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Comparative Handicapping

Hello everyone. I meant to get these out at the beginning of these primo meetings but time restraints threw a wrench in the works. It's not too late, though. In today's issue I've listed the Beyer speed figure pars for the Del Mar and Saratoga graded stakes races along with the various other classes. Even if you don't us the Beyer figs it's entertaining, I think, to spend some time with these things.

Comparative handicapping - the term comes from one of Quinn's books - will do you damage. A solid standard by which to chart your course is always preferable - eligibility conditions, pars, those kinds of things. Even if you don't use the Beyer figures you might want to give the BRIS/TSN pars some attention. I believe a lot of players out there could show a profit, albeit a small profit, if they could only eliminate one loser in a ten race sequence. Handicapping with standards will help. I hope this issue inspires us all to drop comparative handicapping for "standards" handicapping. Just a short story first: Back when the Beyer figs came out in the Racing Times I actually fell down on my knees and praised the racing gods for their kindness. I was finally relieved of the speed figure assembly-line burden. After all, I was only interested in speed figures for a competitive range that I used with my pace pictures and pace velocity ratings. Not too long after receiving the gift it was taken away when the Times went belly up. I had a small nervous breakdown. And then the Form took over the job. I was happy again.

So like an appreciative devotee I created Beyer par charts for my home track and then later for the simulcast tracks that I played. I discovered that it made more sense to group the various claiming races into brackets. It's just not worth the additional work to chart 25,000 claiming races and then turn around and do it again with 32,000 races - that's a bracket and gets the same par. In my book, a horse is not "moving up" or "dropping down" within a bracket. So I guess the pars are actually bracket pars. It works. Anyway, the Beyer pars are fun to look at if nothing else. But I hope they're useful for you.

Del Mar

G1 Bing Crosby Handicap 112
G1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes 90
G1 Del Mar Oaks 97
G1 Eddie Read Handicap 109
G1 John C. Mabee Handicap 102
G1 Pacific Classic Stakes 116
G2 Best Pal Stakes 93
G2 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap 101
G2 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap 107
G2 Del Mar Derby 101
G2 Del Mar Futurity 93
G2 Del Mar Handicap 105
G2 La Jolla Handicap 97
G2 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap 100
G2 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap 109
G2 San Clemente Handicap 95
G2 San Diego Handicap 107
G3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap 102
G3 Sorrento Stakes 85

(For the following classes subtract 6 points for fillies and mares)
Restricted and Open stakes 108 (Turf 103)
Overnight Handicap 104 (Turf 100)
Allowance NW3 102 (Turf 99)
Allowance NW2 100 (Turf 97)
Allowance NW1 96 (Turf 94)
Claiming above 50,000 (OC included) 101 (Turf 96)
35K-50K 95 (Turf 92)
20K-35K 90 16K-20K 87
Maiden Special Weight 88 (Turf 85)

I avoid pars for Maiden Claimers. I look for superior pace ability and one of the top three speed figures.

Saratoga

G1 Alabama Stakes 104
G1 Ballerina Stakes 104
G1 Diana Stakes 103
G1 Forego Stakes 112
G1 Go For Wand Handicap 103
G1 Hopeful Stakes 94
G1 King's Bishop Stakes 108
G1 Personal Ensign Stakes 103
G1 Spinaway Stakes 105
G1 Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes 107
G1 Test Stakes 103
G1 Travers Stakes 110
G1 Whitney Handicap 115
G1 Woodward Stakes 106
G2 Adirondack Stakes 87
G2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap 114
G2 Amsterdam Stakes 103
G2 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap 101
G2 Bernard Baruch Handicap 106
G2 Fourstardave Handicap 106
G2 Honorable Miss Handicap 102
G2 Jim Dandy Stakes 109
G2 Lake Placid Stakes 96
G2 National Museum Of Racing Hall Of Fame Stakes 98
G2 Sanford Stakes 94
G2 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap 112
G2 Saratoga Special Stakes 93
G3 Glens Falls Handicap 97
G3 Lake George Stakes 94
G3 Saranac Stakes 99
G3 Schuylerville Stakes 83

(For the following classes subtract 6 points for fillies and mares)

Restricted and Open stakes 105 (Turf 102)
Classified Allowance 103 (Turf 100)
Allowance NW3 102 (Turf 98)
Allowance NW2 100 (Turf 95)
Allowance NW1 98 (Turf 92)
Claiming above 50,000 (OC included) 100 (Turf 95)
35K-50K 95 (Turf 92)
20K-35K 90 (Turf 90)
Maiden Special Weight 88 (Turf 86)

Once again I avoid pars for Maiden Claimers. I look for superior pace ability and one of the top three speed figures.

I believe I've mentioned this before.......I think the Beyer figs should be the industry standard. When a big horse runs fast nobody cares what the BRIS or TSN number is do they? I don't. I want to know what the pace was relative to par and the Beyer figure for the big horse in its big race. For example, Ghostzapper ran a 123 (par 110) and the pace of the race was a fast 5. See? That feels good.