Tag Archives: Thoroughbred Handicapping

Betmix Labs

We spend most of our time at Betmix working on new handicapping tools.

We get an idea, or a customer presents an idea to us, and we start developing. Most of the time we end up with something pretty nice like BirdDog or Angler. Sometimes we "rip up our tickets" and start over.

In many cases we develop tools that are really cool, but maybe only truly useful in certain situations or for certain types of handicappers.

Rather than keeping those tools on the shelf, we have created a page called Betmix Labs. On this page you can experiment with some of the pretty neat tools we have created over the last year that have only been available "in house".

Each of these tools have strengths and weaknesses, and you can learn more about them by visiting the Labs page or watching the tutorial video.

Eliminator: This tool was designed to be the easiest handicapping method we offer. Its surprisingly accurate in many situations, extremely easy to use and pretty fun to play with.

Tackle Box: This tool allows you to easily access a lot of data from Angler. Pick from 1 to 3 factors and find out how horses with similar rankings have done in previous races.

Range Finder: A great tool for analyzing races where each horse has a few wins under their belt.  This tool will show you how similar today's race is to past races that the horse won.

Betmix Labs is available to monthly and yearly subscribers.  We hope that you take some time to play with these new tools and that they inspire you to think of new ways to handicap.

Sharp Angles – Turf Dash Stakes

Turf Dash S. on December 31
5F on the turf at Tampa Bay Downs
Races Analyzed: 9 turf stakes at 5F on the turf
Date Range: January 1, 2013 - Present
Sharp Angle: Ranked 1st Last E1 Pace
Factor Stats: 9 overall qualifying horses; 4 winners (44%, 626 ROI% & $94 flat bet profit/$2) & 6 total win/place/show (66%, 313 ROI%)

The $100,000 Turf Dash Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday may not be the most talked about race this New Year’s weekend, but it just might be the most attractive contest from a wagering perspective.

Horse racing at Tampa Bay Downs 2012 - 2013 season. @Al Messerschmidt 727 938 2442

It’s not a complete shock to find that early speed does well in 5 furlong races of any kind. But part of the power of Betmix is to parse the data with tremendous objective clarity. In this case we know that four of the past nine (44%) turf stakes run at this distance over the Tampa lawn have been won by the horse ranking first in Last E1 Pace (the fastest horse in the early part of the race). What Betmix Angler users also know is that these contenders have largely been ignored at the betting windows by the general public, going off at an average of over 14-1 odds. All four of the winners have paid double digits, including the most recent winner of this race, Fast Flying Rumor ($24.80) and the $63 winner Double Secret (2015 Lightning City Stakes).

Last week’s Sharp Angle result: Danzatrice ($8.40) & Include Betty both qualified, they ran 1-2 for a $17.80 exacta

Want to look for your own angles?

Click for the Betmix Angler tutorial.

Click to subscribe to Betmix.

Angler Tips & Tricks

Some helpful new features have been added to Angler, and we have a new video that walks you through a few ways that you can use Angler to your advantage.

1. You can now click one button to see if any horses running today match any of your saved Angles, and print out the report.

2. Your Angles are now saved with their stats so you can sort through Win%, Win ROI etc.

Angler Tips & Tricks video

Learn how to use Angler to evaluate single horses in any race.

Learn how to create an Angle for a specific race type.

Learn how to create an Angle based on any condition or advantage...

Betmix Angler is Here!

To win consistently betting on horses you have to have an edge. Angler will give you the edge you need and so much more...

If you are serious about handicapping horses you need to know when a horse is a good bet, or a bad one. What types of races you should play and when to skip them. When a favorite is the right play and when to go against the chalk.

If you can describe the race or the horse, Angler can give you the percentages.

Q: How often do first time starters win MdSpWt races on the turf at Saratoga?
A: About 10% of the time.

Q: How often do horses in 6F dirt claiming races who are in poat #1, & have the best early pace & best speed last race win?
A: About 34% of the time.

Q: How often do horses win Allowance races after a layoff of 100 days or more?
A: About 11% of the time.

Q: How often do horses win Allowance races after a layoff of 100 days or more if they ran a bullet workout recently?
A: About 14% of the time.

Q: How often do horses win Allowance races after a layoff of 100 days or more if they ran a bullet workout recently, and have the top trainer & jockey at the meet?
A: About 35% of the time.

Find your profitable angles, save them and then look for them in today's or future races. Put your money in action when you know the odds and percentages are in your favor...

Angler is available to Betmix monthly or yearly subscribers, to learn more about Angler and how to use it please watch this video, or take a look at the help page.

Angler Odds vs. Performance Analysis

We've added some very informative new stats to Angler Analysis in BirdDog.

These new stats are all about letting you know how often horses, trainers, jockeys, etc. do what they are supposed to do. You need to know if the horse you are betting on has a history of doing what its supposed to do or not. When a horse does (or doesn't do) what is expected that can be good, bad or ugly.

If you bet a favorite to win or use it in your trifecta and it runs 5th that is a real ugly outcome.

However, if you bet against that favorite and it runs off the board that is a real good thing. The new stats described below will help you determine if your horse has a history of doing what you need it to do today.  Sometimes you want them to win, other times you want them to lose... What's good for me can be bad for you - it all depends on the bets we made.

To make money consistently you need to make value bets - bet on horses that have a better chance to win than the public thinks. That means finding horses, trainers, owners, jockeys, etc. that overperform and not betting on those that are likely to underperform.

The Angler Analysis tool gives you a lot of information about the horses, trainers, jockeys, sires, etc. in a race.

Below is a description of each of the columns and what they mean, the 4 new columns (11,12,13,14) are VERY informative.
  1. RACES - The number of races for the horse, trainer, etc. used in the sample.
  2. WIN $ - Shows you what your ROI would have been for betting this horse to win in each race. Positive ROI numbers are in green.
  3. Place $ - Shows you what your ROI would have been for betting this horse to place in each race. Positive ROI numbers are in green.
  4. Show $ - Shows you what your ROI would have been for betting this horse to show in each race. Positive ROI numbers are in green.
  5. WIN % - What percentage of the time did this horse (or trainer, jockey, etc.) win the race.
  6. Place % - What percentage of the time did this horse (or trainer, jockey, etc.) run at least second.
  7. WIN % - What percentage of the time did this horse (or trainer, jockey, etc.) ruin at least 3rd.
  8. The average finish position.
  9. The average off odds.
  10. The average odds for the horse (or trainer, jockey, etc.) when they win

The new data appears in columns 11,12,13 & 14. This info will give you a good indication of how often the horse (or trainer, jockey, owner, etc) does what it is supposed to do. This information is based on Angler data that looks at the "off odds" for each horse and how those odds are ranked.

In every race the horse that has the lowest odds is the favorite and that horse is ranked 1st in off odds. The longest shot in the race is ranked last.  A horse that goes off as the 1:9 favorite in a race is ranked 1st in off odds, a horse that goes off as the 2:1 favorite in another race is also ranked 1st in off odds. The actual odds don't matter here, just the rank - lowest odds are ranked 1st, horses with highest odds are ranked last.

In a perfect world the horse that is ranked 1st (lowest odds) should run 1st, and a horse that is ranked 4th (4th choice in odds) should run 4th. We all know that rarely happens, and these stats are designed to help you profit from that.

11 - HTB as Favorite.
Does the horse hit the board when its supposed to? If the horse is ranked 1, 2 or 3 in off odds (one of the top 3 betting choices) it should run 1st, 2nd or 3rd.  Looking at all of the races in the sample this shows you what % of the time the horse performs well when expected to.

12 - HTB not Favorite. Does the horse hit the board when its NOT supposed to? If the horse is ranked 4th or worse in off odds (not one of the top 3 betting choices) and it ends up running 1, 2 or 3 then it is running better than expected. Horses, trainers, jockeys, etc that have a high number in this column are potential longshots.  They have been underestimated in the past by the betting public and have hit the board when they were not expected to.
13 - OTB as Favorite. Shows you when the horse does NOT hit the board when its supposed to. If the horse is ranked among the top 3 betting choices and FAILS to run 1st, 2nd or 3rd you will see that percentage in this column. If a horse has a very high percentage in this column it is a "money burner".
14 - OTB. This shows you how often the horse does not hit the board and was not expected to hit the board (kind of a sad statistic). The horse is not expected to do well and it doesn't. If a horse has a big number here it lets you know that the horse is usually not a favorite and runs poorly.
This is a fantastic tool for spotting potential overlays and underlays, and also will help you decide when to pull the trigger on a potential longshot (horse often hits the board when its not expected to) or toss a vulnerable favorite (horse has shown that it will fail to HTB when it should).

This information is available in each table in Angler Analysis and really helps you to see which horses, jockeys, owners, trainers can do well when they should - and more importantly - do well when they are not supposed to.

Give Angler Analysis a try now: BirdDog Free Race

The full version of Angler should be ready early next week (knock on wood). If you are currently a subscriber to Betmix (monthly or yearly) then you will have access to Angler and Angler Analysis as part of your current subscription.

Starting August 1st, Angler and Angler Analysis will be part of the Betmix Pro subscription plan and will be offered at a higher subscription rate, so if you are currently not subscribed you might want to jump in now...

Betmix Tip – Handicapping Overview

There are many great tools in Betmix to help you handicap. Creating a mix (a group of factors and weights) that are specific to a race type is always going to be the best approach. Some people may find that process a bit confusing at first, so to help new users get out of the gate quickly with Betmix we have a very simple and visual tool called Handicapping Overview. You can use this great guide in any race in Betmix using the BirdDog interface.

The Handicapping Overview will display the rankings of each horse in the race based on 19 different handicapping models. At the bottom of the chart all of those rankings are rolled up into a consensus with point totals.


Top 10 – Uses a weighted blend of the 10 most important factors for the race type

Win% – Uses a weighted blend of the factors with the best win percentages

Hit The Board – Uses factors that predict high percentage of horses that ran 1, 2 or 3

Blend – Uses a mix of factors from each category (Speed, Pace, Earnings, etc.)

Longshot – Uses a mix based on factors with high win ROI numbers.

Overall Rankings – Uses the ideal setting from Overall Rankings. This is based on the setting that predicted the most exactas within the top 4 ranked horses of the sample of similar races.


These rankings will give you an idea of how the horses rank within each category using a weighted mix of the factors within that group. Factors that are more highly ranked within the group will be given more weight. You can click on the buttons the represent each factor to see the mix used. To the left of each Factor Group button you will see a “Signal Strength” icon that indicates how strong the factor group is in relation to the other groups. Four Green Bars in the icon is the best and means that the factors within that group are most important for the race type you are handicapping.


The “Score” rankings are based on ranking the horses using the default factors in the main horse table:

Last Finish Position, Lengths Beaten, Speed Last Race and Class Difference. The score rankings are computed by looking at each horse's rank within each of those factors and they give you a solid look at horses most qualified to compete in today's race.

The “BirdDog” rankings use the top 10 factors from the BirdDog table. This table looks at a large number of similar races with the same amount of starters as the race you are handicapping. If you are handicapping a 6f dirt claiming race with 8 starters, the BirdDog stats will be based on a large group of races that were 6f dirt with exactly 8 starters. The BirdDog table lets you see how often a horse wins when ranked at a certain position. The BirdDog ranks takes the 10 best factors for the race type and computes a score from that.


The MixBot performs a few tasks for you very quickly. It searches the database for the most recent similar race (Track, distance, surface, class) and then runs MixMaker to find out how that race was optimally handicapped. It will then apply that mix to the race you are currently handicapping. It will then repeat the process for the most recent similar race won by a favorite, medium priced horse and most recent similar race won by a longshot. The results of these mixes will provide you with a very accurate way of looking at today's race.


The combined results of all of the rankings (Quick Handicapping, Factor Groups, Score & BirdDog)

BetMix Tip – PaceCast

We've added a neat new tool to BirdDog that lets you see how a race should unfold based on pace factors.
Its real easy to use, just click on the "Play All" button and you will see a simulation of the race looking at E1 (early), E2 (middle) and Late pace factors. Its a great way to see who might be on the lead early, and who should be running late.

This widget is found in BirdDog, to add it to your screen just click on the options icon and then select "BetMix PaceCast".

The simulation in PaceCast is based on several pace and speed factors for the race type you are handicapping.

Here's a quick video that explains PaceCast:

Give it a try now:  BirdDog Free Race of the day

Betmix Tip – Mixbot

 If you are using Birddog, and the Handicapping Overview widget you will see some new information in the MixBot section.

The MixBot is performing a few tasks for you.  First of all it will search the database for the most recent similar race.  A similar race is one that was run at the same track, surface, distance and class as the one you are handicapping.

Once it finds that race it runs MixMaker to find the best Mix, then comes back and applies that mix to the current race for you. It will then put those rankings in the Handicapping Overview widget for you. The MixBot will then repeat the process, finding the most recent race won by a favorite (winner paid less than $6.00), and finally the most recent race won by a longshot (winner paid more than $15.00).

When you see the same horses showing up in the top spots for all three mix combinations you can be pretty confident in the selection.

Sometimes the most recent race will be the same as the most recent favorite or longshot race - if that happens then you will only see two lines of rankings in the MixBot section.

Give it a try now:  BirdDog Free Race of the day


Betmix Tip – New Class Analysis Widget

One of the great things about the new BirdDog interface is that it will allow us to add all sorts of new tools (called widgets). You can click on the options button to pick the ones that you want to see.  You can also drag them around your screen to places that you want them. When you are happy with your layout click the Options button again and hit the "Save Layout Button."

We just added a new widget called "Class Analysis".  You will notice that the horse display pop-up has also changed to show you the Class rating of each previous race in the horse's PP line.

There is a new column called "Class Rtg." in the pop-up that tells you the class level of each previous race. If it is Green that means it was a "Higher Class" race than today's race, red means it was "lower class".

The Betmix class rating is based on much more than just the purse level of the race. We look at how good the horses in each race were. How fast have they run recently and in their careers, how much money they have earned recently and lifetime, what kinds of races they have been in recently and then finally the purse value of the race. You may encounter situations where a race with a higher purse value is rated as a lower class race. That is because the horses in the higher purse value race may not have been all that good in comparison to the horses in the lower purse value race.

"Keep yourself in the best company and your horses in the worst"

That's the motto that most good horse trainers live by, so its always valuable to know when a horse is truly dropping in "Class".

The new Class Analysis Widget provides a lot of information about how each horse performed from a class standpoint.

There is a lot of information in this widget, and to be perfectly honest with you, we haven't totally wrapped our heads around the best way to use it! One thing that I can tell you about this is that when Class doesn't really matter, then analyzing this table might not lead you to any great insights. When I say "Class doesn't matter" I mean that for races where class factors are not ranked that highly. You can reference the new icons we discussed above to get an idea of how important class factors are for a race type.However, I also know that many of you are huge believers in Class and if you are a serious class handicapper this tool will provide you with a lot of data and we look forward to hearing about how you are using it. Also, please let us know if you think anything should be added - we really do rely on user input to help us know what we should be working on.Here is the information in the table, and if you are having trouble seeing the image above take a look at the Free Bird Dog race to see how it is displayed.

Last Finish Position: where the horse finished in its last race.

Last Race Class: The class level of the horse's last race (Green is higher class, Red is lower Class)

Class Diff: The difference between the last race and today's race.

Last Win Class: The class level of the most recent race the horse won.

Days Since Last Win: How many days since the horse won its last race.

Avg Win Class: The average class level of all the races the horse has won.

Avg Finish Lower Class: The average finish position for the horse in races that were "Lower Class" than today's race.

Avg Finish Higher Class: The average finish position for the horse in races that were "Higher Class" than today's race.

Lengths Beaten Lower Class: The average number of lengths the horse was beaten in all of the races it ran that were "Lower Class" than today's race.

Lengths Beaten Higher Class: The average number of lengths the horse was beaten in all of the races it ran that were "Higher Class" than today's race.

Highest Win Class: The "Highest Class" race that the horse has won.

Give it a try now: BirdDog Free Race of the day

Betmix Tip – Which Factor Group is Best?

We recently added a Handicapping Overview widget to BirdDog that contains a quick ranking of the horses in the race based on several different approaches.
One of the sections we added was for Factor Groups. It shows how the horses rank in each factor category (Speed, Pace, Earnings, Trainer/Jock, etc.)We have added a handy icon next to each of those buttons that indicates how important the factor groups are. Depending on the race type you are handicapping the most important group will change. Speed may be very important when handicapping a 6F dirt allowance race at Aqueduct, but when you are working on a 1 mile turf claimer at Tampa you better look at Trainer/Jockey stats.The factor group buttons are also weighted appropriately.  There are 11 speed based factors, so depending on which race type you are looking at the weights of each of those factors will be different when you look at the Speed rankings.

Pay attention to the little "Signal Strength" icon next to each factor group button to see how important it is: