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Old 08-25-2023, 02:34 PM   #16
Running Amok
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Correction

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Originally Posted by Running Amok View Post
Excellent, you got what I'm asking! And perhaps the field size should be a factor. But I think it's easier to use a scale of 1 to 10 and forgo field size. That way all races use the same scale.

So the 70 gets a 1 and the 85 should get a 10. And if we used that, what should the 73 get and what should the 83 get?

And they don't have to be whole numbers and most likely wont be. Like it's perfectly OK to use decimals such as 6.4, 7.1, etc.
In my reply above to @dnlgfnk, I mistakenly said:

"So the 70 gets a 1 and the 85 should get a 10. And if we used that, what should the 73 get and what should the 83get?"

That should be what should the 80 get.

Last edited by Running Amok; 08-25-2023 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 08-25-2023, 02:44 PM   #17
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For the intrinsic value of speed, there is another factor... beaten lengths. A 70 on the lead is not necessarily comparable to a 70 12 lengths back. I shy away from using lines where a horse is more than 7 3/4 lengths back, where the horse may not be giving best effort and may be decelerating significantly. In fact, this highlights why I am more of a pace handicapper than a speed handicapper.
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Old 08-25-2023, 02:50 PM   #18
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In the world of finance, intrinsic value is a way of describing the perceived or true value of an asset. I would like to know the perceived value of the ratings in the PPs.
In the world of horse racing, the HORSE is the "asset"...not the speed/pace ratings. And the ratings are one of the tools by which we endeavor to determine the "perceived value" of this asset.
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Old 08-25-2023, 02:53 PM   #19
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And guys, I'm just trying to think outside the box here. Just trying to look at things in a different way than the conventional view.
That's fine. But before you start thinking "outside the box"...make sure that you know what is contained INSIDE the box.
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Old 08-25-2023, 02:59 PM   #20
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I'm not sure I fully understand why you are thinking in terms of % better.

I'd just caution that a 7 point difference in figures might be different at the top of the class spectrum than at the bottom because high quality horses are more consistent and because variations in pace/bias/trip seem to have a larger impact on cheaper horses than very good ones. In other words, 7 points may mean MORE when you are dealing graded stakes horses than 5K claimers just because they are more likely to duplicate their figures.
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Old 08-25-2023, 03:05 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Running Amok View Post
In my reply above to @dnlgfnk, I mistakenly said:

"So the 70 gets a 1 and the 85 should get a 10. And if we used that, what should the 73 get and what should the 83get?"

That should be what should the 80 get.
As you know, one could go with the obvious, what percent of 15 is the ones column?

If one really wants to address a race, the analytical work has been done for you in the public odds. What is necessary, at least for myself, is the possession of intra-race dynamics (pace, position on the track) that either confirm the favorites or reveal overlays. I have a subjective interpretation of projected pace that does not involve fractional times or running style "points", and a subjective interpretation of the track that differentiates between different portions of the race, and is more universal and inherent than day-to-day perceived biases.

I drew these subjective philosophies from a few long seasons of comparing odds to finish position in the 80's, with pencil and paper, and subsequently found no reason to abandon. It would be the area I would suggest to form your variables that make your subjective ratings/rankings, more so than the mostly already solved (by data mining) quest for statistical definitions of horses.

I liken it to the science vs. metaphysics discussions. Science (analytics, data, measurement) offers the structure of physical reality, metaphysics asks the important questions.
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Old 08-25-2023, 03:21 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ranchwest View Post
For the intrinsic value of speed, there is another factor... beaten lengths. A 70 on the lead is not necessarily comparable to a 70 12 lengths back. I shy away from using lines where a horse is more than 7 3/4 lengths back, where the horse may not be giving best effort and may be decelerating significantly. In fact, this highlights why I am more of a pace handicapper than a speed handicapper.
Excellent point. I totally agree with this.


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That's fine. But before you start thinking "outside the box"...make sure that you know what is contained INSIDE the box.
Great advice. Thank you


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Originally Posted by dnlgfnk View Post
As you know, one could go with the obvious, what percent of 15 is the ones column?
Please clarify this statement.

Last edited by Running Amok; 08-25-2023 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 08-25-2023, 03:36 PM   #23
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Please clarify this statement.
85-70 = 15.
For a 73 speed rating, the 3 is 20% of the value spread of 15. For an 83, the 13 is 87% of the 15.
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Old 08-25-2023, 04:44 PM   #24
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85-70 = 15.
For a 73 speed rating, the 3 is 20% of the value spread of 15. For an 83, the 13 is 87% of the 15.
Remember, I made a mistake and posted the wrong rating. In my original post the ratings were 73 and 80. I posted the correction above in post #16.

The correct rating is 80, not 83.

So for 73 the 3 is 20% of the value spread of 15
and for 80 the 10 66.6% of the value spread of 15

So I reckon with this formula on a scale of 1 to 10, you could equate the 73 as a 2.0 and the 80 as 6.6

Not so sure that's any better. Because no the gap is even wider. 6.6 is more than 300% of 2.0

You know what, scratch this whole idea. I was trying to think outside the box but the more I try the more I realize that @RonTiller was spot on.

Making a ton of speed ratings using all sorts of different SPPL values and evaluate them, modify them and evaluate them some more, over and over, is going to make me hate horse racing and just want to go fishing.
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Old 08-25-2023, 05:19 PM   #25
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That's fine. But before you start thinking "outside the box"...make sure that you know what is contained INSIDE the box.
Thank you again for this advice. Very important to fully understand what is contained INSIDE the box before venturing out.

And thanks to all who replied. You guys are a fun group and I enjoy bouncing ideas off y'all. I tend to get some creative sky-high thoughts sometimes. Thanks for keeping me grounded.
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Old 08-25-2023, 05:30 PM   #26
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...And I'm also asking if you wanted to assign a number to represent the intrinsic value of a rating, such as a speed rating, or any other type of rating that takes a measure of something and convert it to a number, how should it could be calculated?

In the world of finance, intrinsic value is a way of describing the perceived or true value of an asset. I would like to know the perceived value of the ratings in the PPs.

By the way, I can tell by the replies I've got that there's a lot of really good handicappers in this forum. And guys, I'm just trying to think outside the box here. Just trying to look at things in a different way than the conventional view.
I found myself asking these same questions some 30 years ago.

The answer I decided on (your mileage may vary) involves:

1. Getting the raw data into a database.

What data?

I wanted raw data covering many different aspects of the game.

From past running lines: early pace figs, late pace figs, final time speed figs, position at each call, fractional time at each call, beaten lengths at each call, class level, purse, post position, weight carried, surface, distance, runup distance, track condition, and literally hundreds of other data points.

Also workout histories, records of the sire/damssire/dam, rider/trainer, and of course tote data.

From there I began creating my own custom factors from the raw data - and (eventually) started getting my own custom factors into my databases.


2. Transform the data as needed.

What transformations?

Many factors exist on different scales. For example, depending on whose speed figs you are using final time speed figs for most horses might be between 60 and 130.

At the same time velocity of the horse at various points of call might be 58 fps at the 2f point of call, 56 fps at the 4f point of call, and 52.5 fps in the stretch.

Depending on whose pedigree ratings you are using numeric pedigree for each horse can be orders of magnitude higher than speed and pace figs.

Same thing with purses.

At the other end of the scale win percentage for post position, rider, and trainer, etc. for each horse in any given race might range from 0.02 to 0.38 (ballpark.)

Are there statistical techniques you can use to smooth out scaling differences among multiple factors?

Ron Tiller (above) mentioned Z-Scores. I actually use Z-Scores for some of these situations. I also use exponential equations for others.

There's no one right answer to this. Think of it as an engineering problem.

You try something and see how well it works. Try something else and measure how that works. (Compare the two.)

You end up keeping what the data tells you works best, and you end up discarding what the data says doesn't work. (It's a constant iterative process.)


3. Clean the data to handle outliers.

What outliers?

Many races have horses with no speed and pace figs. For example, first time starters, foreign shippers, and even the occasional horse that raced on a day when the chartcaller couldn't see the horses on the other side of the track because of fog, etc.

These horses are outliers because they have 0's for their speed figs, pace figs, and null values for positional calls, and beaten lengths in the data.

But you know they are not likely to earn a 0 speed or pace fig in today's race.

So how do you treat them?

One way, for each factor, is to calculate the mean for the horses that do have numbers - and assign each outlier horse a factor value approximately equal to the mean.

Another way is to simply remove all races from the data that contain one or more outlier horses before performing statistical analysis.


4. Export clean data to .csv file and run regression analysis (linear regression, multiple logistic regression, or conditional regression) to get a basic understanding of the relationship among the variables.


5. Create a model based on the output of the statistical analysis software.

The basic process for using logistic regression to create a horse racing model is covered in the book Precision by CX Wong.

And no. I don't recommend creating the same factors Wong talks about in his book. (I recommend rolling your own and creating your own factors.)

But I do recommend the book for anyone who is serious about creating their first horse racing model. Imo, reading the book will give you some ideas and help kick start the process.

You can spend a lot of money on statistical analysis software.

You can also use many of the free packages in the r programming language, or even something much simpler like Solver in Excel.

No matter how you do it, the purpose of statistical analysis is to understand the relationship among the variables.

One of the outputs generated by statistical analysis software after max likelihood estimation during logistic regression is a beta coefficient (which can be used as the 'weight' for any given factor.)

Imo, the beta coefficient for a factor is probably about as close to the concept of intrinsic value from the financial world you alluded to.

And of course the beta coefficient for each factor changes as you change the factor mix of the model. (Think relationship among the variables.)

Wrapping Up
If you decide to do this, realize going in, you will likely spend hundreds (if not thousands) of hours - with no guarantee whatsoever of success.

But also realize (Imo) what I just posted is a general description of the road taken by the largest handle volume horse bettors on the planet.

I would add this is probably not the roadmap to success for most players.

It's a roadmap that will have you butting heads with the smartest bettors on the planet.

In order to truly succeed you'll have to be better than them. (And they are really good at what they do.)

But I did want to post my thoughts on the question that was asked:
Quote:
"In the world of finance, intrinsic value is a way of describing the perceived or true value of an asset. I would like to know the perceived value of the ratings in the PPs."

And yeah.

My favorite hobby?

Flyfishing.


-jp
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Last edited by Jeff P; 08-25-2023 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 08-25-2023, 05:39 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by 46zilzal View Post
Off the turf races: How can you evaluate a field when many only have turf lines to evaluate against those that draw in with only dirt lines?

Apples oranges
My investment is with my own proprietary ability numbers, my main program generates these numbers and at the end of the card records winners with their numbers to excel database. For fools who need to play every race nothing helps. Excel is fast enough to handle me a couple plays per day. I know when a race is going to pay less than $10 I do not need it.
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Old 08-25-2023, 05:51 PM   #28
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I have been databasing for 30 years as well. The earliest races I have were June 1993 (when your choices were 1200 baud or 2400 baud) and I have kept it up daily since.

The program Jeff lays out has a lot in common with what I was doing 25-30 years ago. I can promise you it was possible to do this successfully 30 years ago.

It would be much harder today as the competition is already there. My return has gone down roughly 1% a year for the past 20 years using exactly the same process.
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Old 08-25-2023, 06:06 PM   #29
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Off the turf races: How can you evaluate a field when many only have turf lines to evaluate against those that draw in with only dirt lines?

Apples oranges
Like this race.

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Old 08-25-2023, 08:35 PM   #30
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Like this race.
I understand that it was tough to find appropriate pace lines, but Bris Prime Power had it, my odds line had it, good works, figured to stalk and close. I'd only play the race as a horizontal where I needed to include it, but it is gettable.
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