View Full Version : 2012 HorseStreet Par Times: Best Tracks

Dave Schwartz
03-24-2012, 09:00 PM
The 2012 HorseStreet Par Times are finished and will go to the printer on Monday.

Those of you who ordered the 2011 electronic pars after February 1st will receive a free copy of the 2012 pars. All of those electronic orders will be filled on Monday.

I have also finished my list of the best and worst tracks according to the Speed Reliability Index (SRI) that I use.

The SRI is a metric which measures the percentage of total winners that come in the top 3 horses in each race. In sprint races we use the best-of-last-2 speed ratings to rank the horses. In route races we use best-2-of-last-3.

The formula is based upon 62% being the target, a benchmark that has stood the test of time nationally for years.

At which tracks do you think horses are most likely to run back to their recent speed ratings? (I will post the answers on Monday.)

Dave Schwartz

Dave Schwartz
03-24-2012, 11:12 PM
You can pick multiple tracks.

Dave Schwartz
03-25-2012, 01:21 PM
I hope we get a significant number of replies to this because it might be highly instructive.

From the Par Instructions:

Ability of Horses Running Back to Their Numbers
At some tracks the horses simply do not run back to their past numbers as well as at other tracks. I have seen this with numbers from other sources as well. In addition, my weaker tracks are often the same tracks that the other sources are weak in as well. The question is “Why?”

It certainly is not the quality of the horses, as evidenced by the fact that small tracks produced some of the best numbers. We’ll leave this tabled for one more year. Next year I hope to have a better answer for this one. For now, just tread carefully when using speed on the turf. It is clearly not as reliable as dirt.

The highlight again this year is the Speed Reliability Index. When I began computing the SRIs this year I immediately noticed that most tracks improved. My natural inclination was to credit the improvement to better pars. Unfortunately, there were a few tracks that declined – some so badly that it was beyond explanation.

What causes one track to get higher SRIs while another gets lower SRIs? I see two likely reasons:

1. Par accuracy (including accuracy of class levels)
2. Ability of horses to run back to their numbers

2011 Pars
...the SRI continues to improve, as it has in each of the last few years. In 2010 the overall hit rate on the top 3 was 63.7% in sprints and 63.6% in routes. That is an improvement over the 62.7% in sprints and 63.2% in routes. Some of this is attributable to ever-shrinking field sizes but even after the adjustment for field size there is a small gain.

Again we saw the tracks list shrink but the good news is that most of the closings were small tracks. The bad news is that one of them, Yavapai, was an SRI 113 in its final season (2010). It is tough when you lose a highly predictable track.

This got me to thinking about just how important the Speed Reliability Rating really is to the player. Although I doubt that very many players would stop betting their favorite track, when you find that the ratings are just unreliable and you are losing why not pick a different one? It isn’t like there is a shortage of tracks to wager.

Why do some tracks consistently under-perform? Is it a coincidence that the six worst tracks are all non-dirt? I don’t think so. One could, of course, argue that I just do not know how to make pars at these tracks, and apparently, I cannot argue with that.

03-25-2012, 02:21 PM
Why do some tracks consistently under-perform? Is it a coincidence that the six worst tracks are all non-dirt? I don’t think so. One could, of course, argue that I just do not know how to make pars at these tracks, and apparently, I cannot argue with that.Do you think that it's because the track surface itself does not lend itself to reliability? Or do you think there may be some other factor or factors that more strongly influence the (un)reliability versus dirt tracks, like trainer methods/intent or jockey tactics?

Dave Schwartz
03-25-2012, 02:49 PM
I think there are 5 potential considerations in why a track UNDERPERFORMS:

1. My par times are faulty at a track. (Not as likely as the others but I must always consider it and take steps accordingly.)

2. Horses at this track are over-raced or trainers are encouraged/coerced into entering horses that are not "well-intended."

3. Horses at this track are simply such low-quality stock as to be unreliable.

4. There is excessive of "cheating" going on (i.e. trainers discoloring horses form creating an excessive amount of "surprises").

5. The surface and/or track maintenance creates an unreliable handicapping environment./

Some of the best tracks are what I call 3rd-tier tracks. (1st tier: SA, BEL, CRC, etc. 2nd tier: TUP, TAM, TP, etc. 3rd tier: ZIA, YAV, PRM, etc.)

I think the best trainers/owners dominate such tracks. One thing of note is that pedigree stats seem to mean more at these small tracks. (I mean in claiming events; not just in maidens, FTS, etc.) My theory is that the better-bred horses from higher tracks trickle down to the better trainers/owners at these small tracks.

I am not a follower of breeding, at least not in the usual sense. I do like Jim Cramer's "Sire Avg Earnings Index" factor though. I was surprised how often it points to strong horses at small tracks in everyday events.

Inconsistent surface issues not withstanding, I think most of these issues stem from trainer practices at the track. I have not proved that (although I know how) but am reasonably convinced it is related to how hard the trainers typically try to succeed in every race.

For now, all of this is speculation, but it is helpful to know which tracks are more reliable.

03-25-2012, 07:30 PM
I voted for SA and CRC as the most reliable, and i don't even make figs for those tracks.

Dave Schwartz
03-25-2012, 07:38 PM
Most people don't make figs at all. How did you arrive at your conclusion?

03-25-2012, 07:43 PM
Every time i look at a race at either of these tracks the horses all look the same to me...almost all have figs (Beyer or BRIS) pretty close to one another...or so it seems.
It was a total guess.
I will find out tomorrow if my guess was any good.

Dave Schwartz
03-26-2012, 03:06 PM
All current electronic orders for the 2012 HorseStreet Pars have been shipped.

If you have an order coming and have not received it, please send me an email.

Dave Schwartz

Dave Schwartz
03-26-2012, 03:47 PM
Get your votes in as quickly as possible. The poll ends at 5pm tonight and then I will post my research.


Dave Schwartz
03-26-2012, 11:11 PM
And the winner is...

Oh, heck. Here they are:

The Best
120 Stockton
119 Grand Prairie
118 Aqueduct (main)
117 Belmont
116 Emerald Downs
114 Grants Pass
113 Finger Lakes
Golden Gate* (poly)
River Downs
Yavapai (**sigh**)
112 Albuquerque
Assiniboia Downs
Mount Pleasant
Suffolk Downs

These tracks get the most winners in the top 3 ranks in my benchmark factors. The target is 62%, an industry standard since the late 1980s for me.

100 represents exactly 62%, but between 91 and 109 is within one standard deviation.

Is it a coincidence that all 4 NY tracks scored so high?

Next come the lows. Any guesses there?

03-26-2012, 11:17 PM
Keeneland...everyone complains it seems so guessing that is a mess.

03-26-2012, 11:27 PM
I would have voted for FL - only a few distances on dirt, should be consistent, pars from large numbers of races......when I made figs for FL, they were pretty good.

I'd say Kee is the worst, then Delmar.

Dave Schwartz
03-26-2012, 11:30 PM
You guys are good. That is two from the bottom 6.

Dave Schwartz
03-26-2012, 11:48 PM
The Worst

69 Pimlico (turf)
78 Saratoga (turf)
83 Delmar (poly)
Keeneland (poly)
84 Woodbine (turf)
86 Gulfstream (turf)
88 Oaklawn Park

Dave Schwartz
03-30-2012, 02:11 PM