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Actor
08-15-2016, 05:21 PM
A week or so ago I finished work on a program that I've been working on for some time. I wrote a similar program about 20 years ago that used the same algorithm. This is version 2.0

William L. Scott's book Investing At the Race Track has a series of chapters on a "Big Week at Belmont." Tom Ainslie's The Compleat Horseplayer has a similar treatment at Monmouth. As a beta test for my new program I'm going to do a "Big Week at Saratoga" starting this Wednesday, 17 Aug 2016. There has been some speculation on this site that the authors of some handicapping books have back fitted results to fit their method. That won't be the case here as I'm definitely trying to predict the future.

I've been following PhantomOnTour's "one play a day" thread in the Selections forum. Since this is a beta test I thought it best to put this thread in this forum rather than Selections. Keep in mind that this is a test. If you want to risk your money based on the prognostications I post here then fine, just don't come crying to me if you lose.

Down to business. Wednesday, 17 August 2016, Saratoga.

#8 UNSINKABLE
#5 LUTHERAN MISS
#4 ASKFOR FORGIVENESS
#1 ALL IN FUN
#9 SUGAR TRIP
#6 GIOVANNA BLUES
#3 GRAND CANDY
#4 DON DULCE
#9 CHINA GROVE
#4 CHOMSKY

Note: as this is a beta test I've posted a selection for each race. However ..

Race 1 is a marathon of over two miles. Personally I'd pass that one or else just bet to show.
Race 3 has three first time starters and the program has simply thrown them out. This is another race I'd pass.

Red Knave
08-15-2016, 08:23 PM
FYI, race 1 is the weekly steeplechase.

Actor
08-15-2016, 10:01 PM
FYI, race 1 is the weekly steeplechase.Good to know. Thanks for the heads up.

The file from BRIS definitely identifies the race as "T" meaning turf. Steeplechase should be "s" according to their description of the file. I wonder if I should try and find some other way to identify the race as a steeplechase or just let the program stand as it is.

Actor
08-16-2016, 12:23 AM
Here are the top three selections for each race except races 1 & 3. If the top selection is scratched I'll go to the next one. I'm also going to box the three in exacta & trifecta and see what happens.

Race 1 ..
Race 2 #5 LUTHERAN MISS #1 JADEMARIE #6 SHAKESPERIAN DREAM
Race 3 ..
Race 4
#1 ALL IN FUN #2 AKATEA #3 MY CARA MIA

Race 5
#9 SUGAR TRIP #5 JUSTALITTLEBITMORE #1 USSERY'S ALLEY

Race 6
#6 GIOVANNA BLUES #4 CRYSTAL WAVE #8 LLANITA

Race 7
#3 GRAND CANDY #6 CORT #4 LORD OF LOVE

Race 8
#4 DON DULCE #3 WIZARDLY #1 TRANSPARENT

Race 9
#9 CHINA GROVE #1 BIG CITY DREAMIN #7 LULL

Race 10
#4 CHOMSKY #12 LUBSEN #3 TREE TOP LOVER

Red Knave
08-16-2016, 09:23 AM
The file from BRIS definitely identifies the race as "T" meaning turf. Steeplechase should be "s" according to their description of the file. I wonder if I should try and find some other way to identify the race as a steeplechase or just let the program stand as it is.
Could you check the weight assigned? i.e. if >135 or something?
Maybe it's a hurdle rather than a steeplechase? I know there's a difference but I'm unclear on what it is.

Actor
08-16-2016, 12:52 PM
A hurdle is on a flat course with barriers that must be jumped.

A steeplechase is over open country, generally not flat, and may or may not include jumps.

That's according to my dictionary.

kingfin66
08-16-2016, 02:29 PM
Don't you want to wait for scratches?

PaceAdvantage
08-16-2016, 03:10 PM
Looking forward to your results Actor. Hope you discover that you really have something here... :ThmbUp:

Actor
08-16-2016, 04:35 PM
Don't you want to wait for scratches?Ideally, yes. The program does make provision for scratches. Unfortunately I have other obligations at this time and cannot spend the next 6 afternoons tweaking the program's input. I've posted the top three. If the selection is scratched then bet on the next one. If all three are scratched then pass the race.

Actor
08-16-2016, 04:44 PM
Looking forward to your results Actor. Hope you discover that you really have something here... :ThmbUp:Thanks PA.

Actor
08-16-2016, 10:12 PM
Race 1

#4 DREAM MAN
#5 ARTIC NORTH
#1 WINTER SPRINGS

Race 2

#13 GREY GLORY
#10 SHADOW RIDER
#11 CHUBBY MASTER

Race 3

#3 CHASE MOTTO
#6 BLENHEIM PALACE
#4 PRESUMPTUOUS

Race 4

#5 ONE SIDED
#7 CLIFTON PLEASURE
#1 BATTLE OF EVERMORE

Race 5

#16 TAINTED ANGEL
#15 SONG FOR THE SOUL
#2 MY MISSION

Race 6

#3 ETHAN HUNT
#1 CHATTER PATTERN
#8 MIRAI

Race 7

#3 FIFTH AND MADISON
#4 INHERITANCE
#1 LADY CONSTANCE

Race 8

#1 SARATOGA DREAMER
#5 MEWANNAROSE
#2 DOWSE'S BEACH

Race 9

#7 HOT CITY GIRL
#3 QUEZON
#4 COURT DANCER

Race 10

#5 PECULIAR SENSATION
#4 IRISH HOPE
#3 SLAPSTICK


Worth noting: Races 5 & 6 are Maiden Special Weights for 2 year olds and are loaded with first time starters. Race 10 is a maiden claimer with 3 first time starters. Caveat emptor.

pandy
08-17-2016, 09:52 AM
A week or so ago I finished work on a program that I've been working on for some time. I wrote a similar program about 20 years ago that used the same algorithm. This is version 2.0

William L. Scott's book Investing At the Race Track has a series of chapters on a "Big Week at Belmont." Tom Ainslie's The Compleat Horseplayer has a similar treatment at Monmouth. As a beta test for my new program I'm going to do a "Big Week at Saratoga" starting this Wednesday, 17 Aug 2016. There has been some speculation on this site that the authors of some handicapping books have back fitted results to fit their method. That won't be the case here as I'm definitely trying to predict the future.

I've been following PhantomOnTour's "one play a day" thread in the Selections forum. Since this is a beta test I thought it best to put this thread in this forum rather than Selections. Keep in mind that this is a test. If you want to risk your money based on the prognostications I post here then fine, just don't come crying to me if you lose.

Down to business. Wednesday, 17 August 2016, Saratoga.

#8 UNSINKABLE
#5 LUTHERAN MISS
#4 ASKFOR FORGIVENESS
#1 ALL IN FUN
#9 SUGAR TRIP
#6 GIOVANNA BLUES
#3 GRAND CANDY
#4 DON DULCE
#9 CHINA GROVE
#4 CHOMSKY

Note: as this is a beta test I've posted a selection for each race. However ..

Race 1 is a marathon of over two miles. Personally I'd pass that one or else just bet to show.
Race 3 has three first time starters and the program has simply thrown them out. This is another race I'd pass.



You system's picks look logical and appear to be sound picks on today's card. But if you have any hope of being a successful bettor with a computer handicapping system, there are two things you have to do. 1). You have to come up with some sort of Best Bet or spot plays. That could simply be one of your top rated horses that goes off as an overlay. It's almost impossible to bet every race and show a profit over the long run. I say almost, because it is possible if you pick a lot of longshots on top.

2). Your system has identified either the morning line favorite or the second choice in 8 of the 10 races. The only potential value plays appear to be Grand Candy (who I think is first time turf), and China Grove, who is 6-1 on the morning line.

Now I know that it's only day 1, but if your system picks the obvious betting choices in almost every race it, and your goal is to actually come out with a betting profit, you can't possibly succeed. The only systems I've ever seen that are worth following are systems that think outside of the box and are good at picking longshots. Many people have put together systems that identify and grade common handicapping factors and then rank the horses. These systems are doomed to fail because they don't evaluate the nuances of handicapping, which are crucial, such as trip handicapping, pace analysis, etc.

As you test your system, my suggestion is, see if there is any value in the horses that it picks second or third. Sometimes these are the better plays because they are ranked contenders that will not go off as the favorites.

Tor Ekman
08-17-2016, 10:00 AM
Based on a quick comparison of 2 days' selections, the system looks like it coincides at about 66% with e-ponies default bias which generally lands on the logicals

ReplayRandall
08-17-2016, 10:32 AM
You system's picks look logical and appear to be sound picks on today's card. But if you have any hope of being a successful bettor with a computer handicapping system, there are two things you have to do. 1). You have to come up with some sort of Best Bet or spot plays. That could simply be one of your top rated horses that goes off as an overlay. It's almost impossible to bet every race and show a profit over the long run. I say almost, because it is possible if you pick a lot of longshots on top.

2). Your system has identified either the morning line favorite or the second choice in 8 of the 10 races. The only potential value plays appear to be Grand Candy (who I think is first time turf), and China Grove, who is 6-1 on the morning line.

Now I know that it's only day 1, but if your system picks the obvious betting choices in almost every race it, and your goal is to actually come out with a betting profit, you can't possibly succeed. The only systems I've ever seen that are worth following are systems that think outside of the box and are good at picking longshots. Many people have put together systems that identify and grade common handicapping factors and then rank the horses. These systems are doomed to fail because they don't evaluate the nuances of handicapping, which are crucial, such as trip handicapping, pace analysis, etc.

As you test your system, my suggestion is, see if there is any value in the horses that it picks second or third. Sometimes these are the better plays because they are ranked contenders that will not go off as the favorites.


In all fairness to Actor's selections, today's card at Saratoga looks to be a chalk-fest, according to my figures as well. You're advice is spot-on, but lets see what the week brings first....Who knows, Actor may knock'em dead, and then again, maybe not.

pandy
08-17-2016, 11:23 AM
Based on a quick comparison of 2 days' selections, the system looks like it coincides at about 66% with e-ponies default bias which generally lands on the logicals

e-ponies does a fine job of ranking obvious contenders, for an automated system. But, I'm surprised he hasn't tried to create an alternative system which picks higher priced horses. If you have something that takes all of the obvious factors and ranks them, to find something that may actually have a respectable ROI, you could start to back out some of the factors, or, add other factors that evaluate a horse's ability besides the obvious form and final time.

It seems like an oxymoron, but you actually have to program the system to reduce the win percentage if you want to have any chance of developing a profitable system. Any system that's programed to try to pick the winner of every race is essentially designed to lose. So you basically have to win less to win more.

Augenj
08-17-2016, 12:59 PM
e-ponies does a fine job of ranking obvious contenders, for an automated system. But, I'm surprised he hasn't tried to create an alternative system which picks higher priced horses. If you have something that takes all of the obvious factors and ranks them, to find something that may actually have a respectable ROI, you could start to back out some of the factors, or, add other factors that evaluate a horse's ability besides the obvious form and final time.

It seems like an oxymoron, but you actually have to program the system to reduce the win percentage if you want to have any chance of developing a profitable system. Any system that's programmed to try to pick the winner of every race is essentially designed to lose. So you basically have to win less to win more.
You are so right. The public system I post at PA has a higher win percent and ROI than the private system I don't post. It seems counterintuitive but the private system shows profit under conditions that the public system does not.

Actor
08-18-2016, 12:23 AM
Win bets:
ROI: $1.65
Hit rate: 30%

Place bets:
ROI: $1.72
Hit rate: 50%

Show bets:
ROI: $1.33
Hit rate: 50%

Exacta three horse box:
ROI: $2.47
Hit rate: 6%

Trifecta three horse box: ZIP!

Actor
08-18-2016, 12:51 AM
I've added percentages and fair odds.

Race 1

#2 ONE MORE ROUND 40% 1.60
#1 PRESSING LUCK 28% 2.70
#5 CLEAR THE MINE 17% 4.90
#3 HOMEWOOD FIELD 8% 11.20

Race 2

#7 EVOLUTION 24% 3.30
#1 TASHREEH 23% 3.50
#4 STEVE'S IMAGE 21% 3.80
#3 UNBRIDLED HERO 12% 7.30

Race 3

#1 WELLABLED 30% 2.40
#5 FREUD'S FRIEND 23% 3.40
#3 HARLAN'S HARMONY 22% 3.60
#6 IRON MANE 10% 9.30

Race 4

#3 ABTAAL 29% 2.50
#1 TREND 16% 5.30
#11 WINTER GAMES 15% 5.80
#7 BURNDINES 14% 6.20

Race 5

#3 SECURITIZ 26% 3.00
#5 MR PALMER 18% 4.60
#2 TALE OF LIFE 18% 4.70
#1 DOYOUKNOWSOMETHING 17% 4.80

Race 6

#3 MAMBO AT THE GYM 31% 2.30
#9 FIRE STARTER 17% 4.90
#2 MAGRITTE 16% 5.40
#7 APPROVETHISMESSAGE 14% 6.30

Race 7

#10 RIOT WORTHY 19% 4.30
#8 PICCO UNO 17% 4.80
#9 YOUNG ANNA LEE 14% 6.30
#3 GINNED UP 13% 6.80

Race 8

#9 STARTWITHSILVER 17% 4.90
#14 MY WON LOVE 11% 8.30
#15 DREAMBOAT ANNIE 10% 8.90
#3 LITTLE BEAR CAT 9% 10.10

Race 9

#11 COALPORT 20% 4.00
#1 COPINGAWAY 17% 4.80
#3 ADIRONDACK DANCER 17% 5.10
#2 CHILTERN STREET 16% 5.40

Race 10

#2 NONNA MELA 21% 3.90
#6 SILVERTONI 17% 5.00
#7 LIBBY'S TAIL 16% 5.30
#5 EVER SO CLEVER 16% 5.40

Race 11

#9 E WARFARE 29% 2.60
#6 CATS HALO 23% 3.50
#7 BUST 10% 9.50
#2 FLYING K C 9% 10.10


FTS in 1 & 11

pandy
08-18-2016, 07:35 AM
Very nice with the odds and ranked contenders, that makes a big difference.

Actor
08-18-2016, 08:50 PM
Race 1

#1 BILEAPS AND BOUNDS 23% 3.50
#1A CHAMPAGNE RUBY 17% 4.80
#5 MASTIC 17% 5.10
#6 DISTINCTIVE LADY 15% 6.00

Race 2

#9 BLAME WILL 36% 1.90
#4 ALWAYS DREAMING 21% 4.00
#3 UNSTABLED 9% 9.70
#5 DRIVEN TO COMPETE 7% 13.90

Race 3

#5 MA CAN DO IT 33% 2.10
#6 NICKEL 30% 2.50
#4 OPINED 19% 4.40
#2 SHERINI 10% 9.20

Race 4

#1 TAPIN MOJO 28% 2.70
#2 SCOUT LEADER 28% 2.70
#3 GLOVES OFF 22% 3.70
#6 ST. LOUIE 13% 7.00

Race 5

#10 HOLY BOSS 21% 3.90
#7 CALGARY CAT 14% 6.40
#11 RAINBOW HEIR 12% 7.40
#5 GREEN MASK 11% 8.10

Race 6

#1 OUR STORMIN NORMAN 24% 3.20
#3 ONE OF A KIND 22% 3.60
#5 RULE YOURSELF 22% 3.70
#10 UNBRIDLED EAGLE 20% 4.10

Race 7

#10 NERINX 21% 3.90
#11 MAGNOLIA MOUNTAIN 17% 5.00
#1 DILETTANTE 17% 5.20
#4 CONDO PRINCE 12% 7.50

Race 8

#10 AVA'S KITTEN 13% 6.80
#3 JUSTA LADY 13% 6.90
#4 RUMBLE DOLL 11% 7.90
#1 BRINKLEY 11% 8.00

Race 9

#2 GRAND ARCH 29% 2.60
#4 FORCE THE PASS 25% 3.20
#1 KING KREESA 16% 5.50
#6 RING WEEKEND 15% 5.70

Race 10

#6 SONGBIRD 25% 3.10
#4 GO MAGGIE GO 24% 3.20
#1 DARK NILE 15% 5.80
#2 WEEP NO MORE 13% 6.80

Race 11

#3 CONVERGE 30% 2.40
#1 ORINO 19% 4.30
#6 DREAM DOCTOR 16% 5.40
#2 SANCTIFY 11% 7.90

Race 12

#11 COSMIC TALE 16% 5.30
#6 SABRINA BALLERINA 11% 8.40
#5 TRUE CHARM 9% 9.90
#10 LULU'S BLUES 9% 10.20

Actor
08-20-2016, 12:19 AM
Race 1

#2 GORELLI 39% 1.70
#4 SAMADI SKY 33% 2.10
#1 BORN FOR A STORM 16% 5.50
#6 JAMES LANE 3% 28.00

Race 2

#4 JETSAM SIX 41% 1.50
#9 PRICE TOO HIGH 13% 6.60
#8 PROMISE ME TIZ 12% 7.20
#6 THUNDERON THE NILE 12% 7.40

Race 3

#8 SEBONACK 36% 1.90
#2 SECRET SCHOLAR 17% 5.00
#3 SARATOGA CHARLIE 16% 5.40
#5 ORNATO 9% 10.40

Race 4

#3 CADEYRN 26% 2.90
#2 RUNAWAY POSSE 19% 4.50
#1 IDIOSYNCRATIC 14% 6.00
#5 CAPTAIN MOSS 14% 6.20

Race 5

#4 GAMBLER'S GHOST 22% 3.60
#1 YOU KNOW I KNOW 17% 4.90
#7 BLAME JIM 16% 5.50
#8 GALARDONADO 15% 5.90

Race 6

#2 MONTAUK MAN 21% 3.90
#3 RIVER DANCER 18% 4.70
#5 ARCTIC KING 14% 6.40
#16 GOOD RESPONSE 13% 6.80

Race 7

#9 VERTICAL OAK 45% 1.30
#11 STARR BEAR 10% 9.50
#2 GLOAMING 8% 11.00
#3 IRIDIUM 8% 11.00

Race 8

#1 TIME AND MOTION 34% 2.00
#2 CATCH A GLIMPSE 27% 2.80
#5 ELYSEA'S WORLD 14% 6.40
#4 PRICEDTOPERFECTION 13% 6.80

Race 9

#15 CURIOUS CAL 10% 9.00
#10 BUG JUICE 8% 11.20
#5 FRISKY MAGICIAN 8% 11.30
#12 TRUE BET 8% 11.50

Race 10

#2 BIG ZIP 27% 2.80
#8 MAN OF WIREGRASS 16% 5.50
#9 NOBODY MOVE 11% 8.60
#1 HERE COMES TOMMY 10% 9.40

Race 11

#4 TIZ WICKED 33% 2.20
#9 LE GRAND WARRIOR 13% 7.00
#14 CONQUEST PRANKSTER 10% 9.00
#12 BOOKEW BUCKS 6% 15.00

Actor
08-20-2016, 04:18 PM
Race 1

#3 LADY'S FIRST 35% 2.00
#1 WAKE UP SMILING 20% 4.00
#2B TOWN FAIR 13% 6.90
#1A KISS THE FLAG 8% 11.10

Race 2

#3 CALDERA 31% 2.30
#7 RICHMOND STREET 24% 3.30
#5 SADLER'S JOY 17% 5.10
#1 ROUSTABOUT 15% 5.80

Race 3

#4 THAT MAKES SENSE 33% 2.10
#3 BATTLE MIDWAY 17% 5.10
#2 SALEM LOOP 13% 6.90
#7 GREYJOY 13% 7.00

Race 4

#1 DETAIL 33% 2.10
#6 EQHO 20% 4.10
#5 LADY BLING 19% 4.40
#3 FIVE HEARTS 10% 9.30

Race 5

#8 JESS I AM 21% 3.90
#1 BASE JUMPER 19% 4.20
#3 PROUD ZIP 18% 4.60
#11 TURF COMMANDER 14% 6.40

Race 6

#1 WEEKEND HIDEAWAY 31% 2.30
#4 AWESOME GENT 20% 4.10
#6 LOVE THAT JAZZ 14% 6.40
#3 OSTROLENKA 13% 7.00

Race 7

#10 MARCH 24% 3.30
#4 NIGHT PROWLER 21% 4.00
#2 ASCEND 18% 4.60
#7 MACAGONE 17% 4.90

Race 8

#6 ESKENFORMONEY 27% 2.80
#2 TIGER RIDE 20% 4.10
#1 MONEY'SONCHARLOTTE 18% 4.70
#3 SWEETGRASS 17% 5.00

Race 9

#8 GRACE'S JOY 23% 3.40
#5 DITCH EM 22% 3.60
#3 SPLASH OF SASS 15% 5.70
#2 SHOW RIVER 12% 7.10

Actor
08-23-2016, 12:00 AM
The big week is over.

I should mention that I discovered that sometimes after a horse has been scratched the program re-orders the contenders. For example if the selection is HorseA first, HorseB second and HorseC third; if HorseD is scratched the program can re-order the selections to HorseC, HorseA, HorseB. I did not expect this but upon evaluation of the algorithm I can see how it happens. The analysis uses the program's selections after scratches are entered and on occasion this is not the selections I posted.

Also, the analysis is based on betting every race with no effort to find overlays.


Total races: 63

Win bets..
ROI: $2.00 -- i.e., break even. Actually there was a 20 cent loss over the week.
Hit rate: 24%

Place bets..
ROI: $1.58 -- no surprise here.
Hit rate: 37%

Show bets..
ROI: $1.61
Hit rate: 53%

Win bets, sprints only..
ROI: $2.78
Hit rate: 26%

Place bets, sprints only..
ROI: $2.11
Hit rate: 44%

Show bets, sprints only..
ROI: $1.77
Hit rate: 58%

Win bets, routes
ROI: $0.90
Hit rate: 19%

Place bets, routes
ROI: $0.87
Hit rate: 26%

Show bets, routes
ROI: $1.38
Hit rate: 50%

Exacta three horse box
ROI: $2.40
Hit rate: 6%

Exacta three horse box -- sprints
ROI: $2.37
Hit rate 5%

Exacta three horse box -- routes
ROI: $2.44
Hit rate 7.5%

Trifecta three horse box
ROI: $1.80
Hit rate: 1.6%

Trifecta three horse box - sprints
ROI: $0.94
Hit rate: 1.7%

Trifecta three horse box - routes
ROI: $2.72
Hit rate: 1.5%

Biggest payoffs:
$ 19.80 win NONNA MELA 10th race Aug 19
$145.00 exacta ORINO, DREAM DOCTOR 11th race Aug 20
$353.50 trifecta ORINO, DREAM DOCTOR, CONVERGE 11th race Aug 20

pandy
08-23-2016, 12:04 AM
The big week is over.

I should mention that I discovered that sometimes after a horse has been scratched the program re-orders the contenders. For example if the selection is HorseA first, HorseB second and HorseC third; if HorseD is scratched the program can re-order the selections to HorseC, HorseA, HorseB. I did not expect this but upon evaluation of the algorithm I can see how it happens. The analysis uses the program's selections after scratches are entered and on occasion this is not the selections I posted.

Also, the analysis is based on betting every race with no effort to find overlays.


Total races: 63

Win bets..
ROI: $2.00 -- i.e., break even. Actually there was a 20 cent loss over the week.
Hit rate: 24%

Place bets..
ROI: $1.58 -- no surprise here.
Hit rate: 37%

Show bets..
ROI: $1.61
Hit rate: 53%

Win bets, sprints only..
ROI: $2.78
Hit rate: 26%

Place bets, sprints only..
ROI: $2.11
Hit rate: 44%

Show bets, sprints only..
ROI: $1.77
Hit rate: 58%

Win bets, routes
ROI: $0.90
Hit rate: 19%

Place bets, routes
ROI: $0.87
Hit rate: 26%

Show bets, routes
ROI: $1.38
Hit rate: 50%

Exacta three horse box
ROI: $2.40
Hit rate: 6%

Exacta three horse box -- sprints
ROI: $2.37
Hit rate 5%

Exacta three horse box -- routes
ROI: $2.44
Hit rate 7.5%

Trifecta three horse box
ROI: $1.80
Hit rate: 1.6%

Trifecta three horse box - sprints
ROI: $0.94
Hit rate: 1.7%

Trifecta three horse box - routes
ROI: $2.72
Hit rate: 1.5%

Biggest payoffs:
$ 19.80 win NONNA MELA 10th race Aug 19
$145.00 exacta ORINO, DREAM DOCTOR 11th race Aug 20
$353.50 trifecta ORINO, DREAM DOCTOR, CONVERGE 11th race Aug 20


For picking every race that's very good.