I read an interesting thread on the twitter about public handicapping.
Scott and others make an interesting point when it comes to handicapping the horses for everyone to see - does one pick winners, or try and make money? As most who play this game know, there isn't that big a correlation between the two.
In my very limited time posting picks (in a trade magazine) I found this a real struggle. When suggesting a pick 4 play, for example, I would key a 15-1 morning line shot who I thought would go off at 5-1, have about a 20% chance to win, while being no lower than around 9-1 in the pick 4's. I'd pitch a chalk I thought was 8-5, who'd be 4-5. I'd do all kinds of things I do as a matter of course when I wager to try and squeeze value out of the pool.
Needless to say, with a short time frame, the hit rate was poor. I'm reasonably sure I got called some pretty bad names (by new people who don't already call me pretty bad names).
I think those who do post picks are probably doing it the right way in just trying to pick winners. Sure they won't beat the favorite hit rate, but for people who follow their picks, they can have fun, and try and catch a few winners and exactas. And unlike in the sports tout world, most of these folks are not selling picks for hundreds of dollars, hoodwinking down and out bettors with unverifiable and ridiculous hit rates.
I was too busy last week to watch, but I was once again amazed at the interest on the twitter feed for the Ascot meet. Big racing days are growing more and more international, and they're offering the racing tribe a chance to get together to discuss and handicap the game. We can't read too much into it (no, one-off races or meets don't mean racing is growing), but these meets do keep people engaged, and that's a good thing.
Canterbury has had decent weather, a return of the on-track bridgejumpers and a full set of barns filling fields. However, their handle per entry is down so far this year by 2%. Last year, despite the numerous problems for the awful product, per entry handle was up 9.8%. It's tough to compare either way, just like last year was. We have source market fees, more juice, and lots of weird factors. Such is racing.
It fascinates me that both takeout and minimum wages have a super-political bent. You're either for it or against it based on if your favorite letter is R or D (which of course is specious - 0% takeout or $0.00 per hour doesn't work, just like 100% takeout or $100 per hour doesn't work). It's a little different in the labor market world though, because they do test levels, and have smart people who like math examining them, and don't seem to care what some team-dude on cable news says. It might take ten years, but these folks who aren't besieged by politics will figure it out. I wish we had the same chance and the same time horizon in the sport of racing to test and figure out takeout. But that's obviously a pipe dream.
Enjoy your Monday everyone.
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