PTF and JK talk about Derby prep action from the weekend. Then it’s Kevin Kilroy to explain about “the fours” and talk about his racing — and podcast — fandom. Lastly, Chris Larmey stops by to chat about changes to the NHC free contests as well as handicapping and betting theory. Oh, and we try not to brag too much about all the winners we gave out on Friday.
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***Please note this was done with AI and likely contains errors and inaccuracies. ***
You’re listening to the in the money players podcast.
Hello, and welcome to the in the money players podcast. This is show number 22. I’m your host, Peter Thomas Fornatale. Coming at you from a fairly dire hotel in Hounslow in West London. Getting ready to head over to the lovely sky studios to do another night on sky sports racing. Just going to have a quick segment to begin the show before we get into a couple of special guests, those special guests are Kevin Kilroy.
One of the infamous gang of four loyal podcast listener. You’ll be interested to hear what he has to say. And then we’re going to have the head of the NHC players’ committee. Chris, talk about his bedding and handicapping, and also a little bit about the changes we can expect regarding the NHC free contest for the rest of this year.
That’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ll get to that in a bit, but first I’m going to bring in the man that you know, and love from the planet, Texas. He’s the people’s champion. Jonathan Kinchin JK what’s up. PTF or you, you sounded like you were, you were out late last night. Did you go to the MK show? I think he had a show last night, somewhere in the world of London.
Sounds like you might’ve been there. Huh? I wish I wish I had been no this time I did what I hate doing, which is to read I in Susan and I had sort of conflicting travel. So I couldn’t leave the USA till Friday night. Did the red eye. Got in, checked into the dire hotel, couple hours, sleep, headed over to the sky studios.
What a great night we had on there, JK the podcast winners. And there were a bunch of them from last week where just the beginning tipped a whole bunch of winners with Tony Ennis and Darryl Williams on there. Got a lot of nice comments. Thank you to the people for that. My favorite was this fella, this 92 year old listener.
Shout out to him. Who texted us both or tweeted at us both. Could you please tell me all the winners you had on the show? And it was sort of like a humblebrag situation. It was like, Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t do that. There were just too many. Absolutely. Yeah. Rich, rich Avril, uh, Richie rich, uh, was, was on fire.
He, he gave a bunch of winners, a couple short price horses, but they were eight to one morning line six to one morning line. Along those lines and, and, uh, he, he sent the tweet out blaming, uh, our listeners. I’ve, I’ve heard, I’ve heard other people try to blame their, their following on odd drops. I don’t think we have that many listeners, but, uh, it’s still a nice gesture.
I should mention that our show today is brought to you by our friends at the thoroughbred retirement foundation. We’re off to a good start in our partnership with them. We did see several donations over at. The donation website. I believe it is T R f.org. Slash players. I will double check that before I let that go out over the air, but we’re encouraging people.
Please go ahead and donate. We really want to help out the TRF. It’s a great mission, helping not only horses to find new homes, but also people through their second chances program. We’re going to be hearing a lot more about it throughout the year. If you benefited from any of double R’s tips, any of our tips.
The other night and JK you had a pretty nice one. We’ll get to in a second. We really encourage you to donate. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say this. I’m feeling real good about the money we’ve raised for Make-A-Wish UK. I’m going to go ahead and close that donation site, but if you still want to guess my half marathon time and make a donation to the TRF, you’re more than willing to do that.
Let me know what your guess is, and you will win fabulous prizes. I’m talking about a package that might include. Uh, a cocktail making kit, including my Brooklyn spirits book, perhaps a collection of my racing books, or if you’ve got all that stuff already. Or if this just sounds good, I’ll go to your house and cook.
If you can guess my correct half marathon time, just make sure you make a donation to the thoroughbred retirement foundation. T R F. Inc org slash players. Now J K I noticed so many listeners came through and donated to the half marathon. Make a wish page. I did not see your name among them. What happened to you?
Well, I’m still waiting for the PPS to come out. I’m hoping that, uh, um, I need to see some figures. See if there’s any biases on the basis of you are you were working out, uh, who you were working with. A lot of things I need to figure out. So. Um, after I see the peop fees, then, then I’ll make my, uh, my wage.
And then hopefully we can get Craig Milkulski or Andy buyer or Nick Tamra or somebody to, to make a figure or a. Before you were raised. I don’t see you getting over a 55. I’ll take that, man. That’s still, you know, you’re in the, you’re in the mid claimer level. I don’t claim to be a grade one horse that this it’s all about.
Having some fun, raising some money for the charity. I encourage you. Skip the Make-A-Wish at this point, donate to the TRF guests your time, perhaps I’ll come to Austin and make you a fabulous pasta dinner. I know you love those. I don’t know if I can live up to your mom’s standards, but I will try. No, I, I, you know, your last name, this one to tell, I’d imagine that you can do some somewhat gravy.
Is that what they call it? Some of the Italians do that. Isn’t really an, our tradition. We were more, we more just called it sauce. I think they had sort of evolved from there, but for you, we’ll call it gravy. If you win. And guess my correct, half marathon time, whoever wins will win a fabulous prize. I encourage you guys to get involved.
JK, let’s talk about some racing for a minute. Just have a couple minutes today. Before we get to these guests, we had a couple of major triple crown preps over the weekend. What was your big takeaway from those races on Saturday night? Oh, that Bob Baffert is going to win the Kentucky Derby, not bill Mott.
No, I don’t. I don’t know. I don’t think so. Um, I think bill Mott is going to win a lot of races, uh, to add to his resume. And I think that he’s got some horses that are going to be fun, uh, you know, throughout the year and possibly some Travers types, horses, Travers type horses, but. You know, I just feel it, the East coast Derby preps have, none of them have just like reached out and grabbed me, you know?
And I, I just, I’m very excited to see, uh, these two Baffert horses run next week and the rebel, and I feel like one of those two is going to probably jump up and, and kind of give me those, uh, those roses and may feelings that, that I’ve had in the past. I’m not really sure that, uh, that, uh, the horses will.
Saw a run this weekend where or any of our, uh, horses that we think might win the Derby. I don’t disagree, but I made the case, my hot take on air in the wake of those races. Last night, we’re recording this on a Sunday, was that the big winner was hidden scroll given that the horse that he’s toyed with in his work.
And I’ll let you talk about him since you gave him out on the show. Nicely. Nine to one podcast winner for you JK. But the fact that hidden scroll had toyed with that horse, apparently in the morning work, we know that the hidden scroll race was much better than it looked clocking fractions that compared well with grade two or grade three sprinters elsewhere in the card and still hanging on to go down less than three lengths.
I see that as a real vicarious form boost. What did you think about that effort in the Tampa Bay Derby? And talk about the winter a little bit. Oh, I thought he, I thought he was, you know, he was good. He rallied up the rail, which is not where you want to be at Tampa, which is also impressive and kind of adds to it.
But like, like I said, you know, the tweeting that you’re hinting to is that I, it, to me, it kind of Frank the form of hidden scroll based on, on, on, on just talent alone. I understand, you know, our friend, Travis, Dylan made a joke about, well, you know, Not sure if the race is going to, you know, the Derby is not going to be run in the morning and that’s true.
Um, and obviously the distance of the, of the work is not equivalent to the mile and a quarter that these horses are going to run, uh, at Churchill and, and the first Saturday on the first Saturday of may. But I think that it does give you a little bit of hint, a hit to talent and a hint to what a horse is capable of.
And the quality of a horse when, when, when they accomplish things in the morning. Um, and, and so I just feel like it kind of gave a little bit more of a boost to what we thought hidden scroll was prior to his last race and what a lot of us think he is after his last race. He’s a good race horse. And, and his ability to dominate a horse that, that ran up the rail and won, uh, the Tampa Bay Derby, I think says a lot about him.
I’m excited to see him run back. I’m not really sure he’s still the Derby. We don’t think he’s the Derby winner by any means. Um, I still think he’s a really nice horse. It’s going to do really nice things throughout this year. And, uh, his next performance, it just makes me a little bit more excited to see where he goes from there.
is the name of the horse that won the race. And it’s hard for me to put him ahead of hidden scroll, but certainly as a bill Mott trainee, you expect him to get better throughout the year. Give me some more thoughts on the Tampa Bay Derby before we quickly go to the Gotham. Yeah. The other thing about taxes, I think it’s interesting.
It’s this first start as a three-year-old. Um, I, if I’m not mistaken, I, you know, I had the lay off line and the PPS, I’m assuming that that went back to December. So first started as a three-year-old. Um, obviously they, they planned on bringing him here because they wanted to separate him from hidden scroll.
I don’t think it was, uh, Oh, he’s not good enough. Let’s send them to Tampa. Move that sometimes you see what some of these trainers, um, and so, you know, I, like I said, rallying up the rail, I think it was impressive. Uh, I thought win-win win loomed pretty large for a second. On the outside, he came running. I thought he was going to be the winner.
Um, I think I even said it out loud, the sevens are going to win and then tack this comes up the rail. So, um, good for Judd Mon. I, I always think that it’s good for racing when these big operations have a big horse. I just think that people get excited and people start dreaming and the fun stuff starts happening.
And. And so, uh, uh, you know, that’s the one taxes, this is the one that I want to bet out of that race. Usually you don’t say that about the winner easily, try to find some other trip that really grabbed you or move you, uh, him rallying up the rail makes him the one that I want to bet out of there. Um, but I’m not necessarily cutting the line to bedroom and the future.
What did you think about win-win when in the end, was this a case of a horse who will benefit from having that first start around two turns? Or did you take sort of a more negative, no finish type view of his journey? You know, I haven’t actually seen a figure, so I don’t even know what the figure came back.
I think that would make a huge, a big diff perhaps to me, I want to know that he matched the figures that he was running previously, um, to understand kind of what the story was of the race, or was it a, you know, did he kinda, I don’t want to call it hazing, but did he kind of shorten up a little bit when.
Uh, in a slow pace rate and flow race, uh, slow, figured race, or was it a fast race or I wanna know a little bit more about, uh, his performance, you know, we recording obviously on Sunday. So, uh, no, I haven’t had a chance to see those yet. I’m sure there’s a buyer out, but I haven’t seen the time for them. U S figure.
Um, but yeah, like I said, he ran well, I, well enough, maybe it’s a little bit too. Maybe it’s, you know, it’s the cutback move for him now. Maybe that’s not exactly what he wants to do these. The mile and a 16th mile and eighth mile and a quarter, maybe those are maybe that’s the wrong direction for him in terms of distance.
Give him one more chance going longer again, not having seen a figure. My gut would be see how he does one more time before making the decision to cut back. But it’s certainly not a crazy suggestion. Let’s move up to New York, JK the big a and the Gotham stakes. The return of Instagram was not what you or I predicted it to be.
What did you think of that effort? What did you think of? Heikal the winner? Oh, that was an emotional roller coaster. That race war. Um, in what sense? It’s just like it just one of those races where it makes you talk the entire time. And it, and it, and when it’s something, it went a little bit like this I’m going to fast forward.
I’m not going to give you the whole minute and 40 seconds of this thing, but yeah. Oh, God, we’re in trouble. He’s why his hobby asking himself. Oh my goodness. Oh, he’s going to run like he can’t. Oh, you know what? I think he might actually win. Yeah. He’s going to win for sure. Oh, he’s definitely going to win that.
Oh yeah. He’s going to, Oh my gosh. He’s going to, he’s not going to, what’s he doing? Who is that? Oh my God. Hike was going to win. That’s the whole emotion of the race. And it’s like, uh, you know, he was, he was, he looked like he was gonna ease at the half mile pole almost. He was like all in. And then he kind of started coming and then he stopped coming and then he started coming again.
And then he looked like he was going to be a winner. Then he wasn’t is, uh, a very tough race to watch when you have a horse like that single then, um, I just, I don’t know. I mean, did, did Jerry Hollendorfer put that horse on the plane short and fall time across the country to run. I actually don’t think that he did.
And if you look at his workout, he, his workouts, he even working like crazy. They obviously knew they were coming in off of a break. He had, he had like a six to six for a long works, a seven for long work. And his last work was like a bullet 47, you know? Uh, half. And so it’s like, it’s not like they were like taking it easy on them.
They were, they were leaning on him. No. So you get different things out of racing than you do out of workouts. You hear horseman talk about that all the time that a race can be worth. Four works. And you got to remember, this is such an unusual situation with, we’ve talked about the owner picked the spot.
We rarely talk about the owner, picked the campaign, and yet that’s what happened with Instagram. I think it’s such an unusual situation that even a horseman, as adept as Jerry Hollendorfer, I could see a world in which. By accident on account of owner pick the campaign that you ended up with a short horse there, despite the seemingly excellent work tab with only those two races far back in the two year old, a year to go on.
It’s such a weird situation that I’m not willing to give up on the horse. I want to see what happens next time and would be willing to give another chance now. Will I be betting. I don’t know if everybody sees it the way I do. And the horse has hammered. Once again, clearly you need a little bit more of a price to go back to the well with the horse, but it sounds to me like you’re willing to jump off the train.
I’m not quite willing to go that far just yet. No, I just, I haven’t had a chance to ask you to text John Vanguard yet and ask him what Javier said. I’m curious if he felt like he was a short horse or hobby felt like he was. Uh, an unfocused horse or a, uh, a, a horse that you have to ride like a bike and just peddle around there.
He didn’t, he wasn’t that horse as a two year old, uh, interesting that he would be one, you know, now it’s not, he was going a mile and an eighth, he was going to one turn mile. So it’s not like there was some big, huge jump up and distance that, that required him to do that. And the curious part for me, and the hardest part for me to understand what happened is why he was needing to be encouraged.
You know, for long and a half. And that part is that is worrisome. That’s the part that I just can’t really wrap my brain around. That does suggest maybe a horse that didn’t train on, but I’ll say this and I want to get our friend, uh, the self-professed data nerd, John Kamado, to look at this issue a little bit, but I’ve always contended that this idea that a one turn mile is somehow easier than a two turn mile.
It feels to me like a complete fallacy, I think at a one turn mile you’re running harder for longer. So the idea that this shouldn’t have been some big deal to stretch out from a sprint, I don’t buy it. I think a two turn miles actually easier in a way because you don’t run as fast around the turns. I think a one turn mile is a very big test, especially in a race like this, that completely falls apart at the end to let Hy-Ko win.
There are so many unanswered questions. It’s going to be fun to see. It sounds like one that we can maybe argue about, but I do take your point JK, especially when it comes to how he looked early in the race. That’s the one that does certainly put the bug in the brain. Hm. Maybe he just hasn’t trained on, but again, I’m tempted to give a little bit of a pass because it’s such an unusual situation.
Maybe. This point Hollendorfer gets to take a little bit more control of the situation than he has to this point. Maybe we’ll see flashes of the Instagram that we saw as a two year old next time, or maybe he hasn’t trained on. It’s definitely one of the interesting stories to follow this three-year-old year.
Any other thoughts on the golf? Nope, that was pretty much it for me. I, I, uh, I guess, I, I guess, uh, Heico got the bus, the bus, the bus pass that I had mentioned that he was going to need to get the, well, I’ll tell you what, I will say this, a horse like that. I mean, he did get you can’t say he didn’t get the distance, but boy, what a setup.
Absolutely. It was flying on the middle of the track and uh, obviously has the pedigree. To, to be a good horse, not necessarily to one a mile and a quarter race. Uh, but his, his brother, uh, taco bell was a running son of a gun as well. So, uh, you know, good for them. Good for the connections. He’s not force that I’m going to be betting moving forward.
And he’s actually a horse that I’ll be excited to bet against. He wouldn’t be interesting at some point on the cutback, in the right spot, when horses are going to hit like that in front of him, maybe he will have some more big wins on the resume, but I’m with you. I’m not thinking the wood Memorial will be that, but we have to convince our friends at Niara.
That they have to do a Travers feature pool and, uh, in, uh, uh, uh, H Alinger future pool, I think it would do an amazing job if you started it early in the year, you did it during this time of the year where people could get excited about those two big races, those two great ones that, that, that, um, that are so popular at Saratoga and just, you know, allow people to kind of.
Look down the lens of the three-year-old year and have an idea of what, what these horses could end up doing. I think it’d be a lot of fun and I think it would actually handle pretty well. You could have it open to all the, on all the big Niara days, you know, all the big days moving forward, you know, like the Gotham, the wood Belmont, uh, Belmont Derby, Belmont Oaks, you run it all the way through, through those days and lead up to, uh, to the summer.
I think it’d be a lot of fun. This is a conversation we don’t have time to have right now. I agree with you. Assuming it could be. Fixed odds, auntie post-market like they have over here. I think that could really contribute to the interest. I have no interest in parimutuel, uh, future pools when it comes to that kind of stuff, that’s just, I’ve never been able to really even get my head around it.
And it doesn’t make sense to me, but if there’s a way, and I think with the technology, there might be a way to do it where you could get the price that you, that is on offer when you make the bet. Then you could really have something. Is that what you’re referring to? Or are you, are you thinking parimutuel?
No, obviously it would be much better in a fixed odds setting, unfortunately. Uh, I’m doing the, I’m doing the air quotes right now. Unfortunately we don’t have the technology to do that at the moment. So, um, you know, but it definitely would be better that way. There’s no doubt about it. All right. J K, let’s get to these guests.
I want to thank you for going out of your way on this Sunday to make time and be with us for a minute. And we will catch you a little bit later in the week. Yeah, out of your wing, I’m laying down still. You might be laying down, but you don’t sound like you’re laying down. So you get bonus points for me.
I appreciate it. Welcome to the, in the money players podcast to Kevin Kilroy, one of the infamous gang of four. How are you doing today, Pete? I’m doing great. It’s great to talk to you. You know, everything is feeling good ever since last Saturday, that’s for sure. All right. I’m just going to ask the tough question right away.
Why not ones or twos or threes or fives? How is it that seven of you pick the number four? Oh my gosh. I don’t know how seven of us did it. I would love to talk to, uh, the other people. I don’t know what the reason is, but the only reason I picked the number four was I was just picking horses based off of hunch.
Just looking at them very quickly, knowing it was a free tournament. I wanted to get my bid in there. And I saw, I had, you know, like seven of the horses were fours and I said, screw it. I’m just gonna make them all fours. I’ve seen this happen before. I’ve seen people. I’ve seen tournament days where if I would’ve just done one on all one number, it would have been the best score.
And I know it’s an angle. And so I played it just because I liked fours and other races and it turned out to work out well. So when you were originally marking horses down, you’d marked horses, other than some fours, you looked at your run, it was 70% fours. And you said, what the heck? Put them all in there.
Absolutely. And I think that what the heck sort of attitudes is pretty key for these free tournaments. Uh, probably to some reason to find a horse that nobody’s looking at, you know, you can’t, you can have the, uh, you can have the cap horse that everybody sees and that doesn’t, that’s like a way these free tournaments for ya.
So, um, you’ve gotta find, you gotta find a creative angle for how many of the free events have you played in before this one I played in. I think every free tournament for the past five years, every three NHC one. And then I played in like 70. Of the free DRF tournament, Wednesday or Thursday. I’m not sure if they still do the Wednesday ones, but those free ones, the feeder free feeders into the theaters.
I’ve never won any of those DRF ones. And obviously I’ve never won a seat in NHD, but I’ve gotten close a few times and I’ve gotten close through a handicap and horses, not just, uh, ticking, ticking, lucky ones. My first tournament, it wasn’t a free one, but it was, it was a paid one and I finished 12th. And I was, I remember I was so excited cause it was just after Watson HorsePlayers right.
And that’s what got me into it. And I be Christian Helmers and I was like, here it is, this firm’s what I thought was true. All along. I know how to pick horses. I’d be Christian Helmers. He was like 17th or 18th and I was 12 and I was, I was for sure I was going to get a seat that year, but you know, it hadn’t happened for five years.
So this is, this is damn exciting. What else do you play in terms of tournaments or do you really just stick to this stuff and the occasional low buy-in game? Uh, yeah, these days, all I do is the free stuff. Just not having the money to be playing tournament. This is what keeps me in tournaments all together.
Hey, what keeps me in horse racing a bunch. It’s just, you know, I’m a, I’m a teacher and, you know, a father of three and almost, almost the fourth kid is on the way. Yeah. Thank you. And, um, it’s, uh, it’s hard to find the money to do it. So these free tournaments keep me. Keep me in it and keep me paying attention, especially in this time of the year where, you know, I usually start really gearing in, um, as the, uh, as the Derby start rolling, rolling forward the state therapies and all that type of stuff.
So, um, yeah. How would you describe your betting activity outside of tournaments? Are you participating at the windows? Um, so now I live in Kansas city for 14 years. I lived in Chicago and I would, I would be at Hawthorne, um, or Arlington. Very regularly with, with my buddies, uh, James and Dave, we’d go down there, we’d go down there a bunch and I’d play online.
It was legal to play online and Illinois where it’s not, um, where I am right now. Um, so, um, it’s not as much as it used to be these days. I’m kind of just betting on the big race days. Um, definitely been on all the activity, leading up to the breeders’ cup. We just have the Derby days. Yeah. All the, all those days, for sure.
But, uh, not so much on Wednesdays and Thursdays, like I used to. So it’s interesting because I think you do put the lie to something I set out there on Twitter. I think I was definitely guilty of hyperbole when I said that no fans have been created by the NTRA free tournaments. It does sound like your horse racing fandom does STEM largely from those.
Is that accurate? I mean, yeah, so I love the tournament’s, but this is the thing that keeps me in it without the free one. I just couldn’t participate in it, which, you know, maybe, you know, are you as a good thing to not have people who are just realizing the free Terminus is the only way and trying to win those because it’s a different type of tournament.
Um, but yeah, the free tournaments is definitely keeps me a fan. And I think, I mean, As, as kooky as this story is with seven of us picking fours. Um, it’s, I think it could turn fans on to it. You know, it’s, there’s so many hunch players out there. There’s so many people who just show up and want to play there, you know, the grandkids name or their have their, their booty number that they love.
And they, they play that number. And, you know, it brings so many people to the tracks to do that type of stuff. So I think this type of story in this type of action speaks to what goes on. Course packs every day, you know, it’s a fair point. It’s a fair point. I’ll concede. Yeah. That it has helped you. Would you be any less enticed?
Let’s say the free tournaments awarded something like cite credit, uh, and were something that didn’t have these. Crazy ratios of prizes to entries. Would you be just as interested in competing for a smaller prize, your involvement in the DRF games of which I have now blissfully, uh, don’t have to worry about anymore, but makes me think that you would play for other prizes.
I just wonder if there isn’t a way. To take these opportunities and market racing in a way that would appeal a little bit more longterm to someone such as yourself who clearly has an interest in handicapping. Yeah. I mean, whatever the free accident is, I I’ll be there. You know? I mean, I love it because it’s, uh, it is a good value situation, you know, and you, um, you know, especially when you’re getting the, the, the races on Friday afternoon and, you know, you got to make you do your handicapping for Saturday, right?
I mean, that’s, that’s prime dad time right there, you know, Friday night, Saturday morning. That’s when you’re supposed to be hanging out with the kids and I’m happy to, you know, stay up late and do it, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. So having those free situations make it easier to, uh, you know, put your, put your picks together, uh, with, you know, spending an hour handicapping as opposed to spending.
Really grinding on it, the way that you have to, when you’re competing tooth and nail at the windows. Let’s talk a little bit about the specifics of your experience last Saturday. At what point did you realize you? Weren’t the only one who had a four in every single race. Oh, this is, this is one of the most embarrassing parts beat.
So, uh, you know, Saturday, you know, I put my fix in and I wouldn’t play, I didn’t check the races all Saturday. I wouldn’t play poker for five hours on Saturday night. Um, had Sunday had my, my daughter Stanley birthday party, and wasn’t thinking anything about it. We had snow come through. It was Monday morning when I actually realized that I, and I had gotten, got the seat or your tie for this.
And when I looked, I thought. And I said, Oh my gosh, six, what horrible luck. How have I finished six? This is horrible. Right. And then I looked at the leaderboard and I thought, Oh, I’m tied with seven tied for first. Um, and then it was just, uh, you know, it’s still is just so hard waiting to find out if this is going to happen.
I mean, this. This is just such a thrilling deal. And, you know, I was waiting for, you know, two days from that point on to find out I was going to go to Chuck E cheese with my kids, you know, checking my phone every, every five minutes, you know? And, um, yeah, it, it was, it was tough, but yeah, it’s embarrassing.
I didn’t even look that Saturday curious to know if I had one. Yeah. How did it play out with the idea of creating this play in game where the seven of you at the next weekend are going to compete for the five seats? Were you told that was happening where you asked if it was okay? How’d that all go down?
Yeah, so we were, uh, Keith and Michelle reached out to us and, um, you know, individually and with the email saying, Hey, we think we have a fun idea to figure this out. Would you be into, you know, doing a tournament between the seven of you, the five seats on, on the 16th. And, um, they told us that if there wasn’t a consensus, then we’d go back to the, um, uh, to the original, random drawing and.
You know, I, I, I jumped on it. I mean, it’s just such an exciting event. I mean, so much of this is for the fun of it, as well as getting that seat in it and the thrill of it. Um, but competing is so great. So here I go. I mean, I’m nervous as hell, but I’m going to have, I’m going to have the, uh, where the easiest, you know, or, I mean the easiest, uh, um, scenarios to get in it.
It’s funny. I was telling my dad about it. And he told me the old joke of two guys camping in the woods and a bear comes into the camp and one guy starts lacing up his shoes and the other guy’s like, what do you do when you can’t outrun a bear? And he turns to him and says, I don’t have to have run a bear.
I just have to outrun you. So I feel like it’s that sort of scenario where, you know, it’s just, uh, there’s just, you know, one or two, I got to pick off and. What’s the strategies for that and all that type of stuff, you know, is another matter. Well, my advice and we were talking about this privately, but it’s funny, you mentioned the old bear joke because that is something I once heard Mark Midland of Derby Wars use to describe head to head games in contests.
Yeah. And it’s in my book, actually the winning contest player and it’s in there. And if you think about it, I really do think it’s the same thing as head to head in this. And, you know, just a real premium on trying to grab points. I don’t know how many of the other seven will be listening, but I think it’s pretty intuitive that you don’t want to be too much of a wise guy.
Anything that can separate you. Favorite to place could easily end up being the difference between making it and not making it in a format like this. So I would say go, go use head-to-head strategy. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get into playing some head to head games. Now I wouldn’t be doing my job if I did not ask you this question.
Is there any temptation to just play all the fours again? Absolutely the 10 patients there, you know, it’s like being true to what got you. There love that idea. Hey, no, apologies. This is, this is it. And just throw the cards up as they may. And I bet one of us does, and I’m sure it’s not one of us who has a good enough sense of humor.
Um, but you know, this is that excuse like. I can, I can tell my, my wife and kids, like I need to, I need time to handicap and they get it. Now they understand the importance of this now. And so I’m going to take it as an opportunity to do something I love and look closely. See these races and I’m doing, I’m doing little tournaments just to get ready and, uh, and think about these smaller pools to doing those 11 person tournaments on the VRF side.
Um, and, uh, yeah, just trying to get my, get my chops up and get, get my attention focused on these tracks, which I haven’t been paying attention to. So I’m like, I would definitely get involved in some of the head to heads too, for practice. Just the way your brain needs to be thinking where just getting on the board is going to mean so much.
So are you down with the idea? I don’t want to jinx you by talking about it as if you’ve made it already, but so, so hopefully, hopefully by predicating it, that, that way I’m not doing that. But you’re down with the idea of sitting at table four with the yellow and black shirts. Should you make it that far?
I don’t know. I don’t know how hot this child’s going to be. I’m not sure if I want to throw it to beta table for, I definitely am up for, uh, for getting roasted and, uh, and all the jokes coming my way. If I get to Vegas, I can take that with thick skin and deserve it. Um, I don’t know if I can sit there like a buffoon and still it’s still pay attention and take my handicap seriously.
So, um, I don’t think I’m down for that. I’d be good. The story that I want to see, and I don’t want it to be you after talking to you and you have such good humor about it, but yeah, because it would be stressful. I don’t want it to be you is for somebody to get the psych credit for who finishes sixth or seventh.
Take that psych credit. And earn their way to the NHC, the old fashioned way, the story that I want to write, I keep on thinking about that because it’s $500. You can not only can you earn a spot and you can also be up there for points. If you have a couple of good wins, because we’re all getting great points for this.
That’s a great point. That’s an excellent point. I didn’t even think about that. That’d be actually, you could score the top 20 or whatever it is and get some cash from that. Very smart, very smart idea. Couple more before I let you get on with your day. In terms of the reaction what’s been your, your, uh, favorite slash the most hostile thing you’ve read so far.
Hey, it may have been for me. Um, I mean, I loved all this stuff, you know, as soon as I saw the news, I like just immediately went to Twitter. Cause I know that’s where the community is. And I love the, the, uh, one guy’s idea that we all are in the bathroom and orange jumpsuits bending from there. Um, somebody else was saying that, uh, you know, on our name tags, not names, but just the number and then yeah.
All at table number four. I mean, I thought that stuff was hilarious, you know, that’s just, that’s just great stuff. Um, and I, I really, as much as people have been emotional about this, I think people have been super respectful and haven’t been, um, getting mad at any individual with this. And people have been looking at the larger sort of scenario of free tournaments and whether the rules are being followed.
And I think that’s all, that’s all good stuff that the community should be paying attention to. So, um, I hope that, uh, Um, you know, those sorts of, if I get that seed that, uh, those sort of, uh, those sort of good, uh, jokes and, and, uh, camaraderie is still there for sure. Fantastic. Last one. I just want to ask you about your handicapping.
You said you became a fan, you saw HorsePlayers I, uh, were you a racing fan before that? And how has your handicapping evolved since? Yeah, so I got into horse racing, um, you know, 10 or 10 or so years ago was a year of Curlin assist. Three-year old campaign. Um, I’ll never forget, except the can for the, sort of, for the breeders’ cup classic.
Um, and I got into horse racing from my great buddy James from Kentucky. I think so many people probably have gotten horse racing from people from Kentucky. They’ve got such passion for it, for the sport. And he would take me to the tracks and, uh, uh, you know, of course the worst thing that could happen, you actually take one and get it right.
You know? And, and then I find out I have a friend who’s a who. Willing to give me tips and he knows what he’s talking about. And I started hitting on his horses and, you know, my handicap, he went from just dumb luck as it, as I’m at right now, just picking names and picking numbers and picking what you know, why I’ve got next to me telling me I should.
Um, to reading, reading all the books, I can get my hands on. You know, I started going to the Chicago public library and there to do work on, you know, one of the classes I’m teaching. And here I am just wandering in front of the section with the horse racing titles and, uh, you know, sitting down and one afternoon and reading, uh, betting on myself and, and all these great books and, uh, Penn McClellan’s HorsePlayers books.
It’s all about Hawthorne and there’s so many great stuff out there. And. Um, so studying, studying up to reading the books and in my handicapping, you know, has, has evolved with the tournament play. Um, it just, you know, I think that kind of, it helps and hurts the handicapping. Cause it gets you such a mindset of trying to find that creative long shot that on days when you’re just putting money in the window, sometimes you’re just like, wait a minute.
Why did, why didn’t I bet on that day, of course, that makes sense in the tournament scenario, but it didn’t make sense. And really trying to, to, uh, to take advantage of the race that you were looking at and data wise, where are you, what are you looking at? Oh, I love the DRF PP. It’s one of the reasons why I, I don’t handicap very well on the horse players and horse tourney one, because they give you the free.
Aggravation Brezhnev forums. And I’m a DRS guy and you know, I’m old school, love the newspaper, you know, love, love, actually getting the, uh, the physical form. So I’ll print it out and I’ll write all over it and keep my little notes in my journal. And, um, uh, when I have, when I had the money and I really want to focus like for next week and I’ll be, I’ll be using the formulator.
Um, and you know, watching the replays and all that great stuff that comes through there. But yeah, I love, I love the DRF PPS and then having the paper to write on how old are you? Usually the, the younger, as I’m guessing you are folks aren’t as attached to the paper as old fogies like me. Well, I don’t feel like I’m a younger guy now.
I just turned 40 this year. So I feel like I got gray in my beard and bald head. So I feel like I’ve mentioned it to my old man, which feels great. And w I keep adding questions. I apologize. Uh, the teaching that you do, w what, what, how old are the kids and what is the subject. So, yeah, so I, uh, I teach at the cancer, the art Institute, um, and I teach, um, uh, writing and philosophy courses, um, beat literature, so I could be duration, care whack, and those guys.
Um, and then, um, I, uh, currently am a writer in residence for Charlotte street foundation, local arts foundation. So I’m in my writing studio right now, which I have access to for, for a year or two. And then I got, I got an Asian role and I got a six year old. A two-year-old so Maisie, Sonny sow. And then I got a fourth one coming on.
Believe it or not. August 4th, number four on August 4th. That is cool. And you know, whose birthday that is? That the guy you’re talking to right now? Is that your birthday? That’s my birthday. Yeah. We always have the big party Whitney night up in Saratoga. So it’s, uh, your future child is in good company with me and Roger Clemens and rocket Rashard and Barack Obama.
Barack Obama to come on. That’s great. I love it. Of course. We know how these due dates go. We’ll see, but it’s a good one. Should it come to pass as for the beats? Any excuse for me to mention Lawrence Ferlinghetti I just have to throw it in there. Is he one of them people you teach? Yeah. And somebody who’s just keeping that alive with, with city lights.
I mean, you can’t be fairly Getty Cody out of the mind. Yeah, he’s fantastic. All right, buddy, I’m going to let you get on with your day. God’s speed this weekend and thanks for taking time out for us. Oh, one last one. So folks can connect with you in social media. Give your Twitter handle real quick. All right.
My Twitter handle is at Kilroy. K I L one L R O Y. Underscore Kevin. There you go, folks can check you out there and we’ll be following with interest. Thank you so much for your time today. Teeka. I say one quick thing. Absolutely. Hey, I just want to say thank you to you and JK ever since moving out of Chicago, you have been my, my, uh, my horse racing buddies listened to the podcast that you all been doing.
So, um, I feel like I know you guys and it’s great talking to you. It’s really cool. I appreciate the kind words. Keep listening. We’ll keep doing them and we’ll see you soon. All right. Thanks so much. Cheers, bud. And now I would like to welcome back to the, in the money players podcast, airwaves, good friend to the show, the head of the NHC players committee and an accomplished tournament player in his own.
Right? One of the email@example.com. Chris, Laurie, how are you? I’m doing great, Pete. Thanks for that intro. Whenever I’m on the show and I hear your intro, I always feel like who is that talking about?
Well, we had a great time talking a couple of weeks ago at the NHC, I guess, more than just a couple of weeks ago now. And like, then I’m going to give you an opportunity to give me a hard time about some things that I’ve said about, uh, the NHC on here that, that have been maybe corrected. One of them was corrected by the priest.
Previous guest actually just had a wonderful conversation with Kevin Kilroy. Who quite correctly pointed out that I was not right about the free contests, not creating fans. He is a fan who’s very much kept into it by free contests of all stripes. So I wanted to say, I definitely exaggerated when I said on Twitter that the free contest doesn’t create fans.
I’ve heard from a few people who have been made fans by it. But my question for you is. Is there maybe a better way to do the free contests that more, fairly values them in the NHC tour ecosystem and maybe rewards serious horseplay over a bit of a, more of a lottery setup. Is that fair? Oh, definitely. And I mean, I think a lot of the comments that I saw that you had put out on Twitter.
I, I would agree with many of those. And I think so with many other people, the tricky part about the NAC and just for me personally, as the, the chairman of the players’ committee, is that you, you were trying to represent all 4,000 plus members of the, of the NAC tour and even, you know, potentially other people out there that might eventually be candidates to join the tour and get involved in the NHC.
And. That’s a really diverse group and what maybe would appeal to a certain subset of the players may not appeal to the broader set and vice versa. And so you’re always trying to come up with something that sort of, um, is, is as optimal as possible and is the best as it can. It can be for the whole player set.
And whenever you do that, no matter what you come up with. It’s not going to be optimal for any particular individual or even subset within that group. It’s a little bit long-winded. Yeah, you can’t please. All of the people, all of the time is more or less what you’re saying. Right. And plus, you know, you’re never kind of at the optimal smart spot at any time for two reasons.
One is it’s pretty hard to figure out what that optimal, smart spot is. And even if you ever hit it, The environment is constantly changing. So as soon as you hit it, you’re no longer in it. And so you have to continue to monitor things and to get feedback from players and to learn from, you know, things that happen.
I think this is a great example where, um, we knew that we weren’t in the optimal space with this free roll contest. Um, and this, you know, latest, Oh, I don’t know how we want to characterize it though. The wild fours are the gang of fours or whatever, um, sort of reinforced that. So let’s use that as an opportunity.
And I think we have, and I’d like to talk a little bit about some changes we’re going to make right away. And I do just to reinforce one of the thing that Kevin said, and I’ve never been a big fan of these free roll contest, especially the way they’re formatted and, and. When I bring this up in our committee meetings, or even outside the meetings with the NPRA, one of the things Michelle raid them crap, um, who is pretty much in charge of the day-to-day, um, operation of the NAC and the tour.
She says that, um, there are a lot of people like Kevin who really, really liked free contest and the chance to win a seat in a free contest. So. I think we need to respect that, even though there’s a good set of moral, I call the veteran serious players that don’t like them. So is there something we can do kind of address the concerns they have on, on the one side about the kind of a lottery nature of the free roles, but at the same time, have a free contest that, um, appeals to a lot of the other players.
Well, I want to hear about this idea of, uh, what is, what are you going? How can you try to bridge that gap? You bet the way I’d like to preface this, is there sort of in any kind of a game you’ve got this ratio of luck versus skill and I’ll pick a game that I think is on the far left of that spectrum and that would be all skill and that the, probably the most famous game.
That I would consider to be pretty much all skill is chest sure. Complete information. Yeah. The best player. I mean, I guess there are exceptions, but incredibly high percentage of the time, the best player is going to win in that game of complete information. Right. You can’t complain about the stewards when you get to the Casper.
I’ve tried that once. It did not go well. So, and then on the far, right, which would be all luck, probably the most famous and popular would be like roulette. I was going to say candy land, but I have a six-year-old. Okay. I’m not even sure what Canyon land is, but you get the idea. You spin the wheel and you’ll learn.
You’ll learn soon, grandpa. It’ll probably be something else by the time they’re old enough to play. Um, but right, Ray you’re I apologize for making these clips and stepping on your excellent point in roulette. It’s just wherever the ball lands. Right? Right. And so, and most other games are somewhere in between those two extremes and certainly most games associate with gambling or somewhere in between and any handicapping contest.
Um, is somewhere in between and depending on the format and the number of pills players involved, you’re sliding more towards the left, which is skill or towards the right, which is what, and I think the current free roll contest we have because of the large number of players, if you have 2000 players, it’s really way towards that.
Um, w the luck side, more like playing roulette and chess a lot more like playing roulette in the chest. And I think the best example would be like, people everyone’s familiar with March madness and playing in those pools. It was March madness pools. Maybe it used to do an office pool, or you still do on, and now they have all these online tools and you can go join the ESPN or Yahoo pool, and you can create your own little sub pool with your friends and say, there’s 20 of you.
But you can also at the same time in, or you’re saying picks in like the national one that has millions of people and in your little 20 person, um, uh, contest, you could have a good day and get some right and some wrong. Um, but maybe you’re a little up basketball, a little more closely than the other people in the pool and you can win, but that same.
Um, performance would have no chance at all at winning the million, many million people contests. Um, in order for you to win that, you’d have to have this incredibly lucky day where you, everything you picked one and every buzzer beater goes your way. And you know, all your, um, opinions, um, ended up getting realized, and even with the same number of picks.
So. If you really want it to win your office for what you’re probably going to use a different strategy than if you’re trying to win the national one. And the national one basically is, um, turns into beat. Just like we talked about a lottery because you might be twice as good as the average, um, office average, uh, NCAA tournament picker.
But still instead of one in 10 million chance or a hundred million chance, you’ve got a two and a hundred million chance. It’s not a difference really in the real world. Right? Right. It could be four or five times better. It’s still just a lottery. And that’s sort of what we’ve got with the current format.
Even though you could get a, someone like a Jonathan Kenshin or a Paul Sherman or a Paul on the teas or Scott Carson, these guys who are. You know, clearly some of the better players, they may be two or three times more likely to win than the average player, but that’s two or three in a thousand versus one in a thousand, not really a big difference.
So it’s a lottery. How do you feel? How do we, right? How do you fix it? So. Um, we had a similar kind of thing at the NHC. And what we did there is we said, try to get out of the lottery version of things, especially near the end when everyone starts stabbing, just to try it. Um, when, because they know they have no other chance than the stab, let’s put a cut line in.
I love it. Two, two part contests. So the first part you’re not trying to win it, which is the lottery you’re just trying to finish in the top 10%. And to do that, you know, if you’re a good player and you have a good day, you can finish in the top 10%. You don’t have to have that one in a million day to that to win the contest, to get them a 10%.
And so if we have that first round, be just like it is today, but it’s a qualifier for the next round. And in order to qualify, you need to get in the top 10%, then all of a sudden you shifted that. But this contest works towards the skill level. There’s still luck involved. I mean, of course, if you don’t have a good day or nothing goes your way, you’re not going to face them top, top 10%, but you don’t have to have an extreme day in order to get into that top 10%.
So we’re going to starting with the next contest in April six. Uh it’s uh, at the Saturday, we’re going to have the first round be just like the current contest. But it will be just round one of a two round contest and the top 10% in that first round, we’ll move on to the second round, the following day, the Sunday, April 7th.
And they’ll be part of a contest with, um, based on the number of people who participated recently. That’ll be a little under 200 people with a chance to win five, five, and ACC, which again is pretty appealing. Um, you’d have to do a little better than the top 10%, but you don’t have to have that one in 2000 kind of then a lot of contests that people pay a lot of money to play.
It’s a, it’s a significant prize. I think it’s a terrific solution. Did you just come up with this or did the committee come up with this after the four situation? Or is this something you thought of before? Because it’s such a good idea. I feel like it should have been done this way for years. I glad you said that because my own experience has been, whenever you say that about an idea, um, that means it’s a good one.
Yeah. And, but it never really is that obvious until after you come up with it kind of thing. I mean, I’ve had that experience before, like why didn’t I think of that years ago, that usually means it’s a good idea. Doesn’t mean it was necessarily easy to come up with years ago, but in this case actually, We have talked about some of these things, um, before and some other ideas.
I’m not saying this is the final solution, but I think we were constrained somewhat in what we could do this year, because we have promised everybody who joined the tour, that there would be five free roll contests. It was five seats given out and every contest. So we couldn’t change that. That was a constraint we had to work with.
So within that constraint, you know, this seemed like a good solution that I think. I, I don’t think anybody who wants likes the free contest would complain. And I think a lot of people who don’t like them will find this much more appealing, um, because it does kind of shift things more towards that skill end of the spectrum.
And also the thing we haven’t talked about are the two or points and other, and ask you about that. It does seem it using your spectrum analogy. It just feels wrong to me to give more points for an event that’s so effected by luck. That seems like the opposite of what it should be. It seems to me that you should be rewarded for tournaments.
You play, where there’s actually skin in the game, as opposed to something like this. What are your thoughts on that? No, I don’t disagree with you. And in fact, um, we have made some changes over the last few years to reduce the number of points that were given out in the free contest. I realized that I apologize for, I I’ve said some things that didn’t know that was the case that I, that I will have to soft pedal a little bit.
Well, I mean, it, people will still complain, but we used to give out, um, points to the top 10% of the finishers. Just like we do any other NAC contests. Um, and it was based on the contest size, which was very large and we’ve changed that. So now we treat those where we, we, we treat those as. Um, Oh, uh, one in a thousand contests.
So only the top 100 got points and they only got points as if it were a thousand person contest, but in the new format, we’re not giving the points away in the round one because that’s not the round one in which we’re giving away the NAC seats, the only people who can win points are those who make it around to, in which the seats are all are actually awarded.
And that’s the way we, we. Score point NAC tour point wise for any contest that has multiple rounds. We don’t get points based on the number of people in the early rounds. It’s only on number of people in the actual final round where the seats are awarded. So that’s connected then again with, yeah. Yeah.
And that’s consistent again with the rules. So we haven’t changed any rules. We haven’t just so certain people out in Twitter don’t go crazy based on this change. Um, no rule was changed. Um, not changing them on the fly. The, the promise was that we’d have five free contests and give away five States that didn’t specify exact format that would be used.
Um, the way we’re scoring it with a two round contest now will be consistent with the way we score any two round contest going forward. And I think. 99.9% of the players out there will think this is an improvement. I’m really confident of that. I don’t, there’s always a few people that will complain, but again, I think it’s an improvement.
We’re, we’re taking advantage of this, this recent incident. While I like to say, take when life throws you moments, you know, turn it into eliminate. I think we’re trying to make some lemonade with this and, and, um, No, I do think it’ll be a really appealing thing. Now you actually have five chances. If you’re a good player or you think you’re a good player anyway, um, five chances were, you know, with a good performance, you could win C spot, um, for zero costs, um, or at least, you know, um, have a shot at it rather than just, um, Playing all fours, you know, that was my point.
And I’ve made it before on the show. And I want to move on Chris while I have you to talk about some other things, but in case you didn’t hear me make it elsewhere. What I didn’t like about it was that in a funny way, picking all the fours or just doing something random, it was like, kind of like the optimal strategy from a time management perspective for the tournament before you’ve solved that.
Or you guys, you all have solved that and kudos to you for that. I think that’s really cool. Uh, I agree with you. Um, although wouldn’t be very fun way to play. I mean, part of it is the fun, you know, challenge of handicapping the races and trying to compete against other people. But I agree with you that if you’re an average player, then your chances of winning are pretty much random, right?
Um, by definition. So if you just want to save time in any contest, if you’re average, you, you know, that that picking all fours might be the way to go. But if you think you, if you want to enjoy the contest and you think that you’re, you’re competitive with the rest of the field. Um, and you want to test how, how well you stack up then, you know, certainly a lot better to make picks.
And it’s good to have a format that rewards that. So I agree. I want to talk about what’s been going on with you in your own handicapping and bedding. I know for so many successful players, it’s an evolving process. Listeners have been hearing tournament. Talk on this show now for the last half an hour or so.
I want to get into some meat and potatoes for the general. Audience who liked to hear about these things? What’s, what’s been the latest with you on the handicapping and bedding front. Um, so, and in terms of contests, um, I had a limited schedule last year, but I actually had one of my better years from a, a hit rate for, uh, spective.
And, um, the NAC was a little disappointing because I was above the cut line until, uh, in the last published cut. And then I. I fell just below it in the last few races. That was a little disappointing. Um, from a betting perspective, I’ve had a really good run in the last four or five months, um, been playing.
What pools have you been involved in? I’m curious to, to hear, we’ve never really gotten you going on bedding strategy and things like that. Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, I’m really a proponent of, uh, of kind of self evaluation and tuning what you’re doing and, and, and. Experimenting with new techniques and this, uh, over the few, you know, the last four or five years, I had always been a vertical player.
Um, for the most part, that’s just what I was most comfortable with. Um, and when I first started playing there, wasn’t a whole lot of horizontal opportunities. So that might have something to do with it. Um, but you know, it kind of the growth of all these low takeout pick five. Um, I started trying more and more of the order’s auto play over the last few years.
And I looked back at my, my, the numbers and it was clear to me that I’m still much, much better in the vertical pools in the horizontal pools. And I started thinking about that and you know, it sorta made sense for me in that. Oh, with the horizontal pools, you’re sort of forced to play five races and there’s hardly ever a case where all five of those races I would normally play, um, in the vertical pools.
You know, there’s always a couple of races in there. I just don’t like, and you’re just sort of trying to survive those races. And when you’re in that kind of frame of mind, they tend to get a little conservative and you’re probably putting more horses in you should. And I don’t want to get too technical, but I mean, plus you.
You know, things like late scratches and track biases and, um, how the horses looked before the race, none of that. You can, you can’t really factor any of that in the course on a place. So you’ve got less info. You can’t efficiently either. I think that’s part of what you’re, you’re getting at. You’re being con I never really thought about that, but when you’re betting conservatively, most people are also giving up something in terms of efficiency.
Throwing in a bunch of contenders and weighting them equally. Or even if you’re just doing ABCs, you’re kind of weighting them too close to equally to get the real bang for your buck out of these hyper efficient, horizontal pools that we see in 2019. Yeah. And I’m not, and I’m not saying everyone’s, I’m just saying I’m talking about myself.
Um, yeah. And, uh, and typically, you know, they would be the last race a lot of times where these. Crazy wide open maiden races with, you know, really underexposed form. And those are the ones where I really tended to get overly conservative. So anyhow, the bottom line was when I looked at the numbers, I was just much stronger in the vertical pools.
So I had, even though it’s so appealing, like to play the NY relate, pick five with the low takeout, you know, from a takeout perspective, it seems like better value, but. The real value comes in your own ability to identify and exploit the value. So the low, lower takeout, isn’t always the right pool for you.
And I think in this case, that’s true for me. And I kind of got away from doing horizontal plays unless I found a leg where I just loved the whole, most, every race in a sequence, I still would play it, but I tend to play it. Much with a rifle rather than a shotgun and really play a small kind of bet, a little a win a lot.
Cause I’m really trying to win the money in vertical pools than anything. I went in the horizontal pool. She’s kind of a bonus. Um, and I, and I have really done well. And plus that allows me to focus on the types of races that I really am the most comfortable and confident in playing. So, I mean, The w well, like it’s, well, depends on what I mean, if I see a race where I really like a horse, but you know, I’m not big on maiden races.
So in certain kinds of maiden races, I am, but the ones where, you know, like you have 12 horses and 10 of them haven’t ever started and the other two have one start, you know, those kinds of races. I just always feel like I’m at a disadvantage with the insider inside bedding. Um, So I avoid those. And typically in a pick five, you’re going to have at least one of those races, um, sometimes more than one.
So that’s one I avoid, I really prefer turf racing to dirt race. And I’m sort of the, um, the anti Jonathan in that regard. Um, you know, I like chaos and the vertical pools. Um, I like a large field, um, with a lot of contenders, uh, because. I think most people that’s a little overwhelming for them when they handicap.
Um, and they tend to end up, uh, and those kinds of races there’s usually, um, most of the people will gravitate towards one or two horses. Usually the ones with the, you know, the big name connections, and typically there’s one or two horses in that, uh, field like that, that probably has just about as good, a chance to win as the favorites, but we’ll be two or three times the price.
Um, those are the kinds of horses I like to key on because I don’t feel like I have to be right in every race or, or hit every race. I’m really trying to, to really crush the race when I do so that, um, I come out ahead longterm. I’m not trying to be right every time. So those kinds of races, I are the type that I’m really like.
So you’ll see me. If you were sitting at the races with me, um, on a typical day, there’d probably be two or three. Races with large fields on the turf where I’m, that I’m really concentrating and keen some long shots in those races. I always described the difference between your approach and JK, his approach as the difference between being selection oriented, like JK is naturally and all the more.
So doing analyst work on TV and on this show here. And then I look at your approach as being much more value oriented. You’re not, he’s a lot of the time playing horses, your plan numbers, you’re taking a race, dividing each horses. Uh, opportunity in that race into a chance. And you’re betting when the value is there.
JK understands value in a more intuitive way. It’s, it’s still relevant to him, but you’re much more willing than he is. I think, to play the third or fourth or fifth, most likely winner, as opposed to the horse, you quote unquote, like, does that sound like an accurate assessment of the difference between your two approaches?
Yeah, I think that sums it up. I mean, it’s just say, I think. JK is probably playing who he thinks is the most likely winner almost all the time. That’s his he’s bedding for me. It’s very rare that I sat on the horse, I think is the most likely winner because typically those horses don’t provide any value, at least in the way that I, in my own estimation, they, even though they’re the most likely winter long-term, you’re almost guaranteed to lose money because that’s the horse.
That’s pretty obvious too. So most of the players. So I’m always trying to get beyond that. Certainly if you’re touched talking about like a bed in the wind pool, I feel I would argue that JK creates his value one by being particularly good at that skill and evaluating that end of the OD spectrum. And then through constructing efficient wagers, there’s a way to get some of that takeout back.
But I think what you’re saying in terms of bedding in the wind pool on those likely horses. Yeah. I think that’s a statement I would agree with. Absolutely. If there’s some people who are better identifying the really good favorites from really bad favorites, I’m pretty good at picking the bad favorites, but not at picking out a favorite.
That’s actually value. That’s not my strength. And I think that is the kind of worst that Jonathan’s good at identifying. He also. You know, takes advantage of, of leveraging, you know, contests as a way to, to make a bet that in a normal wager would be a terrible bet. But in the context of the contest, it makes a lot of sense, you know, that, that those two areas, you know, that’s what Jonathan likes to do.
That that’s those, aren’t my strengths at all. I’m. I’m much more looking for that. The hidden value. And I really liked to play against verses that I think are, even though they’re the most likely winner are going to be wildly over bet. So like a horse, like hidden scroll to me was just an, it was obvious that horse was over bet.
He could have, you know, he’s a very talented horse and it wouldn’t have surprised me at all. If he had, you know, just taken that field over a barrel in one, um, But I also was not at all surprised at what happened and that’s, I played the race and killed that race. That was a race I crushed. I mean, um, uh, the top three horses were the three horses I had thought were really strong alternatives to hidden scroll.
And that came in. That’s the way I would bet where, you know, Jonathan might say, you know, hidden scroll looks like the next justify. You know, I’m going to, um, try to, you know, Leverage that horse in horizontal bet. Um, and see if I can lean on him and make some money and both ways can work. It just depends on what’s your strength, because when you’re trying to identify value it’s value in your mind, right?
And the only way you can know of value in your mind is real value is if you’re making a profit longterm. And the only way to know that is, is to play longterm and kind of have a consistent process. And then evaluate how you’re doing. Um, that leads me to my next question. That’s a perfect segue. Uh, if you don’t mind me, uh, me turning the conversation to record keeping, which is something that clearly you’re doing, you’ve made several references to looking at your own play in a studious way.
Do you keep records manually or is this something that an ADW does for you and how important is it to your process? Um, I used to do it manually, but now, um, the ADWS most of them give you tools, make it pretty easy for you to look at, but based on, on track and wager types and over time, how you’re doing, I mean, anybody could, could spend 20 minutes and just look at the reports you can get from an ADL view and get a good sense for how you’re doing overall.
And how you’re doing in different pools and at different tracks. And one thing I’ll say is even if you’re not a wind player, I win bet player. Um, I think you should make win bets, even if they’re just $2 and track it over time. Because if you, if you can’t show a profit on win bet, then you can’t really show a profit on anything longterm.
I don’t think, I think that’s the best product, the best way to assess. How good your handicapping is in terms of identifying value. It’s just to see how well you do with when bit it gets really complicated when you do other kinds of wagers on how well you’re assessing the chance of, of a horse, um, you know, horses, chances to win.
Um, and I think if you can’t do that consistently, um, then you’re probably fooling yourself. If you think you can. Too well on pick fours or pick Pfizer, super factors or trifectas. There are, there are some, you know, examples where that could be the case. But to me, that’s something that you want to track is how are we do.
With your wind bets, because that really tells you how well you’re handicapping it is performing. That would be a great article. Actually. I don’t know if you feel like writing it or maybe it’s something we work on together for the blog, but I just, I think that idea is, is really cool. The one thing I’ll say is.
If we had fixed price, when it would be so much better, because it’s just so hard to bet anything to win as a favorite, knowing how prices move, especially at that end of the OD spectrum. So that’s the one thing I could see there being a player out there who actually does better in exact as they’re a little more static.
And a little bit more of an opportunity maybe to bring in, uh, bringing in some, some other, uh, prices and favorites in a way that I could see it working out better ROI wise. But, but I kind of love the idea. We might have to do something with that. Yeah. I mean, for me, it really helps because I, I tint my, when I’m making a serious play, I’ll make an odd line for the, every horse in the race.
And, um, I, and so I like to see if, if I think a horse is going to win one out of five times to those horses, actually, when went on a five times, because if they don’t then, um, they’re not really. And I said, Oh, that’s worse should be five to one. And he tend to one. He’s a good bet. Well, that’s only true if a horse, actually, those horses I say are going to win one in five, actually wins one in five, right when I bet in them.
And so. You know that, that’s why I think it’s really important too. And even if you don’t make an odd line, if you’re intuitively say, well, this works is value. You still ought to test that theory out over a long sample size too. You can’t just do it for one card or one week or one month. This is really something where you want to look back over a year or two, um, and see how you’ve done.
Um, because you know, that’s one of the problems with the proliferation of information now that you can. Get statistical data, um, you know, from different tools out there like formulator or stats wins. The problem is I think people are that don’t really understand statistics are over-interpreting or overstating what some of those statistics mean.
Um, and I don’t think it’s really helpful. They’re wasting some time and maybe actually leading them so down the wrong path off. And, um, I went there and that. I wouldn’t have thought we would have come to a topic that the head of the NHC players’ committee and Garrett schema would, would agree on. So thoroughly the, the parallels of, uh, looking too much into, into small sample size, but at the same time, you can take a product like stats, race, lens of being a perfect example.
And there’s so much good information in there. If you understand a little bit more about how to use and deploy it, would you agree with that? Oh, definitely. I, I, you know, I’m a number of guys, so I’m not, I’m not sticking against numbers and by the way, Garrett and I, and he knows this, we agree on a lot more than we disagree on.
Um, he’s a smart guy and I respect his opinion a lot. And as a handicapper, he’s, you know, great. Um, so, and, and like I said, he and I get along fine bankroll player. We call him the best live bankroll player of all time for a reason. Yeah, and this is, I I’ll tell you that this is a way, this is kind of a rule of thumb for the non math people, but there that are playing around with statistics, I’m kind of a father of information theory that works at bell labs.
His name was Claude Shannon. He had this description of what he defined as information. He said, when you get somebody, the data, the way you measure the information is how much surprise is in that data. And by that he meant was if it tells you something, you already know, it’s not very informative, but if it tells you something you don’t already know, that is surprising, then there’s some value in that.
And I think a great example is if you, if you’re using one of those tools and you see something like, um, uh, you look at something like, uh, just pick horses are cutting back and distance. Just pick something, I’m just throwing something out and you see that Chad Brown wins 33% of the time on horse is cutting back and distance.
There’s not a lot of information in that statistic and faith, a small sample size, they had 20 horses. So it doesn’t really tell you much, um, cause it expected him to win 33% of the time with anything. Um, so cutting back and distance, probably not a big deal, but if you get a trainer who is one for 60 this year, And cutting back for distance over the last five years, he’s eight out of 10.
Then even though it’s a small sample size, there’s a lot of surprise in that because here’s a trainer that you’d expect to probably be over 10 and most, most sense size samples of 10, and you get an eight out of 10 hit, um, for cutback and distance. It still might be a fluke statistically. You wouldn’t be able to put big.
Significant around that, but just in terms of surprise, that eight out of 10 statistics says, Hey, maybe there’s something here. Um, and I wanna dig a little deeper and look at what those horses could, actually, those actual 10 horses in more detail, but that’s an example of, you know, kind of using that rule of thumb is how much surprise is there in this.
Um, and, and that is more useful. I think putting it in context is always a good way to do it. Um, and those two numbers are completely different. In context, you know, Chad Brown versus some, you know, trainer that typically doesn’t win very often great points. We could do a whole other podcast on that. And perhaps we will, but for now, that’s all the time we have Chris.
I want to thank you for your time coming on the show, sharing these great ideas, helping out the listeners. And we’d love to have you back soon. Well, thank you very much for inviting me. And, you know, I always enjoy talking about this stuff. I have a lot of passion around horseplaying and in particular around the contest side of it.
So thanks for inviting me on and, um, good luck with the podcast going forward. Say hello to Jonathan. And I look forward to talking to you and getting some time that’s going to do it for this edition of the, in the money players podcast. I want to thank Jonathan kitchen. I want to thank Kim Kim. I want to thank Kevin Kilroy.
I want to thank Chris Alarmy most of all, I want to thank all of you. The listeners you make the show so much fun to do you really give us the energy to keep it rocking and rolling special shout outs to our friends at the thoroughbred retirement foundation. And also of course, 10 strike racing. This podcast has been a production of in the money media.
The head of business development for ITM media is drew Kourtney. I am Peter Thomas, a towel. We’ll be back later this week. May you win all your photos.