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Todaysracingdigest
05-02-2017, 05:40 PM
A key race = two or more horses from a race that came back to win their next start.

I like to look for key races when handicapping Maidens, but also with Stakes races. They seem to show how much more class that particular race had. I'll give those that are out of a key race a longer look when handicapping.

I think there was a Maiden race at Del Mar a few years ago that had six or seven next-out winners which was quite impressive.

Dave Schwartz
05-02-2017, 06:42 PM
Our DOS software used to track key races in several ways but at the end of the day we just could not find any way to find an edge from it.

Not saying that it can't work. Just that I couldn't find any.

VigorsTheGrey
05-02-2017, 07:20 PM
How is a Class Rating figured...? I know one Class Ranking that shows Arrogate at 129.62 and Shaman Ghost at 121.42. They ( the various ratings and rankings ) each probably have their own distinct criteria, but what, generally goes into a class rating...? I've heard before that speed equals class but are there other factors...?

thaskalos
05-02-2017, 07:41 PM
IMO...the most intriguing thing about this game is that, no matter how ill-conceived a handicapping theory may be...it will still pick enough winners to get players excited -- at least for a while.

classhandicapper
05-02-2017, 08:40 PM
A key race = two or more horses from a race that came back to win their next start.

I like to look for key races when handicapping Maidens, but also with Stakes races. They seem to show how much more class that particular race had. I'll give those that are out of a key race a longer look when handicapping.

I think there was a Maiden race at Del Mar a few years ago that had six or seven next-out winners which was quite impressive.

imo...

In some instances it's difficult to determine the quality of the field by looking at the official class designation. Watching how horses come out of races will sometimes give you a clue as to a race's true strength.

The major drawback is that horses change distances, surfaces, move up or down in class, get varying trips from race to race, their form changes etc... So any arbitrary rule like "2 horses came back to win" will produce a lot of random key races that are not actually strong and may miss some that are.

My own approach is look at the makeup of a field and compare it to the typical field for that class. Then I analyze the result via the chart and replay to figure out what happened in the race given the trips, race flow, bias etc.. Sometimes it's very obvious what happened. Sometimes it's not totally clear. So following how the horses run in subsequent races will help clarify the original conclusion.

The key point is that without taking trips, distance, surface etc.. into account there will be too much noise. Also, it's not just Wins that count. For example, sometimes a few horses that were all buried in a race will come back to run massively better at the same class. That's as much an indication the field was strong as if the winner repeated at a higher class.

I agree 100% that maidens and stakes are best races.

1. The quality of maiden races is often hard to gauge because so many of the horses are first time starters or lightly raced. There are also WAY more figure errors in maiden races for that very reason also. So getting the quality right can lead to value.

2. Stakes horses are highly consistent. So there is much less noise. That makes class comparisons a lot easier.

Todaysracingdigest
05-02-2017, 08:50 PM
Not sure how a class rating is computed. That's something we don't have. It would be interesting to know how they are made though.

Todaysracingdigest
05-02-2017, 08:57 PM
To Dave Schwartz and thaskalos: yeah it could be just one of those things to take into account while handicapping, but not one to use all by itself.

To classhandicapper: solid points and I agree you see some major upward figures in Maiden races.

jay68802
05-02-2017, 09:02 PM
I like horses coming out of Maiden races with a high pace figures, was within 4 lengths of the lead and lost ground in the stretch. Since the horse lost ground in the stretch, you tend to get better odds.

EasyGoer89
05-02-2017, 10:59 PM
To me and what I do, key races are overrated simply because of this reason. I can properly rate each horse as an individual, and if I do that correctly, I don't need to rate that same horse by rating other horses and comparing them.

If I don't know how good horse A is, why would I know how good horse B is in order to properly gauge horse A by comparison. I think it's easier to cut out the middle man and just rate horses as individuals on their own merit.

VigorsTheGrey
05-03-2017, 03:02 AM
Not sure how a class rating is computed. That's something we don't have. It would be interesting to know how they are made though.

I remember a section in Today's Racing Digest that showed ML odds of the winner side by side with final odds of the winner...Do you have the ability to run a query to show percent of winners that won with HIGHER odds versus being bet down or staying at ML....?

Todaysracingdigest
05-03-2017, 12:24 PM
Yes we include the M/L and final odds for all the races listed in the Data Lines. I'm not sure about running a query, but if we can it might have to be one circuit or one track.

johnhannibalsmith
05-03-2017, 01:01 PM
...
If I don't know how good horse A is, why would I know how good horse B is in order to properly gauge horse A by comparison. ...

You never have a stronger feeling about one horse's abilities and tendencies than you do another?

There are a million cases a day if you spent all day doing nothing but comparisons where you could feel better about 'rating' one horse over another and it wouldn't be crazy to turn around and then make an evaluation on the latter after a matchup based on the outcome.

I mean, if you don't trust ANY of your opinions on any horses, then I agree completely. Using other horses as a point of reference will be of no help to you. But if you have a solid opinion on horse A, then I have no idea why someone that wants to have a full accounting of then number of nails used in each shoe as part of the past performances would willfully dismiss his own opinion of a horse as a standard.

therussmeister
05-03-2017, 01:22 PM
A key race = two or more horses from a race that came back to win their next start.

I like to look for key races when handicapping Maidens, but also with Stakes races. They seem to show how much more class that particular race had. I'll give those that are out of a key race a longer look when handicapping.

I think there was a Maiden race at Del Mar a few years ago that had six or seven next-out winners which was quite impressive.

The problem with using your definition of key race as a handicapping principle is you are two or more horses too late. The money is in finding the key races before any of the horses make their next start.

AndyC
05-03-2017, 02:48 PM
To me a key race will validate a fig or make you go back see if your fig was calculated correctly.

Exotic1
05-03-2017, 03:08 PM
Not sure how a class rating is computed. That's something we don't have. It would be interesting to know how they are made though.


The "RCL" rating on your reports are defined as "Recent Competitive Level". Doesn't that imply that a class rating (or class level) is associated to each race so that it can then be determined at what level (class) a runner was most recently competitive in?

ultracapper
05-03-2017, 04:02 PM
The problem with using your definition of key race as a handicapping principle is you are two or more horses too late. The money is in finding the key races before any of the horses make their next start.

And we have a winner. Feb19 at SA 10th race. 10 horse field, 4 next out winners, 3 placed and 1 showed. Not sure what the 9th and 10th place finishers did, but the first 8 finishers all came back to finish in the money. I got 2 of the winners because of the race shape of the key race. It was an extraordinary race for M50K claimers that was screaming fast early, and a number of the horses made competitive moves during the fastest portions of the race. I was touting that race soon after it ran, and when the 7th place finisher came back and won, and the winner was a tough beat 2nd in a StAl, it became apparent the race was going to produce some good next out efforts.

There are reasons a race comes back "key". It has nothing to do with the relative ability of the horses, but rather their performance during the extraordinary portion of that race. If they run a merry go round in track record time, and you think that'll come back key, you'll be greatly disappointed. There is usually something special about the key race running, rather than the key race runners. And then, they have to be trained and placed properly in their next starts. If 2 horses come out of a MSW and win at M20K, it's a key race, but don't go jumping all over the horses that come back at MSW. Those 2 cheap drop down winners may not mean jack.

Todaysracingdigest
05-03-2017, 08:30 PM
To Exotic1: Yes that is correct. I was saying we don't have a class rating based on speed figures. The RCL is a class rating based on the class level. Sorry for the confusion.

VigorsTheGrey
05-03-2017, 09:11 PM
Yes we include the M/L and final odds for all the races listed in the Data Lines. I'm not sure about running a query, but if we can it might have to be one circuit or one track.
That would be great if you could do that with a fairly large sample size for one track...I'm guessing that the percentages might be in the ranges of 10% same odds as morning line winners; 50% bet down from morning line winners; and 40% above morning lines winners... But these are just wild guesses...I really have no idea...that is why I am asking you for help with this...much obliged...Vigors.

Exotic1
05-03-2017, 09:20 PM
To Exotic1: Yes that is correct. I was saying we don't have a class rating based on speed figures. The RCL is a class rating based on the class level. Sorry for the confusion.

If you're saying that Class Level is a static rating based on race level structure vs. a dynamic rating based on strength of field, then I understand.

no breathalyzer
05-04-2017, 12:38 AM
[/COLOR][/B]

And we have a winner. Feb19 at SA 10th race. 10 horse field, 4 next out winners, 3 placed and 1 showed. Not sure what the 9th and 10th place finishers did, but the first 8 finishers all came back to finish in the money. I got 2 of the winners because of the race shape of the key race. It was an extraordinary race for M50K claimers that was screaming fast early, and a number of the horses made competitive moves during the fastest portions of the race. I was touting that race soon after it ran, and when the 7th place finisher came back and won, and the winner was a tough beat 2nd in a StAl, it became apparent the race was going to produce some good next out efforts.

There are reasons a race comes back "key". It has nothing to do with the relative ability of the horses, but rather their performance during the extraordinary portion of that race. If they run a merry go round in track record time, and you think that'll come back key, you'll be greatly disappointed. There is usually something special about the key race running, rather than the key race runners. And then, they have to be trained and placed properly in their next starts. If 2 horses come out of a MSW and win at M20K, it's a key race, but don't go jumping all over the horses that come back at MSW. Those 2 cheap drop down winners may not mean jack.

:ThmbUp: This might be the best post on here in the last 2 yrs + ...watching replays and taking your own notes is the key to accurately interpreting key races before every other joeblow sees it in writting

EasyGoer89
05-04-2017, 01:10 AM
You never have a stronger feeling about one horse's abilities and tendencies than you do another?

There are a million cases a day if you spent all day doing nothing but comparisons where you could feel better about 'rating' one horse over another and it wouldn't be crazy to turn around and then make an evaluation on the latter after a matchup based on the outcome.

I mean, if you don't trust ANY of your opinions on any horses, then I agree completely. Using other horses as a point of reference will be of no help to you. But if you have a solid opinion on horse A, then I have no idea why someone that wants to have a full accounting of then number of nails used in each shoe as part of the past performances would willfully dismiss his own opinion of a horse as a standard.

I know when horses come back to race well it's a totally different circumstance and context, I just feel like I don't want to make a mistake and Wrongly rate a horse because of what another horse did in his next start. Sometimes though you get forced to believe something for example if 2 horses were heads apart at wire and I really liked one Of them for next time and his competitor came back and Aired, I'll know it and thru Human nature, feel better about my horse...of course if I liked the horse anyway, I don't want his competitor airing as that will just hurt my price next time on something that I already know, most times I don't need the justification, that stuff just hurts my price.

thaskalos
05-04-2017, 01:17 AM
[/COLOR][/B]

And we have a winner. Feb19 at SA 10th race. 10 horse field, 4 next out winners, 3 placed and 1 showed. Not sure what the 9th and 10th place finishers did, but the first 8 finishers all came back to finish in the money. I got 2 of the winners because of the race shape of the key race. It was an extraordinary race for M50K claimers that was screaming fast early, and a number of the horses made competitive moves during the fastest portions of the race. I was touting that race soon after it ran, and when the 7th place finisher came back and won, and the winner was a tough beat 2nd in a StAl, it became apparent the race was going to produce some good next out efforts.

There are reasons a race comes back "key". It has nothing to do with the relative ability of the horses, but rather their performance during the extraordinary portion of that race. If they run a merry go round in track record time, and you think that'll come back key, you'll be greatly disappointed. There is usually something special about the key race running, rather than the key race runners. And then, they have to be trained and placed properly in their next starts. If 2 horses come out of a MSW and win at M20K, it's a key race, but don't go jumping all over the horses that come back at MSW. Those 2 cheap drop down winners may not mean jack.

And yet...in the vast majority of the cases where horses make competitive moves during the "extraordinary portion of the race"...there is no "key race" aftereffect to be seen.

IMO...the "key race" phenomenon is just one of many unexplainable things that leave us scratching our heads in this game. We see them, and we try to explain them in a "logical" manner...but none of the "explanations" that we come up with can withstand persistent scrutiny.

AltonKelsey
05-04-2017, 01:18 AM
The way most folks talk about key races is badly flawed.

Mention of how the race was run, yeah, I buy that, but there's probably a more significant factor rarely mentioned. So I'll mention it here.

How many horses were using the race as a prep. Or needed a race.

Probably most significant in maiden races . Also probably highly random, so the number of winners emitting from the race isn't really predictable in advance. If three come back and win/run well , then is the 4th REALLY more likely to win than random?.

I do keep track of it in the database, but can't say I use it heavily in forming decisions in most races.

no breathalyzer
05-04-2017, 03:52 AM
The way most folks talk about key races is badly flawed.

Mention of how the race was run, yeah, I buy that, but there's probably a more significant factor rarely mentioned. So I'll mention it here.

How many horses were using the race as a prep. Or needed a race.

Probably most significant in maiden races . Also probably highly random, so the number of winners emitting from the race isn't really predictable in advance. If three come back and win/run well , then is the 4th REALLY more likely to win than random?.

I do keep track of it in the database, but can't say I use it heavily in forming decisions in most races.

This is the only time to use '' key race'' with rare occasion nl2

steveb
05-04-2017, 04:17 AM
How is a Class Rating figured...? I know one Class Ranking that shows Arrogate at 129.62 and Shaman Ghost at 121.42. They ( the various ratings and rankings ) each probably have their own distinct criteria, but what, generally goes into a class rating...? I've heard before that speed equals class but are there other factors...?


yes and no.
i guess it depends on who is doing what.
for me, class(one aspect of) and speed are basically the same thing.

speed is the individual
class is the collective for that type(whatever your 'type' may be)

but realistically class has different meanings.
it can be class of horse or class of race, and they are two different things.
or it could be .......


as for key races, i will leave that for the experts. i don't believe in them as such.

is there a web site that the op has?

classhandicapper
05-04-2017, 03:49 PM
IMO...the "key race" phenomenon is just one of many unexplainable things that leave us scratching our heads in this game. We see them, and we try to explain them in a "logical" manner...but none of the "explanations" that we come up with can withstand persistent scrutiny.

If you create a MEDIOCRE definition of something (like 2 winners out of the race make it a key race) and then it fails to be spectacularly predictive after that, it's not a failing of the concept. It's a failing of the definition. That's why I have long tried to explain the techniques I use that actually DO identify strong/weak fields and then how to find the horses within those races that are likely to move forward.

To do it right, you need a standard for "average" at each class. Then you can compare a field to that average based on who was actually in the race to determine if it was clearly strong or weak. When you find clear cases it works as well as figures.

As I always explain, figures are an excellent tool and highly predictive but they are often inaccurate due to the complexities of making them. They also don't take everything into account that impacts time. So they have no special advantage over high quality classing. Both methods have strengths and weaknesses, but everyone is using figures now because it's easier and fashionable. So imo the value is in classing.

aaron
05-04-2017, 05:10 PM
There have been many discussions of key races. In my opinion, just because two winners have come out of a race, doesn't necessarily make the race a key race. Barry Meadow did an article and in it,he said, he saw no advantage to defining a race has key race because of two winners.Personally,I look at a race and if I see that most horses coming out of the race improved their figures, whether they won or not,I would be more likely to consider that race a key. There are races, where the 2 winners can be significant, but you have to check beyond that before making a final determination.A lot of cheap Maiden races with two winners are really negative key races as none of the horses involved improved.

Todaysracingdigest
05-05-2017, 04:50 PM
I remember a section in Today's Racing Digest that showed ML odds of the winner side by side with final odds of the winner...Do you have the ability to run a query to show percent of winners that won with HIGHER odds versus being bet down or staying at ML....?
Sorry, we cannot run a query for this. Our system is not set up for it.