02/23/2011 4:57PM

Bind and his BIG 105 Beyer


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.