JC / Railbird

Feeling Insecure

Nick Kling on the closing of the detention barn:

In an attempt to sway bettors in their favor, barn opponents alleged it had no deterrent effect. However, that belies several examples of success from the security barn.

The most glaring was the case of a trainer known for winning at a high percentage at every venue. The instant the security barn opened this person’s New York success fell off the table. The stable continued to win 25 percent everywhere else, less than half that in New York.


In the past four years, the New York entries from this barn have been fewer than half the number from the final five months of 2005…. This outfit has had ZERO New York starters in 2010.

7/19/10 Addendum/Edit: Trainer Rick Dutrow, one of the reasons for the detention barn? “They didn’t trust me, man.” (Not the case, says Hayward.)


Why doesn’t he he name the trainers? It’s just statistics, right?

Posted by Robin on July 17, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

I think because [the column can be read in such a way that] there’s an insinuation of wrongdoing. But it does almost seem worse, leaving people guessing.

Posted by Jessica on July 18, 2010 @ 7:17 am

The trainer in question is Scott Lake. Last NYRA starter was 12/31/09 and he’s had declining NYRA starters since 2005, every year.

Should name names when you can. Though it could be an insinuation of wrong doing, stats are stats.

I don’t like the insinuation that this was a security barn ‘success’. Just put the stats out there and let the reader decide. For instance, Lake had a much higher number of 2009 Belmont starters than he did for the same meet(s) in 2008. There is no question, that considering Lake’s level of stock, it is much more competitive at Belmont in the spring than Aqueduct in winter, where the majority of Lake’s winning occurred during the last five years.

The stats don’t make it as clear cut as insinuated in the article but just the stats on their own are compelling enough for the reader to decide on his or her own.

Posted by o_crunk on July 18, 2010 @ 11:25 am

There’s naming names, and then there’s libel.

Thanks for the additional context. Definitely makes the example a little more complex and gives the reader more to think about re: the detention barn and what its closing next week may or may not mean.

Posted by Jessica on July 18, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

Just some more context to think about. Lake has started *more than half* of horses this year at Philadelphia Park, in a state that lost its graded status last year *because* of a lack of higher level drug testing. For the year 2010, Lake is winning at 10% among ~250 total starters.

Posted by o_crunk on July 18, 2010 @ 10:51 pm