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Old 09-09-2020, 05:27 PM   #16
classhandicapper
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Will take some planning for sure. What would happen when they drop in class, or face horses moving into graded stakes for the first time. Might be comparing apples to oranges? Can probably work around that but it isn't something that would be easy.
That's one of the problems I have now.

I do my own ground loss and complete trip notes for a lot of major stakes, more limited notes on race flow and bias for some minor stakes, and almost nothing for many other races.

When I handicap, I sometimes have complete information for some horses, partial information for some, and almost nothing for others depending on the races they've been running in. So when I handicap I have to decide what other replays and notes I want to take.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:37 PM   #17
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The problem with ground loss figures in my opinion because it cannot be universally applied to every race.

I think we all know the scenarios but sometimes inside is worse and sometimes wide is worse, sometimes wide is better. If you are adjusting a horses effort for ground loss in a performance figure than you would have to know which scenario was hurtful and which one was beneficial.

And then there is the whole animal part of this throwing another dynamic.

I think the best would be to label turn ground loss relative to the rail on both turns and let the handicapper make his own judgement on the figure.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:31 AM   #18
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I suspect ground loss i.e. paths out at the apex of each turn (if equibase ever provides it) would increase the accuracy of everyone's numbers a slight bit. From a trip handicapping standpoint though I look at ground loss as a factor that carries more or less weight relative to position depending upon the pace of the race.

The way I trip handicap is more evidence based and track specific, I mean if a certain trip at a certain track and distance almost never wins then the degree of difficulty is obvious. You may teach a newbie for example fourth on the rail with a stalking trip is considered to be easy but there are situations with race flow where being bottled up waiting for room while the pace quickens is not so good for your chances of winning, there are times when you need to use that segment to assert and overextend opponents, and if you're on hold awaiting room the chance is lost. You may run well, you may not get beat by much and it may have little impact on your final time but relative to position you may not win very many races with that trip.

There are so many variations, three path on the turn loose in front, three path between horses, three path chasing a fast first quarter, slow first quarter, hard ridden or in hand etc... if you observe eventual winners then you see what wins and what doesn't and can evaluate impact.

I look at races as a series of mini skirmishes where horses run one another off their feet at key points by asserting their class and the eventual final time is just a stitched together byproduct of those skirmishes. It may align with quality of the horse's efforts but sometimes not so much.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:16 AM   #19
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I think the best would be to label turn ground loss relative to the rail on both turns and let the handicapper make his own judgement on the figure.
That's the way I do it.

I make a trip note for the horse that includes ground loss on each turn and have a race card note that tells me how the races were developing at that track on that day.

The biggest problem for me is that you often get a limited number of races to watch to determine how the track was playing and the impact of ground loss is also dependent on the race dynamics. Both are somewhat subjective. So I often have a very fuzzy view. On many day at some tracks I totally ignore ground unless it was extreme or during a hot part of the race.

It's more or less like "this horse is better or worse than he looks on paper off that race", "this horse's last race can safely be tossed", "lots of horses were winning or running well with that trip that day", etc... I don't add or subtract points like Ragozin or Thorograph. I also look at the horse's prior races hoping they will help clarify how good he is.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:39 PM   #20
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I suspect ground loss i.e. paths out at the apex of each turn (if equibase ever provides it) would increase the accuracy of everyone's numbers a slight bit. From a trip handicapping standpoint though I look at ground loss as a factor that carries more or less weight relative to position depending upon the pace of the race.
I always say this when discussing ground loss. I like the analogy that if me and a friend of equal ability decide to race 400 meters with me in the outside lane and the friend on the inside, but walk until the last 50 yards, the ground loss will be completely irrelevant. If we go all out the whole way, I obviously have no chance and will be beaten badly, the ground loss is everything.

Horses racing on turns will always fall somewhere in between those extremes. But it is much worse for a horse to be wide during the fast part of a race. On dirt, this is usually the first turn, while on turf it is often the second turn. But in any case the ground loss hurts more when the real racing is occuring.
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Old 09-11-2020, 02:03 AM   #21
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I always say this when discussing ground loss. I like the analogy that if me and a friend of equal ability decide to race 400 meters with me in the outside lane and the friend on the inside, but walk until the last 50 yards, the ground loss will be completely irrelevant. If we go all out the whole way, I obviously have no chance and will be beaten badly, the ground loss is everything.

Horses racing on turns will always fall somewhere in between those extremes. But it is much worse for a horse to be wide during the fast part of a race. On dirt, this is usually the first turn, while on turf it is often the second turn. But in any case the ground loss hurts more when the real racing is occuring.
given that the sheer number of sprints that are run (70%?), it really has a lot less of a bearing. Its not often a horse, on dirt that is, is making a run while being 6 wide the whole time. 3w in a sprint means nothing in my book but with a ground loss figure system I guess they would be upgraded points.
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:50 AM   #22
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given that the sheer number of sprints that are run (70%?), it really has a lot less of a bearing. Its not often a horse, on dirt that is, is making a run while being 6 wide the whole time. 3w in a sprint means nothing in my book but with a ground loss figure system I guess they would be upgraded points.
I would say it would mean less in sprints. The good news is all these things are able to be tested.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:48 AM   #23
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Hey CJ help!

CJ,

Could you post the derby figure for the last 10 or so Kentucky Derby's so I can

get a feel for how good Authentic did compared to past winners??

Thanks.

Also, if you are able, or this can be for the board at large...

How do you think he stands compared to past recent winners?
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:44 PM   #24
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CJ,

Could you post the derby figure for the last 10 or so Kentucky Derby's so I can

get a feel for how good Authentic did compared to past winners??

Thanks.

Also, if you are able, or this can be for the board at large...

How do you think he stands compared to past recent winners?
The average is about 123 last I checked. Obviously it is tough to compare this year to others as this year the horses are racing 4 months later, a time when normally it would be about time to step into races with older horses, at least when they used to have to do so. These days it is more like October. But I'd say the extra time probably adds 4 to 6 points to the figure.

Anyway, here are the last 10:

Code:
Name			TimeformUS
Authentic		129.20
Animal Kingdom		127.40
Justify			126.91
American Pharoah	126.74
Always Dreaming		123.07
Orb			121.48
Nyquist			120.57
Maximum Security	119.80
I'll Have Another	119.69
California Chrome	118.40
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:55 PM   #25
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For ground loss and trips. I do not do it that often. Way to many other things impact this. In Honor A.P.'s case. the one thing I see is that after the break, Smith is following Authentic, looks at the situation, and decides to get to the rail ASAP to avoid being wide on the first turn. Puts his horse in a new situation, and the horse responded. Sort of like Gunrunner or Arrogate in Dubai. I can't remember which one broke poorly. A lot of times this does not happen, the horse fails to respond. Still convinced that the BRIS #'s are a little low on this race.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:38 AM   #26
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I'll add one thing. If you are going to do your own ground loss notes, find a replay source that gives you the head-on view. It's way easier to determine which path each horse was in at various stages of the race from the head-on than the pan shot. I would say 85% of my time is spent watching head-on replays both for the start and ground loss. The only reason I watch the pan shot is that it's sometimes easier to see the the "steadied", "checked", "bad start" trips and how much it cost the horse. Then when combined with the head-on you can see what actually happened and caused it, whether the horse was actually blocked or empty etc..

It's very time consuming to do ground loss for each horse. That goes double if it's a very large field with 2 or 3 turns. What I do is probably overkill. I need to streamline it a bit, but part of what I am doing is helping me figure out which ground related trips matter the most and which don't matter much at all.

There were so many stakes last weekend, I'd say I spent around 10-15 hours just doing ground loss, bias, race flow, and trips for all those races this week. In time, hopefully I'll be able to just focus on what's important and free time for other more productive things.
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:44 AM   #27
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I look at races as a series of mini skirmishes where horses run one another off their feet at key points by asserting their class and the eventual final time is just a stitched together byproduct of those skirmishes. It may align with quality of the horse's efforts but sometimes not so much.
And so much of that seems to be mental. T-breds are bullies, and like human aggressors with big, soft egos, lose much of their fury when met with stiff resistance.

I do, however, think that even apart from class and innate superiority, there is an almost intangible "fire" factor that enables sharp runners to blow through subtle inconveniences of trip, while the same negative-nuances would more greatly deter a rival less sharp and not feeling it that day.

Or to phrase if differently, handicappers sometimes confuse cause and effect in these instances. Meaning that winners overcoming less than optimal trips don't win because they overcame the trip-they overcame the trip because they were destined to win. It's a very slight distinction, but can be detected visually.

My post relates tangentially to a point Brad Free made years ago in an inspired article on troubled trips that I still keep a copy of. In it, Free advised that whatever trouble (or vagaries of pace and position?) a horse might overcome and still win was probably less of a disadvantage than it seemed.

Whatever the case, good post, dude.

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Old 09-13-2020, 10:08 AM   #28
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I look at races as a series of mini skirmishes where horses run one another off their feet at key points by asserting their class and the eventual final time is just a stitched together byproduct of those skirmishes. It may align with quality of the horse's efforts but sometimes not so much.
1 million percent agree.

Quite frankly, the time model of measuring horse performance is idiotic.

The problem is that the "class label" model of measuring field strength is also idiotic.
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Old 09-13-2020, 06:20 PM   #29
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4
Anyway, here are the last 10:

Code:
Name			TimeformUS
Authentic		129.20
Animal Kingdom		127.40
Justify			126.91
American Pharoah	126.74
Always Dreaming		123.07
Orb			121.48
Nyquist			120.57
Maximum Security	119.80
I'll Have Another	119.69
California Chrome	118.40
Interesting - each of the last 10 years is faster than the previous years. Just the opposite of the perception that the horse arae getting slower.
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Old 09-13-2020, 06:28 PM   #30
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Interesting - each of the last 10 years is faster than the previous years. Just the opposite of the perception that the horse arae getting slower.
Those are sorted highest to lowest, not by year.
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