Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Busting Some Myths

"Jocks (or drivers) that stay around for a late mount mean the horse is a good bet"
Horseplayer


Below we spoke about statistics and how they can be backfitted, and/or used improperly. The use of databases are a relatively new thing, because computers are super-fast now, and more and more people are using commercial database software. I remember as a kid hearing the above quote almost each race day. If someone stuck around, or showed up with only two drives, one of them late in the card, that last one was like printing money.

Dan on the HTR Software board ran those numbers for the runners. I would suspect a lot of money was burned on this angle throughout the years. Databases can be Mythbusters.

In a nutshell:

Win percentage for all the top riders chosen: 18%
Win percentage last race of the day (top riders): 17%
Win percentage last ride of the day (they 'stuck around'): 18%

Impact value for benchmark: 1.49
Impact value for "stick around races": 1.49

It is hard to find a deviation on impact values for any stat that is zippo. To have them equal is astounding. Sticking around for a late mount is correlated to winning about as much as what they had for lunch that day is.

5 comments:

alan said...

I've always given some validity to that angle, but like any other angle, I think you have to pick and choose your spots. I agree, just because one of the regular drivers or jocks has a horse in the last doesn't usually mean anything. But there are certain situations in which I do think it's something to check out. A cheap claimer in the last race after a G1 stakes; a ride for a trainer he/she doesn't usually work for, or, best of all, a top guy who came in from out of town to ride a particular stakes horse.

Ryan Clements said...

The bottom line is, there needs to be a valid logic behind an angle before it even having a chance of being profitable.

I just don't see that logic here. Drivers who are already at the track will always stick around for another drive no matter what the horse is like (unless they are headed for another track i.e. flammy to woodbine). Usually drivers will be driving a fair distance to the track, and they won't be too inclined to go home just because they arn't listed in the 7th or 8th race.

This is their job. They all want to be #1 and will take a mount where they can get it. I guess Trevor is an exception to this.

Basically you are betting the angle that a good break to relax and play some cards in the drivers room will help that driver win the next time he gets in the sulky?

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time the last race at CD right after the Derby was always a mile and a sixteenth for the absolute bottom claimers. This went on for years and ended in 1972 after a horse by the name of Postal Milargo shipped in from Hazel Park. His last 3 races had been pretty bad and he was quoted at 20-1 with an apprentice up. Then as the horses were ready to go onto the track his regular jockey from Hazel Park gets announced as the rider. Postal Milargo breaks on top,is never threatened and pays $6.00. Something like 60-70% of the win money on him went through a couple of $50 & $100 windows in close proximity of each other. When the Ky Racing Commission had there hearings they asked the jockey why he showed up at CD and with a straight face he told them he thought he might be able to pick up a Derby mount. I do not think Postal Milargo ever ran again and CD made it their policy that there would never again be races for bottom feeders on Derby Day.
So maybe a jock traveling a few hundred miles for the last race might be something to watch for.
RG

Pull the Pocket said...

RG answers Alan's point with some empirical data :)

Wow, this is why I am glad I have a blog. What a great story RG.

Cangamble said...

I think the stat is valid mainly because no one knows which race will be carded in the first race, last race, etc. until the after mounts are accepted.
I don't think stewards would allow jocks to take off mounts very frequently on the basis that they have to wait around for a horse that probably won't win.