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Old 03-26-2020, 11:58 PM   #1
thaskalos
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Surprising favorites...

This topic has been discussed here several times in the past, but it continues to fascinate me...and I've decided to bring it up again since we have so little else handicapping-related to talk about these days. I don't know how many members here found interest in today's 4th race at Gulfstream...and I wonder if those who did were as surprised to as I was when the BLAKEY went off as the prohibitive 8-5 choice in what appeared, to me at least, to be a very competitive race. And if there ARE handicappers here who actually had the as the clear favorite in this race...would they mind giving me a much-needed handicapping lesson on this matter? I know that there are some super-sophisticated handicappers out there who have access to unlimited resources and unapproachable artificial, and human, "intelligence"...but I always felt that, since we all use the same handicapping data...the prohibitive favorites of these races should at least make handicapping sense. I mean...there were almost $40,000 wagered on this horse to win today...so, it wasn't as if this was due to some "strong feeling" of some optimistic high-roller.

Could these mega-bettors be using handicapping information that the rest of us are not privy to?
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:37 AM   #2
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I've seen lots of strange favorites at Gulfstream.
Some of them win and others don't run well.

I don't have a huge database but I know that Luis Saez the jockey on #1 was the only jockey worth his weight on a horse that had a chance. With most of the other major jockeys missing from the race the crowd was drawn to #1.

One more thing E-Ponies picked him 1st, so he was probably picked 1st by other computerized picks.

https://e-ponies.com/racing-picks/pi...ate=2020-03-27
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:44 AM   #3
arw629
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I used the 1 and 2 only in my pick 5. I thought they would be co favorites but who else could u bet? The 6 didn’t look fast enough to keep up with the 2 and the 5 seems to be going in the wrong direction. Blakey definitely out ran the 5 two races back. Also the rider on the 5 IMo is awful.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:01 AM   #4
thaskalos
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Originally Posted by arw629 View Post
I used the 1 and 2 only in my pick 5. I thought they would be co favorites but who else could u bet? The 6 didn’t look fast enough to keep up with the 2 and the 5 seems to be going in the wrong direction. Blakey definitely out ran the 5 two races back. Also the rider on the 5 IMo is awful.
The way I saw this race developing...the was more than capable of keeping up with the . In fact...the main reason why I thought the was unworthy of the prohibitive favoritism was because of the better speed having been exhibited by both the and the going into this race. I also can't understand how the 5 could be accused of "going in the wrong direction" here.

Last edited by thaskalos; 03-27-2020 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:01 AM   #5
JerryBoyle
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I pulled up the metric which is the most "significant" for me, and the 1 has the largest (best) value. This is a competitor-based metric that looks at how a given runner has done against the competitors of his current competitors. The next "best" were the 6 and 5. The rest were closely grouped. This is just one metric, and I didn't bet on this race, so take from it what you will...
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:07 AM   #6
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Looking at a couple other metrics, the 1 had the best jockey (using a similar metric as mentioned above), and had the strongest post preference. He also had the strongest distribution of speed ratings, relative to the runners in the race.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:11 AM   #7
thaskalos
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Originally Posted by JerryBoyle View Post
Looking at a couple other metrics, the 1 had the best jockey (using a similar metric as mentioned above), and had the strongest post preference. He also had the strongest distribution of speed ratings, relative to the runners in the race.
Do your metrics supply a betting line for this race? If so...could you please list it as it applies to the race contenders? I am also hoping to get a chance to ask "mmmjjj" the same question.

Last edited by thaskalos; 03-27-2020 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:35 AM   #8
JerryBoyle
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Originally Posted by thaskalos View Post
Do your metrics supply a betting line for this race? If so...could you please list it as it applies to the race contenders? I am also hoping to get a chance to ask "mmmjjj" the same question.
Sure, below is what I would have made the race. Again, I'm not betting GP, so never placed any bets. The expected payoff is based on what the payoff was 60 seconds prior to the start of the race. At that time, I didn't show any edge on the 1, so I wouldn't have bet on it.

PHP Code:
  program_number   p_model  expected_payoff      edge
0              1  0.316708              2.6 
-0.176558
1              2  0.220341              5.0  0.101704
2              3  0.094534              8.7 
-0.177555
3              4  0.006405            156.6  0.003061
4              5  0.166781              4.2 
-0.299518
5              6  0.105063              9.0 
-0.054433
6              7  0.006677            107.2 
-0.284225
7              8  0.005390            128.1 
-0.309530
8              9  0.052937              9.4 
-0.502394
9             10  0.025163             24.7 
-0.378462 
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:38 AM   #9
thaskalos
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Thank you.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:20 AM   #10
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I gave that race a hard look.I had 4 horses open 1,2,9,10. Of the 4 ,the 1 was my last choice. The only reason I kept him open was the jockey. Saez in my opinion is a great speed jockey,but as much as I tried I couldn’t see this horse loose on the lead.On the numbers,the horse was just ordinary. I will admit I ended up skipping the race,but I did want to bet against the one. I just couldn’t find a solid play.I was leaning towards betting the 2,but that didn’t look like a great bet at the odds. The price on the 1 kept me interested in the race as a bet against. Originally this was a race,I wasn’t going to give a second glance.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:07 AM   #11
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IMO, a lot of the time you can't understand why a horses is the favorite it's because whatever figures you are using are different than the ones dominating the action at that track (typically TG and Rags), you are unaware of a trainer pattern, bias, or some other piece of information, or perhaps you are just misunderstanding or misinterpreting something in that horse's PPs.

I see things like that all the time when comparing my views to those of very good public handicappers. We sometimes disagree because we are looking at different figures or disagree about a bias etc.. We all occasionally have incorrect data or are misunderstanding something.

That said, this is also a battle between insiders and outsiders.

It's obvious that insiders often have an edge with first time starters and layoffs, but they also have access to information about a horse's recent condition on other horses. It may not be as significant because the horse is not an unknown, but it still represents some of the action on the board.

I didn't handicap the race and I'm not familiar with any of those horses, but I would guess the public tossed his last race because of the big jump in class and focused on his next to last at a similar level with Saez. That made him a solid contender. It would be tough for me to make that horse 8/5 unless I was convinced he was as good on dirt as on synth/turf and I was expecting a big race.

Also remember, sometimes underlays win.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:09 AM   #12
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In my opinion, a lot of so-called inside money, or "wise guy" money comes from the workouts. If you look at Blakey's, they were both 48.1 breezes over the track spaced six days apart and they are by far the two fastest workouts he shows. At Gulfstream, and in New York and So. Cal, there are professional gamblers who either pay for workout reports, or actually go and watch the workouts themselves. I agree that he appeared to be an underlay at those odds, but my guess is that the money has a lot to do with the way he trained into this race. When an $8,000 N3L claimer trains sharply, you can understand why someone who knew that this horse had worked sharply would be prepared to make a serious wager.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:41 AM   #13
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In my opinion, a lot of so-called inside money, or "wise guy" money comes from the workouts. If you look at Blakey's, they were both 48.1 breezes over the track spaced six days apart and they are by far the two fastest workouts he shows.
That makes perfect sense to me.

If you are a clocker or pay for competent training information and you knew that horse was coming up to a big race, it wasn't a stretch to think he was clearly better than those. That's kind of what I was referring to when I was talking about insiders. There are just services now can that help outsiders like us evaluate how a horse is training given most of us aren't at the track every morning watching all the horses work and taking notes.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:48 AM   #14
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I caught a $70 horse at Aqueduct a few weeks ago because the horse always trains slow and all of a sudden it turned in two fast workouts and was making its 2nd start for new barn, and the trainer is not noted for fast works. I figured that they must have figured out something about the horse. Sometimes little things make a horse happier, could be that they found something that was bothering the horse and fixed it. And, yes, I picked it to win on my service and on the Lawton sheet that we sell at the track. It was a wide open race so I was looking outside the box.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:02 AM   #15
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I caught a $70 horse at Aqueduct a few weeks ago because the horse always trains slow and all of a sudden it turned in two fast workouts and was making its 2nd start for new barn, and the trainer is not noted for fast works. I figured that they must have figured out something about the horse. Sometimes little things make a horse happier, could be that they found something that was bothering the horse and fixed it. And, yes, I picked it to win on my service and on the Lawton sheet that we sell at the track. It was a wide open race so I was looking outside the box.
Nice pick. I think the race we are talking about is somewhat different. In this race we had an over bet horse,who would be considered a”they knew” horse. Certainly at a higher price,this horse could have been bet. At 8/5, I found him hard to bet,but I do believe having Saez greatly contributed to the underlay. One thing you knew is that you had the best rider in the race and you had a potential speed horse from the inside. I believe the GP turf has be speed friendly.
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