Friday, March 15, 2013

To err is human (and the Rebel Stakes Preview)

“To err is human – and to blame it on a computer is even more so.” – Robert Orben

Since my last post, I have managed to handicap a total of one race card (Friday’s Tampa Bay card).  I have, however, spent countless hours toiling in Excel.   I managed to bring back to life my old system(s) and add in logic to look for all of my favorite spot play angles.  This week has been a week of minor tweaks for odd and end situations that throw excel for a loop (no beaten lengths or call positions in the fog; unseated riders; etc.) and my own errors (failures to make cell references absolute, bloodshot eyes staring at a white screen full of numbers, etc.).  The end result?  We’ll have to see if it works seamlessly over the next two weeks.  Even today, while setting up Aqueduct for Sunday, I found a handful of easy fixes I needed to make, but a majority of the parts are working well.  It is time to start tracking new added factors and figures as well as make sure that the file is picking up things I find manually. 

One nuance I found with the BRIS single data files is the call times being down to the hundredth of a second versus manually adjusting off of a fifth of a second.  While looking for a pace edge by some fraction, the lack of rounding has caused some ‘misses’, but we’ll see if missing them was a good thing.  I am sure that I will still have several tweaks to make in the next two weeks leading up to SSC#3, but the initial goal is complete – have the sheet identify the races that offer my most likely chances of winning by highlighting spot plays, pace scenarios that look promising, and overlays on where I know each type of factor excels (claiming, sprints, etc.).

 I do have some formatting issues to take care of and will try to get a screenshot or a sample card uploaded soon.  As I mentioned in my post last week, much like BASF’s line, I don’t necessarily make the factors/figures, but I make them better.  I have incorporated much of the logic of William Scott, Tom Brohamer, and Mike Pizzolla into my sheet (and do use a modified version of their logic and/or formulas).

This week’s race preview (without the aid of my enhanced spreadsheet) – Oaklawn Race 10 – Rebel Stakes G2 for 3 year olds

2 Carve (15-1) – improving but outclassed and out-paced here.

1 Treasury Bill (5-1) – strong, wide stalking effort last out in the San Vicente, but pedigree suggests that he’ll like two turns better.  I expect a big effort out of him here as he will likely be near the pace and have some kick late. Contender.

3 Texas Bling (30-1) – forwardly placed with a huge upset in a minor stakes, form seems flat, going to pass here.

4 Delhomme (7-2) – tried to take the field wire to wire in the Remsen in November, making his 3 year old debut today for Pletcher who has this one drilling sharply.  Definite contender today if he doesn’t burn out on the lead chasing Oxbow.

5 Hardrock Eleven (50-1) – Pass

6 Den’s Legacy (8-1) – Will be midpack late when the early pace fails, could get up for a minor share, but not Baffert’s main interest here.

7 Will Take Charge (15-1) – flopped after a big score in the Smarty Jones; not the sloppy conditions fault.  Pass.

8 Stormy Holiday (30-1) – troubled trip last out, but prior fields were not that tough and he couldn’t beat them.  Pass.

1a Title Contender (5-1) – the speedy half of the entry.  Expect him to push the pace early with Oxbow and Delhomme, which sets up the race for his stablemate and the others who will be sitting off the pace at the top of the stretch.

9 Oxbow (4-1) – won’t get loose early but may have enough left late to hit the board.

10 Super Ninety Nine (3-2) – Big win in the slop last out in the Southwest and has shown he can duel on the west coast.   Baffert ships him back in after some solid works.  Solid contender but post could hurt his chances early and we’ll need to see how well he can rate.  Contender, but not at a good price.

This race looks to set up with an early pace that will likely burn itself out by the top of the stretch as Title Contender, Oxbow, and Delhomme vie for the lead early.  Delhomme may hang around late, but the more likely scenario is that Super Ninety Nine and Treasury Bill rate off of the pace and make a late move.  I am giving the edge to Treasury Bill on the stretch out and value.

Likely wager:  WP1(POE); EX 1,4 – 1,4,6,9,10 & EX 10 – 1,4)

Good luck all!

1 comment:

  1. Good read, Ray!

    You know me, consummate contrarian. I landed on Carve for my Public Handicapper pick; unsure if I will put real money on it, since there are too many horses, in my view, with no chance (Hardrock 11, Texas Bling, Stormy Holiday). But, to me, class jump is not all that steep vs. these, and Nakatani's a veteran rider who'll let Title Contender, Oxbow, Delhomme and 99 burn themselves out chasing the lead. Saving ground will be key, and though the last 2 race times were not blazing, Carve seems like a patient enough horse with some ability to kick late. Maybe only for the bottom of the super, but I'm willing to roll the dice.

    Keep writing, and good luck this weekend w/your plays!