• Dave Schwartz
    February 2, 2019
    First video of 2019! Lots more to come!

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  • Dave Schwartz
    September 26, 2018

    Shawn asks: How much do you have to bet per race if $30.00 is hobbyist? What does it take to do it for a living?

    Let’s work through the math.

    Let’s say that you are wagering $30 per race and you do that 5 times per card and you play 4 tracks. That is 20 races per day times $30 per race = $600. Let’s say that you are earning a 6% profit, after rebate. That makes your net for a full day $36, or about $4.50 per hour (for an 8-hr day).

    Of course, if you spent 3 hours the night before preparing for the next day, then you have invested 11 hours and are now at $3.27 per hour.

    What is a “fair” hourly return for a “professional” handicapper?

    Let’s say that a fair hourly return for a “professional” handicapper is $75 per hour. Therefore, considering the 11-hour day we described above, that would mean he would need to make $825. If we divide by 6% (the anticipated ROI) we find that he needs to wager $16,500 per day.

    Continuing further, at 20 bets per day, that places him at $825 per race, a very aggressive sum to invest.

    This quickly becomes a case of “Do we raise the bridge or lower the river?” If that per-race figure is high (which it is for most players, including me) then we need to find a way to play more races.

    Suppose the handicapper was to play twice as many races? First, he’d have to find a way to cut his handicapping time per race in half. But he would still need to bet over $400 per race.

    You get the idea. This is why most would-be “career” players do not want to look at these numbers. This is also why paper-and-pencil handicapping is very difficult to make significant money: how do you cut the handicapping time down to (say) 5 minutes per race so that you can handicap between races (and completely remove the night before work)?

    Many of our software users routinely play around 80 races per day (or even more). Those who have seen me play know that I am like a machine gun: one race after another; bang, bang, bang. (Or is that rat-a-tat-tat?)

    But look at the difference if one CAN make 80 bets per day. Betting $16,500 / 80 is “just” $206 per race. I am not saying that is an insignificant amount, but it is an amount that is reachable by “humans.”

    Further imagine that a with this number of plays your consistency goes up quite a bit. Based upon a 4-day work week, now you make as many plays in a day as you did in a week. This also allows you to wager a greater percentage of your bankroll, which allows you to grow faster (to get to that $200 level).


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  • Dave Schwartz
    September 26, 2018

    Ira Yorn is a highly organized player, possibly the most organized that I know of. He scans the races at 4-5 tracks the night before and begins his handicapping the next day as first post approaches. This short (24 minutes) podcast is packed with simple-yet-powerful ideas.

    • “The money is in late horses.”
    • “Avoid races with dominant trainer horses, or else bet against them.”
    • Trainer statistics are key to horizontal singles.
    • Profitability is determined by the mix of horses and the tote board.
    • You’ve got to handicap the race to determine value.
    • Look for top trainer, off-pace horses to play against.

    In addition, Dave discusses the 0-2-x object, HSH’s trainer statistics, and FX%. (Trainer Angle Counter)

    Listen to the podcast here:

    Listen to the podcast at super fast speed here:


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  • Dave Schwartz
    September 26, 2018

    The idea for this blog post came from a handful of phone calls I received from our HorseStreet Handicapper software users about this race, from Saturday, November 12, 2016. (I promise this is not a commercial for our software.)


    It seems that several HSH users had this exacta. I can’t say that they “had it cold” because the way they got it was to apply what we call “The Chaos Process,” a very unconventional way to pick your bets.

    What if you knew in advance that the results of a race were not going to match the handicapping?

    Who would you bet if you knew that everyone’s handicapping was likely to fail?

    You’d bet the longshots, of course! Maybe several of them. And box them. Key them. And wait for the roll of the dice.

    Anyone who has ever seen me play, knows that I play a lot of low-priced and medium-priced horses. I hit the occasional $15-$35 horse with real handicapping, but as a general rule, my winners are under $12 or so, with a whole lot of them under $5. I am all about being profitable. I will pull the trigger any time I can eliminate enough of the pool to turn it into high-edge situation.

    “Chaos Races” are very different.

    The logical question is, “What is a ‘Chaos Race,’ anyway?”


    Simply put, a chaos race is a race where you can predict in advance that handicapping will likely fail.

    Now, I know that a whole bunch of you would like to know how to do that. Let’s begin with a look at a few chaos races.

    Note that all of these races were drawn from that same day.


    I did not just pick the longshot races. On that day, a few of the long shots were “gettable” with conventional handicapping, but most were not. That WO10 race was somewhat gettable with conventional handicapping, especially advanced pace handicapping. But recognizing it as a chaos race up front is really what allowed our players to get into line to cash their tickets.

    The Laurel 8th was also an example of a chaos race. People who handicapped that race with the knowledge that it was chaotic, could have simply tossed the low-odds horses or even just keyed the longest prices on the board on top.


    The Woodbine 7th was another example of a chaos race. In fact, it was a chaos race for the exact same reason as that WO10 race at the top of the page.


    The 8th race at Woodbine was another example of a completely gettable race, but only via the chaos methodology.

    There were a total of 6 chaos-winner races like this on Saturday, November 12. SIX!


    The 10th at Churchill Downs was the biggest winner on the day at $60.


    The key to chaos races is to ask the question, “When does handicapping fail?”


    One way can be seen in this summary of those six winners.

    See how all of them came from off the pace?


    When the early pace fails completely, the likelihood of a chaotic result increases dramatically.

    Let’s look at a few facts…

    The more reliable the early pace is, the more predictable the race.
    The more predictable the race, the more people who will see the obvious selections.
    The more people see the obvious selections, the lower the prices on the winner!
    Of course, this may seem is obvious to you very astute handicappers. But getting you there will need a more rigorous definition. That will require more time and space than we have here.


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  • Dave Schwartz
    September 26, 2018

    In the beginning there was no pace handicapping. Horse racing was without pace and void. Then there was Sartinian pace. It produced a high percentage of winners at the very good mutuels. People tried pace handicapping and saw that it was good. In the early days pace handicapping made life easy.

    Stories of the success of pace methodologists spread far and wide. More people came to pace. Books were written to make it easier to understand. As more people came the prices got smaller. And smaller. And still smaller. Eventually, it reached the point where the good mutuels were all but gone, replaced almost entirely by favorites and second choices.

    If you were a pace practitioner, in the late 80s or early 90s the game really did seem easy, especially in comparison to today. By the mid-90s, pace handicapping had become a very common approach to handicapping horses. The edge that pace handicappers had enjoyed for several years was gone.

    People tried many adjustments to gain that advantage back. While the basic pace concepts stood, the application of those concepts changed. Some tried pace numbers rather than feet-per-second ratings. Others tried adding more factors than simply EP, SP and W. Still others built grander models. Nothing seemed to improve the plight of the pace handicapper.

    Well it’s time to change all that! I have developed a completely new approach to handicapping horses! It is truly different and the good news is the differences will put the edge back in to pace handicapping for you.

    I call it “New Pace.”

    What’s so different about it? Just about everything. Let’s start with the basic premise that most pace handicappers hold dear: “What matters most in determining the winner is the horses’ position at the second call.”
    My investigations have shown that not only is the second call position not MOST important, it is actually the LEAST important call! In fact, it is so unimportant that you can ignore it entirely!

    I know this is a very provocative statement but I wouldn’t make it if I couldn’t back it up with proof. Watch this video (under 3 minutes) for a quick explanation.

    Want some more? It continues here with 2-minutes more.


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