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Old 04-10-2019, 01:02 PM   #29
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Good thread

Originally Posted by Gakiss2 View Post
I am trying to find a way to score a horse's fitness level based on the pattern of Races and workouts it has had in the past 90 days. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter. I have basically been going by bits of wisdom and advice I've heard from various sources and would like to hear more points of view.

I start with a table showing whether an activity is a Race or a Workout, the distance, and the days since the race I am looking at. I also make a chart so I can get a visual sense of the pattern of 'work'. It is attached. I could easily add speed of the race or work and am open to ways to use that additional data in this endeavor.

90 days: Seems history beyond that wouldn't matter much to today's race. On the other hand maybe 60 or even 40 days makes more sense.

I've always heard that a race less than 9 days back is bad, the horse can't recover that fast.

And the above does not apply to a work out? In fact we often see well meant horses with a workout just a few days back.

It is necessary to 'maintain' a horses' fitness. its not enough to have raced them or worked them recently, you also need to work them with one or the other every = fill in the blank= days. I've been going by every 15 days but am not put off much if there is a regular pattern closer to every 30 days. And how much of a factor is this pattern?

I am also interested in the relative general worth of a race vs. a work out in the above calculations.

I've heard a horses last race either improved the horse's fitness or degraded it. Great advice only I don't have much to go on as to which it is. I would imagine a contentious pace battle might be the latter while a boring merry-go-round trip near the back of the field still has some benefit.

I am trying to eventually get to a useful algorithm.

All input / advice welcome.
Ruffian1-Who I believe was a trainer in Md. circuit, posted this enlightening post a while back on how to value workouts. post #16-

"I realize that handicappers need all the info they can get. However, in the case of workouts, you get such a small portion of info, it is IMO, not worth the effort.

Case in point, two horses workout within minutes of each other , by themselves, and everything is equal.

Horse one works a 1/2 mile in :50.
He goes splits of 14,13,12,11.
That is a very solid workout.

Horse two works a 1/2 mile in :49.
The splits are 11,11,13,14.
That is a very disturbing workout.

They both run against each other five days later. Logic seems to say that the horse that worked 49 outworked the horse that worked in 50.
That logic would be dead wrong.

Unless you can see the circumstances of each work, like one worked at dawn before the track was chopped up or right after the break and the other worked at 9:45 and the track was cuppy , dry and all cut up. Or were they in company? Or what was the objective of the work? The list goes on and on.

Another is when you see a bunch of 1/2 mile works and the horse is off a layoff going much further than a half a mile. Is he fit? If you know the trainer, you have a better shot of figuring that out than going by times and distances of works.

Often times a trainer can work a horse a mile but wants to emphasize relaxing so the horse will go 1/8ths in 15, also called a two minute lick, for two or three 1/8ths then go 14 and THEN work a half in :50. You see the 1/2 in :50 but there is so much more to the story. (Clockers will not start timing a horse that is going at a 2 minute click. They wait until the horse picks up speed before timing it.)And if that horse was horse number one I spoke about earlier, that is a great work.

My best advice would be to understand the trainer and what they typically do. Some love bullets, some hate bullets.

Learn the trainers habits and the picture will become clearer.

Hope that helps."

His take on how track superintendents alter the variant/condition of a track was also spot on, IMHO.
One of the downsides of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to form communities, and sometimes those communities are stupid.
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