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Old 03-14-2014, 07:13 AM   #1
Stillriledup
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Santa Anita Morning Line races 1 and 2 for Mar 14

Um, are these ML's "off"?

Race 2, five horse field, here's the ML:

4-5
8-5
5-2
9-2
9-2
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:11 AM   #2
ultracapper
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Santa Anita Morning Line

I have a real problem with the ML maker at Santa Anita.

From what I have always been told for the past 30 years of playing this game, the purpose of the morning line is to give the gamblers an educated guesstimate as to the distribution of the betting money. In other words, a great ML would look very much like the final odds, regardless of the race result.

The guy at Santa Anita, at least what I get from listening to him before every race, is handicapping the race and putting the horses in the order he thinks they will finish. Basically, he's giving us the results of his handicapping. There are numerous races every day in which he goes into how he handicapped a race in coming up with his ML favorite. Today he explained how he loved the way this particular horse battled down the lane in his previous race, and installed him as the 5/2 MLF. First flip, horse is 7/1, which in just reviewing the form initially, was much more correct than 5/2. I remember a number of months ago, when I first really noticed this, he had a horse that just broke maiden by 7 lengths listed at 20-1 in a StAl. The horse was immediately the 3-1 favorite, floated to 7, maybe because of his ml, and won by daylight. The reason he listed it at 20-1 ml.....because he wasn't impressed with the field in the horse's last race.

Do any of us really care beyond the usually curious, "who do like?", what this guy's handicapping results are? Wouldn't we rather have a better picture, as well as one can be reasonably painted, of where the money is going to go during the betting? Isn't that the purpose of the ml anyhow?

The way I would make a morning line for publication purposes would be to take the most influencial data relied on by the common handicapper, with no regard to the value I give to that data, and weigh those items in relation to the weight the "masses" refer to that data.

1. Beyers and/or track speed figures.
2. Recent finish positions
3. Horse's suitability to distance/surface/class
4. Connections (Particularly trainer and jock influences on the bettors)

These 4 factors alone are a huge determining factor in the "common" horseplayers betting decisions, and an "accurate" ml could probably be reliably posted by just taking these items into consideration. This guy at Santa Anita finds himself a half a dozen times a week defending his morning line favorite because he installed the horse as such because of his preference for the horse after handicapping the race and the bettors don't agree with him and didn't support the horse even close to making it the favorite in the early betting. The race I'm referring to today he made the 3 the 5/2 mlf, and then while discussing the horses while they were being saddled, started discussing the 4 and said, "this will be your post time favorite". SHOULDN'T HE HAVE MADE THE 4 THE MLF THEN? What the hell is he doing?

I'm looking at tomorrow's card, and I have already spotted a couple races where his MLF isn't even going to be close to the odds he has posted. It's just worthless. The reason a track has a ML is so we as gamblers can gage perceived hidden value. Instead at Santa Anita, we've got this ML, which has huge influence, regardless of what anybody may say, based on a guy's handicapping. It's just worthless.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:56 AM   #3
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I had also at one time thought or heard of the morning line as the linemaker's take on how the public will wager, but I've seen it done either way depending on who the linemaker is, and possibly taking other factors into account, such as putting limits on the odds at the upper and lower extremes of the line to make it appear that no horse is a hopeless longshot or a mortal lock. Also, regardless of how the linemaker approaches it, there's no guarantee that the public will conform to his thinking. In light of all those potential inconsistencies or unknowns, the only line to which I attach any importance is my own fair-odds line, even when sizing up races that have to be handicapped and bet before knowing how the public will actually wager, when the morning line is the only available "second opinion".

As Stillriledup indicated, there have also been previous threads on this topic. A search on "morning line" in the thread title currently yields 136 hits, including threads on Santa Anita specifically.

Last edited by Overlay; 03-29-2014 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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This ML is grossly inaccurate.

Assuming the usual 17% takeout for win and breakage to a dime, the maximum point value would add up to 125.5. (It would have to fall in a range of 120.5 to 125.5 to be viable)

This line adds up to 159.01.

A line like this predicts an underpayment based on the takeout.
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:56 PM   #5
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Track handicapper and track odds maker should be two entirely different functions. If you are the track handicapper, such as Brad Free for the DRF at SA, then his opinion is what we are looking for. If you are the track odds maker, I believe his name is John White at SA, then it is your job to predict to the best of your ability what the final odds will be, or at least paint a general picture as to which horses will be bet heavier than the other horses. If the track odds maker is basing it on his handicapping and trying to predict an order of finish, he isn't providing any service at all. To come right out and tell you who the MLF is and then move your discussion on to the next horse and come right out and say this will be the betting favorite at post time is confusing at best. And frankly, I have no issue with him stating why he made a horse a MLF if it is based on those things that predict what the betting public will do. Yesterday, he should have made the 4 the MLF, explained why it would be bet to favoritism, because he obviously knew, and then move on and say that he liked the 3, and explain that. He's still muddling hcpper and ml maker responsibilities, but at least he's handling it properly, in my eyes anyway. I saw zero value in him making the 3 the mlf knowing full well it wouldn't go favored. It's more like he was trying to show us how good a handicapper he was, and if the 3 won, then after the race get to boast about how he should have been listened to. It was a worthless exercise on his part yesterday, and unfortunately, it isn't isolated to this instance. Anybody can make a crappy ml, but at least stick to the objective of trying to predict the ending odds.

If a horse at SA is bet down or gets away on the board, we have no idea whether it means anything other than White didn't handicap the race very well. Useless info, oh, and this is the track that's handling $8mil to $10mil in bets a day. GREAT!!!!
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:59 PM   #6
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The 5-2 horse was scratched. Any chance what you saw on the ML was readjusted for the 5-2 scratch which we know Cali racing does.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:11 PM   #7
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And as for who started a thread where.....who cares, unless

1) There's a pissing match going on here I have no knowledge of, and won't participate in anyway, and

2) There are moderators on this board that do an outstanding job. If they see a need to clean up threads/posts, I have no issue with that.

Should I send Stillriledup flowers for stepping on his toes? I don't know that he was trying to make the point I was trying to make anyway, so it's two different discussions.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:15 PM   #8
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At some minor tracks the hotdog vendors double as the M.Line makers,and most of the time their morning line is more accurate than that know nothing Jon White.

Last edited by Silver florin; 03-29-2014 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some_One
The 5-2 horse was scratched. Any chance what you saw on the ML was readjusted for the 5-2 scratch which we know Cali racing does.
It was race #2 yesterday. Field was intact. He made the #4 the 4-1 4th choice, knowing full well it would go off favored. He didn't like him though in that race. He liked the #3, which went off at 6-1 and was installed as the 5-2 MLF. An absolutely worthless ML.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver florin
At some minor tracks the hotdog vendors double as the M.Line makers 😄
As long as they do it right, who cares.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultracapper
And as for who started a thread where.....who cares, unless

1) There's a pissing match going on here I have no knowledge of, and won't participate in anyway, and

2) There are moderators on this board that do an outstanding job. If they see a need to clean up threads/posts, I have no issue with that.

Should I send Stillriledup flowers for stepping on his toes? I don't know that he was trying to make the point I was trying to make anyway, so it's two different discussions.
I merged the two since it is two similar discussions, albeit the points are different. One is the morning line is bad because it isn't mathematically correct, the other is that the line is bad because the line is personal handicapping, not handicapping how the public will bet. I thought there was enough in common to merge them, no harm intended.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:35 PM   #12
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No offense taken. I'm more than satisfied playing under yours and the other moderators rules. All in all, this is a pretty good forum.
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultracapper
And as for who started a thread where.....who cares, unless

1) There's a pissing match going on here I have no knowledge of, and won't participate in anyway, and

2) There are moderators on this board that do an outstanding job. If they see a need to clean up threads/posts, I have no issue with that.

Should I send Stillriledup flowers for stepping on his toes? I don't know that he was trying to make the point I was trying to make anyway, so it's two different discussions.
www.1800flowers.com

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Old 03-29-2014, 10:31 PM   #14
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I have written at length about Jon White's poor math for putting together a morning line at SA. I'm not going to go over it once again, but I will say this -
I have reached the conclusion that it may be a conscious effort to increase handle.
When 60-70% of the horses you list go off at higher odds at post time, perhaps the betting public think they are actually getting good value when the M/L odds were much lower on their selection?

Or, most likely, he just doesn't have a clue about odds percentages.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horses4courses
I have written at length about Jon White's poor math for putting together a morning line at SA. I'm not going to go over it once again, but I will say this -
I have reached the conclusion that it may be a conscious effort to increase handle.
When 60-70% of the horses you list go off at higher odds at post time, perhaps the betting public think they are actually getting good value when the M/L odds were much lower on their selection?

Or, most likely, he just doesn't have a clue about odds percentages.
Either he has no clue OR he's "bought and paid for" by management who is telling him to lie to the public.
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