• 2022 Belmont Stakes
    I love the analysis from both @Dustin Korth and @Jack Price

    I wish I had the time this week to look at the race but a long week of work, prepping to present at a conference next week, and my last hurrah coaching kid's sports (rugby!) started up this week.

    At a quick glance I to like Mo Donegal and Creative Minister, but do see the opportunity for WTP to get loose and not look back. Should be a fun race to watch this year!
  • What's Your Favorite Dave Schwartz Product?

    I used the logic (even before I had read the book) to break down certain aspects of handicapping a race, but will admit the book made me think about it more and even more finite aspects.

    An example of how I did this was in how I assess favorites. I wanted to come up with a strategy of when to back or go against a favorite, which I termed strong and false favorites. I broke down the aspects of a horse I was using to gauge this assessment on... recency, win percentage, class, experience at or within 1/2 a furlong of the distance to see how each of these factors related to each favorite in my homemade-manually entered excel database.

    "But wait, there's more!"

    While I found modest success with strong/false (and further breaking false into false with no qualifiers, false with a qualifier - a qualifier being a horse in the field that met the metrics of a strong favorite, but wasn't the favorite). I wanted to make the criteria better... so I started to look at other aspects of the field, not just the favorite and developed a favorite likelihood factor (FLF). I ran other metrics of the field against my favorites (type of race, field size, jock, etc. - 7 in total). I found a fairly linear relation between win percentage and FLF in all categories - strong, false no qual, false with qual.

    I again tweaked the process and established two other levels of "super favorites" using the same drill down and adding other factors.

    Sadly, the file I had used to develop the impact values of all of those factors was on the hard drive of a laptop that died (I have since learned my lesson on backing up information), but assessing the favorite and FLF is the first thing on my "handicapping checklist".

    I have used HTMA as well to break down other angles/approaches I have used, which really isn't too different that how HSH builds objects out of factors.
  • What's Your Favorite Dave Schwartz Product?
    For me it was P&P that blew my mind... but I use the pars almost daily.

    I am hoping that soon I will be saying it is HSH as I learn to use the product!

    @Biniak I read "How to Measure Anything" a few years back it is amazing what I have been able to do at work with it in terms of creating and developing KPIs and other metrics... and it has been helpful with the ponies too!
  • Congrats to Conley

    My ex-boss at work and I always joke that it is a prerequisite to be able to speak fluently in movie quotes. In fact, I give each one of my new hires a list of movies they really need to watch in order to fit in with the rest of the department, and in turn, they give me newer movies to watch too!
  • Derek Simon
    I learned a lot from Derek over the years. I was glad I answered his random FB post about "anyone looking to write about horse racing?" a few years back.

    Since I know you read some of my articles, Derek gave me some guidance on what to write and how to tell a story... hence the personification of "Rail Guy" was born. Derek always said my style evolved into a very Damon Runyon-esque sort of style.

    The best part is that all of the characters I ever wrote about were real people... and only the type of folks you'll meet by spending way too much of your time at the track (especially on weeknights!).

    I think Derek will always have the bug for horse racing though... even when I tried to walk away to focus more on my career in the mid 2000's, I was always drawn back in!
  • Congrats to Conley
    Congrats! That is going to be an amazing experience!
  • What being a member here has done for me
    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!
  • The Work Begins
    I appreciate the kind words @Dave Schwartz ... but I am horrible at picking the Kentucky Derby (my niche has always been the Preakness). After the great Smarty Jones, I had a drought until Always Dreaming finally won to break my slump. I spend no more time on the Kentucky Derby than I do any other race (granted for the years I was paid to write about it, I had to make it sound sexy which took a little extra time and effort). I will admit that one well placed superfecta one year I didn't have the winner on top in my selections yielded a handsome payout (and the IRS agreed).

    To me, "the work begins" as I set out on my new chapter of having an online presence in this great sport we love. Helping to educate, have constructive discussions, and learn a thing or two along the way (and probably turn the last 30+ years of my handicapping upside down).

    Good luck to all those who have a good feeling or the data gives you an edge... I can't wait to see the discussions and points made for (and against) the contenders!

    Good luck all - we are all going to need it as those horses pinball coming out of the gate!