(Bloomberg)- When Larry Robbins was a boy in the Chicago suburbs, his father, Sheldon, worked two jobs and wasn’t around much. If the young Robbins wanted to see him on weekends, he had to travel to Arlington Park, a nearby horse-racing track that his dad ran. During those Saturday visits, his father taught him how to handicap horses. One lesson: Know the horse and the race. Was the track dry or muddy? Did the horse win because he was fast or because the competition was lousy?

The lesson stuck with him. His corporate handicapping helped his $1.8 billion Glenview Capital Opportunity Fund to an 84.2% gain through Oct. 31, which made it No. 1 in the annual Bloomberg Markets ranking of the best-performing large hedge funds. Robbins, 44, chief executive officer of Glenview Capital Management LLC, trounced his rivals by betting on U.S. stocks as they rose to record levels, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its February issue. He’s predicting at least another year of gains, while other managers fret and hold cash.

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