Handicapping Angles

Another quick handicapping angle...

The information found in the Race Profile Statistics can be a gold mine if you use it in the right way. For those of you who are new to Betmix, we will quickly recap what those stats are and how they are created before showing you a quick way to find a likely winner.
The Race Profile Stats are created by looking at a group of races that are similar to what you are handicapping.  If you were handicapping a 6f Dirt Claiming Race at Gulfstream Park, the information in the Race Profile Statistics box would be derived from compiling information from up to the last 40 6F Dirt Claiming Races at Gulfstream Park.  It is information that is very specific to the race you are looking at.
We currently use 45 handicapping factors in Betmix, and each of those factors is ranked from best to worst.  You can see all of the factors ranked from best to worst, or you can pick a category (Speed, Pace, Earnings, etc) and view only those factors. Click this link to find more detailed information.
A quick handicapping method using these stats
We recently had to pull some data for a custom project we were doing and in the course of that process we uncovered some interesting stats about the profitability of betting horses who were ranked on top in certain factor groups.The data we were looking at consisted of 500 races (No maiden races) and contained dirt, turf, sprint and route races.  It was a completely random sample across many tracks and class levels, so keep that in mind when considering these results - they could be better or worse depending on the type of race you are looking at.Looking at the chart below you will see that we have statistics for various factors.  Some of them are single factors and others are in combination.  If you look at the very bottom of the chart you will see that betting the horse that ranked 1st in the best Class Factor for the race was the least profitable. There were 500 races in the sample, and if you had bet $2 to win on every single horse that was ranked 1st in the best class category you would have wagered a total of $1000 (500 x $2).  You would have won 82 of those races (16.4%), had a return of $771.00 on the bets for a loss of $229, or a return of -22.9%.  Not too good.  The best single factor in terms of win % was Speed, winning 26.2% of the time yielding a minuscule profit of $22.  Betting every horse that was ranked 1st in the best Trainer/Jock category you would have ended up with 24.8% winners (124 out of 500) but a much better profit of $189.

Where this gets interesting is when you look at the results for betting horses that were ranked 1st in two or more categories.  As an example, look at the combination "Pedigree & TJ". You will see that in the Bets column this combination only occurred 75 times in the 500 race sample: The horse that was ranked 1st in the best Pedigree factor was also the horse that ranked 1st in the best Trainer Jockey factor.  In the 75 races where that occurred, the horse won 28 times (37.3%) and provided a profit of $58 on your $150 investment for an ROI of 38.7%.
On the very top line you will see Pace, Pedigree and Form.  This combination only occurred 12 times in 500 races, but provided 10 winners (83.3%) and a fantastic ROI of 246%.
Looking down the list you will see various combinations along with their win% and ROI.  There are 35 different combinations of factors, some single, some double and a few triples.  29 of the 35 were profitable, but clearly the best combinations involved finding horses that were ranked 1st in two or more factors.  Those are not common situations.  Using this sample of 500 races you can see that only 12 times did the same horse rank 1st in the best factor within the Pace, Pedigree and Form category.  12 races out of 500 is about 2.5% so you should expect to find that particular combination about once in every 40 races you look at (excluding maidens).  We did not analyze every single combination of factors, just enough to illustrate the concept and provide you with some ideas on how to consider horses ranked on top in more than one factor.
A few handicapping angles using race profile stats.

The recently improved Race Profile statistics have generated a lot of feedback and enthusiasm. We have received several emails from users about how they use the stats to handicap and we wanted to share a few of those methods with you.It probably goes without saying, but please remember that nothing works 100% of the time. These angles are provided to give you ideas on how to use the stats and provide you with some inspiration for developing your own methods.

We have spot checked these and found them to be pretty good, but have not done any deep analysis to provide long term win/loss statistics.  Again, the purpose of these tips is to provide you with some ideas and perhaps give you a couple of new approaches to put in your handicapping toolbox.

#1 Finding A Single

If you make multi-race bets (Pick3, Pick4, etc.) you know how important it is to find a solid horse to use as s single to reduce the cost of the tickets.  This is simple method to use, and is great at identifying solid favorites that you should never ignore.
How to do it: Look at the top ranked horse in the overall rankings.  If that horse is also the top ranked horse in the top ranked factor it is a one star single.  If it is also the top ranked horse in the 2nd ranked factor it is a 2 star single, and so on. You're not going to find any longshots using this method, but if you are looking for a likely winner this is an easy way to spot one.
#2 High ROI/High Accuracy

We received this angle from a user who also provided a spreadsheet of each of his picks using this method at Gulfstream Park in January and part of February.  His results showed that he made 144 bets ($4 per play) for a total of $576.00. He had 74 wins (51.3%), and collected $980.00 for a ROI of 70.22%.  His average winning payout was $13.25.How to do it: Looking at the top 3 factors only, find the factors with positive Win ROI.  If more than one of those 3 factors have positive win ROI's then look at the Factor Accuracy score.  The factor with the highest Factor Accuracy is the one to use.  If none of the top 3 factors have positive ROI's then skip the race.  If the factor has a positive win ROI , but the factor accuracy is not above 30 skip the race.  When you have a qualifying race you bet the top 2 horses for that factor to win.

#3 Pace Advantage in a top factor

We've talked about this before, but when a horse has a big advantage in a pace factor you can't ignore it. The Race Profile statistics make finding those horses very easy, and can let you know when it matters.  If a horse has an advantage in a factor that is ranked very low overall its not meaningful, but when that factor is in the top 10 it can produce great results.How to do it: Click on the PACE filter to show only pace factors in the statistics box.  Look for a factor that is ranked within the top 10 and see if the top ranked horse has an advantage of 5 points or more.  If you find a horse that fits the bill, consider giving extra attention to that horse if it appears within the top four in one or more of the top speed factors.  A pace advantage combined with being competitive in speed is a winning combination.

#4 Top Factors in each category

In many races you will notice that most of the top factors come from one category - usually speed. When you put too much emphasis on one category your handicapping may be unbalanced.  An easy way to make sure that you get a comprehensive view of the race is to use top factors from each category. You can select the top factor in each category and add it to the BetPad, or you can give them a value with the sliders to create a mix. The values can all be equal, or you can weight them based on their win percentage.It may not be necessary to use the top factor from each category. If the top ranked factor in Pedigree is ranked 27th overall you can safely ignore that category all together.

#5 Use the last race

One user sent us this suggestion along with some documentation of how many exactas he played and hit.  Very impressive!How to do it: Click on the Races Tab to bring up a list of the races used in compiling the race profile stats

After clicking the races tab, you will see a list of all the races used to compile the date for this race type.  Click on the date of the most recent race and that race will open up in a new window in MixMaker.

When that race is loaded, look at the results and then look at the top ranked factors to find one that contained the top 3 finishers.

Now,look for the highest ranked factor that contained those top 3 horses.

Go back to the race you are currently handicapping and look at the top 4 horses for the factor you found, and box those in an exacta. Very easy, and the results were surprisingly good.

These are nice angles to use for quick handicapping, but in the long run you are going to have much more success creating mixes for specific race.  There is nothing wrong with using methods like this, they can produce good results and can be done very quickly.  Keep in mind that the purpose of sharing these angles is to show you that there is always more than one way to skin a cat, and at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is winning the race. It doesn't matter if you used a mix that took you 6 hours to develop, or if you used one of these quick methods.  Cashing a ticket is all that counts!
We hope that you find something useful in these angles and that they inspire you to start looking at the data in new and profitable ways.