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Author Topic: Graded Stakes Committee to use Thoro-Graph numbers  (Read 3735 times)
Horse Voice
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« on: October 23, 2009, 11:10:37 PM »

Graded Stakes Committee will use Thoro-Graph performance figures as part of the upcoming grading process.

Story at:

http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/national-news/2009/October/22/Graded-stakes-committee-to-use-speed-figures.aspx
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Earl Sande
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2009, 06:14:25 PM »

I'm sure they'll still find a way to be biased towards races in New York.
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2009, 07:37:12 PM »

Perhaps -- but if so, it won't be due to any coastal bias inherent to the TG numbers...unlike the Beyer numbers, which I used to have to adjust downward by about 10% when an East Coast horse shipped into the midwest or further west.

The TG numbers are the most fair and consistent of any figure service out there -- that's why I use them.

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Thomas Graham
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2009, 07:38:22 PM »

Should numbers - be it Sheets, TG, Beyer or anyone - be used as a basis for stakes grades?
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2009, 12:46:56 AM »

Should numbers - be it Sheets, TG, Beyer or anyone - be used as a basis for stakes grades?

At the minimum, it's supported by precedent; they used to use BRIS speed figures. Don't know why they got away from those.

Besides, isn't some of the grading of these stakes determined by who actually shows up for the race? You know the old argument: if a bunch of $10K claimers show up for a Grade 3 race, does that make them Grade 3 horses? And is the race really a Grade 3 race?
 
Solid, consistent, and trustworthy performance figures can help answer these kinds of questions objectively, I think -- if applied in a consistent and objective manner. (There's the rub, for the skeptics.)
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Thomas Graham
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2009, 10:14:15 AM »

I didn't realize they used BRIS figs As many readers of this forum know, I am an older person - handicapping from long before the days of Beyer speed figs, or sheets or anything like that and have held my own.  I just don't believe in ANY numbers but to those who swear by them and do well - more power to them as I do believe there is more than one correct way to handicap/bet and only the end result matters.  If you make money picking names, colors, whatever - great.  If you use BSF, BRIS, TG, Sheets or voodoo and it works - great.  Me, I use the DRF, basic trip notes (which I now have to write down as my memory isn't what it once was) and common sense and do just fine.  Of course, I bet so little anyway, that perhaps its just the idea of shelling out anything over and above the price of the DRF is what gets me.

Anyway, the graded stakes system is so flawed IMHO amyway, I doubt this idea can make it any worse.

Happy Sunday all.

TJG
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2009, 03:53:45 PM »

Anyway, the graded stakes system is so flawed IMHO amyway, I doubt this idea can make it any worse.

It could make the system better, but it's going to take guts to tell "Swanky Track X" that their Big Big Grade I race, "The Snobbiblob", is being downgraded due to recent substandard participation and resulting poor performance figures of same.

It would be pretty cut and dried if the TG guys themselves were making the call ("nobody in here can less than a 2?...sorry, not a Grade I race"), but put those same numbers in the hands of people who influenced by things other than hard numbers, and all bets are off.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2009, 07:15:39 PM »

It could make the system better, but it's going to take guts to tell "Swanky Track X" that their Big Big Grade I race, "The Snobbiblob", is being downgraded due to recent substandard participation and resulting poor performance figures of same.

It would be pretty cut and dried if the TG guys themselves were making the call ("nobody in here can less than a 2?...sorry, not a Grade I race"), but put those same numbers in the hands of people who influenced by things other than hard numbers, and all bets are off.

Well, of course we know those numbers are flawed and highly subjective anyhow, so why anyone should grade races based on them is questionable to begin with. It's just one factor to consider, assuming you think they mean anything.

Let Thorograph or The Sheets make their own grading system for races. See who cares.
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2009, 09:01:43 PM »

Well, of course we know those numbers are flawed and highly subjective anyhow

"We"? We who?

...so why anyone should grade races based on them is questionable to begin with.

Oh, really? This is you, questioning the wisdom of the American Graded Stakes Committee? Exactly what is your experience in assessing and grading stakes races in this country? Is it your premise that you are smarter than all of those guys, too?

It's just one factor to consider, assuming you think they mean anything.

Doesn't matter what you or I think -- this is the Graded Stakes Committee's decision to use TG numbers to assist them in their decision-making process. Maybe you should call them, and set them straight. I'm sure they've heard of you and are waiting for you to weigh in with your opinion.

Let Thorograph or The Sheets make their own grading system for races. See who cares.

Well, indirectly, TG will be doing just that. And track owners, horse breeders, and horse owners DO care about things like that -- your eminent wisdom and all-encompassing knowledge notwithstanding.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2009, 10:59:41 PM »

"We"? We who?

"Everyone".

The same "everyone" who knows that if sheets numbers were all that accurate and predictive, every horse would pay $2.10 ... but they don't.

Quote
oh, really? This is you, questioning the wisdom of the American Graded Stakes Committee? Exactly what is your experience in assessing and grading stakes races in this country? Is it your premise that you are smarter than all of those guys, too?

They're getting some numbers for free as a promo. Big deal.

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Doesn't matter what you or I think -- this is the Graded Stakes Committee's decision to use TG numbers to assist them in their decision-making process.

They got some numbers as a promo. Just like they used to get BRIS numbers as a promo.

Quote
Maybe you should call them, and set them straight. I'm sure they've heard of you and are waiting for you to weigh in with your opinion.

Not at all. They have more sense than to blow a gasket over minor tweaking, like you are doing. People have been 2nd guessing them for years, and their skin is pretty thick.

Quote
Well, indirectly, TG will be doing just that. And track owners, horse breeders, and horse owners DO care about things like that -- your eminent wisdom and all-encompassing knowledge notwithstanding.

Yes, yes. So popular, and so widely accepted it remains a small, small cult, even to this day. Go figure - the Holy Grail, and people are too dumb to find it.
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Exbourne
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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2009, 11:33:52 PM »

Im gonna get beat up for this...
The numbers dont lie...At Least for stakes horses.
Claimers is a different story.
But True stake runners hold there numbers to a certain extent
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2009, 11:37:32 PM »

Im gonna get beat up for this...
The numbers dont lie...At Least for stakes horses.
Claimers is a different story.
But True stake runners hold there numbers to a certain extent

No doubt that's why there's never any dispute between TG and Ragozin sheets numbers for horses.
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2009, 02:13:37 AM »

"Everyone".

The same "everyone" who knows that if sheets numbers were all that accurate and predictive, every horse would pay $2.10 ... but they don't.

That the same line of bullshit you have been spouting for years.

The numbers are an accurate representation of the performances recorded, per their methodology. You can't refute this, because you simply don't have any proof to the contrary. (Unless you DO have their formulas, methodology, etc., and can prove that they have been applying these incorrectly to the raw data.)

But predictive? Who said the numbers themselves were predictive? That's your baggage, your spin, the crud you've been spewing to discredit TG and other numbers services. It's not clever at all.

The predictive part is up to the person reading and applying the numbers. Thoro-Graph DOES NOT make that claim.

Therefore, your premise that the numbers are "flawed and highly subjective" has no foundation whatsoever.

Yes, yes. So popular, and so widely accepted it remains a small, small cult, even to this day. Go figure - the Holy Grail, and people are too dumb to find it.

You said it, I didn't.

Fact is, plenty of people have "found" TG...but many are too lazy to learn how to use the information. I suspect that you are one of these people.

(On a larger scale, we see this every day in the real world, away from horse racing: many people either know or can figure out what it takes to be successful, but they don't do it, because it takes WORK and THINKING and EFFORT. The most thought the average schmuck puts into anything is counting down the hours until he can get off of work and open his next can of beer.)

Don't know about this "small, small cult" thing -- as if hordes of people using a particular product is the only empirical proof of it's value -- but OK, let's run with it for a few minutes:

* a small, small number of trainers uses TG on a regular basis to manage their stables and evaluate potential claims and purchases. No one has ever heard of these cultista trainers, either: Steve Asmussen, Scott Lake, Vladmir Cerin, King Leatherbury, Doug O'Neill...to name a few. All zero percent guys, complete failures, all of them.

* only 82 stakes winners have been recommended for, and subsequently purchased by, clients of Thoro-Graph. But these were obscure horses that no one outside the cult has every heard of: Student Council, Victory Gallop, Distorted Humor, Da Hoss,  Rachel Alexandra...to name a few.

* Owner Ro Parra said in an interview with BloodHorse.com that his racing stable "did not begin competing and winning Graded stakes races on a regular basis until we hired Thoro-Graph and Jerry Brown back in 2003". But no one has ever heard of Ro Parra or Millenium Farms. Must be one of those small-timers from Ruidoso Downs, or Kamloops. 

* only complete "nobody" horseplayers that no one has ever heard of use TG regularly, and have openly credited TG for their assistance in taking down major contests, such as Roger Neubauer, Paul Shurman, Cheryl Kaufman, Ron Geary, Howard Hong...to name a few.

(Hmm...not very many at all, I must admit. Just some of the most successful in their respective categories. Just a fluke, I'm sure.)

Yeah...pathetic, flaming idiot lemmings, these TG cultists. And you are smarter than every one of them, too. I don't know how you ever leave the house, what with that giant, swelled up head of yours. 
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Earl Sande
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 07:30:36 AM »

"We"? We who?

Oh, really? This is you, questioning the wisdom of the American Graded Stakes Committee? Exactly what is your experience in assessing and grading stakes races in this country? Is it your premise that you are smarter than all of those guys, too?


The American Graded Stakes Committee is like the U.S. Senate --- all you have to do is look at the results. We've got to be smarter than they are!
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2009, 09:53:47 AM »

The American Graded Stakes Committee is like the U.S. Senate --- all you have to do is look at the results.

Well, then maybe this is where data Thoro-Graph can help most -- to make more sense of how stakes races are graded.

We've got to be smarter than they are!

I get the joke, Earl, but this is no laughing matter to breeders and owners. The coveted "Black Type" sells horses. It's important that U.S. Graded Stakes ratings recapture some of their former credibility.

The next rating session starts December 2, I believe. We'll see if these guys shake things up a little, or if they just go with the status quo; if it's the former, New York racing could be in for a bit of a shock.
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NIATROSS
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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2009, 10:11:47 AM »

Doesn't the US have a greater % of their races listed as graded stakes vs all of Europe combined ?


The one thing I would like to see is having a minimum amount of starters in a G3 or above stake.I do believe there are more graded races then 25-30 yrs ago thus diluting the fields and the quality of the race IMO.
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2009, 11:23:07 AM »

I do believe there are more graded races then 25-30 yrs ago thus diluting the fields and the quality of the race IMO.

I'm with ya on this 'Tross. Too many of them...and not a sharp enough pencil being applied to some existing ones. As an example, (local racing fans will have a fit about this, but) IMO the Arlington Million hasn't been a Grade I contest for years.

To be clear, it is only a HOPE of mine that the Committee can use Thoro-Graph information effectively to at least achieve some parity across the land, so that the Grades actually mean something. I can't offer any guarantees. I suspect that Thoro-Graph will be watching the Committee's moves closely, though, and that they won't tolerate an ongoing association of bullshit stakes race rankings to their flagship product.

The bottom line is: if Committee members won't grow a pair and do the right thing with some of these overrated stakes, it won't matter if the data was handed down from the Mt. Sinai on stone tablets.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2009, 11:47:26 AM »

The numbers are an accurate representation of the performances recorded, per their methodology.

Yes, per their flawed and subjective methodology.

Quote
You can't refute this, because you simply don't have any proof to the contrary. (Unless you DO have their formulas, methodology, etc., and can prove that they have been applying these incorrectly to the raw data.)

I do know that the TG's and The Sheets treat some very subjective adjustments like ground loss and wind different than the other guy, so one of them is wrong/flawed every race. Which one? Who knows?

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But predictive? Who said the numbers themselves were predictive?

You are correct, it was not in this thread, it's merely holdover baggage from previous claims on the part of various Sheets users. The issue here is the use of subjective numbers like TG (or any speed fig) in grading stakes races, especially numbers that supposedly prove horses are getting faster every day, and - as you rightly point out - no one really knows what went into making that sausage.   

Quote
(On a larger scale, we see this every day in the real world, away from horse racing: many people either know or can figure out what it takes to be successful, but they don't do it, because it takes WORK and THINKING and EFFORT. The most thought the average schmuck puts into anything is counting down the hours until he can get off of work and open his next can of beer.)

Or, maybe he discovers for himself, or observes in others, that numbers in a $6 newspaper produce just as well when it comes to the only real item of importance, predicting what is going to happen in today's race - because as we all know, numbers themselves are not predictive, it's what you do with them.

Quote
Don't know about this "small, small cult" thing -- as if hordes of people using a particular product is the only empirical proof of it's value -- but OK, let's run with it for a few minutes:

Blah blah blah on the relatively small list of names of TG people and horses, dwarfed by the numbers and names of winners NOT on it. Yeah, whatever.
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2009, 12:51:14 PM »

Yes, per their flawed and subjective methodology.

Got any hard evidence to back up this assertion?

Or, maybe he discovers for himself, or observes in others, that numbers in a $6 newspaper produce just as well when it comes to the only real item of importance, predicting what is going to happen in today's race - because as we all know, numbers themselves are not predictive, it's what you do with them.

That's a fairly breezy assessment. Tell us whether YOU have actually put in the time and effort to use TG or the Rags -- this "observes in others" stuff is a much too convenient way out for (as mentioned before) someone who doesn't want to do the work.

Blah blah blah on the relatively small list of names of TG people and horses, dwarfed by the numbers and names of winners NOT on it. Yeah, whatever.

Quality over quantity, bud.

Top trainers in the land...Rachel Alexandra recommended for purchase WAY before anyone in the mainstream heard of her...top handicappers / bettors...all stacked against you're trite dismissal of TG as an insignificant "cult".

Your credentials? You've owned the ass end of some insignificant platers, never trained a horse, never won a contest of any sort, and your posts run all over the Internet like diarrhea -- EXCEPT when it comes to selections and online contests... then, your fingers mysteriously lock up.

Gee, who should we believe?  Roll Eyes
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APCD Dan
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2009, 02:41:45 PM »

>>>Your credentials? You've owned the ass end of some insignificant platers, never trained a horse, never won a contest of any sort, and your posts run all over the Internet like diarrhea -- EXCEPT when it comes to selections and online contests... then, your fingers mysteriously lock up.

Gee, who should we believe?  <<<

This a great summation of Terry, HV.  In all fairness, though, he is busy doing some kind of personal-type report on which ADW is the best.
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APCD Dan
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« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2009, 02:46:14 PM »

I know that NY, KY, and CA horses are the best around so there should be more graded races in these states.  I just can't believe that almost every stakes race in these states is graded.  They can't find enough days to host their graded races.  This seems like a bit much.
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NIATROSS
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« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2009, 02:59:03 PM »

I do believe the number of races being run has increased over the last 25 yrs.The foal crops have remained about the same in the 35-37500 range ove the same time period.IMO what they have done with the graded stakes is the same as pro sports have done with expansion.Unless you have a specific team to root for does anyone real watch a whole baseball game before the playoffs ? Does the thought of watching below .500 teams compete in the early rounds of Basketball or Hockey playoffs interest you ?

Increasing the amount of graded stakes with basically the same size crops from yrs ago makes no sense to me.

HV ,

I agree about the Million.The same can be said for the stake in NY that is run about the same time on the turf,the name escapes me at the moment.Same old problem,racing has no master plan just states fending for themselves.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2009, 03:46:08 PM »

Got any hard evidence to back up this assertion?

I already told you two.

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That's a fairly breezy assessment. Tell us whether YOU have actually put in the time and effort to use TG or the Rags

I put in quite a bit of time and effort some years back, and found they were good enough speed numbers, but that the cult-like "sheets reading" was little more than nonsense. When people got it right, it was entirely due to the awesome and magical predictive power of the sheets, but when they got it wrong, it was always due to someone not being a good enough sheet reader, as opposed to the real truth of the matter, which was that whatever they thought they saw in those chicken bones they cast was just plain hooey. It's a self fulfilling prophecy at its worst. A person can make the same sort of "pattern" assumptions off any reasonable set of pp's and spend a lot less money in doing so. It's all about "value", you know.

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-- this "observes in others" stuff is a much too convenient way out for (as mentioned before) someone who doesn't want to do the work.

So say you. You're all about appeals to authority ... when you see sheets authorities falling on their face with their sheets reads, it tells you something you don't need to work very hard at all to learn.

Quote
Top trainers in the land...Rachel Alexandra recommended for purchase WAY before anyone in the mainstream heard of her...top handicappers / bettors...all stacked against you're trite dismissal of TG as an insignificant "cult".

Yes, the vast bulk of the industry that's stacked up on the other side, the non-TG users, make your examples a small cult. I don't know about insignificant, because they've sure managed to talk themselves into racing's consciousness. Your examples were some successful people and horses, to be sure, but they are a small number and do not make up the entire universe of success or anything close to it, and of course, you conveniently failed to mention all the trainers, owners, bloodstock agents, etc. who have based decisions on TG and come up totally empty.

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Your credentials?

Irrelevant to the facts under discussion, as always, as are yours.

The bottom line as far as the Graded Stakes committee is that it is about inclusion of more and more horses in black type, not finding reasons for exclusion. Inclusion sells more expensive horses to more people, because they might get some of their money back at the end if that horse can get some black type. Same reason the Breeders' Cup was expanded. If the TG's get used in any meaningful way at all (besides advertising like a QH S.I.), IMHO it's going to be to justify MORE black type, not find reasons to downgrade races.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2009, 03:48:51 PM »

This a great summation of Terry, HV.  In all fairness, though, he is busy doing some kind of personal-type report on which ADW is the best.

And if we wanted, we could sum you up as "far less actual racing experience/accomplishment than even Terry" - but of course, that never gives you any pause.
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Marcus Hersh
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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2009, 04:20:46 PM »

Perhaps -- but if so, it won't be due to any coastal bias inherent to the TG numbers...unlike the Beyer numbers, which I used to have to adjust downward by about 10% when an East Coast horse shipped into the midwest or further west.


The most extreme i can recall seeing is Great Lakes to about any other dirt track. GLD seemed consistently low by 20-30 points for several years.
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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2009, 04:31:30 PM »

Using the numbers really is only one tool. And it doesn't solve the main problem with the current grading system, namely, that the races are graded BEFORE a group of horses run in them. Grade the races AFTER we know who has run in them, and then you can plug in all the methodologies and come up with a meaningful grade.

I guess the chief argument against grading in retrospect would be that horsepeople want to choose the most important races in advance. But 'best' race easily correlates to 'race with highest purse' if you don't put a grade on the race before it's run.
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General Powell
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2009, 05:17:10 PM »

Using the Million is a bad example, especially if looked at over a five year period. A better local example is the Secretariat, which needs a financial enhancement in a bad way, with the hope of attracting some additional stakes winning horses.  If the TG figures and more objectivity is used, many of the graded races that NYRA puts on should quickly be downgraded or ungraded .
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2009, 05:20:44 PM »

Let's see...first, it's:

I put in quite a bit of time and effort some years back, and found they were good enough speed numbers, but that the cult-like "sheets reading" was little more than nonsense.

Then, later in the same post, it's:

... when you see sheets authorities falling on their face with their sheets reads, it tells you something you don't need to work very hard at all to learn.

So, which is the truth?

A person can make the same sort of "pattern" assumptions off any reasonable set of pp's and spend a lot less money in doing so. It's all about "value", you know.

Not if the data is inconsistent or downright erroneous, as I discovered with the Beyers -- and as an aside, I'd like to thank Marcus Hersh for his comments about the Great Lakes Downs numbers -- that takes incredible guts for someone to post what Mr. Hersh posted about his employer's flagship speed numbers. My experience with Steven Crist and others at DRF is that they are not at all receptive to questions and allegations about faulty Beyer numbers.

Of course it's all about "value", but in many cases, you get what you pay for. Having used Beyer numbers, and then later TG numbers, over a fair number of years, I submit that I am qualified to make such advanced value judgments; you're so hard to pin down that we don't know if you spent time and energy learing to use Sheets, or was it Rags, or maybe it was neither and you watched a friend try it, and do you use Beyers now, or BRIS numbers? For all we know, you might still be using your old "number 4 horse" system -- quite the "value" in that method, mainly in that it leaves more money for beer without much impacting your ROI.

Irrelevant to the facts under discussion, as always, as are yours.

Sorry -- you opened that door by attacking TG & the Rags and their users and customers, so an inquiry into your credentials is completely appropriate. It's not like you've ever come out here and demonstrated even the slightest modicum of handicapping ability, using whatever handicapping methodology / products you use, so for you to come out here are continue to rip on TG users et. al. is the ultimate definition of "blowhard"...a title which will be immediately rescinded if you could cough up just a tiny little bit more credentials other than, "I once had enough money to own shares of cheap racehorses in partnership", and "I post alot to the Internet about horse racing".
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2009, 05:52:24 PM »

Using the Million is a bad example, especially if looked at over a five year period.

I dunno, Joe.

It would seem that Gio Ponti would need to continue to do well to "validate" the Million's ongoing Gr. I status -- the editions with Spirit One and Jambalaya winning vs. "not much" had Grade II written all over them.

That's not a good most recent three-year trend, and I don't think we will see horses of the stature of The Tin Man and Powerscourt again in Chicago for "only" a $1 million purse.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2009, 06:07:07 PM »

Let's see...first, it's:

Then, later in the same post, it's:

So, which is the truth?

Both, as you asked two different questions/made two separate assertions.

I did work on it quite a bit for myself, and I did see recognized experts fall flat on their face a lot, watching which took little to no work. 

No need to dishonestly try and confuse two issues into one.

Quote
Not if the data is inconsistent or downright erroneous, as I discovered with the Beyers -- and as an aside, I'd like to thank Marcus Hersh for his comments about the Great Lakes Downs numbers -- that takes incredible guts for someone to post what Mr. Hersh posted about his employer's flagship speed numbers. My experience with Steven Crist and others at DRF is that they are not at all receptive to questions and allegations about faulty Beyer numbers.

Speaking of which, haunting the two sheets forums from time to time can be quite entertaining, particularly when someone alleges one of the other guy's numbers is wrong ... well, actually that happens quite a bit. 

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Of course it's all about "value", but in many cases, you get what you pay for. Having used Beyer numbers, and then later TG numbers, over a fair number of years, I submit that I am qualified to make such advanced value judgments

You are qualified to say you believe in them and they work for you.

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You're so hard to pin down that we don't know if you spent time and energy learing to use Sheets, or was it Rags, or maybe it was neither and you watched a friend try it, and do you use Beyers now, or BRIS numbers?

You wouldn't have that problem if you didn't intentionally try to confuse issues, as you did above.

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For all we know, you might still be using your old "number 4 horse" system -- quite the "value" in that method, mainly in that it leaves more money for beer without much impacting your ROI.

For all we know, you never did really win any contest at all, as we've never been told exactly what contest that was, and when. I mean, hell, at least when Sway Back claimed to have won a contest, he told us which one that was, so we could check up on his claim.

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Sorry -- you opened that door by attacking TG & the Rags and their users and customers, so an inquiry into your credentials is completely appropriate.

Well, of course, it's always appropriate for you, because it's your standard M.O. to start attacking the messenger to confuse the issue and divert attention. Each and every time. However, each and every time, it is also irrelevant. The numbers either stand on their own merit, or they don't.
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2009, 07:32:23 PM »

Both, as you asked two different questions/made two separate assertions.

No, that's wrong -- it was all part of the same question. I wrote:

That's a fairly breezy assessment. Tell us whether YOU have actually put in the time and effort to use TG or the Rags -- this "observes in others" stuff is a much too convenient way out for (as mentioned before) someone who doesn't want to do the work.

That's one question (or assertion, if you must), that your broke into two pieces.  

I did work on it quite a bit for myself, and I did see recognized experts fall flat on their face a lot, watching which took little to no work.

And yet -- we still can't pin you down.

Was it the Rags -- the Len Ragozin / Len Friedman product, or was it the Sheets -- the Thoro-Graph / Jerry Brown product? And when / how long ago did you make this attempt?

You wouldn't have that problem if you didn't intentionally try to confuse issues, as you did above.

I'm trying to sort things out, to see what YOUR prior experiences are, but if I can't get a straight answer from you, yeah, things might get confused. Don't know where the "intentionally" comes from, unless you are attempting some sort of smokescreen. I'm going to try to ensure that you run out of places to hide on this issue, though.

For all we know, you never did really win any contest at all, as we've never been told exactly what contest that was, and when. I mean, hell, at least when Sway Back claimed to have won a contest, he told us which one that was, so we could check up on his claim.

I prefer to remain anonymous, so think whatever you please about whether I really did win a contest or not. I paid a few bills after I won, then proceeded to piss away most of the money, but in a brief flash of betting genius I bought a shitload of an extremely undervalued stock that is now at almost 11 times what I paid for it -- thank you, market panic over a black president! So I lucked out a bit.  

What is irrefutable is that I have participated in, and won, contests RIGHT HERE on this forum, using Thoro-Graph numbers. (Two posters who were bitter opponents in the political posting wars -- ChiTownSteve and Mel -- were man enough to participate, and then tip their cap to me when I bested them.) You were invited, several times, but you didn't participate -- apparently, your arms, hands, and fingers shrunk back into some sort of upper-body inguinal canals you must have, and you couldn't reach the keyboard. Every time, every contest, no ClockerTerry.

Let's see you spin that.

Well, of course, it's always appropriate for you, because it's your standard M.O. to start attacking the messenger to confuse the issue and divert attention. Each and every time. However, each and every time, it is also irrelevant.

Ah yes -- having run out of semi-valid defenses, out come the even weaker complaint about ad hominem attacks.  Roll Eyes  I surely didn't see that one coming.
 
In this case, YES, the messenger gets attacked, because:

a) you aren't carrying a message for anyone else -- it's YOUR message, and,

b) when asked for some sort of qualifications or credibility or basis for your message, it turns out that it's simply your *opinion*, with hardly any discernable facts or palpable experience presented so that we might trust your opinion.

So, you give us little more that hot air, then complain miserably that you are being attacked when we point out that you just gave us more hot air. WTF is that all about? Are you some kind of "Internet Forum Victim", or something?

The numbers either stand on their own merit, or they don't.

True enough, I suppose.

But YOU, someone who may or may not have any experience with Thoro-Graph (I predict we still won't know long after this thread is old and forgotten), someone who can't and / or won't demonstrate his handicapping ability here, someone who has precious little other credentials other than former partial horse ownership and a shit-ton of Internet posts -- YOU are the self-proclaimed arbiter of whether the TG numbers are in fact standing on their own merit??

Far, far from it. Light-years away. Times infinity. Then add 7, for ground loss, and the radiant value of all of your hot air.  
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« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2009, 08:12:17 PM »

No, that's wrong -- it was all part of the same question. I wrote:

That's one question (or assertion, if you must), that your broke into two pieces.  

You're right, I did, because you falsely linked two unrelated assertions together - one about willingness to do the work, and the other claiming an observation of others proved such an unwillingness. B does NOT follow A.

Quote
And yet -- we still can't pin you down.

Was it the Rags -- the Len Ragozin / Len Friedman product, or was it the Sheets -- the Thoro-Graph / Jerry Brown product? And when / how long ago did you make this attempt?

It was both, mostly Rags, and it was probably at least 10 years ago.

Quote
I'm trying to sort things out, to see what YOUR prior experiences are

I told you what they were. They are good speed numbers, as far as speed numbers go, but the rest of what goes with them, the casting of the chicken bones, is cultist mumbo jumbo, IMHO. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not, even in the most experienced hands. A good knowledge of, and strategy for, betting is far more important to long term success than speed numbers.     

Quote
I prefer to remain anonymous, so think whatever you please about whether I really did win a contest or not.

And meanwhile, my success in the few contests I've ever bothered to play, back when Scott was running them at Hawthorne, is a matter of record on this forum.

Quote
What is irrefutable is that I have participated in, and won, contests RIGHT HERE on this forum

Hey, great. Good for you. How on earth that pertains to the graded stakes committee and their use of TG numbers is beyond me, though. I can't help noticing that you have pointedly ignored the items I specifically pointed out as being subjective and flawed. I think this happened the last time, too, when we were discussing the problem of speed numbers on poly, and how Beyer was manning up and adjusting his, and your "out" on that one was "Sheets players know they have to make a mental adjustment", if I remember that exchange correctly. Are numbers like that something we really want taken very seriously when grading stakes races?
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« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2009, 09:02:36 PM »

I'm not a Sheet user; neither bragging nor questioning their usefullness, just wanted to make that clear before offering my opinion on their participation in this issue.

This reeks of incompetence. That simple. It's akin to allowing the BCS to select college bowl games, or allowing a Heisman Trophy vote to go to writers who might have seen the nominees once that year...maybe.

Watch all the important preps, and then watch them again, and again, and again, if you have to. Analyze the competition, using your own guidelines, not those created by an independent agency, used strictly as a handicapping tool by industry players and gamblers. Even the Win-And-Your-In baloney takes the responsibility off Breeders' Cup official. Find a gaggle of competent people to make tough decisions and roll with it.

While they will make mistakes of omission (probably often), much like the NCAA in March, the list of players will still be a compelling watch (event!) and almost all of the time, the best runners will certainly be included.

Obviously, racing is high objective, but maybe leave enough subjectivity to make it less mechanical. I think the Sheets, Byers, etc. should not be part of the graded equation.
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« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2009, 10:43:55 PM »

I realize i was mixing and matching a graded stakes argument and a Breeders' Cup one, but it's still a matter of qualifying events based on visual evidence, as well as numbers to make decisions. My argument is those numbers should should not include someone elses formula. Let the Graded committee create their own numbers, if they need that kind of numerical data to decide what grades out.
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« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2009, 11:28:09 PM »

It was both, mostly Rags, and it was probably at least 10 years ago.

And meanwhile, my success in the few contests I've ever bothered to play, back when Scott was running them at Hawthorne, is a matter of record on this forum.

Really? I've been around since way before the old forum was destroyed by "Kubrat, the Turkish Hacker", and I've NEVER heard of this, so stating that your success in contests "is a matter of record on this forum" probably isn't true (i.e., not well known here on BTW) -- unless you want to dig out some posts and show me what I've missed.

I believe you, though. I'll extend you that courtesy, even though you challenge and cast doubt on most everything I say I've done and accomplished.

(Lemme think...most recently, cash buy-in contests...couple of years before that, the Mitch D. contests on the 3rd floor...back a couple more years to the Joe Scurto contests..."hot dog and coke" contests a for a few years...)

Hey, when were those Scott M. contests, where you had your success -- about 10 years ago?

Hey, great. Good for you. How on earth that pertains to the graded stakes committee and their use of TG numbers is beyond me, though.

You are deliberately ham-handing the point I was trying to make, which was, you don't use TG numbers (now), and you demonstrate less handicapping knowledge than me and just about anybody else here, yet you'll have us believe that somehow it's YOU that is qualified to pass judgment on things TG related, such as the Graded Stakes Committee using their information for decision making purposes. That's preposterous. I don't care how many different ways you try to shade the issue, spin it, recast it in your own words -- you have no business commenting on this. That won't stop you from doing so; it will just be with zero credibility behind it. 

I can't help noticing that you have pointedly ignored the items I specifically pointed out as being subjective and flawed.

Sorry, all I can find in this thread is you repeating over and again that the Sheets are highly subjective and flawed...not anything specific. Are you thinking of another thread...or am I just too tired to see exactly what you are talking about?

I think this happened the last time, too, when we were discussing the problem of speed numbers on poly, and how Beyer was manning up and adjusting his, and your "out" on that one was "Sheets players know they have to make a mental adjustment", if I remember that exchange correctly.

I don't remember it exactly that way. At least, I don't remember needing an "out" for TG simply because Beyer f'd up HIS synthetic figs. (Double entendre intended.)

Beyer "manned up", you say? His numbers were wrong! That's not "manning up" -- that's simply correcting an error (or errors) in your flawed methodology (probably the stupid "projections"). That's what you are *supposed* to do, if you make figures -- fix your mistakes. You don't get any "extra credit" for this. If your lucky, you get to stay in business.

TG toyed with the idea of changing their scales, and in the end, they couldn't justify it. (You didn't get notified personally about this? Hey -- just how important are you in this industry, anyway?)

What TG concluded was: races tend to be run slower on synthetic surfaces, and we have to let the numbers fall where they may. It took awhile to reach that decision, but it was the right one.

(Crude example: if a synthetic track comes up "3 seconds slow" (if you'll excuse the shorthand) EVERY DAY, over time, as compared to a dirt track, then the variant for the synthetic track isn't "minus 15", so that it syncs up nicely with the dirt track -- it's a ZERO variant for the syn. track, and you simply DO NOT EQUATE it to any dirt track. Period. Synthetic racing can be very peculiar at times, and the last thing a horseplayer needs when betting on this stuff is contrived numbers.)

So if I did write anything about any sort of "mental adjustment" us TG users had to make, it had to along the lines of "take slow figs on poly with a grain of salt because races are run slower -- horse may jump up when returning to dirt". We have even better ways to quantify this now, and it's still a learning curve, for sure, but that's where the power of pattern analysis comes into play, as many horses have now been through a fair number of "dirt meeting to poly meeting and back to dirt meeting" cycles, or from one kind of syn to another, etc.

That was the initial battle ALL of the fig makers had to overcome: what is this synthetic stuff, and how does it play? It wasn't easy for anyone to figure out quickly, but man oh man, did anybody whose methodology dealt less in math and more in class projections get exposed!
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« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2009, 08:06:43 AM »

Horsevoice - I'm not familiar with the sheets at all, but what do they cost and do you buy them monthly or what? 
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2009, 10:13:26 AM »

Really? I've been around since way before the old forum was destroyed by "Kubrat, the Turkish Hacker", and I've NEVER heard of this, so stating that your success in contests "is a matter of record on this forum" probably isn't true (i.e., not well known here on BTW) -- unless you want to dig out some posts and show me what I've missed.

No, I don't care to jump through any hoops on your command, but the posts are there.

Quote
I believe you, though. I'll extend you that courtesy, even though you challenge and cast doubt on most everything I say I've done and accomplished.

I challenged ONE thing you say you've accomplished. That cannot be "everything".

Quote
(Lemme think...most recently, cash buy-in contests...couple of years before that, the Mitch D. contests on the 3rd floor...back a couple more years to the Joe Scurto contests..."hot dog and coke" contests a for a few years...)

Hey, when were those Scott M. contests, where you had your success -- about 10 years ago?

No, not 10, but awhile. The last contests I participated in was that initial long series Joe Scurto ran - also with some success. After that, I quit playing because playing contests distracted from actual wagering. 

Quote
You are deliberately ham-handing the point I was trying to make, which was, you don't use TG numbers (now), and you demonstrate less handicapping knowledge than me and just about anybody else here, yet you'll have us believe that somehow it's YOU that is qualified to pass judgment on things TG related, such as the Graded Stakes Committee using their information for decision making purposes.

No, no, no. I didn't pass judgment on the Committee using the numbers. In fact, as long as that was the thread, I had nothing to say on the matter. What I passed judgment on, eventually, was your preposterous post :

"It could make the system better, but it's going to take guts to tell "Swanky Track X" that their Big Big Grade I race, "The Snobbiblob", is being downgraded due to recent substandard participation and resulting poor performance figures of same.

It would be pretty cut and dried if the TG guys themselves were making the call ("nobody in here can less than a 2?...sorry, not a Grade I race"), but put those same numbers in the hands of people who influenced by things other than hard numbers, and all bets are off."

You, who have never owned even the ass end of a horse, preferring instead to get what actual knowledge he has of actual flesh and blood horses by the lazy man's method of watching others, and who have never graded a stakes and have no personal knowledge what's involved in the process, presume to know that grading stakes based on a set of flawed and subjective performance numbers, of any variety, is somehow going to make the process better.

Quote
That's preposterous. I don't care how many different ways you try to shade the issue, spin it, recast it in your own words -- you have no business commenting on this. That won't stop you from doing so; it will just be with zero credibility behind it.

That must make your credibility on how to grade stakes, and what criteria to use, somewhere in the minus realm.   

Quote
Sorry, all I can find in this thread is you repeating over and again that the Sheets are highly subjective and flawed...not anything specific.

I mentioned the wind and ground loss adjustments and how the two premium figs services both do them different. That's not science, it's subjective. I also brought up the problem with synthetic numbers. Synthetics have exposed a flaw in all speed numbers. You choose to simply ignore these things.

Quote
Beyer "manned up", you say? His numbers were wrong! That's not "manning up" -- that's simply correcting an error (or errors) in your flawed methodology (probably the stupid "projections"). That's what you are *supposed* to do, if you make figures -- fix your mistakes. You don't get any "extra credit" for this. If your lucky, you get to stay in business.

TG toyed with the idea of changing their scales, and in the end, they couldn't justify it. (You didn't get notified personally about this? Hey -- just how important are you in this industry, anyway?)

And so this flaw remains embedded in their numbers. They didn't fix it. That makes using these flawed numbers even more iffy for the Graded Stakes committee. How can they properly compare a dirt number to a synthetic number? Unless of course, they are going to take the years long course in rocket science necessary to understand them, make apologia for their flaws and subjectivity, and in a cult-like manner accept without question their secret underpinnings, like a real sheets user.

Quote
What TG concluded was: races tend to be run slower on synthetic surfaces, and we have to let the numbers fall where they may. It took awhile to reach that decision, but it was the right one.

So they're hardly the surface-neutral measure of "performance" anymore, and you can't compare them apples to apples, like you would have the GS committee do. "No 2? No G1.? And this sudden decision to let the numbers fall where they may comes from the same fig service that apparently believes in "smoothing" its numbers?

Quote
the last thing a horseplayer needs when betting on this stuff is contrived numbers.

Indeed. What he (and the GS Committee) needs is numbers he can compare from one track to the next. That's sort of the genesis of the whole speed numbers business, isn't it?
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2009, 10:47:55 AM »

Horsevoice - I'm not familiar with the sheets at all, but what do they cost and do you buy them monthly or what? 

Motto -- the basic answer is: $25 per track per day.

That sounds pricey, because it is. If you have, say, a 9 race card at Keeneland and 3 of them are maidens loaded with first-time starters, you essentially got screwed out of 1/3 of your purchase price -- the maidens haven't run so you have very little to go on other than breeding and works to go on, and you don't need TG for this.

Fortunately, Thoro-Graph has an array of plans and options that can bring the effective "cost per race" down considerably.

My favorite is the Create-a-card option, which lets you cherry-pick ANY 9 races running at ANY track they cover for $25 (one racing day only -- you can't pick 5 on Saturday and 4 on Sunday for $25).

If you like more than 9 races, you can buy a 2nd set of 9 races for $20.

Third sets and beyond are $15 each.
 
There is a daily spending cap of $120 -- if you buy THAT much product in one day, TG will let you download anything and everything they have for that day. (If you are routinely spending that much money on a daily basis, call Thoro-Graph and ask for a customized plan -- you'll get some sort of discount.)

As you might imagine, using Create-a-card takes some upfront legwork, if you want to spend your money wisely:

* How's the weather for the tracks you want to consider buying races for? Are the fields scratched down to nothing -- 5 or 6 horses? You probably don't need TG to find the 3/5 standout in these races.

* ...or are the fields already short, a la Golden Gate. Pbbbbbt.

* Maybe you want all turf races. Are they on the turf at Okie Dokey Downs today?

* Local knowledge: you scope the race out, recognize the participants, and realize that it's going to be one of 3 regulars at about a $7 mutuel. Move on -- you don't need TG for this.

When I am following my own procedures, I buy the DRF, do some cursory handicapping simply for the purpose of identifying possibly playable races, then making up my roster. I usually land on 18 races and spend $45 on TG -- this usually gives me 8 - 10 potential plays a day, which is plenty of action for me.

Simply for a benchmark, I am wagering anywhere from $1K to $4K, roughly 2 days a week, with more days and more money wagered if I am running hot, but that hasn't happened much lately.

As a guide, I would say that if you are capitalized to be able to bet $75 or more into each race you play, you can well afford (and benefit) from Thoro-Graph; much less than that, and I'd say just use the DRF.
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« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2009, 11:46:51 AM »

No, I don't care to jump through any hoops on your command, but the posts are there.

Well then, as I said: I will extend you the courtesy of believing you, but until said posts are produced I dispute the idea that your contest success is a "matter of record" on this forum. I've read damn near everything here, for years, and somehow I missed that? Someone prove it.

I mentioned the wind and ground loss adjustments and how the two premium figs services both do them different. That's not science, it's subjective.

Because two different services do wind and ground loss differently, they are BOTH wrong?

LOL! *THAT* is what you have been hanging your hat on? This is your "proof" that the numbers are subjective and flawed??

Sorry, that doesn't follow at all; in fact, it's close to being the mother of all bad assumptions I've ever read about speed figures! And it is CLEARLY an assumption on your part. Honestly, where do you come up with this crap?

Now...if it your contention that the RAGS do wind and ground loss wrong, I can't argue with you: I don't really know that much about the Rags. That's why I keep my mouth closed about them.  Wink

I also brought up the problem with synthetic numbers. Synthetics have exposed a flaw in all speed numbers. You choose to simply ignore these things.

Nope. I have been simply been ignoring your absurd, groundless statements, like "Synthetics have exposed a flaw in all speed numbers". You're wrong. You have built a tower of assumptions that may pertain to your 10 year old experience with the Rags, but are completely faulty when it comes to Thoro-Graph. The Rags ARE NOT THE SAME as TG.

No, no, no. I didn't pass judgment on the Committee using the numbers. In fact, as long as that was the thread, I had nothing to say on the matter. What I passed judgment on, eventually, was your preposterous post :

"It could make the system better, but it's going to take guts to tell "Swanky Track X" that their Big Big Grade I race, "The Snobbiblob", is being downgraded due to recent substandard participation and resulting poor performance figures of same.

It would be pretty cut and dried if the TG guys themselves were making the call ("nobody in here can less than a 2?...sorry, not a Grade I race"), but put those same numbers in the hands of people who influenced by things other than hard numbers, and all bets are off."

You, who have never owned even the ass end of a horse, preferring instead to get what actual knowledge he has of actual flesh and blood horses by the lazy man's method of watching others, and who have never graded a stakes and have no personal knowledge what's involved in the process, presume to know that grading stakes based on a set of flawed and subjective performance numbers, of any variety, is somehow going to make the process better.

That must make your credibility on how to grade stakes, and what criteria to use, somewhere in the minus realm.

Get off it.

1. You also have never graded a stakes race, nor do you have any personal knowledge of what's involved in the process.    

2. You have taken the lazy man's method of assuming that because of your negative experience with the Rags that it automatically transfers over and applies to TG -- when you actually know no such thing.

3. You somehow think having owned a share in a few cheap platers automatically puts you "ahead" of people who haven't, in all things horse. I disagree. The art owner may or may not know more than the art critic about his acquistions -- but it's anything but "automatic". Same with horses.

4. I analyze data of all sorts and make recommendations, all the time, in my job and in everyday life. You likely do, too. As as example, I did this last fall when I voted for a new U.S. President. Did you vote? If you did -- were you ever a U.S. President before you voted? If not, how on earth could you possibly have the requisite knowledge to make such a decision? (That's the sort of impossible strawman argument you love to construct. It's certainly what you are trying to do when you lord your trivial horse ownership experiences over those of us that haven't owned horses.)    

So they're hardly the surface-neutral measure of "performance" anymore, and you can't compare them apples to apples, like you would have the GS committee do. "No 2? No G1.? And this sudden decision to let the numbers fall where they may comes from the same fig service that apparently believes in "smoothing" its numbers?

That's sort of the genesis of the whole speed numbers business, isn't it?

Maybe Ragozin smoothes their numbers (I don't know), and Beyer aims to be surface-neutral, but TG does neither of these things. Once again, you seem to have erroneously lumped TG in with the rest in your faulty towers of assumption. Better bone up on TG again before opening your mouth again -- you are looking sillier and sillier with each post about Thoro-Graph.  
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2009, 03:39:02 PM »

Because two different services do wind and ground loss differently, they are BOTH wrong?

No, what I said originally was that since they did them differently, and used different assumptions, then one of them must always be wrong. Maybe both are. Who knows. It is a subjective adjustment that's not open to examination because it's secret, just like the daily variant.

Quote
Sorry, that doesn't follow at all; in fact, it's close to being the mother of all bad assumptions I've ever read about speed figures! And it is CLEARLY an assumption on your part. Honestly, where do you come up with this crap?

No, it's not an assumption, it's something I learned from someone who knows far more about sheets and number making than you. One must always be wrong.

Quote
Now...if it your contention that the RAGS do wind and ground loss wrong, I can't argue with you: I don't really know that much about the Rags. That's why I keep my mouth closed about them.  Wink

Sheets or TG, no real difference. Even ground loss is a guess at best, because they don't know exactly how far that horse ran, only an approximation.
 
Quote
Nope. I have been simply been ignoring your absurd, groundless statements, like "Synthetics have exposed a flaw in all speed numbers".

They have. The current numbers methodology assigns synthetic figs "too big" to bad horses, and "not big enough" to good horses. That's been the discussion, not some universally slower daily variant like you claimed earlier.

Quote
You're wrong. You have built a tower of assumptions that may pertain to your 10 year old experience with the Rags, but are completely faulty when it comes to Thoro-Graph. The Rags ARE NOT THE SAME as TG.

Sure. And anyone who swears by the Rags will be glad to tell you so, at nauseating length. The assumption that TG is The One True Number is the truly laughable assumption. It's slightly different from the Rags. That's all.
 
Quote
1. You also have never graded a stakes race, nor do you have any personal knowledge of what's involved in the process.

That makes two of us unqualified to say what would make the process better, then - but of course, I didn't.

Quote
2. You have taken the lazy man's method of assuming that because of your negative experience with the Rags that it automatically transfers over and applies to TG -- when you actually know no such thing.

I said I also used TG, and know them to be exactly the same as the Rags - good enough speed numbers, as speed numbers go, but wrapped up in a bunch of cultist bunk and hokum about their mystery and magical powers. They're just numbers, and have their subjective assumptions and flaws.

These days they have some extra bells and whistles like the pace figs and the breeding info, but that's not anything the GS committee will be using. 

Quote
3. You somehow think having owned a share in a few cheap platers automatically puts you "ahead" of people who haven't, in all things horse. I disagree.

Oh. I see. When it comes to knowing about horses, the lazy man's approach of simply sitting back and observing is good eough. Well, that's certainly convenient.

Quote
Maybe Ragozin smoothes their numbers (I don't know), and Beyer aims to be surface-neutral, but TG does neither of these things.

No no, no no. TG is the one that stands accused of smoothing numbers, by the Rags guys. Don't you follow the great debates of our time?

Subjective assumptions about wind, ground, and daily bias, among other things. A flaw in the basic design that synthetic racing has exposed. Accused of smoothing numbers. I don't think the GS Committee is going to be leaning too heavily on these numbers, much less making them the centerpiece of grading.
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« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2009, 08:11:03 PM »

                                                                                                                                                             .
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2009, 10:08:08 PM »

                                                                                                                                                             .

I agree with you on that.
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