02/23/2011 4:57PM

Bind and his BIG 105 Beyer

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One of the great things about Beyer Speed Figures is they are made by humans. As such, when one of the Beyer folks, when in the process of making figs, comes across the inevitable aberrational number (this happens more often than people who don’t make speed figures might realize), he can apply the sort of reason and common sense that computers can’t. And the result of that is far fewer obviously outrageously inaccurate figures than one would find in computer generated numbers.

This is said because I’m sure the Beyer guys thought long and hard before slapping that 105 on Bind’s big debut win at Fair Grounds last Saturday. But even though I know the Beyer people took every precaution possible at this point in time to make sure that number is right, I still have a feeling that it might be too early to actually hang one’s hat on that figure.

The reason for that is, Bind was a first time starter, and there was precious little form amongst the seven horses who chased him home to draw a reliable line from.

Runner up Tale of the Dance was also a first time starter, so he’s no help.

Saracen finished third in a performance very similar to the one he turned in his debut last month. He earned a 65 Beyer in his debut, but got a 78 for his efforts Saturday. Although Saracen’s two outings look almost identical on paper, I suppose it is possible he could have improved from first to second start.

Fourth place finisher Red Ace was also a firster. No help there.

Fifth place finisher Saucy Stash finished sixth in his recent start before Saturday, beaten 4 ½ lengths, and earned a 55 Beyer. On Saturday, Saucy Stash was beaten 14 ½ lengths, but earned a 67 Beyer. I guess it is plausible that Saucy Stash improved Saturday in his second start off a 5 ½ month layoff, even if he was beaten by a far greater margin.

Sixth place finisher Rys Alley Cat raced but once before Saturday. That was 2 ½ months ago, he finished third, beaten just a half length, and earned a 68 Beyer. Against Bind off the layoff, Rys Alley Cat was beaten 14 ½ lengths, and yet almost matched his debut fig, earning a 67. He did, however, add blinkers, so maybe it’s possible the equipment change had a positive impact.

Quarry of Gold, who finished seventh to Bind, had but one start before Saturday, which took place last month. He finished eighth, beaten 21 ¾ lengths, and received a 33 Beyer. On Saturday, Quarry of Gold got 5 ½ lengths closer to be beaten 16 ¼ lengths, yet he came close to doubling his debut Beyer, earning a 62. But most horses improve from their first to their second starts, and maybe Quarry of Gold, despite being beaten a pole, might be one of them.

Rack Daddy finished eighth and last behind Bind. But he was beaten such a long way – 26 ¼ lengths to be precise – that it makes no sense to draw any conclusions off of his performance.

The point here is, when a first time starter like Bind apparently runs a hole in the wind, then it is logical to look toward the horses who finished behind him for validation of the big figure. But when the horses who finished behind him all have scant form that is uncertain at best, then the best thing you can do is wait until horses out of the race in question run back. Their subsequent performances will either confirm the big Beyer, or bring it into even greater question.

Ed More than 1 year ago
I watched Majestic Perfection break his maiden and cashed everytime he ran after that. Thanks to Atta Boy Roy I even got decent odds once. I was trackside at Toga when he beat what is aguably the best dirt sprinter in North America, Big Drama. When I watched Bind break his maiden all I could think about was how much that victory reminded me of watching Majestic Perfection. His race that day was by far the most visually impressive race that day. I really believe he is the real deal. let's all hope we are lucky enough to see the Factor, Flashpoint and Bind in the Forego at Toga this year.
Pete More than 1 year ago
I was there and saw race and the horse after it. He couldnt blow out a match, ears pinned and ready to go again. I agree with Nick B above, this horse is a beast.
Bill Daly More than 1 year ago
It would be interesting to see how horses that broke watches first time out did the next time out. I don't know whether anyone has conducted a study, but I think it's pretty obvious that the vast majority would run slower the next time. How much slower- on average- is my question?
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Mike, What's to doubt ? You don't trust the clock ? A tick off the track record ? How 'bout Art Stall ? How 'bout Claiborne Farms ? Remember Blame ? & if all that isn't enough, there's always the tried & true method....He's a "Slewster", out of the greatest of all-time, Seattle Slew..........He's been known to throw a few ? Need more ? Check this years Derby pedigrees...There's more Slewsters than you can shake a stick.......They're all the scariest of FAST, & they can run all day...check out Eldaafer, last years Marathon BC winner..Damn sire ? You guessed it, Seattle Slew......The greatest horse to ever look thru a bridle.........Bar none........Only the great Doctor can come close.. & then there's Zenyatta ? Who'd they choose for her 1st Mate......Bernardini ? A SLEWSTER......
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Hi Mike, I would have to say; that is sage advise in regards to Bind. Although three published bullet works of 59 2/5 B 1/29; 59 Bg 1/61; 59 Bg 1/52 kinda tipped the mitt that he can run. We will see. I am more interested in the Risen Star. In looking at the race in advance, the best race on the page was Mucho Macho Man's 2nd in the Remsen where he got a 99 for running behind To Honor and Serve. He had an excuse in the Holy Bull and got an equipment change with “Blinkers OFF”. Horses can reasonably be expected to improve 5 to 15 points from the fall at 2 to the spring at 3 so the fact that he got a 94 in winning the Risen Star really doesn't bolster confidence in him as, IF the number was correct, he still hasn't reached his 2yo form. Or was the Remsen rated too high? I will be interested to see how you view this Saturday's FoY at GP as To Honor and Serve will go as the probable fav. I know that Bill Mott is known for having them ready but, at a short price and off the bench, that Remsen fig might be one that can questioned: Will the horse run back to it? Anyway, all eyes point to the run for the roses and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Thanks.
RJ More than 1 year ago
So horses that bounce off a big performance are proof that their previous Beyer was bogus? Again, i can't imagine anyone looking at the times thru that saturday at the Fairgrounds could make any kind of argument that the track was goofy or went thru any changes just for Bind's race. The other races at the track look like they look all the time there. Bind ran a huge race and EARNED a huge Beyer. Doesn't mean you can punch his ticket to the HOF, but he ran what he ran.
RJ More than 1 year ago
Last rant: Mike you say a couple of times (and i'm paraphrasing some) "i suppose it's plausible that (the other starters in the race who had previous racing experience) improved off their previous starts"....well let's see...if you get beat 4 1/2 lengths in a race that probably went in something close to 1:12 flat and now get beaten 14 lengths in a race that went 1:08 and 4, i'd personally call that about a 6 length improvement (from 1:12 and 4ish to 1:11 and 3ish). Why the "suppose"? (MW: Because that would only hold true if the relative speed of the track was identical on both days, for both races in question. Hence, the "suppose.") How often in a race that a horse runs a freakishly fast races do the other horses in the race actually regress? To me, this seems common: horses performances are usually enhanced, if anything, by running into a horse with freakish ability or who runs a freakishly good race. So the surprise at the "improvement" of horses in Bind's race rings hollow to me.
RJ More than 1 year ago
I really just don't understand "adjusting" figs minus some sort of weird track conditions that hit for THAT race. I mean when Bind runs 1:08 and 4 and other 6 furlong races that very day are being run in 1:11 and change and 1:12 flat, like normal for the Fairgrounds, where's the thought of adjustment coming from? Either he ran 1:08 and change or the clock malfunctioned, period. Where's the justification EVER in this type of situation (again, without a track change) for arbitrarily basically saying "i don't believe my eyes".
Scott More than 1 year ago
Mike, thanks for your expert and common sense insight into how speed figures are developed. I make my own pace numbers which are easy and reliable if you have any statistical bent, but the more I read about making speed figures, the more questions I have and the more it doesn't make sense to me. I have seemingly simple questions like how do you equate a par time for 8 furlongs, which is run by everybody, to a comparable 5 furlong par time which at some tracks is run only by 2 year-old maidens, or to 9 furlongs which is run mostly by higher class horses. I for one would appreciate more of your expert commentary.
The Degenerate More than 1 year ago
I was there and he ran his eyeballs out! Wow!