CHARTING HORSE VALUE

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Handicapper
Jeff Bessa

Bio
Started handicapping Hollywood Park and Santa Anita in the late Eighties while finishing my Electrical Engineering degree at UCLA.  My favorite horse at the time was Easy Goer.  I successfully created my first handicapping program on a classic HP Reverse Polish Notation calculator.

Started to believe that there were market efficiencies in horse racing that I could take advantage of.  The take-out in horse racing is significant but if you could accurately predict a horse's fair odds then you could beat the races.  Every race has random uncertainties that you can't predict but in the long run you can collect expected profit off your fair odds calculations.

While serving as a submarine officer in the Nineties, I developed my first computer program on a 1994 laptop.  I manually entered data from the DRF racing form into Excel.  I used advanced statistical models to translate past performance information into a value line for each horse.  Eventually I modernized my program to automatically collect data from BRISNET and to include adjustments for pace, fitness, distance and surface (PFDS).  As a complete nutcase, I watched Real Quiet lose the Triple Crown from the limo with my groomsmen just prior to my wedding.

After I turned 40, I got into horse race ownership with several friends in On the Mark Racing & Dragonfly Racing Club.  We had significant success with low priced yearlings and claimers in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.  I won TOBA's award for New Owner of the Year in 2008.

I love my friends and family and continue to learn from them.  One of my friends convinced me I needed to make an adjustment to my program for jockey & trainer which I did.  My teenage daughter used my early pace & late pace ratings in a way that led me to create my Energy ratings.

I also have been a user in the past of paid workout ratings and speed ratings.  What I learned from form cycles and patterns led me to modify my Best Odds to identify live long shots.  I'll continue to learn and improve my program with the new support from this community.