In a preparation piece for opening day at Keeneland’s Fall Meet, we decided to take a look at where, from a post position standpoint, and, relative to the pacesetter, winners won races. The goal here is to give you all a bit of help when designing races.
To start, a note. The numbers below are for all racing at Keeneland since 2015.
Lot of thoughts on the below. Rather than commenting in each section, I am going to leave just a few thoughts.
Too few races
As one might expect, getting the lead in dirt races of all distances is dangerous. Nothing too crazy going on here. I do think it’s rather striking to see the decline in leader win percentage as you increase in distance. It intuitively makes sense that this is the case, but seeing the relationship between increase in distance and decrease in leader win percentage is super clear (at least for distances with larger samples, e.g. <= 9 furlongs.)
The story is very different on the turf where we see the largest win percentage in horses that were 5 to 10 lengths off the leader at the early point of call. This also makes quite a bit of sense.
The story is very much the same for the later points of call in dirt races, though there does appear to be a bit more of a trend toward horses coming from slightly further back. The lead though, is still dangerous.
The chart for the turf looks very much the same as it did above. Lots of action late in the game. Particularly interesting that the highlighted cells don’t really move at all.