Travel_Vic, I think you're getting way too deep in the minutia of statistical analysis. First of all, you say that one needs 10,000 races/horses to establish the significance of a factor and, then, you quote Quirin, whose studies typically encompassed far fewer races/horses. What’s more, impact values and pool impact values are designed to measure handicapping FACTORS and are not really suited for the kind of broad analysis that Chris has presented here. Your desire that he “break down” his data can actually be counterproductive to Chris’ future betting endeavors. In the absence of VERY LARGE sample sizes, breaking down historical data often leads to the “backtesting fallacy.” Remember, Chris gathered his data in a completely random and unbiased way. By searching for niche betting opportunities in the future — identified by breaking down the (insufficient) data he has — his future data will no longer be random and unbiased. And, in my opinion, he will probably not substantially improve his game by doing this. I am always suspicious of handicappers that say they dominate at Track A, but suck at Track B, because, generally, they are basing that opinion on very small sample sizes that can change on a dime. Is Mountaineer different than Saratoga? Of course. But the difference is largely due to the quality of racing, not geography as you imply.
Nice piece, Scott.
Solid analysis Chris!
Did you get those fractions/final time right for Alumni? Wow, you're right, that was a SENSATIONAL debut run.
I really believe that a lot of the “Zenyatta Zealots” emerged as a result of the constant criticism the mare and her connections received. Many racing fans are very passionate about the horses they follow and, rightly or wrongly, take attacks — or even fair, but negative, commentary — regarding them in a very personal way.
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