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Poll: How do you primarily find bettable horses?
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How do you primarily find bettable horses?

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Old 11-08-2023, 02:18 PM   #1
classhandicapper
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How do you determine when to wager?

After you handicap a race, how do you determine whether or not to make a wager?
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Old 11-08-2023, 11:47 PM   #2
Dave Schwartz
 
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I assume that you do not mean minutes to post, but rather, when do you choose to pull the trigger.

1. I handicap all races that fit these rules:
  • 5+ betting interests
  • 5f to 9f
  • No Turf
  • No FTS or Fgn

2. I bet every race I handicap.
Thus, I ALWAYS pull the trigger.

My decision on who to bet has to do with the scenario AFTER the handicapping is done and I decide who the "good bets" are.

A significant percentage of the time I will play the bad bets instead of the good bets.
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Old 11-09-2023, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
I assume that you do not mean minutes to post, but rather, when do you choose to pull the trigger.
Yes

Quote:
A significant percentage of the time I will play the bad bets instead of the good bets.
You are going to have to explain this to me.
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Last edited by classhandicapper; 11-09-2023 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 11-09-2023, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
You are going to have to explain this to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
Yes
You are going to have to explain this to me.
Sure.

Imagine that HSH has a process that produces a GRADE from A+ down to D-, and F which represents mathematical profitability, based upon your handicapping.

I could, of course, use the actual tote odds when the horses are in the gate (or whenever) to create those grades.

Logically, everyone would WANT to bet the A+, A, and A- horses, especially if they are high hit rate horses. (A- is the bottom of profitability; everything below that is mathematically a losing proposition.)

HOWEVER...
Part of my predictive process is to determine who the whales are likely to bet.

My belief is that (typically) those high hit rate, A+ horses will be seen as profitable by the whales and will be hammered down enough to remove the profitability.
My experience with such horses has been -4.5%.
When there is such a likely bet down in the race, I typically look for a CONTENDER who SHOULD NOT have his odds pounded.
Usually, those are horses who will wind up as overlays despite being bet down a little.

Typically, they pay $7 to $12, and produce a long term profit.
I call this STEP 5.

Logical Handicapping Steps:
1. Gather Data
create your columns, mark up your form, or reports, etc.

2. Pick Contenders
Create probabilities, order your contenders, however you do it.

3. Determine Value
Maybe it is mathematical: probability x payoff
Maybe it is creating an odds line and comparing against the tote board.

4. Decide Who & How you SHOULD Bet
This is where you decide stuff like #3 is worth a sizable wager (or not).

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Then comes STEP 5.
When we make our bet, there is about 50% of the eventual total pool showing on the tote board.

In our case, the OTHER PLAYERS are MOSTLY the whales.

It's like playing poker.
You've made an accurate assessment of the hand, considering the math.

But before you pull the trigger on THE BIG CALL & RAISE, you think ABOUT THE OTHER PLAYERS.
Horse racing, like poker and chess, is an example of a Complex Adaptive System

That is, when you're playing an opponent who has similar information to you and changes his strategy in response to your play.


Most players simply ignore that those OTHER PLAYERS are at least CLOSE TO as smart as they are.
They believe that they are, by virtue of their brilliant handicapping, the only ones who can see that #5 is clearly the best horse in the race, despite the fact that he is 7/1.

Then they're surprised when he pays $5.80.
My current STEP 5 Process works far better than simply betting from STEP 4.


Welcome to the Age of the Whales.




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Last edited by Dave Schwartz; 11-09-2023 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 11-09-2023, 03:18 PM   #5
bisket
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I only wager into large pools on big race days. I pay particular attention to the preps for the derby. I get to know those horses like I use to know the horses at Pimlico and Laurel when I played regularly. I make it a point to not watch 2 year old races. This paid off this year because most bettors formed an opinion of Forte that wasn't accurate at all this year. I start with a clean slate in January. Many times horses run great races in preps that go unnoticed. That's my bread and butter. I don't need a large sample to locate a quality horse. I don't bet against favorites. I bet quality horses with a small sample size. Arcangelo was a good example of that. If he wasn't training in New York he would have been a better overlay in both the Belmont and Travers.
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Old 11-09-2023, 06:00 PM   #6
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3 of the options you gave.

I won't bet every kind of race or every race. For example horses with too many firsters, grass races with European horses, cheap claimers I wont bet.

1) I grade every horse, will only bet horses I give a positive grade to. The better the grade the higher likelihood I bet and increase the wager.
2) Look for value oriented trips, angles, situations
3) Feel - Having very good knowledge of a particular circuit (NYRA for me), the horses, the trainers and the jockeys for me is incredibly important.

If I have a good feeling about any combination of those 3 factors and I like the price then I bet.
Its a combination of art and science.
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Old 11-09-2023, 08:21 PM   #7
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Feel.

Im not going to take the time to make a formal line . People make it so hard on themselves IMO. But I will look at the real odds and use my judgement and experience to try and determine if those odds are real to the horses chance . Either way .. too low or too high. Many favorites are hopelessly overbet in a horse race but you have to use them in the numbers .. whatever numbers you play vertical or horizontal. But I cant bet that kind of horse to win . For win bets Im looking for the overlay or 2/1 as the low threshold.
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Old 11-10-2023, 01:59 AM   #8
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If I'm at the track and have at least 10 in my pocket, it's time to bet.
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Old 11-10-2023, 12:35 PM   #9
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i gave up looking at the odds to make any bets. i am just another recreational bettor, I bet enough to stay interested because I have a few horses now and want to have some type of an idea of what you need to bring in the afternoon to have a chance.
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Old 11-12-2023, 04:00 PM   #10
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If the horse or horses I like as to contenders and are 4/1 or better I bet.
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Old 11-13-2023, 12:36 AM   #11
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interesting how split it is so far.
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Old 11-13-2023, 02:58 AM   #12
Robert Fischer
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chalkchalk /most / proxy

most of the time it's simply beating false favorites out of the win and exacta placings.

Sometimes there's enough value in a rare situation where you've got a big overlay that you should 'single' on the bottom of vertical tickets.
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Old 11-13-2023, 09:11 AM   #13
Big Russ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Schwartz View Post
Sure.

Imagine that HSH has a process that produces a GRADE from A+ down to D-, and F which represents mathematical profitability, based upon your handicapping.

I could, of course, use the actual tote odds when the horses are in the gate (or whenever) to create those grades.

Logically, everyone would WANT to bet the A+, A, and A- horses, especially if they are high hit rate horses. (A- is the bottom of profitability; everything below that is mathematically a losing proposition.)

HOWEVER...
Part of my predictive process is to determine who the whales are likely to bet.

My belief is that (typically) those high hit rate, A+ horses will be seen as profitable by the whales and will be hammered down enough to remove the profitability.
My experience with such horses has been -4.5%.
When there is such a likely bet down in the race, I typically look for a CONTENDER who SHOULD NOT have his odds pounded.
Usually, those are horses who will wind up as overlays despite being bet down a little.

Typically, they pay $7 to $12, and produce a long term profit.
I call this STEP 5.

Logical Handicapping Steps:
1. Gather Data
create your columns, mark up your form, or reports, etc.

2. Pick Contenders
Create probabilities, order your contenders, however you do it.

3. Determine Value
Maybe it is mathematical: probability x payoff
Maybe it is creating an odds line and comparing against the tote board.

4. Decide Who & How you SHOULD Bet
This is where you decide stuff like #3 is worth a sizable wager (or not).

_________________
Then comes STEP 5.
When we make our bet, there is about 50% of the eventual total pool showing on the tote board.

In our case, the OTHER PLAYERS are MOSTLY the whales.

It's like playing poker.
You've made an accurate assessment of the hand, considering the math.

But before you pull the trigger on THE BIG CALL & RAISE, you think ABOUT THE OTHER PLAYERS.
Horse racing, like poker and chess, is an example of a Complex Adaptive System

That is, when you're playing an opponent who has similar information to you and changes his strategy in response to your play.


Most players simply ignore that those OTHER PLAYERS are at least CLOSE TO as smart as they are.
They believe that they are, by virtue of their brilliant handicapping, the only ones who can see that #5 is clearly the best horse in the race, despite the fact that he is 7/1.

Then they're surprised when he pays $5.80.
My current STEP 5 Process works far better than simply betting from STEP 4.


Welcome to the Age of the Whales.




.
Thank you for sharing Dave. Couldn't agree more with Step 5. I refer to it "Anticipated Value". It's the key for me. I also use the same basic criteria for selecting races to handicap except my cutoff is currently 5.5F as a minimum. I'm still not there at 5F but pre-covid I was at 6F to 9F so I've made progress.
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Old 11-13-2023, 03:08 PM   #14
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Obviously feel plays a huge part in everything we do in this game. But, to me from a standpoint of logic, probably the best way to achieve value in the games current state is

Look for value oriented trips, angles, situations


Your competition has the same if not better information than you do. They get big rebates so they can knock a horse down to fair value and still make money. The reason that this is of the most value to you as a player imo:

the caw may not agree with your theories or even be privy to what you see. However, I think in aggregate over a large number of races the caw will tend to find your horses (assuming they are worth finding), but the public won't.. So the chances of getting a great win/exacta price on your horse is a little dubious (although it happens). But that horse being a great key in the multi legs or even the trifectas and superfectas I think are good because I think so much of the public will miss the horse entirely and that they will provide value in those pools.

This is all theory by me of course.

Not a huge fan of the beating the bad favorite plan. The distinction between over bet, live and bad can be tricky and is more of a feel thing. Sometimes you just hate the favorite and you have to try to beat him. But I assume that 3/5's still do better than 4/5's who do better than 1-1 etc in the roi dept. so to try to get rich betting against horses who do best from an roi standpoint seems like a questionable approach. The days of me lining races making a horse 9/5 seeing him at 3/5 and licking my lips in anticipation (trying to beat him) are long gone. As much as my ego would love to tell me that I am the smartest guy playing, the results, show the 3/5's win about as often as a 3/5 should win statistically whether I make him 4/5, 9/5, 3-1, or 6-1.

Where I think there is value in racing is taking a stand against horses that are maybe in the 5/2 + range. If they are 4-1 on down to 5/2 they eat up a good chunk of the betting money and I do have success tossing these horses at least in Harness racing. It is a feel thing and you have to be selective, but when I post analysis you will see me make comments like if so and so wins I will be tearing up my tickets or I will take a stand against so and so or so. Most of these horses I can keep out of the exacta and basically nullify much of the take in the win/exacta pools. When there price starts diving under 2-1 my past data indicates that horses will win as often as the final odds dictate.

Obvious you as a player cannot model my performance in harness racing to your performance in thoroughbreds, but you can keep tabs on horses you thing are good horse to play against. See if there is a final odds group or any other characteristics (over 2-1 for me in harness) where you are very effective at tossing horses and minimizing the track take. Because in all honesty, if every horse in a race is a contender with no sound reason to play against them this game becomes a lot harder to beat especially if you are not getting real rebates. But if you catch a race where there are 2 horses that you want to play against and another horse who has an angle you know the public is likely to miss you have a pretty good betting opportunity.
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Old 11-14-2023, 08:33 PM   #15
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Thumbs up

Enjoying this thread, Classhandicapper.


Nice to read the different contributions. (still reading through all the comments).

All of us who are contributing

'A+' Dave Schwartz, interesting stuff.

I am the (only voter, thus far) = "Only play against short priced horses I dislike."

more interested in catching up, and reading everyone's ideas than talking about my self right now.
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