04/02/2008 3:57PM

Swaps, Beyers, Dutrow, etc.


Dan, please tell me what I'm missing.
She's All Eltish runs 1:51.80 and Big Brown gets 1:48.16 35 minutes later.  That's a difference of 3.64 seconds.  Using the rule of thumb that one second equals 5 lengths, BB ran about 18 lengths faster than SAE.  I believe Beyer figs are approx 1 and 1/2 points per length in routes, I've got a spread of about 27 points between BB and SAE.  Yet BB gets a 106 and SAE a 90, a difference of only 16 points.  I've read all 3 of Andy Beyer's books and I don't remeber any mention of adjusting speed figs for pace - only the raw time adjusted for the speed of the surface.  What gives?
Tommy Triple

I have a question pertaining to your comment below.

Race 2 received an 84 Beyer.  Race 9 earned an 89 Beyer.  I'm assuming that the figuremaker projected an 89 based on the slow pace of the ninth race.

This contradicts a direct question I asked Andrew Beyer during a Q&A session at the Washington Post several years ago.  My question pertained to his Beyer numbers and if pace was taken into account in determining the number.  His answer was that final time was the only deciding factor in the numbers.  He did state that the variant could possibly change during the course of the card due to changing track conditions.  Since the race in question was on the rubber the track variant should not have been adjusted.
Am I missing something here?

Mark Hopkins, one of Andy Beyer's most trusted figuremakers, mentioned that final times are the determining point for Beyer Speed Figures, but that the final times of some races are "out-of-whack" compared with others on a given card.  An abnormally fast or slow pace could contribute to such a weird final time.
When a race looks funny, as was the case with the second race at Santa Anita on Friday and the Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream on Saturday, a projected number is assigned. 

The Beyer Speed Figures aren't merely mechanical numbers.  They are sometimes tweaked by the figuremaker/handicapper.


"Diamond Stripes...raced without medication"That's rich.

Next time, for the sake of accuracy and context, you might want to say that [whichever Dutrow horse] raced without medication which can be discerned by current testing technology...

We've been so fortunate here at FormBlog over the last few months with posts from members of the Zayat and Mott families, horsemen, and our usual racing enthusiasts, fans, and excellent handicappers.   Finally, we've found someone, Tinky, that can make the 'L' and 'B' appear from our magical invisible formula that we spray on foreign past performances.  Perhaps it's the pixie dust or the magic wand, I don't know for sure.  Or, he is one of the diligent drug testers for the Emirates Racing Authority, and he is breaking a story for us. 
You see, Tinky, for the sake of accuracy and context, I'm going to say that Diamond Stripes didn't run with raceday Lasix and Bute, and he hasn't tested positive yet for any banned substances.  Therefore, for the sake of not being sued for libel or slander (vicstu, svhill, and others on my "Dream Team" can make the designation), I'm not going to make assumptions on whether a horse was "juiced" or not until it's been conclusively proven.

By the way, I'll see you at Belmont in a couple of weeks for the Peter Pan.

Has Dutrow been suspended for positives in the past?  Yes, he has.  Does that make him a cheater.  Yes, in those cases, it does make him a cheater.  But, in this case, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.  There's only hearsay and conjecture. 


Have you heard anything about Vaulcluse, the 3YO filly who won the Suncoast at Tampa awhile back? She was 23-1 in Pool Two of the Oaks Future wager, but there hasn't been a word about her since, and she is not a wagering interest in Pool Three.

Jen Morrison, a great friend of racing, is reporting that Vaulcluse suffered a small condylar fracture, and will be out for several months.  Jen pens an excellent blog, and you can read all of her thoughts at the link below:



1.  Similar to the comment lines for claims and trainer changes in the PP's, is there any chance DRF can add a notation when a horse is gelded?  This is the exact type of data that DRF should provide.
Also, wondering if anyone knows whether or not Agnes Gold's dance card is full in Fla (and if so, the quality of mares) because I really want to see some grandchildren of Sunday Silence compete in the states. 
Best of luck to y'all.

First off, welcome to the party!  We would love to add first-time geldings to our past performances, but the reporting of this information is very, very spotty.  Horsemen report changes to the stewards, and then the racing office takes its time sending the information to the Jockey Club.  Then, after all that, we receive the information, usually weeks late.  California seems to be the best state as it pertains to reporting first time geldings.  You'll see them listed in the program. 
I don't really know much about MACs so I can't be of much help on your second question. 

Here is Agnes Gold's webpage from Lambholm South:



Let's talk about Harlem Rocker, Salute the Sarge, and some top tens in tomorrow's blog.

Take care,


Bobbeaux More than 1 year ago
In California for the Santa Anita Derby. Picks for the preps this weekend: With a wet track certain in New York, it is hard not to play War Pass on top. I love the improvement pattern of Texas Wildcatter, so I think he will hit the board. I think the rabbit was a smart idea by Mott, but the conditions tip the scale back to the WP. War Pass Texas Wildcatter Court Vision On the home front at Hawthorne I am intrigued by the notion that David Carroll timed this move because he think Denis of Cork will peak in the next race after this weekend -- aka the KY Derby. I'll trust that he's right, and go with Golden Spikes in th upset. He is just the kind of horse that could get on the lead there and get home. Atoned knows how to run second, so what the heck. Golden Spikes Atoned Denis of Cork AT SA, my heart is with El Gato Malo and has been all year. Bob Black Jack should set this up nicely for the top three. El Gato Malo Colonel John Yankee Bravo
Afi More than 1 year ago
Tony Kelso, When can I send Big Brown over? I have him dressed and all ready to go :) Wait a second ... I might change my mind. Danzig sired 1,074 foals ... I'm not sure who has the record (is it Wilt Chamberlain?). Last year's Derby winner stands for 75K. I'm not sure we could approach 1,074 at 75K a pop, but there's over 80 mil ... course we're gonna need to win the Derby to get that also. Yeah, I'm selling. With the money, I'd hire a staff of all the Blue Boxers and we'd go buy the next round of triple crown hopefulls.
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Steve V, Thanks for the clarification. But, I've got to tell you, I don't think any of those assistants are doing anything without their boss' direction/approval... I think the multiple location stable trainers know exactly what's going on in their barns... I think you and I are defining "super trainer" differently. I refer to the large multi-location operations as National Trainers and then the trainers that are suspected of miracle work as Super Trainers. I think that I may have gotten this originally from Andy Beyer quite a few years ago...
Jason G More than 1 year ago
Ray M, Your first visit to a track was to Aqueduct and you stayed a fan???? Just playing man, I've been there, man, that place is depressing. I'm posting my picks for some of this weekends races. I have only glanced at these, so nobody actually use them. Work is killing me these days I won't even be able to watch teh races Saturday, and what a day to miss! Good luck to everyone. Wood - War Pass crushes this field, this to me is the weakest triple crown prep of the day and War Pass is much much the best of these even if he has a semi off day. SA Derby - Love El Gato Malo. I was a skeptic early on, but the more I look at this horse the more I like him. Colonel John got perfect trip last out and EGM was getting to him at the end which answered any distance questions I had. I think EGM is legit derby threat, and will show it Saturday easily avenging his last defeat. Illinois - Dennis of Cork, although I'm a little concerned about the layoff and his connections saying they just want him to cash a check and come out clean, makes me think they might tell the jock not to use him up here and go all out for the win. Would not be surprised if Atoned got a perfect trip and beat him. But the pick has to be Dennis of Cork Ashland - I'm going upset special, I like Dsharpsonata. I think this horse is underated, she's tough as nails, 6/9 lifetime and won on all surfaces against quality horses. Think the top two are a little overated. Beating Indian Blessing doesn't do much for me, that horse is clearly a sprinter. Also, Country Star has been off a little while and I'm not sure what she's beaten. I'll take the fighter that is razor sharp. Apple Blossom - Ginger Punch, I like Zenyatta, but think she's in over her head here with the champ right now. This one seems like might have some issues too, and no bute is worrysome. Ginger Punch gets easy lead, should be race over. Oaklawn Handicap - I really like Heatseaker. THat was a solid field he beat last out, and I think this horse is really coming into his own and peaking right now. I think after Curlin, he might be the 2nd best older dirt horse in the country or at least right there. He gets legit in peoples mind after this race. Good Luck people, enjoy what looks like a spectacular weekend of racing, I'll be there with ya in spirit!
Steve V. More than 1 year ago
Blue, Nor do I think Kiaran is a cheater. He just fits the bill as a "super trainer" just as Bobby Frankel and others w/ multiple strings at various racetracks. Those comments were regarded towards trainers who may get these infractions, and it may really not be their fault b/c they are only one person who have to manage hundreds of horses.
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Steve V, I just want to say that I don't know for certain but I don't think that Kiaran McLaughlin cheats. He does get some very nice horses from Shadwell, Darley, and others... I think that the one relatively minor suspension last year did legitmately happen as a result of barn error... The key red flag is multiple infractions and the hard core medications (if they consistently break the rules on minor things for advantage, certainly they'd break the rules for things that might be undetectable and provide a major advantage) and Kiaran doesn't fit this profile... Also, I can't say that I've seen a consistent pattern of his horses showing the performance enhancement appearance of artificially enhanced red blood cell count (while others fit the pattern...)... I really like Kiaran and I do hope he's not a cheater...
Steve V. More than 1 year ago
Blue Horseshoe, Just what I supposed, and very well put by yourself. I can not believe the well respected owners and horsemen who have recently gave Dutrow their horses. I don't blame them for going to Pletcher (my dad knows him very well too). He is all about his business, and runs a tight ship. But, Dutrow can be a little of the wall w/ all his shenanigans and the like, although he has toned it down a bit now that he has an abundance of world class runners. Another thing I am thinking about when it comes to Pletcher, Dutrow, Asmussen, McLaughlin, Lake, and other "super-trainers" that are all over the nation. As an owner- how much time is your horse really being trained by the actual "trainer"? That will make you think about who deserves the credit w/ some of the winners. That also makes you think about what happens when these guys getted popped for medication or drug violations-- How much can these trainers really see what's going on? They can only be in one place at a time. And sometimes they are at sales, out of the country looking at horses, at traing centers, at farms, shifting from track to track, and then God-forbid have any kind of social life.
jrzingg More than 1 year ago
I'm 64 years old and been playing the races for 50+ years. It's easier now only because there are less horses in races now. 5,6 horse fields verses 12, 13 horse fields.Thanks for the Charlie Hatton article, Swaps was a good horse, but I always thought that great horses carried and won with more than 130 pounds. Back when we had really had handicaps I thought 130+ were thr only true champions!
jlove More than 1 year ago
Wow I wanna have a group hug? Not only can we discuss gambling openly without guilt but when you give out a bonafide loser you get a support system back. I'll use this as my get out of jail free card and appreciate not being ostracized. Ed, I did not bet the farm just a few hens and some goats but as Steve V said the game is humbling. I have to say though when I get an entry email on a horse from my DRF Watch list I do get this twinge of excitement. I look to see if I have to beat any worldbeaters (those of you who saw race 9 at AQU know for sure there were no worldbeaters including the horse I selected) and then I ponder my risk. So I do agree that we move on as Blue Horsehoe said to the next day but I will say I did find it interesting that the trainer of my pick actually claimed Parisella's filly in the same race. On to better and brighter...so my question to the group is without knowing the results of the big weekend ahead...who do you anticipate to be the best VALUE play in the future pool 3? This is not - who is going to win but rather who do you think will make the gate for the derby and have the largest disparity in odds from pool 3 to post time? I'd love to hear your thoughts and will make my play based on my experienced colleagues. Thanks all, Jlove
Alan More than 1 year ago
C, You're up late for a guy that lives in the city!! Your 15-25min strategy wouldn't work for me for several reasons: 1. I'm primarily a multirace wagerer - I can't just pick one race. 2. For most races involving 3+yo horses, looking at the "older" (>3 races ago) races is IMO critical to successful handicapping - KEE1 is a perfect example. 3. Even for one race/several horses videos, I often have to watch them many times to pick out the trips for each entered horse. For the "big" races, I do watch videos for almost every horse (the Derby is a perfect example as are Breeders' Cup races.) They take me an enormous amount of time - and still, no video analysis will tell me whether that horse looks like a star because he/she is racing against lesser competition (remember the fun we had with the Juvie fillies last fall) - that's were some "objective" number, such as a non-Timeform Beyer, might help. There is a big difference between a variant for the track/day (which again is a mix of subjective and objective but at least should effect all races equally) and adjusting the number for just one race because the Beyer doesn't "look right". Nothing happened to the GP track between races 9 and 10 Saturday (although I heard a rumor they trucked in some old KEE dirt specifically for the Florida Derby!) Any "Beyer upgrade" (let's say they "adjusted" the final Bonnie Miss figure from