Del Mar Online Racing Community
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I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed that the Poly-Trak @ Del Mar this meet is Favoring Early Speed". I think that bears repeating. Yes that's right, I said that the Del Mar Poly this meet is "Favoring Early Speed". Geez Who-da-Thunk such an outlandish notion when the Meet started Wednesday?
Of course I know that I'm not the only Player who has noticed that Early-Speed is doing very well the 1st 3 days & made adjustments from previous meets. But this change in the Del Mar Poly-Trak profile which usually meant Early-Speed types would likely finish 2nd, 3rd or 4th in years past, has me wondering if it will last?
I guess someone at Track-Mngt has either tweaked the Poly with a different mixture or weather & moisture conditions have made the inside 3 paths different from yester-years. Of course I'm speculating & we all know that Early Speed favoring biases can change day-to-day, but no doubt the Del Mar Poly is much more Early-Speed friendly than any year I can remember since it was installed, especially for the inside 1-2-3 posts. If anyone has any inside info on why, meaning has there been some changes in the mixture, please post.
Last edited by Rail-man on Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I believe they added wax or fiber to the surface in the off season. I think they will do something before the card on Wednesday. Hard to believe it is playing to front-end and rail types when you had to come from the moon to win in the early poly years.
Southie, I think you're right about the Track-Super maybe adding something different to the Poly mix from years past.
I use to relish playing against Early-Speed types in the Win slot on the Del Mar Poly, but this meet so far its definitely been the opposite, as 5 of the 7 Poly races Saturday were Won by Early-Speed types. In years past that # would've been more like 1 or 2 out of 7 Poly races Won by Early Speed.
Del Mar has been speed favoring in sprints for the past 3 years. I am too lazy to find the stats, but I saw them each of the last 2 years..it has favored inside speed for years. This year is a little more extreme so far. I think some people saw opening day the year the poly came in years ago and they have it in their head speed cant win. This track is probably the easiest track in So Cal to handicap to people who can see it for what it is.
The key word here is 'sprints'. Routes will have their share of closers. Also remember, the poly changes as it cooks in the heat. Morning works can be great and you think your horse is Spectacular Bid and in the afternoon you get Zippy Chippy.
I believe many perceived track biases are a result of jockeys tactics after the first couple races. Riders at this elite level want to gain any edge. They'll study the tendencies in races they don't ride and try to apply what they think they've learned as the card progresses. Do you think it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy? Guys on the best horse in the first couple send to inside position close up, save ground and rally inside for the win. Guy on the best horse in the 3rd having now seen this uses similar tactics with his mount and wah la we have an inside speed bias.
Brad Free recently wrote a column pointing out how the track is different than years past. He didn't really forward an opinion. Just shared hard stats. It was good stuff.
Here's a thought. Do you think it could have changed as a result of Rosario going east? Clearly his preferred riding style was sit, circle, big finish. He rode a lot of Cadillac's that might have been able to win using any number of routes. Could that be affecting the running style stats? Could the track be exactly the same but appear to be biased because of a top jockey's tactics preference? Food for thought?
Vic, Yes it is possible that "Jockey Tactics" could be affecting the way races have been Won this first full week of the '13 Del Mar meet, especially with the history of the Anti-Early Speed bias of years past of the Del Mar Poly still fresh in the minds of the current Jockey colony @ Del Mar. However a careful look at the race-replays of the 1st 5 days this '13 meet @ Del Mar show marked differences in the way the Poly-Trak Main played than previous years.
Imho, Its paths or Post-Positions 1, 2 & 3 that are showing the most dramatic turn-arounds. But 1st lets talk a little history of the Del Mar Poly. In 2007 Del Mar converted to Poly-Trak for the Main Track surface from Dirt, due to a Cal-Sate Mandate that required the 4 Major Racetracks in Cal to switch to Synthetic surfaces due to a rash increase in Horse Fatalities from racing. I will not debate the merits of this decision, but it should be noted that Santa Anita successfully got approval to go back to a Dirt Main track after the Synthetic track they installed proved consistently problematic in regard to maintenance. One special note about the Santa Anita Synthetic is it was not a Poly-Trak but another type called I think Pro-Ride synthetic from Australia. Hollywood installed a synthetic called Cushion-Track.
Back to Del Mar, the 2007 Meet after maybe the 1st 2 weeks, a big brouhaha ensued between noted Trainers like Baffert & Headley with Del Mar Track-Mngt over the Anti-Early Speed Bias & race-results of the Del Mar Poly. Meaning their Early Speed horses in races were going out & running 2nd, 3rd, 4th & sometimes even Otm after displaying Early Speed. Also that year noted Owner & top Baffert Client Zayat who also owns the feel-good story come-backer Paynter threatened that if the Poly Anti-Early Speed bias didn't change, he would send all of his horses to Tracks that were more suited to his Early-Speed horses, which in fact he did do. This got the attention of Del Mar Track Mngt & they subsequently started tweaking the Del Mar Poly to have less Anti-Early Speed Bias.
However, still after this Poly tweaking @ Del Mar, if you watch the race-replays you will note the majority of Winners on the Poly came from off the Early Pace, especially in races over 6 furs. A review of the Pacific Classic since Poly was installed & I think it will explain what I'm trying to say.
2006 PC Classic: Won by Lava Man, this race was run on Dirt, but Lava Man was a Mid-pack closer coming from slightly off the Early Pace. ALso note from 2000 to 2007 horses like Skimming & Candy Ride were early Speed types to Win the Pac-Classic. In fact Skimming Won it 2 years in a row. Came Home, Borrego & Pleasantly Perfect were the other winners in this time span & they were more versatile Mid-Pack Closers
2007 PC Classic: Won by Student Council, who came from way off the Pace, meaning he was 5 or more lengths back @ the 1/4 Pole.
2008 PC Classic: Won by Go Between, who came from way off the Pace, same as above.
2009 PC Classic: Won by Richards Kid, a notorious way off the Early-Pace runner who is almost always at leasts 5 lengths behind at the 1/4 Pole.
2010 PC Classic: Richards Kid, Wins again, He still has the same notorious way off the Early-Pace running style. A special note here is Richards Kid with his way off the Early Pace style has not Won another Major G-1 race on a Dirt track anywhere in the USA since winning @ Del Mar. Again proof that the Del Mar Poly is/was "Biased to Late Closers" & a reason cited by the BC Council that they will not hold a Breeders Cup @ Del Mar.
2011 PC Classic: Won by Acclamation, The only Early Speed winner of the Pac Classic since Poly-Trak installation in 2007. Proof that the Poly tweaking is changing the Poly-Trak profile, maybe?
2012 PC Classic: Won by Dullahan, another way off the Early Pace Late Closer, who is always at least 5 lengths behind at the 1/4 Pole. Another special note, Dullahan has not Won a Major G-1 race on Dirt anywhere in the USA after taking the PC Classic last year. Again proof that the Del Mar Poly has/had an Anti-Early Speed Bias. I think Dullahan is scheduled to come to Del Mar this meet & defend his Pac-Classic Crown.
As someone who watches every race and does trip Notes, I can tell you on Thursday, Friday and most of Saturday, horses racing on the inside won EVERY main track race and the rail bias was obvious and huge. And making it more blatant, horses that either rallied along the rail or were following the winner, ran second or third. And seemingly, the further out you were, the more you died on your rally.
Perhaps it is the banking, but I think the inside was simply faster. A great example was Saturday's first race. Congregationalist led inside early, let Surf N Ski through inside of him early on the backstretch to make the lead and prompted the pace outside of him, eventually the field lined up around midstretch and you could visibly see the horses that raced further out were noticeably struggling while Surf N Ski was obviously on the tightest part of the track. Several horses have re-rallied along the rail that were definitely beat in the first week.
People who rely strictly on numbers or stats are victims to what has had happened in the past, not what's happening in the present or will happen in the future. Your eyes tell you what you need to know...Watch, observe and your instincts will generally be right.
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