Analyzing Industry Decisions, Properly

Horseplayers are generally pretty bright. To have a modicum of success you have to analyze hundreds if not thousands of factors, put those factors into an overall odds line and pull the trigger. Even when you do that, then you have to structure tickets properly. It's like analyzing a business case.

Jeff Platt is a pretty smart horseplayer, and analyzes data better than most.

In a two part series on the HANA blog, he looked at the thinking behind the daily double takeout changes in California. As most know, they changed the double takeout from last year to this, dropping it about 4%. They also, for some reason unbeknownst to anyone I have spoken to, eliminated the rolling doubles, only offering three per day.

So, when analyzing the above, you have to take into account variables like the overall handle change, daily double handle changes, and the lost number of daily doubles. Some standardization is in order.

At the CHRB meeting last month, as Jeff spoke of in part one, this was not done. Overall double handles were looked at without looking at any other variable. Clearly handle would be down, because only 207 doubles were offered, from 545 during the apples to apples period but they did not take this into account. Politics? Probably. If McDonald's dropped the price of Big Mac's by 10 cents, closed 62% of their stores and saw (the only obvious result with that many store closings) gross Big Mac sales go down they would never say the 10 cent drop was a bad idea.  But Cali racing did.

Give part I and part II a read here. If you like to see the inner workings of this sport, and why math, science and real analysis takes a back seat to people, politics and personality, it's eye opening.And it provides us with a good glimpse on why policies that raise handle in racing have been so difficult to get enacted.

Have a nice day everyone.

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