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RDSS Racing Decision Support System – The Modern Sartin Methodology

 
 
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:15 PM   #1
Ted Craven
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Paceline Selection

A RDSS user wrote me with the following questions re paceline selection:
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I am still working on trying to pick the best pace line for a horse. If you have a choice of one race same class but a different distance or a race with the same distance but a different class or just the most recent and the class and distance does not matter.
In the end, you must develop your OWN, CONSISTENT line selection strategy that works.

1. Usually, I don’t pay so much condition to the class of the race, as I do to 1) similar distance/surface, 2) recency, and 3) the energy ratings (e.g. Total Energy, Perceptor Total, Adjusted Speed Rating) of pacelines under consideration. Exceptions to the foregoing would be: 1) Graded Stakes races (I prefer to rate a horse from a poorer recent Graded effort, than a better non-graded one – thus often penalizing the horse), 2) recent Maiden winners with subsequent failed efforts (I’m not so quick to use high energy Maiden wins when subsequent efforts against winners show lesser ability. Again, I will often choose the lesser recent effort over the older better one). There are probably some other exceptions, but I feel I can make a coherent, consistent approach to when I put energy/recency second in consideration to class of race. Feel free to suggest any race examples you’d like to work for illustrations (online would be best).

2. I think it paramount to come up with a paceline Analysis set which might mimic what the horses are capable of doing today – not necessarily the best they have ever done, and possibly at different stages of their form cycle. I have come to restrict my lines to within the last 3 races PERIOD (and more often lines 1 or 2). You may prefer to take a 4th line back if all intervening ones are off-distance structure and/or off-surface. And if a horse comes off a long layoff, essentially starting a fresh campaign, there is often nothing magical about the 3rd line versus the 4th line in an old campaign, I agree. Never-the-less: 3 works for me – it holds the horse’s (and the trainer’s) 'feet/hooves to the fire' so to speak – if it did better previously in its history, why not recently?

3. I also think it important not to over credit a horse by expecting it to necessarily duplicate a previous best ever performance (e.g. rated by Total Energy, SR or Perceptor), unless of course we’re looking at young, improving horses of a certain class. In general, if a horse’s best ever effort came within the past 30 days or so, and especially if it has worked regularly since, I will assume good form and let that race represent it today. But a race several lines (and/or several months) back which was many SR points, or many TE points higher than subsequently, seems to be asking for trouble. In these cases I would take a lesser rated line over that possibly hard-to-duplicate best ever line.

4. I think it important to use a line for a horse which most closely matches today’s surface and distance structure (sprint or route). You must decide whether at a given track, Turf = Poly, or Dirt = Poly, or each of the 3 surfaces is non-comparable to the others when choosing a line. I only choose a non-comparable line for a horse when I have no other recent (or any) choice (because recency is more important to me than distance/surface).

5. After having chosen representative pacelines for horses guided by the above ideas, I WILL consider class of race of a horse’s line in deciding how far down the rankings in my readouts to go for 2 horses to bet (in the straight pools). For example, if a recent maiden winner’s most likely line ranks it highly among other winners rated from post-maiden races today (e.g. AL Nw1x) but the maiden win was fairly low class relative to the rest or from a lower class track, I may skip it in favour of a 3rd ranked horse. Etc...

I hope this gives you some ideas based on my own personal approach. I hope you also appreciate it is not the only possible approach by any means, but I do feel I can apply it CONSISTENTLY– and that is the critical thing. Whether you win or lose a given race is less important than applying a consistent line selection strategy, consistent contender evaluation, and consistent wager construction approach. If your approach to these segments of the handicapping/wagering process is inconsistent (i.e. you zig and zag or doubt your analysis of a losing race), then you won’t know whether your approach is a successful one because IT WON’T BE THE SAME approach from race to race. Sometimes you can't know the reason for mis-estimating horses' chances to win; sometimes you analysed it correctly and still lost - anything can happen in a race and your methods will only predict the future a certain percentage of the time anyway. It is important though to not vary your long-term successful approach just because you lost (not saying review of your decision choices is unimportant, though).

Here is a race from Gulfstream yesterday (taken at random, actually), which illustrates some of the ideas I mentioned above (recency, being cautious about best-ever lines, matching surfaces/distances, etc). Feel free to study that race on your own to see how your line selection strategy might have differed, and whether you got the same or different contenders and wager opportunities.

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Hope that discussion helped some, and feel free to propose a race or races for analysis in a group discussion.

Ted
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Last edited by Ted Craven; 01-26-2011 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:27 AM   #2
RichieP
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Hi Ted
For the #8 why line 3? Curious as to what wasn't "right" with the last race.

Very informative post btw!
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:38 AM   #3
Ted Craven
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Good catch Rich! Indeed the line for #8 should have been line 1. I ran this race in my RDSS2 testing module for automatic paceline selection and it picked line 1 for the reasons I mentioned above (prefer a race against winners rather than maidens, prefer not its best ever). When recreating it above, I tried all 3 lines and took out the wrong 2 by mistake - it should be line 1, which makes no effective difference to the ranking. Using its best-ever line 2 puts it on top, which I think is an example of demanding too much from a horse (though sometimes it works).

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I did not bet this race, merely grabbed it for an example, but a consistent bet approach for me (as I described in another thread) would be 50% on the #3 (let's say at 7/5 or 6/5 at 1 MTP) and 50% on the #7. In this instance, the bet on the #3 is effectively a hedge against losing all my money: obviously I would be preferring the #7, but it only won by a neck. Sure the #3 was an 'underlay' and the #5 an 'overlay' but run several more times, this race will reverse the outcome often enough. I will take $12 return for $4 bet (2-1 net odds) on this 'overlay' synthetic-entry of my 2 top horses.

Ted
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
rmath
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GP race 8 1/23/11

Ted ,
I agree with your lines, but I would have split my bet between the #7 at 5/1and the #5 horse at 13/1 as my second bet because of its #3BL/BL and #2 v/dc.
I try to always follow Doc's guidelines of betting the highest rated horse that goes off at 5/2, and the best overlay from the other two remaining from the top three.
IT makes no difference in this race who the second win bet was sine the top rated overlay won.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
Ted Craven
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Classic Wagercapping

Dick,

I agree that your choice of horses for your wager is classic wagercapping, and I would recommend that people at least give that a go, precisely for the reasons you mention, and for the many explanations Doc has given in later Follow Ups on the topic.

My reasons for choosing the #3 are given in another recent post (http://paceandcap.com/forums/showpos...9&postcount=14), however I reiterate that this is a personal choice derived after some significant time spent trying to do it 'right' and being troubled by the increasing frequency of well-ranked, lower odds horses I would have to bet against.

Thanks for clarifying Doc's method. Everyone should at least see how that approach suits their temperament.

cheers,

Ted
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