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Here was my first try at handicapping a full race.

Forum: Horse Racing
Author: [Horse Racing] Topic: Here was my first try at handicapping a full race.
realscififan PM realscififan
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 412
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Posted: 5/7/2012 2:59:01 PM

This was race 10 on Derby Day at Churchill Downs.


Here is how I see it and tell me what I am reading wrong.

I am basing this off of other 1 1/8M races.

Little Mike, Turallure, Al Khali, and Turbo Compressor all have first fractions of 48.2 or less (turbo compressor's was NOT on turf).

Speed for the middle fractions are:
Brilliant Speed at 46.1
Little Mike at 46.2
Turallure at 47.0
Doubles Partner at 48.0
Al Khali at 48.1
Papaw Bodie at 49.0
Get Stormy at 49.1

So I am still seeing Little Mike and Turallure leading with Al Khali close in 3rd, Brilliant Speed would be fighting Doubles Partner for 4th with Get Stormy and Papaw Bodie sitting in 5th and 6th.

Top Closing speeds are:
Al Khali at 10.2
Little Mike at 11.2
Papaw Bodie at 11.4
Brilliant Speed at 11.8
Doubles Partner at 12.1
Get Stormy 12.2
Turallure at 13.1

That gives me a top 3 of (not necessarily who I am betting)
Al Khali
Little Mike
Brilliant Speed.

Now the other horses have not races 1 1/8M.  Which throws a wrench in.  
Al Khali seems to race into trouble in his races.  But with a new jockey that may change.  
Little Mike has only raced the distance once in 5 races and the fast pace from him and Turallure and Boxeur des Rues may race him out of the race.
Brilliant Speed has one of the slowest first fractions of all the horses in the field.  This is his 2nd race after a layoff and looked bad in his first race so his 2nd race may be better.
Papaw Bodie has had some of the slowest last fractions of the field and now another jockey change (9th in 12 races) 
Turbo Compressor is running his 2nd race on turf but he did win his first at 1 1/16M but another jockey change after that win makes me wonder.
Doubles Partner has not run this distance in a year and had his lowest beyers rating at that distance.
Slim Shadey...I just hate GB horses.  Just cannot seem to get them figured out.
And finally Boxeur des Reus, I think the fastest out of the gate and for the first 6 or 7 furlongs but dont think he can maintain with the other speed in the race.

That being said I see Al Khali, Brilliant Speed and Turbo Compressor.

I have only been betting on horses for less then a year.  Am I seeing things correctly?  Your imput would be very much appreciated.
It finished:
Little Mike
Slim Shadey
Brilliant Speed
I liked Little Mike but did not think he could keep the pace.  I did not know much about GB horses and not sure how to handicap them and I had Brilliant Speed in my top 3 as well.  So for my first race I think I did okay, and I will keep trying and learning.
Any other thoughts?
spliquid PM spliquid
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 3436
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Posted: 5/7/2012 3:42:33 PM
There's no correct way to handicap, everyone uses different factors in reaching their decisions.  The only question I would have is the fractions from other races that you used.  There could have been many things that could have affected those times.

The race you capped confused a lot of people, especially after seeing the closer win the previous turf race and the fact that there was an expected pace duel that never really happened, that's why Little Mike went off at the odds that he did.
atlasshrugged PM atlasshrugged
Joined: May 2008
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Posted: 5/7/2012 3:48:48 PM
You certainly are taking a logical approach and putting thought into it.  Nice job.  You may want to consider being careful with the raw times.  That is why they came up with speed figures.  Let's say they go the first half in 47.2 at Keeneland and 46.3 at Santa Anita.  Well that race at Keeneland may have been moving at a stronger pace than Santa Anita's race.  Maybe the "typical" split at Santa Anita on that day and recent days was 45.4.  Maybe a typical split at Keeneland was 48.4.  You understand I am making hypothetical examples.  The speed figures (Beyer and Equibase as examples) account for track variance and "how the track was playing" that day and on recent days.  On turf, you also have other factors such as the presence of a temp rail, inner and outer turf courses at BEL and SAR, and a variety of other issues.  The condition due to moisture.  Maybe they put a crapload of water on the course earlier that day.  At a course like GP they change the rail distance around all the time.  Plenty of variables!!!

there are also performance figures such as The Sheets and Thorograph along with Racing Post Ratings.  These capture speed but also take into account the trip, wind, and other things. 

That said try not to be trapped by a figure such as a Beyer fig.  You have to analyze them and interpret them.

I try to organize myself like this.  This is NOT "the answer" just something I try to use almost like a checklist:

Late Speed
J/T Combo
Breeding (if applicable)

I rank them like that but it shuffles based on circumstances and the type of race being analyzed.

The best bet in horse racing:  sometimes the best bet is to simply pass on the race.  Took me a while to learn that one. 
realscififan PM realscififan
Joined: Jan 2010
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Posted: 5/7/2012 3:51:23 PM

Thank you for responding.  I enjoyed trying it.  It was fun and made the race much more enjoyable to watch.  I did not hit the trifecta I bet but I sure had fun.

I used the fractions of the last race that was the same distance.  I figured they may race differently for different lenghts of races. 

atlasshrugged PM atlasshrugged
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 11274
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Posted: 5/7/2012 3:55:23 PM
Please note when I emphasize Late Speed I only care about Late Speed at THIS distance being run today.  I could care less if a little sizzler can look like a beast at 5F.  if today's race is 7F he might be great fade material.  If they have never gone the distance (like the Kentucky Derby) then you have to project forward and try to determine how well they will be moving late.
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