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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Notes - Sept 5

- New York's Racing and Wagering board is investigating NYRA's no-bid contract with Getnick and Getnick, and Bennett Liebman, stating the apparent if not the obvious, told the Observer that the Governor may have the association's back on this one.

The MOU says that NYRA "will continue the retention of an independent business integrity counsel" making it appear that the firm of Getnick and Getnick has been grandfathered in."
Any involvement by the Governor in the contract is exactly the point of the probe, apparently instituted at the behest of Joe Bruno, at least according to the Post's report on Monday. A very informed commenter to the Observer post points out that The State racing law was amended when Pataki first became Governor to REQUIRE that all contracts of NYRA in excess of $250,000 be competively bid.....Now Getnick's contract was not bid with a wink wink from Spitzer. Bruno will obviously be hoping that the investigation, besides highlighting the fact that the contract is apparently illegal under current racing law, will turn up a connection between Neil Getnick and Spitzer far more substantial than the token campaign contributions he made to the Gov-to-be in 2004-5.

- Lawyer Ron may have run a couple of seconds slower in the Woodward than he did in the Whitney, but he was given a Beyer figure of 119 (upgraded from the original 118), three points higher than his record-setting performance in the first race. So I'm wondering if maybe they went back and upgraded the Whitney number to the 120+ range that the raw figures had suggested...I'll check that out later. Steve Crist had written in his Cristblog that the Woodward time suggested a figure in that range, but I dunno, common sense seems to suggest that he didn't run quite as fast in the second race as he did in the first. Which would certainly be no disgrace. Midnight Lute was given a whopping 124 for his Forego win. He had never run more than a 105. But Mark Hopkins, in his explanation of why he projected Lawyer Ron's Whitney down from the 120's, said that he felt that the number was impossible based on his prior high of 109. So, why did they give Midnight Lute a......guess I just don't quite understand the mechanics behind these numbers sometimes...

9 Comments:

Handride said...

i think JK rowling's next book will be Andy Beyer and the Mystical Fig

it's all hogwarts, i mean hogwash if you ask me.

Steve D said...

OK...new rule: In order to criticize a Beyer Speed Figure, or the whole process for that matter, bloggers and commenters should be required to read the gospel of Speed Figures: Picking Winners, My $50,000 Year, The Winning Horseplayer, and Beyer on Speed.

The comments show an extreme ignorance of the purpose and process of speed figures.

Say what you will, Beyer will be the first to tell you that figure making is part math, part art.

There is no reason that Lawyer Ron's adjusted down fig two back should have to be changed because they did not adjust his last out fig. Easy Goer's Wood Memorial in 1989 was similiarly downgraded due to the fact that the time was so far from the otherwise solid adjustment of times that day. In Beyer on Speed, this subject is addressed in detail.

Additionally, Midnight Lute's 124 was earned on a day when there were 4 dirt sprints. The number is the number. I think the fact that fast horses like Attila's Storm and High Finance dueled through the half in 45 and change confirms that the track was probably a little slow...making Lute's final time of 1:21 pretty fast.

I would LOVE it if those, like Handride, who think the figs are hogwash would start playing without them...the odds on big fig (I mean, hogwash) horses would skyrocket and yours truly would benefit.

Anonymous said...

Awesome Del Mar P6 carryover beings in 5 minutes. I cannot wait.

Here is my ticket with a couple buddies:

R5: 2,7,8,11
R6: 5
R7: 8,10
R8: 4,8
R9: 4,6
R10: 1,3,7

Total of $192 Lets WIN

-Brett

Anonymous said...

I'm with Steve D. Beyer Figures are not perfect obviously, but they are an invaluable tool to be used in concert with other handicapping methods. For those of you who don't even bother to look at them, great!! I'll take Beyers Speed figures over their handicapping methods anyday.

alan said...

hey, steve d, nice to hear from you. So if the 'number was the number' with Midnight Lute, why wasn't that the case with Lawyer Ron's Whitney? That's what I was asking. Is it because there was a relatively large sampling of sprints?

I think I have a fair idea of the process, I just don't always agree with it. It is art, and art is subjective after all. Having said that, I too consider them to be invaluable. But a healthy skepticism can pay off too, in the opposite way that you describe - going against the crowd that's piling it on the high Beyer horse.

ljk said...

OK... I've read the "gospel" (and the other three books), and before the publication of the Beyer figs in The Racing Times and eventually DRF, wrote a computer program to calculate them for my local tracks. What an advantage at the time.

I'm not a fan of figures as "art". I'm also confused how steve d can say figure making is "part art" but later say "the number is the number".

So Mark Hopkins is sitting in some office somewhere evaluating subtle changes of the surface during the day? Why bother having par times and variants?

There's no way Lawyer Ron's performance in the Woodward was better than the Whitney. I suspect the Whitney fig was adjusted (completely subjectively) partly because the boss posted a piece saying there was no way the time could have been correct. I think everyone was subsequently convinced it was.

alan said...

Even if we accept the Beyers on Lawyer Ron's two races - and by the way, the Whitney was upgraded, but only by a point, to 117 - I think that the visual observation of his trips - specifically, the ground loss in the Whitney - clearly points to that as being the better effort. Since ground loss is not factored into Beyer figs, this shows how one must not blindly follow those numbers and instead use them in conjunction with other factors.

Anonymous said...

I read the book and find Beyer's figs way too subjective for my taste.

If you truly feel a need to rely on figs rather than handicapping yourself there are better products out there, at of course added cost.

I was profitable for the SPA meet precisely because I downgraded Beyer's figs and relied on good old fashioned speed, pace and trip handicapping. You would be surprised how many times the "high fig" horse get the same "high fig" simply by adding the DRF speed and track variant (the old fashioned way).

They are a tool, and as Alan writes, sometimes are more valuable tool when you discover a questionable fig before Beyer's folks go out and adjust them later.

Any fig that regularly gets adjusted after the fact is useless as far as I am concerned until two or three races down the road, once it has been validated vs. future performance(after all the fig players have lost their money blindly wagering on the false high fig).

The equivalent would be a public traded company changing their EPS two quarters in arrears on a regular basis, leads to a great deal of uncertainty.

If this makes me ignorant so be it, I will continue to handicap the old fashioned time consuming way. At least I will know I discoverd my own selection relying on my expertise rather than some Beyer lackey's subjective opinion.

ljk said...

Look, if Mark Hopkins really downgraded LR's Whitney number simply because it was so much higher than anything previous, then he created a completely subjective track variant for ONE RACE. I'm OK if there's a downpour between race 4&5 and you want to calculate two variants for the day, but come on, one race?

Everyone agrees, the Beyer figs are just a tool. They are much better than "simply adding the DRF speed and track variant (the old fashioned way)".

Just print the number - "the number is the number" - and we'll try to decide if the horse freaked, or the track suddenly changed, or even if the timers were wrong.