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Old 03-31-2023, 10:00 AM   #16
classhandicapper
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How do you even compete?

Those Elite teams are getting upwards of 10% rebates and have teams of geniuses and serious big time money.

Pretty damn sobering article.
I don't think we have much of a prayer of out analyzing them in terms of making an accurate odds line for all the horses in every race.

They are going to weigh speed figures, pace figures, current form, jockey, trainer, consistency, distance, surface, post position, days since last race etc.. better than we can.

But IMO, when it comes to evaluating biases, pace/race flow, changes in physical condition in the paddock from race to race, subtle positional advantages/disadvantages, those are in part visual skills. They can hire a team of very sharp people to input trip information, but it's still human vs human.

What's happening is that the overall odds are becoming way more efficient. That leaves fewer true overlays. So if want to have any prayer long term, imo we have to be more selective and focus on areas where we are at least battling another human instead of trying to out calculate math geniuses armed with learning computers.
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Old 03-31-2023, 10:11 AM   #17
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We could all become poker players.

That's even better than sports.

In sports, the take is lower than horses, but you are competing with people using the same types of math and computer models to create their lines and they may even have access to injury and other information before it's public.

In poker, you get the same intellectual and gambling stimulation. But you can choose your competition. If you are doing very well at your current level, you can take a jump in class and play for more money. If you are doing poorly, you can take a drop in class. If you are on a tough table you get can get up and walk. If you are on a table with a couple of fish you can play longer. So if your goal is just learning an intellectual game, gambling, and making a few bucks, there always poker... even if you wind up .50 - 1.00 games.
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Old 03-31-2023, 10:47 AM   #18
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What's happening is that the overall odds are becoming way more efficient. That leaves fewer true overlays. So if want to have any prayer long term, imo we have to be more selective and focus on areas where we are at least battling another human instead of trying to out calculate math geniuses armed with learning computers.
You definitely can make the argument that there are small niches in wagering where you can pick and choose your spots and maybe make some money in a good year. The problem is that this isn't enough to draw new fans. It would have to be something unforeseen, I have no idea what, that made horse racing appealing like the lottery, which people play despite the ridiculous takeout. In fact we've seen attempts at that, with the various jackpot wagers. They just haven't caught on with people who aren't already regular bettors.
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Old 03-31-2023, 11:42 AM   #19
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Computer programs look at a blizzard of data and try to manipulate it so that outcomes reflect that data. But, the limitations of what computers do is that it only accelerates instructions programmers give them. Humans are free to take the data in unique combinations that may evade program instruction. That reduces the advantage that a programmer has over you. The programmer is using brute force and you can use your nimble to dance around the ring.
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Old 03-31-2023, 09:45 PM   #20
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Great article and interesting responses here. Iíve studied it all intensely and decided my best recourse is to buy a better hat.
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Old 04-01-2023, 06:06 AM   #21
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What's happening is that the overall odds are becoming way more efficient. That leaves fewer true overlays. So if want to have any prayer long term, imo we have to be more selective and focus on areas where we are at least battling another human instead of trying to out calculate math geniuses armed with learning computers.
Being more selective has turned into very little action. People who have participated daily over the course of years are going to find a better way to spend their time.

I don't know how you are going to replace that with people who live in Louisville and go to the races one week a year.
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Old 04-01-2023, 06:29 AM   #22
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My whole thing is, if you think you are going to win wagering 9/5 and 5/2 shots and grind and beat the whales.

You've already lost. I ain't throwing in the towel on that shit.

You have to get outside their wagering zone of which is 10/1 or more. Horses that don't fit what the computer or nerd from MIT can see from my 30 years of handicapping.

Old school stuff. Something many times that just catches our eye. Change here, change there, Class, works, jock change. Certain work pattern. A pace set up for a certain horse.

Sure, that might be a 6/1, but more often a 15/1 or better. Still some left. Just gotta fine them.
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Old 04-01-2023, 06:55 AM   #23
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My whole thing is, if you think you are going to win wagering 9/5 and 5/2 shots and grind and beat the whales.

You've already lost. I ain't throwing in the towel on that shit.

You have to get outside their wagering zone of which is 10/1 or more. Horses that don't fit what the computer or nerd from MIT can see from my 30 years of handicapping.

Old school stuff. Something many times that just catches our eye. Change here, change there, Class, works, jock change. Certain work pattern. A pace set up for a certain horse.

Sure, that might be a 6/1, but more often a 15/1 or better. Still some left. Just gotta fine them.
Dream on. They donít exist anymoreÖ..at least not enough to keep anybody from playing
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Old 04-01-2023, 07:19 AM   #24
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Dream on. They donít exist anymoreÖ..at least not enough to keep anybody from playing
You don't have to kick a man when he is down.
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Old 04-01-2023, 08:59 AM   #25
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buck up

no whining
no demoralizing
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Old 04-01-2023, 10:42 AM   #26
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Being more selective has turned into very little action. People who have participated daily over the course of years are going to find a better way to spend their time.
I agree with you 100%.

My approach is not to know a little about everything. It’s to try to know a lot about a few things. I focus on certain types of races using certain techniques and stick with that. I think that gives me my best chance of winning. I don’t even bother looking at a lot of races and even days anymore. But within the races I do look at, there are fewer opportunities because the fields are smaller and there is better information out there. I include in that some very good podcasts informing other players.

I do a LOT of work for a small return and the satisfaction of seeing a plus sign. I’m getting closer to the age where I’m going to conclude there are better things to do with my life. Then I’ll just follow the sport.

I don’t have a solution for it. The economics of the sport are terrible compared to alternatives.
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Old 04-01-2023, 11:01 AM   #27
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You don't have to kick a man when he is down.
Reality bites.
(Not actually aimed at you.)

Surprisingly, artful handicapping has a better chance of winning in this era than ever before.

However, most artful handicappers lack a reality component.

In this age, swinging for the fences (8/1 and up) will give you a shot at about 12% of the winners. (And each winner must be cut out of the herd that contains 24 losers.)


The artfulness needs to be applied to analyzing who is likely to be a losing proposition among the low odds horses instead of stabbing at longshots.

It's a huge shift in mindset; one that few are willing to make.
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Old 04-01-2023, 12:10 PM   #28
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I would think that the public odds (as directed by the whales) are sharp enough that any bet you might make on some of these short fields is a negative expectation bet unless you have a generous rebate program to get you back to profit.
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Old 04-01-2023, 12:22 PM   #29
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entertainment only

game of skill is a craft and a science.
it exists
you are actually allowed to exploit edges in this game of skill
but the margin is small and as it is, it takes more than a mid-level and recreational players can handle.

meanwhile the powers that be do nothing about the CRW teams or takeout. Instead it's an entertainment event on big days. And just another gambling business for suckers/losers.

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Old 04-01-2023, 03:03 PM   #30
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Dream on. They donít exist anymoreÖ..at least not enough to keep anybody from playing
People might not like it to hear, but what you're saying is just blunt reality. I'm not saying no one on the planet who isn't a whale can turn a profit this year. Sure, they could hit a big Pick 5, or they could find some sort of short-term hot streak that they get ahead on and then quit for the year. There's always that 1%.

But anyone who is seriously talking about taking on the "nerds" and how these geeks can't find those 10-1 shots, you know they don't even understand the current game. Because the CRW teams DO find those 10-1 shots...but after they get through betting, they're not 10-1 anymore! That's literally the whole issue...better gamblers with more money sucking value from the pools.
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