Dr. Howard Sartin is known as the father of pace handicapping. As developer of the Sartin methodology, his approach to the game was to break a race into segments. First fraction, second call and final fraction were the segments and feet per second was the unit of measurement. This also became known as â€œincremental velocityâ€ handicapping in horse racing.
Before Dr. Sartin came along, the most common approach was speed handicapping. Howard changed all that. His followers developed their own nomenclature, truly speaking a language of their own when it came to horse handicapping.
For several years, from the mid 1980s to mid 1990s, Sartin Methodologists dominated horse handicapping. Eventually, as news of the Methodologyâ€™s success spread, more people took an interest in velocity-based handicapping. By the start of the new millennium, pace handicapping was so widely used that whatever edge had been gained was lost. Horses that routinely used to pay 7/1 or 8/1 now paying 3/1 or less.
Howard Sartin claimed to be a psychologist. In later years he was accused of having purchased his PhD through a diploma mill. This was never proven, but tainted his career nonetheless.
Howard was a personal friend and I give him full credit for having turned me into a winning player. It was through his Methodology that I first became profitable in horse handicapping. He was an innovative thinker, a showman, and above all, an astute handicapper.
He died in January of 2009.