• Tony Kofalt
    322
    Hey guys-
    My approach to determining a race setup has typically been, well, pretty loose. I would calculate Quirin speed points and scan the PP's and try to imagine the race setup. I don't use pace numbers. I've always been comfortable with my results.
    But I'm always looking for ways to improve my results. I spent some time reviewing my handicapping processes and feel that race setup is the weakest part of my game. I was hoping for some feedback on tools or procedures that are working for you. I'd appreciate and love to hear what others are doing.
    I would appreciate any feedback you would like to share.
  • William Zayonce
    38
    @Tony Kofalt
    We share a similar methodology ,Tony; no pace figures. Something that you might try is using "modified" QSPs. Scrap the "1 in the bank" point and instead calculate the points for each of the first 2 calls of relevant races. You might find that this helps in determining "race shape"..
  • Tony Kofalt
    322
    Thanks William!! Appreciate your feedback. Very interesting suggestion and also very logical. Keep you posted as I give this one some thought.
  • Tom
    82
    Early speed, imho, is they key factor in most races. Many races are over 10 seconds into the running.

    No massive data studies, but some bought and paid for observations that have proven usefull:

    1. Many E horses can run as EP horses if they need to. Be very cautious labeling one a need-t-lead.

    2. An EP horse drawn inside may be forced to send early.

    3. An E horse drawn outside the other early speed may well sit off the pace.

    4. When 2 E horses are side by side,, re-examine the QSPs. An E4 may well show moe early speed than expected and challemge or even out-pace an E6 . QSPs, if limited to the lat 3 lines are as much form as speed. The E4 might well be an E7 or E8 when in good form. I use Dave's definition of an improving horse as good reason to look at back-speed.

    5. Dave's New Pace idea for rating early is tedious by hand, but excellent in practice.

    6. The Rs/Pos method by Jim Crammer iis excellent and structured enough to take out a lot of indecision.Much detailed iFREE nformation at HDW.

    7. If you use BRIS or have access to pace figuures, try adding the QSPs to the E1 or the E2 pace rating. I use B2L4 pace figs at E1.

    8. If you play NYRA, use the Track Trends column for rail bias, very good information.


    Great topic.
  • RanchWest
    457
    Something that should fit well with what you are doing is the Giles race speed points that Dave discussed on this board a few months ago. It looks at the horses with high Quirin points and you are already calculating those.
  • RanchWest
    457
    Also, I don’t put too much faith in the published running style.
  • Jack Price
    27
    Tony, in order to give you a “feel” for a potential race set-up sorting on projected early speed, I’ve attached a PDF for tomorrow’s AQU races for your review….

    When Dave introduced New Pace several years ago, I was intrigued with his “EARLY vs LATE” approach and spent some time developing my own algorithm to accomplish the same…the output is a percentage projection based on who is most likely to have the lead at the first call (using all available PP’s up to and including the last ten)…the corresponding percentages are marked in the column titled by the same name. If interested, I’m sure you could generate something similar.

    Unique to my handicapping style, I like to sort the race by best projected early pace downward to get a quick picture of how the race might run…I use generic running styles (pending a final review); Quirin Early Speed Points; an alert for superior early speed; and corresponding 1st and 2nd call pace “ranks” based on best two of last three races. In addition, I use a projected pace pressure gage as shown in each race header…This is something mentioned earlier that Dave / Randy Giles has shared in the past and is based on Early Speed Points.

    Again, the idea is to have an automated “projection” to facilitate races of potential interest (and of course, subject to a final handicapping review).
    Attachment
    PACE_PDF_01.26.23 (320K)
  • Dave Schwartz
    256
    @RanchWest has done some work in this area and I've got to say it has plenty of merit.

    I know Ranch has shared it before but perhaps he can reprise that a bit.
  • RanchWest
    457


    I didn't get into it here because Tony indicated he is not into pace. but I can cover it however much interests everyone.

    My interest is in % Median, a Sartin principle. It is based on the percentage of early pace versus late, early energy if you will.

    So, I look at three factors: positional early (Quirin speed points), speed early (Sartin early pace, more or less early feet per second or else a comparison to early fractional par) and %Median (early energy).

    The concept is that when a field of horses have a combined low %Median ( I actually take the combined median of each horse's median of its % Medians of all its shown races, obviously a computerized task) , then some of those horses are going to find themselves on the lead despite low early energy and are likely to exert more early energy than they are accustomed to and thus more than they can handle. This makes the situation ripe for a pace meltdown and a chaos race. Generally, my experience suggests that this is not a good way to bet against odds-on horses that don't seem to be bet against, though i have no data to back this up. In other words, I don't find this method to be stand-alone bet against on odd-on horses. Many of those are simply good enough to overcome the adversity.

    People were very skeptical when I introduced this concept, but the next day I predicted a big longshot win. My memory suggests that it paid something like $47 to win, not sure. Granted, that was just one race, but I was 1 for 1 and I did it under the pressure of possibly looking like an idiot. :)

    I am still studying this method. It doesn't work on turf because many of those horses have low % Medians -- their big run is late. The same is also likely for all-weather (Tapeta, etc), though I have little experience with all-weather. I am also studying the extent to which the energy requirement changes per distance or whether that is very relevant.

    As most of you probably know, chaos races often have huge payouts, sometimes 20/1 and more. These races that fall into the range for my method are scarce. My GUESS is that you would be unlikely to find more than 1 per week per track, but there is nothing to say that it would be impossible to find a lot in one week or none in a week.

    Another gotcha here is that the % Medians all need to be recalculated based on scratches. So, I am working on a new program that will provide for scratch changes much faster than my prior program, which wrote out HTML files for entire cards.

    And, one last known caveat is that chaos seldom ensues in fields of less than 6 or 7 horses. So, 8 or more entrants are preferable. Sheesh, in today's racing, that alone narrows the opportunities.

    I also know people who model %Median by track and distance and severely downgrade the chances of horses that fall outside the range of their model.
  • Jack Price
    27
    Tony, I’m resending today’s AQU file to include early scratches. Also, I inadvertently left out the projected SPD column yesterday… you need a final speed projection or something similar to really make this concept “sing”.

    Too bad today’s track is muddy as that can affect all projections! Also, too bad that the jockeys don’t always cooperate with projected running styles!

    Best of luck today!
    Attachment
    PACE_EarlyScratches_01.26.23 (297K)
  • Tony Kofalt
    322
    Thanks so much guys!! Some very interesting things to look in to. The depth of handicapping on this board amazes me. Pace is definitely a weakness in my game and has contributed to some 'dry' streaks. It may take me a few days to digest your suggestions while playing at the same time.
    Jack, your work is impressive!
    Tom thanks for your suggestions. Very logical approaches.
    Ranch thank you as well.
  • Jack Price
    27
    Tony, here's tomorrow's AQU file for your review.... Unless otherwise instructed, I will plan on providing for the next few days.

    BOL!
    Attachment
    PACE_PDF_01.27.23 (327K)
  • Mark
    14
    Hey Jack! which data files are you using?
  • Tony Kofalt
    322
    1-27 Race 8 Aqu. I bit into East Coast Girl last time assuming she would make a clear lead. Well a toss of his head and solid bump at the gate left him trailing after a few strides. Tomorrow I believe he will makes amends as the lone speed. I expect the 1 horse, Tunnel Vision, to attract tote play leaving East Coast Girl a fair 9-5 at post time. He will definitely be a P5/P4 single tomorrow.
  • Tony Kofalt
    322


    It appears that Jack believes Garth Road has a chance to outsprint East Coast Girl in the last tomorrow. I expect East Coast to be 2 lengths in front by the turn. Will be interesting to see how the race plays out! This is what is great about handicapping.
  • Jack Price
    27
    Aqu8…Lots to unpack in this one. First, we have a group of MDC 40 state bred claimers who all are lightly races, newly turned three year olds…that’s an immediate red flag for any “pre-handicapping” (especially trying to predict early pace to the first call!). That aside, my EARLY_LATE algo shows a small advantage for #6 to maybe have the lead at the first call; however, my early flag indicator projects an edge in early speed to #3 as well as ranks of 1 in both 1st Call and 2nd Call projections…this can be fairly typical where each handicapper has to decide how to handle conflicting details.

    Upon digging a little deeper, my impression of #6, Garth Road, is clearly CHEAP speed as to date, he had been unable to run a decent final fraction (very slow FR3 "feet-per-second" time as denoted by the red (?) in the “FR3 Flag” column)…he definitely has the look of a quitting sprinter…. However, it’s interesting that he was claimed last time out by a decent trainer who puts up a bug boy and in addition, the horse is getting first time Lasix….

    I agree with your assessment that the #3, East Call Girl, will most likely be on the lead as the horses approach the second call…. However, I’m also troubled by his inability to put up a decent FR3 (>=50 FPS). I’m also concerned about the first time starter #8, Bustinupishardtotdo, who has a very nice win early type pedigree and attract the services of Carmouche…the glaring negative is Michelle Nevin is 0 for 21 in the last year with her first time starters!

    Honestly, I prefer the #1, Tunnel Vision, in this spot…He’s coming out of a much better race and figures to improve as a second time starter…also, figures to get a good stalking position and be right in the mix turning for home.... But, anything less than 2/1 would be "no thanks"!

    Finally, the #4, Helicopter Money, drops and gets first Lasix and could be the wildcard?

    This is my two cents and not really worth much more as I have an especially hard time with NY bred MDC races!

    I won’t be playing this race; but I’ll sure be rooting for your horse to wire the field…. BOL!
  • Tony Kofalt
    322
    Great analysis Jack! I really enjoy this type of race because of the randomness. Finding improvement is the key for me.
  • Jack Price
    27
    Yes, way too much “randomness” for me…I’ve been knocked out of more scores going 4-5 deep in these types of races with some surprise winner…. Or, hit the “all” button and have the favorite romp!

    Anyway, I love your approach…find a horse most likely to improve and single accordingly!
  • RanchWest
    457


    With the scratch of Eternal Glory, East Coast Girl figures to get the lead, with an early challenge from Helicopter Money, but HM may not hang in there.

    My pace numbers show Tunnel Vision and East Coast Girl as nearly equal.

    For what it's worth, here's my line:

    #1: 2.4
    #2: scratch
    #3 2.4
    #4: 7.0
    #5: 14.5
    #6: 6.5
    #7: 6.8
    #8 7.5
  • Jack Price
    27
    New file with early scratches.
    Attachment
    PACE_EarlyScratches_01.27.23 (314K)
  • RanchWest
    457
    Now #8 is scratched in R8.

    #1: 2.1
    #2: scratch
    #3 2.1
    #4: 6.5
    #5: 11.5
    #6: 5.7
    #7: 5.8
    #8 scratch
  • RanchWest
    457
    Good one, Tony.
  • Jack Price
    27
    AQU file for Jan 28th....
    Attachment
    PACE_PDF_01.28.23 (373K)
  • Tim Yatcak
    10
    keep track about what is winning...On the PSR scale when the front has been GOLDEN all day, I can accept a 7th ranked (F1) in the PSR and it is usually in the money at Mahoning valley Downs
  • Tim Yatcak
    10
    Randomness is alive and well in almost EVERY 1 2 3 4 finish.I can get 3 almost 70% of the time and it is that ONE that runs 3rd or 4th that is the bugaboo

    You all need to read The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
  • Tony Kofalt
    322


    Thank you again Jack!!
  • Tony Kofalt
    322
    It appears that we may have another strong pace advantage opportunity in the Toboggan at Aqu on Saturday. Pirate Rick in race 7, may clear this field on the turn and maintain his advantage. Looks like my single in all late horizontal plays. Any feeling on this race are appreciated!
  • William Zayonce
    38
    • Tony Kofalt
      317
      It appears that we may have another strong pace advantage opportunity in the Toboggan at Aqu on Saturday. Pirate Rick in race 7, may clear this field on the turn and maintain his advantage. Looks like my single in all late horizontal plays. Any feeling on this race are appreciated!

    It certainly does appear that Pirate Rick holds a distinct pace advantage. Have some concerns as to how he handles the extra furlong at this tricky distance. I'll be giving strong consideration to Milton the Monster , particularly if the track comes up a bit wet. He's fast enough to attend the expected pace and finish well . 4 for 4 at the distance (all on off tracks,)
  • Jack Price
    27
    Tony, first the positives….

    Pirate Rick is clearly in the best form of his life as Cash steps him up to graded stakes company off a six-day layoff! He clearly has a great chance to wire the field with his brilliant early speed and based on his last four “race shapes” of (Slow-Average); (Average-Average); (Slow-Slow) and (Slow-Slow), he certainly has the ability to relax on the lead! Plus, he gets your favorite jockey who seldom lets you down!

    My small concern…. It’s been my experience (as I’ve learned the hard way) that “class” usually trumps “pace” in graded stakes company. It doesn’t appear that Pirate Rick has ever faced graded stakes caliber competition; however, as I look through the field this field, I do not see any true graded stakes, classy type winners…so, this shouldn’t be an issue. My biggest concern is the 7 furlongs as I don’t believe Pirate Rick has ever tried this distance? As you know, it’s truly a specialist distance and there’s others in this race perhaps more proven….

    As far as Lasix “off”, I doubt that will be an issue as Cash surely knows his horse can handle no Lasix.

    Bottom line, I like the aggressive single of Pirate Rick…. I’m most worried about the #3 Drafted or #8 Little Vic upsetting the apple cart…. Why not use them as “C’s” as that will not have a huge effect on your ticket cost…. Regardless, very best of luck!
  • Jack Price
    27


    Yes, Willaim makes a good case for #7 who should be a big price.
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