Horse Race Handicapping

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1) What do I get from Handicapper's Report as a subscriber?

We offer Weekly Reports plus Daily Reports that can be accessed from our website. There are samples of everything we produce on our SAMPLES page. The Weekly reports are posted every Tuesday evening and consist of the following:

We have two Daily Reports, the Daily Clocker's Report and the Daily Performance Ratings Report. They are both available by 5 pm the day before race day. The Daily Clocker's Report has the workout notes we've compiled for the horses running that day, organized in race and post-position order.

The Daily Ratings Report has the ratings for each horse in today's race card for its last 12 races.  These ratings are calculated using an exclusive equation that was developed by analyzing several years of statistical data for each individual track in Southern California.  Our track variants are included in the ratings, providing powerful numbers to compare the potential winning probabilities for the horses racing each day.

2) How do I use the HR information?

The variety of information we provide allows several approaches to maximizing your returns. Some customers just use the Horses To Watch List, focusing on horses that have given us reason to expect a better performance next time. Others focus on the workout information, looking for good-working horses that are properly placed but allowed to go off at overlay odds. And others still, look to our Performance Ratings to point out likely winners. The best approach, in our opinion, is to use it all. Use the workout information as a plus factor, a reason to expect a good performance. Use the Performance Ratings and Trip Notes as both gauges of a horse's true ability plus a clue as to where a horse is in its form cycle. It's important to focus not just on the Ratings a horse has earned, but to decipher the conditions that influenced those races, and to evaluate what conditions (such as pace, class, bias, distance, surface) are likely to influence today's race. It is certainly possible to make money using just parts of the HR package. But you'll maximize your efforts if you learn to use all of it. Basically, you'll get back what you put into it.

3) How important is the workout information and how far back should I look?

On average, our workout notes will cover 30-40% of the horses running each day, but they'll cover 40-60% of the winners. Horses that receive workout grades of "B+" or better will win roughly 3 times as many races as would be expected, given their percentage of the entrants. If you just looked for good-working horses that go off as overlays from their Morning Lines, you may be surprised at how many good-priced winners you'll uncover. You might want to focus on workout notes from the last 30 days, unless a horse has been listed on our Fit & Ready List (these we follow for 2 starts or or 2 months, whichever comes first). We actually publish the works from the previous 3 months to catch a horse that might have been working well at one of the other tracks we cover. Our Daily Clocker's Report lists workouts since the last race and prior to the last race to catch the horses that worked well prior to their first start that might have not have been ready for the first race experience (as happens with so many). Two other notes about workouts - 1) Don't eliminate a horse just because he had some poor works. Some horses know the difference between a work and a race and it shows in their works. Sometimes a poor work alerts the trainer to a problem that he can fix. If a horse has a recent B or better work, give them a good look.  If he has nothing but "B-" and below works and they are recent, it is probably safe to toss the horse, especially if he is a first time starter. Of course, if a short-priced horse has a poor or modest work showing, you might want to treat this horse as vulnerable, at least. 2) Judge the works by the best of the two most recent drills. For example, a horse shows two workout notes on our sheets with a "B+" earned 12 days ago and a "C+" earned 6 days ago. we have found that, more often that not, the horse will run to that "B+" drill.

4) I'm using a computer program for my handicapping. How can HR help me?

In a couple of ways. First is our workouts. If your program allows for user-controlled or manually input factors, you can use the impact values of our workout grades as one factor in your equation. Use the following impact values for workout grades earned within the last 30 days only, and use the higher grade earned from the most recent two: A = 3.23, A- = 2.83, B+ = 1.72, B = 1.52, B- = 1.14, C+ to C- = 1.00, D+ or less = .23. If you're familiar with the concept of impact values, then you'll recognize that the workout grades are a very powerful factor. Second, if you're using any kind of performance ratings in your program, using the numbers published by HR will give you an edge. Our numbers are different from everyone else's (see question 5 below) and there are a much smaller group of players using our numbers. When our numbers differ from the Beyers or anyone else's, you'll have an advantage. Plus, our trip and bias notes will help you determine what factors influenced the rating earned, so you can decide if the number is likely to be repeated today.

5) How are your Performance Ratings created and what do they mean?

Our numbers are computer-generated, starting with the raw final time and adjusting for the track variant (using projected times, not pars or average times). Then our ratings are modified by an internal fraction, depending on the distance of the race. In sprint races, the fraction used to modify the rating would be the 1/2 mile split. For example, if two races are run the same day and track at 6 furlongs in 1:10 flat, but in one race they went the first 1/2 mile in 45 flat and the other went in 44 flat, the race that went 44 flat early would get a higher rating. In route races, the modifying fraction is a closing split. In 1 mile races, the final 1/4 mile is used to modify the rating; in 1 1/16 mile races, the final 5/16 fraction modifies the rating; etc. This is what makes our numbers superior to the rest.

6) How is the info in HR different from other services?

Our workout clocker has been clocking for over 15 years and working for HR for over 5 years.  He concentrates on works that are different that may indicate a difference in performance is in the offing.  And, of course, he concentrates on first time starters and comebackers.  You won't get a large amount of average works from us that simply mean nothing and require a sifting of the data to get to the nuggets.  Many services write up large numbers of  works on horses doing what they always do in the morning - a waste of your time.  However, it can be easy to confuse quantity with quality.  We emphasize quality.

The huge difference in the HR workouts you receive is that they are written up within a day of the performance of the actual workout and imported into a database the same day. When the horse is entered into a race, the horse's name is used to query the database and pull out all of the workouts we have caught on that horse and they are presented in our Daily Clocker's Report. Other clocker services write up their workouts after the entries are taken and are subject to the clocker "handicapping the race" prior to writing the workout notes. Definitely not the case with HR workouts.  What our clocker saw on the day of the workout is what you get on the day of the race.

The HR Performance Ratings are calculated from a complex equation that was developed using statistical data from several years of racing at each Southern California racetrack.  As such, the numbers are totally unique to Southern California racing and produce values that, with our own unique way of assigning a variant to each race, give comparative ratings that are exclusively more accurate at the tracks we cover.  When our ratings differ significantly from other published ratings, they produce the kind of overlays that separate our customers from the average player.


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