Open w/$300 Deposit & get Weekend Pass FREE!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Now it's Yielding!!

It wasn't yesterday or Friday - but it is today!!

How do I know?? - Slow fractions and DIVOTS!!!

As I said - I e-mailed the CEO and President of the NYRA regarding this issue.

Here is how it went -

Mr Hayward:

What is the process when it comes to labeling
the conditions of the turf courses?

I find it very hard to believe the grass
was Yielding as listed by the NYRA .
After watching the fourth race go wire
to wire without any divots being thrown
up by the hooves, in has to be Good at
worst and is far from Yielding as listed.

Accurate track conditions are essential
for savvy horse players. It is unfair
to label the turf incorrectly when we can
only believe what you tell us.

Thank you for your time.

Mr. Straw,

Track super Glen Kozak carefully monitors
the condition of all of our turf and dirt courses
and he started walking the turf courses at 6:30 AM
this morning. Yesterday and into last night we
received over an inch and a half of rain which
forced us to cancel two of the four races scheduled
for the turf today. The race that you were referring
to was won by a horse whose previous win was wire
to wire on a yielding turf course at 7-1. The time
of the race was 1:36.98 and the track record for
that distance is 1:33.42 which clearly indicates
the ground was fairly heavy. This was only the
second race run on this turf course in 10-1/2
months. If you go back and look at the first two
races yesterday that were run on the turf in
the pouring rain you will see no divots being
thrown up because the grass is very tight and
in superb condition. We understand that millions
are bet on NYRA races every day and we monitor
our track conditions very carefully.
Thanks for your interest in New
York racing. Regards, Charlie Hayward

Charles E. Hayward
President and CEO
The New York Racing Association, Inc.

Kinda a jab there - but think about it. If the turf
is labeled incorrectly , it goes into the DRF wrong!!

Then when I am handicapping 3 months from now,
that race will say yielding and my handicapping
will be wrong.

Mr Hayward himself said the turf was "very tight
and in superb condition." That doesn't sound
Yielding to ME!!!

Here is my response I sent out this morning -
and I don't expect a reply.

Mr Hayward -

Thank you very much for your prompt reply and
the candor and thoughtfulness with your answer.
I know I am just a 'little guy' and doesn't
wager millions on your races.

I realized there were no divots being thrown
Friday which is what prompted me to write
yesterday. I also know the grass courses
are in fine shape having not been used for
10 1/1 months. It has been a drought up here
in Saratoga. That inch and a half of rain
was absorbed like water into a dry sponge
- hence no divots. But the ground was not
Yielding. I have specialized in handicapping
grass races for 25 years. It was Good at worst.
You referenced the time of the race - it should
have been a lot slower on a Yielding course.
Saying they went in 1:36 and change tells me the
ground was Good. The track record time is
irrelevant - we know those were far from
stakes horses.

Is there a precise way Mr Kozak measures the
conditions of the turf course? I remember Michael D
Dickenson walking the turf course in high heels
to see how much of the heel went into the surface.

Is there no standard definition of Yielding, Soft ,
or Good? I know all racing jurisdictions (
Kentucky, Florida, etc.) label there own tracks
there own way. How much do these definitions
differ from state to state?

Thank you for your time listening to a 'little

Did I get my point across? Yes I did. In fact,
within an hour of my email, the track conditions
were upgraded twice within the hour. Coincidence?



Saratoga Grammy said...

That's amazing interaction!

There's no way he doesn't get that "you know your stuff"!

I liked the historical info about 'walking in high heels'....that was funny!

Mira said...

I know zero about horse racing, but this was a fascinating read. I had no idea that track conditions were so important!

(Found you through fuelmyblog.)

Jack Straw said...

Mira -

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

The easiest way to understand how track conditions effect running is think about the beach.

When the sand is dry it is very loose and deep and you get tired running through it.

If you run close to the surf, the wet sand is packed tightly which allows you to run over the surface easily.