Horse Racing Forum - PaceAdvantage.Com - Horse Racing Message Board

Go Back   Horse Racing Forum - PaceAdvantage.Com - Horse Racing Message Board > Thoroughbred Horse Racing Discussion > General Racing Discussion


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 11-01-2021, 06:11 PM   #1
46zilzal
velocitician
 
46zilzal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 24,984
SAMPLE error in paddock observations

I was lucky enough to be mentored on may asects of horse function when I was a volunteer hot walker/groon. At their suggestions, I purchased several recognized video studies (by Bonnie Ledbetter and Joe Tackich among others) on how best to observe horses in the paddock as an adjunct to knowing who was ready to run that day or who to stay away from..

The results turned out to be just the opposite of what I thought. When I was really trying to coordinate what I saw, to the performance in the race that followed, I was surprised that the results DID NOT correlate very well. Thinking I was somehow doing something wrong, I had a few trainer friends observe the horses in the paddock and give me their opinion. STILL, even with their expertise, the long term outcome of racing competence to negative correlations of paddock observations, was NOT an accurate assessment of racing outcome.

What went wrong as this was a long standing idea backed up by lots of video evidence? SAMPLE ERROR was the reason.

What do you see when the horses first walk around the paddock? These animals have been standing in their stalls, only moving around the circumfernce of what rooon is availble, and then they come over to the paddock after only a few steps. When we then OBSERVE THEM in this UN-WARMED UP STATE, the joints, realtive to the time they load into the gate, are cooler and stiffer, with little change in the bloodflow to that area, the is no expasion of the joint capsule, which only oocurs with vasodialtion (which has not occured yet), SO we are observing a situation that ONLY occurs in that limited TIME PERIOD, not in the more limbered state that occurs during a warm up and at the gate.

As the horse cantors about, we no longer have ready visual access to the very things we observed in the paddock: walking short, the favoring of one leg over another, all signs of the physilogical changes in them that occurs AFTER wam ups as they are then usually on the other side of the race track.

What changes?

1)Passive/active warm-ups increase adenosine triphosphate turnover, which reinforces muscular functions, muscle cross-bridge cycling rate, and oxygen uptake kinetics, which significantly affects exercise performance. from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5833972/

SAME article above 2) Performing warm-ups increases muscle temperature and blood flow, which contributes to improved exercise performance and reduced risk of injuries to muscles and tendons. Stretching increases the range of motion of the joints and is effective for the maintenance and enhancement of exercise performance and flexibility, as well as for injury prevention.

3) Exercise has been shown to boost the production of synovial fluid, in essence helping to keep our synovial joints ‘well-oiled’. Science has now supported the theory that, contrary to popular belief, exercise can be protective for our joints, and the aforementioned secretion of synovial fluid plays a big part in promoting joint health.https://www.220triathlon.com/trainin...ise-affect-it/

4) When the body’s temperature rises, the tissues surrounding the joints loosen, increasing the range of motion. The rise in muscle temperature improves flexibility and increases the efficiency of movement during your workout. To raise body temperature, a warm up should include exercises that slowly increase the heart rate to circulate the blood around the body to the muscles and joints.
https://recreation.athletics.cornell...-body-exercise.

SO, the dilligent observations we attempted to correlate to racing perfomance that day, are the result of TEMPORAL SAMPLE ERROR, and do not represnt the final state of the horse's joints when loading into the gate. This data, while TRUE at the time observed, is just NOT what had changed by the time these horses load into the gate
__________________
"If this world is all about winners, what's for the losers?" Jr. Bonner: "Well somebody's got to hold the horses Ace."
46zilzal is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-01-2021, 07:26 PM   #2
Tom
The Voice of Reason!
 
Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Canandaigua, New york
Posts: 106,077
Does Maggie Wolfendale have to give back the money?
__________________
Who does the Racing Form Detective like in this one?
Tom is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-01-2021, 07:35 PM   #3
Robert Fischer
clean money
 
Robert Fischer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 21,700
Quote:
Originally Posted by 46zilzal View Post
TEMPORAL SAMPLE ERROR
think my temporal lobe went into error about a paragraph into that


i've been guilty many times, and some my love it, so


Either you know how to see injuries or you don't.

Either you know how to compare notes/video of significant fundamental physicality stuff from race to race, or you don't.

Either a thriving, fundamentally sound, athlete jumps off the screen to you, or it doesn't.
__________________
Preparation. Discipline. Patience. Decisiveness.
Robert Fischer is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-01-2021, 09:21 PM   #4
BarchCapper
Registered User
 
BarchCapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Clarksville, AR
Posts: 626
One can definitely try to do too much with paddock/post parade/warmup observation.

You mentioned the temporal nature of what you're seeing (the slice of time in the paddock vs the whole pre-race scenario). A lot of the value in what a Maggie Wolfendale brings is not "how does this horse look today" as much as "how does this horse look today vs. how he typically looks or how he looked last time" - breaking out of that one point in time where we might have been trying to compile the whole of our observations as to the horse's fitness to race today.

My best work observationally has been with horses I had ownership interest in, or who were in my trainer's barn. I had a greater familiarity with what was "normal" with those, and could see pluses, minuses, but much of the time, a lot of "same old, same old" for most of them (no real positives/negatives). We had one stakes horse who seemed more inclined to want to take a nap rather than run - but that's just how he was. It should be noted that there tended to be mostly older horses in this barn - not a lot of young 2yos where you might see more dramatic variations in appearance race-to-race.

Attending 60-70% of Oaklawn's non-pandemic racing dates over the past 3 years, I'd probably have only 2-3 horses a card where my observations (combined with my on-paper handicapping) led me to form a strong opinion to bet, or not to bet on a particular animal.
__________________
Tom in NW Arkansas
——————
”She's pert ... if you like pert.” - Let It Ride
BarchCapper is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 12:35 AM   #5
dnlgfnk
Registered User
 
dnlgfnk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: St. Louis suburb
Posts: 1,515
How does the Whale, or Joe Sixpack with his database quantify physicality along with his analytics?

Once I recognized the expertise of the crowd per James Surowiecki, and database printouts displaying their ability to sift 3-1 vs. 7-2, 9-2 vs. 5-1, etc., I realized the physicalist handicapper must sit on her hands as often as any other "specialist".

Yet at major tracks we're treated to subtle generalities (it's relatively seldom as if the horse will scratch at the gate) & descriptions of a horse's physical attributes before most every race. Can't the player merely consult the sale auction data? That's where one better know confirmation.
__________________
"I like to come here (Saratoga) every year to visit my money." ---Joe E. Lewis
dnlgfnk is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 12:41 AM   #6
dnlgfnk
Registered User
 
dnlgfnk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: St. Louis suburb
Posts: 1,515
*conformation
__________________
"I like to come here (Saratoga) every year to visit my money." ---Joe E. Lewis
dnlgfnk is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 12:42 AM   #7
46zilzal
velocitician
 
46zilzal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 24,984
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnlgfnk View Post
*conformation
One can have the best conformation around and still not function within it
__________________
"If this world is all about winners, what's for the losers?" Jr. Bonner: "Well somebody's got to hold the horses Ace."
46zilzal is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 12:47 AM   #8
dnlgfnk
Registered User
 
dnlgfnk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: St. Louis suburb
Posts: 1,515
It's my guess that The Green Monkey got rave reviews in the paddock.
__________________
"I like to come here (Saratoga) every year to visit my money." ---Joe E. Lewis
dnlgfnk is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 01:00 AM   #9
ranchwest
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: near Lone Star Park
Posts: 4,153
There's a lot of money to be saved spotting the negative attributes.
__________________
Ranch West
Equine Performance Analyst
ranchwest is online now   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 01:42 AM   #10
cj
@TimeformUSfigs
 
cj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Moore, OK
Posts: 45,554
What I like that Maggie does is tell you how the horses look AND how it compares to how they looked before previous races.
cj is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 06:09 AM   #11
thaskalos
Loitering with intent
 
thaskalos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 26,900
I recall a trip to Las Vegas many years ago, when I purchased Joe Takach's Beat the Beam video from the Gambler's Book Shop there. So excited was I that I couldn't wait to get back home so I could watch it. It turned out to be a very well made video, with clear pictures and explanations of what the "ready horse" is supposed to look like...and what paddock signs to avoid. With vivid images on my mind of what the "ready" and the 'listless' horses were supposed to look like...I eagerly rushed to Arlington Park so I could put my newly-acquired knowledge to profitable use.

As I visited the paddock for the first interesting race of the day...I was shocked to discover that the horse that I intended to bet on was the epitome of what was pictured as a totally listless horse on Takach's video. While the other horses were prancing around on their tippi-toes with their dappled bodies exuding the sort of energy that their handlers could hardly contain...my selection (I think the horse's name was Blanket Finish) looked so exhausted that the poor horse could barely keep its nose off the ground. To this day I've never seen a more lethargic-looking horse...and I still remember how proud I felt for possessing the necessary knowledge which allowed me to avoid sucker horses of this type, which burned the money of the less sophisticated players.

Alas, the pride in my newly-acquired knowledge only lasted until Blanket Finish disposed of the rest of the field en route to a comfortable victory at a generous price...while sticking his tongue out at me the entire way. After that...Takach's video was destined to languish in some dusty corner somewhere in my garage.
__________________
"Pocket aces will either win you a small pot...or lose you a big one."
-- Doyle Brunson

Last edited by thaskalos; 11-02-2021 at 06:15 AM.
thaskalos is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 10:33 AM   #12
classhandicapper
Registered User
 
classhandicapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 17,939
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj View Post
What I like that Maggie does is tell you how the horses look AND how it compares to how they looked before previous races.


To me that's almost the entire thing other than maybe first time starters.

I'm not a particularly knowledgeable paddock observer, but I occasionally throw a few dollars on a horse for fun just based on what I see in the paddock. I'm certain I have a huge positive ROI on those very rare bets. Sometimes I see a horse I've seen before and the difference in energy and appearance is so drastic I just know it's ready for an "A" race. For someone that's good at it and that take notes like Maggie, there has to be some positive ROI opportunities "IF" they stick with the more dramatic changes.
__________________
“Truth is Treason in an Empire of Lies”

Last edited by classhandicapper; 11-02-2021 at 10:36 AM.
classhandicapper is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 12:04 PM   #13
ranchwest
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: near Lone Star Park
Posts: 4,153
A word of caution. It takes an experienced eye to consistently and reliably tell the difference between ready activity and excessive nervousness. Sometimes it is obvious, but sometimes it is a fine line.

And on the negative note.. one day I saw a horse with a cut on his hip, about 3 or 4 inches long. It was not bleeding - it had started healing. But it just looked like an injury that may have been sustained in the gate. So, I passed on the horse because that horse was likely to have a memory of a bad experience in the gate and it could affect his interest in the race. After the race, I spotted the owners and asked them about the cut. My suspicion was exactly right... the horse had been injured in a gate work and indeed it did not run well that day.

It pays to be observant, even if physicality is not to be your primary handicapping tool.
__________________
Ranch West
Equine Performance Analyst
ranchwest is online now   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 12:11 PM   #14
the little guy
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj View Post
What I like that Maggie does is tell you how the horses look AND how it compares to how they looked before previous races.
That was the first thing I told her when I hired her....and she has done it better than I could have imagined. Appearance is most important in relative terms. She has kept meticulous notes from day one and never mailed it in once in over ten years. She is the gold standard in that position.
the little guy is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 11-02-2021, 12:20 PM   #15
mountainman
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,216
I try to correlate slim, "one-gutted" runners with long arduous campaigns. That sometimes can be useful in fading certain contenders. Also, sweat inappropriate for the temperature turns me off big time. And kidney sweat is death.

On the positive side, horses ready to freak have that special look of constrained power about to burst (bowed neck and slow, graceful action are key signs), but runners destined to score 10 minutes later RARELY go overboard or get ignorant.

Another look I favor highly is one of relaxed alertness, as if the animal knows what approaches and is in no way nervous or intimidated.

On a related note, I find a horse's in-race action most critical to predicting future performance.
mountainman is online now   Reply With Quote Reply
Reply




Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

» Advertisement
» Current Polls
Is it a good deal for US that FOX now has the Belmont Stakes
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 1999 - 2021 -- PaceAdvantage.Com -- All Rights Reserved
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program
designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.