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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Where Have You Gone Mr. Tomlinson?

One of my racetracker pals, Wack, emailed me today to ask the following: "Geno: Weather looks like crap down there for all much stock do you put in the wet tomlinson? Is it now THEE most important factor or just one of many? Who does the slop benefit and who do ya take down a notch?"

The man was obviously spending some time with my spreadsheet and is on point wondering what does that statistic mean? Is it relevant to Saturday? Looking at, it looks like thunderstorms are possible, so the fact that the track might come up muddy or sloppy has to be a consideration so it makes sense to understand what that might mean.

So let's examine Wack's question....will the Tomlinson's be thee factor? In my opinion, it has to be considered, but it's not the only one. Where did the Tomlinson come from? They were the brainchild of Lee Tomlinson who decided that "after having one too many losing days at the track whenever the conditions was listed as sloppy or muddy, I realized that past performances on a fast track were often useless." What he did then, was grab 500-600 old DRF's and determined that pedigree could be a significant factor in how a horse ran on an off track, as well as on turf. After a couple more months of research, he determined that what he had uncovered was salable and "Mudders and Turfers" became a reality. As Dave Litfin wrote in "Expert Handicapping" the Tomlinson Ratings were born and "were based on the actual performances of all progeny of every sire, grandsire and broodmare sire. The ratings range from 0 to 480 (a perfect score)." Litfin went on to give some rules of thumb stating, "a rating of 320 or better merits further consideration on wet tracks."

So there is the background on the Tomlinson figs. You need to take them with a grain of salt. Note the phrase "merits further consideration" which implies it is just a factor. The BRIS reports give you the Mud Stats for both the sire and dam for starts on off tracks, another consideration for Saturday.

But for me, you also have to consider who has run well on an off track in real time. We all know that Friesen Fire nailed it in the Louisiana Derby seven weeks ago in the slop, that's evidence enough (a real past performance) for serious consideration (with a 104 beyer). His Wet Tomlinson is 446...there ya go.

So going back to Wack's question who merits consideration who doesn't? Looking at the Tomlinson's in my spreadsheet, here are those over 420: Nowhere to Hide (480), General Quarters (452), Join in the Dance (429), Dunkirk (427), and Flying Private (420). The other thing Litfin says is to look at the combined Wet and Distance Tomlinsons...the top five there are as follows: Nowhere to Hide (797), Regal Ransom (752), Atomic Rain (738), Friesen Fire (737) and Papa Clem (724). Interesting, as a couple horses are pretty much throw-outs (Atomic, Nowhere, Flying Private), but they show up based on pedigree to be solid based on combined distance and wet Tomlinsons.

What other factors should Wack consider? To me, speed always does well on wet tracks, and should hold up if Churchill comes up wet. Seeing Join in the Dance and Regal Ransom with high figures above doesn't surprise me and gives me even more confidence in Regal Ransom then I already had.

Who should we take down a notch if the track comes up sloppy? The only horse that came up short (318) that I considered as a serious contender is Chocolate Candy.....

The other tidbit that I learned during the Spa's opening day from my pal JB, was to always respect the outside posts as the middle of the track is not used as much (especially after 10 races with shorter fields) and can be better footing for those in the middle of the track (regardless of ground lost).

Just some more tidbits to obsess over.....


Amateurcapper said...


Great call on the track condition being terrible at post time. Remember SMARTY JONES' Derby??? He stalked while wide and ran down LION HEART while IMPERIALISM ran wide to clunk up for 3rd. That $1 Exacta (15-3) paid $32.60, $1 Trifecta (15-3-10) paid $493.80.

So how's about this wagering strategy:
1. Choose a top 3 or 4 favorite from the 3rd 1/4 of the starting grid to key on top.
2. Find a speed type in the inside 1/2 of the field a la LION HEART and HARD SPUN to key in 2nd.
3. Find a key late runner at a price for 3rd.

Any thoughts on a key in each position following that logic???

Amateurcapper said...


The speed horse and the late runner must have won a graded stakes prep, if following the '04 trifecta template.

EquiSpace said...


Actually what you posted is extremely close to the trifectas I have built so far...I like your thought process...Good luck tomorrow!


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