Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Crying Bias... Again

Earlier this year I wrote a post called "Crying Bias." I wrote it after Social Inclusion beat Honor Code at Gulfstream by 10 lengths, and everyone went and said he only won because of a track bias. It was hilarious because the track was not truly biased that day. Social Inclusion was just better.

     Well, it seems we've got another case of people using a speed bias as an excuse because a horse they didn't like won a big race with Bayern's Breeders' Cup Classic.

     First off, let me get this straight: I didn't like Bayern in the race, I was not happy that he won, and I'm not a fan of Bob Baffert. I wouldn't have cashed any tickets even if Bayern had been DQd because I tossed California Chrome too. So I have no good reason to be defending Bayern. I'm not trying to defend Bayern. I'm trying to defend logical thought.

     A track bias is a situation in which the track is playing in a manner where horses with a particular trip are winning when they shouldn't be. Therefore, a speed bias is where speed horses are holding on when they shouldn't be, and the closers aren't able to make up ground on them.

     A lot of people are saying that the track at Santa Anita on Saturday was speed biased. Those people are wrong. In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the top four finishers were 11th, 10th, 8th, and 7th after a quarter mile. In the Filly and Mare Sprint, the top four were 5th, 10th, 4th and 1st after a 1/4. You did not need to be on the front to win. Even look at the Juvenile Fillies. The winner went wire to wire, but the horses who tracked in 2nd and 3rd finished 8th and 12th, and the 2nd and 3rd place finishers were 6th and 8th after a quarter.

    Now let's look at Bayern, a natural speed horse. We all know that the best trip in racing is alone on the front going reasonable fractions. Where was Bayern, a natural speed horse, in the Classic? Alone on the lead going reasonable fractions. "Doug, those fractions were super quick!" It's Santa Anita, it's a fast track. Those are reasonable fractions there, and he won. He may have barely held, but he won. Simple as that.

     So let me put it this way: if you thought Bayern would be unable to make ten furlongs, then don't use a phony track bias that did not exist to make up for the fact that you were wrong. Just admit that you were wrong. Quit crying bias.

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