Vernon to start new classification system
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Vernon Downs will implement an innovative new concept of classifying the overnight horses beginning with next week's draw.
David Siegel, president of TrackMaster, known for their horse racing past performance products and handicapping aids, has developed a process where all horses racing on the continent are assigned a figure akin to the speed figures used by horseplayers to handicap races. The assigned figure is based on a number of factors compiled by software that is dedicated to the process. The races are then comprised of those horses with comparable figures, theoretically creating races based on each horse's ability rather than the amount of money made in the last few starts.
Hoosier Park's Scott Peine has been using the assigned ratings for nearly two months and Ocean Downs implemented the ratings to classify their races when their meet began in early June. Both report positive results with even fields and odds boards for the races.
Hambletonian Society president John Campbell presented the idea at last December's Racing Secretary meetings and had this to say regarding the possibilities of the initiative: "I believe the TrackMaster rating system of classifying horses has the potential to be far superior in matching fields of horses together and will offer our horse players more value across the toteboard. The initial results at Hoosier Park and Ocean Downs from a wagering standpoint have been very positive."
Vernon Racing Secretary Scott Warren has spent the past few weeks observing and comparing the conventional money classification system with the assigned figure formula to get an idea if it worked for his horse population. He was impressed enough to put it to use.
"One of the more positive results from this manner of classifying will allow for horses to return to a class where they can be competitive more quickly after moving up to a level beyond their ability after a win while the money conditions could keep them over-classified for a month or more. As a result the races should be more even and horses should be overmatched and at long odds far less often," was Warren's observation.
Classes will be listed on the condition sheet as AA, A, B, C and D. The ratings figure for horses that have been racing at Vernon will be available in the race office and on the Vernon Downs website.
TrackMaster automatically produces a figure for every horse racing in North America.
This change will begin with the weekend of July 13 and 14. Please call the Racing Office at (315) 829-6825 with questions. (Vernon Downs)