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What's in a time
#1
What stock does everybody put into racing times.  I am watching Plainridge Park racing yesterday and I see in a $13,000 Open race, the winning time was an impressive 1:50.3.  At Yonkers, a $35,000 race yields a time of 1:54.3.  

Does anything give?

Does it matter?  

Track bias?

You tell me.
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#2
Seems there are plenty of variables. The speed of the track. Size of the track. The conditions. The style of the race.

Personally, I always enjoy those races when everyone is going for the lead and the first 1/4 mile is in a blistering pace. Not always the fastest race though as some of those frontrunners barely have enough to get over the finish line.
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#3
Yesterday's 4th (I think) at Monticello was proof of what you were saying.  The leader shot out and cut decent fractions (in a trot).  I think they went through 3/4 in 1:27, but this horse only had 7/8 in him.  He tired badly and was passed by several in the stretch.  The winnign time was 2:01.4, meaning the last quarter was almost 34 seconds.  

I also wonder how much the time is affected by the run-up?  At some tracks, the run-up to the starting line is significant; at others, not so much. 

At the end of the day, as long as the races are competitive and not always going to the frontrunner, it's all good.
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#4
That's another interesting thought. The run up can have an affect on the race. I'm always worried when the horse that I bet is way behind the gate and is working hard just to catch up. Not sure if that is a strategy by the driver or he was late getting his horse in position.
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