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HANA 2015 Track Ratings

The Methodology behind our algorithm

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Link to Sortable List of Tracks:
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Introduction

The Horseplayers Association of North America is proud to introduce the official HANA Track Rating System in a continuing effort to provide valuable assistance to our members in their handicapping endeavors. Knowledge is power and the purpose of this rating system is to allow members to make more informed decisions regarding the value of their wagering dollar at different tracks. This release of the track rating system is set up to be comprised of quantitative factors, such as takeout, field size, low base cost wager availability, handle, and signal distribution. It is important to note that tracks may be unable to exert complete control over some of the factors incorporated in rating, consequently it is possible for a track to receive a poor rating even though it has many well intentioned, player friendly individuals on its staff. The primary purpose of the ratings is to provide information which will help horseplayers make decisions which will improve their bottom line and should be viewed accordingly. In the future the HANA player resource area will be broadened to include track ratings with more qualitative factors, possibly including member feedback.

Algorithm

The score in each category is calculated by finding the range, mean, median, and standard deviation of the data. Each data point is then assigned a "distance from median" based on the StdDev, with [lower takeout, higher field size and handle] having positive scores. Then, the lowest score is set to 0 and all other scores adjusted from that baseline. After that, the composite takeout score is weighted by WPS and Exotic handle for a combined score.

The low cost wager variety category earns a point for each wager available. The final takeout grade is the average of the takeout of all wagers for a given track. The composite rating is derived using a 10x6x2x2x1 weighting scheme with composite takeout being assigned a weighting of 10, field size a 6, low cost wager variety a 2, handle a 2 and signal distribution a 1.

Overview

This document describes a track rating scheme that will be employed on the HANA website as a tool for members to gauge the overall quality of a track as is consistent with the philosophies and goals of HANA. The following items, ranked by importance will ultimately be considered to comprise this composite rating system or included as informational commentary:

Takeout
ADW Availability
Breakage
Field Size
Variety in Wagers
Handle
Signal Distribution
Video Availability
Information Availability.

Initial releases will employ a subset of these factors, more will be added as information is gathered.


Takeout

Takeout scores are calculated with the "distance from median" algorithm determined above. For each category, the values used to calculate the scores can be found in the Lookups tab. At present takeout scores are calculated by weighting handle between WPS and Exotic bets. This is done to ensure pools with high handle are weighted heavier. In the next edition of the ratings handle will be weighted by individual pools, ensuring the most accurate takeout score to date.

Takeout Composite

Takeout scores are calculated with the "distance from median" algorithm determined above.

Breakage

While HANA believes that breakage should be eliminated, it is a universal ill. There doesn't appear to be any significant difference track to track. This will be included as a commentary item only.

ADW Availability

Tracks are unavailable to ADW's for 4 basic reasons. The horseman's groups disallow access, The State/Province refuses approval of the ADW, exclusive contracts disallow access, or the track itself refuses to deal with the ADW. Each reason for exclusion will be given a weighted rating to be combined with the composite track rating in the end.

Wager Variety

A player friendly track will offer the largest variety of wagers to the customer. This includes 50 cent trifectas and pick-3 and pick-4's as well as 10 cent supers etc. Availability of these player friendly wagers will be considered in the rating of each track. The baseline for each track will be $2 WPS, $1 exacta, $1 trifecta, $1 superfecta, $1 pick bets ($2 Pk-6) and early/late daily doubles. This will earn the track an F. Any wager availability beyond this will earn an increasingly higher rating. The WV rating will start with a baseline of 9 minus the number of baseline wagers available (highest possible baseline points will be zero). A point will be awarded for each of: $0.50 trifecta, $0.10 superfecta, $0.50 pick-3, and a $0.50 pick-4.

Field Size

Field Size scores are calculated with the "distance from median" algorithm determined above. For each category, the values used to calculate the scores can be found in the Lookups tab.

Handle

Handle scores are calculated with the "distance from median" algorithm determined above. For each category, the values used to calculate the scores can be found in the Lookups tab.

Signal Distribution

The biggest area of growth today in horse racing is the ADW market. 20% of all handle goes through the internet, and that percentage is increasing. To distribute a tracks signal to advance deposit wagering companies, so people can play racing with the convenience needed in modern society, a track charges a "signal fee", and these fees vary. A reasonable signal fee allows horseplayers to benefit through i) Player Rewards and ii) Innovations to ADW platforms, which helps grow racing. A high signal fee has the exact opposite effect. In addition, when a track makes a signal fee available to all ADW's with a minimum of restriction this is an added convenience to horseplayers because this ensures they do not have to belong to more than one ADW.

The letter grades given for Distribution are as follows:

Letter Grade "A": Reasonable Signal Fee and Minor or No Restrictions
Letter Grade "B": Moderate Signal Fee and/or Restrictions.
Letter Grade "C": Moderately High Signal Fee and/or Restrictions
Letter Grade "D": High Signal Fee and/or Restrictions
Letter Grade "F": Very High Signal Fee and/or Multiple Restrictions

Composite Rating

The composite rating will be comprised of a weighted sum of each of the individual ratings. Initial grading will be comprised of the takeout being weighted 10x, field size 6x, wager variety 2x, handle 2.5x and signal distribution 1x. The range of numeric value possible under this rating system is 0 through 4.

Grades were assigned as follows:

3.85 - 4 = A
3.51 - 3.84 = A-
3.16 - 3.50 = B+
2.85 - 3.15 = B
2.51 - 2.84 = B-
2.16 - 2.50 = C+
1.85 - 2.15 = C
1.51 - 1.84 = C-
1.16 - 1.50 = D+
0.85 - 1.15 = D
0.51 - 0.84 = D-
< 0.51 = F

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