If Buzzfeed covered horse racing:
30 Photos of Famous Racehorses Taking Naps
Video: We Can’t Get Enough of Wise Dan Rolling in His Round Pen
Everything You Need to Know about Uniform Rules
The 6 Types of Selfies Turf Writers Take
Racing Has Feelings about Congressional Hearings
11 Reasons Wise Dan Should Be Renamed Awesome Dan
Verrazano’s Very Crazy Year
The Unwritten Rules of Saratoga Everyone Needs to Follow
5 Trainers You Should Only Bet in Fall
The Fashionable Horse: Cooler Looks for All Seasons
Todd Pletcher’s Top 10 Tips for Trophy Display
Party Like an ABR Ambassador
These 37 Mo Foals Will Make You Say Uncle
The Top 10 Ladies of the Winner’s Circle
8 Things You Should Know about Brisnet Ratings
3 Amazing Walkovers You Should Do at Least Once
This Replay Must Be Seen to Be Believed
5 Tricks for Understanding Race Conditions
15 Photos that Prove Horses Have a Sense of Humor
This Trainer Is Miraculously Good at Claiming
5 Pace Scenarios that Make Bob Baffert Frown
13 Things You Don’t Know about Secretariat
Why Derby Day Is the Best Day to Get Married
The Definitive Ranking of Racetrack Cocktails
More than a Stud: 53 Stallions at Play
10 Replays to Watch with Your Cat
17 Signs You’re Hung Up on Speed Figures
This Is Why Going to the Eclipse Awards Is Absolutely Essential
(Inspired by emails about listicles with Superterrific.)
Shortest odds in a Breeders’ Cup race: Wise Dan, 0.80, Mile.
The longest odds: Teaks North, 95.90, Turf.
Highest win payout: Ria Antonia, $66.60, Juvenile Fillies.
Longest odds on a returning Breeders’ Cup winner: Trinniberg, 17.00, Sprint.
Worst performance by a favorite: Ever Rider, 4.80, Marathon, pulled up tired.
Largest winning margin: Beholder, 4 1/4 lengths, Distaff.
Number of winning favorites: Five, all in Saturday races. (Wise Dan, Mile; Secret Circle, Sprint; Mizdirection, Turf Sprint; Groupie Doll, Filly and Mare Sprint; Dank, Filly and Mare Turf).
Number of winners who won last out: Six (Chriselliam, Juvenile Fillies Turf; Beholder, Distaff; Dank, Filly and Mare Turf; New Year’s Day, Juvenile; Secret Circle, Sprint; Mucho Macho Man, Classic).
Worst last-out performance by a Breeders’ Cup winner: Magician, ninth by 12 1/4 lengths in the St. James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Number of starters in the non-juvenile races running without Lasix: Four, out of 106 (Olympic Glory, Mile, 9th; Romantica, Filly and Mare Turf, 2nd; Royal Delta, Distaff, 4th; Ever Rider, Marathon, DNF).
From Jeff Scott’s Breeders’ Cup tidbits:
Favorites won 32 percent (38-120) of races in the sample, a figure comparable to the record of racing favorites in general. The fact that BC fields are considerably larger than average may make the 32 percent strike rate higher than expected.
Favorites have had mixed success finishing in the money in the recent years. In 2012, favorites finished in the top three in five of six races on Friday, six of nine on Saturday. In 2011, three of six on Friday, four of nine on Saturday. In 2010, four of six on Friday, four of eight on Saturday.
10/26/13 Addendum: Breeders’ Cup contenders, by the numbers. “There are 121 group or graded stakes winners in the entries, including 71 winners of Group 1 or Grade 1 races.” And 74 of the 172 pre-entries won their last starts.
Marketing horse racing through its rich data is on the agenda for the 2013 UA-RTIP Symposium on Racing and Gaming:
New Ways to Look at Numbers
Sports fans are traditionally a group of people who have an insatiable hunger for facts, figures and statistics. Racing is a sport that is data rich but that attribute hasn’t been marketed. Panelists look at new data that could be presented to the racing audience, new ways to present the information we currently provide as well as how all of it can be used to attract new customers and increase the frequency of current players.
It’s also the subject of Thorotrends’ call to “release the data,” which I hope the Symposium data panelists will read before they arrive in Arizona, along with everything Superterrific has gathered on the issue of freeing racing data from paywalls and PDFs in her latest on Exacta-mundo.
Making data more available can only help attract more horseplayers. I’ve believed so for as long as I’ve been a racing fan, and have only been confirmed in that belief watching other sports move ahead with data, whether in creating APIs, building it into mobile apps, supporting hackathons, or holding events such as Major League Baseball’s Bases Coded, in which teams competed “to create the next great interactive media product for baseball fans.”
Note, I’m not advocating that past performances and other handicapping products should be free, or that Equibase should release all of the data it collects via an API without restrictions, although I do think it should release the majority of its data and without a significant lag. (Just as full charts can be downloaded within a hour of a race, so should race data.)
If you’re wondering what free(er) data might look like in racing, consider the models that already exist, ranging from MLB’s minimalist Gameday API to ESPN’s robust developer center. Imagine if Equibase created something similar to ESPN, which opens its data feeds to users for non-commercial applications with some usage restrictions (such as limiting the number of API calls within a set period) — as Thorotrends writes, the majority of racing fans would continue to use data as they always have, but there would be a small group who would hack and experiment. It would make racing feel less stagnant and less mysterious, leading to more fans and more wagering.
Market the data, certainly, just free the data first.
10/14/13 Update: Yes! From Dana Byerly, here’s a real-world example of how a horse racing API could be used.
This is how good Treve was winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe:
An RPR of 130 is bang on average for an Arc winner, but, if we factor in her 1.5kg (3.3lb) fillies’ allowance, it would have taken a 134+ performance from a colt to have beaten her on Sunday — and the last Arc winner to achieve that sort of figure was six-length winner Sakhee back in 2001.