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Old 03-10-2021, 09:03 PM   #1
ultracapper
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Tough Assessment

39 years of this handicapping thing and still......

have real trouble assessing just how good a closing kick is.

I see them passing tiring horses.

I see them run a solid final 1/4 mile time.

I see them eat up ground from the 1/8 pole and just miss.

And then, the next race........flat in the lane......sometimes....and other times....... finish strong again and get there.

If you understand the point I'm making, any feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:13 AM   #2
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my two cents. who wins can be very different from race to race, having nothing to do with what YOU know. as you know trainers saffie, et al. are caught up in a scandal with performance enhancing drugs used in horseraces, that COULD be why some horses win. and then in the next race the horse will run true to form, and the race after that judgement error on the part of the rider ruins a horse you think was the best chance, and so on and so on.

the only control YOU have is the amount of money wagered. that is your 100% control in the game of horseracing. in my 40 years of gambling i have never seen ANY sensible money management where one gambles more than a few percent of their total bankroll on any single racing event.
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:45 AM   #3
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It's a bit of dilemma, especially for turf routes where closing kick matters a lot more.

Looking at the closing times helps in turf routes because the pace tends to be slow and everyone is doing their best running at the end, but even there there are large enough variations in pace to make time comparisons difficult.

I usually start with 12 seconds per furlong in the last 3F, 3.5F, or 4F and see how much better or worse the horses was than that.

Another thing to look at is relative close. What good is it if some horse closed from 8th to 2nd if the horse that was 9th early won and the horse that was 10th early finished 3rd. That was probably just a race flow issue and not a huge close.

On dirt, I don't look at closing times as much.
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:47 PM   #4
Robert Fischer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultracapper View Post
39 years of this handicapping thing and still......

have real trouble assessing just how good a closing kick is.

I see them passing tiring horses.

I see them run a solid final 1/4 mile time.

I see them eat up ground from the 1/8 pole and just miss.

And then, the next race........flat in the lane......sometimes....and other times....... finish strong again and get there.

If you understand the point I'm making, any feedback would be appreciated.


Every airport passenger (HORSE) has it's own unique ability.

In picking a winner or understanding a race, you have to consider both the ability of the airport passenger, and a unique "Travelator/moving-walkway" (EVERY OTHER SIGNIFICANT FACTOR THAT AFFECTS THE OUTCOME) for each horse as well.

Then, in betting for value, you have to consider an additional factor of the odds. The Odds make it so that most, or even all of the horses will end up further away from the plane (or car-rental!), than when it started.
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Last edited by Robert Fischer; 03-11-2021 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:51 PM   #5
Tom
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To judge the closers, I look at the leader.
Was he loose on a slow pace, easy lead?
Did he come home, on the lead, in 24.2? After a 46.4?

Was he press early an forced to run a 45.2 and come home in 25?

Race shape, fast, average or slow early is what decides that for me.
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Old 03-12-2021, 02:34 AM   #6
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Old 03-12-2021, 12:38 PM   #7
usfgeology
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom View Post
To judge the closers, I look at the leader.
Was he loose on a slow pace, easy lead?
Did he come home, on the lead, in 24.2? After a 46.4?

Was he press early an forced to run a 45.2 and come home in 25?

Race shape, fast, average or slow early is what decides that for me.
I agree with this. Closing is just a style and the effectiveness of closers is strongly dictated by the pace and the number of horses who are trying to set or keep pace.

Closers need something to close into.
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Old 03-13-2021, 09:41 PM   #8
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IMO...the problem with the closers isn't that they don't often get the hot pace that they need in order to put their closing kick to effective use. I can understand why the closer can't always finish close to the winner in the race. What confuses me is that the closer's late kick isn't consistently demonstrated race to race. In one race the closer will finish second while running a 24-second final quarter, and in its next two races the closer will come home in 25+ while failing to beat even half the field...even though all the other race dynamics remain the same. The speed horse demostrates its early speed consistently, even when it finishes poorly in the race. If the speedster can run a 45-second half...then that clocking wll show up time after time, in good races and in bad. But the closer who is capable of a 24-second last quarter will run that quarter infrequently...even though its early energy expenditure remains the same race-to-race.

That's why a horse like Zenyatta was so unique to me. The horse started in last place every single time...and she delivered her menacing closing kick in every single race. That's very rare...even on tracks that favor late speed.
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Old 03-14-2021, 12:54 PM   #9
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IMO ... horses are not machines and what you are seeing in the past performances is what they have done in the past and were capable of at that time.

It is difficult to predict how the horse will be feeling at the quarter pole or top of the stretch in this race. If the jockey feels he has plenty of horse left and the horse responds, they make a run today. Otherwise they maintain their position.

Everyone has seen a horse that only wins when they get the uncontested lead and keeps it. When they have a problem at the break and make a rush to try or get the lead, we already know what will most likely happen.

The truly classy horses, seem to win doing just as much as needed, and some of those always are pressors or midpack.

So can the jockey handle the type of horse they are on today?
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:51 PM   #10
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...................


I would say that jockey skill is more important when considering a closer because it's easy for them to run into trouble - getting blocked or getting forced very wide


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