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Blog - GAMBLING

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Opinions raged wild in the aftermath of Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1), in which Point of Entry bested 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Animal Kingdom. Take a gander at the sectional timing data from the race, run at 1 1/8 miles on grass.

Pos.

Horse

1/4

1/2

3/4

1 Mile

Finish

Final 3/8

1st

Point of Entry

25.30

25.42

22.60

22.39

11.29

33.68

2nd

Animal Kingdom

25.71

25.28

22.28

22.45

11.49

33.94

3rd

Unbridled Command

25.51

25.36

22.83

22.31

11.37

33.68

4th

Salto

25.07

25.75

22.42

22.82

12.35

35.17

5th

Where's the Baby

25.85

25.43

23.17

22.57

11.63

34.20

6th

Film Making

25.44

25.54

22.92

23.37

12.64

36.01


After crawling through the first half-mile, jockey Joel Rosario pushed the button on Animal Kingdom, sending him through a third sectional in 22.28 seconds, the fastest split of any horse in the race, and an uncharacteristic early move in such a race. Whether or not that move cost him the race is in some question – undoing it and rerunning the race would yield a different result (at least different sectional times). While “the move” might not have been what anyone planned or requested in prerace instruction, it happened.

Certain horses can sustain the dreaded “middle move,” with the best example coming in the 2011 Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1), when Victoire Pisa went from last with 6 1/2 furlongs remaining to first with five furlongs left in the world’s richest race. Victoire Pisa had hit the starting gate, knocking him off stride immediately, and found himself last through the early going. The early gallop had been so slow that jockey Mirco Demuro believed he had to do something to give his mount a chance to win. While the first quarter-mile times below look incredibly slow, recognize there is no run-up, so the clock starts immediately upon the break.  Typically converting the first quarter to a U.S.-recognized time would require subtracting two seconds. Still, Demuro was able to pass the entire field with a 23.92 third quarter. 

Pos.

Horse

1/4

1/2

3/4

1 Mile

Finish

1st

Victoire Pisa

28.42

25.97

23.92

24.33

23.30

2nd

Transcend

26.78

26.40

25.11

24.33

23.39

3rd

Monterosso

27.42

26.17

25.11

24.13

23.22

4th

Cape Blanco

27.10

26.29

25.11

24.24

23.34

5th

Gio Ponti

27.56

26.20

25.08

24.07

23.30

6th

Gitano Hernando

27.46

26.12

25.07

24.19

23.51

7th

Musir

27.85

26.14

24.94

24.24

23.27

8th

Buena Vista

28.16

26.29

24.76

24.02

23.30

9th

Twice Over

27.90

26.29

24.82

24.09

23.63

10th

Prince Bishop

27.53

26.35

24.79

24.30

23.80

11th

Golden Sword

28.04

26.40

24.73

24.10

23.89

12th

Richard's Kid

28.00

26.32

24.65

24.24

24.05

13th

Fly Down

27.64

26.52

24.85

24.85

25.19

14th

Poet's Voice

27.71

26.27

24.84

24.21

26.24

 

The comparison to Animal Kingdom’s move is a bit more difficult. In a race that was just a furlong shorter than the 2011 Dubai World Cup, Joel Rosario’s push-button acceleration on Animal Kingdom had the Derby winner go 1.64 seconds faster than the Japanese-based Dubai World Cup victor. Comparatively, in his Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) defeat, Obviously set a rather moderate pace and Animal Kingdom settled well off the pace. He rallied into closer order in the second quarter-mile sectional of the race, running that time in 22.30 seconds – the same sectional Rosario recorded with the son of Leroidesanimaux at Gulfstream in a slightly longer trip. Trip nuance is incredibly difficult to discern, but Animal Kingdom has run consecutive internal splits of 22.30 seconds in his last two races, both to second-place finishes, and both in Grade 1 events on grass. In his last win, the 2011 Kentucky Derby on dirt, Animal Kingdom’s fastest quarter-mile sectional was his final quarter, timed in 23.84 seconds.

It is worth noting that Point of Entry covered 34 feet more than Animal Kingdom, equating to roughly four lengths of extra ground. While the final margin was 1 ¼ lengths, the added distance covered by Point of Entry yielded a final average speed that was 0.3 miles per hour faster than Animal Kingdom. As the debate rages, at least the technology provides the data that can be used in the discussion.

Data still benefits Dynamic Sky

Mark Casse has had a few runs down the Kentucky Derby trail in recent years, and has numerous shooters on the path in 2013. Two weeks ago, the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs had some dramatic similarities to the race’s 2012 edition, at least for Casse.

This blog has highlighted the data from Dynamic Sky in the past, running 77 feet more than Joha in the 2012 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1), and then running down his stablemate to win the Pasco Stakes earlier in the Tampa meet. On Feb. 2, Dynamic Sky ran on to be second after yet another wide journey, failing to catch 7-1 winner Falling Sky. As expected, the data plays a key role in better understanding Dynamic Sky’s inability to catch Falling Sky.

FALLING SKY HOLDS OFF DYNAMIC SKY IN SAM F. DAVIS

SAMDavis

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Falling Sky emerged from three consecutive sprints under trainer Antonio Sano before his Davis win, and arguably was a possible pace presence when stretching out in distance. Now with John Terranova, Falling Sky went forward from the break, cleared to the lead, and lasted while Dynamic Sky closed well to be second, covering 51 feet more than the winner, never racing less than three wide around both turns. Extrapolating the data more, Dynamic Sky averaged 37.4 miles per hour over each of the 17, sixteenth-of-a-mile segments in the race. Falling Sky averaged 36.9 mph.

Last year, Casse suffered a similar defeat in the Davis when his Prospective covered 40 feet more than Battle Hardened, who had previously been a maiden. Prospective averaged 37.1 mph when running second, while winner Battle Hardened managed the trick in a slower 36.9 mph, the same average speed as Falling Sky a year later. Surely, Casse will be hoping the same script plays out in 2013, as Prospective went on to win the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). Drawn on the inside, Prospective raced along the rail for the first half of the race, angled out around a fading pacesetter and dug in for the win, never running more than two wide. Should history repeat itself for Casse sophomores on the Derby trail through Tampa, he will surely take it.

In the first pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager which ended Sunday, Dynamic Sky closed at 54-1, while Davis winner Falling Sky was 114-1.

 

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

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