As everyone seems to know, Chad Brown is an extremely good trainer. Just how good? Well, at Saratoga, since 2015, he has won at a 25% clip.
Not only that, he boasts an impact value of very close to one, suggesting that he wins at the rate the public expects him to in the long run, and his ROI, while negative for a dollar investment, is only just below the takeout rate. Those are some pretty darn good numbers.
The real question is: how do we make money with a guy who clearly sends out competent horses, but is still human and loses races occasionally?
One of the more disappointing parts of data analysis is getting really excited about jumping into analysis (yes, okay, I might be a nerd) chugging on some numbers, and coming out at the end with an unsurprising result. The excitement about analytics, and horse racing (for me at least) is trying to find the needle in the haystack that will unlock long term profit. The rest of this piece is dedicated to trying to find that needle, or at least a stick in the haystack.
We don’t have to go very far to come close to a needle. If one were to filter the races Chad has run horses in since 2015, by age restriction you would get a chart that looks like the following:
There is an extraordinary delineation between Chad Brown’s when races are filtered for 2 year old only, 3 year old only, 3 and up and 4 and up. Just as horses improve as they mature and grow from 2 to 3 to 4, Chad Brown seems to get the most out of his older horses, as opposed to those who may be known for younger horses.
Of further interest, if you filter the statistics by year you would get a chart like this one:
The win percentages are all astounding, but that 3+ bucket really pops with a postive expected return for a dollar investment. Maybe that trend will continue this summer. However, I wouldn’t expect to get there without taking a good deal of very short priced horses (check out what percentage of the time the public expects him to win!).
The other interesting note from the 2018 chart is just how much better he has gotten with horses he runs in races with age restrictions to 2 or 3. The ROI on the other hand is still quite low, but perhaps the most intriguing stat is the massive increase in win percentage with 2 year olds.
Now we continue to look at restricted races, but this time not through the lens of age, but the lens of gender.
Since 2015, the stats are as follows:
|Chad Brown||Fillies & Mares||59||217||0.27||0.25||197.95||0.91||1.09|
There appears to be a very clear distinction between races for older female horses, and races for younger female horses.
Peeling back the onion a bit:
We see another massive improvement in the races that are restricted to just Fillies. The ROI hasn’t moved much at all, but the win percentage jumped from 12% to 26% in just a matter of a few years. It appears he has found some type of secret sauce.
Another plus is seeing that positive ROI for races run in open company.
All this being said, the guy still wins 1 out of every 4 races he runs horses in, so choose against him the 3 out of 4 times he loses 🙂
Finally, surface and distance is one last thing to pick apart for Chad Brown.
|Chad Brown||Route||Inner Turf||2018||13||53||0.25||0.26||43.1||0.81||0.95|
|Chad Brown||Route||Inner Turf||2017||14||52||0.27||0.23||50.6||0.97||1.18|
|Chad Brown||Route||Inner Turf||2016||13||69||0.19||0.26||34.55||0.5||0.72|
|Chad Brown||Route||Inner Turf||2015||11||50||0.22||0.24||39.8||0.8||0.93|
It’s truly a travesty that hindsight is 20-20. If you were to have played only Chad turf routers last year, you would’ve made a 25% return. And just to be sure, that’s not the Inner Turf course. A 42% win percentage to go along with it, this is one that I would monitor to start the year at Saratoga. If he’s found the recipe, there might be some juice left in this stat as the public is far more confident in Chad’s dirt routers. Unfortunately, for all of us, the word may now be out.