About the only other methodI was using profitably at the time was trainer studies,and the combinationof the two allowedme to make steadyand substantialprofits. After , however,the landscapeshifteddramatically,to the point wherethe Beyernumberswereunprofitableon their face, andretainedtheir profitability in a few selectedinstances. Today, I usethe figures, but rarely, and havebecome increasinglybold in ignoring them, preferringinsteadhorseswho haveother factorsin their favor, and who will not attractttreattentionof the Beyersnobs,thusensuringhigh payoffson otherwiselogical horses,which is exactly what the speedfigures usedto produce.
Beforeyou get the impressionthat I am hereto bashspeedfigures, let me say that they are a crucial startingpoint in handicapping.
In the last few years,I havepinpointedsomeadvancedspeedhandicappingmethodsthat have mademe thankful that the Form doesthe legwork in compiling the figures, so I can focusinsteadon using them all over the country. I am not going to spendthousandsof hourscompilingfiguresandduplicatingBeyer'sefforts; the only reasonI did so in the past was that the financial rewardswere phenomenal. Insteadof having to make figuresnow, I searchfor ways to use Beyer's.
The following guidelinesshouldbe of help to you in solving the figure ptrzr,le: 1.
Speedfigures earnedbetween furlongs tend to be interchangeable, and shouldbe modified only by distanceconsiderations. Odd distances thosebelow six or greater than ten furlongs often produceaberrationalnumberswhich misleadhandicappers. The most commonsituationoccurswith a two year-oldwho earnsa very high figure at five furlongswhich is neverduplicatedat six and beyond. The only time I rely on odddistancefiguresis for races at the odd distancein question,or when I do not havemore reliable information.
Not every horseimproves fourteenpoints with The 10 Wonder Drug, but many do, and if you use this potential improvementyou can accurately comparethe figuresof a first-lasix horsewith its rivals.
The only exceptionto this rule occurs with stakeshorseswho are alreadyat or neartheir peak. Lasix tendsto make theseanimalsmore consistent.
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Somehorsesimprove as many as 30 or 40 points with Lasix, but this is usually becauseother improvementfactorssuch as developmentor distancecame into play. When a horsedebuts,it often runs poorly. As a result, I add sixteenpoints to its debutfigure to determineits potentialin subsequent starts. The primary exceptionto this rule is a horsewho finishedsecondor third in its debut,who will usuallyapproximatethat figure in their secondstart, and horseswho win their debutseasily, who may be leaving somethingin reserve.
The Winner's Figure. One of the advantagesof having madeBeyer-typespeedfigures myself is that to this day I still havethe beaten-lengths chartmemorized. At a glance,I cancalculatethe winner's speedfigure for any race. Beyer'sbookscontainthis chart, althoughin recentyearshe adjustedhis turf figures so that every distanceis calculatedas if it were 6tlz furlongs. This knowledgeenablesme to calculatethe winner's speedfigure, which can be more importantthan the figure earnedby the horse. The most commonscenariowherethis occursis when a maiden wins by a large margin, and the second-placefinisher has absolutelyno reasonto close the margin.
A horsewho earnsa figure of 80 while losing by a noseis inferior to one who places a dozenlengthsbehinda runawaywinner. In the first case,you know the horsewas not capable of more than In the second,it could haveearneda figure of and still lost. That 80 thus becomesa "lossto a "ratherthanan Consultthe beaten-lengths chartin any of Beyer's bookswhich include it to learn how to make this calculation.
GrowthAnd Development. Two factorswhich wereoverlookeduntil the early 's,but thanls to common-sense handicappers like DaveLitfin, peoplebecameawarethathorses'figuresimprove dramatically during their two and three year-old carnpaigqs. Growth refers to the impact of physicalmanrrity on a horse'sspeedfigure, while developmentrefers to the paceat which the trainerchoosesto developthe horse'stalent. In general,anyhorseundertheageof four is likely to improve with age. As with other forms of improvement,growth will often be displayed suddenly,and at high odds.
Beyer Power Rating. I use this for handicappingolder horses. For maidensand lightly-raced young horses, I use a different formula.
To calculatea Beyer Power Rating, use the secondprovided that either of the top two highestfigure a horsehas earnedin its past-perfonnances, figureswas earnedin a victory. If neitherof the top two figureswere victories, usethe highest figure earnedin victory, or in the absenceof victories,usethe third-highestpower rating shown.
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The utility of this methodis limited. One other adjusment which I make to the Maiden Power Rating occurswhen the winner's Beyer figure was exceptionallyhigh. In some maidenraces,horsescan loseseveralracesto strongcompetition,takea pointclassdrop, and perk up. When a horselosesto a strongspeedfigure, it is alwayspossiblethat it wascapableof nearly matching that figure, but the jockey choseto savethe horsefor victory on anotherday.
Until the horse losesto a weakerfigure, thereis no way of knowing for surehow talentedit is. I alsousethe plus-signto indicate 11 growth. Turf figures shoutd not be used in calculating the Maiden Power Rating, except for turf horses, and dirt figures should be used exclusively for dirt horses. The L2-point Class Rule.
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This is something I have included in my handicapping recently, with success. It applies mainly to hotly contested races where several horses have the same top figure. When this happens, those horses invariably take most of the money, and in the next tier of horses there can be found many live longshots whose odds are ridiculously disproportionate. This is especially true of the exotic wagers, where favorable pace scenarios or other angles can lead you to horses who complete the exacta, trifecta, or superfecta at odds of even orhigher.
Figures And Pace. Pace scenarios can skew the figures, causing very high or low numbers that mislead handicappers, especially at odd distances. Frontrunners who get loose on the lead run points better than normal, as do closers who have a fast pace cut for them by the speedballs.
On the other side of the coin, some horses will earn low figures while wiring fields with fast early fractions and slow final quarters, or coming from behind with very slow fractions. Very often, a speed handicapper will be confronted with a horse who wins at today's class level but earned a low figure. I have found that these horses are worth paying attention to, because a skewed figure can throw the public off the horse when in fact it has a class edge.
In many cases,speedfigurespoint out obviouscontenders,which are then obviouslyoverbet. Time and again,I havebeenrewardedwhenI completelyignorespeedfiguresinmy handicapping,exceptinthe abovecircumstances. Ignoring the figuresis wise only when the public is not ignoring what you are ignoring. If you ignore something the rest of the public is also ignoring, you becomepart of the ignorance. If you ignore what the public is overbetting,you have almostan automaticprocessfor uncoveringvalue in the mutuel pools.
If you think speed figuresare the holy grail, pick up a Form one day and watch the tracks it covers. You won't have to wait long beforeyou find examplesof horseswho win wherethe figuressaid they shouldn't. In the pre-Beyerera, figures werepowerful becauseno onehad them. Now, trainersare consciousof themandplacetheir horsesaccordingly, avoiding the mismatchesof yearsgone by wherea horsecould have a l0-point edgein the numbersfor several racesin its pastperformancesand no one would be the wiser.
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The Beyer Speedfigures taughtme severallessonsabout horseracing. Beyondwhat I learnedabouthow to use the figures,I learnedabouthow the public tendsto ridicule any methodnot approvedby the popularhandicapping authors,and evenwhen a methodis endorsedit is often questioned. Beyer'smethodsimply invadedthe market, and its influenceon the tote boardincreaseduntil the profitability was squeezedout of it. This is going to happen with almostany successfulmethod,and it sendsthe messageto horseplayersthat if you want to capitalizeon a hot methodor angle,the time to do sois zow.
It wasno accidentthat as Lapproached,my horseplayingintensified, and I becauremore and more aggressivein my attemptto squeezeas many goldeneggsfrom the goldengoose beforeit died. In ,I arrogantlythoughtthatmy advantagewould last forever. By the time I realizedthat you cannotcount on your advantagelasting even anotherday, it was almost too late.
Fortunately, I was able to capitalizesubstantiallyon the methodwhen it was still profitable. Pace, Track Bias, Trips And Running Style Outsideof speedfigures, this hasbeenmy breadand butter as a horseplayerfor the last twenty years.
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Having played Yonkersand Roosevelt'shalf-mile harnesstracks in my youth, pace questionswere paramountin my handicapping. Many nightsat Yonkers,you could literally tearup your ticketsif your horsewasnot in front after a quafter-mile. On nights like that, handicappingbecamea simplequestionof which horsewould snatchthe early lead. Consequently,I learnedto plot the paceof a race accuratelyenoughto whereevennow I have no needfor pacecalculationsandpacesoftware,becauseI'm rarely wrongaboutwhich horseswill be contestingthe earlypace, and whenI am wrong, oddsare that the softwareis also wrong.
To thosenot fluent in pace,I would recommend using somekind of pace ratingsfirst. Somegeneralexplanationsand guidelines: Pacemakesthe race. For every distance,thereis an ideal pace. Wait too long to make moveand be but asKeithJoneslikesto say,you'llbe running t2 out of real estateas the wire approaches. The most accurateway to saaminea horse'space is with the Sartin creationof average velocity, wherebythe horse's velocity for each part of the race is combinedto producean averagevelocity.
Horseswho run exceptionallyfastquarterswill oftenhavehigherAV's despiteworsefinishes. Running Style. Most horseshavedistinctrunningstyles,or preferredearlypositions. Speedhorsesare thosewho raceon or nearthe lead. Somehaveto havethe leadin orderto win - thoseare calledfrontrunners.