Horse Racing Forum - PaceAdvantage.Com - Horse Racing Message Board

Go Back   Horse Racing Forum - PaceAdvantage.Com - Horse Racing Message Board > Thoroughbred Horse Racing Discussion > Handicapper's Corner


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 13 votes, 4.92 average.
Old 06-16-2013, 03:43 PM   #1
traynor
Registered User
 
traynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,626
Rep Power: 0 traynor is an unknown quantity at this point
How Do You Determine Class?

I have a major problem buying into the correlations of "class" and "speed." It is easy, convenient, and doesn't require much thought or effort to average a bunch of races and declare that because "better horses run faster" one can easily categorize the "class" of a horse by fitting it into a pigeonhole on a par chart. It may have made Quirin's algorithms to generate "par times" for various "classes" of races simpler, or Beyer's "projected speed" figures easier to handle, but I am highly skeptical that the massaging of various speed and pace numbers generates anything useful in the area of "class."

I have no comment to make on BRIS pars (or anyone else's) because I don't use them. I tried everything available some years ago, decided the logic used in creating them was seriously deficient, and the only solution (for me, and for my own wagering) was to create my own class level charts based on "other criteria."

A primary consideration in that endeavor was(is) an in-depth analysis of race conditions at a given track, in particular the ability of a horse in good form to perform competitively in "adjacent" class levels. Speed and pace figures were completely ignored in the determinations. I don't do stuff like this to keep an idle mind busy. I do it because it is profitable.

So the question is, what process do you personally use to determine if a given horse is going up in class, down in class, or is entered at essentially the same class level as in the immediately preceding races? And--once that determination has been made (if in fact it is made), what do you do with it?
traynor is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 03:54 PM   #2
Overlay
 
Overlay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Posts: 7,680
Rep Power: 23 Overlay will become famous soon enough
I find that purse or earnings formulas are still useful in class determination, particularly if they also take consistency into account, and are supplemented in the proper proportion by other metrics addressing speed, running style, and condition.
Overlay is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
Augenj
Top Horse Analytics
 
Augenj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 10,169
Rep Power: 16 Augenj will become famous soon enough
Race purse, current and past.
Augenj is online now   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
Robert Fischer
clean money
 
Robert Fischer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 17,624
Rep Power: 31 Robert Fischer has a spectacular aura aboutRobert Fischer has a spectacular aura about
Classy horses are talented, and they have the qualities that are required to run the race on their own terms.

Talent is speed. Running the race on their own terms allows them to fully express their talent.

Class will negatively affect a "cheap" horse by way of adversity.
__________________
Preparation. Discipline. Patience. Decisiveness.
Robert Fischer is online now   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
BlueChip@DRF
Random Numbers Generator
 
BlueChip@DRF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the grandstand looking under the seats for tickets or food
Posts: 1,931
Rep Power: 19 BlueChip@DRF is on a distinguished road
Average earnings per start would be a good place to start.
__________________
KEEP CALM AND BET THE BOMB

Always bet the if it's grey.
BlueChip@DRF is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
CincyHorseplayer
Registered User
 
CincyHorseplayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cincinnati,Ohio
Posts: 5,289
Rep Power: 19 CincyHorseplayer is a jewel in the roughCincyHorseplayer is a jewel in the roughCincyHorseplayer is a jewel in the roughCincyHorseplayer is a jewel in the rough
The first thing I look at with any race is conditions and class ability of all the entrants with wins and up close finishes and as a thing in itself without any reference to speed or pace figures(at least initially).The location,surface,level,the movement around,it IS how you get to know the personality of the horse and the trainer.

What to do with it.I love outrun lines.It makes a horse shipping in from Hoosier Park to Beulah win at 4-1 or 10-1 because outrun speed competitive in today's race,instead of being in the vacuum of a faster race the horse finds itself in the ideal spot and gets aggressive.I love people who boast of never looking at past performances.It makes a horse that nearly won on OC62/N2X that is competing in an OC32/N1X win at 6-1.It makes layoff horse that nearly won a G3 race as a 2 year old 6 months ago win a N1X at 4-1 because it's speed figure is 6-8 points below the top in the field.Class is always relative to the field,but when comparing competitive speed the horse that earns it vs better is nearly always better than those who earn it vs lesser.I think only a few of us believe in it because it is such a race specific concept.It is only vaguely testable in a database.The latter being the criteria for belief,therefore it is not believed,therefore it is an overlay.

I'm not sure if I completely grasp where you were going with your post but this is the best answer I can give right now.Things like this arouse my interest because it fits neatly into my theory of all races as single factor events.1 factor that dominates a specific race and sits atop the hierarchy and renders secondary all other factors.And it can be so dominant that it can render 4-5 positive factors meaningless and underplayed.A single factor can shatter any theory of what is positive in any handicapping theory,in any database,single race dependant.Class is definitely one of those factors.And the more it is not believed the bigger it will indeed be overlayed.I like to look at it in isolation like I think you are saying you do.

Last edited by CincyHorseplayer; 06-16-2013 at 04:25 PM.
CincyHorseplayer is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
MJC922
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 801
Rep Power: 7 MJC922 is on a distinguished road
Having wrestled for many many years with time as the measure of class I eventually had to walk away from it. It was a difficult choice because I believe in a perfect world the clock will in fact allow us to capture class within the effort (as pace) however IMO there are currently too many other factors around to obscure this and it's not likely to change anytime soon (if ever), factors like wind, humidity, surface speed and then the real kicker are incorrect timings which my last research in this area flagged literally thousands per year on an annual basis (that is if you're breaking it down to interior fractions). So I mean absolutely no disrespect to those who stay on in the speed figure battles, but the best thing I did for myself was to get away from time. These days I generate class ratings instead of speed, horse against horse stuff, not Jim Quinn's class of the field ratings but ones of my own design. If we can rate an effort for class that's a start, I'm sure there are many ways other than mine. Though I haven't researched which efforts to use I have for years leaned toward using two relatively recent efforts. My leanings these days are to use class as an early elimination, and then move more deeply into current form to separate contenders, bringing in supplemental info from replays and physical appearance, and last but not least the odds I'm being offered will quite often be the deciding factor in which one gets the final investment especially in contentious races.

Last edited by MJC922; 06-16-2013 at 06:23 PM.
MJC922 is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 06:32 PM   #8
Robert Goren
Racing Form Detective
 
Robert Goren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Lincoln, Ne but my heart is at Santa Anita
Posts: 16,316
Rep Power: 30 Robert Goren has a spectacular aura aboutRobert Goren has a spectacular aura aboutRobert Goren has a spectacular aura about
There is no easy way. You have to do your own home work and compare how horses run when they change claiming prices and conditions. I was going to do some research into, but this damned dizziness put a stop to that. I still think there might be a market for class numbers similar to Beyers for speed, but it just not going to be me who develops it.
__________________
Some day in the not too distant future, horse players will betting on computer generated races over the net. Race tracks will become casinos and shopping centers. And some crooner will be belting out "there used to be a race track here".
Robert Goren is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 06:34 PM   #9
PhantomOnTour
C'est Tout
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cajunland
Posts: 10,521
Rep Power: 19 PhantomOnTour will become famous soon enough
First - how does one define class?

>the ability to carry ones speed thru fast splits and battle on?
>a horse who responds when challenged (even if he eventually loses)and takes up the bit...ala Shackleford or Silver Charm ?
>a horse who has won or been competitive vs higher levels than today's opposition?
>a horse merely coming out of a fast race?
>a horse merely coming out of a race at a higher level?
>bloodlines?

My opinion of class may differ from many, but to me class is the fight a horse puts up even if he's tired or in against supposedly classier rivals.
Class is the horse who always responds when they come to challenge him, no matter the surface, distance, or competition.
__________________
Mise En Place
Ferme la bouche
PhantomOnTour is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 06:55 PM   #10
traynor
Registered User
 
traynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,626
Rep Power: 0 traynor is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goren
There is no easy way. You have to do your own home work and compare how horses run when they change claiming prices and conditions. I was going to do some research into, but this damned dizziness put a stop to that. I still think there might be a market for class numbers similar to Beyers for speed, but it just not going to be me who develops it.
The most useful approach I have found is in comparing how horses perform when "moved up" or "moved down" within adjacent class levels. That takes a mountain of coding to even begin to look at--but what it indicates (if successful) is that "class levels" are way different than ordinarily perceived.

I agree that there is probably a good market for class numbers (especially if they are isolated from, and do not depend on, pace and speed figures or conventional "par times").
traynor is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 07:01 PM   #11
traynor
Registered User
 
traynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,626
Rep Power: 0 traynor is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlay
I find that purse or earnings formulas are still useful in class determination, particularly if they also take consistency into account, and are supplemented in the proper proportion by other metrics addressing speed, running style, and condition.
I thought it was pretty well accepted "wisdom" that the inflated purses of state-bred races and racinos made/make use of the earnings box way less useful than 20-25 years ago. I generate all the standard values (in researching), but none seem really useful. In a limited number of races, it may seem that APV, EPS, win%, etc. are meaningful and significant. In larger collections, that significance seems to diminish.
traynor is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 07:03 PM   #12
traynor
Registered User
 
traynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,626
Rep Power: 0 traynor is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augenj
Race purse, current and past.
Same problem as using the earnings box. Especially when the purses may be essentially the same for several different class levels (within or adjacent to other classes).
traynor is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 07:11 PM   #13
thaskalos
The Sleeper Must Awaken
 
thaskalos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 21,717
Rep Power: 44 thaskalos has much to be proud ofthaskalos has much to be proud ofthaskalos has much to be proud ofthaskalos has much to be proud ofthaskalos has much to be proud ofthaskalos has much to be proud ofthaskalos has much to be proud ofthaskalos has much to be proud of
To me class is just one piece of the handicapping puzzle. In my own play...I am not trying to determine which horse qualifies to be called the "class of the race"; I am trying to determine if the horse "belongs" in the field which it is asked to face today.

Long and painful experience has convinced me that "class" cannot be accurately measured by speed and pace figures...nor can it be determined by a horse's earnings.

I am primarily a pace/speed handicapper...and I have found that most horses do not reproduce their lofty speed/pace figures when they are raised in class...even if this rise in class appears insignificant to the naked eye.

Consequently...I refuse to rate horses off of races which are lower "class-wise" than the races that they find themselves in today.
__________________
The great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think we are right...but not knowing enough to know we are wrong.
thaskalos is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 07:11 PM   #14
traynor
Registered User
 
traynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,626
Rep Power: 0 traynor is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fischer
Classy horses are talented, and they have the qualities that are required to run the race on their own terms.

Talent is speed. Running the race on their own terms allows them to fully express their talent.

Class will negatively affect a "cheap" horse by way of adversity.
''

I understand, but what exactly are you saying? I have read (and heard) endless explanations of why "cheap speed folds under pressure." The vast majority of the situations in which that appears to be the case are an illusion. The entry was (often) a one-race wonder that peaked and tailed off after a "good" race. The situation looks entirely different if studied closely, considering the probabilities of improved or declining performance regardless of the class level at which entered.

I have also read (and heard) endless explanations of how "class" manifests itself within a race to enable "higher class" horses to defeat "lower class" horses--while running slower than the "lower class" horses. It is nice in theory, but the reality seems to be based on a very limited sample of remembered events, rather than something that can be defined and quantified. It is like Janus' definition of groupthink--it can only be applied in retrospect.
traynor is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 06-16-2013, 07:14 PM   #15
traynor
Registered User
 
traynor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 6,626
Rep Power: 0 traynor is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueChip@DRF
Average earnings per start would be a good place to start.
Gerge Kaywood swore by EPS as a qualifier, especially at "lower class" tracks. Again, I am not so sure that it is as useful now as it was (or may have been) in the past.
traynor is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Reply




Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

» Advertisement
» Current Polls
What are the true odds of a Baffert Trifecta in the Kentucky Derby
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 1999 - 2018 -- PaceAdvantage.Com -- All Rights Reserved -- Best Viewed in a modern browser @ 1280x720 Resolution Or Higher
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program
designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.