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Old 10-01-2008, 08:43 AM   #1
JeremyPlonk
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Polycapping at Keeneland.com

I'd like to invite all horseplayers to utilize the Polycapping tools at Keeneland.com this season, which opens Friday. The database provides information on every winner since the 2006 fall meeting, which is when the Polytrack was installed. Keeneland employed me to devise the information contained, so that it would be done from a handicapper's perspective. With raw data and your own creativity of filters and searches, you can unveil trends and stats that go beyond the conventional past performances.

Best of all, the database has an easy, free download feature, so you can take the raw data and input it into your own spreadsheet files and manipulate it as you normally would information in Excel, etc.

Polycapping is not a spoon-feeder tool trying lure newbies to the game. It's devised by a degenerate (me!) for everyday and regular horseplayers who are looking to get an edge, and more importantly, grow their confidence of betting on all-weather surface races. The Polycapping database also includes turf races.

Key elements in the database that you won't get anywhere else include air temperature, rainfall totals and whether or not the gallop master was used before each and every race. Here, you can get ahead of the curve of even track maintenance officials and try to glean trends that affect the racing surface before anyone else does. Many other traditional handicapping methods can be filtered and analyzed, such as the importance of a local workout, past experience on turf or Polytrack, turf-to-Poly or dirt-to-Poly movers, turn-backs and stretch-outs in distance, what circuits produce the most winners, fractional and final times in hundredths so you can devise pars for each distance and class, etc.

This is one of the most handicapper-focused acts of customer service that I can recall, and wonderful to see a company "get it" when it comes to horseplayers like us. The data is updated daily throughout the meeting, courtesy of Equibase, so each day you're getting up-to-the-race trends.

Good luck at the 17-day all-star game that is Keeneland.

Jeremy Plonk
Horseplayerpro.com/ESPN.com and consultant to the Polycapping database at Keeneland.com
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:49 AM   #2
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So what would you say as to the generalities of Poly, as compared to Turf and Dirt?

jdl
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:46 PM   #3
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Thank you Keeneland and Jeremy Plonk .

This is why Keeneland is one of the best if not the best in terms of information for the player.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:28 PM   #4
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I would say that you can markedly see a difference in the average times based on the air temperature, so the theory that heat affects the all-weather surfaces can now be mathematically worked in by handicappers. You can use the Polycapping tools and come up with your own pars based on air temps, etc., and go back and see if a fast or slow time might be a different variant than the traditional powers would make it, thus giving a slick handicapper an edge.

The reputation of Polytrack as "unsolvable" very much so rests with its most visible graded stakes. The public has been miserably off in those races and favorites have scored light years below the national average. But if you look at each race class, the percentage of winning favorites stacks up about right at Keeneland in most categories vs. the national norm. But, people certainly look at those major, high-profile races and make their opinions.

Speed certainly does not own the advantage it does on dirt, but to look for Silky Sullivan in each race is just as much a losing proposition. That stats show you want a horse well-placed after the opening half-mile, but not setting the pace. Call them "pressers" or "stalkers" or whatever term you subscribe to, but dead-set speed and dead-set closers do not find the winner's circle nearly as often.

Good luck with the tools!

JP
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:17 PM   #5
Bruddah
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Take this message back to the Blue Bloods pushing

POLY CRAP. We don't want it and don't like it. If you want it at Keeneland, keep it there and stop trying to force it on the Industry in the name of GLOBALIZATION.

I am down to betting two tracks, Oaklawn and Churchill. If they ever go POLYCRAP...count me gone.
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:38 PM   #6
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How do you find a spot in the database for riders who decide to run every race like you are on a lush turf course. We have seen that at Keeneland. Basically sprints from the far turn to the finish, and some riders who try to buck the trend in other races by going straight to the front with horses that they know they can slow way down at the mid point of the race, therefore taking them way out of any perceived form from past races. This is the hardest part about handicapping keeneland if you ask me. But then again, I have lost my ass at Keeneland the last three meets...........what the hell do I know.
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:48 PM   #7
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This is outstanding Jeremy, thank you.

Keeneland’s web site remains light years ahead of the industry from a handicapper’s perspective.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:04 PM   #8
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Thanks for that run down Jeremy, will you be at the opener this weekend?

jdl
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:42 PM   #9
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Perfect timing Jeremy.I just started making a similar database for Turfway and while they're not the same surface they are similar enough that there are parrallels in certain criteria.This helps a lot!
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyPlonk
Polycapping is not a spoon-feeder tool trying lure newbies to the game. It's devised by a degenerate (me!) for everyday and regular horseplayers who are looking to get an edge, and more importantly, grow their confidence of betting on all-weather surface races. The Polycapping database also includes turf races.
after re-reading the thread, I realize that it wasn't a normal thread. This was a PR thread. Pardon me for pissing on a thread that was a giant invite to praise Keeneland and Polytrack. Pointing out a missing element was obviously distasteful on my part.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:01 PM   #11
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Hey, Ralph, you're spot on about the riders ... I'm no apologist there. This comes directly from a column I wrote in April of 2007 on the topic, sharing your frustration:

Jockeys on Keeneland's Polytrack ride like they're competing on the moon. Over no other artificial surface in North America do the riders treat the stuff like they're prancing over broken glass. Break, run your race, go :46-and-change, and quit acting like this is some kind of voodoo surface. It's not at Woodbine, Hollywood, Turfway or anywhere else that has the synthetic stuff. To me, this is completely between the riders' ears and not what's below the horses' hooves. How else can you explain unraced 2-year-olds breaking world records over the same surface just days before G1 horses go 1:16-and-change for the opening 6 furlongs of the Blue Grass?

But would you feel any better to know that the average half-mile split in 1-1/16 miles races for the entire 2008 spring meeting was 48-2/5 with only 3 above :50 and none above :50-4/5? That's a full second faster than the 1-1/16 miles races were run during the 2007 spring meeting, where 10 of 30 races were run in :50 or more for the half, some as high as :52 ... so the jockeys are starting to "get it" - proven out by the numbers.

Angry frustrations linger, but at least the numbers are showing that the racing is getting more and more like it ought to be - even from the riders.
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyPlonk
Hey, Ralph, you're spot on about the riders ... I'm no apologist there. This comes directly from a column I wrote in April of 2007 on the topic, sharing your frustration:

Jockeys on Keeneland's Polytrack ride like they're competing on the moon. Over no other artificial surface in North America do the riders treat the stuff like they're prancing over broken glass. Break, run your race, go :46-and-change, and quit acting like this is some kind of voodoo surface. It's not at Woodbine, Hollywood, Turfway or anywhere else that has the synthetic stuff. To me, this is completely between the riders' ears and not what's below the horses' hooves. How else can you explain unraced 2-year-olds breaking world records over the same surface just days before G1 horses go 1:16-and-change for the opening 6 furlongs of the Blue Grass?

But would you feel any better to know that the average half-mile split in 1-1/16 miles races for the entire 2008 spring meeting was 48-2/5 with only 3 above :50 and none above :50-4/5? That's a full second faster than the 1-1/16 miles races were run during the 2007 spring meeting, where 10 of 30 races were run in :50 or more for the half, some as high as :52 ... so the jockeys are starting to "get it" - proven out by the numbers.

Angry frustrations linger, but at least the numbers are showing that the racing is getting more and more like it ought to be - even from the riders.
Good Stuff! Thanks very much for the info. I will be there in a week throwing my share into the pools again............

No matter how you slice it, it is still the best place to be........ I can always bet some other tracks from the simul center........and enjoy the atmosphere
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:40 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info

I wanted to say thanks also for the information. As someone who usually only bets Keeneland I like the fact that the inforamtion is available. Keeneland has changed quite a bit since Poly (no more finding the speed horse). I do agree that the riders have gotten better and the track seems to be more consistent day to day. I hope that the 20,000 fans putting money into the pot don't learn any better and this can help me take their money.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:05 AM   #14
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I love poly

Thanks Jeremy I appreciate the heads up. Looks good.

Were you the editor of Horseplayer Magazine?

And my two cents -- I love playing poly. You know why? Because most people don't. Because they get confused on it out think themselves , over-reward good turf lines (when its been shown turf races are no more predictive ,maybe even less so, than dirt races for poly).

In short there's kind of a chaotic handicapping situation that those who work hard to understand what's really going on at the various poly tracks can exploit. People tend to lump them all together. That's a big mistake.

Besides there are a lot fewer scratches. Off the turf races don't turn into four-horse jokes. On the whole prices are better too.

The Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita is showing a lot of promise and at the other poly tracks the maintenance crews are learning more each meet about how to care for the surface and keep it consistent. Poly has run into problems mostly in cases of extreme weather conditions -- too much rain. too cold, etc.


I say, the more poly tracks the better!!
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:31 AM   #15
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...... and the more All-Weather surfaces there are in time will lead to less chaos and confusion to exploit by the sharp opportunists of today; an eventuality more likely once maintenance crews learn to manage these surfaces better and the switching between traditional dirt and AWSs ceases to occur. Keep in mind, track uniformity is the ultimate goal for racing's Illuminatti. I believe board member Bruddah is correct when he suggests the internationalization of the sport has much to do with the current trend towards AWS installations, more so than the public relations ploy and red herring of safety. It's only during this current period of transition that many of these chaotic yet ripe opportunities exists for the more erudite. Is it not possible that in ten to fifteen years from now a universal surface might be more predictable than traditional dirt surfaces ever were? The confusion of the lumpen will not last forever. If that's true then the homogenization of racing surfaces will lead to less variables to consider which will dumb this game down and possibly depress parimutuals. Again, talking long term here. Nuances between different tracks is a strength of racing and not a liability. The distinction between today's three surface types is a strength of racing and not a liability. It's ironic that some don't like AWSs today because they aren't at this time uniform and they want them to be uniform, and others don't like them because they feel that in time they will be uniform and they don't want them to ever be. Though I don't necessarily want to see all AWSs disappear as the current environment of confusion suits my contrarian nature just fine; I will offer, however, that we're giving up more than most realize at this time by neglecting to preserve our heritage of North American main track racing on traditional dirt.

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