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A Zillion Thoughts (Part 1)
Let's start our two-part blog dedicated to your questions and comments (Part 2 should be posted on Monday or Tuesday).
Who decides which ROI Categories to include at the bottom of each of the PP's? And do you know the primary criteria (most starts, highest ROI, ect.)? A case in point: today's 7th at GGF: Lloyd Mason has two entrants-some of the categories are the same, and some are different. I know DRF has well over fifty categories for most trainers and that only five are shown for each horse, but I'm curious as to who selects what and why.
I'm not 100% positive, but I believe it is a computer-generated listing based on ROI as it pertains to the specific situations of the race in question.
Where can I get a "Disabled Listing" or a I.R. List that is kept current?
In the next few weeks, or so, I will be re-releasing the link for the "FormBlog Disabled List." I am still not 100% caught up, but it's coming along rather nicely. Until then, if anyone has a question regarding a runner, post it to the blog, and I'll find out what I can.
Before i move on to other things...... Does Saint Liam have any progeny out there? I had Buddy's Saint in my virtual stable but he passed.....
Upgrade, a four-year-old colt trained by Chad Brown, recently finished second in an entry-level allowance race on turf at Gulfstream Park with an 84 Beyer.
Saint Isabelle, a four-year-old filly trained by Mike Puype, finished second in the Palomares Stakes at Fairplex on September 24, and has been working this month at Santa Anita.
Four-year-old Westshore, second in the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga over the summer, recently returned to the worktab at Gulfstream Park for trainer James Baker.
Sheltowee, a half-brother to Giant Oak, may return soon for Chris Block.
Battle Royal, a four-year-old gelding trained by Michael Stidham, won a 'n2L' claimer at Fair Grounds on January 6 with an 82 Beyer.
Cutter just finished second in an entry-level allowance race at Charles Town on Thursday evening.
St. Vickie's Charm is preparing for her four-year-old debut at Oaklawn for Bret Calhoun.
Christmas for Liam, a 93 Beyer maiden winner last year, is working at Gulfstream for Todd Pletcher.
Heavenly Choir just won her maiden by eight lengths at Laurel on January 11 while Seeking the Point took a claimer at Laurel earlier today.
Courtesy Title won a 'n3L' claimer at Hawthorne on December 29.
As for unraced progeny of Saint Liam, Unbridled Saint breezed at Palm Meadows on January 16.
You asked for us to post the horses we were looking for updates on, here are some that I wonder about:
Where Are They?
Misremembered – never mind, he worked yesterday.
Conveyance worked once in mid-October at Hollywood before being shipped to Dubai. He is currently under the care of trainer Satish Seemar, and is being considered for one of the major races on Dubai World Cup evening. The plan is for him to return to the United States after Dubai.
Connemara was shipped to Qatar after finishing tenth in the Lexington at Keeneland. He is 0-3 on grass there with his most recent effort a fourth-place finish in the $11,000 Thoroughbred Stakes on January 13 at Dohar Racetrack.
Sierra Sunset was preparing for the Alamedan Stakes at Pleasanton in July, but missed the race, and hasn't been heard from since.
According to the work tab, Coast Guard, unraced since finishing fourth in an entry-level allowance race on April 30, 2008, went four furlongs in 50.20 at Portland Meadows on December 19.
Medaglia d'Amour suffered a foot injury after winning the Wilshire at Hollywood in May.
Misremembered injured a foot after winning the Big 'Cap. His goal is to defend his championship at Santa Anita on March 5.
Point Encounter suffered a soft-issue injury, and hasn't worked since July. He is expected to return to training this year.
Take Control came down with sore shins after winning his maiden late in 2009. He last worked on November 10 at Hollywood.
Haven't heard anything about Compari. He last raced in July.
*LSD , you probably know this. What Active North American Rider is currently 2nd behind Russel BaZe in total winners and how many 1000's of winners do they trail him by ? My guess is nobody is within 6500 winners of him.
*Dan, thanks for putting Petes request for pp's of Fit to Scout up. She was the horse I thought . She paid me $21 not $51 . LOL. A clear case of the older I get the better I was. LOL. Maybe you can find a horse named Cyclone Jimmy or Jimmy Cyclone ? He ran his final race in '83 or '84 and it was a winning one at a big number in a cheap claimer.He was DEAD before he crossed the line, but he made it, with a little HELP of course. Also GritZ and FritZ please if possible. He ran in the same time period. Thanks either way.
*Last I heard top bsf clicked at near 29 % not sure if that has changed. LSD probably can answer that as he is the answer man.
*Anybody out there that can tell me the last race surface & distance of the Downhill winners and placers on 1/13 . I would be grateful for the info
*I say Haynesfield is the only GR.1 winner Quitter road EVER beat in a winning effort. If someone knows different please tell me I'm wrong and name the other (s)
Russell "The Muscle" easily leads active riders with 11,125 victories. Edgar Prado is second with 6,433.
The two past performances that you requested are at the bottom of this blog posting.
I don't know about any recent trends, but Andy Beyer wrote this in his 1993 book, BEYER ON SPEED:
"...This, of course, is what happened to speed figures. In the past I have collected odds as high as 50 to 1 on horses with the top figure. I would guess as recently as 1990 a bet on every top figure would have yielded a profitable ROI. But the inclusion of speed figures in the Daily Racing Form has inevitably depressed the odds on horses with good numbers. In view of this reality, how should handicappers use speed figures today?
To find the answer, I asked the Racing Form's computer experts to examine the performance of speed figures in a large sample of races. I was not looking for gimmicks - for example, filly sprinters who have an advantage of 6 to 10 points in the figures and made their last start in the last 15 to 24 days will produce a positive ROI. I wanted facts about the strengths and weaknesses of speed handicapping today. These were the ground rules of the study: Only races on dirt were considered, because turf events are confused too often by the presence of horses who haven't raced on grass before. Only races on fast tracks were used. Races were not considered unless every horse had at least two career starts, so that first-time starters wouldn't confuse the study. If the horse with the top figure had not run within the last 45 days, the whole race was disregarded.
After looking at the most recent figures of each horse in more than 10,000 qualifying races, the Racing Form's computer produced a surprisingly unambiguous answer to one's question: What constitutes a meaningful advantage in the figures? The answer is: A top figure is significant when it is at least three points higher than the second-best figure in the field. In sprint races, three points translates into a margin of a length or more. But in just about every category the computer examined, an edge of only one or two points proved to be relatively inconsequential.
This was the overall performance of top-figure horses with an advantage of three points or more over the competition:
Number of horses Win Percentage ROI
3,710 29 1.85
It might seem logical that wagers based on the speed of horses would be more productive in shorter races than in longer ones, and, indeed, this was the case:
Distance Number of horses Win Percentage ROI
Routes 1,972 28 1.80
Sprints 1,738 30 1.90
There was also a difference in the predictability of the sexes:
Sex Number of horses Win Percentage ROI
Females 685 26 1.64
Males 3,025 30 1.90
Although betting blindly on every horse with a top figure can no longer produce a net profit, these results underscore the enduring power of speed handicapping. An ROI of 1.90 in sprints and races for males, or 1.85 overall, is a loss of only 5 to 7 1/2 percent - overcoming much of the 17 percent tax bite to which bettors are typically subjected. And this study did not attempt to weed out weak horses by applying any handicapping logic (except the exclusion of horses laid off 45 days). If a p lodder had earned his top figure running at two miles and was now going five furlongs, he still counted in the sample. If the rivals of the top horse seemed certain to improve because they had an excuse for a poor recent figure, the computer didn't recognize that face, either. Nor did these statistics take into account the most important consideration in gambling: value. A horse who is a good bet at 3 to 1 might properly be shunned at 6 to 5. And, of course, the ROI statistics generated by the Racing Form's analysis are based only on win bets, which are not necessarily relevant to exactas, trifectas, and other exotics and which can offer much more attractive opportunities...Yet without the application of any skill, judgment, or intelligent betting strategy, speed figures can take a horseplayer to the brink of profitability.
Moreover, the broad Racing Form study looked at a sample that included plenty of marginally superior top figures. If it was possible to achieve an ROI of 1.90 with this large group, surely a bettor could make a healthy profit by waiting for powerhouse double-fig and triple-fig situations..."
"...Here was the performance of one category of standouts, double-figure horses who had an edge of ten points over the field in both of their last two starts:
Number of horses Win Percentage ROI
All 188 39 1.96
Sprints 82 41 2.15
Males 160 39 1.98
One might think that a purely mechanical handicapping system that picked around 40 percent winners would be stunningly profitable. But when the public identifies a simple, obvious winning situation - as it did with Oscar Barrera claims - it will bet enthusiastically enough to destroy the odds. Other types of overwhelming speed-figure standouts had similarly impressive winning percentages and unimpressive ROIs. The only such horses who may occasionally produce decent value are those who have arrived from a lesser racing cirucit...and those who are stepping up sharply in class.
There is an important lesson to be learned from these statistics. The quest for the most profitable uses of figures is not going to be answered by looking for obvious standouts. Bettors need to interpret and apply speed figures with a bit more subtlety - to find horses who have strong speed-handicapping virtues but who aren't the obvious no-brainers that anybody can spot..."
As for the downhill runners on January 13 at Santa Anita, here's what I found:
1. Ain - 1 1/8 miles - Dirt
2. The Unusual One - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Cushion Track
3. Take a Yard - 1 3/16 Miles - Turf
1. Advantage Player - 5 Furlongs - Cushion Track
2. Ricketyracketyruss - 1 Mile - Turf
3. Working At Night - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Cushion Track
1, Celestic Night - 1 Mile - Turf
2. Metropolitan Man - 5 Furlongs - Turf
3. Diamond Geezah - 7 Furlongs - Turf
I didn't do an exhaustive look at all of the horses that Quality Road defeated, but he beat Capt. Candyman Can (2009 King's Bishop) in the 2009 Fountain of Youth and 2009 Amsterdam. He also vanquished Warrior's Reward (2010 Carter) in the 2010 Metropolitan Handicap and Mine That Bird (2009 Kentucky Derby) in the 2010 Woodward.
Hi Dan....Thanks for for helpful insight to handicapping races !!! Loved your betting maidens book too. had a different type of "lost but not found" question ive had for a while...One of my favorite top handicap horses was a horse named"DYNEVER" ive oftened wondered where he is now,and if he was a gelding,or did he pass away...dont ever see him in stallion registry anywhere
Thanks in Advance
Thanks for the kind words. Dynever was sold to Saudi Arabian interests after finishing second in the 2005 Hal's Hope at Gulfstream. Renamed Ittasak, he finished second in the 2005 Dubai World Cup, and was last standing stud at Al Janadriyah Farm in Saudi Arabia.
in my opinion for what its worth I think having watched thousands of races over the years that the jockey is the key to the horse winning a race.
I have seen a horse ( as we all have) go from a plodder to a winner with a positive jockey change. of coarse if the trainer does not have the horse
ready then nothing can make a winner out of that senario. I have watched much to my chagrin Kent D. give up on his steed if he thought he could
not win and deprive the bettor from a better placing. Big Brown for example imo . of course we all know that Pace makes the Race.
its food for thought and appreciate the feedback, Dan what do you think? god luck all as Harvey Pack said "May the horse be with you"
If you put a gun to my head and asked me the percentages, I'd say it's 85% the horse, 10% the trainer, and 5% the rider. Just my opinion, of course, but I don't think Zippy Chippy would have done better if Jerry Bailey and Bill Mott took over his handling from Willie Belmonte and Felix Monserrate. Conversely, I think any competent jockey in the world could have rode any of the greats when they were at their very best. There has to be inherent talent in the horse if it's to be a prolific winner. There will be cases when an underperformer moves into another barn, and improves by leaps and bounds. While it's possible that the horse "finally realized his potential," or was simply trained correctly, or was given time to work out its issues, it's also been argued that underhanded practices (illegal drugs) were the cause of the improvement. I think most jockeys would tell you that the difference between a 12% rider and a 20% rider comes down to which gets the better stock to ride."
Meanwhile, The Factor's preparing new won-lengths records. Whatever will he do at a distance? Dan wrote in an earlier blog post that “While we never know until they try, his pedigree may be geared more to races up to 1 1/16 miles (1 1/8 miles, perhaps, at the most).” How can we tell that? Is it based on statistical study of the performances of his pedigree? I know it's a potentially enormous question and the proper answer is a library card, but basically what factors factor in Factor's far-factor?
As with form, we can use past performances to make an educated guess as to the distance hopes of a runner. Instead of speed figures and other handicapping tools used for everyday races, we can look to breeding. The Factor is from the first crop of War Front, a Grade 2 winner at six furlongs that successfully stretched his speed to 1 1/16 miles around one turn at Belmont. Unfortunately, we don't have enough data from War Front's limited progeny to determine what kind of stallion he will become. It is heartening that War Front's Soldat won an entry-level allowance race at nine furlongs earlier this afternoon by daylight with a 104 Beyer (albeit in the slop).
The Factor's dam also won at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. One of the dam's half-siblings, Chief Seattle, won at 5 1/2 furlongs, and was multiple Grade 1-placed at 1 1/16 miles.
Considering the wicked early speed that The Factor possesses, it will take a heck of a job from Bob Baffert to get him to slow down enough to conserve his energy for longer-distance routes. Is it impossible for him to stay the Derby trip? Of course not. But, it's too early to jump on the bandwagon of a maiden winner with a suspect long-distance pedigree.
Body type should also be considered when analyzing distance possibilities. Is The Factor compact like a sprinter? Or, does he look more like a horse that would appreciate longer distances. As I've never seen the horse up close, I have no idea the answer to that question.
Stamina pedigrees are slowly disappearing from the American stud book. Breeders mate for speed and precociousness as that is what sells at auction. In recent years, we have seen horses with questionable "Classic" pedigrees win Classic races. Perhaps The Factor will be another. As for now, it is merely my opinion that The Factor's pedigree is geared to races up to 1 1/16 miles.
Without doing a lot of research, because I know you are busy, I was wondering if you knew what the Public's ability to pick winners was, during the decades of the 1960's, 1970's, or 1980's.
In my view, if the Public was picking winners in those decades at a rate of less than 30%, then
I think one could study the possibility that the Beyers Speed Ratings have contributed to a rise in the ability of the Public to select winners.
Indiscriminately, I picked up a couple of American Racing Manuals and found these statistics:
1967 - 34% winning favorites
1974 - 34% winning favorites
1986 - 31% winning favorites
1993: 33% winning favorites
There isn't much discrepancy. Winning favorites generally win between 30-35% of the time. In 2009, favorites won 37% in California, 33% in Canada, 36% in Florida, 36% in Illinois, 34% in Kentucky, 36% in Louisiana, 38% in Maryland, 37% in New Jersey, 39% in New York, 34% in Pennsylvania, and 41% in Texas.
Dan, will you please post the pp's of the top 5 stallions from 2010 ranked by earnings? I'd like to see what, if anything, they have in common.
The top five stallions (by earnings) from 2010 were:
1. Giant's Causeway
2. Distorted Humor
3. Malibu Moon
4. Maria's Mon
5. Smart Strike
Their past performances are available at the bottom of this blog posting.
No time for real analysis for some of this weekend's stakes races. Here are some quick and dirty selections:
Col. E. R. Bradley - Strike Again, Southern Anthem, Midnight Mischief
Lecomte - Wilkinson, Justin Phillip, Pants On Fire
Toboggan - Calibrachoa, Driven by Success, Temecula Creek
Palos Verdes - Smiling Tiger, Euroears, Hunch
Sweetest Chant - Tiger Girl, Kathmanblu, Nina Fever
More importantly, who do you like this weekend? I want to know.
Enjoy the weekend!
|BSB Favorites.pdf||56.32 KB|
|Top Stallions 2010.pdf||85.22 KB|
Where to find information on a horse odds from past races. Thank you, Mark
I realize I left so many great contributors out of my last post, like Van Savant, Whacky Macky, tencentcielo, and others. It's just an example of the overabundance of awesomeness here. SR Vegas, I also forgot to thank you for asking about the Factor. We are waiting for Brad Free to downgrade him off his top Derby list so we can spring back with less hype. And, really, I would love to reserve several tables at Aqueduct for our syndicate, and the best part would be that, except for the meal--it's free! Even on its best day, Golden Gate charges $1 just to get in, and more to get to the top floor. I really liked it up there at Aqueduct, and had fun watching Head Heart Hoof romp, and Calibrachoa barely getting it done. C, Thank you for clarifying and elaborating your points. I had thought I must have misunderstood your meaning, and I'm sorry if I added to others' confusion about what you meant. Thanks, too, for your advice about finding and recognizing unique information. As a beginner, I can't help but critique both my handicapping and wagering habits, in the same sense I would have to in learning to play an instrument. I really appreciate what you said about the impossibility of proving what variables, measurable or immeasurable, have led to the outcome of a race. It's in this way I was contrasting the activity to finding provable solutions in something like chess. I'm enjoying what you, BSB, Mike A, Dick W and others have to say about ways of looking back, and about the different ways of making a profit, "grinding" it or not. (Does grinding imply more of a push-and-pull, winning and losing the same basic bankroll a thousand times with more profits than losses, as opposed to windfall, salary-paying profits?) I think I did understand, and completely agree with your description of race results as "non-deterministic"; it is something I am greatly fascinated by, and one of the things I most love about handicapping. It's mind-boggling, in the face of the uncertainty of a singular case, to use all the information we can from similar, potentially predictive events (categories of races), to consider a single event, the hypothetical variations of which are so complex, or just unknown, that they are statistically random. Time can't repeat, though, or we could see, for instance, Kent Desormeaux pulling up on Big Brown over and over as if in a replay. Instead, recognizing that the event about which we have some information is subject to an infinite number of minute variables, and that while we cannot determine with precision the effect of any of them, we do have enough predictive information to get the broad strokes, and knowing the event will happen only once we go about imagining the many potential runnings, taking into account the main "contenders" among possible outcomes, as we do with the horses themselves, and guessing which arrangement of variables will prevail and with what frequency, and how often given those circumstances, and using your wagering strategy, you would have to be right in order to make a profit. Some filter their criteria strictly to races where they've found a better degree of predictability, while others churn out the numbers in a random walk (yes, I did read and enjoy the sections relevant to pari-mutuel wagering in Fabricand's The Science of Winning, though I imagine his tote information could be outdated). It's incredible that this art and science of predicting the winning horse has been passed down and refined for so many generations, and that while it is a very difficult thing to do well, it can be profitable. I have demonstrated as much to myself, at least so far, even with a consistent win percentage that is under 30% for all wagers since I began at the end of August last year. The real magic, and a reward beyond winning, is to get to watch the whole affair unfold, answering all what-if questions right on the track, and within a couple of minutes. And immediately, the new questions begin. (Until Dan answers them, and everyone takes a breath. : ) ) ----- Got back to SF last night, and knew it right away by the smell of the Pacific, and later, that of weed and pizza in the air. Last night the high in the state was in Central Park, at 6 degress, only twenty degrees lower than the average low for the day. Back in my apartment, I actually took my shirt off in 55 degrees. The best description of today's weather in San Francisco is the horse name Majesticperfection. I snuck back a couple sfogliatelle, but will sorely miss some of the food, but not the bundling, shivering, or scraping, though for ten days it's wonderful to live winter. To those of you living out there: courage! (Oh my God! Looking for an image to post here I found an Italy in SF blog, and see you can get them as near as Redwood City 40 minutes away: http://www.italyinsf.com/2008/07/03/la-biscotteria-redwood-city-updated/) --- Warm wishes, and especially warm ones to the freezing among you, Jonah
MKB Workouts 1/24/11 Okay... This may end up at the end of one thread, so don't be surprised if I copy & post it to Dan's newest thread tomorrow. :) MKB Workouts 1/24/11 -Palm Meadows - turf/firm (dogs up) Queen'splatekitten - 5F 1:01.50 Breezing - TAZ -Fairgrounds - dirt/fast Changing the Rules - 4F 0:51.00 Breezing - Lil Chok of note...Goodifitgoes 4F 0:52.60 Breezing... B Bros - I'm still watching his potential :) -Palm Meadows - dirt/fast Sweet Ducky - 4F 0:50:25. 00 Breezing - Spartan Tom Sensational Slam - 4F 0:48.85 Breezing - Caseyjeaux Dialed in - 4F 0:47.40 Breezing - TurnbacktheAlarm Shawdow Warrior - 5F- 1:01.75 Breezing- Laura Lawduck Tiz Blessed - 5F 1:02.00 Breezing - Dan Illman -Gulfstream Park - dirt/fast Major Gain - 4F 0:50.15 Handily - Alan (The Reverand Al) -Santa Anita - dirt/fast Tapizar - 4F 0:50.40 Breezing - Keith L J P's Gusto - 7F 1:25.40 Handily - dylbert Jaycito - 5F 0:59.40 Handily - Dan R Awesome Partriot - 5F 1:01.60 Handily - Annie Payson Park - Dirt/fast To Honor and Serve - 4F 0:51.00 Breezing - Pippen7070 Hey, no captcha! Thanks Dan for giving me a break.. he-he-he..
Caseyjeaux Thank you very much for the printer and toner data. I will look into it for sure. Just in passing, we use two Brother Fax Machines at my work-they're great. I must say I have had bad luck-lots of it-using recycled toner cartridges. but perhaps it was the vendor I was using. Thanks again.
Blackstone/Chicago Gerry, For small office or home use, you can't go wrong with monotone laser printers. My personal printer is a Brother HL 2140 (now known as the HL 2240, or if you have a wireless network, you can get the HL 2270 for a little bit more.) These can frequently be purchased for $59-$69 at Staples. The reconditioned large capacity toner cartridges (2500 pages) can be purchased every week or two at Meritline for $16 with free shipping. That equates to about 7.5 cents per page. And no smudging as with inkjets. Dan, I'm not trying to turn the blog into an advertising site, just trying to help fellow handicappers reduce already prohibitive costs of doing business.
I have been following Patrick Valenzuela's return to Santa Anita with interest. He obviously has a ton of talent but is he being regularly monitored for drug abuse?
All I meant was that I would spend my time looking at charts trying to find why a given kind of horse wins rather than why I lost a bet. I said I wouldn't say it was completly useless to look back,but I wouldn't dwell on it from a gambling standpoint. Everybody has their way of doing things.To each their own. C, I didn't say you couldn't grind out scores on exotics. I play q's, ex's or tri's with my win or WP bets most of the time.Sometimes DD's. I scored pretty good on Life is Sweet to Zenyatta DD of I think $92. I don't play Supers because they don't pay better than tri's when factoring in the extra cost. They pay close to the same and tri's are easier. I like ex's because you don't usually have to sign for them .One of my 3 grinder methods involves strictly exacta play. Of course it all depends on what the individual considers a score. Some of my biggest scores have come on wp bets on humongous priced horses $80 or better. $100 horses are not a pipe dream for me . In fact I know I'm bound to have one every so often. I'm still looking for my first $200 horse though. I once got $540 back for $10 Place on $108 placer at suffolk. I considered that a score. I've had a $54 winner several $20 something winners ,several $20 something placers several nice exactas and a couple of nice tri's in the last few weeks along with some $8 horses . I ground out all of them. I'll lose wagering on horses that look just like them next time probably. I probably already have. LOL. So yes I grind out scores. I won't tell you about a little old man because I'm not that old and I'm not that little.LOL. No I'm not getting rich ,but I win. Yes there are right & wrong ways to bet in given situations to produce the most long haul profit for that situation. Some pic-6 players practice a form of grinding by only playing carry overs. I think of racing as more like jeopardy where you get penaliZed for wrong answers. So I'm not in favor of the can't win it unless you're in it mantra. Thats what lotto players say. If I know that I can make more money pecking away with exactas than I can make on supers than why would I play supers. I don't play pic-6's because I don't want to wait out the time cycle to completion or tie up a lot of money losing while I wait to win. I agree Pic-6's pay bigger lump sums than tri's on Avg. but If Magic Wiesner would have won that might have been a $100,000 tri. If Laffit or Patrick or Russel would have rode him.LOL. Nah ,Migliore rode him okay , he just didn't get going soon enough to get there. LOL. I have nothing against geurrilla wagering tactics. Its just not really my style. Racing can be an emotional game .I try to take some of the emotion out of it by placing stock bets. I step it up occasionally but by and large risk close to the same amount if I'm risking, whatever way I chose to chop it up. Now you might say don't you feel more strongly about some horses over others ? Yes I do but if I bet I feel I'm going to win and since I never know if I did win until the race is over I don't like to jump my bets around where my winners might be smaller bets than my losers . Not unless I purposely staggered it to produce a more even outcome should I be right when dutching.
Thanks to everyone who has commented on the Track Variant. It is apparent that some of you understand it. I am kind of flying blind on the subject because, I am not totally grasping the core tenets. In retrospect, my little chart seems to be naive. What I was basing it on was on the idea that for example, many races regarding the Variant seem to fall between 15 and 23. Because many races seemed to fall into this range, I took it that these were probably average races. In my brain, I was thinking these races were run on Fair Tracks. After reading some of the comments, I don't think the track playing fair or not, has anything to do with the Variant. Being Fair relates more to Track Bias? I guess the main thing is to either give credit, or give an excuse, to a runner's final time or fractional times based on the Variant. Help! CM, I see your point about the the difference between a the Track Variant and Track Bias. They are different things I think, but am guessing like squares are rectangles, perhaps in particular situations, and overlap could appear. When one says a track is fast or slow I am thinking, as relates to the Variant, it could be the result of either the quality of the runners, or the condition of the the surface. I guess one could look at specific dates as to quality of runners. For example, If it was on a Saturday with several Allowance and Stakes races, one might expect the Variant to be lower. In terms of track surface, it could relate to things like moisture, maintenance, and composition. In retrospect, I may be wrong about objecting to adding the Speed Rating figure to the Variant. Both the Speed Rating and the Variant do relate to the Par time after all. I'll post below what one handicapper does as an example, and formbloggers can critique if they care to. I know I am willing to learn from anyone who has thoughts on this. Maybe someone else will learn something. That is part of what Dan's blog is about. "The SR/Variant was 84-14. The horse earned a pretty good figure when the track was considered 14 points slow for that day only. Might have been a wet track, or one that was drying out after rain. This actually is a good handicapping tool in real races. Add the 2 together to get an overall rating. In this case, 98. Do this with all of the horses, when at the track. A very good rating system that I prefer over Beyer ratings. Sometimes, on a fast surface, for a given day, with very talented fields in most races, that variant figure will be very, very low. This sometimes produces positive variants, meaning that the track was faster than norm on that day. When that happens, you subtract, rather than add, the track variant figure with the Racing Form's speed rating. Example:::::::::: 98 SR +4 variant = adjusted speed rating 94 for that horse. " I have know idea, if this guy/gal is doing is the right thing, or is way out in left field. I mentioned picking a winner last week or so ago based on the Track Variant. What I had was two runners coming out of different races with two very similar running lines. One had a Beyer of 61 and a Speed Rating/Variant that read 78-15 at 1-1 odds. The winning runner had a Beyer of 51 and a Speed Rating/Variant 68-24 at 7-2 odds. In this case, I ignored the Beyer numbers, due to the Speed Rating/Variant. I have been successful doing this kind of thing, but after some of the discussion, I am thinking I may have just been lucky.
Dan, I looked at the SoCal races as some of the bloggers suggested, but the short fields are a problem. For the next HG race I'd like the 7th race at Aquaduct on Friday 1/28/11. Thanks, and good luck to all. Sid
For 40 years I've been going back over races......watching replays, and picking winners. I've proved it works. If no discernible info can be gleaned out of the past.......I want someone to put me onto the "Future Performances"..........because the DRF has it all wrong. Mike A