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-   -   new harness handicapper (http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74467)

markgoldie 08-24-2010 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lamboguy
you are one of the best handicappers on this board. there is no way in life that that girl can pick 3 stragiht winners at mohawk no matter how luckky one can be, and top it off with 2 of them at yonkers allthough those were dead bang chalk. i am gullible too, i have listened to all these pickers and if they were sitting in a room with no communication i wouldn't invest 16 cents on their own handicapping abilities luck or skill

Lambo:

Don't get carried away. I like the girl too on the basis of what seems to be a very nice, unassuming personality. But frankly, I don't know what you're trying to say. She doesn't seem to have a fraction of the analytical ability and experience to be successful over a longer term.

The harness portion of the program looks to me like a shill for Trackmaster. But as I have pointed out before on this forum, Trackmaster suffers from some glaring shortcomings which should be an embarrassment to any company which was serious about what they do. To reiterate briefly, the BMLP/MAY circuit shows a routine difference in numbers from track to track of at least 5 points, with Maywood sporting the higher numbers. There are similar differences track-to-track elsewhere, but this inconsistency is truly unforgivable because these are the same horses, trainers, and drivers that routinely go back and forth between these two venues.

Now. Our TVG girl is listening to the analysis of the Trackmaster employee who is explaining the finer points of fig handicapping using TM to her. She purports to be interested in learning from this guy. My point is that even if she knew what this guy believes he knows, she'd still be light years away from being a profitable harness bettor.

So try to get over what you saw last night. It is a random-distribution mirage and it won't hold up.

JBmadera 08-24-2010 03:29 PM

Come on guys, we’ve all seen this dozens of times: hot chick comes to the track/otb, uses wtf system and picks winner after winner, we love how great she looks but hate how more often she’s cashing tix than we are.

jb

thaskalos 08-24-2010 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markgoldie
Interesting that you mention Chaplin's book, because just yesterday I was thinking about it. The occasion was my very infrequent delving in playing at Harrington.

The key theory in his book (at least the one I'm thinking of; I don't know if he has written others) is that we have a tendency to over-think in our play, devising trip scenarios in our mind, calculating class changes, depending on teletimer readings, etc. Instead, Chaplin proposes a very simplistic way of viewing a race, which is the horse is either in form or out of form.

He extends this in two logical ways. First, he describes what to look for in the past performances to indicate in-form, out-of-form, or unknown status. Second, he advises that you play the highest priced of the in-form animals. There are some other restrictions, but that is the basic thrust.

I used this approach yesterday at Harrington playing gimmicks and even though I only played a portion of the card, I had a good day. This leads me to wonder if we sometimes don't get bogged down in the small details too much. Maybe this throw-back idea still has some merit.

Hi Mark,

Chaplin has written 2 books...THE BETTOR'S GUIDE TO HARNESS RACING, and ADVANCED HARNESS RACING, both based on the same "methodology".

Yes...he is primarily interested in the horse's shape...but the manner thru which he determines it, can hardly be called "very simplistic" IMO. In fact...his methods are so well thought out, that they render OTHER methods simplistic - by comparison.

He equates SHAPE with STRETCH SPEED...theorizing that a horse in top shape, should show better stretch indurance than a horse in lesser shape...but he also supplies the reader with a comprehensive way of assessing the energy that the horses have expended PRE-STRETCH, using pace(fractional times), and trips.

Shape is determined, then, by comparing a horse's stretch speed with its pre-stretch energy...judging approximately how much better or worse the stretch speed was, compared to what it should have been, based on the pre-stretch energy expenditure.

Very advanced for his time...IMO.

If there is a glaring weakness in his books, it is in betting advice...but that is hardly surprising, given that the books were published in the 70s, when the betting menu was very limited.

lamboguy 08-24-2010 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markgoldie
Lambo:

Don't get carried away. I like the girl too on the basis of what seems to be a very nice, unassuming personality. But frankly, I don't know what you're trying to say. She doesn't seem to have a fraction of the analytical ability and experience to be successful over a longer term.

The harness portion of the program looks to me like a shill for Trackmaster. But as I have pointed out before on this forum, Trackmaster suffers from some glaring shortcomings which should be an embarrassment to any company which was serious about what they do. To reiterate briefly, the BMLP/MAY circuit shows a routine difference in numbers from track to track of at least 5 points, with Maywood sporting the higher numbers. There are similar differences track-to-track elsewhere, but this inconsistency is truly unforgivable because these are the same horses, trainers, and drivers that routinely go back and forth between these two venues.

Now. Our TVG girl is listening to the analysis of the Trackmaster employee who is explaining the finer points of fig handicapping using TM to her. She purports to be interested in learning from this guy. My point is that even if she knew what this guy believes he knows, she'd still be light years away from being a profitable harness bettor.

So try to get over what you saw last night. It is a random-distribution mirage and it won't hold up.

the problem that i have with harness handicapping is trying to figure the strengths of the races that the horses come out of. i truly believe that one $10k claimer is weaker or stronger than the other, and i have no way of figureing it out.

i have been looking for a report suchas turfday stats in thoroghbreds that lists the trainers next to their horses with their percentages. i can't find them.

markgoldie 08-25-2010 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thaskalos
Hi Mark,

Chaplin has written 2 books...THE BETTOR'S GUIDE TO HARNESS RACING, and ADVANCED HARNESS RACING, both based on the same "methodology".

Yes...he is primarily interested in the horse's shape...but the manner thru which he determines it, can hardly be called "very simplistic" IMO. In fact...his methods are so well thought out, that they render OTHER methods simplistic - by comparison.

He equates SHAPE with STRETCH SPEED...theorizing that a horse in top shape, should show better stretch indurance than a horse in lesser shape...but he also supplies the reader with a comprehensive way of assessing the energy that the horses have expended PRE-STRETCH, using pace(fractional times), and trips.

Shape is determined, then, by comparing a horse's stretch speed with its pre-stretch energy...judging approximately how much better or worse the stretch speed was, compared to what it should have been, based on the pre-stretch energy expenditure.

Very advanced for his time...IMO.

If there is a glaring weakness in his books, it is in betting advice...but that is hardly surprising, given that the books were published in the 70s, when the betting menu was very limited.

Now that you bring it up, I remember all of that. The relevence of stretch energy, however, has not passed the test of time in the new age of the game. Early speed is where the game is played these days and the late closers are like thoroughbred plodders who only win when the front speed horses totally collapse. If you want to do a little experiment along those lines, look at any program pps for a harness card. Go through all the horses and first write down one of the following designations for each horse:

"E" which means that the horse nearly always tries for the front in each of his races.

"E/C" which mean that the horse has shown the ability to go to the front early, or can be taken off the gate and raced from behind. And,

"C" which means that the horse is a dead closer, that is, never leaves for the lead.

Once you've done that for all horses, go back to their running-line record for the year where it shows number of starts and number of win, place, and shows. Calculate the win percentage for each horse and then record it next to his running style.

What will you find? That as a group, over a reasonable sample, the E horses will have the highest win percentage, followed by the E/C, and the C horses will always bring up the rear.

This is simply another way of saying that if a horse does not possess early speed, his chances of winning a given event are low.

This is also the reason I've said on the forum that guys who are using final 3/4 times, final 1/2 times, and/or final 1/4 times in their handicapping are wasting their valuable time.

Something I've never said here before is this: Uncovered forward movement is the only type of speed that is at all significant. What does that mean? It means that any covered-up, chasing speed is totally and completely bogus. It means nothing. So those :25.4 closing quarters that you see at Meadowlands are meaningless, unless the horse was peeled off cover and moving wide. Even then it's pretty meaningless unless the horse shows the concurrent ability to leave when necessary.

One of the reasons that I focus on early speed so much is that generally it falls into the category of uncovered and forward. Much of the remainder of speed in the race does not fill the bill. When it does, take note. That means that early launching of high speed off of cover is significant.

Also, horses possessed of high uncovered forward speed are ALWAYS dangerous in virtually any event. This means you leave them out of your play at your own risk, whatever the odds.

Chaplin was writing about New York metro HMT racing back in the day. I agree that his insights were excellent for the time and venue in which he wrote. But if he is still actively playing today, I think he has gotten far past his original directives.

On the other hand, what I was saying is that the idea of being in or out of form is still relevant. In that sense, what I distilled from Chaplin was more his emphasis on form than anything else. For example, here is a great betting strategy: Bet a horse moving up off of winning into a higher class that generally produces faster raw final times, but in which the supposed "higher-class" animals are out of good current form. Often, the stepping-up invader goes off at a high price under the assumption that he is "over his head" in this class. Another way of putting it might be that form trumps class.

My recent "remembering" of Chaplin is something for which none of us should have to be reminded. The public's odds are set based on times, class, form, trip prediction, driver (changes in particular), and to some extent trainer. We can probably show significant deficiencies in using any one of these single criteria, except one- form. Good form is the one variable that is never wrong or misleading. And so if we concentrate on playing this factor alone, we should be getting long-term value.

arno 08-25-2010 04:06 PM

Goldie

A wonderful post.
Months ago there was a question about your favorite handicapping books.
I was the only one to mention Chaplin.

Of course, I was much more profitable with his way of thinking in the pre Meadowlands days. Not sure if his way of thinking is obsolete or I just overhandicap these days.

Your uncovered foward moivement is something I always look at.
Matter of fact first thing I look at in the program are any horses who have raced uncovered last out and have the fastest last quarter of the entrants.

It was a profit maker years ago but as you say early speed now is the way to go now.
Has the game changed due to the bikes?
Ask Pandy!

In TBreds my influence has been Huey Mahl who has stood the test of time.
His way of thinking and CJs figures are what I use.

pandy 08-26-2010 02:43 PM

Late Power
 
Mark, I agree with your post, early speed rules today. Except one thing, if a horse shows strong closing power recently, such as a fast last quarter, and in the past has shown the ability to leave the gate, that is a good sign and the driver is probably going to send the horse as soon as he gets a spot where he thinks he can get the lead. A lot of standardbreds are not one dimensional, they can leave or finish and those are actually the best horses to bet on.

So basically what I'm saying is, just because the horse hasn't been leaving lately doesn't mean it isn't leaving tonight.

willphorse 08-26-2010 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pandy
Mark, I agree with your post, early speed rules today. Except one thing, if a horse shows strong closing power recently, such as a fast last quarter, and in the past has shown the ability to leave the gate, that is a good sign and the driver is probably going to send the horse as soon as he gets a spot where he thinks he can get the lead. A lot of standardbreds are not one dimensional, they can leave or finish and those are actually the best horses to bet on.

So basically what I'm saying is, just because the horse hasn't been leaving lately doesn't mean it isn't leaving tonight.

:ThmbUp: Like

Tom 08-26-2010 03:07 PM

Quote:

Something I've never said here before is this: Uncovered forward movement is the only type of speed that is at all significant. What does that mean? It means that any covered-up, chasing speed is totally and completely bogus. It means nothing. So those :25.4 closing quarters that you see at Meadowlands are meaningless, unless the horse was peeled off cover and moving wide.
Are you talking about being sucked along here?

Interesting post, btw....

botster 08-26-2010 06:38 PM

Interesting read here and that is what makes this forum here at PA the best in my opinion.I hope all of you that have been contributing lately continue to do so in the future.

One thing that I have noticed over the years is when my horse is not nearly closest to his best he or she will not race well when hustled out of the gate.A horse NEEDS to be near his best to compete when being used early.An occasional pocket sitter may prevail from time to time, but most of them win drafting in from an inside post.Uncovered is so hard on a horse and as Mark noted those who ride the cover are so greatly benefited.Class should be brought up here and how important it really has always been.Today especially to compete with the bigger claiming barns and their dominance of the winning percentage of purses, I will ONLY BUY OR CLAIM those horses that have shown their class at sometime during their career.The smaller operations will take their chances on the chronic sore one's, if they have that backclass. A horses heart to compete and try hard will always be there even when they hit nine or ten.They would have lossed their peak class by then, but many times will be in the top of their group in whatever class they may be in at that present time.

Many times the bigger operations will cast these off, because they delay their business of "turn and burn" them.These are the one's I look for primarily and I have seen many good trainers have good success with them.

markgoldie 08-26-2010 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom
Are you talking about being sucked along here?

Interesting post, btw....

Yes. Different game than T-bred racing where there is essentially no "slip-stream" effect.

markgoldie 08-26-2010 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pandy
Mark, I agree with your post, early speed rules today. Except one thing, if a horse shows strong closing power recently, such as a fast last quarter, and in the past has shown the ability to leave the gate, that is a good sign and the driver is probably going to send the horse as soon as he gets a spot where he thinks he can get the lead. A lot of standardbreds are not one dimensional, they can leave or finish and those are actually the best horses to bet on.

So basically what I'm saying is, just because the horse hasn't been leaving lately doesn't mean it isn't leaving tonight.

As you are aware, Bob, there are very few completely one-dimensional front runners in the sport. Almost all leaving types have the ability to sit a pocket or close up. Only the very few rank and borderline-insane must have the front end in every race.

On the other hand, leaving hard into a fast first fraction and surviving to finish well is something of a specialized talent which accrues to the horses who do it frequently. That's why you'll very often see normally good-closing types curl up and die when they get involved in a high-speed bid for the front. They just aren't set up to handle the oxygen debt that hits them under these circumstances.

The Meadowlands is something of a specialized case in that horses leaving are very frequently given a hole in which to tuck. This is due to the fear that drivers have of a stalled horse outside of them who can prevent them from getting into the outer flow. They'd rather just let the hung animal in so as to get him out of the way. So leaving with a non-leaving type is far less risky there than at other venues.

But on 5/8 and 1/2 mile tracks, it's much more difficult to decide to just leave with your non-leaver. And when you do, the results are generally not very good. The infrequent leaver is much more effective from inner posts where he can use just enough early speed to protect a close-up position without hitting breaking-point early speed levels.

lamboguy 08-30-2010 08:15 PM

she's back and just beat a 1-5 shot at yonkers. i followed her in for $10-$10.

my_nameaintearl 08-30-2010 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lamboguy
she's back and just beat a 1-5 shot at yonkers. i followed her in for $10-$10.


i just saw that and was laughing.

she just picked a 6-1 shot at mountaineer lets see how she does

my_nameaintearl 08-30-2010 08:43 PM

she didnt do so well there but im sure she has hit enough picks tonight


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