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Poll: Which best describes your view on ground loss
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Which best describes your view on ground loss

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Old 04-15-2019, 01:49 PM   #1
classhandicapper
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Ground Loss as a Handicapping Factor

Which best describes your views on ground loss and the amount of time you spend on it.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:10 PM   #2
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I think it is important when used in conjunction with pace and bias. Not all ground loss is equal, some is misleading, and some actually benefcial.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:33 PM   #3
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It is what it is. Horses have to run an extra length for each path they go wide though sometimes it costs more than just the ground loss. When going wide on a hot pace a horse has to work that much harder to keep up with horses inside and as the effects of a hot pace increase exponentially as the pace increases, ground loss coupled with a hot pace can take a lot out of a horse. Since the pace of 2 turn races is usually faster around the 1st turn, ground loss around the 1st turn is usually more taxing.
In one of his books Beyer explains how "Wide move into hot pace" is often a legitimate excuse for a poor performance.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:40 PM   #4
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When your selection takes the overland route turning for home, and then loses narrowly to a horse who squirted through along the rail...it's hard not to come away with the impression that ground loss is a significant consideration in the handicapping process. But, as Cj already intimated...you don't handle the ground loss factor by just making a requisite adjustment to the horse's final time. There are pace setup situations involving speed duels where the tracking outside horse has clearly enjoyed the better trip...and is unworthy of the added "credit" that the careless ground-loss handicapper gives it. And...there are also plenty of horses who insist upon making outside moves in race after race , thereby wasting any ground-loss "advantage" that they might have received in the race.

If the handicapper has the time and the inclination to really do a thorough handicapping job...then the ground-loss factor should be given serious consideration. But if the handicapper adopts the ground loss adjustments while excluding the other pertinent aspects of the handicapping puzzle, then, as a handicapping author once so astutely put it..."He is back in deep doo-doo again".
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:52 PM   #5
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Have to take the horses running style into account also. A horse that is wide and fighting for the lead on a fast pace is in trouble. A closer who is hung wide on both turns is having a bad trip also. The closer who swings wide on the last turn is running his race. Important to know in some cases, in other cases it really does not mean anything.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:54 PM   #6
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Over the last few years I've been spending a lot time making ground loss notes in Formulator. I love having the information, but it can be very tedious for large fields in 2 turn races. Sometimes I watch each of the Pan and Head On replay multiple times. It can take up to 20 minutes to watch a single race carefully. The thing is, I'm not so sure I get enough benefit out of it except in specific circumstances. I'm wondering if I'm better off toning it down a little and using the time more effectively.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:31 PM   #7
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I seldom consider it.
Might use it as an excuse for a poor race but not a regular thing I consider. At best, I will skip over a line that might be called "ground loss." If I can't find another line to use, I pass on the horse.

I can't look at everything.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:17 PM   #8
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My two cents, I think trying to factor it into ratings, such as adjusting speed figures for ground loss, is generally ineffective. Most of the winter, for instance, outside paths at Aqueduct have been preferred. But I like to look at wide trips as excuses, especially when a horse is caught wide around two turns. A lot of wide trips in turf routes end up with a horse being beaten badly because the trip was so bad that the jockey just eased the horse up in the stretch. So it helps the price. I also like to see a horse that shows good late energy or hangs in there gamely after racing wide into the first turn going two turns. I don't think it's necessary or effective to try to play with the numbers. Just note that the horse raced gamely.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:58 PM   #9
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Of course , Brown and the Rags guys would beg to differ.



You're right though, and this has been know for many decades , that when the outside is the better going, the GL adjusted figs will be distorted.





TG does note when they think the rail is dead.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by pandy View Post
My two cents, I think trying to factor it into ratings, such as adjusting speed figures for ground loss, is generally ineffective.
That has been my conclusion also. I think of it as more of a plus/minus or strong plus/minus.

From time to time I make bias notes for race cards all over the country. There are certain tracks where ground loss almost never seems to matter. It's not that the rail is dead. You can win inside too. It's just that the outside paths seem to be better by just enough to more or less offset the ground loss and make it impossible to measure any impact. That happens at every track on some days. If you adjusted your speed figures for ground loss you'd create an endless supply of inflated numbers.

You more or less have to watch how the races are developing that day at that track relative what you would consider normal and feel what's going on.

If the horses that are 3-4 wide on the turn are working hard but having trouble gaining on the horses inside of them, then start picking them up once they straighten away, that's telling you something.

If the horses that are 3-4 wide are running right past the fresh horses inside of them, that's telling you something.

If a horse was moving well inside and then stopped when he shifted outside or vice versa, that's telling you something.

So I guess the question becomes how much time to put into it.

Do I really need to know that some horse was 4 wide on both turns on a day where 3 other horses ran huge with the same trip and a few others that were wide won (all while a couple of others set the pace inside and did well)
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
That has been my conclusion also. I think of it as more of a plus/minus or strong plus/minus.

From time to time I make bias notes for race cards all over the country. There are certain tracks where ground loss almost never seems to matter. It's not that the rail is dead. You can win inside too. It's just that the outside paths seem to be better by just enough to more or less offset the ground loss and make it impossible to measure any impact. That happens at every track on some days. If you adjusted your speed figures for ground loss you'd create an endless supply of inflated numbers.

You more or less have to watch how the races are developing that day at that track relative what you would consider normal and feel what's going on.

If the horses that are 3-4 wide on the turn are working hard but having trouble gaining on the horses inside of them, then start picking them up once they straighten away, that's telling you something.

If the horses that are 3-4 wide are running right past the fresh horses inside of them, that's telling you something.

If a horse was moving well inside and then stopped when he shifted outside or vice versa, that's telling you something.

So I guess the question becomes how much time to put into it.

Do I really need to know that some horse was 4 wide on both turns on a day where 3 other horses ran huge with the same trip and a few others that were wide won (all while a couple of others set the pace inside and did well)
Yes sometime medication has big effect on horses between races when the trainer races them into shape with no workouts

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Old 04-16-2019, 10:44 AM   #12
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I think it is important when used in conjunction with pace and bias. Not all ground loss is equal, some is misleading, and some actually benefcial.
This.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bob60566 View Post
Yes sometime medication has big effect on horses between races when the trainer races them into shape with no workouts
That's a different thread.
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:48 PM   #14
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Some interesting poll results so far. I wish we had more commentary and discussion.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:29 PM   #15
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
Some interesting poll results so far. I wish we had more commentary and discussion.


Maybe I'd describe Ground-loss as having a 'synergistic' relationship w/ race-flow?

does that make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay68802 View Post
A horse that is wide and fighting for the lead on a fast pace is in trouble. ... The closer who swings wide on the last turn is running his race. Important to know in some cases, in other cases it really does not mean anything.
When normal or favorable race flow and and ground loss match up, nothing really happens. Often it's just an expression of running style.

But when ground loss comes while a horse is significantly against the race-flow, you get these exponential, 'lollapalooza effects'. 1+1=3?
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