• RanchWest
    278
    Dave has provided a great resource here.

    But, I'll start my story with Dave. I am from the Deep South. Nearly everyone I grew up with had either a Cajun accent or a Southern drawl. Listening to Dave was initially a struggle. And that self-confidence! I really didn't give Dave much of a chance for a long time.

    Then I started getting active as a member of this forum and eventually got to actually know Dave and he grew on me.

    I have studied the horses a lot. I wrote my first pace program in 1983. The program I am now using I have been writing for about 25 years. While not a lot of people know more about horse data than I do, Dave does! And, I can tell you that understanding the data is not what it takes to be profitable, but Dave has helped me there.

    The first big thing from this membership was Tom's Ultimate Odds Line, programmed in Windows by Steven. I've since backed into a similar program and added a jockey MRCT factor. But, I think anyone should be able to work with UOL just fine. HSH will probably do the same, though I have not used it. It's going to get you onto the winner in the top 3 in a huge number of races. Many of the oddball winners will come from quirky pace setups.

    The next thing that helped me a lot was Dave saying to accept that short prices abound and that's the combined wisdom of a lot of smart people. I still don't much care for prices that get really low, but that doesn't mean that another horse is going to win... it is okay to sometimes pass. And, the accompanying short fields are also to be welcomed... fewer horses to handicap.

    Another big help was Dave's strength par. When used in combination with UOL, it is powerful. Dave tells about this in the Finding Vulnerable Favorites product.

    I also am using the composite speed rating that I shared on here. It includes beaten lengths and finish position. I know, sounds a little hokey, but it works. There are many composite speed ratings that could substitute. The important thing is that one effort is seldom representative.

    Finally, I look at the pace and see if I think it is going to fall apart and, if it does, is there a horse that can overcome it? Otherwise, how will the pace scenario affect my contenders?

    And, the whole time Dave has been tolerant and helpful, giving me little tips here and there that turned out to be big tips.

    So, what has the result been?

    Well, here's a recap of my selections over the past 3 days. I know, small sample size and I am redboarding, but it is the only way I can finish my story at this juncture.

    5/2
    4TDN 2 5.20
    5TDN 2 6.20
    6TDN 1A 4.80
    7TDN 8 x
    8TDN 2 5.20
    $21.40/$10

    5/3 (CD was muddy and I picked a lot of 2nds)
    5CD 9 3.20
    6CD 4 x
    7CD 1A x
    8CD 8 x
    9CD 2 x
    7IND 4 x
    9WRD 8 5.20
    8IND 1 4.40
    5TUP 3 10.80
    $23.60/$18

    5/4
    3TAM 1 x
    3CD 4 5.00
    4BTP 5 3.00
    7CD 5 x
    8CD 4 12.60
    9CD 7 x
    10CD 3 x
    $20.60/$14

    That's 11 of 21 wins, 52.3%.
    Total winnings $65.60 on $42, a profit of 56.2%, 1.562 returned on each $1. And, that's all based on $2 as the bet size.

    Note how many winners there were in the $6.20 and below range. Two were in the 4/1-5/1 neighborhood and no longshots. And, I clearly had some races where I zigged when I should have zagged. While big scores are really nice, the every day bread and butter is winners that look to be sound wagers.

    Also notice that I did okay on some mid-level and semi-small tracks, too.

    Dave, thank you for all you do!
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    @RanchWest

    You are awesome, man!

    Love that you are making real VALUE selections.

    I look forward to you teaching what you know real soon.
  • RanchWest
    278
    Pretty much the short version of all I know is above. But it is the short version and I will gladly share as time permits. My speed analysis and pace analysis is actually quite a bit more detailed.
  • RanchWest
    278
    By the way, I had at least 5 horses run 2nd. So, that's at least 16 of 21 in 1st or second. All from just a consistent, simple structure of process. The process is what I was lacking. Makes a huge difference. I had been just starting SOMEWHERE and ending SOMEWHERE. I can tell you, that doesn't work... at least it definitely doesn't for me.
  • Biniak
    48
    Ranch that is AWESOME. Enjoyed the fact that you found YOUR way and are willing to share it!
  • RanchWest
    278
    Ranch that is AWESOME. Enjoyed the fact that you found YOUR way and are willing to share it!Biniak

    Thanks. The important part of this is that it was a fairly simple tweak to my process. I was lost in the desert and didn't fully comprehend that I was.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    Gentlemen, THIS is what I want YOU GUYS to share with our handicapping world.
  • Tony Kofalt
    277
    Ranch- thank you for sharing your experience. I have had a similar relationship with Dave for 30 years. He's sharp and always willing to help and share. I have a feeling that 30 years from now I'll be saying the same things about you!!
  • RanchWest
    278
    You're making me blush, Tony. I'm just a guy who is plagued by questions for which I seek valid answers.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    While big scores are really nice, the every day bread and butter is winners that look to be sound wagers.RanchWest

    I think the above quote is really the game changer.
    It is a subtle difference, but do you see how the UNSPOKEN FOCUS has shifted from price=value to value=value no matter the price?

    This is how one becomes a long-term winner as opposed to being a Slot Machine Horse Player.
    (i.e. one who depends upon luck to have a winning day and almost never has a winning month.)

    And it is amazing how fast the transition occurs: Usually just takes A FEW DAYS.
  • RanchWest
    278
    As baseball manager Johnny Oates said, "Luck is when preparation and opportunity meet."

    Another baseball quote I like is from Stan Musial. When asked his secret to being a great hitter, he replied, "Wait for your pitch and swing hard."
  • RanchWest
    278
    Posted my picks today. Had a very small profit on the day, hit for a lower percentage, 31%. Not every day is spectacular, but the process carried me through.
  • Ray Wallin
    16
    Another baseball quote I like is from Stan Musial. When asked his secret to being a great hitter, he replied, "Wait for your pitch and swing hard."RanchWest

    It is amazing how when folks integrate discipline into their handicapping, how the tides change for the better!

    Love this quote!
  • Jim Michalak
    3
    Ranch: how do you access Tom's Ultimate Odds Line? Is that part of HSH? Thanks!
  • RanchWest
    278
    There is a thread called Tom's Ultimate Odds Line. I hope there's still a Windows program there that uses files based around the BRIS single file format (including Multicaps files) and maybe other files. The last release had an additional computation formulated incorrectly and may have been withdrawn. Let me know what you find. I think Tom had released a spreadsheet. If you can't find anything, try the best odds line that you have. The idea is to begin with the favorites, which win so many races, and then see if you find a valid reason to abandon those. I think one of my problems was that I was always looking for the slightly higher odds horses, 4/1 or 5/1 or so, instead of accepting that a 2/1 horse can be a good bet. Yesterday, I thought Jackie's Warrior was a good bet at even money. He looked great on paper and on the track.
  • Steven
    108
    I am still very much a work in progress. Dave and I have had many conversations and I truly hope I can find a way out of the "refill the account" loop.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    I thought Jackie's Warrior was a good bet at even money.RanchWest

    Bring that up tonight and we can look at that race - whichever one it was.
  • RanchWest
    278
    Race 10 at CD, 5/7/22
  • RanchWest
    278
    I reviewed all of the races at PRX, TDN and FL today, 27 races. The winners as ranked in my odds line were as follows:

    Ranked 1: 9
    Ranked 2: 7
    Ranked 3: 5
    Ranked 4: 2
    Ranked below 4: 4

    So, it is mostly a matter of picking the right one from the odds line. I didn't do very well at that today. The finish of my win selections:

    Winners: 7
    Place: 6
    Show: 8
    Out: 6

    The concept is not perfect, but it is a good jump into the fray.
  • Tony Kofalt
    277

    Steven, we are all works in progress. Don't get discouraged!!
  • RanchWest
    278
    By the way, I am not suggesting that all races should be played from the top 3 odds horses. I am just saying that is where most winners will come from. Like, with the races above, 4 winners came from the 5th odds line horse and above. That's about 15%. That might give an idea of a reasonable distribution of selections in the long haul.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    By the way, I am not suggesting that all races should be played from the top 3 odds horses. I am just saying that is where most winners will come from. Like, with the races above, 4 winners came from the 5th odds line horse and above. That's about 15%. That might give an idea of a reasonable distribution of selections in the long haul.RanchWest

    That would be an absolute fact.

    How do you leverage that to be profitable?
  • RanchWest
    278
    Primarily three ways:

    1) Find the vulnerable favorites

    2) Find the longshot setups, which often has to do with pace scenarios, such as chaos.

    3) Embrace the solid horses even if the price is low.
  • RanchWest
    278
    In short, value and profit go hand-in-hand and is based around winners. We're all going to lose races, but losing doesn't provide much value. So, we need to learn which situations win and which don't.
  • RanchWest
    278
    Price too low? There may be an exotics option.
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