those which I can prove to myself with my own research (and implementation). The most useless (to me) are those I am expected to accept because, "Joe Smith said it, I believe it, and that settles it." Not just accept, but bet on? With my own money? Not likely.

traynor
07-24-2016, 03:00 PM
This is what the mystery of pace is about, strong on logic and poorly defined before the race and statistically not substantiated.

Consider something as basic as the premise that two or more impetuous entries will engage in a "fast early pace" and "set the race up for pressers and closers." Has anyone (besides me and a few others who are keeping strangely silent about their research) actually defined the criteria for when a "fast early pace" is likely, how often it actually materializes, and how often (and how much) it proves to be an advantage or disadvantage for some other entry or entries?

One might consider the effort exerted to clearly define the various possible pace scenarios with sufficient clarity to create functions to test them time well spent. And ultimately, quite rewarding, when one learns what works and what doesn't. Perhaps a bit disappointing when one discovers how much smoke and mirrors the "conventional" pace theories generate, and how much work one has to do on one's own, but ultimately quite rewarding.

dilanesp
07-24-2016, 03:26 PM
Consider something as basic as the premise that two or more impetuous entries will engage in a "fast early pace" and "set the race up for pressers and closers." Has anyone (besides me and a few others who are keeping strangely silent about their research) actually defined the criteria for when a "fast early pace" is likely, how often it actually materializes, and how often (and how much) it proves to be an advantage or disadvantage for some other entry or entries?

One might consider the effort exerted to clearly define the various possible pace scenarios with sufficient clarity to create functions to test them time well spent. And ultimately, quite rewarding, when one learns what works and what doesn't. Perhaps a bit disappointing when one discovers how much smoke and mirrors the "conventional" pace theories generate, and how much work one has to do on one's own, but ultimately quite rewarding.

A speed duel is like Potter Stewart's definition of obscenity. I can't define it, but i know it when i see it.

cj
07-24-2016, 03:28 PM
Consider something as basic as the premise that two or more impetuous entries will engage in a "fast early pace" and "set the race up for pressers and closers." Has anyone (besides me and a few others who are keeping strangely silent about their research) actually defined the criteria for when a "fast early pace" is likely, how often it actually materializes, and how often (and how much) it proves to be an advantage or disadvantage for some other entry or entries?



Yes, I've done that and I continue to do it.

pandy
07-24-2016, 04:27 PM
Yes, I've done that and I continue to do it.


Like I said, if you're good at it, do it.

traynor
07-24-2016, 04:43 PM
Yes, I've done that and I continue to do it.

Great! I can think of few things that will create a deeper understanding of pace than a (relatively) rigorous analysis of what works and what doesn't. And when.

cj
07-24-2016, 04:53 PM
Great! I can think of few things that will create a deeper understanding of pace than a (relatively) rigorous analysis of what works and what doesn't. And when.

Agreed. I do that with everything. And nothing is static either, gotta stay current.

Capper Al
07-24-2016, 05:11 PM
Agreed. I do that with everything. And nothing is static either, gotta stay current.

It's tough keeping current with the stats. The ideas come too fast and are too many.

traynor
07-24-2016, 06:15 PM
It's tough keeping current with the stats. The ideas come too fast and are too many.

That is what makes race analysis so interesting. And so rewarding for those willing to do the work necessary AND to adapt.

traynor
07-24-2016, 06:20 PM
Agreed. I do that with everything. And nothing is static either, gotta stay current.

Absolutely. I like it like that.

Cratos
07-24-2016, 07:38 PM
Not at all. The various handicapping approaches you mention are based (in most cases) on data points extracted from past performance records, manipulated in some pre-defined manner. The result of that manipulation is used as a basis to compare with the resulting values, manipulated in the same manner, of the data points of other entries. The model building process I (and others) use is based on a different approach.

It is not so much that I have a low opinion of pace handicapping. It is that I have a low opinion of simplistic, one-dimensional pace handicapping. Pace handicapping is nowhere near as simple as many believe it to be, and the results of the simplistic, one-dimensional approaches are nowhere near as predictive as many believe them to be.

"Conventional" pace handicapping is good for describing (through some type of numerical conversion process) what happened. It is much less useful as a predictor of what will happen.

Excellent observation; and I will modify your following statement to say: "It is much less useful as a predictor of why what will happen."

Capper Al
07-24-2016, 07:42 PM
Re-read wong on pace. He doesn't jump out and embrace it. Nor does he reject it.

thaskalos
07-24-2016, 08:11 PM
Excellent observation; and I will modify your following statement to say: "It is much less useful as a predictor of why what will happen."

Could you modify this a little more...so the REST of us could understand it?

traynor
07-24-2016, 10:20 PM
Excellent observation; and I will modify your following statement to say: "It is much less useful as a predictor of why what will happen."

I agree wholeheartedly. Falsely assigning (or assuming) causality is even worse than not knowing to begin with.

traynor
07-24-2016, 10:24 PM
A good starter resource for studying pace:

"Statistical Reasoning introduces students to the basic concepts and logic of statistical reasoning and gives the students introductory-level practical ability to choose, generate, and properly interpret appropriate descriptive and inferential methods. In addition, the course helps students gain an appreciation for the diverse applications of statistics and its relevance to their lives and fields of study. The course does not assume any prior knowledge in statistics and its only prerequisite is basic algebra."

Free, from Carnegie Mellon
http://oli.cmu.edu/courses/free-open/statistical-reasoning-course-details/

Cratos
07-24-2016, 10:47 PM
Throughout this thread I have yet to read a post that defines “pace.”

Therefore I will give my understanding (definition) of pace in a horse race as “the rate of motion of the race horse over a distance of surface with respect to time.”

Final time for the distance of surface of the horse race is a function of pace.

To me, one of the most critical elements in pace analysis is the “race curve.”

Clocker
07-24-2016, 11:20 PM
Therefore I will give my understanding (definition) of pace in a horse race as “the rate of motion of the race horse over a distance of surface with respect to time.”



You don't think that the 'rate of motion' of a horse with respect to the rest of the field is relevant?

thaskalos
07-24-2016, 11:22 PM
To me..."pace" is the incremental velocity at which the horse rations its speed as it runs its race.

traynor
07-24-2016, 11:24 PM
Re-read wong on pace. He doesn't jump out and embrace it. Nor does he reject it.

I never said he did either. Specifically, what I wrote " ... I tend to agree with CX Wong's opinion (as stated in Precision) that there is little credible support for the use of "pace analysis" as a predictor." The operant term is "credible." Even the crude, old-time approaches can be useful to describe what has already happened. It is the claims that those methods are predictive that I consider (in most cases) "misleading" (as a polite euphemism for natural fertilizer).

steveb
07-25-2016, 12:00 AM
I never said he did either. Specifically, what I wrote " ... I tend to agree with CX Wong's opinion (as stated in Precision) that there is little credible support for the use of "pace analysis" as a predictor." The operant term is "credible." Even the crude, old-time approaches can be useful to describe what has already happened. It is the claims that those methods are predictive that I consider (in most cases) "misleading" (as a polite euphemism for natural fertilizer).

and i would think he said that with tongue in cheek
because there is no doubt those teams that he alludes to have very strong factors, with regards to time and pace.
woods 2ic told me a long time ago, that the stuff i was doing for them(time & pace), accounted for 30% of ALL form factors in their main model.

and they would undoubtedly have improved on that, as alan also told me that no matter what i do for them, they will eventually do it better, once they garnered an understanding of it.
with all their resources, i had no doubt he was correct.

and, i would agree with wong too if my understanding of speed was anything like he has in that book.
it's colour by numbers stuff.
and he doesn't actually say anything about pace if my memory is correct.

Cratos
07-25-2016, 01:20 AM
You don't think that the 'rate of motion' of a horse with respect to the rest of the field is relevant?
Yes it is, but you are alluding to "influences of pace."

CincyHorseplayer
07-25-2016, 04:14 AM
To me..."pace" is the incremental velocity at which the horse rations its speed as it runs its race.

Thask I wonder why you even indulge trying to define this. It is so basic and apparent and reflexive. I forget you have to have fun too. My bad!

CincyHorseplayer
07-25-2016, 04:29 AM
Great! I can think of few things that will create a deeper understanding of pace than a (relatively) rigorous analysis of what works and what doesn't. And when.

T I have 13 compound ratings. On a weekly basis I follow what the data says but yet suddenly it defies even my own research. If I followed your eternal model of GP I would be smoked. How do you explain this big vs little reality?

This game is like this. I had a model from December to the end of February and I could be drunk and bet both of my top 2 turf ratings and would win 63% at 11.80. Then it stopped late February on a dime. I know this. What does your model say? For 2 months I killed it. Glad I had my long moment!

I'm not being shitty. Traynor you have influenced me as much as anyone but with the way you work I just want to know? This winning model stopped. I knew it immediately. When do you stop losing and realize it?

Capper Al
07-25-2016, 06:42 AM
Two aspects of pace seem to be running style and the rate(speed) of the fractions. In other words, we look at the energy that is available for going early, chasing or closing. And answer the question, "Does the horse have the energy in today's race to match or surpass the field?".

classhandicapper
07-25-2016, 10:48 AM
The deficiencies in "conventional" pace analysis are not on the "theory" side--that seems to be flooded with "examples" from a handful of instances used as the basis for expounding the theories.

The deficiencies are in the near-total absence of anything even remotely resembling statistical proof of the validity of those theories. Even the "woulda-coulda-shoulda" arguments are based on small numbers of highly specific instances--with the unwarranted assumption that those instances somehow represent "universal truths" that one may use to extrapolate the probable outcomes of future events.

Fortunately, it is not difficult for anyone with even a modest size database or set of sample races and (very) basic coding and analytic skills to test the theories and dismiss them as "not particularly useful for betting purposes." Given that ease of testing, one can only wonder why the advocates of "conventional" pace handicapping so studiously avoid such testing. That statistical proof--developed using basic research and analysis protocols considered standard by any beyond the freshman community college researcher level--would go a long way to establish the credibility of their theories.

You seem to have ignored everything I've said.

In my database testing, I have already demonstrated that I can predict running styles well enough to project fast and slow paces (measured by both pace figures and how far back the average winner came from) well enough to incorporate this process into my thinking about the fair odds of each of the horses.

That's never the end of the handicapping process. You still have to look at the abilities of the individual horses, how versatile they are, what the connections might try to do, and all the rest of the factors in handicapping. But making projections about the likely pace and focusing on extremes make sense.

traynor
07-25-2016, 10:52 AM
You seem to have ignored everything I've said.

In my database testing, I have already demonstrated that I can predict running styles well enough to project fast and slow paces (measured by both pace figures and how far back the average winner came from) well enough to incorporate this process into my thinking about the fair odds of each of the horses.

That's never the end of the handicapping process. You still have to look at the abilities of the individual horses, how versatile they are, what the connections might try to do, and all the rest of the factors in handicapping. But making projections about the likely pace and focusing on extremes make sense.

My apologies. I must have missed that demonstration (and the supporting evidence).

classhandicapper
07-25-2016, 10:58 AM
Consider something as basic as the premise that two or more impetuous entries will engage in a "fast early pace" and "set the race up for pressers and closers." Has anyone (besides me and a few others who are keeping strangely silent about their research) actually defined the criteria for when a "fast early pace" is likely, how often it actually materializes, and how often (and how much) it proves to be an advantage or disadvantage for some other entry or entries?


Yes.

By defining the running styles and the number of each type in a race, you can assign a numeric value to the amount of likely pace pressure. Then you can use those numeric values to study the results at each end of the spectrum. You can look at the actual paces and race flows to determine how much pressure on each end of the scale starts impacting race results and what percentage of the time.

The second part is more problematic. IMO, there is no one size fits all formula for how horses are impacted by varying fractions. They all have different levels of ability and different combinations of pure speed and stamina. You can kind of generalize, but the actual impact is dependent on the individual horse matchups, how fast they actually go relative to their own innate abilities, and how that track, surface, distance, was playing (including the impact of biases).

classhandicapper
07-25-2016, 11:06 AM
My apologies. I must have missed that demonstration (and the supporting evidence).

I'm not going to give everyone the details and data that resulted from 40 years of experience and hard work. But to be honest, it's not so difficult to verify. There are multiple good pace projection tools on the market that are conceptually the same even if the underlying details that produce the answers are different than mine. They are available for public consumption and they work well. No one is going to get them all right. You just have to get enough right to add value.

pandy
07-25-2016, 11:25 AM
In terms of ability, the horses that are the most likely to win tend to have better pace figures. This is especially true in sprints. And if there are two or three horses in the race that are have similarly good pace figures, then it comes down to which horse finishes better and/or which horse gets the better trip. Often it is simply the horse that finishes better. It's not as complicated as this thread is making it out to be.

traynor
07-25-2016, 11:31 AM
I'm not going to give everyone the details and data that resulted from 40 years of experience and hard work. But to be honest, it's not so difficult to verify. There are multiple good pace projection tools on the market that are conceptually the same even if the underlying details that produce the answers are different than mine. They are available for public consumption and they work well. No one is going to get them all right. You just have to get enough right to add value.

One can only wonder why--when such accurate predictive tools are so readily available--anyone would consider pace in any way mysterious. Or bother to make their own pace analyses. Or why so many manage to lose so much, with such accurate predictive tools so readily available.

thaskalos
07-25-2016, 11:50 AM
In terms of ability, the horses that are the most likely to win tend to have better pace figures. This is especially true in sprints. And if there are two or three horses in the race that are have similarly good pace figures, then it comes down to which horse finishes better and/or which horse gets the better trip. Often it is simply the horse that finishes better. It's not as complicated as this thread is making it out to be.

When you say "better pace figures"...what exactly do you mean? What I see is that some horses in the race have "better" EARLY pace figures...while other horses have "better" LATE figures. To me..."pace handicapping" is a device which allows the handicapper to compare the front-runners to the closers in the race...so a better understanding of the horses' abilities could come about.

If done right...it's pretty complicated, IMO.

thaskalos
07-25-2016, 11:53 AM
There are multiple good pace projection tools on the market that are conceptually the same even if the underlying details that produce the answers are different than mine. They are available for public consumption and they work well.

In all my years talking to horseplayers...I have never been able to ascertain what they mean when they say "works well".

pandy
07-25-2016, 11:59 AM
When you say "better pace figures"...what exactly do you mean? What I see is that some horses in the race have "better" EARLY pace figures...while other horses have "better" LATE figures. To me..."pace handicapping" is a device which allows the handicapper to compare the front-runners to the closers in the race...so a better understanding of the horses' abilities could come about.

If done right...it's pretty complicated, IMO.

I mean better early pace figures. I agree that you should compare the front runners to the closers. But the simple fact is, in sprints, horses that have better early pace figures win more often. Actually in all dirt races horses that have better pace figures win more often but it's more of a advantage in sprints. It's simple, most of the races are won by horses that are on or near the lead so the horses that have better pace figures are at an advantage because they're more likely to be on or near the lead.

classhandicapper
07-25-2016, 12:03 PM
One can only wonder why--when such accurate predictive tools are so readily available--anyone would consider pace in any way mysterious. Or bother to make their own pace analyses. Or why so many manage to lose so much, with such accurate predictive tools so readily available.

I think you are starting to enjoy taking the contrary position. ;)

Why does anyone bother to use or make their own speed figures when they are publicly available.

Why are most people losing money using them.

People use speed figures because they have predictive value.

People make their own speed figures hoping to squeeze a little extra value out of them with slightly better analysis or to at least get slightly higher prices when they are right and the popular figures are wrong.

Most people using them are getting buried because everyone has them and the game is more complex than any single factor. But that does not mean they don't add value to the analysis.

Pace is similar. A long time ago I made my own pace figures (in the 80s). They probably had a lot of more value than I realized, but I didn't know enough about the subject back then to use them to their potential. Now there are a lot of pace figure products on the market. Even though they remain important I doubt they have as much value as they used to have because of all the products. So I'm trying to move away from that towards a more qualitative approach that attempts to measure the same thing in a different way. They aren't some way, light, and truth any more than speed figures. But they are part of the story.

classhandicapper
07-25-2016, 12:09 PM
In all my years talking to horseplayers...I have never been able to ascertain what they mean when they say "works well".

I would define "well" in this case as being able to identify fast and slow paces before the race a lot more often than by chance. Now I'm sure you are going to ask me to define "lot". ;) That might be subjective. I would say often enough to make any work you put into the process worthwhile. I would say it was not worthwhile this weekend. :lol: But there's always tomorrow. ;)

Cratos
07-25-2016, 01:02 PM
Thask I wonder why you even indulge trying to define this. It is so basic and apparent and reflexive. I forget you have to have fun too. My bad!
"pace" is the incremental velocity at which the horse rations its speed as it runs its race.

The above statement doesn’t make sense because speed is a magnitude while velocity has magnitude and direction. In terms of horseracing, speed is the distance traveled by the horse over time. Velocity is the horse’s speed in a particular direction.

Speed is a scalar quantity which in horseracing would be given by the Equibase data if distance was included. On the other hand, velocity is the vector quantity and is given by the Trakus data because it includes magnitude and direction with distance.

I don’t believe a horse “rations” anything during a race, but I do believe that the jockey attempts to ration the horse’s work at different points during the race which results in the rationing of the horse’s energy since the output of work performed by the horse is done by the energy it uses.

In summation,

• Average speed (pace) is the rate of change of distance with time.
• Average velocity (pace) is the rate of change of displacement with time.

thaskalos
07-25-2016, 01:29 PM
"pace" is the incremental velocity at which the horse rations its speed as it runs its race.

The above statement doesn’t make sense because speed is a magnitude while velocity has magnitude and direction. In terms of horseracing, speed is the distance traveled by the horse over time. Velocity is the horse’s speed in a particular direction.

Speed is a scalar quantity which in horseracing would be given by the Equibase data if distance was included. On the other hand, velocity is the vector quantity and is given by the Trakus data because it includes magnitude and direction with distance.

I don’t believe a horse “rations” anything during a race, but I do believe that the jockey attempts to ration the horse’s work at different points during the race which results in the rationing of the horse’s energy since the output of work performed by the horse is done by the energy it uses.

In summation,

• Average speed (pace) is the rate of change of distance with time.
• Average velocity (pace) is the rate of change of displacement with time.

Oh...you disagree with me because I left out the jockey's role in the equation? I should have said that the JOCKEY tries to "ration" the horse's "work"...instead of implying that the horse was racing riderless? :rolleyes:

I talk the way I do because I think that I am interacting with HORSEPLAYERS...who can understand what I say, Cratos. I have no interest in conversing with trolling megalomaniacs...who pretend to be making $200,000 win-bets.

Tom
07-25-2016, 01:40 PM
The above statement doesn’t make sense because speed is a magnitude while velocity has magnitude and direction. In terms of horseracing, speed is the distance traveled by the horse over time. Velocity is the horse’s speed in a particular direction.


Not in horse racing.
No matter how you try to make it so, it ain't so.
Maybe in your view of racing, but you are the minority.

Tom
07-25-2016, 01:44 PM
I talk the way I do because I think that I am interacting with HORSEPLAYERS...who can understand what I say, Cratos. I have no interest in conversing with trolling megalomaniacs...who pretend to be making $200,000 win-bets.

Yes, Gus.....people to whom pace figures are not a mystery.
The only real mystery is who will grab out of the gate? :bang:

thaskalos
07-25-2016, 01:52 PM
Yes, Gus.....people to whom pace figures are not a mystery.
The only real mystery is who will grab out of the gate? :bang:
Yeah, Tom. Handicapping borrowed a few things from "science"...and now we have "scientists" left and right who pretend to be REAL handicappers. And we are supposed to believe their empty rhetoric without even seeing a shred of proof of their supposed "expertise". :rolleyes:

Capper Al
07-25-2016, 02:15 PM
It's easy to determine who has the best speed figure, but in pace many don't have a sort of final number pace figure. Sometimes they'll go with the lone speed with a lower speed fig. Other times, they'll go with a good closer with a high speed fig. These extremes may be easier to understand. What's in between these two extremes gets mucky.

whodoyoulike
07-25-2016, 02:46 PM
I think you are starting to enjoy taking the contrary position. ;) ...


I think he's just fishing because he really doesn't understand pace and it's effect during a race which can be of any type whether horse, human, auto etc.

Cratos
07-25-2016, 02:52 PM
Thaskalos, I disagreed with you about your understanding of pace with respect to speed and velocity.

You incorrectly used them in your prior post.

All horseplayers do not listen to either "Thaskalos or Cratos"; far as I am concerned i couldn't care less.

However I support your right to post any idiocy that is allowed on this Forum.

Saratoga_Mike
07-25-2016, 03:05 PM
Thaskalos, I disagreed with you about your understanding of pace with respect to speed and velocity.

You incorrectly used them in your prior post.

All horseplayers do not listen to either "Thaskalos or Cratos"; far as I am concerned i couldn't care less.

However I support your right to post any idiocy that is allowed on this Forum.

Great, Thask can continue to post about his real-world "idiocy," and you can continue to post about your make-believe handicapping world.

cj
07-25-2016, 03:16 PM
However I support your right to post any idiocy that is allowed on this Forum.

Knock off the personal attacks. DO NOT respond to this request, just heed it.

traynor
07-25-2016, 05:22 PM
I think you are starting to enjoy taking the contrary position. ;)

Why does anyone bother to use or make their own speed figures when they are publicly available.

Why are most people losing money using them.

People use speed figures because they have predictive value.

People make their own speed figures hoping to squeeze a little extra value out of them with slightly better analysis or to at least get slightly higher prices when they are right and the popular figures are wrong.

Most people using them are getting buried because everyone has them and the game is more complex than any single factor. But that does not mean they don't add value to the analysis.

Pace is similar. A long time ago I made my own pace figures (in the 80s). They probably had a lot of more value than I realized, but I didn't know enough about the subject back then to use them to their potential. Now there are a lot of pace figure products on the market. Even though they remain important I doubt they have as much value as they used to have because of all the products. So I'm trying to move away from that towards a more qualitative approach that attempts to measure the same thing in a different way. They aren't some way, light, and truth any more than speed figures. But they are part of the story.

I am one of those odd sorts who wants something a bit better than what everyone else has. Mainly because I bet for a living. No matter how good something may be to everyone else (or how good they may believe it to be), I have to keep trying to make it better. Not to sell, or for bragging rights. To use myself.

I think it is a throwback personality trait. I don't want to end up like the French knights at Agincourt. Complacency and satisfaction can be detrimental to continued survival in difficult situations.

aaron
07-25-2016, 05:55 PM
I am one of those odd sorts who wants something a bit better than what everyone else has. Mainly because I bet for a living. No matter how good something may be to everyone else (or how good they may believe it to be), I have to keep trying to make it better. Not to sell, or for bragging rights. To use myself.

I think it is a throwback personality trait. I don't want to end up like the French knights at Agincourt. Complacency and satisfaction can be detrimental to continued survival in difficult situations.
I agree with you a100%. If you are betting for a living you have to be doing something,the general public is not doing. You have to be unique in your approach.

steveb
07-25-2016, 09:33 PM
I am one of those odd sorts who wants something a bit better than what everyone else has. Mainly because I bet for a living. No matter how good something may be to everyone else (or how good they may believe it to be), I have to keep trying to make it better. Not to sell, or for bragging rights. To use myself.

I think it is a throwback personality trait. I don't want to end up like the French knights at Agincourt. Complacency and satisfaction can be detrimental to continued survival in difficult situations.

i know you like to ignore me, but that's fine.

the reason you(or anybody that wants to win) have to keep improving is because your opposition(others that do the same thing...bet) does too.

what would win you lots of money 10 years ago, would probably be a losing proposition these days.
if i did in 1990 what i did in successfully in 1980, i would be broke.
ditto for 2000 and 1990 and ..........

i don't know if it's true or not, but somebody told me that one of the hk groups was winning zillions in the 1990's with a model with an adj r2 of only 13%.
that would send them broke these days.

no different to anything else basically.
it evolves, and only a dill would think that others don't evolve too.

but i also know that those guys never dismissed what others do, as YOU tend to do.
they would have had(and probably still do) people doing basically nothing but perusing on line fora looking for new ideas.
in fact i reckon many of the late entropy's people were recruited from fora such as this one.

classhandicapper
07-26-2016, 10:20 AM
I am one of those odd sorts who wants something a bit better than what everyone else has. Mainly because I bet for a living. No matter how good something may be to everyone else (or how good they may believe it to be), I have to keep trying to make it better. Not to sell, or for bragging rights. To use myself.

I think it is a throwback personality trait. I don't want to end up like the French knights at Agincourt. Complacency and satisfaction can be detrimental to continued survival in difficult situations.

I think there's 2 ways to go.

You can search for insights give you a better understanding of the same things everyone else is looking at.

You can create your own ratings. As long as your own ratings perform as well identifying winners and other available tools, the value will be enhanced because you're the only one that has them.

If you can do both, then you really have something.

traynor
07-26-2016, 12:31 PM
I think there's 2 ways to go.

You can search for insights give you a better understanding of the same things everyone else is looking at.

You can create your own ratings. As long as your own ratings perform as well identifying winners and other available tools, the value will be enhanced because you're the only one that has them.

If you can do both, then you really have something.

I agree. In both approaches, a key element in that better understanding is testing to assure that what one thinks is there is really there, and not just a reflection of what one hopes is there. Hence, my endless admonitions (to myself and everyone else) to take advantage of at least basic research protocols when studying (and testing) results. That is particularly important in the study of pace.

If there is anything that gives a computer handicapper an advantage, it is the relative ease with which can use or incorporate useful statistical processes into one's application(s) and/or research. I think those who avoid such know they are chasing rainbows, and prefer the illusion of "profitability" or "usefulness" to the reality that their methods do not work anywhere near as well as they pretend (or claim) they do.

traynor
07-26-2016, 12:59 PM
It's easy to determine who has the best speed figure, but in pace many don't have a sort of final number pace figure. Sometimes they'll go with the lone speed with a lower speed fig. Other times, they'll go with a good closer with a high speed fig. These extremes may be easier to understand. What's in between these two extremes gets mucky.

I think one can introduce a useful degree of clarity by using what Castaneda called "intent." Specifically, defining what you are doing and (perhaps more importantly) why. If the purpose is to predict how a race will unfold in the early portions, that is fairly simple. If the purpose is to predict how that process will aid or hinder specific entries at the wire, that gets more complex. I think it is more useful to analyse pace from both perspectives--as discrete processes--rather than lumping them together.

It does little good to predict the relative locations of the entries in the early portions of the race if the effect of those relative positions on the outcome of the race is incorrectly predicted. I think (for betting purposes) it is far more important to study (and accurately predict) the relative positions of the entries at the wire than at the earlier stages of the race.

That does not in any way diminish the importance of the relative positions (and "pace") of the entries at the earlier points in a race, but shifts the emphasis to the effect (or lack of effect) on the race outcome.

jasperson
07-27-2016, 03:04 PM
To me..."pace" is the incremental velocity at which the horse rations its speed as it runs its race.
To me..."pace" is the incremental velocity at which the horse runs during its race.

Capper Al
07-27-2016, 05:38 PM
I think one can introduce a useful degree of clarity by using what Castaneda called "intent." Specifically, defining what you are doing and (perhaps more importantly) why. If the purpose is to predict how a race will unfold in the early portions, that is fairly simple. If the purpose is to predict how that process will aid or hinder specific entries at the wire, that gets more complex. I think it is more useful to analyse pace from both perspectives--as discrete processes--rather than lumping them together.

It does little good to predict the relative locations of the entries in the early portions of the race if the effect of those relative positions on the outcome of the race is incorrectly predicted. I think (for betting purposes) it is far more important to study (and accurately predict) the relative positions of the entries at the wire than at the earlier stages of the race.

That does not in any way diminish the importance of the relative positions (and "pace") of the entries at the earlier points in a race, but shifts the emphasis to the effect (or lack of effect) on the race outcome.

There are many numbers associated with pace. E2 + Speed, or ability times; these are two that jump out. The same horse could rate well with E2 + Speed, and rate poorly at the same time with ability. Go figure what's the value here.

Cratos
07-27-2016, 09:02 PM
I agree. In both approaches, a key element in that better understanding is testing to assure that what one thinks is there is really there, and not just a reflection of what one hopes is there. Hence, my endless admonitions (to myself and everyone else) to take advantage of at least basic research protocols when studying (and testing) results. That is particularly important in the study of pace.

If there is anything that gives a computer handicapper an advantage, it is the relative ease with which can use or incorporate useful statistical processes into one's application(s) and/or research. I think those who avoid such know they are chasing rainbows, and prefer the illusion of "profitability" or "usefulness" to the reality that their methods do not work anywhere near as well as they pretend (or claim) they do.

Well stated

Dave Schwartz
07-27-2016, 10:07 PM
I agree. In both approaches, a key element in that better understanding is testing to assure that what one thinks is there is really there, and not just a reflection of what one hopes is there. Hence, my endless admonitions (to myself and everyone else) to take advantage of at least basic research protocols when studying (and testing) results. That is particularly important in the study of pace.

If there is anything that gives a computer handicapper an advantage, it is the relative ease with which can use or incorporate useful statistical processes into one's application(s) and/or research. I think those who avoid such know they are chasing rainbows, and prefer the illusion of "profitability" or "usefulness" to the reality that their methods do not work anywhere near as well as they pretend (or claim) they do.

Traynor,

I do not think there is any post that you have ever made that I agree with more than this one.


Dave

dilanesp
07-30-2016, 04:40 PM
Re: computers.

The paradox is as follows:

1. Statistical study is absolutely essential to determine if methods work.

2. Nonetheless, a horse race isn't a computer simulation. There's a huge advantage to conceptualizing how the race is likely to be run rather than relying on pure statistics. (Just like exploitative poker players with good reads on their opponents can, in theory, make more money than those who rely on only math.)

3. There's so much statistical variance in horse racing that sample sizes are often too small for the conclusions they are making.

My inclination is to think that everyone is making mistakes in this environment. People who don't use computer models are almost certainly making the error traynor identifies and using methodologies that are incorrect and unprofitable.

On the other hand, plenty of computer types are making sample size errors, not recognizing the heterogeneity of their samples, and making similar mistakes because they want to come to conclusions that allow them to make bets. (As I have posted in the past, the cottage industry of Kentucky Derby statistics is the best example of this. But it's a problem whenever you statistically model horse racing outcomes.)

Horse racing is a complex and fascinating game

aaron
07-30-2016, 07:09 PM
Re: computers.

The paradox is as follows:

1. Statistical study is absolutely essential to determine if methods work.

2. Nonetheless, a horse race isn't a computer simulation. There's a huge advantage to conceptualizing how the race is likely to be run rather than relying on pure statistics. (Just like exploitative poker players with good reads on their opponents can, in theory, make more money than those who rely on only math.)

3. There's so much statistical variance in horse racing that sample sizes are often too small for the conclusions they are making.

My inclination is to think that everyone is making mistakes in this environment. People who don't use computer models are almost certainly making the error traynor identifies and using methodologies that are incorrect and unprofitable.

On the other hand, plenty of computer types are making sample size errors, not recognizing the heterogeneity of their samples, and making similar mistakes because they want to come to conclusions that allow them to make bets. (As I have posted in the past, the cottage industry of Kentucky Derby statistics is the best example of this. But it's a problem whenever you statistically model horse racing outcomes.)

Horse racing is a complex and fascinating game
Very true. There was a race the other day at Saratoga at 11/8 on the dirt. i am pretty sure all the pace figures and computer people had the outside horse as the main speed. On paper,they were correct. In accessing the race,I just knew,the outside horse was going to have trouble getting the lead and would be caught wide. These are subtleties that handicappers have to deal with every day.

Cratos
07-31-2016, 12:21 AM
Re: computers.

The paradox is as follows:

1. Statistical study is absolutely essential to determine if methods work.

2. Nonetheless, a horse race isn't a computer simulation. There's a huge advantage to conceptualizing how the race is likely to be run rather than relying on pure statistics. (Just like exploitative poker players with good reads on their opponents can, in theory, make more money than those who rely on only math.)

3. There's so much statistical variance in horse racing that sample sizes are often too small for the conclusions they are making.

My inclination is to think that everyone is making mistakes in this environment. People who don't use computer models are almost certainly making the error traynor identifies and using methodologies that are incorrect and unprofitable.

On the other hand, plenty of computer types are making sample size errors, not recognizing the heterogeneity of their samples, and making similar mistakes because they want to come to conclusions that allow them to make bets. (As I have posted in the past, the cottage industry of Kentucky Derby statistics is the best example of this. But it's a problem whenever you statistically model horse racing outcomes.)

Horse racing is a complex and fascinating game

Statistics are just data; statistical analysis is another story and I believe that is what the poster, “Traynor” was referring too.

Statistical analysis involves both science and math; and when properly applied it is the most powerful tool known to man for reaching a probable cause about the future or why what happened in the past.

In statistical analysis it not just sample size, although that is a significant parameter; it is also the data type, the domain, and the distribution.

In the Bayesian framework which is useful for horserace handicapping, we define probabilities distributions not only over the data and world state, but also over the parameters of these distributions.

The Bernouilli, categorical, univariate normal, and multivariate normal distributions will describe the probabilities of the data and world state.

Yes, “Horse racing is a complex and fascinating game,” but no more complex than medical science, aerospace, telecommunications, or many other endeavors that require statistical analysis.

traynor
07-31-2016, 08:45 AM
Very true. There was a race the other day at Saratoga at 11/8 on the dirt. i am pretty sure all the pace figures and computer people had the outside horse as the main speed. On paper,they were correct. In accessing the race,I just knew,the outside horse was going to have trouble getting the lead and would be caught wide. These are subtleties that handicappers have to deal with every day.

It is a common human error to remember that which fits ones preconceptions, and "forget" that which disagrees with ones preconceptions--and hence threatens the ego--despite the latter being much more numerous. One of the major advantages of using statistics as a basis for decision making is the inclusion of the "bad" with the "good"--something that is usually lacking in seat-of-the-pants decision making.

Everyone can come up with isolated instances when thus and so happened. Some self-proclaimed "experts" even use such as the basis for their "handicapping advice." If one's objective is profit, the most important consideration is not what happens or does not happen in one (or two, or ten) individual races. The most important consideration is what happens when the same decision is made in the same way over many, many instances.

In handicapping horse races, single event decisions (if one remembers only the successes and ignores the failures) may inflate the ego. Decisions based on multiple events inflate the bankroll. I prefer the latter.

traynor
07-31-2016, 09:02 AM
Well the big debates used to be on picking pace lines. Now that has seemed to have faded. There has been a lot of movement for using the last race or the next to last race. It's a kind of pace form idea. But that's not my problem here. My problem is in reading the tea leaves of pace. One hears lone pace or early pace or in the lead at the second call or ability time. All great concepts after the race. What about before the race? Can that lone speed hold out? Or can the closer far behind at the second call catch up? If you think you have a handle on this, please explain reading the tea leaves.

Thanks

BTW, I use key race(similar distance and same surface) for my pace selections.
To return to the original question(s), most of the questions (and a great deal more) can be answered with research using fairly simple protocols that are readily available with a modest amount of study and effort.

As Cratos pointed out so clearly above, there is more to statistical analysis than simplistic, one-dimensional number crunching (even if the resulting values are labeled as "statistics").

traynor
07-31-2016, 12:19 PM
Free study guide for pace analysts (and handicappers of other persuasions as well):

http://www.horace.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/How-to-Lie-With-Statistics-1954-Huff.pdf

It is every bit as important to recognize nonsense disguised as "statistics" as it is to recognize nonsense disguised as "expert advice." Thinking is good. Critical thinking is even better. The more a pace handicapper learns about statistics, the more he or she will realize the abundant opportunities for profit that exist in horse racing, and the more she or he will be able to milk that particular cash cow.

Tom
07-31-2016, 01:35 PM
:sleeping: Much better reading about pace over at Timeform US. People who know what it is.

CincyHorseplayer
08-01-2016, 04:36 AM
When you say "better pace figures"...what exactly do you mean? What I see is that some horses in the race have "better" EARLY pace figures...while other horses have "better" LATE figures. To me..."pace handicapping" is a device which allows the handicapper to compare the front-runners to the closers in the race...so a better understanding of the horses' abilities could come about.

If done right...it's pretty complicated, IMO.

I'll do you one better and say within the particularity of the race the horse with the sexiest pace figures that are antithetical to the race wins. And I am not talking about the generalities that Pandy spoke of with the pace fig combined with the speed fig wins more often. But the particularity of the race itself. The mud waters is where I like to fish at. I love places like right now like Gulfstream Park where the bloodstock is known and basically trainer uninfluenced and it's up to the particularities of the horses actual abilities. You have races where definitions of true speed or stalkers is not identified. You have big speed with a modicum of final time ability but no real dual scenario but 1 horse who can compete with 1 sided closing ability. He sticks out and says bet me at 9/2. Races are so mish mash there is no such thing as pace ability and on circuits like NY they lay them off so fuggin much it's a guessing game what race they will run. I do well there mind you. But I tire of the endless layoffs, distance configurations, and surface switches. It nauseates me to hear the talking heads act like these guys are Wizards. They are guessing! With high profile Bloodstock. I can do that too! But give me Po Dunk alley where horses run and we pace handicappers can identify mismatches. Strong horses standout and defy pace matchups all day or we could never earn.

pandy
08-01-2016, 07:17 AM
I agree that once you get outside of the So. Cal and New York, there are more good pace handicapping plays. Especially ones that are easy to spot.

Capper Al
08-01-2016, 10:25 AM
Pace might work, but it isn't clear that it is used with a standard approach.

CincyHorseplayer
08-01-2016, 03:11 PM
Pace might work, but it isn't clear that it is used with a standard approach.

Al again I am baffled by what you are trying to do here. This isn't something that can be locked down in a simplistic way with clear cut values. It's a living breathing problem that needs attention. There is IMO no simplistic way of locking down something that is a process and a form cycle is read within. I think my greatest strength, which I attribute to the way James Quinn thinks about horses is to try to read the personality of the horse through some aspect of it's past performances or pedigree. While I live and love in the statistical and numerical jungle I never lose sight of isolating the animal and interpret what it actually is and can do and how it evolves. This in between the lines intuition is what makes me live for this game!

thaskalos
08-01-2016, 03:19 PM
Al again I am baffled by what you are trying to do here. This isn't something that can be locked down in a simplistic way with clear cut values. It's a living breathing problem that needs attention. There is IMO no simplistic way of locking down something that is a process and a form cycle is read within. I think my greatest strength, which I attribute to the way James Quinn thinks about horses is to try to read the personality of the horse through some aspect of it's past performances or pedigree. While I live and love in the statistical and numerical jungle I never lose sight of isolating the animal and interpret what it actually is and can do and how it evolves. This in between the lines intuition is what makes me live for this game!

It's rather simple what Al is doing here. He has a limited understanding of pace handicapping and its usefulness, and attributes this to the shortcomings of pace as a handicapping factor...instead of realizing that his ignorance of the true function of pace is the real culprit.

CincyHorseplayer
08-01-2016, 03:35 PM
It's rather simple what Al is doing here. He has a limited understanding of pace handicapping and its usefulness, and attributes this to the shortcomings of pace as a handicapping factor...instead of realizing that his ignorance of the true function of pace is the real culprit.

Thask I love Al but had to bust one of these out when I read this post! :lol:

This thread just makes me think of how we as handicappers think. We think about the nature of the game. The general nature of a dirt or turf surface. Of the occasional reality of biases. We look at raw pace figures and we are swarmed with what might be errors or aberration in them. We invent a rating that tries to express what we "think" the nature of that surface or reality is. We invent a rating sometimes just as a reference point for our own thought process. To be able to look at and say "this doesn't quite cut it". Some we keep. Some we discard. But while they are useful they are but a launching point. The real work is in the interpretation. And in doing so at a high level in as many races as we can possibly handle and then to express that in a great bet or an approach that works over time. While it is such an integral part of the process it is far removed from the work to be done as a player. Somebody I know taught me that.

thaskalos
08-01-2016, 04:21 PM
Thask I love Al but had to bust one of these out when I read this post! :lol:

This thread just makes me think of how we as handicappers think. We think about the nature of the game. The general nature of a dirt or turf surface. Of the occasional reality of biases. We look at raw pace figures and we are swarmed with what might be errors or aberration in them. We invent a rating that tries to express what we "think" the nature of that surface or reality is. We invent a rating sometimes just as a reference point for our own thought process. To be able to look at and say "this doesn't quite cut it". Some we keep. Some we discard. But while they are useful they are but a launching point. The real work is in the interpretation. And in doing so at a high level in as many races as we can possibly handle and then to express that in a great bet or an approach that works over time. While it is such an integral part of the process it is far removed from the work to be done as a player. Somebody I know taught me that.

The smartest bettor I've ever met once told me that it isn't enough for us to KNOW how to play. We must also play WELL. Discussing the finer points of the handicapping process is all well and good...but doing our best under the pressure that the game puts us remains a daunting task. It isn't the most "knowledgeable" horseplayer who is winning the most money...IMO. "Knowledge" is a readily-attained commodity in today's "information age".

"Knowing" something, and "DOING" it...are two different things.

ReplayRandall
08-01-2016, 04:26 PM
The smartest bettor I've ever met once told me that it isn't enough for us to KNOW how to play. We must also play WELL. Discussing the finer points of the handicapping process is all well and good...but doing our best under the pressure that the game puts us remains a daunting task. It isn't the most "knowledgeable" horseplayer who is winning the most money...IMO. "Knowledge" is a readily-attained commodity in today's "information age".

"Knowing" something, and "DOING" it...are two different things.

It's OK if you use my name from now on.....or were you talking to yourself in the mirror?...:lol:

thaskalos
08-01-2016, 04:36 PM
It's OK if you use my name from now on.....or were you talking to yourself in the mirror?...:lol:

I wasn't talking to you...that's for sure. :)

cj
08-01-2016, 05:32 PM
The smartest bettor I've ever met once told me that it isn't enough for us to KNOW how to play. We must also play WELL. Discussing the finer points of the handicapping process is all well and good...but doing our best under the pressure that the game puts us remains a daunting task. It isn't the most "knowledgeable" horseplayer who is winning the most money...IMO. "Knowledge" is a readily-attained commodity in today's "information age".

"Knowing" something, and "DOING" it...are two different things.

I find horse playing like tennis. I've played plenty of guys that have beautiful looking strokes in warm ups. They hit every shot like a pro and rocket serves in both corners with ease.

But, once you start keeping score, they wilt. The strokes are short and choppy. They double fault often. They don't hit through the ball. And they lose.

classhandicapper
08-01-2016, 05:35 PM
Pace might work, but it isn't clear that it is used with a standard approach.

It's complicated.

I was just doing some trip notes and I came across a race that looked loaded with early speed before the race was run. I watched the race and 4 horses battled for the lead across the track. The speed all collapsed and 2 horses that sat off the duel ran 1-2 far ahead of the tiring leaders. Then I looked at the fractions and some pace figures. Neither suggested the race had a particularly fast pace. After looking at the rest of the card the track didn't seem particularly tiring either. So despite the more or less average pace and honest track, all the front runners underperformed.


So what happened?

How much pressure the horses faced, were they running in a comfortable position, did they get outrun by a faster horse at some point, was the wind blowing etc... All those things can matter too. Sometimes it's not clear.

In my notes I said what I know. The race was loaded with speed and it fell apart.

ReplayRandall
08-01-2016, 05:37 PM
I wasn't talking to you...that's for sure. :)

Let me get that mirror real clean and shiny for you...:cool:

classhandicapper
08-01-2016, 05:38 PM
I find horse playing like tennis. I've played plenty of guys that have beautiful looking strokes in warm ups. They hit every shot like a pro and rocket serves in both corners with ease.

But, once you start keeping score, they wilt. The strokes are short and choppy. They double fault often. They don't hit through the ball. And they lose.


Sounds like my pool game on some nights. :lol:

aaron
08-01-2016, 06:26 PM
I find horse playing like tennis. I've played plenty of guys that have beautiful looking strokes in warm ups. They hit every shot like a pro and rocket serves in both corners with ease.

But, once you start keeping score, they wilt. The strokes are short and choppy. They double fault often. They don't hit through the ball. And they lose.
So true,I can be sitting at the track or otb and someone will say take a quick look at an out of town race and many times,I come up with the winner,especially when i am not betting the race.

Cratos
08-02-2016, 10:53 AM
Al again I am baffled by what you are trying to do here. This isn't something that can be locked down in a simplistic way with clear cut values. It's a living breathing problem that needs attention. There is IMO no simplistic way of locking down something that is a process and a form cycle is read within. I think my greatest strength, which I attribute to the way James Quinn thinks about horses is to try to read the personality of the horse through some aspect of it's past performances or pedigree. While I live and love in the statistical and numerical jungle I never lose sight of isolating the animal and interpret what it actually is and can do and how it evolves. This in between the lines intuition is what makes me live for this game!
The highlighted text is "spot on!"

Tom
08-02-2016, 12:33 PM
Pace and speed figures a great way to do just that.

Jeff P
08-02-2016, 01:36 PM
I find horse playing like tennis. I've played plenty of guys that have beautiful looking strokes in warm ups. They hit every shot like a pro and rocket serves in both corners with ease.

But, once you start keeping score, they wilt. The strokes are short and choppy. They double fault often. They don't hit through the ball. And they lose.

That's funny.

Back in the mid 80's my brother played in a pickup basketball game. Five on five full court outdoors. Same group of guys every Sunday morning.

Every once in a while I'd join in.

One of the guys (call him Jay who my brother and I both knew from college) fits your description CJ to a 'T'....

Beautiful jumper and nothing but net during warm-ups. But get a hand in his face during an actual game... and not so much.

Opening possession on the very first Sunday morning I joined in... I'm supposed to be covering the guy. We miss a shot. They get the rebound...

The guy streaks down the sideline on a fast break, spots up in the corner, they feed him the ball - and he buries a really nice wide open jumper.

My brother calls time-out, takes me aside, and tells me "Jay's the greatest warmup shooter there ever was. Leave him open and he hits everything. All you need to do is get a hand in his face. Do that and he can't hit a thing. Okay?"

"Got it," I tell him.

"Oh, and one more thing," my brother says. "Wait till he misses a shot because you got a hand in his face. When that happens I want you to ask him if what you heard is true. If he actually IS the greatest warmup shooter there ever was. Do that and I doubt he'll ever hit another jumper while your're covering him."

"Got it," I said.

A few possessions later we miss a shot - they get the rebound - and they're off to the races again... fast break and he's streaking down the sideline heading for the corner.

But this time I'm sticking to him and there's very little separation. Sure enough he spots up in the corner.

I back off just enough that he's calling for the ball. They pass it to him but I quickly close the gap. He goes up for the jumper. I go straight up too - and get a hand in his face.

Brick.

We get the rebound.

I know him so I figure what the hell. "Is it true Jay?" I ask as we trot back the other way.

"Is what true Jeff?" he asks.

I smiled and said "My brother thinks you might actually be the greatest warmup shooter there ever was."

"F-k you Jeff," he said in that way that guys banter back and forth with each other.

Turns out my brother was right.

From that point on, for the next two years until we all got lives and moved on and the game broke apart - whenever I was guarding him and got a hand in his face he hardly ever hit a shot.


-jp

.

thaskalos
08-02-2016, 02:41 PM
PRESSURE. It separates the "men" from the "boys". :)

Jeff P
08-02-2016, 03:08 PM
Statistics are just data; statistical analysis is another story and I believe that is what the poster, “Traynor” was referring too.

Statistical analysis involves both science and math; and when properly applied it is the most powerful tool known to man for reaching a probable cause about the future or why what happened in the past.

In statistical analysis it not just sample size, although that is a significant parameter; it is also the data type, the domain, and the distribution.

In the Bayesian framework which is useful for horserace handicapping, we define probabilities distributions not only over the data and world state, but also over the parameters of these distributions.

The Bernouilli, categorical, univariate normal, and multivariate normal distributions will describe the probabilities of the data and world state.

Yes, “Horse racing is a complex and fascinating game,” but no more complex than medical science, aerospace, telecommunications, or many other endeavors that require statistical analysis.

I think the above quote contains a lot of insight.

Speaking from personal experience here - when setting up a database - sometimes it is all too easy to end up ignoring the bolded parts of the above quote.

About three weeks ago I created a four year database consisting of Saratoga only - so that I could run stats for the current issue of the HANA Monthly.

The domain of that database differs quite a bit from that of the databases I've been using for live play the past couple of years.

The domain of my regular databases has (mostly) been a rolling 12-15 months of all tracks everywhere - the intent being to facilitate identification of new overlooked areas in the odds - and from there be one of the first to exploit them (and be one of the first to bail when it becomes clear everybody else is catching on.)

And while that approach has mostly worked for me - it does have some built in weaknesses.

For example, the way those databases are set up means that I don't get to see multi-year trends - unless I go out of my way and take the extra time to look at data from older databases.

As soon as I started thinking about the Saratoga stats I had compiled - it hit me that here I was looking at multi-year trends (something I had gotten away from in my regular databases.)

It also hit me that the way I've been using my regular databases has mostly had me ignoring one of the basics - a concept from a stat class I once had in college called a study domain.

After reading your post I made an effort to create a handful of multi-year domains - and it started paying dividends almost immediately.

You never know when something you read on this site is going to be useful.

Just wanted to say thanks,


-jp

.

Capper Al
08-02-2016, 03:22 PM
PRESSURE. It separates the "men" from the "boys". :)

Sartin was pushing that idea by looking at the winner's E2 call not the horse's E2. Giles improved upon it by better defining pace pressure.