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Old 06-09-2013, 11:23 AM   #1
NeedForSpeed
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FTL - Race Conditions

As a new member in the first week I've jumped in with both feet. I downloaded and registered RDSS and am using it with all the DB examples. I have read as many posts as I can to get a good handle on things. One thing struck me in particular. FTL mentioned the importance of understanding race conditions when deciding to use or pass a race. I also saw how he was able to use that to understand PP's and how a horse moves through conditions. FTL (or anyone) are there readings you suggest to get educated in this area? Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by NeedForSpeed View Post
As a new member in the first week I've jumped in with both feet. I downloaded and registered RDSS and am using it with all the DB examples. I have read as many posts as I can to get a good handle on things. One thing struck me in particular. FTL mentioned the importance of understanding race conditions when deciding to use or pass a race. I also saw how he was able to use that to understand PP's and how a horse moves through conditions. FTL (or anyone) are there readings you suggest to get educated in this area? Thanks.
NeedForSpeed,

Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately I don’t know any publication(s) on this subject. That is not how I learned it. When I first started back in the mid ‘60’s, an old guy told me the “key” to handicapping was the conditions. Why? Because in those days the conditions were NOT a part of the PP’s as we know them today. When you would be handicapping a race the DRF (or Morning Telegraph back then) did not tell you the condition of the prior races. You just knew it was a maiden race, a claiming race, an Allowance race, etc. The only way to know the conditions of prior races was to keep old DRF’s.. If you wanted to look up a condition, you went to the stack of DRF’s and searched for the date, then the race. There you could find the condition for the race in its’ entirety. Of course you didn’t have to keep the racing form, you could just write the conditions down in a notebook and keep that handy when handicapping. It was a lot easier. Naturally, if you missed a day or days, you didn’t have those conditions in your notebook.

Keep in mind that although there are “basic” conditions, a racing secretary at a given track can “make up” conditions to suit the horses on his grounds in order to fill races.

Although “Maiden Claiming” and “Maiden Special Weight” races don’t have conditions, they can have restrictions. Those restrictions will be for horses bred in the state where the track is located.

In claiming races, the “bottom” conditions are;
Non winners of 2 races lifetime (NW2L)
Non winners of 3 races lifetime (NW3L)
Non winners of 4 races lifetime (NW4L)
These can be at any claiming price level.

After the above, the next group of conditions are generally the following;
Non winners of one, two or three races in the past 6 months. These read as “NWx6M”.Now these get a little tricky for this reason. Let’s say today’s race is a $10,000 claiming race. As part of the condition, races for lower claiming prices can be excluded from consideration. So you might find a horse with a few wins in the last 6 months, but they must have been in races lower than the stipulated claiming price. Where this additional condition is present, the condition will have an “X” at the end of the abbreviated condition and look like this…”NWx6MX”.

The same is true for the next type of condition, which is non winners of one, two or three races in a year. I should have mentioned this above, but the conditions DO NOT state “six months ”or“ a “year”. They use a date that corresponds to six months or a year. At any rate, this one is fairly straight forward.

Then there are those claiming races that do not have a condition. They are called “open” races, which mean any horse can enter as long as the horse’s connections are willing to lose the horse (by way of a claim) for the claiming price stipulated for the race. These are the best of the claiming price races at any level be it $5,000 claimers or $50,000 claimers.

In more recent years “Starter Allowance” races have become popular because they are for claiming horses and the horse’s connections can run their horse in this type of race without fear of the horse being claimed. The conditions associated with these races can be anything, so make sure you read them.

When it comes to Allowance races, they can be based on either number of wins or money earned. For an example, you might find races with a condition that says,” for non winners of A RACE other than maiden or claiming". You may also find a condition that says “for non winners of TWO RACES other than maiden or claiming” or “non winners of THREE RACES other than maiden or claiming”. The conditions will look like this "NW1X, NW2X or NW3X". The "X" stands for "other than". Although the basic race is for horses that have never beat anything except maidens, you can also have a claiming horse with 20 wins in the race. Remember, the condition says "other than maiden or claiming", so multiple wins in claiming races is allowed.

In what is referred to as “money allowance” races, there is a specified amount of money involved. For an example, “non winners of $10,000 other than maiden or claiming”. You might also find “non winners of $10,000 TWICE other than maiden or claiming” or “non winners of $10,000 THREE TIMES other than maiden or claiming”. The amount of money will change based on the track and the horses at that track. These conditions will look like this "NW$X", "NW$2X", "NW$3X". Here again, the "X" represents "other than" as it did in the above condition.
You may also see some conditions that expand on the two conditions noted above. This expansion is at the racing secretary’s discretion.

I’m going to stop here and just say that your responsibility is to learn about these various races and conditions. Ask yourself, “ which condition is more difficult than the other?” And you have to do this as you handicap the race. Why did a horse run bad after running good? Was it the condition? I think you will find that it is easier than you might think.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:35 PM   #3
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Wow I can't thank you enough FTL. This is perfect. It's definitely my responsibility to go forward with this info and I fully intend to do so. I will think through a horses PP's and see how the trainer is progressing it through these conditions and try to understand intentions along with performance and why some results are the way they are.

At the end of each day I stop and ask myself what did I learn and how can I apply that learning. Each day is a small piece that goes into the whole. Like Sartin said choosing paceline is not strictly mechanical its intuitive and in the end it has to come from your own thinking not someone else s. This is what separates this great sport the fact that its your own creative thinking that brings the results. The great thing about this site and the great man Sartin and all you people that contributed to RDSS is that now the tools are there for us to use and its up to us and it should be up to us to now use our creativity to come up with winners.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:29 AM   #4
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If you're looking for a good book on conditions, i would suggest getting "The Handicapper's Condition Book", by James Quinn.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:31 AM   #5
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Example

Here is an example of a "non winners of a race in 6 months" condition. This race is to be run on WED 6/12 and has a claiming price of $7,500.

Name:  NW16MX.JPG
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I have underlined the condition in red. The reason I gave the date (above) is so you can see that the condition does NOT say non winners in six months, instead, it says non winners of a race since December 12, which is six months, which abbreviated would read "NW16M".

In this race there is a horse that won a race just 17 days ago.
Another horse won a race 39 days ago.
Another horse won it's last three races with the oldest one being 97 days ago and the most current one 47 days ago.

So how are these horses eligible for this condition if they have won a race in the last six months?

If you read that part of the condition (above) that I have circled in red, it says "races where entered for 6,250 or less not considered in eligibility". What that means is this. If a horse won a race in the last six months and in that race it was entered for $6,250 or less, it is still eligible for today's race.

In the case of the three horses I mentioned that have recent winning races, all of them qualify under this exception to the condition. It is important to understand that not all races for horses that have not won a race in the last six months have this additional exception. Some tracks just don't write the condition in this manner, others do.

Where this additional exception exists, the abbreviated condition will read like this "NW16MX". The "X" at the end of the conditions tells you there is an exception in the condition.

This is a good example of why one has to read and understand conditions.
There are some NW16M conditions where NONE of the horse have won a race in the last six months and there are others where horses HAVE WON a race or races in the last six months, NW16MX. Where there are horses that have won a race(s) those races will have always been at a lower claiming price than today's race.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:25 AM   #6
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Wow FTL we are definitely on the same page! I have been studying conditions as you laid out in your first post. What I am doing is using an example race so I can read that days conditions and each horses PP's conditions. I am using OP 4-13-2013 Race 2. To me its a great race because it has a full field of 12 horses all with full PP history. The race is NW2L and as you can see all 12 horses have exactly 2 wins. This allows me to analyze how these horses won their 2 races and in what conditions they won and the conditions they have been running recently. This is also a great race because I think the winner is not hard to find (I am not done with my full analysis so I don't want to jump to conclusions) and the winner paid 7.50. It also looks like the RDSS software identified this as a winner also. When I say winner I an referring to Sartin's method of selecting 2 horses to win. He seemed to be a big advocate of this especially for his early clients who were just starting off as I am.

So where I am at exactly is looking at PP's for Franks On Fire. I want to select the proper paceline. I ran VDC best 3 option for the auto select. The first thing that jumps out at me is line 3. CL 10/19 N1-3MX. That tells me its Claiming $10,000, Purse $19,000, Non Winners of 1 Race in the last 3 months with exception conditions. What those exception conditions are I am not sure but I am guessing its like you stated in your post because when I look at the odds from that race Frank was 18-1. Thats a big jump from what he has been getting and I am guessing the exceptions are resulting in horses in this field with more than 1 win under the claiming price of theses exceptions. Because Frank only has 1 win he wasn't given much chance and that result reflects that. When I look at this I changed the paceline from line 3 to line 1. The conditions on line 1 are more indicative of today's race and its a good race as its most recent. Being new to this let me know if I am straying from things or not seeing everything correctly.

Finally I do have a question on paceline 1. What does the "s" mean in the conditions?

I attached a screen print its the first time I am trying this so hoping it shows up.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #7
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Sorry correction. This race is NW3 lifetime.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NeedForSpeed View Post
Wow FTL we are definitely on the same page! I have been studying conditions as you laid out in your first post. What I am doing is using an example race so I can read that days conditions and each horses PP's conditions. I am using OP 4-13-2013 Race 2. To me its a great race because it has a full field of 12 horses all with full PP history. The race is NW2L and as you can see all 12 horses have exactly 2 wins. This allows me to analyze how these horses won their 2 races and in what conditions they won and the conditions they have been running recently. This is also a great race because I think the winner is not hard to find (I am not done with my full analysis so I don't want to jump to conclusions) and the winner paid 7.50. It also looks like the RDSS software identified this as a winner also. When I say winner I an referring to Sartin's method of selecting 2 horses to win. He seemed to be a big advocate of this especially for his early clients who were just starting off as I am.

So where I am at exactly is looking at PP's for Franks On Fire. I want to select the proper paceline. I ran VDC best 3 option for the auto select. The first thing that jumps out at me is line 3. CL 10/19 N1-3MX. That tells me its Claiming $10,000, Purse $19,000, Non Winners of 1 Race in the last 3 months with exception conditions. What those exception conditions are I am not sure but I am guessing its like you stated in your post because when I look at the odds from that race Frank was 18-1. Thats a big jump from what he has been getting and I am guessing the exceptions are resulting in horses in this field with more than 1 win under the claiming price of theses exceptions. Because Frank only has 1 win he wasn't given much chance and that result reflects that. When I look at this I changed the paceline from line 3 to line 1. The conditions on line 1 are more indicative of today's race and its a good race as its most recent. Being new to this let me know if I am straying from things or not seeing everything correctly.

Finally I do have a question on paceline 1. What does the "s" mean in the conditions?

I attached a screen print its the first time I am trying this so hoping it shows up.
Good job by you to see and make the correction.

The "s" you asked about represents a race "restriction", which is different than a condition. In this case the "s" stands for "STATE BRED". When you see that, it means all the horses in that race were bred in the state were the race was run. Here's an example.

This race will be run at Penn National, located in Pennsylvania, tomorrow. I have underlined in red the actual condition of the race. I have also circled in red the "restriction" of the race, which reads "for Registered PA-Bred". Therefore, the race is "restricted" to fillies and mares that were bred in PA and the condition limits them further to those that are NW2L.

Name:  restriction.JPG
Views: 320
Size:  37.9 KB

Just a little insight into state bred races.
Because they are state bred races, the purses are inflated by approximately 20% as compared to the same level of race that is NOT a state bred race.

Because these races are restricted to only those horses bred in a particular state, the competition level of the race is lower than a race that is NOT restricted to state breds.

I think you rationalized line 3 very well. A race for horses that have not won a race in the last 3 months is A LOT tougher than a NW3L. In a race for horses that have not won a race in the last 3 months, there is no telling how many wins those horses might have "lifetime". Very well done.

Lastly, if you have not already read the "Teaching" area threads, I suggest that you do. If paceline and contender selection is on your mind, there is a specific thread for that, but I suggest you read everything in the teaching area. I think you will find all of the threads there are very informative.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:10 AM   #9
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Was in there last night. Nailed both winners from the Sartin followup examples that you gave for people to do. Was especially pleased with the second example which was much tougher where both my win selections came in 1-2. It says now I've gone from weekend warrior to professional. Just wondering when I start getting my weekly salary? :-)

I'm about half way through that thread. I feel like I am really getting the hang of first selecting contenders and then pace lines.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
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Steve Davidowitz's latest version of his book goes into a lot detail on conditions - good stuff.

A general thing to look for is horse who "just" make the conditions. Say a race is for now winners since October 24......a hose who won on September 30 might be a better bet than one who has not won since July.
Or, a horse who has been laid off for most of the specified time period, but was multiple winner just before that. When I am considering a horse, I always ask myself if the winner of his last race would be allowed in today's race.
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