05/21/2008 11:50PM

Triple Crown Figs


Here are the Beyer Speed Figures for all the Triple Crown races since 1992, the year they were first published in DRF (after first appearing in print in The Racing Times in 1991):

Source: American Racing Manual

Big Brown is the seventh horse in this stretch to be bidding for a Triple Crown. The previous six all ran higher combined BSF's, by 6 to 24 points, in the first two legs:

Silver Charm 115/118 = 233
Smarty Jones 107/118 = 225
Funny Cide 109/114 = 223
War Emblem 114/109 = 223
Real Quiet 107/111 =218
Charismatic 108/107 = 215
Big Brown 109/100 = 209

Now of course, BSF's don't incorporate the fact that Big Brown was restrained down the backstretch and geared down during the final furlong of the Preakness, that he raced wide on both turns of the Derby, that he has made only five career starts, that he has dominated unusually weak competition without being fully extended, and looked magnificent doing it.

Still, interesting.

Isabel More than 1 year ago
It would be great to have a Triple Crown winner that wasn't pumped the 15th of every month with Winstrol. I miss the excitement of competition: Secretariat/Sham; Seattle Slew/Run Shady Run and Affirmed/Alydar. Five races does not make a champion. Let's not forget the great Cigar!
richiebee More than 1 year ago
In re Secretariat: Near the end of his 3YO season, Sec won the Man of War at 1-1/2 miles on TURF at Belmont, setting a course record (2:24.4) which stood, I believe for 28 years. He ended his career by defeating older horses in a Grade 1 turf race at Woodbine, the Canadian International Stakes. In that race Secretariat defeated top turfers Kennedy Road and Big Spruce. Secretariat was named champion turf male in 1973. Considering the Triple Crown in which he set 2 stake records which still stand, the 2 stake wins on the turf and the recognition as champion turf male (in addition to champion 3YO and Horse of the Year), this was an exceptional 3YO campaign, maybe the best ever, and the turf achievements are sometimes overlooked.
C More than 1 year ago
spectacularbid, "secretariat beat up on bad horses with a couple of exceptions notably sham and riva ridge" Newsflash: that's about 2 more than Big Brown has beaten thus far. To his credit, BB has beaten everyone that's lined up against him. However, Secretariat whipped Hall of Famer Cougar II, not to mention Big Spruce and 4-time Canadian champion and Queens Plate winner Kennedy Road, in addition to Sham, Riva Ridge and Forego. "secretariat was a creation of the media and a useful race horse." The media didn't put 31 lengths between him and the rest of the Belmont field, nor did it win any other races for him. "Useful" is one way to put it. I wouldn't mind having a horse that runs each quarter of a 10 furlong race faster than the previous quarter (continuous acceleration) and finishes in record time. By the way, he ran the first 10 furlongs of the Belmont even faster than he ran in the Derby. "first of all his time was 2:24 4/5. i do not believe it was a world record at the time and it certainly isn't now." It's still the 1 1/2 track record on the Belmont turf. His (at the time) WORLD record for 1 1/8 was set in the Marlboro Cup. "the number of items available on ebay is a great metric to use to judge greatness. i just searched ebay for big brown items and there are 1355 so i guess that settles it. big brown is far superior to big red." So I suppose Hannah Montana can outrun both of them. What kind of logic is that? If you want to believe that last sentence, I can't stop you. ============================= Mike and Justin, Believe it or not, there ARE handicappers out there that do not use speed figures of any kind. I am one of them. I WATCH races and could honestly care less what Beyer, Ragozin, or BrisNet thinks about them. I have never used ANY of them and guess what... I'm still here. A few things to consider: (a) Speed figures have not been around forever. (b) Where's the value in using Beyers anyway? Most horses with a Beyer advantage go off at short odds... and almost all of those horses usually possess other positive qualities in their Form, so where's the independent information? (c) Perhaps what Laura is trying to say is that handicapping has reached an absurd level of technical precision. I'm not just talking about speed figures... do we really need times in hundredths of a second? Anyway, let's put it this way... if you need numbers (Beyers, sheets, whatever) to tell you that Big Brown MIGHT be better than the other 3YOs this year, then you're in big trouble and should probably get out while you can. Talk about "easy pickings".
laura More than 1 year ago
I apologize for my strongly worded post and after re-reading it, I realize it didn't convey what I meant. I understand this is mainly a handicapping blog. My comment was that I feel too much emphasis is given to paper and not enough to looking at the horse. If "on paper" you absolutely love your pick, but don't take the time to look at the horse in the paddock or on the track it see how it behaves, (washed-out, unhappy, etc.) all the numbers in the world won't mean a thing. Again, you're right, my former post wasn't fair. It just gets frustrating reading all about numbers and it seems others have lost sight of everything except the numbers.
Justin More than 1 year ago
For Laura and C: Fair enough, C you make very good points. I myself have no clue as what to look for in the paddack, maybe I should watch Jerry Bailey's CD, and for Ms. Laura I understand perfectly. I apologize to you both and to anyone else I offended.
C More than 1 year ago
Justin, The number of tools you use does not coincide with the level of seriousness or the amount you bet. I play P4s regularly, often for more than $144. I'm not a whale by any means, but I'd be considered a semi-serious player. There's a lot of information out there, but there's no law that says you have to consider all of it to be successful. In fact, much of it can throw a player off if they don't take the time to dissect it for themselves to determine if they BELIEVE it... the Sheets figures are a good example for me. I just don't believe an accurate assessment of wind speed, track bias, or ground loss can be made and converted into a meaningful number. So, for me, they are not just another tool to consider... they do not factor into my handicapping at all because I don't believe the math behind them. By the way, my own stubborness (and admitted stupidity) about keying favorites on top in the Derby is the only reason I didn't collect that super. I'll try not to make that mistake again. Below is what I wrote on Illman's blog before the race. I didn't include it to brag or anything like that (as I said, I really felt like an idiot when the super came back $29K with the favorite on top), rather I want to remind you that speed figures are NOT required to find legit value plays. Race-watching provides me with more information than any speed figure or chart could. But everyone is different. I'm not knocking those that use speed figures. To set the record straight and be completely honest about it, my main play in the race was Visionaire and I also used Monba, but you get the idea. ------------------------------ The filly Eight Belles should not be overlooked. She has the most racing experience in the field AND the most wins, albeit against other fillies that she absolutely towers over. She can hold her own here and would not shock me in the least. Tale of Ekati ran a very good race in the Wood, but I have to wonder what it may have taken out of him. He's a nice colt, and I think he's ready to put 2 big back-to-back efforts together. We'll see. Denis of Cork ran lights out in the Southwest, which, I think, was the most impressive prep all season. I didn't like his effort in the Illinois at all, but he never really settled into stride there. Being on the bubble may become a blessing in disguise, as he's had some nice works at CD in the meantime.
Justin More than 1 year ago
I apologize if I offended the $2 or recreational bettor, that wasn't the message of the post.Yes those folks can go to the track and bet there favorite number, the jockeys silk, the color of the horse or whatever they like. My comment was made for the more serious horseplayer who needs some sort of info whether it be the Racing Form, Bris, Trackmaster or whatelse your comfortable with. I can't see anyone making a $144 play into the pick 4 without some sort of handicaping tools. And no I don't need any help picking Big Brown, however speed figures and a form were need to get the ones behind him. And yes for the very serious player times in hundredths can be a very helpful tool.
hz hackenbush More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, a little bit too much has been made of Big Brown's geared-down stretch run (after a wonderful quick burst) and not nearly enough of that absolutely terrific furlong on the backstretch. How much faster would Big Brown's Beyer have been if he had stayed on the inside without checking several lengths back, and found an open path through? As the race was run, Desormeaux did exactly the right thing but clearly - CLEARLY - at the expense of final time. Considering that backstretch sequence, plus the brilliant burst coming off the turn, the 100 Beyer is a pale reflection of the race Big Brown ran.
Unitas More than 1 year ago
Is Seattle Slew considered a "Great" horse? Has he been inducted into the racing hall of fame? Did he capture thoroughbred racings Triple Crown undefeated? A lot of similarities to Big Brown, no? Well, who DID Seattle Slew defeat as a 3yo? All you Big Brown bashers, you sound as though you want to blame BB because of his suspect competition! Big Brown has done whatever he has been asked to do, and has never finished behind one of his contemporaries to date. He has won on turf & dirt, has won on the lead or rated off the early pace, and always finishes his races full of run. He has crushed old myths stating you need to have a solid 2yo campaign to have the needed foundation to go 10 furlongs the 1st Saturday in May(he had 1 race as a 2yo), and that you couldn't win the Derby off of 3 lifetime starts. I understand people trying to beat BB for value, that is part of the game, you will never be a winner financially from a wagering standpoint if you continue to back odds-on horses, but I can hardly understand the derogatory comments directed at this horses ability when, at this point in his career, he has been PERFECT! I understand that it is too early to be calling this animal "great", however, at about 6:30pm Saturday June 7th, we may have to start entertaining the thought that this wonderful 3yo may be one of the greatest 3yo's ever to look through a bridle, based on his accomplishments, like it or not! Must give credit where credit is due, and if he wins The Belmont, he will be only the 12th thoroughbred to wear the Triple Crown. I don't remember Seattle Slew's plaque at the HOF in Saratoga stating that he won the Triple Crown due to inferior competition!
spectacularbid More than 1 year ago
i don't know why everyone talks about secretariat as some kind of wonder horse. he had two nice wins in his career, the belmont and the marborough cup. he also had losses to two former claimers, onion and prove out. his times were impressive because the tracks were like concrete when he was scheduled to race. he also came up in a weak year with sham the only other horse of any quality. he was surely no match for dr fager or damascus or spectacular bid or seattle slew or affirmed or alydar. put all those horses together and big red is off the board. big brown is as good as any horse since spectacular bid. go back and watch his fl derby and then watch how kindly he rated in the ky derby and then watch the overhead of the preakness at the top of the stretch. he is a superior animal and will win the belmont with ease.