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Old 02-19-2017, 10:27 PM   #16
traynor
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Originally Posted by mountainman
It's critical to remember that a (reasonably) versatile horse's running style can change with the distance. I've seen lots of frontrunning route horses close with a rush in short sprints loaded with weak speeds. But when some moronic jockey attempts the same strategy in a field of strong routers-or even, sometimes,at 6 furlongs-the animal WILL come up empty. This happens ALL the time. Riders (and trainers) fall in LOVE with whatever tactic worked (or nearly worked) most recently, but often don't understand just WHY it flattered the performance.

Stamina is rarely the main determinant in a horse's distance preference. It's often more about tempo and , especially, field complexion.
Absolutely. And sometimes it is not just what worked (or nearly worked) recently, but what worked (or nearly worked) at some other time, in a completely different set of circumstances.

That is the primary reason I have prattled on endlessly that viewing a horse's performance from a simplistic, one-dimensional perspective as if the horse was running independent of any human direction or intervention is basically foolish.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Psychotic Parakeet View Post
Early pace, presser, sustained, closer.... Seems like there are various opinions out there.

Do you base and/or designate running style based on a horse's running position, or go by the lengths (ahead or beaten) at the first call?
Where you designate a running style has pretty much been covered(1st call) and the red tape has been covered by everybody well. I would just add when interpreting that for a horse I would only use races where the horse was competitive. And I would rate that a within 2 length finish of winner.

-Quirin Points-evaluation tends to get caught up in exclusively using recent races. If a horse wins or is competitive routinely when running 1-2l off at 1st call and running 1-2-3 I'm going to declare that horse an E/P7. Regardless of if recency only gives the horse 3-4 points. If recent position contradicts the horses overall running style that entrant's form is likely suspect or is early in a form cycle.

When you are defining these remember, what you are doing is evaluating the competitive personality of the horse, not strictly just creating an objective measure that is a cog in another wheel. I think that the small time needed to do this and to evaluate the very basic pace assumptions(who has competed vs what pace, ala Pizzola) gives as much insight into a race as any handicapping tool. Especially on turf when you are doing direct comparisons of finishing times vs paces faced. Enormous insights.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mountainman View Post
It's critical to remember that a (reasonably) versatile horse's running style can change with the distance. I've seen lots of frontrunning route horses close with a rush in short sprints loaded with weak speeds. But when some moronic jockey attempts the same strategy in a field of strong routers-or even, sometimes,at 6 furlongs-the animal WILL come up empty. This happens ALL the time. Riders (and trainers) fall in LOVE with whatever tactic worked (or nearly worked) most recently, but often don't understand just WHY it flattered the performance.

Stamina is rarely the main determinant in a horse's distance preference. It's often more about tempo and , especially, field complexion.
You know, this is one of the things that has always stuck out to me about running styles being intrinsic, the preferred position in the herd and all. Front running sprinters can often turn back and run midpack and win Pressing and even midpack sprinters will many times go wire to wire and win. Is it the horse or the humans determining running style? I know there are are headstrong horses that will try to lead at all costs, but outside of those, I tend to think it is human. Same with deep closers. Maybe it isn't a style at all. Maybe they are just too slow to keep up early?
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:15 PM   #19
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You know, this is one of the things that has always stuck out to me about running styles being intrinsic, the preferred position in the herd and all. Front running sprinters can often turn back and run midpack and win Pressing and even midpack sprinters will many times go wire to wire and win. Is it the horse or the humans determining running style? I know there are are headstrong horses that will try to lead at all costs, but outside of those, I tend to think it is human. Same with deep closers. Maybe it isn't a style at all. Maybe they are just too slow to keep up early?
We know all the connections handicap the races. I think when any one of them think they simply have the best horse in the race they will just green light the horse knowing they can outrun them. That definitely changes the running style! It freaks me out sometimes but I see this happen on turf too when I am betting whom I think is the strongest closer. Goes straight to the lead. And it works at probably a 70% clip. They get a lead and sit there til they turn for home and just run off.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cj View Post
You know, this is one of the things that has always stuck out to me about running styles being intrinsic, the preferred position in the herd and all. Front running sprinters can often turn back and run midpack and win Pressing and even midpack sprinters will many times go wire to wire and win. Is it the horse or the humans determining running style? I know there are are headstrong horses that will try to lead at all costs, but outside of those, I tend to think it is human. Same with deep closers. Maybe it isn't a style at all. Maybe they are just too slow to keep up early?
So true. "Style" and "strategy" are imprecise terms when applied to thoroughbred performance. A discussion defining them could be voluminous.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:42 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cj View Post
You know, this is one of the things that has always stuck out to me about running styles being intrinsic, the preferred position in the herd and all. Front running sprinters can often turn back and run midpack and win Pressing and even midpack sprinters will many times go wire to wire and win. Is it the horse or the humans determining running style? I know there are are headstrong horses that will try to lead at all costs, but outside of those, I tend to think it is human. Same with deep closers. Maybe it isn't a style at all. Maybe they are just too slow to keep up early?
I think it's a little of everything.

Some horses are clearly faster than others. I'm not talking about running styles here. I'm talking about the ability to run fast over a short distance. There are closers that are really fast.

Some horses are trained to relax or go early because that's the trainer's style or because the trainer believes that's the best way to get more out of that horse.

Some of it is a conscious decision by the connections (or just the rider) to get more or less aggressive on a particular day.

Some horses are better or worse out of the gate and take a different amount of time to get into gear, but once they might be very fast.

Some horses seem more or less aggressive when it comes to horses getting ahead of them or trying to pass others.

There's a lot of things that are tough to figure out until after the fact.

I don't think it pays to say "this horse needs the lead or this horse can't do this or that". That kind of stuff comes into play sometimes between evenly matched or similar horses. But IMO, if you drop a horse down far enough, he'll win doing whatever you want.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:50 PM   #22
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IMO..."running position" means nothing unless it's related to the lengths behind the leader. The horse that's running 2nd but is 10 lengths behind the leader can't be called a "presser/stalker"...nor can a horse that's running 7th while within 3 lengths of the lead be called a "closer".
I agree. It often requires some kind of subjective analysis.

If you are trying to put into a formula, it pays to look at multiple races. That way some of the oddball things and extreme paces that come up sort of get averaged out of the overall picture of the horse's style.
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