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HalvOnHorseracing
07-13-2017, 11:47 PM
I'm thinking about doing an article on trip handicapping. I'd love to hear some opinions on how useful it is in your handicapping. For the people who use it, is it a main handicapping method or as a supplement? Which trips do you think are underrated? Overrated? Which sort of bad trip gets you excited about a horse's next race?

classhandicapper
07-14-2017, 04:05 PM
One thing I think you should touch on is measuring the impact of trips.

It's one thing to find a horse that had an especially good/bad trip. It's another to try to adjust his figures or beaten lengths based on that trip to assess the performance.

I think in some extreme instances (like for example a horse that was both dueling and on the bad part of the track), you are probably better off just throwing the race out than trying to make an adjustment of some sort. But even that is not perfect because form changes.

biggestal99
07-14-2017, 05:11 PM
One thing I think you should touch on is measuring the impact of trips.

It's one thing to find a horse that had an especially good/bad trip. It's another to try to adjust his figures or beaten lengths based on that trip to assess the performance.

I think in some extreme instances (like for example a horse that was both dueling and on the bad part of the track), you are probably better off just throwing the race out than trying to make an adjustment of some sort. But even that is not perfect because form changes.

Don't use them at all selecting losers. Well maybe if a horse had radical bad trip I would bet against cause the horse will be a 100% underlay.

Allan

Robert Fischer
07-14-2017, 05:52 PM
Trip Handicapping is a major model.

Ultimately, you are seeking the same ends as with other major models; Significantly mispriced horses.

You want to be betting on horses who have shown that they can win, but are being ignored as if they can't win, due to their adverse trip(s).

You want to bet against horses who have never shown that they can win, but are being bet as if they are a top contender, due to their 'dressed-up' trip(s).


Trip handicapping info works for me like critical mass.
If the odds, horse, and public perception aren't pointing in the right direction to a sufficient degree, nothing really happens. A negative or minimal value situation. Betting into those trade-offs, is a long-term loser.

When they are pointing in the right direction to a sufficient degree, you have a big value situation. An exponential growth of value.

HalvOnHorseracing
07-14-2017, 06:15 PM
Trip Handicapping is a major model.

Ultimately, you are seeking the same ends as with other major models; Significantly mispriced horses.

You want to be betting on horses who have shown that they can win, but are being ignored as if they can't win, due to their adverse trip(s).

You want to bet against horses who have never shown that they can win, but are being bet as if they are a top contender, due to their 'dressed-up' trip(s).


Trip handicapping info works for me like critical mass.
If the odds, horse, and public perception aren't pointing in the right direction to a sufficient degree, nothing really happens. A negative or minimal value situation. Betting into those trade-offs, is a long-term loser.

When they are pointing in the right direction to a sufficient degree, you have a big value situation. An exponential growth of value.

Thanks for that perspective. Good stuff.

thaskalos
07-14-2017, 06:19 PM
Instead of watching the horses and their trips...I scrutinize the jockeys, and their hand movements. Which jockey is putting forth a reasonable effort aboard his mount...and who is "taking the race off"? And I whisper these developments into a micro-recorder that I carry with me, along with any suspicious tote-board play that I might notice...trying to see if any relationship could be ascertained between this, and any particular jockey/trainer combination out there.

This game is more "dishonest" than the other money-games that are widely available to the "investing public"...and it behooves the horseplayer to try and read BETWEEN the past performance lines that we readily see. In this game, only the PARANOID survive...IMO.

jahura2
07-14-2017, 07:13 PM
I'm thinking about doing an article on trip handicapping. I'd love to hear some opinions on how useful it is in your handicapping. For the people who use it, is it a main handicapping method or as a supplement? Which trips do you think are underrated? Overrated? Which sort of bad trip gets you excited about a horse's next race?

Please write your article on trips. It is an important part of my overall handicapping process and while it is easy for me to spot the obvious issues, traffic, gait troubles. Everyone can see those, I could use some help spotting some of the more subtle problems. Agree with Thask in that I have been lately paying a lot of attention to how the much effort the rider is exerting and where they decide to position early. Any extra info regarding trips would be helpful. Look forward to reading it.

HalvOnHorseracing
07-14-2017, 08:22 PM
Instead of watching the horses and their trips...I scrutinize the jockeys, and their hand movements. Which jockey is putting forth a reasonable effort aboard his mount...and who is "taking the race off"? And I whisper these developments into a micro-recorder that I carry with me, along with any suspicious tote-board play that I might notice...trying to see if any relationship could be ascertained between this, and any particular jockey/trainer combination out there.

This game is more "dishonest" than the other money-games that are widely available to the "investing public"...and it behooves the horseplayer to try and read BETWEEN the past performance lines that we readily see. In this game, only the PARANOID survive...IMO.
In the "old days" trainers allowed horses to race into condition, and I think it was a lot more obvious when the jockey wasn't making a prime effort under instructions from the trainer. I still think some trainers make this move (A C Avila did it with Masochistic's first start) and it would be useful to know which trainers still might do it.

Good point Thask.

Dahoss9698
07-15-2017, 01:58 AM
A subject very near and dear to my heart. I use no figures in my handicapping so race watching and trip handicapping is where I get my "edge." I'll elaborate further on Sunday, but I did want to introduce a horse who was on my watch list after his last that is running tomorrow at Belmont.

This is the kind of horse I look for when it comes to bet backs, which is the ultimate goal of trip handicapping IMO.

In the 6th, #:3: Lucky Town. He broke well last time. And probably could have made the pace, but his rider yanked him back to 4th. He actually fell into a decent enough spot behind the leaders until he found himself directly behind one of the tiring pacesetters around the 3/8's pole. He shuffled from 4th to 8th in the span of a furlong and found himself in no mans land with a 1/4 mile to go. He had to wheel out into the 7 path as the eventual 1-4 finishers all got the jump on him and were in the midst of their rallies. He showed good courage to make up some lengths late, only beaten 4. Switches to the cold bug Diaz which should help the price.

This is the kind of trip I can't wait to bet back. Same class and trouble when the real running started. It left him with too much to do, but I saw enough in how he finished to think the trip cost him the race.

johnhannibalsmith
07-15-2017, 11:36 AM
...

In the 6th, #:3: Lucky Town. He broke well last time. And probably could have made the pace, but his rider yanked him back to 4th. He actually fell into a decent enough spot behind the leaders until he found himself directly behind one of the tiring pacesetters around the 3/8's pole. He shuffled from 4th to 8th in the span of a furlong and found himself in no mans land with a 1/4 mile to go. He had to wheel out into the 7 path as the eventual 1-4 finishers all got the jump on him and were in the midst of their rallies. He showed good courage to make up some lengths late, only beaten 4. Switches to the cold bug Diaz which should help the price.

This is the kind of trip I can't wait to bet back. Same class and trouble when the real running started. It left him with too much to do, but I saw enough in how he finished to think the trip cost him the race.

About time the bouncer gave us some rare damn meat to chew on for a change. :ThmbUp:

Dahoss9698
07-15-2017, 11:54 AM
About time the bouncer gave us some rare damn meat to chew on for a change. :ThmbUp:

:lol:

Probably be washed off now

johnhannibalsmith
07-15-2017, 12:21 PM
:lol:

Probably be washed off now

I not only like your pick, but I like it as an example of how you use trip handicapping in the context.

I hate to answer these questions for fear of being too brief or too longwinded; that's probably how to do it.

Like you (presumably to some degree), when I watch back I'm usually trying to find some horses that found themselves in the heart of the action and won the battle but lost the war. Or those that avoided all the running and fell into the mix by default in contrary. The horse that moved early down the backside to avoid getting shut off inside, then had to use horse again on the turn, then again leaving it and eventually the constant struggle for position throughout the race left little for the running.

Just a few, but those are the ones I like to look for. A horse that gets stood on his head in the turn and checks and then misses by a half and you can read all about it in the comment line in the PPs is always getting more action than it deserves. Traffic, collisions, altered courses... nah, if you are playing trips, you've got to be looking for them in midtown, not reading about them in downtown.

jay68802
07-15-2017, 01:00 PM
The only bad trip i consider is a E or EP horse that has a bad break or is squeezed back at the start. Otherwise most other incidents i consider just part of racing. What I like looking for is the horse that had a great trip and figure it inflated the speed figure.

jay68802
07-15-2017, 01:21 PM
One that got missed.

HalvOnHorseracing
07-15-2017, 01:35 PM
A subject very near and dear to my heart. I use no figures in my handicapping so race watching and trip handicapping is where I get my "edge." I'll elaborate further on Sunday, but I did want to introduce a horse who was on my watch list after his last that is running tomorrow at Belmont.

This is the kind of horse I look for when it comes to bet backs, which is the ultimate goal of trip handicapping IMO.

In the 6th, #:3: Lucky Town. He broke well last time. And probably could have made the pace, but his rider yanked him back to 4th. He actually fell into a decent enough spot behind the leaders until he found himself directly behind one of the tiring pacesetters around the 3/8's pole. He shuffled from 4th to 8th in the span of a furlong and found himself in no mans land with a 1/4 mile to go. He had to wheel out into the 7 path as the eventual 1-4 finishers all got the jump on him and were in the midst of their rallies. He showed good courage to make up some lengths late, only beaten 4. Switches to the cold bug Diaz which should help the price.

This is the kind of trip I can't wait to bet back. Same class and trouble when the real running started. It left him with too much to do, but I saw enough in how he finished to think the trip cost him the race.

The 6th at BEL is what we used to call a KICS race, short for kid in a candy store. There are a number of interesting price horses including Retrograde and Mollica. I think you could make a case if you wanted for 8 of the horses, which makes it a good betting race if you have a strong opinion.

Check out the trip Abbot got in his last race. The horse was checking and bumping right out of the gate and seemed to be fighting the jockey until he finally just gave up. He is making his second start of the year and last year looked like he might develop into a top flight turf horse.

ReplayRandall
07-15-2017, 04:02 PM
In the 6th, #:3: Lucky Town.

Box it up for a score with :10: New Jersey John (NY) 15-1 J L Ortiz L Rice

thaskalos
07-15-2017, 04:55 PM
A subject very near and dear to my heart. I use no figures in my handicapping so race watching and trip handicapping is where I get my "edge." I'll elaborate further on Sunday, but I did want to introduce a horse who was on my watch list after his last that is running tomorrow at Belmont.

This is the kind of horse I look for when it comes to bet backs, which is the ultimate goal of trip handicapping IMO.

In the 6th, #:3: Lucky Town. He broke well last time. And probably could have made the pace, but his rider yanked him back to 4th. He actually fell into a decent enough spot behind the leaders until he found himself directly behind one of the tiring pacesetters around the 3/8's pole. He shuffled from 4th to 8th in the span of a furlong and found himself in no mans land with a 1/4 mile to go. He had to wheel out into the 7 path as the eventual 1-4 finishers all got the jump on him and were in the midst of their rallies. He showed good courage to make up some lengths late, only beaten 4. Switches to the cold bug Diaz which should help the price.

This is the kind of trip I can't wait to bet back. Same class and trouble when the real running started. It left him with too much to do, but I saw enough in how he finished to think the trip cost him the race.

A sincere question:

Without any sort of speed and pace figures...how do you determine if Lucky Town's "best race" is capable of beating today's field?

I'm not trying to be a smart-alec here...I am honestly trying to gain some insight from someone whose handicapping I respect.

HalvOnHorseracing
07-15-2017, 05:23 PM
Very tough beat. Abbot was my play of the day. Maragh moved him outside a little late - again. He won't be hidden next race.

I'm not a big fan of horses that are non-win types. Yummy Bear was 1 for 17 going into that one and while he looked solid in-the-money, I just have a hard time backing those horses to win.

Dahoss9698
07-15-2017, 05:32 PM
A sincere question:

Without any sort of speed and pace figures...how do you determine if Lucky Town's "best race" is capable of beating today's field?

I'm not trying to be a smart-alec here...I am honestly trying to gain some insight from someone whose handicapping I respect.

When I have more time tonight or tomorrow I'll elaborate.

Not the best of trips again for Lucky Town. Broke a few lengths slow, premature wife move. One more time.

dnlgfnk
07-15-2017, 05:56 PM
A sincere question:

Without any sort of speed and pace figures...how do you determine if Lucky Town's "best race" is capable of beating today's field?

I'm not trying to be a smart-alec here...I am honestly trying to gain some insight from someone whose handicapping I respect.

In my estimation, it was Beyer again who fostered much of the public awareness about trip handicapping through Wapo and his books subsequent to Picking Winners. That makes Beyer's "Charlie" the expert par excellence, who in Beyer's words "scarcely bothers with the Racing Form"...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/sports/1980/08/30/yearly-trip-is-a-winner-annual-trek-pays-off-big/21ec292a-16e5-46c3-b07c-5948086c619a/?utm_term=.7334abfb55f6

...much less speed and pace figures.

I kept the yellowing, increasingly fragile print form of the above article, as Beyer's magnum opus to the handicapper for decades, until I lost it in a move.
I became a self-described, passionate trip handicapper from the fall of '78 until joining this board a few years ago, where I received final confirmation that I had greatly overestimated the explanatory power of trip handicapping, to be replaced by public odds, which are generated far more often by sexy figures and class drops, rather than the subtle aspects of trip handicapping.

Dahoss9698
07-15-2017, 05:57 PM
When I have more time tonight or tomorrow I'll elaborate.

Not the best of trips again for Lucky Town. Broke a few lengths slow, premature wife move. One more time.

I meant wide. :lol:

dnlgfnk
07-15-2017, 06:24 PM
Most races are framed by a favorite with a roughly 35% win rate, a middle rank of 3 horses comprising about 50% of the winners, and the longshots supplying the remaining 15%.

Any worthwhile, overlaid trip play with nondescript form is likely to come from that 15% group, especially when the favorite can be confidently downgraded. Using Benter's discovery that his "true odds" were approximately halfway between the public's and his own odds, one can get a disliked favorite down to about 17% (or less). Adding the remaining 18% to our 15% group of longshots we are salivating over, and preferring one of them as our "three star" trip horse, one can identify him ideally as having as good a chance as the public favorite at times.

It's difficult, at least for me, to wait out those 2 races on a card I may be able to win by being contrarian, and then win them, at best, 30% of the time. I used to think "Charlie" expertly won almost all the time, before I became aware of the daunting percentages in the game.

thaskalos
07-15-2017, 07:15 PM
It's difficult, at least for me, to wait out those 2 races on a card I may be able to win by being contrarian, and then win them, at best, 30% of the time. I used to think "Charlie" expertly won almost all the time, before I became aware of the daunting percentages in the game.

It's difficult for ANY player whose prime motivation is making money in this game. There is no "steady flow of profit"...no matter HOW advanced the "winning player' thinks he is. The only "sure thing" that we could depend on is that there will be turbulent swings in our betting results...which will have us thinking that we are "geniuses" one day...and IDIOTS the next.

dnlgfnk
07-15-2017, 07:37 PM
When I have more time tonight or tomorrow I'll elaborate.

Not the best of trips again for Lucky Town. Broke a few lengths slow, premature wife move. One more time.

I used to do this, DaHoss. The best of us did.

"Class, take out The Winning Horseplayer and turn to page 47, where Andy makes excuses for Brasher Doubloon in 3 successive races before the horse experiences an easier trip."

The chances are that when Lucky Town finds a beneficial potential trip, the odds will reflect it. But I'm truly rooting for you to cash.

pandy
07-16-2017, 12:44 AM
Very tough beat. Abbot was my play of the day. Maragh moved him outside a little late - again. He won't be hidden next race.

I'm not a big fan of horses that are non-win types. Yummy Bear was 1 for 17 going into that one and while he looked solid in-the-money, I just have a hard time backing those horses to win.

Abbot was a big overlay, good bet, even though it lost.

pandy
07-16-2017, 12:48 AM
My favorite trip, by far, is setting the pace against the bias on a dull rail. I also like to see a horse race well off a wide trip, especially from outside posts. Many horses that run 5 to 7 points slower than their average speed figure do so simply because they were caught wide around two turns.

Young horses are better for trip handicapping...for instance, a horse that has only raced once or twice and got buried along the rail, now draws an outside post. If a horse has never had the opportunity to race outside of horses, we may not have really seen what it can do.

classhandicapper
07-16-2017, 01:08 PM
A sincere question:

Without any sort of speed and pace figures...how do you determine if Lucky Town's "best race" is capable of beating today's field?

.

How about who beats who by how much under what conditions given their respective and relative trips?

classhandicapper
07-16-2017, 01:13 PM
Young horses are better for trip handicapping...for instance, a horse that has only raced once or twice and got buried along the rail, now draws an outside post.

I agree.

If a horse has a full record to evaluate, a single trip related bad running line might raise the price a little, but people will still see the horse's other good races and build that into the price even if they don't know about the trip.

If a horse only has 1 or 2 races and was hindered by a bad trip, there are no good back races to bet the horse off. So people that don't know about the trip assume the horse is bad. That can get you a much better price.

thaskalos
07-16-2017, 01:26 PM
How about who beats who by how much under what conditions given their respective and relative trips?

I don't understand. Let's say that we are handicapping a field of horses...and we are trying to do what you suggest here. Unless the horses in the field have raced against identical competition in their prior races...how is this "who-beat-whom" comparison supposed to work out? We expect a certain PRECISION in our work...NO?

That's why I often say that comments such as yours here should come equipped with some sort of "live example".

Dahoss9698
07-16-2017, 04:07 PM
A sincere question:

Without any sort of speed and pace figures...how do you determine if Lucky Town's "best race" is capable of beating today's field?

I'm not trying to be a smart-alec here...I am honestly trying to gain some insight from someone whose handicapping I respect.

A big part of it is looking at the races whatever horse I am interested in has been running in. And then looking at whatever horses they have been running against and seeing how they have come back to run. Obviously that's a little harder if they are coming from different circuits. But I also have made it a point to be very familiar with the circuits I play and the conditions of the races.

is it a perfect system? No way, far from it. But it works for me and has for some time now. I've tried a little bit of everything, including trying to use figures and they have not helped. I understand how they can be useful, but for me, it just muddies up the picture.

I look at races probably very similar to figure players. I try and envision how I think a race will be run. I don't only play trip horses. I play horses that I feel have a good shot of winning that also offer what I perceive to be value based on their odds. Some of it is based on an instinctual guess but I think figure players operate the same way. For me it's probably more instinct, or trusting my eyes.

classhandicapper
07-17-2017, 10:00 AM
I don't understand. Let's say that we are handicapping a field of horses...and we are trying to do what you suggest here. Unless the horses in the field have raced against identical competition in their prior races...how is this "who-beat-whom" comparison supposed to work out? We expect a certain PRECISION in our work...NO?

That's why I often say that comments such as yours here should come equipped with some sort of "live example".

If one horse won an average Grade 3 event with an honest trip and the other won a 10K claimer with a really tough trip (and was probably 5 lengths the best) would you be able to figure out which horse was better without any pace or speed figures?

I'll assume you'd know the Grade 3 horse was better.

You'd know the pecking order of horses well enough to know that the gap between those classes is much larger than 5 lengths worth of tough trip.

If you build a table that represents all the classes at your track and you know statistically how a win, 2nd, 3rd... at one class relates to win, 2nd, 3rd... at another class you have the basis for comparing horses without pace and speed figures.

Then you can take that to a higher level by identifying weak/strong races at a specific class designation by determining how deep and strong the race was compared to average.

Then you can start taking it to a higher level by comparing those horses based on trips they had within those races.

This is a lot tougher than looking at a number on a piece of paper that someone else calculated. However, it has the benefit of being non public information that's not hampered by things like changing track speeds, wind, run up, rail settings, sprint/route differences, figure maker error etc...

All the things that can impact time and lead to figure errors become irrelevant when you are comparing horses based on the race conditions and their trips relative to each other. (of course you introduce other problems, but that's another story)

thaskalos
07-17-2017, 10:48 AM
If one horse won an average Grade 3 event with an honest trip and the other won a 10K claimer with a really tough trip (and was probably 5 lengths the best) would you be able to figure out which horse was better without any pace or speed figures?

I'll assume you'd know the Grade 3 horse was better.

You'd know the pecking order of horses well enough to know that the gap between those classes is much larger than 5 lengths worth of tough trip.

If you build a table that represents all the classes at your track and you know statistically how a win, 2nd, 3rd... at one class relates to win, 2nd, 3rd... at another class you have the basis for comparing horses without pace and speed figures.

Then you can take that to a higher level by identifying weak/strong races at a specific class designation by determining how deep and strong the race was compared to average.

Then you can start taking it to a higher level by comparing those horses based on trips they had within those races.

This is a lot tougher than looking at a number on a piece of paper that someone else calculated. However, it has the benefit of being non public information that's not hampered by things like changing track speeds, wind, run up, rail settings, sprint/route differences, figure maker error etc...

All the things that can impact time and lead to figure errors become irrelevant when you are comparing horses based on the race conditions and their trips relative to each other. (of course you introduce other problems, but that's another story)

I would...but that's not the sort of problem that the horseplayer is ever asked to grapple with. Usually...we are asked to handicap fields where the horses are racing in similar "class" circles...with only their level of "form" being the main separating point between them. And, it occurs to me that the speed/pace figures come in handy when determining the level of a horse's current "form". I was intrigued when Dahoss said that he doesn't use figures of any kind, and I asked him the question that I did because I know that he is a competent handicapper...who has demonstrated his handicapping ability on this board on several occasions in the past. When a handicapper like Dahoss says that he uses no figures in his handicapping, I want to know more...and I ask further questions.

Now...I've also read several intriguing postings from YOU, such as the one that you've posted here...where you ALSO present the opinion that the races could be handicapped effectively without using speed and pace figures. You've expressed this opinion here before, and I've always found it intriguing, but...since you don't ever present any tangible proof of your class-method's "real-time" application...I don't know what to make of this opinion of yours. Every time that I've asked you to handicap a live race using your "who-beat-whom" method...you've always politely refused.

I like "theory"...but I can't embrace it unless I actually see it being put into PRACTICE.

classhandicapper
07-17-2017, 11:01 AM
Now...I've also read several intriguing postings from YOU, such as the one that you've posted here...where you ALSO present the opinion that the races could be handicapped effectively without using speed and pace figures. You've expressed this opinion here before, and I've always found it intriguing, but...since you don't ever present any tangible proof of your class-method's "real-time" application...I don't know what to make of this opinion of yours. Every time that I've asked you to handicap a live race using your "who-beat-whom" method...you've always politely refused.

I like "theory"...but I can't embrace it unless I actually see it being put into PRACTICE.

If I were to handicap a few races here (and I have from time to time. you may have missed them) it would prove nothing regardless of the direction of the results. If I were to handicap 500 races here it would prove little. Maybe if we got near 1000 races we might have some meaningful information to ponder, but I'm not going to handicap 1000 races publicly to prove something to others I already know to be true.

I'm more than willing to post data from a very basic automated system that compares classing to speed figures if you'd like to see that (no trips or pace included).

thaskalos
07-17-2017, 11:14 AM
If I were to handicap a few races here (and I have from time to time. you may have missed them) it would prove nothing regardless of the direction of the results. If I were to handicap 500 races here it would prove little. Maybe if we got near 1000 races we might have some meaningful information to ponder, but I'm not going to handicap 1000 races publicly to prove something to others I already know to be true.

I'm more than willing to post data from a very basic automated system that compares classing to speed figures if you'd like to see that (no trips or pace included).

One live race is all it takes...and the eventual result of this race doesn't matter in the least. ONE LIVE RACE...so we could see how this "who-beat-whom" method could reach a logical handicapping conclusion.

classhandicapper
07-17-2017, 11:39 AM
One live race is all it takes...and the eventual result of this race doesn't matter in the least. ONE LIVE RACE...so we could see how this "who-beat-whom" method could reach a logical handicapping conclusion.

Pick a stakes race and I'll express my thoughts, but I don't see the point.

As I've said, when I analyze performances after the fact (as I just did with Songbird in another thread) I'm giving you the same exact information I would use to form my opinion in the next start.

The Delaware Hcp was a very weak Grade 1 race, not because of the time, but because the horses behind Songbird were not even accomplished minor stakes horses, let alone competitive at the Grade 1 level. That she struggled with them given her relatively easy trip (after a good but not special effort in her 4yo debut against better, but not superstar fillies) leads me to believe she's not the same horse that ran Beholder to a nose last year on a track that was fine for outside runners, let alone gone forward at 4.

IMO, unless she steps up in training or I get some other indication she's moving forward, imo she has no shot against a horse like Stellar Wind.

At no point do the times of the races come into that analysis. It's who beat who (their accomplishments at what level) by how much with what trip given how the track was playing etc... I'm not even sure which one of them has been faster so far this year. I just know Stellar Wind has been better.

thaskalos
07-17-2017, 11:46 AM
Pick a stakes race and I'll express my thoughts, but I don't see the point.

As I've said, when I analyze performances after the fact (as I just did with Songbird in another thread) I'm giving you the same exact information I would use to form my opinion in the next start.

The Delaware Hcp was a very weak Grade 1 race, not because of the time, but because the horses behind Songbird were not even accomplished minor stakes horses, let alone competitive at the Grade 1 level. That she struggled with them given her relatively easy trip (after a similar struggle in her 4yo debut against better, but not superstar fillies) leads me to believe that so far she's not the same horse that ran Beholder to a nose last year, let alone gone forward at 4.

IMO, unless she steps up in training or I get some other indication she's moving forward, imo she has no shot against a horse like Stellar Wind.

At no point do the times of the races come into that analysis. It's who beat who (their accomplishments at what level) by how much with what trip.

I am assuming that we are both serious bettors...who play this game with the expectation of profit on a regular basis...am I wrong? If I am right, then...we need a handicapping method by which we could find plays on a regular basis...NO? Having a negative opinion about a horse like Songbird ain't likely to take us very far...IMO.

thaskalos
07-17-2017, 12:09 PM
A big part of it is looking at the races whatever horse I am interested in has been running in. And then looking at whatever horses they have been running against and seeing how they have come back to run. Obviously that's a little harder if they are coming from different circuits. But I also have made it a point to be very familiar with the circuits I play and the conditions of the races.

is it a perfect system? No way, far from it. But it works for me and has for some time now. I've tried a little bit of everything, including trying to use figures and they have not helped. I understand how they can be useful, but for me, it just muddies up the picture.

I look at races probably very similar to figure players. I try and envision how I think a race will be run. I don't only play trip horses. I play horses that I feel have a good shot of winning that also offer what I perceive to be value based on their odds. Some of it is based on an instinctual guess but I think figure players operate the same way. For me it's probably more instinct, or trusting my eyes.

I agree.

Although mainly a "figure player"...I too am highly "instinctive". My figures lay the groundwork...but I often allow my instinct -- and my eyes -- to take over...when the figures seem to me to be leading me astray. Things often aren't what they appear to be in this game...and even the "figure player" has to develop a "sixth sense"...IMO.

Robert Fischer
07-17-2017, 12:15 PM
A sincere question:

Without any sort of speed and pace figures...how do you determine if Lucky Town's "best race" is capable of beating today's field?

This is a great question.

Comes as no surprise that Thaskalos would ask such a question, but I emphasize this comment, for the benefit of those following along, and thinking along with the thread.


First, this illustrates a powerful way to use speed and pace figures; Determining if a horse's good race is ('fast enough') capable of beating today's field.

Second, it provides a good framework for other handicapping methods to attempt to measure up.

classhandicapper
07-17-2017, 12:19 PM
I am assuming that we are both serious bettors...who play this game with the expectation of profit on a regular basis...am I wrong? If I am right, then...we need a handicapping method by which we could find plays on a regular basis...NO? Having a negative opinion about a horse like Songbird ain't likely to take us very far...IMO.

The idea was to present the thought process that allows you determine which of 2 horses that both won a grade 1 race was better without looking at the clock. The same process applies to all races. It's just a lot easier to make the point with horses and classes we are all familiar with.

Whether that leads to a bet or not is usually a function of whether it agrees with the clock because most people are looking at prepackaged figures based on times. If my analysis disagrees, it can be fertile ground.

By the way, I think if those were to meet next out, Songbird would probably be the favorite off her reputation. So the race might actually offer a bet. I wouldn't bet Songbird against Stellar Wind as the favorite in a race where she was lone speed, let alone figured to be pressed. It would take some combination of lone speed, a speed favoring track, and vastly improved workouts.

Robert Fischer
07-17-2017, 01:15 PM
My own method involves a few basic levels/steps of what I would call 'major models'. Then I will look at some pertinent 'minor models' as well.

Major:
1. Form = I look at the recent running lines. In no order: class level, distance, fractions, pace figure, speed figure, point-of-call, field size, company line, field size, odds, etc...
Here I'm looking for a general picture of whether the horse may have ran well. Sometimes it is blatantly obvious, sometimes it doesn't tell you much at all.
If there's anything that I do here, that may be unusual, it would be emphasis on 'odds' in the form. While the market is not completely efficient (unless we are all mad hatters!), the market is often times efficient. A horse that was 8/5 vs. a full field of this company, was at least expected, right or wrong, to contend for the win.

*I do use speed figures, but without heavy emphasis. I could 'cover them up', and be fine, but why would I want to? Using a good speed figure like a Beyer or a Timeform or a sheets, with more emphasis is probably a weakness that I could improve upon.

2. Charts = I go over the charts for horses whose form indicated that they may have run well.

3. Replay = "..."


minor models:
Trainer angles, distance/turn/surface preference, footwork, proven-vs-unproven, etc...
Here, I look for any extreme minor models that could be significant enough to be considered a contribution or a trade-off to the major models.
/e.g. If some 30% trainer just claimed the horse, it changes the picture.
If the horse raced wide into a hot pace and quit in his first lifetime start, that's a different situation than a horse who has 10 lifetime starts without running well.


Hopefully, after this process I can determine a general probability of whether the horse is good enough to win, before the trip(s). Then I still need a price.
Thankfully, the whole process is not as tedious as my writing.