Machine Learning the Harness Track: Crowdsourcing and Varying Race History

Speaker:  Robert P. Schumaker – New Britain, CT, United States
Topic(s):  Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Natural language processing


Racing prediction schemes have been with mankind a long time.  From following crowd wisdom and betting on favorites to mathematical methods like the Dr. Z System, we introduce a different class of prediction system, the S&C Racing System that derives from machine learning.  We demonstrate the S&C Racing system using Support Vector Regression (SVR) to predict finishes and analyzed it on fifteen months of harness racing data from Northfield Park, Ohio.  We found that within the domain of harness racing, our system outperforms crowds and Dr. Z bettors in returns per dollar wagered on seven of the most frequently used wagers: Win $1.08 return, Place $2.30, Show $2.55, Exacta $19.24, Quiniela $18.93, Trifecta $3.56 and Trifecta Box $21.05.  Furthermore, we also analyzed a range of race histories and found that a four race history maximized system accuracy and payout.  The implications of this work suggest an informational inequality exists within the harness racing market that was exploited by S&C Racing.  While interesting, the implications of machine learning in this domain shows promise.

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  59
Duration:  60 minutes
Languages Available:  English
Last Updated: 

Request this Lecture

To request this particular lecture, please complete this online form.

Request a Tour

To request a tour with this speaker, please complete this online form.

All requests will be sent to ACM headquarters for review.