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Racing 101

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  • #41
    The jocks pull the top pair of goggles down as they get dirty....they keep pulling them down as needed, or til they run out.

    You can kinda see it in this pic.

    OOOOooooooo this one is much better.

    Hoping final turn allows hotlinks.. if they dont work let me know!

    Jessi

    Edited to add:Edited to give a better explanation: The jockeys put all the pairs of goggles on at once when they go in the gate, usually 5 or so. The goggles are very thin and flexible, not like scuba goggles or anything lol. Then as they get dirty the jock grabs the top pair and yanks them down below his chin, revealing the clean pair underneath. Hopefully they dont run out of goggles before the race is over! But they usually have a good idea how many they need. They use more pairs of goggles when the track is horribly muddy or if they have a horse that is known to be behind horses early on in the race... eating dirt for the first 1/4 - 1/2 mile. It takes a lot of talent/coordination.. I could never get the hang of it messing around in the morning schooling races. Balance weight on balls of toes, reins and stick in one hand (the same hand you are steering with), grabbing just the top pair out of 5 or so pair of goggles and yanking them quickly down w/o dragging the ones below halfway down your face, totally obscuring your vision and impairing your breathing to the point you start gasping for air, inhaling all that dirt that is getting thrown back on you. All of this while going 30-35 mph on a TB. Oh, and you dont pull your goggles down with the reins in one hand and the stick in the other... at least I couldnt - only time I tried it I almost poked my eye out with the stick! Back in my younger (and much braver) days.....
    Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
    Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
    Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne

    Comment


    • #42
      thanks so much for answering all these totally obscure questions! I really wondered that every time I saw a race. I thought they started up on top of the helmet, then the jockey pulled off the ones on his/her eyes, pulled down a pair off the helmet, and i was like at the thought of doing all that while galloping! I feel better now
      Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

      Comment


      • #43
        I have a really dumb question, maybe has been answered here and I did not look through all replies.

        How doyou know which races are two turns? Do you have to know the race, what? I was so overwhelmed by what was attempted to be imparted that at some point I think I just blanked out, there was no more room for info.

        TIA
        AB

        Comment


        • #44
          First off you need to know the circumference of the racetrack in question. Secondly you need to know the distance of the race. Most tracks are a mile, which means a mile race starts at the finish line and ends there, meaning 2 turns. Some tracks are smaller, like Charlestown and Los Alamitos, meaning 6 furlong+ races are at least 2 turns. Some tracks are larger like Arlington and Belmont. If a track is a mile and the race is a mile, chances are its a 2 turn race. Some tracks are a mile but have a chute that allows a one turn mile such as Arlington. If you are looking at a program there will be a diagram of the track signifying where the start and finish are.

          So... did that confuse you further or what??? lol

          Jessi
          Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
          Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
          Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by hobie cat:
            First off you need to know the circumference of the racetrack in question. Secondly you need to know the distance of the race. Most tracks are a mile, which means a mile race starts at the finish line and ends there, meaning 2 turns. Some tracks are smaller, like Charlestown and Los Alamitos, meaning 6 furlong+ races are at least 2 turns. Some tracks are larger like Arlington and Belmont. If a track is a mile and the race is a mile, chances are its a 2 turn race. Some tracks are a mile but have a chute that allows a one turn mile such as Arlington. If you are looking at a program there will be a diagram of the track signifying where the start and finish are.

            So... did that confuse you further or what??? lol

            Jessi
            Well, let me ask you this: on a normal track, not a bullring track, are you saying that any race that is a mile is two turns, excluding Belmont, as it is huge? (Are Arlington and Belmont different because they are such large tracks?) Aaackk, there is a WHOLE LOT more to racing than peeps think, imo.

            Thank you for answering though, and bear with me, ok.

            AB

            Comment


            • #46
              Aqueduct and Saratoga are 1 1/8 miles around. Aqu has a "chute" extending from the backstretch and mile races are run from the chute, around one turn. Churchill (and I think the new Gulfstream, not sure) also run 1 turn miles. At Saratoga, they don't card mile races. Belmont runs up to 1 1/8 from the chute, as its 1 1/2 miles around.

              Yep, there is ALOT of stuff in racing that you don't think about at first. Then you get to wondering "how the fruitbat do they..."
              F O.B
              Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
              Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

              Comment


              • #47
                Sorry to be dense..what do you mean they don't card mile races?

                Between the two turns thing and the fractions, I will never get this. It resenbles algebra or a math word problem and Ijust kinda blank out with those. But I will keep reading.

                Thank you very much.

                AB

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  "They don't card mile races" means that the racing secretary doesn't write races going a straight mile. It usually has to do with the track configuration, e.g. track distance (bullring, mile, mile plus, etc.) and where chutes are placed on the track.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Right now they are running on the Inner Track at Aqueduct. Its a mile around, and its inside the main track, where you might expect to find a turf course. Because of the configuration, without chutes, they only run races at 6 furlongs, one mile, 1 1/16 etc up to 1 1/4 miles which begins awkwardly on the turn. To bein a sprint at 7furlongs on a turn would be very unfair to most of the field. The racing secretary, who decides what races are to be held, has to take into account the layout of the track as well as the availablilty of horses to "fill" each race.
                    Its not really algebra, its English. H/J folks and racing folks are "two people divided by a common language." Its the terminology thats got you!

                    For example a horseshow sends a "prize list" from which you select classes/divisions to enter. A track publishes a "condition book" which describes upcoming races and their conditions of eligiblity. Its this book that trainers use to select races for their stock.
                    F O.B
                    Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                    Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Hey! Where the fruitbat is my signature!?
                      F O.B
                      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Linny:
                        Aqueduct and Saratoga are 1 1/8 miles around. Aqu has a "chute" extending from the backstretch and mile races are run from the chute, around one turn. Churchill (and I think the new Gulfstream, not sure) also run 1 turn miles. At Saratoga, they don't card mile races. Belmont runs up to 1 1/8 from the chute, as its 1 1/2 miles around.

                        Yep, there is ALOT of stuff in racing that you don't think about at first. Then you get to wondering "how the fruitbat do they..."
                        Aqueduct has two dirt tracks; the outer one is 1 1/2 miles just like Belmont.
                        **********
                        Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

                        **********
                        "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          The Main Track at aqu is 9 furlongs with a chute for a 1 turn mile. Belmont is the only 1 1/2 mile track in the US. saratoga is also 9f but has only a 7f chute.
                          F O.B
                          Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                          Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            For track diagrams/info, go to

                            pages 37, 38 Aqueduct


                            page 50 Belmont
                            page 60 Saratoga

                            Will see if I can find other tracks if I have time.

                            Jessi
                            Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
                            Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
                            Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Linny:
                              Right now they are running on the Inner Track at Aqueduct. Its a mile around, and its inside the main track, where you might expect to find a turf course. Because of the configuration, without chutes, they only run races at 6 furlongs, one mile, 1 1/16 etc up to 1 1/4 miles which begins awkwardly on the turn. To bein a sprint at 7furlongs on a turn would be very unfair to most of the field. The racing secretary, who decides what races are to be held, has to take into account the layout of the track as well as the availablilty of horses to "fill" each race.
                              Its not really algebra, its English. H/J folks and racing folks are "two people divided by a common language." Its the terminology thats got you!

                              For example a horseshow sends a "prize list" from which you select classes/divisions to enter. A track publishes a "condition book" which describes upcoming races and their conditions of eligiblity. Its this book that trainers use to select races for their stock.
                              Prize list = condition book. Now that I can relate to!

                              Fog still thick but sun streaming through in very thin lines.

                              Thanks verymuch.

                              AB

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                The link that Hobie posted to the NYRA rules gives a very good idea of how racing "works." It outlines alot of how things get done in racing, I imagine that the rules in NY are fairly typical.
                                F O.B
                                Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Series of dumb questions:

                                  Why is dosage important? HOw many peeps really buy off on that? Seems to me if one confines expectations based on pedigree, well you can see how that is faulty, no?

                                  Do you pay attention to Beyer speed figures? I do, it is one of the numbers I can actually understand, but I know many don't. What gives with that?

                                  Fractions are equated with various distances along the track, pole xyz, no? Which of those are important and why? Please address as though you are talking to third grader, I just dn't get it.

                                  A bulleted work is fastest at given distance, track, what?

                                  I havemy own wacky theory of post position based on rudimentary physics, please let me hear others.

                                  I have read 3 Andrew Beyer books trying to figure this out, but he is more for the gambler which is another lesson antoher day.

                                  Thanks very much in advance, truly and I so appreciate your patience also.

                                  AB

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Why is dosage important? HOw many peeps really buy off on that? Seems to me if one confines expectations based on pedigree, well you can see how that is faulty, no?

                                    Dosage tries to give you an idea based on the horses in the pedigree what the horse should have aptitude for, short, long, mile, and so on. It does not have the capacity to take into account physical aspects of the horse.. such as the horse with a bad knee or ankle that prefers to go one turn (as two turns gets to stinging too much) or the horse with a narrow airway/ paralyzed flap that cant go as far as his pedigree suggests. And we all know there are no guarantees when it comes to breeding animals. Just probabilities.


                                    Do you pay attention to Beyer speed figures? I do, it is one of the numbers I can actually understand, but I know many don't. What gives with that?

                                    Personally I dont give a whole lot of credence to Beyer speed figs, because they go back and adjust them if needed. They are determined by people, not computer calculations. Case in point was a few years ago.. some horse was running in the Derby, hadnt run in the big usual preps, took more circumspect route, and his speed figs at the other, smaller tracks were way lower than his fellow Derby entrants even tho he was considered of a comparable class. They went back and refigured his speed figs to be more comparable. This came directly from a handicapper who worked at the time for the daily racing form. So, my point is, they arent engraved in stone. I am thinking 97 or 98 was that Derby?


                                    Fractions are equated with various distances along the track, pole xyz, no? Which of those are important and why? Please address as though you are talking to third grader, I just dn't get it.

                                    A mile is divided into 8 furlongs. You have poles that mark those furlongs. The one right before the wire (dealing only in furlong poles for the moment) is the 1/8 pole. Then you count backwards around the track.... the idea is that from that pole is the distance to the finish line. So then you have the 1/4 pole, the 3/8 pole, the 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, and 7/8. Roughly, the 1/4 pole is at the head of the lane, the 3/8 is on the end of the backstretch going into the turn, the half and 5/8 are on the backside (5/8 is across from finish line on a mile track), the 3/4 pole is the beginning of the backstretch, and the 7/8 is a furlong after (to the right of) the finish line.

                                    A bulleted work is fastest at given distance, track, what?
                                    The fastest work at that track, that distance, that day. Each day the fastest 3/8, 1/2, 5f, etc times for each track are "bulleted." They are then ranked in order for the # of horses worked. For example, if you look here at the 5F works you will see two of our horses who worked in company, Bowler and Seattle Theme. They had the 2nd and 4th fastest works of nine horses to work 5f that day. Seattle Theme ended up about 6 lengths in front of Bowler (usual estimation is 1/5 sec = 1 length). They are both 3 yos, Bowler by Boston Harbor($25k stud fee at the time), Seattle Theme (a filly) by a son of Seattle Slew standing in TX named Seattle Pattern($1K?). My point here being that ST is a VERY nice filly who won her first start and has been very competitive allowance company, I feel she is stakes quality. Bowler is a maiden who has run twice (poorly). It was good for both of them, gave him something to concentrate on and work towards, and gave her something to tighten her up for next race against some VERY nice fillies.

                                    If you want to get into the 1/16 poles.....(we wont mention the 70 yard pole, heck some tracks even have a 40 yard pole!) here is a list of poles, in order of running a one mile race BACKWARDS. In otherwords, from the finish line CLOCKWISE around the track (the wrong way). Because the fraction always represents the distance from that pole to the finish line (which is always the same place in front of the grandstand, almost the end/right of the stretch).

                                    Here goes (please NOTE this is a ONE mile track which represents the majority of tracks, but there ARE tracks larger and smaller than one mile!):
                                    finsh line
                                    1/16
                                    1/8
                                    3/16
                                    1/4
                                    5/16
                                    3/8
                                    7/16
                                    1/2
                                    9/16 (or 4 1/2)
                                    5/8
                                    11/16 (or 5 1/2)
                                    6 f
                                    13/15 (or 6 1/2, not a real common one)
                                    7/8
                                    15/16 (not real common either)


                                    Ok are you bored now?
                                    Jessi
                                    Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
                                    Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
                                    Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Beyer Speed Figures (BSF's) are one of many different numbeers assigned to each performance by a Tb. They are the most widely disseminated as they are published in the Daily Racing Form. They are not set in stone. Beyer and his squad of minions DO adjust them, as Hobie Cat mentioned. They don't always account for variables like wind patterns. They do sup[posedly account for wide trips BUT don't be fooled. Sometimes the rail is "dead" and the outside trip is better! As a handicapper I do look at them but only in looking for general patterns.
                                      For example, let's say horse's last 5 BSF's are 76/79/60/78/80 and today's race is a 6 furlong $16k claimer. The races represented by those #'s were all at this class and they were mostly good (wins, or within 2 lengths of the winner) performances, except that 60. I now have to figure out why he raced so badly that day. Was it muddy, did he get a poor start, was the pace too fast? Lets say that all the other races in the sequence were at 1 1/8 miles and that bad showing was at 6 furlongs. Today's race is 6f. Maybe he doesn't run his best at 6f. Now I have to see if he's ever run well at 6f.

                                      To me they are a guide, a starting point for other research.

                                      Handicappers and horsemen break races up into furlongs or 1/8's. Hobie explained the position of the poles. The are measured BACKWARD from the finish. Remember that at most tracks the FINISH line doesn't change, the starting place does. Six furlong races start at the 6 furlong pole. They pass the 5/8, the 1/2, the 3/8, the 1/4 and then the 1/8 pole as they race. When horse train most trainers clock the individual fractions by furlong to see "how" they got the distance. The poles tell the trainer (on the ground, or maybe a pony) when to click the watch. They are also used to get your bearings on the track. A trainer might tell a rider to "let him gallop to the 5/16 pole, ask him for a bit more, then set him down at the 1/4 pole." Here the trainer is asking the rider to let the horse build up to the workout speed before the point where the timed workout begins. It gives the horse a "running start."

                                      Does this make it worse? Sometimes knowing a little bit is more confusing than nothing.
                                      F O.B
                                      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                                      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Wow Hobie and Linny, thanks! Clears up much, does create more questions but need time to digest what you've said.

                                        Counting backwards from the finish line was a big help.

                                        I have heard that my OTB offers a seminar of some sort on this, but I have yet to get the details.

                                        Thanks again so much!

                                        AB

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Linny:
                                          . A trainer might tell a rider to "let him gallop to the 5/16 pole, ask him for a bit more, then set him down at the 1/4 pole." Here the trainer is asking the rider to let the horse build up to the workout speed before the point where the timed workout begins. It gives the horse a "running start."

                                          Does this make it worse? Sometimes knowing a little bit is more confusing than nothing.
                                          What lengths of workouts do you note? I guess what I am trying to ask is what is the significance of these various workout lengths?

                                          Hope I am asking that right....come back if you understand what I am trying to say.

                                          Thanks again so much.

                                          AB

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