Over the long run, the computer model wins at a rate of about 30%. Over the short run, the results can be much better or much worse. The computer program has hit the Pick Six so many times that I have stopped counting. It once hit the Pick Six on back to back days at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. But it has also gone zero for 10 countless times (see "Measuring E-Poines.com," below).
Liam Durbin was brave enough to provide his analysis of the three April 8 major preps on the day before the race. He picked one of three outright winners. In the Wood Memorial his 2-1 second choice, War Cry, won and his pick, Cloud Computing, finished third. In the Santa Anita Derby, his high confidence even money favorite, Gormley, won at a nice price, paying $14.40, meaning his 1-1 favorite went off at 6-1! His Bluegrass Stakes pick, Practical Joke, finished a hard charging second.
If the computer program is good enough to bet and win every day, it would be locked in a vault and wouldn’t be shared. No such program exists, but this computer program has consistently produced winners at a high rate.
So, 20 years later, people continue to enjoy my computer-picked horses. They use the information to augment their own handicapping, or they just use E-Ponies all by itself and hope for a solid day. Bettors can also find value bets when the algorithm rates horses better than the morning odds (see “Prepping for the Derby,” left). It is helping handicappers to enjoy the sport more, or giving a neophyte good information so they can go to the track and take in the spectacle of the Sport of Kings without having to learn how to read a racing form. Either way, business is good.
William “Liam” Durbin is owner, developer and handicapper for E-Ponies.com as well as numerous mobile apps. Liam grew up in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, two and a half hours southwest of Churchill Downs. He currently lives in Pittsburgh. Liam has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and graduate degrees in Information Science and Business Administration.