• FREE Pace Profile Reports

    POSTED Jun 27, 2014
    To celebrate the re-launch of my Web site (SimonSpeedRations.com) and some of the great races taking place this weekend — the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita and a trio of Grade III events at Prairie Meadows just to name a few — I decided to provide some free Pace Profile Reports for Saturday (see links below)

    In addition, to help readers make better use of those Reports, I’m going to highlight one of their more prominent features: the rankings section.

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    The rankings section is where each horse’s speed figures, early speed rations (ESRs) and late speed rations (LSRs) are compared to others in the field, providing a quick and convenient way to assess its merits.

    Of course, this but begs the question: What do the rankings really mean?

    Sure, one can surmise that lower rankings — a series of 1’s, for example — are probably better than higher rankings, but what exactly does “better” mean? Can one make money simply by betting on the lowest-ranked, i.e. best, horse in every race?

    Sorry, but no.

    My database studies reveal that the sole lowest-ranked horse in a field (ties were ignored) does, in fact, win far more often than random chance would suggest (1.91 impact value), but, alas, such stalwart steeds are bet accordingly and produce a negative 17.12 percent return on investment (ROI).

    Still, there is something to be said for the rankings, as they clearly do point out the strongest — and weakest — contenders, as the data below confirms:

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    Note: To be considered, a horse had to be ranked in all three categories — speed, ESRs and LSRs. What's more, at least half the field needed to be ranked in all of those categories as well.

    Notice that horses with a rankings sum of less than 15 win approximately 2/3 of the races. Of course some of this is due to the effect of field size — it’s obviously easier to achieve better (lower) rankings in a six-horse field than it is in a 12-horse field — but the impact values (IV) and odds-based impact values (OBIV) speak for themselves.

    To show how this type of quick and painless analysis can pay dividends, consider the opening daily double at Santa Anita on June 26, 2014:

    1st Race

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    2nd Race

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    In the first race, the sum of rankings is as follows:
    1. 9 ½
    2. 15
    3. 5
    4. 11
    5. 5 ½
    6. 17

    Clearly, the top two contenders appear to be 3-TWO IS TO MANY, with 5 points and a dominant speed edge (noted by his “1+” ranking in that category), and 5-DR WILLIAMS, with 5 ½ points. 1-COOK INLET (9 ½ points) ranks a distant third.

    The result couldn’t have been more perfect.

    (Click on image to enlarge)

    On to the second race, where the sum of rankings looks like this:

    1. 5
    2. 7
    3. 13
    4. 11
    5. 9
    6. N/A

    Here, we have a clearer choice in 1-YARD LINE who, like Two Is to Many in the preceding race, also has 5 points and a dominant speed edge. 2-SING WITH BLING is next with 7 points, but his relatively low LSR ranking of 4 makes me think he could get chewed up and spit out in a pace battle with Yard Line. 5-MISSING GROOM checks in third with 9 points and also boasts the best last-race LSR (-8) in the field, which should come in handy if the top two go at it early.

    Again, the results were right in line with the rankings:

    (Click on image to enlarge)

    Anyway, I hope this helps a little. Obviously, it's not always this easy, but at least the rankings provide a starting point to one's handicapping journey.

    FREE Pace Profile Reports (6/28/14)

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