View Full Version : Sartin Methodology Library

Ted Craven
12-30-2011, 11:39 PM
I wish to announce that the Sartin Methodology Library is available at no charge to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Sartin Methodology in all its phases. All 88 issues of The Follow Up journal, from the late 1980's through 2001, all major manuals, many seminar audios and miscellaneous published articles are available to download or read or listen to online. Read articles by Dr Sartin, Jim Bradshaw, Dick Schmidt, Tom Brohamer, Michael Pizzolla, Tom Ainslie, Mark Cramer and many others. The continuing articles on the Psychology of Winning and the mindset of the 'successful pari-mutuel investor' have been very helpful to many.

For those who are interested, the later Follow Up issues (#70 - #88) cover the late 1990's through 2000's and Sartin's Synthesis and Validator software projects which, together with the post-Sartin Speculator software, form the basis of what has become RDSS, the 'Modern Sartin Methodology'. Earlier phases of Sartin's work include Phase III (which is what Brohamer wrote about in Modern Pace Handicapping, and his MPH software), Pace Makes the Race (TPR numbers), Dynamics of Energy Exertion, Deceleration and the development of his Betting Line approach.

Here is a link to an article by Mark Cramer on Dr Sartin's Bottom Line/Betting Line (http://www.sartinmethodology.com/mark-cramer-article-on-BLBL).

If you would like to access the Sartin Methodology Library, all you have to do is register at PaceandCap.com (http://paceandcap.com)

If you are interested in Jim 'The Hat' Bradshaw's Match Up method, you will find an entire Forum dedicated to everything he described in both his books (and more), with examples and further instructions from Jim himself --> here (http://sartinmethodology.com/The-Match-Up).

There is no financial charge for access to these materials. There is a cost: the cost of your valuable time, your mental, emotional and introspective effort, and for some, the ego-cost of asking for help.

Thank you for your interest, and wishing everyone at PaceAdvantage a healthy and prosperous 2012.

Good luck, good skill!


12-31-2011, 12:30 AM
Thanks Ted. Always interesting to read this kind of info.

Happy New Year to you as well.

Big Bill
12-31-2011, 08:47 AM

Just read Cramer's article (thanks for the link to it) on Howard's BL/BL and wondered if the related software program(s) was ever updated to incorporate a 100% odds line as Cramer suggested?

Big Bill

12-31-2011, 10:50 AM
Good stuff very generous of you thanks agian

12-31-2011, 12:07 PM
Thank you Ted for providing the link to the Cramer article. :ThmbUp:

Ted Craven
12-31-2011, 02:16 PM

Just read Cramer's article (thanks for the link to it) on Howard's BL/BL and wondered if the related software program(s) was ever updated to incorporate a 100% odds line as Cramer suggested?

Big Bill


So far (including RDSS), there never was a 100% odds line. Since I have taken over software development (5+ years now), there never was a single request for it, and the 'lack' of one has had no effect I have observed or heard reported on the ability to sufficiently identify the bettable overlays identified by the readouts.

If I understand correctly, I believe Sartin's philosophy on that was - if you make a, say, 4th ranked horse 5-1 on an odds line and it goes off at 6-1, that's not necessarily a reason to bet it. Similarly, if a top ranked horse is 7/5 on the odds line and is offered at 2-1, still not necessarily a reason to bet it (i.e. versus the alternatives of dutching 2 others in the Win pool at sufficient net odds, or other exotic possibilities, or passing the race, etc). Finding overlays ranked highly on one's readouts is the task, and not that difficult given an integrated odds feed. Thus, why get exercised in the minutiae of 100% odds line manufacture.

That said, there are a number of tools that various people feel are important to them that I have added and will continue to add in the upcoming version, given sufficient interest (and hopefully stopping somewhat this side of 'paralysis by analysis'). Perhaps a 100% odds line is one such. I myself have always favoured the less 'accurate' but perhaps generally more functional odds line approach of Steve Fiero (http://www.netcapper.com/Store/TheFourQuartersOfHorseInvesting.htm) or Jim Lehane (http://paceandcap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7100), who believe that getting it 'in the neighbourhood' is close enough. I believe that Doc would have agreed with both of them (and perhaps vice versa).



Big Bill
12-31-2011, 03:51 PM

Thanks for your reply and as you stated, "Thus, why get exercised in the minutiae of 100% odds line manufacture." As Dick Schmidt would say, what you have in RDSS is probably "goodenough"/.

Big Bill

Dick Schmidt
01-02-2012, 04:46 AM
Dick Schmidt might also ask if you got the author's permission to post their material online? Remember the Follow Up was only granted "First Periodical Rights" from the various writers and that the articles all remain the intellectual property of the original authors. However, Dick probably won't make a big deal about it, being such an easy going guy and all.


To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

Ted Craven
01-02-2012, 07:14 AM
Dick Schmidt might also ask if you got the author's permission to post their material online?


No, not all of them (surely there were hundreds of contributors over the years). But some of them ...

I did get permission from Howard Sartin though, who as publisher of Pirco and O Henry House, certainly thought he had rights and could grant rights to republish. FWIW, from the Sartin family as well.

It would be great if we had your blessing as well, in the interests of horseplayer education and all.

While we're on it, may I have your permission to repost here your article from Follow Up Issue #25 'Do You Need to Lose More?'. Many folks have appreciated it a lot, and I think it is still quite relevant today.

Thanks for all your seminal work in the Sartin Methodology!


Ted Craven
01-02-2012, 07:33 AM
As Dick Schmidt would say, what you have in RDSS is probably "goodenough".Big Bill

Just for the record, Dick has never made any comment about or endorsement of RDSS, neither have I asked nor do I expect one.

Howard Sartin has, though (http://www.sartinmethodology.com/sartin-review-of-RDSS).


Dick Schmidt
01-03-2012, 06:50 AM

Oh sure, go ahead and post them online. I just get bugged sometimes when people play fast and loose with stuff I have written or developed. Neither Howard nor his family can grant you any rights as they do not hold them. After the one time first publication in The Follow Up, all rights to all materials revert to the authors under U.S. copyright laws. Trust me on this, I wrote the copyright agreement The Follow Up used with its contributors.

In the future if you are going to post or reprint anything, it would be polite to contact the author if it is at all possible. I know I'm easy to find.


Dave Schwartz
01-03-2012, 11:29 AM
Just another fan, Dick.

01-03-2012, 11:32 AM
What a pain in the *** this Schmidt guy is, of course he was that way back in the 80s and has never changed.

Geno :p

Big Bill
01-03-2012, 01:34 PM

I have communicated with Dick Schmidt on two occasions and both were positive and helpful. In the first he provided me with an autographed copy of Pace Makes the Race. And in the second, he furnished me a copy of TPR software. Both were gifts!

I feel your comment about Dick was inappropriate for posting on this forum.

I've reviewed your past comments on this board and saw that on September 14, 1906, you posted the following:

"What in the hell is wrong with you guys? Can't we just post a thread and not get so personal about everything?"

Methinks you might have a small personality problem.

Big Bill

Ted Craven
01-03-2012, 02:18 PM
OK, moving right along ...


In this extract from The 5th Anniversary Follow Up Issue #25, Dick Schmidt addresses some important issues: higher hit rate and lower average mutuels versus lower hit rate (i.e. 'losing more races') but higher mutuels. Also, and directly related - fear of losing as a paralyzing factor and prime inhibitor to professional level play.

I would say these lessons are as relevant today as 20 years ago! Enjoy.

Do You Need To Lose More?
by Dick Schmidt

"You know, what you need to do is work on your losing percentage. Youíre trying to win too many races."
- Dick Schmidt

The above is one of those smart aleck, offhand remarks that get tossed off in conversation at seminars. Even as I said it, I knew it sounded bizarre, but at the same time I knew it was good advice in this particular case. The fellow I was talking to was winning a huge percentage (75 or 80% as I remember) but not making any real money.

Because I liked the phrase for its shock value, the conversation stuck in my mind. During the Master classes in Las Vegas, where Michael and I monitored the betting performance of each of the participants, I noticed, the same pattern repeated by many in each group. It would seem that this was a more universal problem than I thought. Then, just recently, I received the following letter. Apparently my flip remark struck home!


So what could possibly be wrong with winning a lot of races? Am I saying it is really possible to win too many races? In a way, yes I am. By focusing on win percentage rather than actual dollar profits, many of us in the Methodology have lost sight of the real goal we all should share: making significant money through handicapping.

The heart of the problem is an interesting dichotomy that I and others have observed over the years; the higher the win percentage, the lower the average mutuel. The inverse is also true; a lower win percentage tends to be offset by a higher average mutuel. This applies both to handicappers and racetracks. Of course, it isn't by any means an absolute rule; at times things can go gloriously right or horribly wrong, but over time this trend tends to prevail. The intriguing thing is that two handicappers can attend the same races on the same day and experience opposite ends of the spectrum.

I think it is a matter of focus, and of losing sight of goals; together with a heavy overlay of fear. Fear of losing dominates hopes of winning, especially as bets get larger and more important to our financial status. One client who called me recently in some distress told me that he was trying to be fulltime handicapper, but wasnít making enough money to live on. He reported that he was winning almost exactly 80% of the races he bet into. How in the world can an 80% handicapper have problems?

Further probing revealed that he was driving that 80% win percentage by limiting his play to 5 or 6 bets a week, two horses per race, and that the average rnutuel was $5.70. Letís take a close up look at what he has to do to earn a living. First off, he must be very patient, but heís already doing that. Obviously he isnít an action junkie. He told me that he split his bet 60/40, and that his low price horse won 65% of the time. He also spent a lot of time grinding himself for his losses. He felt that if only he could eliminate mistakes, he could make it. My question is: how many mistakes can an 80% handicapper be making? In this case, at least one, but not one he was even aware of.

What we have is an individual who makes about 275 bets a year (assuming he plays 50 weeks a year and makes 5.5 bets per week) and has an return on investment of about 21%. That is, using a $5 unit, heíll win 52 out of 100 races with the low odds horse ($3 bet) and 28 races with the high odds horse. In both cases, the average is $5.70. Actually, it is probably even worse than that, as many of the low odds (big bet) horses must pay far less than $5.70, while the "average raisers" will have the smaller wager almost every time; but letís be generous. What this means is that for every $500 bet, he can expect a return of $604.

If he wants to make the adequate yet still not extravagant living of say $50,000 a year, he must bet about $250,000 dollars a year, or over $900 a race. This means betting $540 on his low odds horse and $360 on the high odds choice. It also means playing from a bank of at least $9,000 and being extremely self disciplined about taking profits and absolutely unshakeable in betting. Somehow, I donít think this is what most of us had in mind when we started off to become handicappers.

He also has to factor in the trauma of losing. Sometime during the first two years, he must expect to lose as many as 6 in a row according to the simulation program Dick Mitchell provides with his 5-in-1 program. This means heíll be down $5400 in a week, and it may take quite a while to dig out with only a $5.70 average mutuel. Given all this, can he succeed? Sure. All it takes is a clear head under pressure, the willingness to bet $900 a race and a track with a handle large enough to take $900 bets. If our handicapper wants to make more money or take off more than 2 weeks a year, heíll most likely have to move to where he can play New York or Los Angeles tracks.

The reason this fellow called me was that he was trying to make a go of it with $100 bets. This would limit his income to less than $6,000 a year, not what he had in mind at all. Which brings us to the root of his problem, at least as I see it. He is so afraid of losing a bet that he has become super selective. I recently listened to a series of lectures by motivational speaker Anthony Robins on taking charge of your own life. He describes how although humans will go to great lengths to get pleasure (winning), they will go much further to avoid pain (losing). If you want to stop smoking, give yourself a shock every time you see or think about a cigarette (or hire Mr. Schick to do it to you). Youíll soon forget about any pleasures smoking ever held for you and remember only the pain associated with cigarettes.

Racing in a way enforces a similar regime. No matter how sweet the victories, the pain of the losses are uppermost in our minds, and above all else we try to avoid pain. It happens to all of us, and it can creep back into our minds even if we successfully conquer it for a while. Losing hurts, and hurt is bad. It is better to slowly starve than go through such pain every day.

Go back to our 80% handicapper. He is trying to bet on only "sure things." While a bet on a sure thing is fine with me, they do tend to pay rather poorly. Please remember that any horse that the Methodology presents as a real stickout is not going to be able to hide it. Anyone with a Racing Form will be able to see the horse has a big time shot at winning. All the touts and newspaper guys will be pushing it, and the trainer and owner will be talking up the horse to all their friends. With all this grinding down the price, it is little wonder that low prices are the rule.

On one level, the solution is simple and readily at hand. Play more races and use some type of analysis that is dissimilar to that used by the majority of your competitors. In Methodology terms, run a lot of races with K-Gen, ENERGY! or Synergism II, bet 5 or 6 races a day, and bet into those low priced claimers and murky races. Go for it.

On another level, the answer is much harder. The reason that Dr. Sartin has always emphasized win percentage is that he was well aware when he started that he was a voice crying in the wilderness, and that if he didnít produce immediate results he would quickly be abandoned by those he was trying to help. Most handicappers have such fragile egos that they simply canít endure the stress of a losing streak. Yet anyone who has even a passing knowledge of statistics knows that "streaks" are a part of any random distribution. Everyone has bad patches and losing days.

In the past few years, things have changed in the Methodology. We have more and more clients who expect to make a living in racing, not just stop hemorrhaging money. Those of you with enhanced expectations need to realize that though the old mind set of win percentage isnít "wrong," it is outmoded for you. Actually, it was never right or wrong, it was simply necessary at that stage of development; both of the handicapper and the Methodology. Today, many of you are trying to stretch beyond this world view, expanding your horizons to those of professional level play.

What we must come to accept is that losing is part of racing. I can safely say that there are only two types of handicappers: those who admit to having losing days and liars. To move on to the next level of performance, we need to change our perceptions. The metaphor of baseball can serve well here. No one expects a baseball player to hit the ball even half the time. Hitting "only" a third of the time is worth a couple million a year in todayís market. Since it is an expected part of the game, a ballplayer hasnít failed when he makes out. He has fulfilled part of our expectations. For every hit, there are several outs. Part of the game.

Racing must be approached in the same way. The other side of saying we win 80% is acknowledging that we lose 1 in 5. Therefore, since we expect to lose 20%, we havenít failed when it happens. This is simply one of the races that we expected to lose when we walked into the track. No one wins them all, and calling a loss a failure and berating ourselves for our weakness is self destructive. What we must try to do is learn that losing is a natural part of racing, and that it is the expected outcome in a great many races. This is not an easy thing to convince yourself of (ask me how I know that), but it is key to the inner peace so necessary to success at decision making.


Ted Craven
01-03-2012, 02:24 PM
Do You Need to Lose More? ...continued (Part 2)
What I told [the gentleman who wrote] and also the caller whose name I forget was to stop concentrating on win percentage and start counting your winnings, not your wins. Let me ask you a question: am I having a good day when I make 14 bets in 6 races, have the winner in 3 (50%), and overall cash 5 of my bets (36%), losing all my exotic wagers? Take a look:


Sounded like a dreadful day, didn't it? Winning 36% of my bets and losing both exotics. Yet I managed a $577 profit. The reason I was able to show a nice profit was that I wasnít afraid of losing. Note that my average mutuel was only $5.28, but because I took a big swing at the 6th race, I finished way up for the day. If 'Without a Plot' stumbles, I show a $83 loss on the day. It happens. On the other hand, 'Take It On The Lamb' finished third by a neck and 'Gallant Helio' won. Move 'Take It' up another 5 feet and I have a $1500 swing over to the profit column.

Does that mean that the fourth race was a miserable failure or the sixth a smashing success? No, they are just races. Part of the vast river of races that flows by, without beginning or end. It is undeniable that one race produced better results for me than the other, but taken as parts of the whole, both are to be expected. Glance up at the ninth race from the day before. I picked three longshots in this race, giving an even money favorite no shot to win. I was absolutely correct in my analysis, but still lost money.

'Do One Dance' won at about 15 to 1, and was disqualified for being bumped! (Iím not bitter. Those scumsucking, no good . . .). OK, I still have the horse that ran second, and at about 6 to 1. Unfortunately he was blocked just a tad by the horse that caused all the trouble and the favorite caught him in the last 6 inches. Dead heat. I wind up collecting $3.60 on-a horse that should have paid $14 and lose $28 on a race where I have the winner and the place horse at long odds and "should" win over $500.

The issue is not racing luck, which will balance out in the long run, but perceived success and failure. Did I fail in that 9th race? I donít think so, but I did bet $100 and got back $72. A much more realistic way of looking at these three races is to say that I put myself in the way of winning a lot of money three times, and one of them panned out. I lost $28 in the 9th, another $120 in the 4th and won $650 in the 6th. Was I taking a chance in the 6th by betting only one horse, even though he had dominant figures? Sure, but given the odds, that was the way to take a big bite. And ifI lose? If 'Without a Plot' stumbles? So be it. Iíll get them next time. Iíve lost races before and had losing days before, and Iíll do it again.

As a matter of fact, I made 4 bets in the last two races that day and won one of them. Total bet: $300. Total won: $280. A failure. However, 'Foolish' missed at a head at 9-2, just beaten by another even money horse that I thought was overrated. In this instance, I was wrong, but the winner needed a perfect trip to beat me. Again, it happens. Six feet the other way and I turn a $150 loss into a $275 win. If you insist on calling this failure when it happens to you, you need to reaccess your goals.

The true point is that I'm a sucessful equine investor not because I win a lot of races, but because I win money. I am able to support myself in the manner I so richly deserve because over time, enough money-winning opportunities pan out that I show a significant profit. This day was part of a cycle that started with a $1000 bank. You can say it was the fourth day of the cycle, but really it was just 6 races in which I invested $875 to generate a profit of $577 (a 64% R.O.I.) and showed a 17% growth in my bankroll.

Had this particular segment of the, cycle shown a huge profit or significant loss, it would not change anything except the numbers to the right. It is still just part of the cycle, and as long as the trend is upwards, nothing else matters. Not winning races, not huge exactas, not bragging rights, nothing.

I find it so odd that fear of failure, and our mindís attempt to avoid the pain of failure most often leads directly to failure. Of course, it would be ever so nice if we could win 80% with an average mutuel of $10, bobbing happily on a sea of money. If you can do it, more power to you; for me, I find that the absolute key to winning is the conquest of my fear of losing. As long as I meekly approach the windows trying not to lose, rather than boldly attacking them to conquer my share of the profits, I am doomed to lasting failure.

The battle to conquer fear is always a hard fought one, and never completely won. I still succumb to weakness, and try to spread myself around to the point that no matter what happens, I will win, even if just a tiny amount. The trigger to writing this article occurred earlier this afternoon. I was having one of "those" days. I won the first race, then dropped the next four, including two prime (big time) bets. My companions suffered equally. When the final race on the card came around, I was $930 down and it was tempting to say "Itís not your day, Dick. Go home." - in
spite of the fact that I had planned to bet the race when I left the house. In fact, several people I was at the races with said exactly that, including some friends of my wife I had been recruited to pick horses for. (Wives are exempt from all PIRCO rules. At least mine is! Bless me Howard, for I have sinned. I touted. But I vas only following orders!)

I went to the window and bet $500 into the race, my top level prime bet. Not to get even. Not to show off. Not out of anger. I made the bet because it was the right thing to do. My profit from the race was $850, thus I got out of the day "alive." But no matter how the race turned out, the only truly bad decision I could have made was to allow fear to cripple me, to pass a race I had earlier decided was a very good betting opportunity. And yet, I heard the voice of fear whispering, and I fought the good fight once again. Occasionally I lose, but to the extent that I conquer my fear, I succeed; no matter the outcome of the bet I make.

In this aspect of my handicapping, if no other, I can truly say I have become a professional.


Ted Craven
01-03-2012, 02:27 PM
Thank you Dick, for these earlier writings!

Here are a few other excerpts from earlier Follow Ups, (Dick Schmidt, Howard Sartin)


Happy reading!


01-03-2012, 02:57 PM
Great article by Mr. Schmidt! :ThmbUp:

We should avoid the trap of thinking that we did something wrong when we lose a race...or a series of races.

The horseplayer relinquishes all control of the situation the second he makes his wager...and he must be able to calmly deal with the chaotic -- or "unknown" -- factors inherent in the game.

Functioning well under pressure -- especially when we are behind for the day, or the week -- is the REAL key to winning at the track...and the REAL sign of a mature player.

There is nothing wrong with occasional, or even frequent, losses; they build character.

Which is the very thing that we should ALL try to cultivate...

The LONG RUN is what counts!

As Andy Beyer would say:

"If you need to get paid every day...get a job as a waiter". :)

01-03-2012, 03:30 PM

I have communicated with Dick Schmidt on two occasions and both were positive and helpful. In the first he provided me with an autographed copy of Pace Makes the Race. And in the second, he furnished me a copy of TPR software. Both were gifts!

I feel your comment about Dick was inappropriate for posting on this forum.

I've reviewed your past comments on this board and saw that on September 14, 1906, you posted the following:

"What in the hell is wrong with you guys? Can't we just post a thread and not get so personal about everything?"

Methinks you might have a small personality problem.

Big Bill

Bill, the chances are good Geno and Dick are friends.

01-03-2012, 06:38 PM
Here's the rub as I see it. In every betting venue nearly, when we win it is a cause to celebrate and let the whole world no you did it. You beat the bastards at their own game. If you lose you go slinking off into the night alone.

The wins when viewed publicly feeds the ego and in some the soul. It allows the player to yell and scream, "I am the Best... top of this game....a real professional."

But the Pari-mutuel system is built in just the reverse. For most professionals and even successful part time players win in silence. It is only when we lose that we become demonstrably animated. The reason is that if your winning becomes common knowledge, then you face constant attention by players who want your secret and the more a winning system or angle becomes available, the quicker it loses it's effectiveness.

These are generalizations of course. But I think you'll get the point.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.


01-03-2012, 09:03 PM
Although I have never read any of Dick's writings, except this one, I completely agree, winning isn't everything, making money is. Just ask how easy it is to know I'm going to lose 90+% of all my wagers. It comes down to confidence in what you have proven to yourself over time, and the ability to continue playing what you know are "smart bets" regardless of what has happened in the recent short term. As decent poker players know, but somehow refuse to apply to horse racing, you don't make good decisions "on tilt".