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Graded Stakes Results & Divisional Standings (9/17/12)

Rob Carr - Getty Images

I've been keeping a database of graded stakes winners for several years now but this is the first year where I've attempted to assign points in order to attempt to judge the performances throughout the racing season. As each month has passed, I've thought of different ways to try and improve on the concept going forward, specifically relating to determining the strength of a specific stakes race

I won't be able to make the changes for this year, but going forward I'm going to add another "race strength" component into the mix. Right now I'll be adding in a speed figure bonus at the end of the year, with the horses that ran the fastest figs in a winning effort receiving bonus points. While that is a crude way to measure race strength, I've also thought a lot about awarding bonus points to certain races based on horses coming out of that race winning graded stakes races later on in the year. Or perhaps a penalty to races that fail to produce any other stakes winners.

The idea for this change goes back to the whole notion of "not all Grade x races are alike". A grade 3 race at Tampa might produce zero stakes winners the rest of the year, while one at Santa Anita might provide multiple. If we're trying to assign points that determine which horses are "the best" (and, of course, that term is almost always relative), then we need to find some way to differentiate races beyond simply grade or a speed figure.

Unfortunately, this still won't be a perfect system, especially with respect to three-year-olds that develop greatly over the course of the year. But regardless, I think a bonus for stakes winners exiting a specific race would help be a good extra.

I've been playing around with the mechanics to implement a system to reward points for later stakes winners but am trying to balance it against giving myself too much work to do on the backend. After all, I've only got so many hours in the day to pour through results charts. A streamlined method would be to only look at the future races of the top 3 finishers, since I'm already collecting that information. Unfortunately, I just don't think that's adequate for what I'm looking for. If horses that finished 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th come back to win a graded stakes that's a good sign of the depth of a specific race and needs to be quantified in some manner.

At the end of the day, I'm probably going to have to just manually enter in the entire running order so that I can analyze the data from top to bottom. If that proves to be too cumbersome... well, necessity is the mother of invention.

Anyway, that's my thoughts going forward with this whole Divisional Standing experiment.

On to the standings...

A couple of notes before looking at the Top 10s:

  • Wise Dan currently sits 2nd in the Turf Mile category to Mr. Commons, the result entirely due to the fact that Mr. Commons has raced at a mile on the turf many times this season, while the connections of Wise Dan have only recently focused on turf miles. I think most of us would agree that Wise Dan is clearly the best turf miler in North America and I would expect that by the end of the season, he'll sit atop the rankings for the category. However, this does point out one issue of trying to assign points within certain classifications: horses that run more stakes in a certain division will naturally gather more points.

    Like the race strength changes I discussed above, I may have to look at tweaking the assigning of point or perhaps a heavier emphasis on winning over just running second or third multiple times. I don't know. We'll see how it shakes out by the end of the year.
  • The Wise Dan problem crops up with Questing (GB) in the 3YO Fillies category.
  • One change that I haven't done so far this year but will do before the end of the season is split the 3YO Colt and Filly categories into "Dirt" and "Turf" categories. It will dilute the sample size but needs to be done given the inherent differences between each surface.

Below are the Divisional Standings Top 10 as of Sunday's races. You can find the full Graded Stakes Results/Divisional Standings via Google Docs.

2YO Colts
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Know More 70
2 Scherer Magic 50

Bern Identity 50
4 Rolling Fog 45
5 I'm Boundtoscore 35

Shanghai Bobby 35

Spurious Precision 35
8 Circle Unbroken 25

Pataky Kid 25

Heir Kitty 25

Brave Dave 25

Are You Kidding Me 25

Handsome Jack 25

Fortify 25

He's So Fine 25

2YO Fillies
Rank Horse Pts.
1 So Many Ways 70

Executiveprivilege 70
3 Spring Venture 35

Sweet Shirley Mae 35

Kauai Katie 35

Beholder 35
7 Gold Edge 25

Spring in the Air 25

Blueeyesintherein 25

Salamera 25

Mechaya 25

Teen Pauline 25

3YO Colts
Rank Horse Pts.
1 I'll Have Another 170
2 Bodemeister 140

Alpha 140
4 Creative Cause 110

Secret Circle 110
6 Union Rags 105
7 Trinniberg 100

Hansen 100
9 Paynter 95
10 Nonios 85

Dullahan 85

Mark Valeski 85

3YO Fillies
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Lady of Shamrock 145
2 Zo Impressive 140
3 Eden's Moon 130
4 Grace Hall 120

In Lingerie 120
6 Contested 115
7 Reneesgotzip 105

Believe You Can 105
9 Broadway's Alibi 95
10 Questing (GB) 90

Via Villaggio 90

Rank Horse Pts.
1 Game On Dude 150

Ron the Greek 150
3 Richard's Kid 85

Redeemed 85
5 Fort Larned 70

Hymn Book 70

Mucho Macho Man 70
8 Mission Impazible 60

Wise Dan 60

Alternation 60

Nates Mineshaft 60

Dirt Mile
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Shackleford 80
2 To Honor and Serve 50

Fort Larned 50

Tapizar 50

Nates Mineshaft 50

Mucho Macho Man 50
7 Jackson Bend 40
8 Rule 35

Successful Dan 35

Caleb's Posse 35

Rail Trip 35

Uh Oh Bango 35

Dirt Mile Fillies
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Include Me Out 105
2 It's Tricky 80
3 Ellafitz 50

Awesome Maria 50
5 Daisey Devine 45
6 Love and Pride 40
7 Star Billing 35

Brushed by a Star 35

Bay to Bay 35

Cash for Clunkers 35

Dirt Sprint
Rank Horse Pts.
1 The Factor 105
2 Amazombie 95
3 Camp Victory 80
4 Essence Hit Man 75

Emcee 75
6 Hamazing Destiny 65
7 Justin Phillip 60

Capital Account 60
9 Caleb's Posse 50

Calibrachoa 50

Roman Threat 50

Dirt Sprint Fillies
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Groupie Doll 140
2 Musical Romance 115

C C's Pal 115
4 Nicole H 85
5 She's Cheeky 80
6 Roxy Gap 75

Sugarinthemorning 75
8 Derwin's Star 60

Magical Feeling 60

It's Tricky 60

Rank Horse Pts.
1 Include Me Out 80

Love ThewayYouare 80
3 Royal Delta 70
4 Plum Pretty 45
5 Awesome Maria 40

Tiz Miz Sue 40
7 Absinthe Minded 35
8 Zafeen's Pearl (GB) 25

Upperline 25

She's All In 25

Love and Pride 25

Afleeting Lady 25

Miss Mittagong 25

Tiz Me Sue 25

Turf Classic
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Slim Shadey (GB) 130
2 Point of Entry 125
3 Simmard 105
4 Al Khali 95

Casino Host 95
6 Acclamation 90

Little Mike 90
8 Papaw Bodie 85
9 Utopian 75

Forte Dei Marmi (GB) 75

Turf Fillies
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Hit It Rich 105
2 Capital Plan 85

Zagora (FR) 85
4 Marketing Mix 70
5 City to City 60

Aruna 60
7 All Star Heart 50
8 Belle Royale (IRE) 45

I'm A Dreamer (IRE) 45

Winter Memories 45

Turf Mile
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Mr. Commons 120
2 Wise Dan 80
3 Data Link 75

Jeranimo 75
5 Willyconker (IRE) 70
6 Doubles Partner 50

Tune Me In 50

Corporate Jungle 50
9 Riding the River 35

Turallure 35

Suggestive Boy (ARG) 35

Obviously (IRE) 35

Dominus 35

Wilkinson 35

Hunters Bay 35

Guys Reward 35

Turf Mile Fillies
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Tapitsfly 105
2 Quiet Oasis (IRE) 60

Winter Memories 60

Hungry Island 60
5 Zagora (FR) 50
6 Bauble Queen 35

Marketing Mix 35

City to City 35

Silver Max 35
10 Silver Screamer 30

Briecat 30

Heavenly Landing 30

Wild Mia 30

Turf Sprint
Rank Horse Pts.
1 Something Extra 35
2 Great Attack 25

Upgrade 25

Perfect Officer 25

Big Band Sound 25

California Flag 25

Ben's Cat 25

Caracortado 25

Roxy Gap 25
10 Great Mills 20