It seems like every time I get back from Daily Racing Form online I'm compelled to become a consumer advocate for my visitors. On occasion I pay the $9.95 for the DRF+ deal. I pay up just so I can read the Klein articles mostly. I did that this morning. After reading the thing twice, I actually went into a state of disbelief, confusion and then anger. Here's why.
Klein wants to help you with horses coming from Keeneland to Churchill Downs. His bias rating will do just that, he says. Here's how it goes, if most of the winners were from the rear half of the pack (at the first call) then the day's bias rating will inform you that there was a late pace bias. If more races were won from the front half of the pack then the bias rating will inform you that there was an early pace bias. He does a little simple arithmetic to come up with the ratings that range from 300 to Zero. The zero represents a flat out late pace bias. The 300 represents a smoking early bias that day. That's basically it. Most of the ratings were in the 40 to 100 range so most of the days had a late pace bias. Front half, rear half at the first call. That's it. No other factors, variables, are considered.
He didn't consider the pace match ups for the day. How many of the day's races had a pace pressure gauge rating of 15 X 0, say, or a 32 X 2? This one is the most important one and Klein doesn't even consider it. This one alone should show you that the ratings are counterfeit.
He didn't consider the form cycles of the horses involved in each race or class for that matter. These are very difficult to quantify but they are part of the complex mix of factors and should be part of the equation. How many times have you seen a race where the only horse that looked like it could stumble across the finish line was a closer. The least gimpy won the race. Should that one be put in the books as a late bias entry?
He didn't consider whether or not the early pace horses changed leads in the stretch. Spend some time with a library of racing videos with an eye on lead changes in the stretch. If you don't know how to recognize a lead change then learn. You will be surprised how often horses that look to be clear winners stay on the left lead, tire and get passed by a late pace horse. That incidence goes in the Klein ratings as a rear half winner. How would you rate that race?
He didn't include trips. How many times have you seen a strong contender from the front half of the field hung 4 or 5 wide while a closer comes running down the rail for an easy win? Which horse ran the longest distance? Add that one to the late bias column for the day too.
A horse race is an independent event that includes multiple factors. Each factor is weighted in degree differently in each event. It is a fact that 2 + 2 = 4. A different belief cannot change it. A trendline cannot be drawn across independent events and purport to be a forecaster of future independent events. It's a fact and a belief cannot not change it.
If early and late biases exist -or Bigfoot for that matter - the Klein ratings are not the way to go. They're, well, they're just silly.So what do we do with the horses coming form Keeneland to Churchill? I'll continue on as usual. And I'll ask myself how does this horse that has come from Keeneland measure up in THIS match-up on THIS day.