Thursday, October 16, 2008

Profile Of A Winner - Part 3

Why do the Profiles work?

Profiling horses for specific races is not always effective and the main reason is because in any given race nearly all of the horses are entered with different goals. Some are coming back from a layoff. Some are at the end of their form cycle. Some are being raised in class, others dropped in class. A specific race may have been the target of a particular horse while another might be using it as a prep. With so many different types of intentions from the connections it is impossible to build a successful profile. However the Breeders Cup doesn’t have those same variables. All horses that enter it are pointed specifically for it. No one uses it as a prep and it is almost never an after thought. Everyone comes up to the race in the manner that they feel gives them the best chance for success. Consequently we are able to identify and isolate those patterns and combine them into a profile.

None of the factors included are jinx or myth. There is no quantifiable reason why a certain horse would not be able to win a Breeders Cup race simply because he won a certain “jinxed” prep race, or because his name starts with a certain letter. Every single factor must be aimed at identifying six key ingredients to winning: Speed, Fitness, Current Form, Class, Experience and Suitability to the conditions.

The factors for each Breeders Cup race are unique to that race. As you might expect one requires different qualifications from a possible Breeders Cup Turf winner than one would a Juvenile winner. However some of the factors do overlap. For instance every race Profile demands that the qualifier finish in the money (win, place or show) in their last start before the Breeders Cup. 161 of the 177 (or 91%) Breeders Cup race winners met that criteria. The only exemption from that factor is runners exiting the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Given its championship status it is treated different from other races. It is not a prep race but rather a target and sharp races can be readily obscured because of the depth and quality. This is not to say that a horse who was out of the money in their last race cannot win. Miesque’s Approval just did in the 2007 Mile, but rather the stat draws attention to the trend so you can make a more informed decision about who is likely to win. If you know that 91% of the races are won by a horse who did run in the money in their last than you may decide to stay with the trend or go against it, but most likely you would only go against it for a very good reason.

Most handicappers will tell you that value is the only way to have long-term success. But the Profile of a Winner does not seek to identify value. It seeks to identify the winner. Having the winner in every race is actually your best chance for success. The difficult part is finding the winner in each race. Most people consider a 30% win rate to be good, at that percentage one still needs to aid of value to be profitable. However this system, without the aid of personal judgment, identifies winners at more than twice that percentage. The starting price has nothing to do with the winners’ profiles because you don’t need to look for value when you are successful that often.

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