11/03/2013 5:07PM

Beyer: Here's why slower Juvenile got better figure than Juvenile Fillies

Barbara D. Livingston
New Year's Day was awarded an 88 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the BC Juvenile, six points higher than the 1-2 finishers in the faster BC Juvenile Fillies earlier on the same card.

Mucho Macho Man won the biggest race of the Breeders’ Cup, and nobody should be surprised that he earned the biggest Beyer Speed Figure at Santa Anita, a 112.  But racing fans who examine all the figures on Saturday may suspect an error in the stakes for 2-year-olds.  How could New Year’s Day win the Juvenile in slower time than the Juvenile Fillies and earn a higher figure?

New Year’s Day received a figure of 88 after running 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.52. She’s a Tiger and Ria Antonia each got an 82 after covering the same distance in 1:43.02 and finishing a nose apart.

The explanation, said Andrew Beyer, is evidence suggesting that the Santa Anita track was significantly faster for the first two dirt races on the card than it was for the rest of the day.

The Juvenile Fillies was marred by a breakdown and spill that caused significant trouble for at least half of the field.  The top three finishers, who avoided the trouble, had never recorded a figure above 80.  It is implausible that they would run faster than Havana, runner-up in the Juvenile who had recently won the Champagne Stakes with a figure of 93.

The theory that the track was faster early in the day was buttressed by the one dirt race contested before the Juvenile Fillies.  The second race on the card was a minor stakes for 3-year-olds that had drawn a thin field of five, and the winner was a colt who had never earned a figure higher than 91.  Yet he ran seven furlongs in an extraordinarily fast 1:20.76, almost the identical time recorded by the Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Groupie Doll.

“I am confident we are right that the track changed after the first two dirt races,” Beyer said. “But I am mystified by the downhill turf sprints.  I questioned whether the official times were accurate, but our colleague Randy Moss timed the races and confirmed that they were correct.”

Mizdirection, who came into the Turf Sprint with a perfect 5-for-5 record on the downhill course, won the event for a second time by running about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:12.25.  But earlier in the afternoon, a $100,000 stakes race for fillies, in which the top seven finishers were only two lengths apart, was clocked in the identical 1:12.25.   Both races accordingly received the same figure, 94.       


rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I don't care what people think, this stuff does not make any sense half the time. There are far better handicapping tools then this. Common Sense can keep you from losing your shirt
Sean Spinello More than 1 year ago
So because Andy Beyer thinks Flashback shouldn't have run as fast as Judy the Beauty and because She's A Tiger, who ran faster than the colts the last time shouldn't have run faster than the colts this time in his handicapping opinion, he pulls numbers from the air. He uses numbers from past races to create numbers for present races, thereby compounding any errors. His methods are not unsound; there is no method at all. Apocalypse Now for Beyer figures. The Horror, the Horror!
Perl More than 1 year ago
"It is implausible that they would run faster than Havana, runner-up in the Juvenile who had recently won the Champagne Stakes with a figure of 93." Andy, Andy, Andy. Love you pal, but how could someone with your experience make this statement? It's simply wrong on so many levels.
jttf More than 1 year ago
Wouldn't it be nice to know what the track superintendent is doing to the track surface in between races? How much water is being put down, how deep of harrowing is being done, which direction the tractors are traveling and when a track is being sealed. Track speed figures are not as reliable these days because the surfaces can change a great deal with today's equipment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing. This article perfectly illiustrates why Beyer figures need to be used with a heavy grain of salt. A horse runs faster than expected and there is no explanation, so Voila... the track MUST have been faster early in the day. Yet the same thing happens on the turf and the cheaper horse gets the same Beyer as the Breeder's Cup winner. Does anyone else see a slight problem here? And Andy was "mystified". Thank you very much but I shall continue to use the speed figures together with the track variant and adjust them according to my own judgement.
1971 Whippet More than 1 year ago
Once upon a time, the Beyers meant something; not so much anymore. Worse yet, horse racing needs to find out how to get anyone to watch and wager on the product. I couldn't listen to most of the NBC shows. Am I surprised to see how bad the ratings are? Absolutely not.
hoopersremuda More than 1 year ago
quarter horses get official speed indexes based on set principles. why can't thoroughbreds have something similar? At first, I thought the Beyer speed figures were like the AQHA speed indexes. Then I found the E speed figures from Equibase and other speed figures. None of them give the same figures for the same races. I have concluded that since all of them are different, they are just opinions and don't warrant much attention.
John Murphy More than 1 year ago
I can imagine that splitting a variant is a difficult decision. However, I don't like the explanation because it sounds like you are changing the numbers in the first two races to those that you think they should have run, instead of what they did run. When saying you split a variant, there needs to be a plausible reason such as a storm or ???. Otherwise those numbers have to be used down the road with trepidation. Maybe I'm stating the obvious.
John More than 1 year ago
Andrew Beyers lives in the world of "what if's"...............its amazing, how someone can come up with a number, then go back and arbitrarily change it to find the moment ! THE ONLY reason I look at Beyers is for a horses consistancy, or maybe a past couple races, but using them as a viable factor is INSANE ! Speed #'s do a much better job, with the track bias # How long is DRF going to take to realize this PAY TO READ is a BUST ! BUST BUST !
cnieto177j More than 1 year ago
It is kinda amazing how those Unbridled Song's dont like to finish around 2 turns.