A couple of new features are now available in our result charts. You can now scroll through all of the races on that day’s card by clicking either the arrows to the left or right of the race number to proceed to the prior or next race….or on the race number itself to get a drop down from which to select. Now you can see how a track was playing on a particular day to help put the performance of the horse you are looking at in better context.
And let me please mention once again how the trainers appear directly under the horse, so that you don’t have to look at the bottom for a line list and then go back to try and match them up. Next up in the results charts will be what we are referring to as a ‘continuum’ of each’s horse’s prior – and subsequent – speed figures, as well as more information about each race in the boxes. So, you’ll be able to scroll back beyond the three races we’re presently showing, and forward to see how each horse has done since the race portrayed in the chart.
– The hype for the Shared Belief continues to build after his win in the CashCall, with his course to the Kentucky Derby already being plotted. (Some nice publicity for CashCall as well. And note that even the LA Times can’t decide whether to put a space in the name.)
I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but I generally prefer to see a horse actually run on dirt before being handed the roses in December. We’ve been reading how his Beyer figure of 106 is the best by a two-year old this year, higher than those earned in the Kentucky Derby, etc., For now, we’re sticking to our story, as explained in this post, that his final time was illogical in the context of the prior races on the card, and of the prior figures earned by the horses in the race, necessitating a split of the track variant when calculating our TFUS speed figure on the theory that the synthetic track had to have changed prior to the race.
The Beyer folks did not take the same approach. But, as explained in this totally excellent piece by our Doug Salvatore on the Horse Racing Nation blog, they did exactly that for the same race in 1989, when Grand Canyon shattered the
Teletimer clock with a 1:33 mark for the mile that, as reported by Doug, “still stands as the fastest mile ever run by a two-year-old on dirt.” Without splitting the variant, that would have registered as a 120 on the Beyer scale which, it was reasoned, was “impossible.” The final time by Shared Belief doesn’t quite fall into that category, but it raised enough alarms with our Chief Figure Guy Craig Milkowski that he took the measures that he did.
To put Shared Belief’s effort into perspective from our standpoint, here is where it ranks amongst the top TFUS speed figures earned by two-year olds this year:
Havana – 110 – Champagne Stakes – Belmont (dirt)
Havana – 108 – 8/23 Maiden Sp Wt – Saratoga (dirt)
Peace Mission – 108 – 10/27 Maiden Sp Wt – Belmont (dirt)
Strong Mandate – 107 – Hopeful Stakes – Saratoga (muddy dirt)
Top Fortitude – 106 – 11/16 Maiden Sp Wt – Hollywood (synth)
Honor Code – 105 – Champagne Stakes (winner) – Belmont (dirt)
Surfing USA – 104 – 10/27 Maiden Sp Wt – Belmont (dirt)
Hardly – 103 – 11/17 Maiden Sp Wt – Aqueduct (turf)
Ride On Curlin – 103 – Champagne Stakes – Belmont (dirt)
Cairo Prince – 103 – Nashua Stakes – Aqueduct (dirt)
Shared Belief – 103 – CashCall Futurity – Hollywood (synth)
Obviously not the best of the year for juveniles on our scale. Still, we don’t mean to demean his performance; and no speed figures take into account the kind of sheer dominance with which he won (after a perfect trip behind a 131-1 shot and a 26-1 shot). And again, we will be keeping a close eye on this as Shared Belief and the others from the race – and the others run that day – start to run back.
As far as the surface question goes, Doug relays some skepticism from Jeff Siegel (whom he most appropriately describes as the ‘excellent HRTV commentator’) in his piece. His TFUS pedigree ratings are rather inconclusive on the subject. His rating for dirt routes is 79, as compared to 87 for dirt sprints, and 83 for synth routes (the conditions for the CashCall). Not a bad number to be sure, but not something to go running to the futures market over either, especially considering all the publicity he is getting at this time.