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Breeders' Cup 2011: Figures and Facts (Updated)

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UPDATE: The Equibase numbers are now included in the charts.

A happy Monday to everyone out there.  I hope your weekend was a good one and, if you were at the track, a profitable one. I didn't pick up a Form or turn on HRTV/TVG all weekend as I took a few days to re-charge the batteries a little bit after the hectic weeks leading up to the Breeders' Cup. Never fear, the vacation was short-lived and it's time to prepare for the long, cold season of winter racing.

There wasn't a whole lot of action on the racing calendar this past weekend but we've got a couple of Grade 1 races on the horizon.  This Saturday the Hollywood Park will feature the Hollywood Turf Cup, followed by the Clark Handicap, Matriarch Stakes, Gazelle Stakes, Cigar Mile, and Hollywood Derby over Thanksgiving weekend.  That should gets us back into the mix in fine fashion.

As kind of a final Breeders' Cup re-cap I went through and pulled the speed figures for all of this year's winners. I've got the Beyer and Bris figures but only could find an incomplete list for Equibase. [Thank you to Equibase for alerting me to the location of their numbers.] Below is a snapshot of the Beyer, Bris and Equibase figures for each 2011 Breeders' Cup winner, along with a second chart illustrating how each figure ranks under each system.

Race Surface Winner Beyer Bris Equibase
Classic Dirt Drosselmeyer 104 110 116
Dirt Mile Dirt Caleb's Posse 111 110 114
F&M Sprint Dirt Musical Romance 98 106 101
F&M Turf Turf Perfect Shirl 99 100 112
Juvenile Dirt Hansen 94 103 108
Juvenile Fillies Dirt My Miss Aurelia 86 99 96
Juvenile Fillies Turf Turf Stephanie's Kitten 87 101 99
Juvenile Sprint Dirt Secret Circle 95 102 113
Juvenile Turf Turf Wrote (IRE) 88 104 107
Ladies' Classic Dirt Royal Delta 104 110 115
Marathon Dirt Afleet Again 95 98 109
Mile Turf Court Vision 103 108 111
Sprint Dirt Amazombie 107 110 128
Tur Sprint Turf Regally Ready 102 108 119
Turf Turf St Nicholas Abbey (IRE) 108 104 126

The second chart compares the speed figures against the other figures earned in order to rank them from highest to lowest, and as compared to each system.

Race Surface Winner BeyerRk BrisRk EquibRk
Dirt Mile Dirt Caleb's Posse 1 1 6
Turf Turf St Nicholas Abbey (IRE) 2 8 2
Sprint Dirt Amazombie 3 1 1
Classic Dirt Drosselmeyer 4 1 4
Ladies' Classic Dirt Royal Delta 4 1 5
Mile Turf Court Vision 6 5 9
Tur Sprint Turf Regally Ready 7 5 3
F&M Turf Turf Perfect Shirl 8 13 8
F&M Sprint Dirt Musical Romance 9 7 13
Marathon Dirt Afleet Again 10 15 10
Juvenile Sprint Dirt Secret Circle 11 11 7
Juvenile Dirt Hansen 12 10 11
Juvenile Turf Turf Wrote (IRE) 13 8 12
Juvenile Fillies Turf Turf Stephanie's Kitten 14 12 14
Juvenile Fillies Dirt My Miss Aurelia 15 14 15

Both Beyer and Brisnet agree on which performance was the best for the entire weekend: Caleb's Posse in the Dirt Mile.  That doesn't surprise me one bit because I thought that, visually, he was clearly the most impressive winner (although I think Royal Delta was right up there "visually").  However, Brisnet assigned exactly the same 110 figure for three other performances over the weekend, all of which were on dirt. Under their system, Amazombie (Sprint), Drosselmeyer (Classic), and Royal Delta (Ladies' Classic) performed at the same level as Caleb's Posse. 

Beyer doesn't disagree that sharply with Bris on the rankings; Amazombie is ranked 3rd, and Drosselmeyer and Royal Delta are tied for 4th.  Beyer has St. Nicholas Abbey (IRE) as the 2nd best performance of the weekend, while Bris only has it at #8. 

Equibase has Amazombie as the top figure for the weekend, with St. Nicholas Abbey a close second.  Caleb's Posse grabs spot #6.

Beyer, Bris and Equibase all pretty much agree on My Miss Aurelia, ranking her win in the Juvenile Fillies as one of the slowest of the weekend. Same thing goes for Stephanie's Kitten.

Marathon winner Afleet Again ranks last under Bris but a little higher under both Beyer and Equibase.  I'm not sure how much stock to put into a speed figure for a 1 3/4 mile race when there is essentially zero sample size to compare against.  About the only thing a figure maker can do is come up with a projection but that's even a challenge without any races to compare againt.

Another difference of opinion between the two systems is with Filly & Mare Turf winner Perfect Shirl.  Beyer and Equibase both have that as the 8th best figure, while Bris ranks it 13th or 15.  The figure for Wrote (IRE) in the Juvenile Turf reverses that conclusion.

While these figures are earned over two surfaces and a variety of distances, I think it's still interesting to see how different systems compare to one another.  Overall, each speed figure system comes to roughly the same conclusions with varying differences in the details.