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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Freaky Fractions At Sunland

- Walter took out the calculator, and the fractions for the Winstar Oaks, as compared to the Winstar Derby, don't seem to make much sense. Here are the splits for each race (the Oaks was 1 1/16, the Derby a mile and an eighth), followed by Walter's analysis of what seems to be wrong:

23.33, 47.46, 114.27, 139.47, 145.18

22.50, 47.26, 111.63, 136.89, 149.53

After hitting the half-mile in roughly equal time, it somehow took the Oaks leader an extra 2.44 seconds (roughly 15 lengths) to run the next quarter mile? Gimme a break. And then, after losing 2.44 seconds in the span of a quarter-mile, she was somehow able to match them in the next quarter-mile (25.20 to 25.26)? Again, gimme a break. Finally, look at her closing fraction. We're supposed to believe she got her final sixteenth in 5.71 seconds? That's impossible for a two-turn race on dirt, particularly if you're slow enough to run a mile in 139.47. So obviously, the time for the WinStar Oaks is a complete farce (at least after the first half-mile). I was concerned that this would result in an extraordinarily low (and incorrect) Beyer figure for Tough Tiz's Sis. Now, it looks as if it has affected Song of Navarone's Beyer as well. Because the surface variant has apparently been thrown out of whack by the faulty time in the Oaks. And if the timer was wrong for that one (which it definitely was), how do we know it was accurate for the WinStar Derby just a half-hour later?
Tough Tiz's Sis came in with a 79 Beyer, very low, as Walter surmised. Song of Navarone's 102 was faster than the Tampa Bay Derby, which raised some eyebrows here right off the bat (though it doesn't seem impossible when you look at the colt's progressive pattern of Beyers). Perhaps the best way to solve this is to do what was done with Secretariat's Preakness; simply get out a stopwatch and time the replay, or watch the two races side by side. It may be impossible to get exact times watching them pass the poles on a TV or computer screen; but there's such a difference between the fractions of the two races, that absolute precision wouldn't be necessary in this case. Anybody have a stopwatch and some free time?


KH said...

Lined up both races at the same time, synchronizing to the last mile, and the 3/4 filly time jumps out as completely wrong.I'd guess they used the wrong timer light. The boys came home the last mile faster, but nothing too radical. Certainly not 22 points different.
Good catch Walter.

kh said...

SON ran a hand timed, internet video reviewed, ballpark 1:37 for the last mile, while TTS's was about 1:39. They were pretty even down the backstretch and the boys were pulling ahead through the final turn, when synchronized on the final mile. Again nothing radical...

alan said...

I sent emails to Sunland and to Equibase, and Walter said he contacted the Form and Bloodhorse. Let's see if we get any feedback.

Tote Board Brad said...

good work fellas. this is some impressive sleuthing you've done.

alan said...

Got a response from Equibase:

>>Thanks for the inquiry. Equibase does run some QC checks on fractional and final times and we did receive a "kick out" on the final sixteenth split time for the filly race. We are researching all the fractional times and I will let you know what we find out.>>

As Brad said, great work, and kudos to Walter for catching that.