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Sartin Methodology Handicapping 101 (102 ...) Interactive Teaching & Learning - Race Conditions, Contenders, Pacelines, Advanced Concepts, Betting ...

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Old 07-21-2013, 02:15 PM   #1
Because I Can Jim
Grade 1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 203
20 Race Cycles - For Beginners and Old Alike

In posting elsewhere in the forum today, it ocurred to me that we seem to always focus on one race. While this is necessary to learn and understand concepts, judgements about the effectiveness of a thought is better served beyond a one race analysis. We focus too much on one race and draw conclusions. However, the real effects of that one isolated thought over an extended period of time can be different from what we came up with in that one race. But, in the back of our minds we are saying yes, yes, yes, just because we are currently focusing on what we are reading or seeing.

It is like having a bag of marbles where the bag represents a handicapping thought or concept. In the bag are marbles which are colored black for not effective and white for effective. They are colored in proportion to the effectiveness of the of the thought although we don't know what the percentage of effectiveness is just ike we don't know how many marbles are in the bag. When the first marble is pulled out and is a white one, does that mean that the all of the other tries will be white let alone the very next try? What if the thought or concept is truly only 10% effective in your handicapping. The first try is white. The second is white. So are the third, fourth and fifth. Does that mean the concept is effective beyond its most likely percentage? I appears to be highly effective when in reality it is really not that effective. Our minds are saying yes, yes, yes....

The Doc used 20 race cycles because he knew statistically that this was comparable to a (+) or (-) 13% deviation over 100 races. If you look in all of the Follow-Ups and manuals, you see the 20 race cycles everywhere. These 20 race cycles serve as the "report card" for that individual.

Beginners start out with this wealth of information coming at them. They quickly become overwhelmed. They try a few races based upon what they have been able to absorb. The results are varied - winners and losers. They try a few more. They begin to make judgements and they begin to change what they are doing based upon further reading, studying, learning they have done when not handicapping a card. What they haven't done is to see what is really hapenning to have a basis to be ble to judge their performance before they change something.

More experienced handicappers (and this is just an opinion), know their performance and want to get better so they make a change based upon their continued study. They will see their performance dip and they become emotionally unbalanced because they were doing well and now not as well. What they should do is to handicap a card the way they know how and then re-handicap the card with the changing of only one thought over a 20 race cycle to be able to make a comaprison as to if the new thought/concept has any validity for their handicapping.

Personally, I use 40 races and keep a running total every 20 races (and am seriously considering expanding it to a 100 race cycle adjusted every 20 races). This means that I keep two sets of numbers - 1) is the stats from the current 20 races and 2) the set of stats for the 40 races which are updated every 20 races with the old 20 dropped off and the new 20 added.

I also keep a another set of records for changes in my thought process. I do not change my core handicapping method. But, I will handicap the races a second time with the new concept I am trying to introduce into my game and keeping track of those outcomes separately. If after 40 races, the updated method for me is favorable, it becomes my new core method and I just continue with it.

For example, I handicap 40 races. To keep numbers simple and in no way reflects my performance, I am using these numbers for illustration purposes only, let's say my win percentage is 50%. Let's say that in my process, I use Top 3 Total Energy as my pace line selection process. I am considering using Best VDC.

I will continue to handicap my old 50% way with Total Energy. But, I will then handicap each race a second time using Best VDC keeping a second set of records. If after 40 races, using Best VDC is showing a win percentage of greater than 50%, I may decide to make the change and use that set of records as my core set of records handicapping with Best VDC instead of Total Energy. If not, I am still using what has been working for me.

Why do I use 40 races and am seriously considering using 100?

It is all about cycles. Who is to say my cycle fits into a neat 20 race package? Too much variance for me. (The Doc said that if you felt there was too much variance with 13%, then use a 21 race cycle instead of a 20 race cycle. Sorry, but the addition of one race does not change how I feel and statistically it doesn't make sense.) That is why I adopted 40 races which worked well, when I was winning 60% at a mutual of $8. Even 20 races works pretty well when the majority of the races on a card pay less than $8 and you are handicapping them all except for maidens.

But, let's say you demand price. Let's say you will wager on a race only when your top two choices are at 3-1 or better. Now you are not wagering on as many races (you are passing more races) and your win percentage is going to be lower. To push the envelope of this line of thought to illustrate the point, let's say you will only make a wager if the horses are going off at 6-1 or better. Obviously, you are going to wager on a lot fewer races and will have a much lower win percentage although your average mutual will be much higher. If you used 20 race cycles, is it possible to have only one winner in any given 20 race cycle? Sure. Is it also possible to have five winners in a 20 race cycle when wagering at 6-1? Sure.

Depending upon the cycle, you will draw very different conclusions about your performance whether you are wagering at 3-1 or using 6-1 as yoru wagering criteria.

The 20 race cycle cycle works relativley well when you are wagering on a lot of races in a card and are seeing all of the lower prices being paid.

But, today, when you are looking for higher prices, your performance can be skewed. And that is also why I am considering going to the 100 race cycle. I could go to 60 or I could go to 80, but, I most likely am not going to stay at 40. In the search for higher priced returns, I can miss a number of races and then win a number of races. The results swing too much for my objective analysis of my 40 race cycle.

Don't get me wrong. I use 40 and I am at a point in my handicapping where I don't wish to test 60 and 80 and will just jump to 100 which I acknowledge I feel may be a bit of overkill, yet, I can always scale down if I wish to. But, I won't use 20 races. That is just me.

As with anything in a method, you need to test what works for you. But, if you handicap 20 races and get a nagging feeling that something is not right and you get that feeling often at the end of many 20 race cycles, maybe it is a time for a change.

Hope this is food for thought.

Because I Can Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2017, 03:56 PM   #2
Grade 1
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 168
Hi Jim
I am a long time member and follower of Doc Sartin. Just getting back to the races after a self imposed time off of about 11 years. Just lost intrest when they closed Detroit Race Course. I had great success there. I had a nice Brohamer type model and was kinda lax on record keeping thou
Could you please relate how you approach handicapping? I am trying to get more input so I can take different approaches and try to take different approaches to take and make my own procedures,experiencing in 20 race cycles how I do and then adjusting and making MY own APPROACH
Any help I sure would appreciate from your procedures
Thank You
Papa John
papajohn3times is offline   Reply With Quote

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