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Old 11-14-2022, 02:27 PM   #16
46zilzal
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common errors

One of the most common errors I see in other photo finish presentations in not matching the scan rate to the velocity of the horses at the wire..That rate is obviously different for harness horses versus thoroughbreds the latter being faster.

Yonkers raceway often presents photos for public consumption that are TOO Fast as compared to the velocity of the horses....Observing the shape of the sulky wheels is a give away...If they look mashed, with an increased front to back shape (oval), the scan was too slow, and conversely, if they are OVOID in the up to down diameter, the scan was too fast.

On the thoroughbred side, Turf Paradise tends to be too slow as the horses look ELONGATED and unnatural in the public photos. The opposite situation would look foreshortened (when the start car at the harness races is captured at the tail end of a scan, the length from front to rear is really foreshortened as it was travelling MUCH faster than the horses at the wire.)

By law, EVERY horse that finishes race, must be captured on a photo...When there is a straggler (horse broke stride at the harness races,or a straggler has been eased in a thoroughbred contest) their relative size on the scan is dramatically elongated as at that point in the race, BOTH are going so much slower than the rest of the field.

Now BOTH situations will NOT change the relative order of finish but are aesthetically NOT representative of a properly exposed photo.

Odd things picked up on photos: birds, REAL BRIGHT spots where the sun makes a bright reflection off the harness tack, and finally (Woodbine is on the glide path to the international airport) shadows of passenger jets covering some of the horses in the scan.

Old Suffolk Downs NEVER got their color balance correct as it was always TOO GREEN.
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Old 11-14-2022, 05:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mountainman View Post
Lots of mnr's eyes didn't work during the time I subbed in as operator. This necessitated catching the fraction manually and if the angle was bad, using (sometimes distant) landmarks for orientation.

That old smokestack across the river sure came in handy for half-mile splits at 5 1/2 furlongs. I could get serious and profer my theories on how poor angles from the drf vantage point distorts margins at certain points of call, but I haven't so much as glanced at this evening's pp's, and it's already 1:30.
One of the things I've fought hard for is that tracks need to tell people when races, or parts of races, aren't timed electronically. There is a field now in every chart labeled "Timer" and it is finally being used. Hand timing is woefully bad no matter how good someone thinks they are at it. This isn't a knock on anyone doing the timing, it is an impossible job to do accurately.

There are a few tracks out there that haven't had electronic timing for a very long time, but the public was never told. Now every race at these tracks is listed as "Hand" in the "Timer" field.
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Old 11-14-2022, 05:35 PM   #18
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I would guess that hand timing would be least accurate on turf races where, dependent upon the lane they were running in, the POSITION of relative points of call varied substantially.
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Old 11-14-2022, 06:34 PM   #19
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There are a few tracks out there that haven't had electronic timing for a very long time, but the public was never told. Now every race at these tracks is listed as "Hand" in the "Timer" field.
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Old 11-14-2022, 06:42 PM   #20
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Hat well and truly blown away. Thanks all for the info and the interesting anacdotes.
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Old 11-15-2022, 01:20 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by 46zilzal View Post
I would guess that hand timing would be least accurate on turf races where, dependent upon the lane they were running in, the POSITION of relative points of call varied substantially.
Yes, timing by hand on the turf where you can't use the traditional markers makes an impossible job even more impossible.
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