• Steven
    113
    Anything Better than APV or EPS for a Class Rating? These are about the only two methods to rate class that I'm really aware of. Is there anything out there that is maybe just a little bit better?

    EPS = Earnings / Starts

    APV = Earnings / (.6 x Wins + .2 x Plcs + .1 x Shws)
  • Dave Schwartz
    267


    Yes.
    APV is better when:
    • It is expressed as a ratio of today's purse to the winner.
    • It is time-decayed.
    Google Benter's Time Decay and you may find something.

    Same with EPS.
    Express it as a percentage of the winner's purse today.
    Make it a decayed value.

    For both of these you need the data from individual races.
  • Steven
    113
    I've heard you speak of Time Decayed APV and I've wondered what it was. Now I will wander into the ether and seach for Benter's Time Decay and see if I understand it.

    Thanks!
  • Steven
    113
    Dave, did you know Bill?
  • Dave Schwartz
    267
    No.
    I worked for some guys who worked for Bill back in HK.
    Once had a copy of his program. Seems everyone who ever worked for him took a copy with them when they left. LOL
  • Tony Kofalt
    393


    Interesting discussion. Dave it feels like you believe there is some value in considering time decay. Do you feel that time decay plays a role in all metrics or just specific ones. For example, you mentioned time decay as it relates to measuring class. Would you feel the same if you were considering a final time speed figure?
  • RanchWest
    503
    Total Energy, Scott's PCR, Races where a speed rating was earned higher than today's par, races where the par was higher than today's par, races above BRIS CR or RR, Quirin "good races" at above today's par, wins at above today's par, APV, EPS, consecutive wins, claiming prices, Talbot box. There's a lot of ways to measure class.
  • Dave Schwartz
    267
    Interesting discussion. Dave it feels like you believe there is some value in considering time decay. Do you feel that time decay plays a role in all metrics or just specific ones. For example, you mentioned time decay as it relates to measuring class. Would you feel the same if you were considering a final time speed figure?Tony Kofalt

    Yes, and the stats bear that out.

    Total Energy, Scott's PCR, Races where a speed rating was earned higher than today's par, races where the par was higher than today's par, races above BRIS CR or RR, Quirin "good races" at above today's par, wins at above today's par, APV, EPS, consecutive wins, claiming prices, Talbot box. There's a lot of ways to measure class.RanchWest

    I completely agree.

    Most of them do not measure up statistically because they use a rigid class system and that is flawed.

    IOW, not all $16,000 claiming races are populated with $16,000 horses.

    When I was working with the AUS guys, I learned several new ideas about class approaches. I look forward to sharing them with you.
  • RanchWest
    503
    Good point, Dave. There's also state-bred vs non-state-bred, distaffers against males, changes in age restrictions, etc. Remember how easily Easy Goer won against 3 yo after beating older two weeks prior?
  • Dave Schwartz
    267
    Remember how easily Easy Goer won against 3 yo after beating older two weeks prior?RanchWest

    No, I actually don't.
    Of course, I recall Easy Goer.
    But anecdotal handicapping examples - when not backed up by data - just rarely get ingrained in my thinking.

    IOW, I am interested in the actual process of making meaningful decisions.

    Thus, a "metaphorical lesson in handicapping" only has value to me when it can be turned into a TESTABLE HYPOTHESIS.

    Further, I must ACTUALLY TEST that hypothesis, and it must PROVE to be true.- to some USEFUL DEGREE.


    Don't get me wrong. I DO have my own examples that I use to ILLUSTRATE my own beliefs, but they are just anecdotal illustrations and are worthless without having PROVEN their validity.

    YOUR POINTS ARE VALID - There are many ways to JUSTIFY why races are different class levels. I just think - and have proven - that it is the actual MIX OF HORSES in a given race that creates the class level.
  • RanchWest
    503
    I can't recite the numbers, but studies I have seen suggest that 3 yo's progress through their 3 yo campaign and continue to progress, on average, into their 4 yo and somewhat into their 5 yo years. So, my assertion, or at least my hypothesis, is that a 3 yo who beats older horses has completed an accomplishment that suggests class.

    Another class indicator that comes to my mind is stretch duel wins... the horses that want it more.

    My goal in this thread has not been to establish the class level of a race, but rather to establish the class level of a horse.
  • RanchWest
    503
    IOW, not all $16,000 claiming races are populated with $16,000 horses.Dave Schwartz

    That's true. But horses dropping to their lowest claiming price and horses first time in for a tag have increased chances of winning, as a group. Of course, extreme claiming price drops can raise suspicion. So, I do think claiming prices are generally one means of measuring class.
  • RanchWest
    503
    Also in all of this we have to consider the races that are a mixed bag. A state-bred filly 10,000 claimer for non-winners of a race in a year is not the same as an open 10,000 claimer.
  • Dave Schwartz
    267
    Also in all of this we have to consider the races that are a mixed bag. A state-bred filly 10,000 claimer for non-winners of a race in a year is not the same as an open 10,000 claimer.RanchWest

    Yet it is conceivably possible that a particular NW 1y race MIGHT BE of a higher class than an Open Claimer.at the same $$ level.

    (Not likely, but POSSIBLE.)

    IMHO, it always comes down to the MAKE UP OF THE RACE and (literally) NEVER ABOUT THE WRITTEN CONDITIONS.
  • Dave Schwartz
    267
    That's true. But horses dropping to their lowest claiming price and horses first time in for a tag have increased chances of winning, as a group. Of course, extreme claiming price drops can raise suspicion. So, I do think claiming prices are generally one means of measuring class.RanchWest

    Of course!

    But even this is independent of the LABEL of the race - i.e. $16k claimer - because ultimately, it comes back to WHO is actually in the race.
  • Dave Schwartz
    267

    The value of your post just reminded me of a low-end professional player I knew from years ago who said that he never read the conditions of the race - beyond track-surface-distance.

    "Low End" means that he supported himself 100% from his horse racing but did not make a very good living.

    (As an aside, the last time I spoke with "Jimmy" he was in a full-care dementia facility in Las Vegas. As we spoke on the phone he insisted that, looking out his window, he could see "the crashing waves at Delmar.")

    (Jimmy taught me a lot about trainer handicapping - which was the backbone of his winning. He also gave me my Workout Speed Rating Chart, which, to this day, I have not been able to improve upon, despite the fact that some of it flies in the face of logic.)

    Back on Topic
    He said that he didn't want to bias his thinking process about what the race really was.

    Now, this was not a guy whose handicapping approach would resonate with mine because, where I am purely 100% systematic, he was was probably 80% seat-of-the-pants.

    He was what I like to call a Story Handicapper.
    Jimmy would look at every horse's past races, starting back at race 10 and weave it into a story.

    As he was weaving this story, he would give each horse a Speed Rating Range; something like "This horse is good for 85-89 today."

    After he had done this for all the horses, ONLY THEN would he give the race a "class level," and it was always based upon these speed ratings alone. He would often find a race that (to use my previous example) LOOKS LIKE a $16,000 claimer, but is really a $12,500 claimer in disguise.

    Then he would look at the horses that were actually capable of running with real $20k claimers. If he had one of those, he was ready to play. Now, this was "the good old days," but I was shocked at how often he'd pluck out these solid $16 winners.

    BTW, he also did a lot of homework. Well, not really at home, but he'd keep a lot of records; lots of models - and would correct his mistakes. IOW, when he said that a horse was capable of 85 to 91 and the horse won while running a 94, he'd put a diamond around the number to indicate that the horse had run bigger than he expected.
    (that was generally his style - plus/minus 3 points)


    Come to think of it, Jimmy actually gave me quite a bit more than I've ever given him credit for.
    I will do a show about him.

    He was quite the character.
  • Dave Schwartz
    267
    I can't recite the numbers, but studies I have seen suggest that 3 yo's progress through their 3 yo campaign and continue to progress, on average, into their 4 yo and somewhat into their 5 yo years. So, my assertion, or at least my hypothesis, is that a 3 yo who beats older horses has completed an accomplishment that suggests class.

    Another class indicator that comes to my mind is stretch duel wins... the horses that want it more.

    My goal in this thread has not been to establish the class level of a race, but rather to establish the class level of a horse.
    RanchWest

    I completely missed this EXCELLENT response!

    ABSOLUTELY!

    Did you read my book from 2012, Percentages & Probabilities?

    In that book, I did a whole chapter on building STRENGTH RATINGS. They are far better than par times.

    Since working for the Australians for a couple of years, I have refined it even further. Alas, the next step takes CODE.
  • Tony Kofalt
    393
    Great discussion guys. I’m at the track watching horses work right now but I have a follow up point or 2 I will add later. But loved this exchange
  • Dave Schwartz
    267
    That's true. But horses dropping to their lowest claiming price and horses first time in for a tag have increased chances of winning, as a group. Of course, extreme claiming price drops can raise suspicion. So, I do think claiming prices are generally one means of measuring class.RanchWest

    I think they're better for determining trainer intent, but point taken.
  • RanchWest
    503
    Did you read my book from 2012, Percentages & Probabilities?

    In that book, I did a whole chapter on building STRENGTH RATINGS. They are far better than par times.
    Dave Schwartz

    Could you tell me which specific chapter you are referencing? I did purchase the book. I can't say that I ever dove into it full bore.
  • Dave Schwartz
    267


    2.8 Speed - Relative to Today's Par

    I assume, then, that you missed the 1,300 pages of data tables (race type specific) in the sub folders.
  • Tony Kofalt
    393
    I'm a firm believer in form cycles. In fact when I project a figure for a horse I almost always project improvement or regression from the last effort. Past races, some fairly old, are the basis for my projections. I often give more credit for a race from 4-6 months than I might the last 2-3 races. That's why I'm having trouble agreeing to time decay when it comes to speed and pace ratings.
  • RanchWest
    503
    Tony, I agree on time decay. Many of today's trainers have solid intent first off a long layoff, as evidenced by their high win percentages. And, I, too, am willing to go well back into the running lines to find a race that might correspond to today's race. For instance, turf route lines tell me little about what will happen in today's dirt sprint. In fact, I've come to consider selecting a "pace line" as one of the most important aspects of handicapping. And that certainly is contrary to time decay.
  • Dave Schwartz
    267
    I'm a firm believer in form cycles. In fact when I project a figure for a horse I almost always project improvement or regression from the last effort. Past races, some fairly old, are the basis for my projections. I often give more credit for a race from 4-6 months than I might the last 2-3 races. That's why I'm having trouble agreeing to time decay when it comes to speed and pace ratings.Tony Kofalt

    Tony, I agree on time decay. Many of today's trainers have solid intent first off a long layoff, as evidenced by their high win percentages. And, I, too, am willing to go well back into the running lines to find a race that might correspond to today's race. For instance, turf route lines tell me little about what will happen in today's dirt sprint. In fact, I've come to consider selecting a "pace line" as one of the most important aspects of handicapping. And that certainly is contrary to time decay.RanchWest


    I am saying that STATISTICALLY (i.e. as a metric) time decay produces FAR better results than something like (say) BEST-OF-LAST-2.

    If one is choosing a PACELINE - especially a single running line, that is a different solution to a different problem.

    In that scenario, picking the race that the horse will run today will either be good or bad - based upon the skill of the picker.

    One approach is for a SYSTEMATIC approach, the other ARTFUL.

    I do not see how the two can be compared.

    Do you guys?
  • RanchWest
    503
    Dave, I think there is a right answer to the wrong question in here somewhere.
  • Tony Kofalt
    393

    Dave, thanks for your response. And I see that we are approaching the race differently. I do believe there are 'factors' for which time decay should play a big part. I wasn't trying to give you a hard time, just get your opinion on time decay regarding speed figs.
    I really appreciate the discussion!!!
  • Dave Schwartz
    267

    I didn't take it that way at all.

    Besides, you bet for a living and I don't. :clap:

    18 Months ago I would have said that I didn't believe artful handicapping could lead to very many winning players. But now we face a situation where the MOST SUCCESSFUL PLAYERS IN THE WORLD are all purely systematic.

    I'm of the opinion now that it might actually be EASIER for an ARTFUL player to win. At least they are not battling the best players on their turf.
  • Tom
    89
    My question for EPS/APV would be, what dat do you use?
    Lifetime, this year, this surface, this track?
    My own project of finding out what is winning shows that at FL and BEL the BRIS ACL (class) is hitting at 70%+ for the top 3 on dirt, but on turf, it drops to ~55%.
  • Dave Schwartz
    267
    My question for EPS/APV would be, what dat do you use?
    Lifetime, this year, this surface, this track?
    My own project of finding out what is winning shows that at FL and BEL the BRIS ACL (class) is hitting at 70%+ for the top 3 on dirt, but on turf, it drops to ~55%.
    Tom

    My answer for using the earnings box:
    This year if 6 or more starts.
    Otherwise, last 2 years.

    Logically, anything top 3 will be weaker on turf unless the stat is ONLY turf.
    That is always a problem.
  • RanchWest
    503
    Tom, I agree with Dave.

    Those are pretty good numbers towards a contenders list, but it takes a lot more data plus value toward making final decisions.
  • Conley
    424
    I will chime in on this subject the best that I can lol

    When I think of the word class I think of top racehorses that everyone has their eyes on and race at a better level than others such as Allowance horses or Stakes/Graded Horses

    I have played around with different methods on class like APV or EPS but now my trick to find a "class" in a horse is to start at the bottom of a horse's past performances and work your way up

    That way I know how the trainer or at least understand why the trainer entered this specific horse in each race shown and give a sense if he likes the class or not along with distance/surface/jockey etc

    Sure it might take a while to go through each race but I think when you are done with each horse you can figure out if he not just belongs in this race but to see if his "past class" is worth it for today's level and wager accordingly

    Hope that makes sense to everyone
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