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Trainer Angles

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Trainer Angles: Maximizing Profits using Formulator and Advanced Trainer Stats

Trainer Angles: Maximizing Profits using Formulator and Advanced Trainer Stats by Dan Keppler

© DRF Press

The Bottom Line

Thanks to such innovations as the Beyer Figures and the Ragozin Sheets, most bettors today rely mostly on speed figure analysis, with some also including pedigrees and pace as well. This has left angle players with a chance to cash some nice tickets when their selections are overlooked. DRF Press director Dean Keppler shows how to use modern technology to exploit this very old-school handicapping technique. His book is useful for any better who is looking for an edge and is willing to pay for and use DRF's Formulator software and data files.
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  • A useful lesson on powerful yet overlooked trainer angles
  • Heavy use of statistics quantifies the effectiveness of each angle
  • Can help any horseplayer improve his or her return on investment


  • Requires Formulator software and files
  • Users of other products (BRIS, Sheets, Equibase track program) cannot fully benefit


  • The key to Keppler's method is DRF's Formulator 4.1 software and the datafiles which can be purchased online.
  • Formulator can decode the past performances of each horse and set the data in many different ways.
  • With the over 40 trainer angles it is able to track, the user has a huge advantage over his competition.
  • Keppler uses Formulator's filtering function to narrow down sample sizes, to calculate an accurate win percentage and ROI.
  • Unfortunately you must use DRF's software and datafiles to make use of the techniques.

Guide Review - Trainer Angles

Formulator 4.1 is the most recent version of the Daily Racing Form's proprietary past performance analysis software. The datafiles allow the handicapper to look back at past result charts and create individualized race lines built to the user's specifications, such as including workouts within the past performances, or only listing turf races or races run at today's distances. This way only races that match today's conditions are used to handicap. This feature already gives its user an edge over the horseplayer relying on the hardcopy DRF, but Dean Keppler shows the reader how to take even more advantage of Formulator's powerful features.

He discusses the most profitable trainer angles, such as claiming moves (drops and first-offs), surface changes (turf to dirt and vice-versa), equipment and medication changes, first time starters, maiden races, juveniles, and jockey changes. He then uses Formulator to calculate the return on investment of up to 40 different angles. With this in mind, the hardcopy DRF may show a horse with a positive ROI for a specific trainer angle but Formulator's analysis calculates otherwise; when that angle is combined with others the horse has an overall negative ROI and this should be bet against. The objective here, as it is in handicapping in general, is to find false favorites to avoid and overlay horses to back, and Keppler clearly has this goal in mind at all times.

Although most of the book requires Formulator, Keppler does include some statistical data in an appendix for all players to refer to. This consists of a comprehendive list of positive jockey-trainer combinations, compiled from race results from January 2004 to July 2006. A horse switching to one of these combinations at good odds may be worth betting on, as clearly the trainer is going to his "go-to" rider for his live horse.

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