Find a Dominant horse using the Race Profile Statistics
We introduced the Race Profile statistics a few weeks ago. You will see them at the bottom of each individual race page and they provide information about winning posts, average winner payout and details about the most predictive factors for each race:
There is a lot of information contained in the Race Profile Stats, and many ways to interpret that data and use it to handicap. One of the many reasons that betting on horses is so intriguing and rewarding is that aside from winning money, there are numerous approaches that you can take to figure out the puzzle. Let's take a look at one way you can use those stats to find great betting opportunities.
Let's start by going over what the information within the Winning Factors box means. When you look at the factors box you will see information about the most predictive Factors ranked by their ability to predict Win, Place, Show, and a tab called Accuracy that ranks the factors by their predictive ability to get the horses in the correct order from top to bottom.
In the above example, I am on the Win % tab which shows the most predictive win factors, and I have clicked on the SPEED category which will display only the factors based on speed.
The race we are looking at is an 8f Dirt CLM race at Indiana Grand from yesterday. If you are a subscriber you can view the race as you follow along.
For 8F Dirt Clm. races at Indiana Grand, the most predictive Speed Factor is AVG SPEED LAST 3. Next to that you see the top 4 horses within that category (6,8,2,5) and the number 32%. The 32% number means that over the sample of similar races that we have in our database, horses that are ranked the highest within that factor (Avg. Speed Last 3) win 32% of the time. The next most predictive factor is Avg. Best 2 of Last 3, and that factor has accurately predicted the winner 26% of the time.
Looking at the list of factors and the top horses within each factor you could assume that the #6 horse was going to be a major player in this race. He is ranked 1st in the top 3 most predictive speed factors for this race type. But, what you cant see by simply looking at the top 4 horses is how closely ranked they are.
In this race there were 3 scratches (#3, #11,#12). If you are following along at home go ahead and scratch those horses from the race.
Now, lets turn on the factor for Avg Speed Last 3 and see how closely the horses are ranked (By "turn on", I mean give the slider for Best Speed Last 3 a value)
After moving the slider for Avg Speed Last 3, and giving it a value (Turning it "ON") we can see in the rankings view how closely the horses are ranked within that particular factor.
Although the #6 horse is ranked on top he is not "dominant". There are 3 other horses that are very closely ranked within the factor Avg Speed Last 3. If you turn on the other most predictive speed factor (Avg Best 2 of Last 3) you will see 5 horses in Green.
Although the #6 is ranked on top within the 3 most predictive Speed Factors, he is not heads and shoulders above the rest of the horses. If that is the case then how much importance can you give those factors since there are so many closely ranked horses?
What this tells us is that there are a handful of horses in this race that are equally fast. We know which speed factors are most predictive at finding a winner, but we cant be very confident in any one horse since they all have similar abilities.
IN A RACE WHERE SPEED SEEMS TO BE RELATIVELY EQUAL LOOK FOR A DOMINANT PACE HORSE.
Now let's take a look at the Pace factors and see which one is most predictive:
This chart shows us that the most predictive pace factor is Avg. of Last 3 E2 Pace. The top ranked horses for that factor are (2,4,10,1) and based on similar races the horse that is ranked on top within that factor wins 42% of the time.
The #2 horse, (Stormanminster) is ranked on top. He has 100 points and the 2nd ranked horse has 89.8 points. He is the only horse in "Green" and has a 10.2 point lead over the 2nd ranked horse. When you have a horse with at least a 5 point lead over his rivals we consider that dominant. In this case he is very dominant, having over a 10 point lead.
We know from the most predictive factor table for pace that the horse who ranks highest in Avg. of Last 3 E2 Pace wins 42% of the time, and we also know that the speed factors do not indicate a dominant speed horse.
The #2 horse won and paid a very generous $28.60.
Look for dominant horses within highly predictive factors
In the above example, the #2 horse was the dominant horse for the Avg of last 3 E2 Pace category. From our race stats we know that factor was very predictive, pointing you to the winner 42% of the time. If the factor was only able to predict the winner 20% of the time then a dominant horse would not be that important.
Speed and Pace are probably most important
When there are several equally matched speed horses finding a dominant pace horse is very helpful, and when the horses are evenly matched in Pace look for a dominant speed horse. Finding a dominant horse in other categories like Pedigree, Form, etc. seems to be less important. While those factor groups are valuable as part of a mix, they do not necessarily dictate how a race will be run.
We will be enhancing the Race Profile Statistics in the near future to indicate which factors contain dominate horses. Until then it will take you a few clicks to figure it out on the screen.
We can't promise that this approach will work every time (nothing ever does!) but it is a very useful approach when analyzing a race. To win consistently at the races you need an edge, and this approach can provide you with one.