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Old 11-08-2018, 04:03 PM   #16
jay68802
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Yeah, tying that starter button in with the timing system would be a good, but old, idea.

From the 5th at Churchill today. As you can guess, just my take on the speed figures for the race. No handicapping involved.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:19 PM   #17
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Just one way of doing things. Just speed and pace figures indicate a $28.00 winner. .

And does not indicate the place horse, .

Now, does your further handicapping get you to place a bet on either horse?

Maybe.

Last edited by jay68802; 11-08-2018 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:40 PM   #18
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I can add that the was bet lower than the , and had lower figures. Indicating that the tote watchers would have picked up on this one.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff P View Post
I'm glad Jay mentioned the runup.

You know --

The distance between the starting gate and the point in the race where official timing of the race actually begins.

Looking at runup data for the past 30 days --

I see a 1 1/16 mile turf race at Indiana Grand on 10-17-2018 with a runup listed at 229 feet.

I see a second race that same day same turf course same distance with a runup of 219 feet.

The Equibase data for the first race has the leader's opening 1/4 mile fraction listed at 21.95 seconds.

The Equibase data for the second race has the leader's opening 1/4 mile fraction listed at 22.04 seconds.

At first glance you might think "Wow the turf course was really fast that day."

(Maybe it was.)

But if you knew the horses were given 70 yards to get up to full speed before timing of the race began - you might have a better understanding of what actually happened that day.

The one thing that bothers me most about runups?

While runup distance is available in the Equibase data --

Time of the runup is not.




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So at the old 55 ft/sec. we're looking at ~4 seconds of running to get up to speed. Does HK and Aus time right from the gate?
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:31 PM   #20
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Bob, I agree with much of what you’ve mentioned, but I never implied that anyone should rely on just speed figures ALONE.
My critique was simply attempting to point out a hidden flaw in speed figure development. It’s one that is very difficult to solve unless of course you can actually time every horse individually in a race at each point of call instead of backing into the time using beaten lengths off of the horse hitting the point of call first.
You seem to continually have missed the point that the emergence of the new technology such as TRACKUS and satellite GPS systems gives you a precise time for every single horse in every race. More and more tracks are now installing this technology.

Even using the beaten lengths method still provides accurate enough times to make speed figures arguably the single best performance rating factor. Of course results will be improved if they are used in conjunction with other qualitative factors.
Every good handicapper knows they may contain errors. the question is are they accurate enough to render their use practical. To label their accuracy a fallacy because they are not perfect is incorrect. The only thing you are showing is that to think them perfect is a fallacy. But no sane handicapper does that.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:35 PM   #21
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I’m actually surprised that one of few people who is recognized as someone who develops these speed figures and supports their reputation for many who use them doesn’t appreciate the significance of the early fractions.

I believe that everything about a race in general is about the start. During those early fractions as the horses are accelerating (in particular) lots of things can take place (like bumping, blocking, changing lanes, etc.) which certainly affect their speed during any portion of a race. How that speed (or energy) is rationed out during the race can very often determine its outcome.

In my estimation, the entire purpose of generating somewhat accurate speed figures was to have the ability to make speed comparisons between different entries having run in different races that are now competing against each other. I would think that they also might provide some insight as to how a race might shape up based on the running styles of each entry and how their past speed profile at each point of call would support that style against the competition.
I have no idea how you drew that conclusion from my post. I make speed and pace figures and combine the two into one number. That is basically the polar opposite of what you inferred. I have to work on my writing obviously.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff P View Post
I'm glad Jay mentioned the runup.

You know --

The distance between the starting gate and the point in the race where official timing of the race actually begins.

Looking at runup data for the past 30 days --

I see a 1 1/16 mile turf race at Indiana Grand on 10-17-2018 with a runup listed at 229 feet.

I see a second race that same day same turf course same distance with a runup of 219 feet.

The Equibase data for the first race has the leader's opening 1/4 mile fraction listed at 21.95 seconds.

The Equibase data for the second race has the leader's opening 1/4 mile fraction listed at 22.04 seconds.

At first glance you might think "Wow the turf course was really fast that day."

(Maybe it was.)

But if you knew the horses were given 70 yards to get up to full speed before timing of the race began - you might have a better understanding of what actually happened that day.

The one thing that bothers me most about runups?

While runup distance is available in the Equibase data --

Time of the runup is not.




-jp

.
Yep, it is terrible, and to make it worse there are a select few that actually have the information (via Trakus timing or GPS timing systems). Tracks apparently request they DO NOT give it to us, at least that was the case with Trakus.

Also, I should add, the run up as listed in the charts isn't always accurate. I find errors all the time. Equibase reports what the track says the run up will be, not necessarily what the run up is with the gate actually in place.

Last edited by cj; 11-08-2018 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Whosonfirst View Post
So at the old 55 ft/sec. we're looking at ~4 seconds of running to get up to speed. Does HK and Aus time right from the gate?
As far as I am aware both HK and Aus do not use a runup. (Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.)

To borrow a phrase from the way Beyer so eloquently put it a Washington Post article back in 2014:

Both HK and Aus "run races at exact distances and time them from the start."

Washington Post|By Andrew Beyer|March 10, 2014
Horse racing’s runaway run-ups are moving the starting line:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...=.525ca9353c1d

Quote:
Because 7 1/2 furlong races are run so often, Gulfstream moves the starting gate to different locations so that it doesn’t inflict too much damage to the grass course. Chuck Streva, Equibase’s conscientious chart-caller, has examined the difference gaps through which the gate moves onto the turf, and he knows that one of them constitutes a 375-foot run-up.

“I’m totally confident of the number we put in the chart,” he said, adding, “These races aren’t even close to 7 1/2 furlongs.”

The whole system is preposterous. Because of run-ups, thoroughbred racing is the only sport that can’t produce accurate timing of its own events. It’s as if the Olympics started clocking a 1,500-meter race after the field had run half a lap. And it’s the only sport in which the participants cannot be sure of the distance at which they’ll be competing. Pompa and trainer Todd Pletcher had no idea that Band of Joy was running a mile and 45 feet instead of the distance they had planned on. It’s as if Usain Bolt stepped onto the track for a 100-meter championship and learned that he’d be running 115 meters today.

Tim Ritvo, president of Gulfstream Park, has come to recognize the absurdities produced by his track’s run-ups. “Two hundred feet is definitely too far,” he said, and promised to make some changes in the 7 1/2 furlong races.

But this isn’t a Gulfstream issue; it’s an industry issue. Del Mar runs a mile on dirt with a 200-foot run-up. Monmouth Park shows Equibase’s maximum 250-foot run-up for many turf races. In a perfect world, thoroughbred racing would do what every other sport does: run races at exact distances and time them from the start.

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Old 11-08-2018, 06:08 PM   #24
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Ritvo was full of it. They have been running races with 600 feet of run up since that article was published. He said 200 was too far, so they tripled it.

Some of the run ups they report as accurate are so absurdly false that Equibase won't publish them. But they keep right in running them.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff P View Post
As far as I am aware both HK and Aus do not use a runup. (Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.)

To borrow a phrase from the way Beyer so eloquently put it a Washington Post article back in 2014:

Both HK and Aus "run races at exact distances and time them from the start."

.
That's also true in Europe, and likely everywhere else in the world except for North America. Carroll has a good probable explanation that ThoroughBred racing and Quarter Horse racing here are in competition for who has the fastest horses. By giving T-Breds a running start they appear to be as fast or faster than Quarter Horse races that are timed from the gate.

Thoro-Graph and the Sheets claims to time the races from the gate for it's ratings.

All human track events are timed from the start. This whole idea of run-ups just introduces errors.

Last edited by bobphilo; 11-08-2018 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:33 PM   #26
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That amazes me that they can add an entire pole or more to a race by moving the gate, and do it so cavalierly, as if it's meaningless.

Nitro's example of the horses traveling at different speeds, and whether they are accelerating or decelerating, was made at the quarter pole, and made his point. But from a handicapping standpoint, that very factor at the stretch call is where it really makes a difference in the selection process, IMO. There could be many reasons a horse is accelerating or decelerating at the 1/4 pole, but at the 1/8th pole, we're all sprinting for the finish, and how the trailing horses are running in relation to the leader is all pretty much based on effort, conditioning, and/or ability.

I feel like I have put as much time into thinking about handicapping a horse race as anybody could, but there are contributors to this board that make me feel like a toddler. We have a lot of smart, capable people contributing to this forum.

Last edited by ultracapper; 11-08-2018 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:52 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by cj View Post
Yep, it is terrible, and to make it worse there are a select few that actually have the information (via Trakus timing or GPS timing systems). Tracks apparently request they DO NOT give it to us, at least that was the case with Trakus.

Also, I should add, the run up as listed in the charts isn't always accurate. I find errors all the time. Equibase reports what the track says the run up will be, not necessarily what the run up is with the gate actually in place.

CJ, great point about inaccuracies in reporting of runup distances.

For years Turf Paradise had been reporting runups for all of their dirt sprints as 15 feet.

But if you recorded video of their dirt sprints - and timed from gate open to when the nose of the winner broke the plane of the mirror -- you'd consistently get times that were 1.65 seconds to 1.8 seconds longer than final time for the race published in the Equibase chart --

This of course suggested their actual runups were far longer than the published 15 feet.

Another horseplayer first pointed this out to me.

He told me there must be something wrong with the fractional times at Turf Paraside because as he put it:
Quote:
None of the Turf Paradise horses shipping to Del Mar ever come anywhere close to making the lead. I don't expect them to win because they're out-classed. But time is time. A horse who consistently runs sub 22.0 opening quarters at Turf Paradise ought to at least be able to compete for the lead when the gate opens. But none of them do. I'm telling you something stinks.
It took a bit of leg work to figure it out... And from there a little prodding --

I had to explain to then Equibase President Hank Zeitlin that I had used Camtasia to record Turf Paradise replays which provides the user with an elapsed time at each point in the recorded video --

My explanation to Hank went something like this:
Quote:
You start recording when the gate opens.

Then you freeze the video at the point where the nose of the winner first breaks the plane of the mirror.

If you note the elapsed time in the software at that point -- and if you you subtract final time for the race as published in the Equibase chart from the elapsed time noted at the race finish --

And if you hit the rewind arrow in the video software and keep tapping it until the elapsed time in the software matches the final time for the race from the Equibase chart --

And if you look at the horses at that point --

They should be 15 feet in front of the gate give or take.

But they're not.

The horses in race after race are several times further away from the gate than 15 feet.
I'll give Hank credit. He was patient and listened to what I was trying to say.

And Equibase actually did get Turf Paradise to start reporting runups much closer to actual.



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Old 11-08-2018, 07:13 PM   #28
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Ritvo was full of it. They have been running races with 600 feet of run up since that article was published. He said 200 was too far, so they tripled it.

Some of the run ups they report as accurate are so absurdly false that Equibase won't publish them. But they keep right in running them.
Agree.

200 ft is ridiculous.

600 ft is 3x ridiculous.

And that 300 ft max runup in the data constraint when they obviously use longer?

It's one of those things that makes you wince.


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Old 11-08-2018, 10:05 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by bobphilo View Post
You seem to continually have missed the point that the emergence of the new technology such as TRACKUS and satellite GPS systems gives you a precise time for every single horse in every race. More and more tracks are now installing this technology.

Even using the beaten lengths method still provides accurate enough times to make speed figures arguably the single best performance rating factor. Of course results will be improved if they are used in conjunction with other qualitative factors.
Every good handicapper knows they may contain errors. the question is are they accurate enough to render their use practical. To label their accuracy a fallacy because they are not perfect is incorrect. The only thing you are showing is that to think them perfect is a fallacy. But no sane handicapper does that.
No Bob, you’ve actually missed my point and the underlying purpose of posting my feelings about this apparent flaw in establishing superior speed figures. If you noticed my 2nd opening paragraph, I mentioned that I had just discovered some old notes regarding my speed handicapping from many years ago (I’m talking about 35/40 years ago!). That’s when it dawned on me to even raise this topic.

I guess you also like putting words in people’s mouths, because I NEVER even uttered the word PERFECT. I simply stated that there was a fallacy in the typical method of using a snapshot at each call to determine the actual time that each trailing horse would cross the SAME point of call based on observed beaten lengths and the average velocity of the leading horse.

If TRACKUS and GPS on every horse is able to correlate that information with each point of call and if that is completely public domain that would certainly serve its purpose in the handicapping world. Just a word of caution: If the Hong Kong Jockey Club states (and issued a disclaimer) that their 3rd party TRACKUS system in use is not totally accurate due to the presence of a multitude of cell phones in the crowd, then I wouldn’t be so high on this technology solving the problem. If I'm not mistaken we use cell phones here in the States as well, but for some strange reason tracks here have not disclosed any interference issues.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:12 AM   #30
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When is the last time a track added Trakus?
Isn't that pretty gone the way of poly tracks?

Not that Trakus is a very good product to begin with, as we have
seen with all the problems they continue to have.

You will never see it at all tracks, so you will always have a mix of beam, Trakus and GPS as worst case.

So now your precision is out the window.

The best bet for racing is to clone CJ! Seems he has abilities far beyond the industry has ever shown - competence.
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