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Capper Al
09-04-2012, 03:14 PM
This book ought to stir the pot in this forum -- The Art and Science of Picking Winning Horses by James Hillis. It's probably a rewrite of an old Gamblers Book Club book. Why it should stir the pot here is because it is a Form Handicapper's method with a point of view from the old school of handicapping. No adding second call to final time and calling it Pace that makes the race stuff. It's hardcore Form handicapping. And in today's handicapping literature, it is quite refreshing. It will make real handicappers out of you computer types. (My weakness also. So I'll re-read later.)

The book can be read at many levels from beginner to advance. The advance reader will have to read between the lines and correlate their experience and knowledge to what is being said. The author stays focused and gives simple but sage advise.

PaceAdvantage
09-04-2012, 06:04 PM
It will make real handicappers out of you computer types.Although I will not allow this thread to devolve into a discussion on this (there are plenty of others that exist), it's this sentiment that I was talking about the other day...kind of offensive actually...for as much as one can be offended by something related to handicapping... :lol:

thaskalos
09-04-2012, 07:11 PM
This book ought to stir the pot in this forum -- The Art and Science of Picking Winning Horses by James Hillis. It's probably a rewrite of an old Gamblers Book Club book. Why it should stir the pot here is because it is a Form Handicapper's method with a point of view from the old school of handicapping. No adding second call to final time and calling it Pace that makes the race stuff. It's hardcore Form handicapping. And in today's handicapping literature, it is quite refreshing. It will make real handicappers out of you computer types. (My weakness also. So I'll re-read later.)

The book can be read at many levels from beginner to advance. The advance reader will have to read between the lines and correlate their experience and knowledge to what is being said. The author stays focused and gives simple but sage advise.

I don't know what you mean by "today's literature"...because I haven't seen anything new printed in this game -- which could be called "worthwhile" -- since 2004, when Brad Free's HANDICAPPING 101 was published.

"Hardcore form handicapping"...you say.

I wonder if that's anything like Tom Hambleton's book FORM POINTS...from some years back. That too was a rather exhaustive treatise on the complexities of "form"...

I paid $49.95 for it years ago, as I recall...and I have been regretting it ever since.

Capper Al
09-04-2012, 08:30 PM
Although I will not allow this thread to devolve into a discussion on this (there are plenty of others that exist), it's this sentiment that I was talking about the other day...kind of offensive actually...for as much as one can be offended by something related to handicapping... :lol:

Did you miss that I said that I was a computer type also? The book is out dated. The reader must re-interpet 10 days to 21 days rest for claimers, etc. But the book does work the form. I am not saying this is a great book. What I am saying is that it deals with an understanding of the game lost in the modern era.

Capper Al
09-04-2012, 08:33 PM
I don't know what you mean by "today's literature"...because I haven't seen anything new printed in this game -- which could be called "worthwhile" -- since 2004, when Brad Free's HANDICAPPING 101 was published.

"Hardcore form handicapping"...you say.

I wonder if that's anything like Tom Hambleton's book FORM POINTS...from some years back. That too was a rather exhaustive treatise on the complexities of "form"...

I paid $49.95 for it years ago, as I recall...and I have been regretting it ever since.

Extreme Pace by Randy Giles was a breathe of fresh air also. This book in no way compares to something like Hambleton's work. It just brings us back to an era when form was most everything in handicapping.

RaceBookJoe
09-04-2012, 08:49 PM
Extreme Pace by Randy Giles was a breathe of fresh air also. This book in no way compares to something like Hambleton's work. It just brings us back to an era when form was most everything in handicapping.

Greg Wry wrote a book somewhere around 2006ish, not bad especially for beginners. He goes through his process of analysis/breaking down a race..class,speed,pace. Very easy reading, may not be help to more advanced players, but for someone new, it was a decent read.

Book is called " How to turn any racetrack into your own money machine "

Itamaraca
09-04-2012, 09:00 PM
days of rest in not example of an understanding of the game lost in the modern era. factors that contribute to a strong understanding of the game transcend time.

Capper Al
09-04-2012, 09:25 PM
Here's why the book works for me. One needs to get a feel for horse racing outside of the numbers. Many times our software leaves us floundering between two or three top numeric picks. Then the capper must use their understanding of the game to fish themselves out and make a final selection. This book, while aimed at beginners, does cover the essential methods for comparing horses on the form. It reminds me of the dot method, if you remember that one.

Dave Schwartz
09-04-2012, 09:35 PM
days of rest in not example of an understanding of the game lost in the modern era. factors that contribute to a strong understanding of the game transcend time.

...Except for the fact that horses coming off a layoff now outperform horses coming back in 14 days or less.

Itamaraca
09-04-2012, 09:38 PM
...Except for the fact that horses coming off a layoff now outperform horses coming back in 14 days or less.

i'm sure that this is THE key factor.

i'm still trying to get over the link between 'understanding the game' and the dot method. :bang:

Tom
09-04-2012, 11:30 PM
The game went downhill after the Alphabet System died.
All you needed to win was copy of the NY Post.

Capper Al
09-05-2012, 07:14 AM
The game went downhill after the Alphabet System died.
All you needed to win was copy of the NY Post.

You know the game did seem a lot more fun back then when it was the most attended sport.

Capper Al
09-05-2012, 07:18 AM
...Except for the fact that horses coming off a layoff now outperform horses coming back in 14 days or less.

You're right Dave. There is a lot of translating to do with this book to bring it up to date. Matter of fact, I don't recommend the book. It fit the bill for me because I am in need for what to do with the final 2 or 3 contenders in my selection process.

Tom
09-05-2012, 08:39 AM
Bet the two at the highest odds.

Capper Al
09-05-2012, 07:40 PM
Bet the two at the highest odds.

That's the rule of thumb, and it has seemed to work. I'm just wondering if I can understand these final few a little better.

thaskalos
09-05-2012, 08:07 PM
...I am in need for what to do with the final 2 or 3 contenders in my selection process.

If they don't have similar running styles, box them in an exacta.

Tom
09-05-2012, 11:57 PM
That's the rule of thumb, and it has seemed to work. I'm just wondering if I can understand these final few a little better.

What will that get you?
You have narrowed the filed down, now the idea is to make money, not understand things. Handicapping stops at some point and wagering kicks in. People go broke betting the best horses. You make money betting the best prices.

thaskalos
09-06-2012, 02:42 AM
This book, while aimed at beginners, does cover the essential methods for comparing horses on the form. It reminds me of the dot method, if you remember that one.

Of course I remember the Dot Method. It was endorsed by no less an authority than Don Adams, of GET SMART fame.

But the Dot Method didn't compare horses on form. In essense, what it did was handicap the public handicappers. You put the selections of a group of public handicappers together...and you put dots on the selections that each handicapper picked.

The horse with the most dots was the play...and, as I recall, the system was effective in the exotics as well...:)

Capper Al
09-06-2012, 07:20 AM
Of course I remember the Dot Method. It was endorsed by no less an authority than Don Adams, of GET SMART fame.

But the Dot Method didn't compare horses on form. In essense, what it did was handicap the public handicappers. You put the selections of a group of public handicappers together...and you put dots on the selections that each handicapper picked.

The horse with the most dots was the play...and, as I recall, the system was effective in the exotics as well...:)

The book recommends a check for top speed within 30 days and another for last 10 races, one for Earnings per start, etc. Then one adds up the checks. Nothing about consensus. What I liked about the book was it dealt with change of distances and other form indicating things. It fit a niche that I was looking for. I still have to go through what the book said and update it. I don't recommend the book except to an over committed handicapper that has a need for looking at past performances and wants to spend time re-interpreting the book.

Capper Al
09-06-2012, 07:23 AM
What will that get you?
You have narrowed the filed down, now the idea is to make money, not understand things. Handicapping stops at some point and wagering kicks in. People go broke betting the best horses. You make money betting the best prices.

Tom, you might have it. What I have noticed about my handicapping is that I can go both long and short. What's giving me gas is trying to play both at the same time. I'm looking for a way to organize my wagering.

Tom
09-06-2012, 08:59 AM
There is a certain amount of info you will never know that can affect the race.

Case in point, who knew Spectacular Bid stepped on a safety pin that morning, and if you did, would you have bet Cordero instead?
(All these years later, and we STILL don't know if he really did or not! :D)

Good luck!

DJofSD
09-06-2012, 10:49 AM
This book ought to stir the pot in this forum -- The Art and Science of Picking Winning Horses by James Hillis. It's probably a rewrite of an old Gamblers Book Club book. Why it should stir the pot here is because it is a Form Handicapper's method with a point of view from the old school of handicapping. No adding second call to final time and calling it Pace that makes the race stuff. It's hardcore Form handicapping. And in today's handicapping literature, it is quite refreshing. It will make real handicappers out of you computer types. (My weakness also. So I'll re-read later.)

The book can be read at many levels from beginner to advance. The advance reader will have to read between the lines and correlate their experience and knowledge to what is being said. The author stays focused and gives simple but sage advise.
Not having the book or even seen it before (one of the good things about brick and mortar stores), please tell us what is the authors definition of form handicapping?

As it has already been cited in this thread, is it strictly running styles, or, is it more than that?

Are form cycles a part of the discussion?

The "holy trinity" of racing is speed, pace and class? Where does the book fit in relation those parameters?

thaskalos
09-06-2012, 02:26 PM
The book recommends a check for top speed within 30 days and another for last 10 races, one for Earnings per start, etc. Then one adds up the checks. Nothing about consensus. What I liked about the book was it dealt with change of distances and other form indicating things. It fit a niche that I was looking for. I still have to go through what the book said and update it. I don't recommend the book except to an over committed handicapper that has a need for looking at past performances and wants to spend time re-interpreting the book.

It turns out that we are both right.

The original "Dot System" was the one I described...with the consensus of public handicappers.

And then someone came up with a spin-off of that system, which was called "Dot System 2"...and that's the one that you are referring to.

Different method...same dots. :)

Capper Al
09-06-2012, 09:37 PM
Not having the book or even seen it before (one of the good things about brick and mortar stores), please tell us what is the authors definition of form handicapping?

As it has already been cited in this thread, is it strictly running styles, or, is it more than that?

Are form cycles a part of the discussion?

The "holy trinity" of racing is speed, pace and class? Where does the book fit in relation those parameters?

Yes, he looks at the Holy Trinity. I'll by pass this for our modern era data. He talks about going long and going short, early speed and sprints, and closers and distances. It's not complex. It's not new. His view just might help at the end as a tie breaker. Most everyone else will be disappointed in this book.

atlasaxis
09-06-2012, 11:00 PM
Of course I remember the Dot Method. It was endorsed by no less an authority than Don Adams, of GET SMART fame.

But the Dot Method didn't compare horses on form. In essense, what it did was handicap the public handicappers. You put the selections of a group of public handicappers together...and you put dots on the selections that each handicapper picked.

The horse with the most dots was the play...and, as I recall, the system was effective in the exotics as well...:)

Back in the early 80's I believe it was Mickey Rooney who was selling or promoting the Dot System. The NY Post was advertizing the heck out of it to the point, yes, I broke down and bought it..lol. Of course you were to use the Post's public handicappers and most of the time you ended up on the 1, 2 or 3rd pt favorite. I hated that, so I went the exact opposite way. I crossed out every selection mentioned more than once. Any race with only one or two horses mentioned once, was the bet. Needless to say when it came in, it was a double digit mutuel. :)

DJofSD
09-07-2012, 11:41 AM
Yes, he looks at the Holy Trinity. I'll by pass this for our modern era data. He talks about going long and going short, early speed and sprints, and closers and distances. It's not complex. It's not new. His view just might help at the end as a tie breaker. Most everyone else will be disappointed in this book.
OK, that helps. THX.

Capper Al
09-07-2012, 12:39 PM
Your application suggests 4 final contenders. The top two are most likely favorites. Is your third or fourth worth a bet at odds to beat the top 2? The idea was to dump the computer at this point and go back to old fashion Form handicapping between the last four contenders. There are other options as some have suggested like playing the longest odds or a horse with an exceptionally good single factor. The book toted handicapping from a by-gone era. Was this a way to sort the final contenders? I don't know. Need more R&D. But for the short run, I'm going with the single factor at odds.

TrifectaMike
09-07-2012, 02:28 PM
Your application suggests 4 final contenders. The top two are most likely favorites. Is your third or fourth worth a bet at odds to beat the top 2? The idea was to dump the computer at this point and go back to old fashion Form handicapping between the last four contenders. There are other options as some have suggested like playing the longest odds or a horse with an exceptionally good single factor. The book toted handicapping from a by-gone era. Was this a way to sort the final contenders? I don't know. Need more R&D. But for the short run, I'm going with the single factor at odds.
To dump your computer at this point would be a grave mistake. You do need to do some further analysis.

I'm going to make this very simple for you ( A step-by-step process).

STEP 1

Use your application and generate a sample (approximately 500 races) of your final four contenders.

Determine the win rate and ROI for each rank of your contenders. This will be
your baseline (Rank 1 -> top contender, etc).

STEP 2

Use only horses ranked 1 and 2.

Create a filter, which will be applied to horses ranked 1 for the sample of 500
races.

Determine the win rate and ROI for horses ranked 1 that pass filter and the
win rate for horse that are filtered.

Compare results for filtered and unfiltered horses ranked 1.

Determine profitability. If non exists try another filter or add a factor
to the filter (if close to profitability)

Filter = any single or combination of factors

Once you determine the conditions for profitability in horses ranked 1 or 2, and STOP!

STEP 3

Now, when analyzing a race...

Determine if Rank 1 or Rank 2 is profitable.
YES -> play Rank 1 or 2
NO -> play Rank 3 and/or 4 blindly

or

apply a similar process (STEP 1 and 2) for horses ranked 3 and 4 ( filter and determine profitability )

Mike (Dr Beav)

eurocapper
09-07-2012, 03:50 PM
I'm not sure how you succeed with longshots, but if you do it must mean some intuitive talent. If that's your strength, then dumping the software might well be helpful to gain an edge. "Go with the force, Luke". Horses are not machines either, doubtful that they can be simulated by one.

DJofSD
09-07-2012, 04:23 PM
I'm not sure how you succeed with longshots, but if you do it must mean some intuitive talent. If that's your strength, then dumping the software might well be helpful to gain an edge. "Go with the force, Luke". Horses are not machines either, doubtful that they can be simulated by one.
As an handicapper that came up through Doc Sartin's methods, I have to ask: why is it either-or?

Why not both-and? Why not use both your intuition and software?

eurocapper
09-07-2012, 04:43 PM
As an handicapper that came up through Doc Sartin's methods, I have to ask: why is it either-or?

Why not both-and? Why not use both your intuition and software?

Obviously because others are using that software, and what it outputs might be expected to be in line with what other software is producing etc. The game is not about picking winners but value, if one is doing overlay betting.