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Old 10-25-2013, 06:58 AM   #1
Thomas Roulston
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Have You Seen The AQU Condition Book?

Well I have - and a few observations are in order:

1. More distances are needed for turf races; specifically, 5 furlongs and 7 1/2 furlongs. Isn't the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint sometimes run at 5 furlongs? So that debunks the idea that there is anything "Mickey Mouse" about it - and the sky hardly fell when Saratoga started running 5 1/2-furlong turf races. As for 7 1/2 furlongs, I don't want to hear how the start would be "too close to a turn that's too tight" - a 617-ft. run into an 844 ft. turn, when at the Fair Grounds they've been running 7 1/2-furlong races on the grass for decades with a 480-ft. run into an 814-ft. turn.

2. The purse distribution for overnight stakes races has been changed to 60% first, 20% second, 11% third, 6% fourth and 3% divided equally among the remaining finishers; the purse breakdown for other stakes races remains the same, at 60% first, 20% second, 10% third, 5% fourth, 3% fifth and 2% divided equally among the remaining finishers. I guess we'll find out soon enough whether there has been any change in the purse division for non-stakes races.

3. This capping of purses as double the claiming price, which will continue at the Aqueduct meet, is lame and self-defeating. Times have changed; I can remember when they didn't allow the winner's share of the purse of a claiming race to be more than the claiming price. How does NYRA expect to compete with other tracks that do not observe this rule?

Why does NYRA have to be so hidebound?
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:22 AM   #2
OTM Al
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In regards to number three they have no choice. In fact I'm surprised the purses are still double as there was a recommendation that they were 1.6 times the claiming price so the winner would win an amount equal to that price.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:21 AM   #3
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Doubling the purse of the claiming price is no big deal. if you have ever owned horses, owners will stay in the game longer with those kind of purses.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Roulston
3. This capping of purses as double the claiming price, which will continue at the Aqueduct meet, is lame and self-defeating. Times have changed; I can remember when they didn't allow the winner's share of the purse of a claiming race to be more than the claiming price. How does NYRA expect to compete with other tracks that do not observe this rule?

I can't even figure out what you are saying here. If you think these purses should be higher, they cannot be, as they have been capped ( this is hardly new information to ANYONE paying attention ). If you are saying they should be lower, your last sentence makes no sense ( at least to me ).

Can anyone smarter than me explain what is being said here?
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTM Al
In regards to number three they have no choice. In fact I'm surprised the purses are still double as there was a recommendation that they were 1.6 times the claiming price so the winner would win an amount equal to that price.
A horse that wins for 10k claimer with a 20k purse gets 12k, but after paying the jockey and the trainer, the owner winds up with $9,600. Maybe that is the justification.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
Robert Goren
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I am sorry but huge purses for cheap claimers make no sense to anybody but the owners of cheap claimers. We as bettors keep getting told that higher purses will bring a larger fields. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places, but have not seen it yet. What I have seen is a lot suspicious drop downs at short prices in races that get a bunch of scratches that win just often enough to make the race unbettable. Races with double drop downs who ran 3rd last out going off at 3/5 in 5 or 6 horse fields aren't my cup of tea, nor do I think they are very other bettors's either.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goren
I am sorry but huge purses for cheap claimers make no sense to anybody but the owners of cheap claimers. We as bettors keep getting told that higher purses will bring a larger fields. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places, but have not seen it yet. What I have seen is a lot suspicious drop downs at short prices in races that get a bunch of scratches that win just often enough to make the race unbettable. Races with double drop downs who ran 3rd last out going off at 3/5 in 5 or 6 horse fields aren't my cup of tea, nor do I think they are very other bettors's either.
Just look to Penn National for your answer, where $4k claimers run for a purse almost 4 times the claim price.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:30 PM   #8
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I think Parx runs for three times the claiming price. But it seems somewhat of a moot point, as apparently NYRA optional claimers don't have that restriction.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:44 PM   #9
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It's been my experience that measures to keep bottom tags and purses in proportion aren't quite as noble in motive as those who propose them would have you believe.

Small outfits that focus on low claimers still outnumber their higher class peers at most tracks (an Aqueduct perhaps excluded) and don't want the better barns dropping 86 beyers on their heads.

If someone can show me definitive proof that breakdowns and pullups are a function of purse-ratio in cheap claimers, I might rethink this. Until then, I'll consider such concerns an elaborate ruse intended to make cheap races winnable for mediocre horses and barns.

Horseplayers just don't comprehend how counter their interests run to the agendas of most horsemen.

Last edited by mountainman; 10-26-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainman
If someone can show me definitive proof that breakdowns and pullups are a function of purse-ratio in cheap claimers, I might rethink this. Until then, I'll consider such concerns an elaborate ruse intended to make cheap races winnable for mediocre horses and barns.
The early part of the Aqueduct winter meet was pretty strong proof.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cj
The early part of the Aqueduct winter meet was pretty strong proof.
Need comprehensive stats that encompass numerous tracks and comprise a representative sample. One meet from one track can't be strong proof. You know that.

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Old 10-26-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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And, to be honest, even then I'd probably look for other things that perhaps factored in. Breakdown stats nearly LEND themselves to subjective interpretation and are easy to massage for purposes of debate. Otherwise, the world would be covered with tapeta.

Last edited by mountainman; 10-26-2013 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mountainman
And, to be honest, even then I'd probably look for other things that perhaps factored in. Breakdown stats nearly LEND themselves to subjective interpretation and are easy to massage for purposes of debate. Otherwise, the world would be covered with tapeta.
You can always find factors to fit other arguments.

Sadly, many trainers and owners try for "one more run" when horses are declining rather than retiring them or giving them time off. Now, don't get me wrong, the same thing happens if purses aren't good sometimes. But I don't see how anyone can deny that increasing purses well above the value of the horses in question doesn't further the incentive to not do right by the horse.

I don't have stats. But give me a slow Monday or Tuesday, not BC week, and I'll give a list of 30 or 40 horses from this year alone that broke down after very suspicious drops. Horses break down for many reasons of course, not always anything neglectful, but I'm 100% positive the rate increases on horses like this. I've been doing this too long to think differently.

One other thing, we usually know what happens to top horses. Many times these cheap claimers just vanish from the scene, never to be raced again. How could we possibly have any reliable stats? My database is full of horses that weren't reported as breakdowns but were never heard from again.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj
You can always find factors to fit other arguments.

Sadly, many trainers and owners try for "one more run" when horses are declining rather than retiring them or giving them time off. Now, don't get me wrong, the same thing happens if purses aren't good sometimes. But I don't see how anyone can deny that increasing purses well above the value of the horses in question doesn't further the incentive to not do right by the horse.

I don't have stats. But give me a slow Monday or Tuesday, not BC week, and I'll give a list of 30 or 40 horses from this year alone that broke down after very suspicious drops. Horses break down for many reasons of course, not always anything neglectful, but I'm 100% positive the rate increases on horses like this. I've been doing this too long to think differently.

One other thing, we usually know what happens to top horses. Many times these cheap claimers just vanish from the scene, never to be raced again. How could we possibly have any reliable stats? My database is full of horses that weren't reported as breakdowns but were never heard from again.
Of course suspicious class-drops are a red flag, but they aren't the ONLY form trait that implies unsoundess. And horses take negative drops at all tracks-not just those with disproportionate bottom purses. And, beyond that, we could debate what constitutes a suspicious class drop.

Let's be very precise and stay on point here, I didn't contend that breakdown rates aren't more common in cheap races-just that i've seen no proof of a correlation with minimum purse levels.

And you seem to be saying that beefed-up bottom purses make horses disappear. That's not only a reach, it's impossible to verify. Do you think 3k claimers at beu don't go m.i.a.?
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cj
But I don't see how anyone can deny that increasing purses well above the value of the horses in question doesn't further the incentive to not do right by the horse.
That's a theory, not established fact. A theory I'm challenging someone to validate. And it's a specious theory with me, because I've seen LOTS of horsemen propose lower bottom purses with a thinly-veiled agenda to keep rival barns from dropping SOUND superior runners. And I've been at this a long time, myself.

Want theory? Here's mine:Most cripples on the verge of breakdown will be class-dropped REGARDLESS of bottom-purse levels. Barns don't require much incentive to "squeeze one more start" from a deteriorated animal. Disproportionate bottom purses, however, tempt outfits to drop SOUNDER horses as well, ones still functional at higher levels.

Thanks for the response, btw. It's always fun when we square off.

Last edited by mountainman; 10-26-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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