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Old 02-04-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
cj
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Improvement

A lot has been made recently about super trainers and improvement. Now, I certainly realize that Beyer speed figures aren't the be all and end all of performance evaluation, but they are a fairly accurate measure by most people's estimations. That said, I decided to look at my book Champions and see in the 90s and early 2000s what kind of similar improvements I could find to recent Dutrow and Wolfson's recent work. Keep in my mind, we are talking about the top trainers and best horses in the game.

These are the biggest improvements I could find after 8 starts since Beyers were published in the DRF in 1992. Surface and distance irrelevant. The following all showed improvement of 20 points or more:

Charasmatic, 85 to 108
Cigar, 99 to 121
Hollywood Wildcat, 86 to 110
Jewel Princess, 90 to 116
Not Surprising, 90 to 120
Real Quiet, 93 to 115
Serena's Song, 90 to 113
Skip Away, 100 to 125
Lemon Drop Kid, 98 to 118
Squirtle Squirt, 93 to 119
Xtra Heat, 88 to 120

Nearly all of these improved much later in there career, and gradually. I couldn't find a single horse that had a huge jump after 8 starts like that of This One's for Phil.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:18 PM   #2
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Good Stuff CJ

That's a pretty impressive list.

Let me guess, Squirtle Squirt did it in the Breeders Cup?
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:26 PM   #3
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Yes.

He ran a 117 in his start prior in the Vosburgh - when Left Bank wore him down in deep stretch. The 7fs in 1:20 3/5
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:48 AM   #4
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Jump list

How many on the list had ratings raised due to big jumps in class- and how many were early speed?
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj
A lot has been made recently about super trainers and improvement. Now, I certainly realize that Beyer speed figures aren't the be all and end all of performance evaluation, but they are a fairly accurate measure by most people's estimations. That said, I decided to look at my book Champions and see in the 90s and early 2000s what kind of similar improvements I could find to recent Dutrow and Wolfson's recent work. Keep in my mind, we are talking about the top trainers and best horses in the game.Ö
So you didnít get the idea of looking there from Kling?


http://www.troyrecord.com/articles/2009/02/02/sports/horseracing/doc4987ce32ecd9b562231384.txt
Rick Dutrow: Maven or menace?
By Nick Kling February 3, 2009 12:10 AM EST
Quote:
Ö In an attempt to determine if similar improvement was achieved by other stakes-caliber horses, I consulted the book, "Champions," from DRF Press. It contains the lifetime past performances of Eclipse and other champion Thoroughbreds from decades past.

In the 1990s, when Beyer figures became a regular feature of DRF, there were several Eclipse-winning Thoroughbreds whose best figure rose 20-30 points or more in the several months between the summer of their juvenile year and the start of their three-year-old season. As Casey Stengel said, you can look it up. Ö
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:36 AM   #6
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3-YO's do one thing quite consistently: They improve from the beginning of their 3-YO year to the fall of that year. I would think that there are many cases, year in and year out, where 3-YO's improve 25% in their speed figs over the course of that year.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indulto
So you didnít get the idea of looking there from Kling?

http://www.troyrecord.com/articles/2009/02/02/sports/horseracing/doc4987ce32ecd9b562231384.txt
Rick Dutrow: Maven or menace?
By Nick Kling February 3, 2009 12:10 AM EST
No, I didn't read the whole article. Did he find any? I did not.

Last edited by cj; 02-05-2009 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:32 AM   #8
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Well, he says he found some, but he didn't list any of them. Odd if you ask me.

"In the 1990s, when Beyer figures became a regular feature of DRF, there were several Eclipse-winning Thoroughbreds whose best figure rose 20-30 points or more in the several months between the summer of their juvenile year and the start of their three-year-old season. As Casey Stengel said, you can look it up."

Which ones? Charasmatic is the only one that remotely fits the description for me, and he did it going long, where it is much easier for a horse to improve his figures. And lets not act like this improvement occurred in May after laying off in June or July. The horse had a two month break and returned in JANUARY.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj
No, I didn't read the whole article. Did he find any? I did not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj
Well, he says he found some, but he didn't list any of them. Odd if you ask me.

"In the 1990s, when Beyer figures became a regular feature of DRF, there were several Eclipse-winning Thoroughbreds whose best figure rose 20-30 points or more in the several months between the summer of their juvenile year and the start of their three-year-old season. As Casey Stengel said, you can look it up."

Which ones? Charasmatic is the only one that remotely fits the description for me, and he did it going long, where it is much easier for a horse to improve his figures. And lets not act like this improvement occurred in May after laying off in June or July. The horse had a two month break and returned in JANUARY.
What seems odd to me is that someone so obviously thorough as yourself would publicly discredit an article you hadn't bothered to read in its entirety.

In response to a comment to that article, Kling referred his readers to the following article from which I won't distract you with any quotes:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/columns/story?columnist=plonk_jeremy&id=3881946
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:25 AM   #10
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Well, since Jeremy Plonk has now weighed in, there should be no further questions.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indulto
What seems odd to me is that someone so obviously thorough as yourself would publicly discredit an article you hadn't bothered to read in its entirety.

In response to a comment to that article, Kling referred his readers to the following article from which I won't distract you with any quotes:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/columns/story?columnist=plonk_jeremy&id=3881946
Jeremy Plonk? I've read it. He mentions Eight Belles, and she is a decent example. She did have a big improvement, though it was at the the very odd distance of 1m 40y and probably was not a good number. But even so, she certainly stepped it up. However, it was going long, not sprinting. Young horses certainly do improve a lot more routing than sprinting.

Tiago made nothing close to the same jump. Mr. Hot Stuff had a 20 point jump, but again, going long. Lots of horses jump big going long, especially those that struggle sprinting. But to use Lawyer Ron is pretty ridiculous. The horse was terrible on fake surfaces. As soon as he tried dirt going long, he exploded.

As for Kling, I have since read the article, and I still don't buy it. Don't you think he should have cited at least ONE example?

There isn't a single horse that improved anywhere near the rate the Dutrow horse did by January of their 3 yo season. The horse had won by open lengths going both long and short and had 8 races! EIGHT!

I was much more liberal this time. I looked for horses with at least 3 starts as a 2yo, and looked to see how much they improved before the end of June as a 3yo. This is still a lot bigger window than This One's for Phil with much more lightly raced horses. Here is what I found:

Charasmatic, 66 at 2, 108 in May (going long)
Silver Charm, 97 at 2, 118 in May (going long)
Smoke Glacken, 93 at 2 to 114 in June
Victory Gallop, 90 at 2 to 110 in June (at 1 1/2 miles)
Bird Town, 80 at 2 to 101 in May (going long)
War Emblem, 83 at 2 to 114 in May (going long)

That is it. Nick said I could look it up. I did. Where are they?
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:05 AM   #12
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Bogus reporting

Kling's article is the most flawed piece of horses--t I've read in a long time.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:21 AM   #13
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One other thing...of these horses:

Charasmatic, 66 at 2, 108 in May (going long)
Silver Charm, 97 at 2, 118 in May (going long)
Smoke Glacken, 93 at 2 to 114 in June
Victory Gallop, 90 at 2 to 110 in June (at 1 1/2 miles)
Bird Town, 80 at 2 to 101 in May (going long)
War Emblem, 83 at 2 to 114 in May (going long)

Not one of them had the big jump without improvements in between:

Charasmatic, 66, 83, 85, 94, 95, 108
Silver Charm, 97, 110, 115, 118
Smoke Glacken, 93, 102, 114
Victory Gallop, 90, 105, 106, 107, 110
Bird Town, 80, 84, 100, 101
War Emblem, 83, 86, 98, 112, 114

To try to convince people This One's for Phil was normal improvement seen many times every day is simply ludicrous.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:40 AM   #14
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I don't know Plonk, but I thought that piece stunk.............. I don't read much of his stuff.........so maybe I am off base here..........but......

It sounded to me like he was trying to find a happy medium and was trying to find an excuse for Dickie, without calling Beyer an idiot.......... or a knucklehead as the callers to Byk's show called him.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:25 PM   #15
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BLINKERS OFF

Nick Kling is in need of an equipment change.
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