• Colty
    3
    When the Pace Handicapping conversation started, I thought how great it would be if paceline selection and modeling could still work. Over the years I've tried it a few times and all I could hit were short prices.

    But recently I've been doing some handicapping with pacelines and - while it does still lean towards low prices, that whole PSR contender process really seems to make a difference. The winners are right there but I must still pick the right lines.

    HOW DO YOU SELECT PACELINES?
  • RanchWest
    277
    Even if we're finding pass races, it's information. I think information is a key element to successful handicapping. Our information is important whether we are finding what everyone knows or we're onto what few people know. It's all part of zigging and zagging.
  • RanchWest
    277
    Okay, I'll go first.

    First, I have a program and it selects my lines. At present, I only have dirt, turf and off turf. I admit that is probably inadequate. I need to add wet dirt and off turf wet and dry and wet turf. I don't change my lines. But I do have a report that includes the main pace calculations for up to 10 races, adjusted for distance, for every horse.

    i select the line based on a point system, with preferred factors garnering points.

    Here's what I look for:

    1) A similar surface and distance. I prefer within 1/2 furlong up to 1 furlong. i prefer no more than three races back of races that match the surface and distance.
    2) There is a preference for FAST/FIRM and also not sealed. Off turf does not have this preference.
    3) I very much prefer a line within 7.75 lengths and more than 14 lengths is pretty much useless.
    4) There is a strong preference to avoid lines with extreme variants.
    5) Prefer not to use a 2 yo line
    6) A mild preference for recency in days
    7) A mild preference for races since the last claim
    8) Prefer a good race as defined by Quirin
    9) There's a few other minor points that mostly serve as tie breakers such as similar pars, same track, etc.

    Tell me where I'm wrong.
  • Tom
    48
    Good list.
    I like to find 2 lines, to make I'm not using abberant lines.
    I want to to use lines that will show what the horse will do when at the right distance, surface, and class level. So I am not afraid to use lines #7 and #10 if that's what it takes. I am looking at pace ability, nothing else. Class, form, trainer intent can be evaluated using recent races, works, riders, etc.
    Howard Sartin used to stress, don't put horses in the computer that you think can't win, and if you think a horse can win, don't use a line that won't let him.

    One thing I watch out for are extreme paced races. BRIS has race shapes listed, and I am hesitent to use races where the race shapes are beyond +6 or -6. That is +/- 3/5s of a second. Steve Davidowitz once did a study that suggest that range was more realistic than Quirrin's +/- 1/5, and my own research when I was using HTR gave the same results.

    If today's race has more than one horse likely to run extreme early, I will use those extreme lines.
    Another thing I look for is riders. If the rider who last won or finished close on the horse, I may go backand use a line where he/she was on.

    Of course, we have to take what the PPs give us. Sometimes we can't find ideal lines and have to use what there is. Or pass.

    There are a lot of races every day, and there is another one coming up in 5 minutes.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    @Tom & @RanchWest,

    Great answers. Love how both of you have worked to "systematize" your approaches.
    I'll have to grab some screenshots of what I do - will work on it tonight.
  • Tony Kofalt
    277
    When calculating factors for each paceline(s) such as E1, E2 etc has anyone ever experimented with a metho Dave calls synthetic pacelines? Dave maybe you could add a brief explanation of the synthetic paceline calculations? That way I won't lead anyone astray. I have to say that synthetic calculations have led me to many lone speed opportunities especially in maiden race.
  • Tom
    48
    Tony,

    An idea put forth by Randy Giles was to use the best of last 3 E2 and LP to rate horses who met certain criteria. I have used that many times over the years with annecdotal success (no data).

    I have also tried best 2 of last 4 E2 and LP, and using the last 3 and throwing out the best and worst. So far, I having good results. I make 4 ratingd, E2, LP, Total, and Factor W (E2+E2+LP) / 3. I have tried the late version (E2+LP+LP) / 3, but results were marginal on dirt but slightly encouraging on AW rotes and turf routes.

    Interesting to see what Dave says about composite pace.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    When calculating factors for each paceline(s) such as E1, E2 etc has anyone ever experimented with a metho Dave calls synthetic pacelines? Dave maybe you could add a brief explanation of the synthetic paceline calculations? That way I won't lead anyone astray. I have to say that synthetic calculations have led me to many lone speed opportunities especially in maiden race.Tony Kofalt

    Sure!

    What Pace Handicappers Do
    Let's take the typical horse with 10 pacelines.
    And let's imagine that we're using the basic Sartin approach of EP, SP, W.

    So, if one considers the 10 pacelines, with each having 3 ratings, we have the potential for 30 ratings. Or, if you prefer, 10 rows with 3 ratings each.

    What Synthetic Pace IS
    So, we would have the same 3 columns - EP, SP, W.
    But we have 13 rows and those rows are labeled as follows:
    13 Rows
    • Last Race
    • Best of Last 2
    • Best of Last 3
    • Best of Last 4
    • Best 2 of Last 3
    • Best 2 of Last 4
    • Best 3 of Last 4
    • Average of Last 2
    • Average of Last 3
    • Average of Last 4
    • Best Ever (last 10 races)
    • Best 2 Ever (last 10 races)
    • 2nd Best Ever (last 10 races)

    Let's consider "Best 2 of last 3."
    If we used the Sartin approach (i.e. EP, SP, W), we'd have 3 of those:

    Best 2 of Last 3 EP
    Best 2 of Last 3 SP
    Best 2 of Last 3 W

    So, 13 rows x 3 columns = 39 ratings.

    Our modeling tool goes through the races that are LIKE THIS ONE and picks out the best of those 39 factors.

    Thus, doing it this way, we might get:
    • Best 2 of Last 3 EP
    • Best 3 of Last 4 W
    • Best Ever SP

    In other words, we didn't pick a single ROW (or paceline). Instead, we created a SYNTHETIC PACELINE.

    In Reality
    In reality, we actually have 13 rows x 8 columns = 104 ratings.
    F1,EP,SC,FT,FW,PWR,SP,LP

    In addition, we can mix a bunch of other columns in with it, such as PSR, Jockey Ratings, etc. just to see if they have an real value.

    Hope this helps.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    Interesting to see what Dave says about composite pace.Tom

    Composite Pace is a slightly different animal.
    Take all of those 8 pace ratings mentioned above...
    F1,EP,SC,FT,FW,PWR,SP,LP

    ... and look at each one through the lens of the 13 ROWS.

    Thus, F! has...
    • Last Race
    • Best of Last 2
    • Best of Last 3
    • Best of Last 4
    • Best 2 of Last 3
    • Best 2 of Last 4
    • Best 3 of Last 4
    • Average of Last 2
    • Average of Last 3
    • Average of Last 4
    • Best Ever (last 10 races)
    • Best 2 Ever (last 10 races)
    • 2nd Best Ever (last 10 races)

    Then we take those 13 and average them to make Composite F1.
  • RanchWest
    277
    I know what F1, EP, SC and FW are.

    I don't know what FT and PWR are.

    And, I don't know the difference between SP and LP.

    Can you help me with your definitions, please?
  • RanchWest
    277
    has anyone ever experimented with a metho Dave calls synthetic pacelines?Tony Kofalt

    No, the closest thing I have done is similar to the RDSS CSR rating. CSR uses a Fibonacci allocation for the speed ratings of the last 4 races. It's a somewhat helpful number. So, I did the same thing with the BRIS pace figs. It gives me another way of looking at pace. As I have mentioned before, I am always looking for whether a number is real or phoney and this gives me another point of comparison.
  • RanchWest
    277
    Then we take those 13 and average them to make Composite F1.Dave Schwartz

    Let's say a horse stops and is vanned off, for example. Do I assume correctly that you would not use any computations from that race? It seems to me that if, for any reason, a number like total Energy cannot be computed, i would not use any computation.

    Also, let's say a horse has 3 lines. Would you omit best 3 of last 4, for example?
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    Let's say a horse stops and is vanned off, for example. Do I assume correctly that you would not use any computations from that race? It seems to me that if, for any reason, a number like total Energy cannot be computed, i would not use any computation.RanchWest

    Since the horse got horrible ratings, they'd not be used for any of the top-whatever. So, no. They'd not be used.

    Perhaps I am missing your point, though.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    No, the closest thing I have done is similar to the RDSS CSR rating. CSR uses a Fibonacci allocation for the speed ratings of the last 4 races. It's a somewhat helpful number. So, I did the same thing with the BRIS pace figs. It gives me another way of looking at pace. As I have mentioned before, I am always looking for whether a number is real or phoney and this gives me another point of comparison.RanchWest

    We have a set of TIME DECAY factors for that.

    Heck, we've got 4,000 factors per horse, so we sort of have everything. LOL
  • RanchWest
    277
    Heck, we've got 4,000 factors per horse, so we sort of have everything. LOLDave Schwartz
    Sadly, you're more compulsive than me. ROTFLMAO
  • RanchWest
    277
    Perhaps I am missing your point, thoughDave Schwartz

    My point was that maybe the horse has a great f1, but later in the race stops. Would you consider the great f1 or would you toss the race entirely?
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    My point was that maybe the horse has a great f1, but later in the race stops. Would you consider the great f1 or would you toss the race entirely?RanchWest

    I don't consider "races." All of the ratings stand on their own.

    I'll find some time to post my actual paceline SELECTION approach in the next day or two. It will necessitate showing how the system works - with some screenshots.

    But the short version is that I want the TIGHTEST FINISH(es).

    My favorite paceline would be a race that was won or lost by a head/neck, same surface, same (or similar) distance.

    The rationale is that this race represents exactly how good this horse is. If he was any better, he'd have won by more; if he was worse, he wouldn't have been so close.
  • Tom
    48
    I came across a horse that might be relevent to not only paceline selection, but eliminating loe priced horses as weel. Today at Tampa Bay, R8, the 2-1 ML favorite looks suspicious at first glance. He dropped in class after a good race returning from a layoff, but not only didn't he win, he ran a significantly lower Beyer figure. Today, he is rising back up in class.

    His DRF PPs and commentary are in the attached PDF file.
    Attachment
    TAM EXAMPLE (627K)
  • Jack Price
    16
    Tom, thanks for sharing this race…. Very interesting in that HDW speed figures paints a different picture…he gets a 69 final time fig for his last effort (133 1st call & and 113 2nd call)…and for the race two back a 63 final time fig (118 1st call and 104 2nd call).

    To me, turning back to 6f from 7f; a 40-day freshening; using the HDW speed and pace figures; the jock switch to Camacho; and moving back up in class as positive trainer intent… I would guess the horse is sitting on an improved, winning effort???

    However, with all that said, looks like lots of early pace pressure and no way I would take a short price on anyone in this race!

    BOL!
  • RanchWest
    277
    I came across a horse that might be relevent to not only paceline selection, but eliminating loe priced horses as weel. Today at Tampa Bay, R8, the 2-1 ML favorite looks suspicious at first glance. He dropped in class after a good race returning from a layoff, but not only didn't he win, he ran a significantly lower Beyer figure. Today, he is rising back up in class.Tom

    That one is hooked up tough in that one. I give the 1, 2, 3 and 6 a shot and the 5 has finished ahead of the 4. Should be an interesting race.
  • RanchWest
    277
    I'll try the 1, 5/1 at 10 MTP.
  • Tom
    48
    The composite and synthetic pace ideas make think your RegSpeedSort method might work well to elimiate the abberant pace figs and allow a deeper comparisob between early and other than early horses.
  • RanchWest
    277
    Good call on 8TAM, Tom. #2 paid $41.20 as the fave finished 4th.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    You guys are firing on all cylinders!
  • HorseSense
    5
    That Tam 8TH race was a perfect example of putting a "hole" in the favorite.....
    First I get my 4 contenders ....(below)
    I look at the pace of race and see if the horse fits
    What ever recent paceline you used , the 4 horse would have been 4th at first call
    Look at the horses PP's ....what position he runs a good race from????
    Answer: On the lead and in this race he wasn't getting it...
    So now I got "Value"
    I have the 1-2-7 .....The 7 and 2 look legit...The 1 has declining figs ..out
    Left with 2 and 7

    H
    0b0l2zqnjut0lf5w.jpg
  • Tony Kofalt
    277


    Tom, this is one of my favorite paceline selection scenarios. The return race was good but not his top. Then the 2nd off layup earns a lower fig. I almost always project the third race fig to return to the level of his return. One additional point, if there was additional regression in his 3rd race I am not afraid to project the 4th start equal to the return race. I see this scenario as form cycle at its purest. I realize this is a very simplistic explanation and other factors need to be considered
  • RanchWest
    277
    I think it was also significant that #4 waited 40 days to come back and in that time had one 3f work 4 days prior to today.

    The pace was also a factor, but I think the speed/form cycle pattern is still significant.
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