Handicapping Friday: Speed Figures

The horse had a 66 Beyer last time, so you knew he was good.

The horse had a Prime Power number of 88, so I expected him to do well.

Those are comments in the thoroughbred world, not ours.

Our game is about trips, traffic trouble, intent and post position. Among others. But not so fast. From track to track and surface to surface and night to night, winning times change. Time is only important in jail is a misconception in harness racing. Time is important. The fastest time wins the race.

Joe, who runs the website Buggies Don't Pay is a handicapper - a pretty darn good one. He has been making his own figures for awhile, and doing pretty well by all accounts. He does not use his speed figures as a panacea, he uses them to find the speediest horses, then he handicaps.

Often on the blog I have stated the opinion that we do not have enough tools in harness racing to encourage the bet. We don't have a website with tons of harness-only information. We don't have software. We have very few trip notes, unless we keep them by ourselves. At the recent wagering conference I brought that up as a quick way to up the bet. Like most of my thoughts, they are met with a yawn, but I feel strongly about that. I currently bet more in thoroughbred wagering than I do in harness. I don't want to, but I do. Why? I get information that helps me win at the thoroughbreds. We need more information in harness.

Joe has been nice enough to send me some of his speed figures for tonight - Mohawk, Maywood, the Meadowlands and Flamboro Downs. If you want them, email me, or better yet, join Joe's site (it is free) to get them.

From Joe:

A few things:

1) These only use speed. They ignore pace, driver, trainer, conditions.
2) No trot races. Speed figures by them self are not great at trot races.
3) Fig is a simple speed figure projection based mainly on recent figures.
4) Speed is a raw speed rating with no adjustments.
5) 3B is a spot play that is useful at some tracks, but I don't have the time to explain them right now.

This is a simple method I developed 4 years ago and don't usually use by itself. I like to look at the last 5-6 races to find my selections using speed and pace. I'm currently converting my database and hope to have it done by the end of the month so I can include pace back into my figures.
For these figures the best way to use them are to:

1) Look for a standout that has point advantage/separation and bet if the odds are good.
2) If the top 2-3 horses are separated, look at the odds and if one or two has high odds bet them to win.
3) You can key the separated horses in exactas. I require at least one horse to have some nice odds.

Here is a sample for today's Flammy 1st race, Mohawk's 12th and the Lady Liberty at the Meadowlands:

Date Track Race PP Horse Fig 3B
6/13/08 FLMD 1 7 SPIRES JOH 110.0 110 No
6/13/08 FLMD 1 1 ST LADS MA 107.1 115 No
6/13/08 FLMD 1 2 NATIVE HER 106.8 113 No
6/13/08 FLMD 1 8 TAKE THE R 104.6 111 No
6/13/08 FLMD 1 6 MATTAROCKE 104.3 110 No
6/13/08 FLMD 1 4 FLEET SENS 103.9 110 No
6/13/08 FLMD 1 5 THE USUAL 102.8 109 Yes
6/13/08 FLMD 1 3 WINDLEAVES 98.9 110 Yes

6/13/08 MOH 12 5 J M TERROR 114.6 116 No
6/13/08 MOH 12 2 SOUTH SIDE 113.6 118 Yes
6/13/08 MOH 12 3 FOX VALLEY 113.0 117 No
6/13/08 MOH 12 7 COLONEL CA 112.8 119 No
6/13/08 MOH 12 4 HBFS POWER 112.6 115 No
6/13/08 MOH 12 6 NORTHERN T 111.3 117 No
6/13/08 MOH 12 8 BACK FROM 108.0 116 No
6/13/08 MOH 12 1 MINOR DE B 100.7 105 No

6/13/08 M 7 2 DARLIN'S D 121.4 124 No
6/13/08 M 7 4 MARNIE HAL 120.4 123 No
6/13/08 M 7 9 STREET DAN 120.1 123 No
6/13/08 M 7 12 TIDEWATERD 119.8 126 No
6/13/08 M 7 11 LIFE OF LU 119.7 127 No
6/13/08 M 7 6 SOUTHWIND 118.4 121 No
6/13/08 M 7 10 U ALL BB 117.9 122 No
6/13/08 M 7 5 MOVING PIC 117.1 125 No
6/13/08 M 7 8 MY LITTLE 116.9 126 No
6/13/08 M 7 3 BORN STORY 116.8 121 Yes
6/13/08 M 7 7 IDEAL WEAT 116.1 123 No
6/13/08 M 7 1 MIND BOGGL 115.3 120 No

Joe will be sending us them for the North America Cup card tomorrow, as well. So we will post them up then.

As I mentioned earlier, we will be posting up some picks for the Cup along with a bet which we will keep track of for all of the big races we will follow this year. The bankroll to start is a mythical $1000. If anyone wants to play, I will keep track along the side of the blog and we will see who has the handicapping cajones to win; concluding Breeders Crown night 2008.


Kudos to Woodbine Entertainment - in the handicapping vein. Right now they are offering value-added for being an HPI member. Bris selections and notes (usually a charge) for free. Twinspires is doing much of this as well. We have been asking for this as players for years. Betfair has done it for years. We are finally catching up. Credit where credit is due.


Anonymous said...

You see the suspension E. Adam got for his positives?

13.5 years.

Pull the Pocket said...

Wow, thanks for the note Phil.

Six horses tested, so it appears they aint messing around.


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