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Blog - GAMBLING

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Rarely do you see what happened in Sunday’s fourth race at Santa Anita.  Before anyone gets carried away, let’s just state that this blog is not suggesting the winner of the race, is a champion in the making – this was a state-bred maiden special weight event, and the winner, Market Quote, was a debuting 4-year-old. 

Under jockey Joe Talamo, Market Quote stood in the gate, actually appearing startled when it opened, and was hopelessly last.  Almost immediately, it seemed this first try for the daughter of After Market would be an effort in gaining experience.  Adding to the likely leg-stretching-on-debut concept was the fact that first time starters for trainer John Shirreffs were 1-for-22 over the last year, with that lone win coming via Zenyatta’s half-sister Eblouissante.  Instead, Market Quote turned in a visually impressive performance that had track announcer Trevor Denman stunned.

“Left in the gate was Market Quote,” Denman panned at the break, “the five, Market Quote, very slow to begin.” 

Perhaps an understatement.

“Market Quote running a brave one…can she possibly win after being left in the gate, it looks like she can…Market Quote’s gonna get up, tremendous effort.”

Given the pace of the race, perhaps the best thing for Market Quote was her tardy dispatch. 

Run-up, the distance horses run before race timing begins, and the amount of ground before the horses are actually as far from the finish as the listed distance of the race, is a fairly unique to racing in North, and in some cases, South America.  In Europe, South Africa, Asia, and Australia, race timings begin on the break of the gate, with some jurisdictions using an electric pulse tied to the starter’s mechanism.  The run-up in one-mile races at Santa Anita, with the rail down, is not insignificant – listed in the official Equibase chart as 159 feet.  That suggests horses run almost a quarter-furlong before race timing begins, taking this field approximately five seconds before they reach the point that is one mile from the finish.  Longer run-ups often lead to faster sectional times – races seem faster because the sectional times give that indication, but it is really more a function of the amount of ground horses cover in getting to the point where actual timing began.

In just the space of the run-up from this particular race, Trakus recorded Market Quote to be approximately ten lengths behind the leaders through that distance, again, approximately a quarter-furlong.  After the first sixteenth, Market Quote was 8 ½ lengths behind the last place horse, and approximately fourteen lengths back from the leader. 

Now, for greater context, the individual furlong sectional times for the full field are below.  Take specific note of the sectionals between Market Quote and eventual second place finisher Top Kisser. 

Jan 20, 2013 - Santa Anita Race 4 - Maiden Special Weight - 1 Mile (Turf)

Pos

#

Horse

1/8

1/4

3/8

1/2

5/8

3/4

7/8

FIN

1st

5

Market Quote

13.14

11.14

11.11

11.40

11.57

12.18

12.21

12.15

2nd

9

Top Kisser

10.90

11.03

11.57

11.83

11.98

12.55

12.55

12.53

3rd

4

Annalili

11.62

11.34

11.23

11.48

11.86

12.61

12.61

12.64

4th

2

Krazypapaya

11.96

11.34

11.29

11.54

11.98

12.49

12.41

12.56

5th

6

St. Malo's Gate

11.86

11.17

11.17

11.48

11.98

12.70

12.69

12.64

6th

3

Too Many Rules

10.87

10.77

11.31

11.92

12.23

12.70

12.90

13.25

7th

8

Gia Is a Bella

11.53

11.12

11.25

11.57

11.98

12.55

12.84

13.34

8th

7

Little Unusual

11.90

11.17

11.16

11.43

12.09

13.02

12.96

13.56

9th

10

My Yammy Heat

10.79

10.91

11.26

11.94

12.53

13.65

14.43

14.80

 

While Market Quote was 2.24 seconds slower than Top Kisser through the first furlong, and 0.11 seconds slower in the second furlong (a total of 2.35 seconds slower), notice how Market Quote is no less than 0.33 seconds faster in every segment from the 3/8ths section through the finish.  Market Quote ran the final six furlongs in 1:10.62 while Top Kisser got that distance in 1:13.01 – a difference of 2.39 seconds, enough to make up for their early gapped margin.

When judging the final times, Market Quote and Top Kisser ran very similar races, but the methods of getting to that point, while highly unintended by Joe Talamo aboard his gate-sleepy mount, were incredibly different.

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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