For the more curious aspect of this decision (and a bang-up review of the Wood) I send you to the lovely and talented Mr. Mann of Left at the Gate fame.
After you've read the good grammar and English at LATG you can come back here for my nonsense, that will more than likely revolve around using pictures, or other people's words. Trust me, it's better that way.
The reaction to this Keeneland thing seems to lie in a few camps. I'll try to summarize them here.
|Asaro spreading the word of dirt to youngsters|
2. The Logic Folks: These are the folks who look deep into something, dissect it, and decide it does not make sense. Congress hates these people because they have a hard time pulling the wool over their eyes, and so does horse racing. O Crunk is one of these people.
Just going by the things KEE officials have said, put a chart together w/ their quotes, you'd be at 2 reasons to switch & 20 not to.3. The Horse Lovers: These are the folks who care for horses and love 'em like they're their kids. I like these people, you like these people; they're good people. They don't understand why a track would switch surfaces when the stats say more may perish.
— o_crunk (@o_crunk) April 3, 2014
4. The Traditionalists: These are the Byk's, some in the DRF. They hate synth because it changes the way the game is played. Even at only a couple of tracks this upsets them, and something like the Bluegrass Stakes losing a Grade I rating is like losing a forelimb. They are a bit like Andy Asaro, but they don't have posters of dirt on their walls, they have posters of say, Easy Goer, or another New York dirt horse instead. I can't really argue with them much either; synthetic racetracks are a third surface. They do have a point.
5. The "bettors who won't play plastic": This group is loud, proud and proclaim they are going to bet Keeneland more now because they are switching to dirt. When the handle at Keeneland does not go up, just like today is has not gone down, this won't make too much sense, but they are there and they are vociferous. They like the dirt.
6. Cold Hard Bettors: People looking for surface edges and betting value by adding more data and chaos to handicapping decisions, not less, are not overly happy. I think my pal Jerod Dinkin is going to blow a gasket. This group looks forward to Keeneland poly each spring and fall like Andy Asaro looks forward to a day at the beach.
7. The Church of Joe Drape: Joe and his minions are sending surface breakdown stats through the social sphere like Zeus throwing lightning bolts on disbelieving villagers. As Mr. Mann pointed out, Joe has the upper hand in this argument right now. No matter what you read on the web (the new narrative is that the class of horse makes all the difference, like somehow nobody knows how to do multivariate testing), remember Occam's Razor. A kid with a grade two math degree can figure out poly is safer than dirt after the past ten years of data, both here and abroad.
8. The Numbers Guys: This is an offshoot of the Traditionalists group. Perhaps they argued a little too much to live in the same house, or what have you. They like the seamless nature of stakes racing. Horse A preps on dirt for a dirt race. All the historical stakes are lined up in an easy-to-see easy-to-use package, just like they always have. My pal on twitter @insidethenumbrs is in this camp. I would be too, because I like this type of structure for any sport, but camps like camp six are too powerful a draw for me.
|Where Mr. Racing lives. Ominous.|
Those are the nine groups I see. There are probably more, but I'm tired of typing.
Enjoy your day everyone, and remember, it's movie night at Asaro's tonight if anyone is close by. It's a double bill of Joe Dirt and Dirt Dancing. BYOB.