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Old 10-20-2020, 12:43 PM   #76
aaron
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Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
I understand that the final odds are fairly efficient and that the collective mind of all horse players (which includes sophisticated computer models, better informed insiders, and a lot of very smart individuals) is probably going to outperform the odds line any individual can make.

That said, this game is still about finding things that are NOT being reflected on the board.

Two of the most important scores of my life came a few decades ago when I knew about 50% of what I know now. The thing is, the one thing I did know was that trainer "x" didn't try with first time starters. However, 2nd time out, especially if he added blinkers, the horse would often make a huge jump up and win at a big price.

I wasn't building odds lines, watching money flows, or anything else. I had a piece of information that I was close to 100% sure wasn't being reflected on the odds board. The handful of bombs I caught on the biggest bets of my life up to that point FAR OUSTRIPPED the losses on everything else I was playing at that time.

I'm not sure that trainer patterns like that exist anymore with all the databases and Formulator screening tools that exist now, but I think the key for the average guy like me is not in greater complexity building odds lines. It's in finding those rare situations where you are almost certain the public and money flows are wrong.
Probably the most important trainer patterns in the game today are short term hot and cold streaks. Some very talented players have been able to recognize these trends early on in a meet. Doing this can swing odds in your favor. Being able to throw out known trainers with good patterns when they are cold is a talent and not easy to do. Some players pick this up by watching replays and are able to determine a certain trainers horses are not running as expected. Then they can tell when it seems to turn around and adjust accordingly. Some of these players just would throw out the trainer in their pick bets unless there was some sort of extenuating circumstance. Usually a very small field or a trip you can't ignore. With so many players betting multiple tracks, this talent seems harder than ever.
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:00 PM   #77
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Probably the most important trainer patterns in the game today are short term hot and cold streaks. Some very talented players have been able to recognize these trends early on in a meet. Doing this can swing odds in your favor. Being able to throw out known trainers with good patterns when they are cold is a talent and not easy to do. Some players pick this up by watching replays and are able to determine a certain trainers horses are not running as expected. Then they can tell when it seems to turn around and adjust accordingly. Some of these players just would throw out the trainer in their pick bets unless there was some sort of extenuating circumstance. Usually a very small field or a trip you can't ignore. With so many players betting multiple tracks, this talent seems harder than ever.
I don't have a problem with that approach other than I've always found it difficult to separate random hot and cold streaks from legitimate issues that could impact a trainers results.

For example:

In the spring when a lot of horses are coming off a layoff, a trainer might have all his horses ready off the layoff or they all might all be a race or a few works short. You can pick up on something like that.

Maybe a bug is going around in a particular barn and a bunch of horses missed some training and are running below par, but it's hard to know that.

Maybe a trainer freshened up a bunch horses for an assault on a particular meet like Saratoga.

Maybe a trainer has a new vet (ahem).

But a lot of the time I think it's just random noise. The horses may be running fine. They just aren't good enough.
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:49 PM   #78
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So if we could focus our selection efforts on only the top three by pp's, money-flow, or whatever you choose, would that not get us closer to an even playing field? If you only focus your selection efforts to three choices, wouldn't our batting average improve? ROI, not sure?

So back to your question, If we could model an odds line that mirrors the final public odds, reliably, wouldn't selecting a winner or an ABC group for horizontals be improved? Not sure.
Focus on 3 choices? Sure, but it doesn't matter if you focus on the field of 12 or 3 - you start with the field and handicap your way down to say 3. Schwartz always liked idea of half field plus 1 are the contenders - makes no diff - you still gotta make a choice of which one to bet or how many to bet.

You only make money when you differ from the public at a high enough strike rate and at at a price to overcome the take and breakage plus a positive return. So you gotta be at least 20% better. You need to find the races where Juan Q Publico is off by 20% or more on horses you like.

You pick 123 public picks 234. You figure 1 at 35%, public says 10%. That is what you want, obvious but every race isn't playable unless you have a computer based team.
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:57 PM   #79
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Probably the most important trainer patterns in the game today are short term hot and cold streaks. Some very talented players have been able to recognize these trends early on in a meet. Doing this can swing odds in your favor. Being able to throw out known trainers with good patterns when they are cold is a talent and not easy to do. Some players pick this up by watching replays and are able to determine a certain trainers horses are not running as expected. Then they can tell when it seems to turn around and adjust accordingly. Some of these players just would throw out the trainer in their pick bets unless there was some sort of extenuating circumstance. Usually a very small field or a trip you can't ignore. With so many players betting multiple tracks, this talent seems harder than ever.
Not sure why "streaks", be it a trainer or a gambler, as apart from the dynamic factors that are always determining outcomes, are anything more than the Gambler's Fallacy...

https://www.businessinsider.com/the-...20the%20future.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:22 AM   #80
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Focus on 3 choices? Sure, but it doesn't matter if you focus on the field of 12 or 3 - you start with the field and handicap your way down to say 3. Schwartz always liked idea of half field plus 1 are the contenders - makes no diff - you still gotta make a choice of which one to bet or how many to bet.

You only make money when you differ from the public at a high enough strike rate and at at a price to overcome the take and breakage plus a positive return. So you gotta be at least 20% better. You need to find the races where Juan Q Publico is off by 20% or more on horses you like.

You pick 123 public picks 234. You figure 1 at 35%, public says 10%. That is what you want, obvious but every race isn't playable unless you have a computer based team.
Is that the margin of difference you look for? Roughly a 250% difference? Or would 100% be enough?

Do you ever consider the reverse of that? Meaning, say the ML and your own line has a similar odds line of say, 8%(12/1), the public(whoever that is) says it's 20%(4-1). Does that have any interest to you?
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:12 PM   #81
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Then, winter 2019 came. As has been the case for a number of years, many of the systems go dormant from just before Thanksgiving to about the last week in January.

My belief is that trainer patterns change because the big boys simply take the holiday season off and let their assistants do most of the work. They also rest their horses.

They go back to work seriously just after New Years but it takes 3 weeks or so for things to get back to normal.
I don't think things like this are expounded on enough. What works from a handicapping perspective in the spring usually won't hold up in the fall/winter meets. Objectives and intent of trainers in those later meets are often way different than in the spring
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Old 10-22-2020, 06:05 PM   #82
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Dick Mitchell said the same thing - that his underlays outperformed his overlays.

I've also found that in the entire make-a-line-and-bet-into-the-tote process.

Benter made it work by... well, making it work. LOL

People from inside his former team, have told me that he started with a high weight for the public's opinion and, over time, was able to lower that weight substantially.

This approach, what I call, "smoothing," has fallen into disuse as the final tote odds have moved towards higher efficiency relative to gate odds.
Based on Benter’s published report (previously posted) I felt your comment on so-called “smoothing” was a bit overstated.
So I contacted my mentor about it because he’s been in direct communication with Bill. He confirmed that Benter never reduced the weight value of the public’s odds. In fact he did just the opposite. He also mentioned that no one on his team was ever made aware of the exact algorithms he was using.
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:07 PM   #83
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i'll add the place numbers

1st place 19%
2nd place 18%
3rd place 13%

Emperor Joseph 2nd may have told Mozart "there are simply too may notes"

I work with numbers and not enough of them, but here are some numbers for the top three used in the exacta. they are the top three public choices at about 1 minuet to post.
in a 27 race example one of the top three won 67% of the time.
a flat win bet on all three returned a loss of $0.46 on the dollar

when the top three are used over my selected horses the positive return was $0.07.
of course the results for the next 27 races will be more interesting.

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Old 10-22-2020, 10:03 PM   #84
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Based on Benter’s published report (previously posted) I felt your comment on so-called “smoothing” was a bit overstated.
So I contacted my mentor about it because he’s been in direct communication with Bill. He confirmed that Benter never reduced the weight value of the public’s odds. In fact he did just the opposite. He also mentioned that no one on his team was ever made aware of the exact algorithms he was using.
That's very interesting.

So, you are saying that the public's handicapping means more today than it did (say) 15 years ago?

I'm very surprised. My understanding was that the weight assigned dropped by around 25%.

But I have to admit that my information is completely second hand. I've never had any direct contact with either him or his current group.
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Old 10-23-2020, 01:07 AM   #85
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That's very interesting.

So, you are saying that the public's handicapping means more today than it did (say) 15 years ago?

I'm very surprised. My understanding was that the weight assigned dropped by around 25%.

But I have to admit that my information is completely second hand. I've never had any direct contact with either him or his current group.
Hey, Dave, having never boned up much on the use of "models," I have a question. In what way do such syndicates as the one inspiring this thread bake the public's handicapping (projected odds?) into their processes? As a comparative baseline to identify overlays as per their own odds generated by handicapping programs? Or to help winnow the field down to true contenders? Or is it a three-tiered formula, so to speak, in which the morning line gets somehow integrated with real-time odds before a handicapping program is added in? Is that what the term "smoothing out" refers to?

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Old 10-23-2020, 06:25 AM   #86
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:58 AM   #87
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That's very interesting.

So, you are saying that the public's handicapping means more today than it did (say) 15 years ago?

I'm very surprised. My understanding was that the weight assigned dropped by around 25%.

But I have to admit that my information is completely second hand. I've never had any direct contact with either him or his current group.
Didn't you say that your research shows that the top three betting choices has risen to 73% when it was at 66-67% twenty or thirty years ago. That's a 9% to 11% improvement on the public selection, whether it's from handicapping, or money flow on picking the winners. Why would anyone drop their weighting of something that is a reliable factor?
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:58 AM   #88
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Hey, Dave, having never boned up much on the use of "models," I have a question. In what way do such syndicates as the one inspiring this thread bake the public's handicapping (projected odds?) into their processes? As a comparative baseline to identify overlays as per their own odds generated by handicapping programs? Or to help winnow the field down to true contenders? Or is it a three-tiered formula, so to speak, in which the morning line gets somehow integrated with real-time odds before a handicapping program is added in? Is that what the term "smoothing out" refers to?
Mark,

Anyone who makes a line and looks for overlays is using the public odds in making the comparison.

Most would have a requirement that there be a cushion between the value presented by the public odds and the expected return based on a personally derived line, such as looking for opportunities where the overlaid value is 100% greater than the oddsline expected return. (I am using a requirement along those line)

Making a composite odds line really does nothing more than adjust the required cushion percentage. You can manipulate the inequalities and turn a requirement about a composite line into a requirement on the oddsline at a higher cushion percent.


SK
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:48 AM   #89
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Most would have a requirement that there be a cushion between the value presented by the public odds and the expected return based on a personally derived line, such as looking for opportunities where the overlaid value is 100% greater than the oddsline expected return. (I am using a requirement along those line)

Making a composite odds line really does nothing more than adjust the required cushion percentage. You can manipulate the inequalities and turn a requirement about a composite line into a requirement on the oddsline at a higher cushion percent.


SK
This is exactly the way I think about it except without actually doing the math to create an odds line for every horse anymore.

I usually start by having a horse in mind to key on or against because of some trip, bias, trainer pattern, pace projection etc...that I think may present value. After scanning the field I have a very rough idea of where I think the horse fits. Before I pull the trigger, the odds are going to have to be screaming to me to make the play because I know I am sometimes dealing with inaccurate or incomplete information and understanding.

I call that my "margin of safety" (stolen from Ben Graham and Warren Buffett).

But I am really doing exactly what the modelers are doing when they adjust their odds lines to incorporate the public odds. They are creating a margin of safety.
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:38 AM   #90
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Didn't you say that your research shows that the top three betting choices has risen to 73% when it was at 66-67% twenty or thirty years ago. That's a 9% to 11% improvement on the public selection, whether it's from handicapping, or money flow on picking the winners. Why would anyone drop their weighting of something that is a reliable factor?
Wouldn't average field size play a huge factor in this? Using unrealistic field size numbers just for examples' sake, if it was 67% when field size averaged 10, if it goes up to even 90% when field size averages 4, it's a much less powerful factor for weighting, right?
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