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Whose "Numbers" Are Better?

Postby rmania » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:43 am

If you are an avid handicapper then you know all about the Beyer number. It is a number comprised of many variables including class, speed and distance.

I’ve never been much of a fan of the Beyer number because, in my opinion, it places too much emphasis on class. And, since my forte has always been sprint races, I have come to the conclusion that both class and distance are less of a factor in sprints.. Now don’t get me wrong. I do believe that in some cases class does make a difference. But having a class advantage alone does not turn a slow horse into a fast horse.

Back in the day, when I handicapped from the Daily Racing Form, I paid more attention to speed ratings and track variants. Doing this allowed me to better judge how fast a particular horse really was. If the horse was moving up or down in class I would usually make a slight adjustment to my numbers.

In developing RaceMaker I came up with my own number which, like Beyer, combines a number of variables. I call it the RMS Rating. The big difference is that my number places more emphasis on speed and , when compared to previous RMS Ratings, you can detect potential improvement or regression to be displayed by the horse in the upcoming race. I also designed a tool called Cap-U-Lator which takes the chosen ratings and factors in a few more variables during the comparison..

As an example I’ll break down the use of the RMS Rating in last Saturday’s 1st race at Del Mar (8/14/2010). I chose this race because of the extreme swings in running times that resulted from the RMS Rating comparisons. Also, it just happen 3 days ago (not 3 or 30 years ago).

Using the Cap-U-Lator I performed the comparison one each horse’s most recent RMS Rating with that achieved in its second most recent (2 back) race.

Too make this short, the two biggest swings in projected running times, resulting from the RMS Rating comparison, were with the 6 horse (10 length improvement) and the 7 horse (10 length regression). The improvement to the 6 horse boosted his projected running time to a 6f converted time of 1:11.3. The regression predicted for the 7 horse resulted in a 6f converted time that placed him 4 lengths behind the 6. The 6 horse actually won the race as the longest shot on the board (37-1) and the 7 horse actually finished 4 lengths back.

Now this race was run at 6 1/2f so, to get the actual predicted running time, I ran a simulation which produced a final projected time of 1:18. The actual final time was 1:17.85 which, if rounded like back in the day, would have been recorded as 1:18.

So, I ask again, whose numbers are better?

By the way, the 6 did come out on top through my analysis of the entire race and I posted him as my top choice in a “Selections” forum on another message board.
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