Icyhotboo, pace and weight carried are factored into the speed ratings. Troubled trips aren't, because it is way too subjective. Ground loss isn't, at the moment, either. The handicapper can always subtract points for ground saving trips and add points for wide trips, if they wish to. For a general overview of our speed figures, here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1iUjAxLmeY
If you look at a result chart of the Nashua, the horses who raced 1st, 2nd, and 3rd early on, went on to finish 10th beaten 16 lengths as the post time favorite, 11th beaten 38.5 lengths, and 12th beaten 51 lengths...so, the result chart seems to agree with our pace algorithim. Generally, in slow paced races, the three pace setters all don't stop to a walk. Meanwhile, the horses who raced 10th, 11th, and 12th early on finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at odds of 13/1, 16/1, and 9/2. All of them supposedly disadvantaged by a pace the computers say was actually pretty fast. That was a funny day, in the opener, a 6 furlong race, the winner rallied wide behind a 48 flat half mile. Basically, We disagree on the pace of the Nashua, and you agree with my boss on ground loss. We can leave it at that, Amigo. It was nice chatting with you, and hopefully we can do this more in future blog posts.
Sheet style figures have ground loss baked into them, but they don't take pace into account. For instance, Orb was 3 wide on the first turn and 5 wide on the second turn in the Kentucky Derby. Oxbow broke from the rail and saved ground throughout in the Derby. Orb ended up defeating Oxbow by a mere 10 lengths, but with ground loss factored in, he earned a sheet style figure 16 lengths faster than Oxbow. Taking pace, but not ground loss into account, Oxbow's figure is much closer to Orb than the 10 length margin of defeat suggests because Oxbow raced close--up chasing the supersonic pace set by Palice Malice. I would recommend Trakus for ground loss data, but there are still a lot of tracks who don't have it yet. I know my boss at TimeformUS is, like you, a fan of incorporating ground loss into a speed figure. "It has some flaws, but overall it is a net gain and something we might be considering in the future." If I'm betting 20 tracks, I'd much rather have pace adjusted figures than ground loss adjusted figures, maybe we'll have both one day soon, but that's just my opinion. - Doug
tmallios1, Noble Moon ran a 94 speed figure in the Nashua. Our speed figures do not take into acoount ground loss on the turns. The general rule of thumb is that racing one path wider on turn = 1 length, however, you have your dead rails where racing wide is actually an avantage. Best to let the player determine watch a replay and determine the importantance of variables like ground loss, for themselves. In my personal opinion, even with trip and gate trouble factored in, Cario Prince raced much closer to a very legit early pace and I prefer him over Noble Moon in the Remsen. Time will tell which of us is proven correct, feel free to remind me if I'm wrong. -Doug
Mike in SB, you make reasonable points about race day medications like lasix being contributing factors, however, it is borderline lunacy to suggest that the modern thoroughbred is as hardy as past generations. Selective breeding focusing on speed and precocity is probably the greatest factor. Here is the race record of a popular thoroughbred from the late 1800's who made 341 starts between the ages of 4 through age 9. https://a1-images.myspacecdn.com/images03/11/d716d82bbb3d4036bb9293a812f6e3d8/full.jpg
Rosario came pretty close to pulling a Paco Lopez in 2008. He won 193 races and finsihed the year with his career best ROI of $2.08 -- a 4% profit on the betting dollar. In 2009, he won 284 races and had an ROI of 1.90 -- however, Rosario has been a victim of his own success. The last 3 years, his ROI is $1.65, $1.68, and $1.67
Hi Brian, Clue #4 made me feel confident it was at at Suffolk Downs, the Mass Cap would always have a mix of serious horses and a few impossible local horses who were badly outclassed. #6 made me think Skip Away and Will's Way. Now if I can only master this comment section!
1997 Mass Cap
Hi buds, it is a relative thing. Both the Santa Anita main track and turf course are generally very fast surfaces. Just because the raw fractions are fast, doesn't mean the pace is fast. Quite a few Breeders Cup races last year were run with slow early-fast late race shapes, from a figure standpoint. As for the approach in general, take the Iroquois, for instance. It was run extremely fast early and very slow late. From a handicapping and betting standpoint, Ride On Curlin was much the best that day even though he finished 4th. He was caught 4-wide throughout while chasing that blistering pace. Cleburne and Smart Cover both relaxed from behind the hot pace and finished 1st and 2nd by merely passing a bunch of tired horses who stopped sharply in front of them.
Well aware of Rosberg, Mike. I thought he had a big future after that win at Santa Anita. Same goes with A. P. Assay, who was a half to the sensationally talented 2yo Came Home. Came Home won the Hopeful with a big figure and was plenty fast himself. Malibu Moon was an A. P. Indy who won his second start going very short, he could have been any kind as well.
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