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banacek
02-05-2007, 08:15 PM
A new book called "Psychology of Thoroughbred Handicapping" coming out next month. Could be a bit different. I've seen it on ebay and this site:

http://www.psyhorse.com/

GameTheory
02-05-2007, 09:58 PM
Oooh...another one with "credentials". When this one comes out, let's criticize it publicly, or do something dastardly like offer to give it away if you pick the right number. Then we can see if his own psychology is that of an adult or a child by measuring the amount he freaks out.

I'm rooting for ya, doc!

Wiley
02-06-2007, 10:05 AM
Oooh...another one with "credentials". When this one comes out, let's criticize it publicly, or do something dastardly like offer to give it away if you pick the right number. Then we can see if his own psychology is that of an adult or a child by measuring the amount he freaks out.

I'm rooting for ya, doc!
:lol: Excellent!
Dr. Wilson would appreciate it set up like one of those great mandatory Psych 101/grad student experiments.

Quote from ch. 3
'Computing devices certainly can be effective tools for recording data, producing indexes, and summarizing statistics, but all the judgment and decision making involved in thoroughbred handicapping must remain a truly human activity.'

I think the Bill Benter's of the world and probably some guys on this board can dispute this claim.
The author gets somewhat of a pass from me though, he got his PhD at my alma mater.

Hosshead
02-06-2007, 11:10 AM
After being suckered into buying a book last year (subject of a million posts on PA, also written by a "Doc", lets make that a small d = "doc") that was composed of telling the many ways to lose at the track, ....this book couldn't be any worse, even if the fricken pages were blank !

In which case it would still be good for scratch paper. Unlike the "book" I paid $35 for.

banacek
02-06-2007, 02:36 PM
After being suckered into buying a book last year (subject of a million posts on PA, also written by a "Doc", lets make that a small d = "doc") that was composed of telling the many ways to lose at the track, ....this book couldn't be any worse, even if the fricken pages were blank !

In which case it would still be good for scratch paper. Unlike the "book" I paid $35 for.

Well, I never fell for that book. I initially asked if anyone had read it, but it became abundantly clear that it wasn't worthwhile.(But if the author had any sense of marketing, I might have fell for it too)

Now, this book I have already ordered - I am too intrigued by the Table of Contents, not to give it a shot.

Things like: The Psychology of Failure, Habits of a Winner , The Wager Frame, What First Comes to Mind is Most Likely, The First Guess Sets an Anchor.

Those got me - now whose the sucker - so I'm taking a shot. This kind of stuff always reels me in. Hey, I bought "Zen and the Art of Horseplaying" and actually liked it!

Well, it isn't being released until mid-March, but I'll give a review after I've read it.

banacek
02-06-2007, 02:50 PM
Quote from ch. 3
'Computing devices certainly can be effective tools for recording data, producing indexes, and summarizing statistics, but all the judgment and decision making involved in thoroughbred handicapping must remain a truly human activity.'

I think the Bill Benter's of the world and probably some guys on this board can dispute this claim.
The author gets somewhat of a pass from me though, he got his PhD at my alma mater.

I agree with you on Benter. But there aren't many Benters.

And I think most of us (I may be wrong) use the computer to analyze the data, but make a lot of the decisions ourselves, including different approaches with the software. I do. (Or have I missed the proverbial black box software for sale somewhere) The difference in those decisions is the user's judgement and decision-making skills. Or as HSH's Dave Schwartz said in a different thread:

"Or maybe a particular piece of software gets different picks for different users because they use different approaches"

My 2 cents.

timtam
02-06-2007, 04:36 PM
A dime a dozen but the dime is $10. whew i guess i better check out

the rest of the pages cause if 10 cents is really ten dollars than ..........

Overlay
02-06-2007, 08:20 PM
Hey, I bought "Zen and the Art of Horseplaying" and actually liked it!

Not to nitpick, but in case anyone else is trying to find that title (like I was just now after reading banacek's post), it's "Zen and the Successful Horseplayer" by Frederic Donner.

bigmack
02-06-2007, 08:27 PM
Not to nitpick, but in case anyone else is trying to find that title (like I was just now after reading banacek's post), it's "Zen and the Successful Horseplayer" by Frederic Donner.
Over, I took note that you have a voluminous library of published handicapping material. What would you consider to be a couple of the worst or most laughable of the lot?

Overlay
02-06-2007, 08:44 PM
To put your comment in a positive light (and as I think I mentioned in another thread on this subject about two years ago), I try to gain something of value out of any handicapping text I read. But the title that proved the biggest challenge for me in that regard was (I'm going by memory here) The New Complete Handicapper's Manual by R. Randolph Reynolds. (This book may have been published under other, slightly different titles, as well.) I don't mean to come down too hard on it (especially since I believe I recall his son posting a tribute to his now-deceased father here on the board at one time). It wasn't so much what Mr. Reynolds said (or didn't say), but the style in which he wrote, and particularly the intermittent lists of miscellaneous handicapping tips scattered throughout the book (for example, one to the effect of, "Avoid thinking too much. When you have thought too much, you have zigzagged yourself out of a winner. Just accept the mathematically-calculated ratings and believe in them.") As I recall, the main elements he emphasized as signs of an impending win were what he called "breaks" (where a horse showed unexpected early foot and then faded), and the times of the horse's workouts. One of his more interesting ideas was to discount the chances of any horse that either won or finished in the front of the pack its last time out, since that horse had already "run its race". He regarded finishing far back (especially after breaking well) as a sign that a horse had significant room or potential for improvement today.

banacek
02-06-2007, 09:10 PM
Not to nitpick, but in case anyone else is trying to find that title (like I was just now after reading banacek's post), it's "Zen and the Successful Horseplayer" by Frederic Donner.

Right! I couldn't remember the exact title. I'm mixing up Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenace - I have that one too. (Okay, now you are all free to ignore my book reviews! Clearly that Banacek is nuts)

But that's the one. He was an ex CIA or FBI agent or something like that.

The Judge
02-06-2007, 09:52 PM
I kind of listened to the radio show that was done before the Derby where the good Dr. along with Lauren Stich of pedigree fame both picked Barbaro and Steppenwolfer as their horses to win the Derby ( Wolfer ran 3rd).

He sounded like a sincere man and my very well know his stuff. "PROBLEM" on the show he mentioned how races were run and in essence he said it was a matter of "energy distribution". Now where have I heard that type of talk before? Now we have the "The Pyschology of Thoroughbred Handicapping" again where have I heard that before? Oh yeah the same place "Howard Sartin" and PIRCO.

Although it was talked about at many seminars and on tape etc. there are two manuals that come to mind "The Psychology of Winning: An Introduction To Win Therapy" by Howard Sartin and "Energy: Preliminary Workbook #1 by Howard Sartin and Jim "The Hat" Bradshaw. This was some 20 years ago!

If Dr. Thomas Wilson gives these two men and/or PIRCO there just due in his book then I have no problem ,if he does not then I have a problem.

banacek
02-06-2007, 10:13 PM
I Now where have I heard that type of talk before? Now we have the "The Pyschology of Thoroughbred Handicapping" again where have I heard that before? Oh yeah the same place "Howard Sartin" and PIRCO.

Although it was talked about at many seminars and on tape etc. there are two manuals that come to mind "The Psychology of Winning: An Introduction To Win Therapy" by Howard Sartin and "Energy: Preliminary Workbook #1 by Howard Sartin and Jim "The Hat" Bradshaw. This was some 20 years ago!

If Dr. Thomas Wilson gives these two men and/or PIRCO there just due in his book then I have no problem ,if he does not then I have a problem.



I have to respectfully disagree on that part:

I've got the cassettes on the psychology of winning from Sartin (very poor in my opinion) and the Introduction to Win Therapy. There is little that speaks to the races. It is a recap of the truck drivers story for the nth time, a lot of anti gamblers anonymous stuff, and anti psychology establishment stuff, anti "gambling is evil" stuff. Mostly a lot of psychology really not applied to betting the horses. Parent, Victim, Rescuer, Mother, Father, Adapted Child, Free Child etc. Mostly 1st and 2nd year psychology stuff in a very disorganized way.

Now some people have "borrowed" his concepts for picking winners and given him no credit. That I might have a problem with. But as far as the psychological stuff, I don't think they need to worry about crediting him. The little bit in Pizzolla's book or the chapter in "Horse Racing Logic" have been way more usable to me. But that may be just me.

The Cure For Losing is Winning - now that I agree with!

socantra
02-07-2007, 02:03 AM
I've got the cassettes on the psychology of winning from Sartin (very poor in my opinion) and the Introduction to Win Therapy. There is little that speaks to the races. It is a recap of the truck drivers story for the nth time, a lot of anti gamblers anonymous stuff, and anti psychology establishment stuff, anti "gambling is evil" stuff. Mostly a lot of psychology really not applied to betting the horses. Parent, Victim, Rescuer, Mother, Father, Adapted Child, Free Child etc. Mostly 1st and 2nd year psychology stuff in a very disorganized way.


I'm not exactly sure why you would find it surprising to find a lot of Psychology in a book titled "the Psychology of Winning" and "Introduction to Win Therapy", which was described in the Sartin ads as "A Radical New Treatment for Problem Gamblers through Directed Therapy and Teaching".

Sartin's work was largely straight Eric Berne Transactional Analysis, which was dismissed by a lot of Pschotherapists as "Pop" psychology, but became pretty popular in a number of counseling areas.

socantra...

DJofSD
02-07-2007, 02:25 AM
Eric Berne also wrote The Games People Play. (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780345410030&itm=1)

PriceAnProbability
02-07-2007, 08:27 AM
I agree with you on Benter. But there aren't many Benters.

And I think most of us (I may be wrong) use the computer to analyze the data, but make a lot of the decisions ourselves, including different approaches with the software. I do. (Or have I missed the proverbial black box software for sale somewhere) The difference in those decisions is the user's judgement and decision-making skills. Or as HSH's Dave Schwartz said in a different thread:

"Or maybe a particular piece of software gets different picks for different users because they use different approaches"

My 2 cents.

I do not use a computer at all. Just a DRF, a pen and a piece of paper. The DRF has a ton of information that is derived by computers, so why would I need my own?

Some folks here seem to think one has to use a computer but I haven't found the need for one.

njcurveball
02-07-2007, 11:45 AM
I do not use a computer at all. Just a DRF, a pen and a piece of paper. The DRF has a ton of information that is derived by computers, so why would I need my own?

Some folks here seem to think one has to use a computer but I haven't found the need for one.

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt." Mark Twain

The Judge
02-07-2007, 12:06 PM
I need my computer to handicapp. Can I do without it ,sure I started without a computer so I can go back, but why would I? I use Pizzola's Handicapping Magic and it points to horses that I would never consider, when these horses come up I must go back and ask "what does the computer see that I don't" as it turns out the computer is more right then I. Its not just a bunch of noise. Of course the final decision is mine.

cato
02-16-2007, 12:19 AM
I respect a lot of Doc Sartin's work (especially his uncanny ability to market concepts in a way that people woudl give him credit for inventing and/or developing almost everything pace related) but he was not a trained or degreed psychologist and all of the stuff he wrote on psych was gibberish or borrowed. No serious author who is writing on the psych of gambling or winning has to give any kind of credit.

Energy distribution while a big topic of Sartin is a no-brainer for anyone who studies any kind of racing and the concept was not invented by Sartin

__________

The guy who wrote the book in question appears to have real credentials if his bio can be believed: "He received his PhD in 1991 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has spent over 20 years publishing research on the natural operation of the normal mind."

Cheers, Cato

DJofSD
02-16-2007, 04:12 AM
cato, have you ever worn a banana suit?

andicap
02-16-2007, 11:20 AM
[QUOTE=cato]

Energy distribution while a big topic of Sartin is a no-brainer for anyone who studies any kind of racing and the concept was not invented by Sartin

/QUOTE]

While I never studied Sartin seriously, I have to take issue with the statement that energy distribution is a "no-brainer" for any serious student of handicapping. On the contrary I would argue energy remains one of the most confusing, miscommunicated and misinterpreted handicapping theories in the game.
I would say very FEW people really appreciate its value, how it often takes on a greater importance than pace and/or speed figures or any other handicapping factor. I would assert that using %E the way Tom Brohamer recommends in his book is NOT the most productive method of its deployment.

Keilan has posted some very intelligent treatises on using %E.
I use it every day although some people argue plausibly that many handicappers are using energy principles in their handicapping but under other umbrellas, jargon or categories. E.G. final fractions.

One of my many strategies is to use %E and Excel to predict key races BEFORE you start making the little circles.

Tom
02-16-2007, 12:03 PM
I can say I do not use Energy percentage 99% of the time. To me, that is the no-brainer. If I don't need it, don't use it.
Some people don't even use times! Imagine that.
Loose cannons!

Tom
02-16-2007, 12:04 PM
cato, have you ever worn a banana suit?
:lol::lol::lol:

Kelso
02-16-2007, 03:01 PM
One of my many strategies is to use %E and Excel to predict key races BEFORE you start making the little circles.




Andi,

I have seen the phrase "key race" used in only an after-the-fact manner: a race that has already been run and in which one or more next-race winners competed. In other words, a key race doesn't exist unless/until future conditions are met.

Would you explain how you are using the phrase here? What is your objective when you try to "predict key races?"

Thank you.

cato
02-19-2007, 02:15 AM
"cato, have you ever worn a banana suit?"

no. I deny that I have ever worn, seen, owned, rented, borrowed, stolen or ever possessed in any way a banana suit. And I, uh, never wore one into a Sartin seminar, although someone did...who was that mystery man or woman?

On the other hand, I do admit to having worn a bunny suit, gorella suit and a swimming suit...but no banana.
___________

I was mainly responding to the Judges post that said since the book discussed the analysis of how a race was run and energy distribution, the author shold give "these two men and/or PIRCO there just due in his book then I have no problem ,if he does not then I have a problem."

I should have more directly said I disagreed and that I don't think Sartin and Bradshaw should be given credit for or "their due" just because they talked about similar issues (along with a lot of other people)

Andi and Tom. You misunderstaood what I meant..probably because I didn't say it very well. Energy distribution can mean a lot of things. It does not have to mean 50% early or the early-late continuum or whatever. The concept is incorporated by most folks into their handicaopping, directly or indirectly, if they consider pace. If you are a pace handicapper you have to at least consider the segments of the race and whether they will go fast, normal or slow and how many horses will be participating/competing at each
segment, the amount of "pressure" and how the contenders will be forced to (or be able to manage or are gentically hard wired) distribute their energy in tha race (and portions thereof).

And yes, Tom, in many/most races, if you are just doing the x% energy early (or something like that) then it will not have an important consideration in your analysis of the race. And even if you are doing some other version of energy distribution analysis it will often, at the end of the day be a non-factor in the handicapping/betting decision

And Andi, when I said it was a no-brainer I did not mean it was easy. I meant that in my mind its mainstream (among serious handicappers or students of the game) but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Finally in looking at my post I must have been in a bad mood...I do respect Sartin , Bradshaw and the whole group and their various contributions to handicapping. I also have some complaints but in that area I should practice what I preach and give it a rest.

Cheers, Cato

DJofSD
02-19-2007, 03:02 AM
There was more than one singing banana suited performer that day.

Perhaps Sartin and Bradshaw did not invent pace handicapping. But they certainly got the word out.

The Judge
02-19-2007, 12:30 PM
Sartin always gave credit to Ray Taulbut and Huey Mahl for his concepts he never said he invented pace. He did take credit for using the concepts in a different way and he took credit for certain language that he felt was needed in a new day and new time.

The earliest time that I know of for concepts such as feet per second and energy came in Ray Taulbut's book "Thoroughbred Horse Racing" 1942.

On page 186 Taulbut states "Class,then in my opinion may be defined as reserve racing energy. A high class horse is simply an animal that owns a high degree of reserve racing power, which it can call upon to either set or force a pace so fast that it burns out the cheaper horse's store of reserve engery, leaving the high-class animal with suffiecient power to go on and win the race, sometimes in slower time than the lower-grade horse has previously run the distance".

Had it not been for Howard Sartin, Mahl and Taulbot would not have such lofty reputation in 2007. Sartin has expanded on these ideas and put them into the minds of the racing public.

It seems odd to me that anyone that knows the history of "psychology in racing" could possibly deny Howard Sartin role in introducing a "new" concept to the racing public. Its a test of the Good new Drs. genuiness as to whether or not he mentions Howard Sartin or PIRCO in his book. It is 100% sure that he has read the Sartin material so all I am saying is give credit where credit is due. Who knows may be he has.

banacek
04-02-2007, 03:53 PM
Well, I got this book a few days ago and have read most of it (It's about 240 pages coil bound). I just wanted to give my review of it so far.

It is quite a different book than I have ever read on the subject and I am enjoying it quite a bit. That might be because I have an interest in some of the things he talks about - as an example he gives examples of the utility of a wager which I haven't seen like this before.

I don't agree with everything he says, but most of it I do and I find it quite an enjoyable read. There are no past performances or charts. He talks a lot about how we make our decisions and maybe more importantly how the crowd makes its decisions.

Some things hit home with me. Like when I start handicapping and the first horse I look at has some quality that I really look for and then the rest all get compared to it. But if that was later on in the past performances (say no.6), I might look at the race differently because I have made other judgements based on the first few horses. And I think he's right (in my experience). I see a horse that fits a certain pattern I am looking for and I start loving it so much that I fail to look at the rest of the field objectively. And therefore I sometimes overestimate his true probability of winning. And also some of the examples of how we structure our wagers is quite illustrative for me. He even cites some small samples of horseplayers (both experienced and novice) he has taken and how they approach a race.

I've got about 50 pages left, but am easily getting my moneys worth out of it. I am guessing some of you won't like this book (some might even hate it). The reason I say that is it is so different from anything else I've read. But I think many of you might enjoy it. For me, it is the most interesting book concerning the races I have read in many years and I've read pretty well everything. It has really made me think about how I approach my handicapping and wagering.

WJ47
04-08-2007, 03:22 AM
I ordered this book last week and am waiting to receive it. It seems like it will be an interesting read. I take alot of psychology classes at college and the subject is very fascinating to me. :)

I know that I have alot of strange quirks when it comes to betting the races so maybe I'll get some insight.

Overlay
04-08-2007, 09:03 AM
Some things hit home with me. Like when I start handicapping and the first horse I look at has some quality that I really look for and then the rest all get compared to it. But if that was later on in the past performances (say no.6), I might look at the race differently because I have made other judgements based on the first few horses. And I think he's right (in my experience). I see a horse that fits a certain pattern I am looking for and I start loving it so much that I fail to look at the rest of the field objectively. And therefore I sometimes overestimate his true probability of winning.

To me, that's a major advantage of comparing all the horses in a field through a quantitative rating method. It helps you to maintain objectivity throughout the handicapping process, and to suspend making any judgments until you've asessed every horse. And, even then, if you're looking at the field in terms of the winning chances of each horse, every horse can still remain potentially playable, depending on its odds.

Donnie
04-08-2007, 09:37 AM
Banacek-
I have to agree with nearly every word of your assessment of this book. It was an easy read, which is what I was afraid it was not going to be. The reader must go into it with an open mind, I feel. I was hesitant to post because I feel you are correct. Some may call it hogwash....but that is the problem with shifting thought paradigms. Most are set in their way of assessing the races and this has become learned behavior. Many times incorrect as it may be. What hit home to me is the way we "stack" factors about a horse to come to our selection, instead of "indexing" the factors. This, to me, explains why the "unexplainable" horse wins some times. Also why the favorite loses more times than they win.

I would have gladly paid double what the author charged. There are not a whole lot of books in my library that I have read more than once, but I am starting my second time thru this one already. And I can see a 3rd or 4th revisit as well. :ThmbUp: :ThmbUp:

Tom
04-08-2007, 10:56 AM
I was thinking of ordering afer reading good comments from guys I know here.
But really got me was the commnet on his site:

"Tip sheets are a dime a dozen. Here's mine!"

You gotta love the guy! I ordered today! :lol:

DJofSD
04-08-2007, 01:51 PM
I have been waiting to see some comments about the book in question along the lines of investment psychology. I believe there are areas of betting horses and putting money into the market that overlap. I believe that psychology overlaps 100%.

So, for those that have already read the book and those like Tom that plan on reading the book soon, I'd be interested in hearing your opinions not just from a pony punter's perspective but also a generalized risk taking that might include the markets also.

Donnie
04-09-2007, 11:28 PM
Kind of a tough question to answer, DJ. I don't know anything about trading in the Markets...I have my meager investments and continue to contribute to my longterm savings.
To me, the book conveys thought processes and how our mind works based on past experiences. But is it always accurate? The good thing is that the majority of the crowd has flawed decision processing and once you recognize it and correct your own approach, you will be taking a more objective and accurate approach to handicapping.
Many of the examples he brings up I was able to relate to (I assume many of us could relate to). He talks about our memories, our perceptions and the influence of context.
Try this: most of us handicap a race looking at the exact order of the horses as they are laid out on the Form or our computer printouts. Tomorrow, try starting at the bottom of the list. See if maybe a horse from the bottom of the list becomes the "anchor horse"---the one you compare all other horses to. We tend to find the first horse who meets our preset perceptions of the type of horse who should win the race, and then compare all the remaining horses to this one animal. Does that one horse then get a boost in your confidence of him cause he was a first fit?
Also, concerning memory...how good is yours? He encourages you to pull out a pencil and draw the heads side of a penny from memory....how good is your memory concerning something we see everyday, something that should be common to us. How good is your memory of something that happened once and didn't necessarily have a positive outcome? But yet we let that influence our decisions.
Looking forward to my second read of this book!

Dave Schwartz
03-09-2008, 03:24 PM
Okay, so I got this book late.

Personally, I thought it was a very good read and I enjoyed it almost as much as Andy Beyer's My $50k Year at the Races. The author writes very well.

For my style of handicapping, I found nothing I could use but, admittedly, the bar is pretty high on that one. I was intrigued (as Banacek spoke about a year ago) by the word utility but it really didn't get me anywhere. Near as I understood it was nothing but profitablilty.

I would recommend this book as a good read and you artful guys may get quite a bit out of it.

My biggest complaint is that the coil binding keeps coming apart as I turn the pages, so I must re-assemble the book after every trip to my favorite reading room.

Also, some of the things that he mentions (such as the top two ranks for last-race Beyers produce 60% of all winners) are simply not true. But as it is obviously aimed at the seat-of-the-pants handicapper that should not really matter.

It is not a book which needs to stay in my primary library. In fact, if any one would care to trade a $20 bill for it I will ship it straight away.


Dave