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Homeracing

Understanding Form Cycles

Profile Picture: Derek Simon

Derek Simon

May 31st, 2013

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Shockingly (not really), just as improving Beyer speed figures increase the likelihood of a regression, so too do ascending Form Ratings — especially if the most recent Rating exceeds 75 percent. 

Likewise, deteriorating Form Ratings increase the probability of a form reversal.

Viewed in this light, maybe the Preakness Stakes wasn’t such a head-scratcher after all. Just two horses — Oxbow and Itsmyluckyday — entered that 1 3/16-mile contest with fading form… they finished first and second respectively.

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So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at some weekend races:

May 31

We’ll start at my home track, Arapahoe Park. In Friday’s opener, one horse shows deteriorating Form Ratings — and he happens to have the best overall speed figures in the field. That, to me, makes Valid Thief very dangerous, especially since the morning line favorite (Clay W. Woodstock) looks pretty weak.

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Another race that intrigues me is the fourth at Mountaineer Park. Although there are no obvious “mathematical bounce” candidates, the figures suggest that Goose No Fruit and Tempestuous One are the ones to beat. 

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June 2

PRM7: In a race that looks wide open, I like the figures on 7-TETON BEAUTY and 6-PRINCESS OF POWER. Both have solid records over the local oval and both come off of deceptively good races.

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LS6: There’s not a lot of early zip in this race, which makes 1-ENERGY'S PRIDE very interesting—especially since he recorded an insane -15 ESR chasing better over a route of ground last time. This race appears to fit him like a glove… and not the one in the OJ trial.

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HOL5: Backing strong favorites in maiden races isn’t my cup of tea, but 1-APOSTLE PAUL appears to hold all the aces in this spot… although it is a contentious race.

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EMD2: If 4-STRONG MOVE gets hammered in the wagering — and I think he might — I’d take a shot with 2-GRAYTFUL HARBOR, whose figures are nearly identical to those of the morning line favorite. Dutching those two (at the right, i.e. profitable, odds) is another way to go.

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EMD8: 1-BOUND TO WIN pressed a reasonably fast pace while four-wide in his local debut. Since then, he’s had a series of stamina-building workouts and gets a meaningful rider switch. 4-ANKENY HILL set a slow pace in breaking his maiden at first asking, but: a) I’m not sure he needs the lead and b) his late speed ration (LSR) in that maiden-breaker was sensational. Play one or both as the odds dictate.

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