Benter, for example, has employees whose sole job it is to review race tapes after every meet. They judge each horse on 130 characteristics
attributes like speed during the first third of the race, whether it got bumped coming out of a turn, the quality of its recovery from the bump, and, of course, how it finished - and assign numerical grades. This information goes into the database, where it can be cross-referenced and called up to help predict the outcome of any impending race that particular horse runs in.
The computer essentially simulates the race before
it happens, based on what has transpired in the past and any anticipated conditions in the future. The software then determines each horse's likelihood of winning a race. When a horse's computer-generated odds are better than the public's odds, the team slams in its wagers. "You create a model that can analyze each type of bet, judge the conditions [in terms of money in the pool and the associated odds], and tell you when it will be most favorable to bet," explains Ziemba. "You do not necessarily want to bet a ton every time - you only do it when you can find advantages."