Generally speaking, a race run on the turf in the United States will produce a lower Beyer speed figure than one run on the dirt. But that is about to change, according to founder Andy Beyer. He writes in the Daily Racing Form that “most classes of grass races now appear comparable in quality to their counterparts on dirt, and we believe our figures ought to reflect this fact.”
Following a five-month intensive process, Beyer, with partner Matt Hopkins and colleague Randy Moss, all the speed figures for 2015 turf races have been updated. Beyer says that “from high-level allowance company to bottom-level claimers, figures on the two surfaces [dirt and turf] will now be comparable.”
There are a multitude of difficulties involved in setting appropriate numbers for turf races, Beyer argues. Primarily, turf races tend to have extremely slow early pace numbers while showing rapid acceleration down the lane, meaning that the Beyer algorithms would produce “figures that were too low for the fastest horses while being too high for low-level runners.” Also problematic are the tracks' use of changing inner rails and unique “run-ups” at each track.
Read more about the changes at the Daily Racing Form.
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