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View Poll Results: What is your primary handicapping method?
Pen/Pencil and Paper 63 23.25%
Computer 102 37.64%
Mix of paper and computers 94 34.69%
Other 12 4.43%
Voters: 271. Non-members may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-26-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
thearmada
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Handicapping Method

As a response to the long thread about pen and pencil methods, what is your primary handicapping method? Pen/Pencil and paper, computer, or some other method? Personally I use a just a sharpie pen and mechanical pencil and the daily form/PP's. I have found it to work out for me out for me as I had about an even return for the year, I play strictly for hobby and self enjoyment.

What does everyone else use?
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:10 PM   #2
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I am still a P & P guy (47yrs of it), but I use the PDF version of the Past Perf's.....I use Foxit for making notations and markups, tho.....I use to have boxes and boxes of paper forms...No longer, as a big hard disk takes care of that....Not to mention the savings on ink and paper, a lot....

Now, I use the computer for a Wager Log/Diary Database only...

best,
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:13 AM   #3
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I suppose that at least some paper-and-pencil methods could be automated/converted to a computer format, provided that programming resources (time/money and knowledge) were available.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LottaKash
I am still a P & P guy (47yrs of it), but I use the PDF version of the Past Perf's.....I use Foxit for making notations and markups, tho.....I use to have boxes and boxes of paper forms...No longer, as a big hard disk takes care of that....Not to mention the savings on ink and paper, a lot....

Now, I use the computer for a Wager Log/Diary Database only...

best,
Can notes and markups be made with the free version of Foxit, or just a reader?

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:06 AM   #5
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I have data going back to Lotus 1-2-3 on a 286, starting in 1985. I moved it to R base in the 90s and then access. I found enough structure to be able to drop the relational side. I believe I'm beyond the stage of finding out what works.

At the same time I married into a California racing family. Fortunately, my wife doesn't train or have a track job, although she does have a small stable. She does get a number of mares from SA. And so over the years dinner coversations has included brawls about "your donkey can get to the half mile pole quick enough."

I've dropped all performance analysis and have started to focus on billionaire/ millionaires looking for a soft spot (because that's where I believe is the consistent money.) And the things they'll do to conceal their moves-- including low percentage or unkown jockeys, changes in distances, changes in surfaces, changes in tracks. Much of my play is based on past training habits of people such as Whittingham, Frankel, and now Baffert, and knowing when the high end is going to send their horses. Most of the clues won't be found in the past performances or speed ratings, especially at the high end. And therefore all of my computer usage is recording results and data. I don't use a computer to make selections. I believe putting a computer in charge will have marginal results at best.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:47 AM   #6
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I voted computer, I started about this time last year.

Even if you use a pen and paper method. (I did for 40 years)There is no excuse for not keeping records, and Excel can do that, and so much more.

If you list, Date, Track, Race number, Horse number, Method of selection, Race Type, Distance, Surface, Age, Class, Sex (The Seven) along with letting Excel do the math for hit rate and average odd, you can see instantly (with some very simple filters) how well you are doing while getting answers for, who, what, when and where.

Invaluable information.

I am playing thirteen tracks today, and could not imagine how I would do this without my computer and database software.

Regards,

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Old 01-27-2012, 10:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PICSIX
Can notes and markups be made with the free version of Foxit, or just a reader?

Thanks,

Mike
P6, YES you can make all the markups you like, but you will have to live with a "watermark" that will suddenly appear at the top of the page, when you go to save your work....That is all the functionality that you will lose tho....So, if you can live with the annoying watermark, you are good to go...

best,
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pondman
I have data going back to Lotus 1-2-3 on a 286, starting in 1985. I moved it to R base in the 90s and then access. I found enough structure to be able to drop the relational side. I believe I'm beyond the stage of finding out what works.

At the same time I married into a California racing family. Fortunately, my wife doesn't train or have a track job, although she does have a small stable. She does get a number of mares from SA. And so over the years dinner coversations has included brawls about "your donkey can get to the half mile pole quick enough."

I've dropped all performance analysis and have started to focus on billionaire/ millionaires looking for a soft spot (because that's where I believe is the consistent money.) And the things they'll do to conceal their moves-- including low percentage or unkown jockeys, changes in distances, changes in surfaces, changes in tracks. Much of my play is based on past training habits of people such as Whittingham, Frankel, and now Baffert, and knowing when the high end is going to send their horses. Most of the clues won't be found in the past performances or speed ratings, especially at the high end. And therefore all of my computer usage is recording results and data. I don't use a computer to make selections. I believe putting a computer in charge will have marginal results at best.
Would your methodolgy involve tote board analysis - seems like your approach follows the money trail (i.e. early money or late money)?
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:03 PM   #9
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I use both computer & then pen & paper. Computers are great for pointing out contenders & usually there's about 4 to 7 in a race. If I was to sum it up in one phrase- People have opinions. Numbers don't.

And then after getting the contenders I make my own numbers for that race, because no way would I ever play a computers top number blindly.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:24 PM   #10
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I am a pen and paper handicapper, and I use speed and pace analysis in order to make my selections. To form my opinion on a horse, I look at three things:

1.) THE HORSE'S FINAL-TIME SPEED RATINGS...to see how fast the horse is capable of running the distance when the conditions of the race are favorable, or adverse.

2.) THE HORSE'S FRACTIONAL TIMES...to see if there are any sudden bursts of speed within the race, which might indicate that either the jockey failed to properly ration the horse's speed, or that the horse is showing an improvement in form.

3.) A QUIRIN-TYPE SPEED/PACE RATING FOR THE RACES THE HORSE COMPETED IN...because I believe that the quality of the race itself has a lot to do with the individual performances of the horses involved.

I combine these three factors, and come up with speed/pace ratings for all the horses in the race. I then convert these speed/pace ratings into "power ratings"...and use these to structure my superfecta and trifecta wagers.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:14 PM   #11
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Thaskalos,

And does this methodology work for you?


Should I resist the urge to tell you all the reasons it can't?
(Oh, sorry. Wrong thread.)


Dave
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Schwartz
Thaskalos,

And does this methodology work for you?


Should I resist the urge to tell you all the reasons it can't?
(Oh, sorry. Wrong thread.)


Dave
I am still young, Dave (relatively speaking, of course)...and always eager to learn...so all is not lost.

I just have to pay closer attention to some of these "new school" posters...so I can pick up some pointers.

Live and learn, I say...
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pondman
I believe putting a computer in charge will have marginal results at best.
Well, you have to be in charge. To borrow a phrase from Ceasar Milan, you have to be the pack leader.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #14
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Pen and paper just won't do, unless you keep it simple and very basic.

Here is a rating which I have developed.

S-Factor = (Phi/n) *(Pr/Pl) *e^(A*F/n + B* R/nr)

I doubt anyone would want to use pen and paper to compute an S-Factor rating for each horse. Also some analysis is required to determine A and B. ...one can get very old fast doing analysis without a computer.

Alright what are the variables for the S-Factor?

Phi - Horse's odds in last race
n - # of runners in last race
Pr - Today's race purse
Pl - Purse last race
e - exponential function
^ - raised to the power
A - Constant to be determined
B - Constant to be determined
F - Finish in last race
R - Rank of average speed rating for the last two races
nr - # of runners in today's race

S-Factor -> The lower the better the rating.

How good is it? Test it yourself.

Mike (Dr Beav)
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrifectaMike

How good is it? Test it yourself.

Mike (Dr Beav)
May I ask, how did you come to developing this factor.
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