JC / Railbird

The Numbers

The Racing Post’s Rating of the Breeders’ Cup Classic:

All the best dirt horses in America featured and it produced an above average winner, and, for that matter, an above average runner-up. Blame had proved himself a progressive horse in the top division this season and on Saturday he climbed the final pass to the top of the handicapping ranks with an RPR of 131. Zenyatta, in receipt of a 3lb mares’ allowance, matched her previous best ease-adjusted RPR of 128+ from last year’s Classic. On the raw figures, this was the best performance of her life.

Both Blame and Zenyatta received a Beyer Speed Figure of 111 for the Classic. That matches Blame’s previous top in the Whitney, in which he defeated Quality Road, and is one less than the career-high 112 that Zenyatta was given for the 2009 Classic. The consistency suggests we saw the best of both.

How about Uncle Mo? Mike Watchmaker on the Juvenile winner’s BSF:

The 108 Beyer he earned in the Juvenile was the second highest since Beyers were first published for this race in 1991. The highest Beyer ever in the Juvenile was War Pass’s 113 in 2007. But that Juvenile was run over a sloppy, sealed track, and we all know that conditions like that can often produce aberant [sic], untrustworthy figures.

Mo’s figure ties that of Street Sense in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, also at Churchill Downs. Street Sense went on to win the 2007 Kentucky Derby off two preps, which is what trainer Todd Pletcher plans for his young star.

Breeders’ Cup handle, attendance, ratings, and website traffic were all up this year. From Tuesday’s press release announcing the gains:

Traffic to the Breeders’ Cup web site and micro sites, also experienced strong growth. Traffic to the Breeders’ Cup main web site, www.breederscup.com, was up 25% over 2009 and traffic to its specialty handicapping site, www.breederscup360.com, was up 600%.

I’m so pleased. And now that we’re a couple days away from the stress of keeping the BC360 site up, I can delight in the fact that we broke the server on Saturday afternoon — that’s how good traffic was across the BC network. On BC360, every significant metric — pageviews, unique visitors, time on site — showed tremendous growth. We had visitors from 127 countries, up from 90 in 2009, with increased numbers from the UK, Canada, and Australia. All credit to the editors and contributors, and thanks to everyone who visited!

While compiling the final BC360 stats report on Monday, I noticed that the iPad, introduced in January, came in #6 among visitors’ browser/OS combinations, and that not only did it register so high for a new device, but that it seemed to supplant smartphone usage, which was down across devices. Part of that may be due — at least for iPhone users — to the successful introduction of the Breeders’ Cup iPhone app this year, but it also occurred to me that people may prefer the tablet for mobile web browsing over the smartphone experience. Turns out, I may have stumbled onto a trend: “Are tablets the smartphone killer?,” asks Wired. It’s certainly plausible.

1 Comment

I can’t understand why Zenyatta has been awarded a best-ever RPR of 131. I’m not saying she ran below form or anything, I’m just saying that why do handicappers consistently give horses about to retire inflated ratings? It’s pandering to the crowd and a completely inaccurate way of measuring how good a horse actually is. It is soooo annoying!

Posted by Grand National 2011 on November 10, 2010 @ 4:59 pm