PDA

View Full Version : True pioneer in th game Mark Cramer-Great read.


Diagoras
01-09-2018, 07:32 AM
https://t.co/4FkkDSFJIR

Robert Fischer
01-09-2018, 10:36 AM
Thanks that was a good read

Arapola
01-09-2018, 01:21 PM
A "Renaissance Man" indeed!

biggestal99
01-09-2018, 03:00 PM
https://t.co/4FkkDSFJIR

Excellent article.

I am an advocate of Cramer's method about TB Cycles.

Thanks.

Allan

Tom
01-09-2018, 04:41 PM
Good article.
I met Mark one Saturday night in Baltimore, ~1992-93?
At a Sartin seminar that had just wrapped up and we all headed, of course, toward the nearest liquor. Mark is quite the character!
He carried a stack of copies of races with notes marked all over them in his brief case, and was always ready to pull one out and talk about an idea he was working on. He was obsessed with finding the automatic bet.

I got a lot of ideas from him, some that I still use to this day - ie, my betting 1 unit Win and three units place at 9-2 of more, and his "proven loser" horse.

I wish he was writing more.

Racey
01-09-2018, 09:18 PM
is good anybody recommend any other of his books

thaskalos
01-09-2018, 09:45 PM
I've read Cramer's books, and his writing style appeals to me...but I could never implement his handicapping methods in my own play. His methods appear too "systematic" to me...as if his primary concern is to come up with angle-plays which win for the long-term. That notion conflicts with my own personal handicapping "philosophy".

mikekk
01-10-2018, 03:16 AM
I've read Cramer's books, and his writing style appeals to me...but I could never implement his handicapping methods in my own play. His methods appear too "systematic" to me...as if his primary concern is to come up with angle-plays which win for the long-term. That notion conflicts with my own personal handicapping "philosophy".

This is exactly right, and is the theme that runs thru all of Cramer's writing. Tom made the same point above, in his "automatic bet" sentence.

I followed quite a few of Cramer's methods back in the late 90's. Pre-simulcasting days, so the information I saved was specific to one track. I found it very useful, and definitely profitable for the 5 years I collated and used it. My question would be, is it still worthwhile? Times have changed, and so much information is now sitting on the internet and there for anyone willing to look for it.

I can see why he spends his time/efforts in Europe now. Handicapping strikes me as still very much an art over there.

Mike

Diagoras
01-10-2018, 07:27 AM
is good anybody recommend any other of his books

Value Handicapping.

This book helps you with the art of creating your line,passing on underlays,spotting overlays.

Tom
01-10-2018, 10:21 AM
Although Cramer has "rules" to everything, I think he needs to it that way to test, but I just use the spirit of the angles, no the rules. I may call one horse a proven loser and another in the same race and same record a contender, depending on other factors. Kinky Handicapping II is a grat one - lots of really good angles in that one.

Harmonicaslim
01-10-2018, 11:07 AM
This is exactly right, and is the theme that runs thru all of Cramer's writing. Tom made the same point above, in his "automatic bet" sentence.

I followed quite a few of Cramer's methods back in the late 90's. Pre-simulcasting days, so the information I saved was specific to one track. I found it very useful, and definitely profitable for the 5 years I collated and used it. My question would be, is it still worthwhile? Times have changed, and so much information is now sitting on the internet and there for anyone willing to look for it.

I can see why he spends his time/efforts in Europe now. Handicapping strikes me as still very much an art over there.

Mike

Always been a Cramer fan. I used his tote angle as described in "Kinky Handicapping" in the 90s with good, and occasionally great, success. Finished 1996 in the black for the first, and only, time in my life as a result. And, sadly, it just doesn't seem as effective in today's racing world.

andicap
01-10-2018, 12:16 PM
The late Art Kaufman, who is mentioned near the bottom of the article, was a regular on the old Prodigy racing board (and perhaps here, I dont recall). He published popular turf pedigree ratings under the name Lee Tomlinson. PA, myself and a few others from Prodigy enjoyed a nice day at the races with Art back in the early '90s. A very, very nice man.

mountainman
01-10-2018, 12:38 PM
I've read some Cramer, and my best takeaway was his concise criteria for a successful angle. As best I can remember it was: 1) Must show reliable profit...2) must contradict conventional doctrine...3) must have roots in some form of logic.

Simple, but so eloquent and instructive.

AndyC
01-10-2018, 07:15 PM
The late Art Kaufman, who is mentioned near the bottom of the article, was a regular on the old Prodigy racing board (and perhaps here, I dont recall). He published popular turf pedigree ratings under the name Lee Tomlinson. PA, myself and a few others from Prodigy enjoyed a nice day at the races with Art back in the early '90s. A very, very nice man.

I remember Art from the old Prodigy board. His booklets served me well for a number of years.

proximity
01-10-2018, 07:37 PM
frank cotolo still haunts pen sometimes (or maybe it's me that does?) and has a book called PONY PLAYER that's a good read about the California era covered in the article. great racing book IF you can find a copy. :)

castaway01
01-15-2018, 07:50 PM
is good anybody recommend any other of his books

The novel "Scared Money" incorporates some of the same stories mentioned in the article with other Cramer handicapping while telling a decent story. It's somewhat dated but still worth a read.

classhandicapper
01-16-2018, 12:33 PM
Although Cramer has "rules" to everything, I think he needs it that way to test

I agree. I'm not sure how else you can test effectively.

I try to put together rules that mimic my thinking the best I can and test that. The hope of course is that adding in some subjective analysis later will improve the results. But to be honest I'm not sure it always does unless you test every single insight you think you have. My rules spit out a horse over the weekend as a prime play. I didn't play it because there was a lot of speed in the race and this horse looked like he wanted the lead. He won and I didn't collect the $12.40 So who knows for sure if my analysis in this case added value or not.

Denny
01-16-2018, 06:16 PM
Thanks for starting this thread.

Enjoyed reading the article.

Just borrowed a copy of "Value Handicapping" to read.

cnollfan
01-16-2018, 07:21 PM
Mark Cramer was a very influential handicapper for me. Thoroughbred Cycles changed the way I look at a horse's form for good.

reckless
01-17-2018, 10:37 AM
Mark Cramer was a very influential handicapper for me. Thoroughbred Cycles changed the way I look at a horse's form for good.

I always thought Thoroughbred Cycles was the best book on handicapping ever written.

GMB@BP
01-17-2018, 10:51 AM
I always thought Thoroughbred Cycles was the best book on handicapping ever written.

I have all his books and in general thought they were well down with many interesting ideas.

I used to be a bigger proponet of form cycles, also having read stuff from handicappers like Cary Fotias (sp).

Then I started using pace figures and realized what was hard to explain and often attributed to going off form or "bouncing" was in fact easily explained with the pace context.

A recent example was Majestic Heat last weekend, who ran a very weak 4th I believe and never made a closing move but the pace was so abhorrently slow that only horses of great magnitude would have won the race with that setup.

Waquoit
01-17-2018, 10:34 PM
Kinky Handicapping II is a grat one - lots of really good angles in that one.


Is there a Kinky Handicapping II or is that a typo.? I have the original.

ARAZI91
01-19-2018, 08:10 AM
Is there a Kinky Handicapping II or is that a typo.? I have the original.

Think it was Kinkier Handicapping and quite hard to obtain last time i looked.

ARAZI91
01-19-2018, 08:16 AM
I love the Guy - Im in UK and Nick Mordin's Betting For A Living turned a lot of us onto US Handicapping texts - concepts at the time were totally alien to most but through time we adapted. Cramer's been a big influence on how i look at the game and most of my angles are approached via "Spirit Of Cramer"
Still some good stuff on here -
http://markcramercx.blogspot.co.uk/2009_10_24_archive.html

GMB@BP
01-19-2018, 01:50 PM
Didnt realize I had so many of his books, just looked at the shelf

Thoroughbred Cycles
The Odds Must be Crazy
Scared Money
Value Handicapping

thaskalos
01-19-2018, 01:52 PM
Didnt realize I had so many of his books, just looked at the shelf

Thoroughbred Cycles
The Odds Must be Crazy
Scared Money
Value Handicapping

The Odds Must Be Crazy is a Len Ragozin book.

GMB@BP
01-19-2018, 02:27 PM
The Odds Must Be Crazy is a Len Ragozin book.

thanks, ur right

SPEEDHORSE
01-28-2018, 10:38 PM
The book title is ODDS ON YOUR SIDE. I really enjoyed reading this book.

GMB@BP
01-29-2018, 12:54 PM
The book title is ODDS ON YOUR SIDE. I really enjoyed reading this book.

yea, let me see if I can find it.

I am now re-reading his Thoro Cycles book. I want to see how outdated some of the concepts are with the "Sheets" style training that takes place.

I can tell you he does write with style, the preface in that book should be read once a year as a handicapping reminder.

blackandtanstable
07-02-2018, 08:37 AM
There is a follow up to "Kinky Handicapping" and I was one of the handicappers featured in the book. I agree with this thread in that Thoroughbred Cycles was his best work. One of the most influential books to how I see the game. The C&O report was a periodical from that period that had great writing from Mark, Joe Colville and others. Joe's essays were the best writings about horse racing I've ever seen. Mark Cramer once said if there was an Eclipse Award for writing about handicapping, Joe should win every year. Cheers.

Tom
07-02-2018, 12:31 PM
I have looked high and low for anything by Joe.
A poster here sent me a few articles, but that has been all I could find.
Still looking if anyone has a line or address?

Kiny and Kinkier Handicapping were excellent books!

blackandtanstable
07-04-2018, 03:50 PM
I tried to find Joe's stuff but he's been a ghost for many years. My email is blackandtanstable@gmail.com. I would hate to Xerox his stuff, but maybe we can come up with something.

blackandtanstable
07-04-2018, 03:52 PM
Tom,

By the way, we have a Facebook Group, "The Handicapper's Insight". Cramer occasionally posts. Feel free to join us if you're into it.

HalvOnHorseracing
07-05-2018, 12:15 AM
My brother and I spent a winter in the early 80's developing precise pars for smaller tracks like Centennial (which was replaced by Arapahoe Park) and Turf Paradise. We had hundreds of races that could be separated by class, distance, etc. We didn't need a Beyer figure. We could tell you how fast a particular horse was likely to run on a given day as long as we had current data from one of the tracks we had analyzed. The pars gave us daily track variants and we could precisely compare running times.

At the time there were par figures by track published, but not with the detail we had. It was like stealing money. If a 15-1 shot won, we probably had it.

I had identified a pattern of horses that had been running very poorly and all of a sudden looked like they were coming out of the funk. I called it the Condition Sign and eventually wrote a book about it that sold about 7,000 copies at $20 a copy. (As an aside, Bill Heller wrote about "Sign of Life" horses a few years after I published The Condition Sign. Heller assured me he had never seen my stuff, and he might have convinced me if I didn't recognize the similarities in language in his chapter.) In any case, people started picking up the technique and horses that were previously 15-1 were all of a sudden 5-1.

Of course the point of all this was that if you were willing to spend a lot of time on data analysis not immediately available in racing publications (like Cramer did), your advantage was enormous. At least until everyone caught on to it.

I was still working my figures when CJ came out with pace figures he developed. I figured I could save some work and was one of the early adopters at pacefigures.com We were back in the saddle again.

Of course you know what eventually happened. Beyer sold his figures to DRF. Tomlinson took his secret moneymaker and we now know the strength of characteristics like wet track, turf and distance ability. Moss gave us his pace figures. We know what the horse cost, when a male was gelded, which jockey and trainer combination had positive return - you name it, and it is on some web site.

And of course TimeformUS is now available to everyone. In other words, everyone has most of the data that once was available to only the few. No more smug looks when you're collecting on horses with double digit odds - regularly.

Racing used to be a real puzzle, and solving it was most of the fun. Of course the money was a good reward. Now, it's tough to outsmart the crowd since everything is available to everyone. Everyone is as armed as everyone else. With no work other than opening the Racing Form you can tell which horse has great turf breeding, or might have a proclivity for slopping through the mud.

There are still ways to analyze information and beat the crowd, but it is a lot harder and the big win payoffs are a lot farther apart.

Maybe you think putting everybody else on an information par and then winning is really cool. I liked it better when I had the advantage.

ReplayRandall
07-05-2018, 12:40 AM
Maybe you think putting everybody else on an information par and then winning is really cool. I liked it better when I had the advantage.

Horse racing would have died completely 10 years ago if the tech data info wasn't made available to the masses in an easier way, as they were being pounded into oblivion.....but you knew that, I'm sure.


It's harder to climb the mountain again, once you've already been on top. You've just got to reinvent your game once again, just like the rest of us has had to. The NEW pathways to profitability are there, as the other paths are so well traveled now, it actually causes an area of hidden +ROI's, as long as you're willing to expand your mind and do the harder work....WE all like the easiest path, it's called the Highway to Hell....All your friends and buddies are waiting for you there.

jay68802
07-05-2018, 01:15 AM
Horse racing would have died completely 10 years ago if the tech data info wasn't made available to the masses in an easier way, as they were being pounded into oblivion.....but you knew that, I'm sure.


It's harder to climb the mountain again, once you've already been on top. You've just got to reinvent your game once again, just like the rest of us has had to. The NEW pathways to profitability are there, as the other paths are so well traveled now, it actually causes an area of hidden +ROI's, as long as you're willing to expand your mind and do the harder work....WE all like the easiest path, it's called the Highway to Hell....All your friends and buddies are waiting for you there.

I'll join you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l482T0yNkeo