Ed Bain’s Handicapping Work Sheet

After I posted Ed’s Work Sheet I decided to take this picture of Ed’s Brain.  Wasn’t surprised to see this.  Makes a lot of sense.

From Susan:
Just wanted to share this.
When Ed’s talking about handicapping he thinks everyone knows what he’s talking about when this is actually what he is talking about

Ed Bains Worksheet when he Handicaps the Races

10 Replies to “Ed Bain’s Handicapping Work Sheet”

  1. i got a kick out of that. Future linguists will have their hands full trying to explain this to themselves. So much info with little writing which proves that the english alphabet has way too many letters in it. I also wonder how many volumes of pages it would take the government to supply the same amount of info.

    1. My thoughts exacty 🙂 A neat story; We met Joe Takach, the best physical handicapper there ever was at Santa Anita in the late 1990s and he has great respect for Ed’s statistical information. He said “Ed, you’re truely a pioneer. 50 Years from now they are going to be talking about you and your statistics.” I said d what we should do is put a time capsule in the ground and fill it with your Layoffs and Claims, your Jockey-Trainer Stats and his work sheets so millions of years well leave this for the scientists to decipher. This will keep them busy.

      1. New book coming….”Hieroglyphics for the Modern Handicapper” 🙂

        Happy Holidays to you both!!

  2. As a newbie to Ed’s method I have a few questions.
    But before asking, I’d like to say something about why I’ve decided to subscribe. In the 80’s and 90’s, living in Northern California, I would play regularly at GG with a group of handicappers that were led by Ron Cox, a good guy and natural teacher, who put out the best daily publication in the country with Dan Moynihan. It was detailed with pace, speed and trip notes and comments for every horse running at GG. Cox also composed a p6 ticket whenever the pool got big, and those of us in the group could put in whatever we were able to. He put together the ticket with Ray Harris, Russell Baze’s agent, who obviously knew how to pick horses.
    As a result of my good fortune in being at the right place at the right time (it seemed like an insider tip on a stock that actually worked out), I had a piece of many p6 scores, and when I had accumulated enough bankroll, hit 2 very large ones on my own, that made it such that I could never lose what I had won during that period, since I decreased my bet size to insure that, and over the next 25 years, as family, work, etc demanded more and more of my time, I played with smaller bankrolls recreationally. (In the 90’s I had also co-owned horses, and declared handicapping as a second profession).
    However, in the last 15 years or so, playing as a recreational handicapper, I’ve lost the discipline I had in the Cox days. And also, the camradarie. I have used a very good program HTR which has excellent components that point to form and also a community, and Ken Massa is very generous and responsive, but it’s been difficult to recover the discipline I know is necessary to win consistently, so I’ve had good years and bad years, and become much more of a cruncher than a grinder.
    Now, as I ease into retirement, I’m ready to try again as a grinder and recover that discipline, and having always been drawn to find a way to use trainer stats, Ed’s approach has great appeal. I would add that I have great admiration for Ed, for having made this work on his own these many years. Not easy.
    My questions
    A couple of small ones: 1) Do the stats include all wet days? 2) Do you treat a wet day like a dry one and play regardless? 3) Is it possible to recover prior days of PP in order to research. I believe I can copy and paste the link into an email to myself, but only track by track, so a long process. Any other way?
    Bigger question: I will try to lay out the method as I understand it thusfar and ask for feedback.
    JT stats in the book I’ve ordered are for NY and SCal circuits, so it would seem that the focus would be there. The PP stats have jockey with trainer stats, which will sometimes be 4+30, but they don’t show you who is the trainer’s go to rider. So in order to find a key horse, I would begin? 1) by looking at the Non Fav trainer possibilities for the day–and focus on the NY and Scal circuits first. Then 2) look at the JT stats to narrow down by eliminating combos that are not using one of the preferred riders. 3) Now look at the more detailed stats–eg at that track. 4)Pay close attention to where in the cycle the trainer is and see if this is his preferred moment–eg a spike.

    There will be races where more than one trainer qualifies–it seems there are several ways to go but Ed, I think you tend to favor one (TBD why) and make the other one of the non key horses in the exacta. That is a question. How you find horses that are not 4+30 to include in the exacta is one of my questions. I myself would look at my HTR info to look for horses in excellent form, and would also look at the race shape for eliminations–E horse but not fast enough, et al. drawing on the better parts of my prior handicapping. But I gather you don’t do that, and unless you are looking at the PP’s somewhere else would only use trainer stats.

    Finally, other than NY and SCal tracks, we have a wealth of data but not the JT stats. Should we play very selectively demanding more from the stats—eg, start with non Fav list, then focus on the jockey trainer stat in the PP and spikes?
    Sorry for putting it all into a long post. Hope some of the questions are others’ as well.
    Alyosha

    1. I think you made a good choice Alyosha in ordering the stats. All that experience that you’ve had betting will come in to play particularly in the 4-race form cycle. Both of those guys you mentioned Ken Massa and Ron Cox offer good products. Discipline is hard to understand in racing because of the emotions that all players run through during a race. You know you’ve found discipline when you don’t have a bet and everyone else is excited but you. You can bet or pass and it’s the passing that creates discipline.

      1). Do the stats include all wet days?

      Yes

      2) Do you treat a wet day like a dry one and play regardless?

      I don’t buy the form so I don’t get the current Tomlinson’s however, I have an old Tomlinson book that still has many of the sires still dropping foals so I do use Tomlinson to help me some what. In my stats, all the stats are combined, off track, wet track, turf track, fast track and when you click on the Layoff, Claim, Debut and Won Last race you can view statistics on how many races he had on the turf and what his numbers are.

      I do have a good understanding of off track pedigree, but by nature I am very cautious about betting into pedigree that I don’t know is good on an off track. So I do end up passing many bets that are on wet or muddy tracks and when I do, many still hit the exacta. Just because I pass does not mean they won’t win. When I do have the Tomlinsons I look for a 400 number. So I demand a very high hit rate from the Tomlinson and I demand the same thing from my statistics. 400 Tomlinsons, 40% in the exacta.

      3) Is it possible to recover prior days of PP in order to research. I believe I can copy and paste the link into an email to myself, but only track by track, so a long process. Any other way?

      My database makes over a million calculations daily so yesterday’s races are in today’s stats. Also there’s nothing wrong with tedious work in racing. This is how I ended up designing and playing the 4 race form cycle through trial and error. That is the scientific way.

      The only other way is through my database which I do offer on a monthly subscription. Data Export Tool

      4). Bigger question: I will try to lay out the method as I understand it thusfar and ask for feedback.
      JT stats in the book I’ve ordered are for NY and SCal circuits, so it would seem that the focus would be there. The PP stats have jockey with trainer stats, which will sometimes be 4+30, but they don’t show you who is the trainer’s go to rider. So in order to find a key horse, I would begin? 1) by looking at the Non Fav trainer possibilities for the day–and focus on the NY and Scal circuits first. Then 2) look at the JT stats to narrow down by eliminating combos that are not using one of the preferred riders. 3) Now look at the more detailed stats–eg at that track. 4)Pay close attention to where in the cycle the trainer is and see if this is his preferred moment–eg a spike.
      The Jockey-Trainer Exacta Report is absolutely crucial to betting. I’m amazed that there are no Jockey-Trainer reports offered. It’s almost like they’re invisible. Any player who uses this report will become a better player that day. I would encourage everyone to use this and use it first in order. The next series of questions you’re asking is actually how I handicap and the best answer I can give you is in this blog article
      https://anyhorseplayersoutthere.com/12000-who-win-23000-who-lose/

      The reason is, it’s how I start. And I start with pen and paper. I make out a 3 deep grid of what the favorites number is in every race and his odds and that sets up the day to start handicapping. This gives me a visual. What I’m looking for is 3/1 Morning Line favorite. It’s the only favorite I place as a key bet.

      The second bet in that article is actually 3/1, non-favorite and these two plays are my favorite plays to make. I usually get one or two bets per day at 3/1. I would follow that article and I would use these plays. I would adopt the 3/1 favorite and the non-favorite as the first thing you look for in statistics. This will give you plays to look for. This is the advantage of statistics. You can find the same plays to bet over and over. However you have to start at the beginning which is with pen and paper and laying out that grid.

      It’s very important for you to have a starting point. All players I know open to Race 1, horse 1 and handicap horse by horse, race by race and hope they see something along the way. That is what makes horse racing tedious. When you’re handicapping for a play, something you know has a hit rate, in this case 3/1 for me is 25%, I cash 1 out of every 4. When you’re handicapping a go-to play like 3/1, the only thing tedious is waiting for the race to come up and being patient. This 3/1 is triggered by a Jockey-Trainer combination. Does he have a go-to jockey on him. The Jockey-Trainer stats could be played as an approach by themselves.

      I have one 3/1 Morning Line play today. It’s at Santa Anita in Race 3, the 4 horse Pundy. It’s a Irad Ortiz Jr and Peter Miller. Irad Ortiz has zero races in sprints at Santa Anita with Peter Miller. Irad is replacing Flavien Prat. Flavien is one of Peter Miller’s go-to jockeys 33-15-45% in sprints at Santa Anita in the Exacta. Miller on 2nd after a Layoff in a sprint at Santa Anita on his favorites is 11-9-81%. Irad Ortiz zero percent. I would have made this play if Flavien Prat was up. He is a very good jockey, under rated jockey. I’m sure he hated giving up that 3/1 morning line favorite to Irad Ortiz. Moving to one of the top 5 jockey’s in the Country, Irad Ortiz is not a bad jockey switch either.

      5). How you find horses that are not 4+30 to include in the exacta is one of my questions.

      That is a good question. Just as I mention above, you have to have a starting point. The race can’t run until all the horses are loaded in the gate and it’s the same with handicapping. I start with pen and paper, I have a work sheet and I make a copy of the entries program. Even though I have an elaborate website that tells me everything that I want to know, what I like to do is layer it in by hand. First the grid, then I enter all the jockey-trainer combinations on top of the Jockey’s name. There is no bet that I make that does not have a go-to jockey on him other than a shipper like Irad Ortiz. Once I have who the real players are for me then I go to my stats. I click on the appropriate stat, the detail page comes up and on the left side of this page has all the details on how this trainer performed by track, class, distance, surface and field size. What I am looking for in the stats is I immediately click on today’s track, Santa Anita and see how all this trainers races separate. As an example like Peter Miller on Lay 2 Sprint favorites and I write down these stats like this L2S SA Fav 11-9-81% on top of the trainers name. It would be easier if I just would roll through my website, pick a horse here and there to play and hope for the best but what it really takes is hard work. It may be mental and it may be slow and tedious. I must like mental, slow tedious work. It’s what makes us a grinder.

      6). Finally, other than NY and SCal tracks, we have a wealth of data but not the JT stats. Should we play very selectively demanding more from the stats—eg, start with non Fav list, then focus on the jockey trainer stat in the PP and spikes?

      What sets up my handicapping for statistics is a 40% exacta rate. That is extremely high. So it gets you to stats that are playable and that you’re betting into a trainer who has his go-to rider on him. It’s the absolute key to being selective. You will only want to bet races that have a 40% exacta rate. So yes, you need to be highly selective. You have the experience and you also understand how to handle selectivity.

      Pattern playing the 4-race form cycle is an untapped statistical resource. Spike plays, either or plays, I play patterns of all types in this 4-race form cycle. As a player you’ll see some immediately. Some will look easy to play and some races there will be nothing there in the patterns. Pattern playing is a visual approach. I use it all the time for fillers in the Exacta. Once I have a key horse, I separate my playing by patterns. First Layoffs, Claims, Debuts, Won Last Race. Pattern playing reminds me of Star Trek opening statement “Where no man has gone before”. The 4-race form cycle forces you to look at cycles and you will see good jockey-trainer stats on bad cycles or just the opposite.

      I can produce any jockey-trainer report for every track. It’s the same price. It will take me a couple of weeks to get it done but if you need one just tell me.

      Save 10% in the Book Store today on All edbain.com publications by entering coupon code Save10 on checkout.

  3. Huge endorsement for Bain info! My first day using the stats. Only made 1 bet, the 2 horse in the 7th race at SA. Worked on it for quite awhile. Win and exacta key. Only put him in the 2nd hole for the tri. Brain fog because had the other two horses in there. Next time. Not a 4+30 or cycle horse but found him by going back to October in your PP and seeing that Moger set up Warm Endowment on October 13 with Pereira up in virtually the same way workout wise.. So, figure he’s very well intended and other info I used reinforced the proposition that off his debut race he was the fastest out of the blocks, and therefore could save energy if he pressed, which is how the jock rode him. Impressed by Pereira who had another longshot today as well.

    Little bitty question: are the percentages next to the post position for a specific amount of time at the surface and distance–4 years? or less?

    Just getting the knack of the JT reports from the 2 books since there have been another 6 months since they were published. I look first at the books, then at the stats for JT in the current days PP which add on. Takes a little getting used to. But another consideration is if the stat has changed significantly one way or the other. Then I try to look and see if there was a hot streak, or a lot of 3rd place finishes, et al and whether it changes my evaluation. A momentum stat?

    Looking at SA 2,3,6,7 and 9 for tomorrow and will narrow down.

  4. PS Is there a reason why E Roman seems to be missing trainer stats in the PP when he has them in the JT report–eg with Peter Miller in the 3rd on Saturday?

  5. The E Roman is an alias issue. The database is massive and each jockey has multiple entries under different names. As an example Gary Stevens is in the database this way: Gary Stevens, G Stevens, Stevens, Gary, Stevens Gary (without the comma) etc. I’ve asked my programmer to look into this and the other jockey’s that may need aliasing too.

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