Push a button...Pick a winner.

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Location: Stockton, California, United States

Some call me OlRailbird.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Countdown to the Breeder's Cup

Seven races for $1 million plus -- the Classic at 1 1/4 miles for $4 million...

The best horses in the world competing for the biggest purses and you don't care?


I have eleven days to re-invent the wheel. I'm working desperately to program a new speed rating method that will put Andy Beyer to shame. Not that his ratings are bad, but they aren't accurate across distances, much less across tracks. God forbid you use his ratings between turf and dirt...

Does the world really need another speed rating method? The world needs a method that actually works and despite claims to the contrary, Beyer's method sucks.

Why base your ratings on low-level claimers? My ratings are based on the fastest horses in North America running their fastest times. Can a horse give more than 100%? Nope.

All will be explained soon. The biggest question for now is how will I use my new ratings to place bets on the 'Cup. Speed ratings don't pick winners, people do. Good ratings make the job easier.

This new method is worthy of a book, but I doubt Daily Racing Form (DRF Press) will publish it as it will supersede their cash cow (Beyer.) I expect them to pooh-pooh me rather than give the method its proper due.

Anyway, it looks like a book is in the works. It couldn't be much worse than the crap I've bought so far... I may have to self-publish.


Tonight's progress: Successfully iterated through past performances downloaded from youbet.com's 50 cent Equibase past performances (these files are intended for viewing not parsing, but I parse them anyway.) Race data stored in an Access database. Someday I'll add an interface for the lemmings buying DRF/TSN/TM data files. Or not.

To do: Calculate MyRat via algorithms worked out in Excel and prototyped in other VB5 work.
Consider whether to use "spinner" theory or go one step beyond to judge suitability to today's distance. See my website for some insight to spinner theory: www.stevenberry.com

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