Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby Insane Crazy » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:03 pm

Secretariat wouldnt be able to defend himself whether he he were alive or not. His hooves would break the keyboard.

In other words...You're reading way too into TB's statement. She literally was talking about what others have said. And even if we were to be accusing anyone or any steroid use (which was a given for 40 years of our sport, so...), no part of this thread was disparaging. Nada. None.

Anyhoo.

Tessa, is there any element of this that goes retroactively to examine preps, etc. to determine success? Or do we still have to wait for the Derby to run this year for us to play with your nerdy table of numbers? ;)
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Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby Treve » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:23 pm

Ridan_Remembered wrote:
Treve wrote:Nowhere did Tessablue state or even imply that Secretariat was on steroids.


And this is where I disagree...here is the full statement: "This actually lines up pretty well with the steroid ban, which was around ~2009. Incidentally, according to contemporary reporting, Secretariat was considered by some a harbinger of what steroids would bring to the sport. I would need to do some more reading, but I believe steroid use began (or at least was known about) in the 60's or early 70's at the latest."

What other interpretation can there be for this statement other than the implication that Red was on steroids? The statement, "Secretariat was considered by some a harbinger of what steroids would bring to the sport" can have no other interpretation.


It's strange that you are the only one who interpreted her statement that way, then turn around and say there is no other interpretation. And you're twisting words by making assumptions for the speaker, instead of reading what is written out.
Steroid use began in the 60s and 70s. Lo behold, along came Secretariat. People started Nostradamusing about steroid use.
That is the only thing Tessa said. Now what you're doing is you're assuming she's making a connection by saying the people worried about steroid use were right in thinking he was on roids. You are putting words in her mouth and implying something that wasn't said.

Which is why once again, I think you are getting outraged and indignant at the wrong people. Take it with those who considered Secretariat to be a 'harbinger' back in the day. None of whom, are to my knowledge, on this forum.

Yet another interpretation of those declaring him a harbinger, could also be taken to mean not that he was on steroids, but rather, but rather that his achievements and feats would encourage others to roid their horses in an attempt to emulate or surpass what'd had done, which in turn opened the conversation (independently of Secretariat himself) on how steroid use might or might not impact the breeding industry given we had no idea at the time if it would affect fertility.

No disrespect that's already way more than one interpretation.
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Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby Tessablue » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:40 pm

Thanks to all for the defense of my statement. My intent was not to impugn any particular horse, but to comment on the fact that we essentially have no starting point for the "pre-steroid" era, if indeed any truly drug-free era ever existed. This makes it very difficult to determine whether the recent dropoff in figures is an aberration or the result of the recent ban. Whether fair or not, Secretariat was believed by some to be a sign that the sport was changing behind the scenes. I make no comment as to whether or not this was true, because I have no idea and I honestly don't care. In fact, I personally have very little interest in speculating which horses received which medications, legal or not. It's just a question that is far too occluded by history and emotion to be worth delving into. But there is little doubt, at least based on what I have read, that the early 70's were a tumultuous time for the sport, as the topic of drug and steroid usage grew more visible in the public consciousness. Remember, Dancer's Image was disqualified in 1968. We think of the 70's as a great era today, but it's a complex sport and horse racing fans are an argumentative bunch even at the best of times, so I don't think it does us much good to forget the nuance of our history.

Anyways, I'm glad people enjoyed or were interested in that article- the SI Vault is a wonderful resource for racing fans. Here is a fun article from Sunday Silence's Derby, which has a pretty delightful description of his stretch run- https://www.si.com/vault/1989/05/15/119895/a-sunday-stroll-sunday-silence-made-the-best-of-a-muddy-day-to-beat-easy-goer-in-the-slowest-kentucky-derby-in-years. Suffice it to say, people weren't exactly blown away by it!

Insane Crazy wrote:Tessa, is there any element of this that goes retroactively to examine preps, etc. to determine success? Or do we still have to wait for the Derby to run this year for us to play with your nerdy table of numbers? ;)
I haven't tried to do anything predictive just yet- I did play around with some field quality measures a couple years back but I ended up concluding that you can never really predict how many quality horses are in the Derby until at least one year later. Finding a predictive measure would be the holy grail though! Currently I'm looking to see whether there are any methods for reliably predicting pace, but it's pretty iffy so far. Kennedy's 20/20 system is definitely the best predictive one you'll see on here!
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Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby Ridan_Remembered » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:28 am

Tessablue wrote:Thanks to all for the defense of my statement. My intent was not to impugn any particular horse!


It's all fine that people rush to your defense. We all need friends and supporters, even in a context such as this. And I'll accept your assertion that you didn't intend to impugn the reputations of Secretariat and his trainer (the two are inextricably intertwined in this context). The intent of this thread would have been better served if the conversation did not take a detour into steroid use and the naming of a particular horse as an example of the issue.

The unfortunate tendency toward a knee-jerk defense dismisses what I contributed to this conversation -- that Lucien Laurin denied that Secretariat ever was administered drugs like steroids. He denied it in that SI article and he denied it many years later to me only a couple of years before his death. This is a first-hand true account whether or not the people here want to believe it. It shouldn't matter what a news article said while using the all-too-typical sly tactic of rank speculation to draw impressionable readers to the conclusion the author wants to assert without being able to do so with facts. It should matter a lot that the Hall of Fame trainer who was closest to the horse during his racing career denied in print and in my first-hand account that steroids were ever used on Secretariat. This is the "elephant in the room" that the rush to your defense misses.
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Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby Tessablue » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:04 am

Ridan_Remembered wrote:
Tessablue wrote:Thanks to all for the defense of my statement. My intent was not to impugn any particular horse!


It's all fine that people rush to your defense. We all need friends and supporters, even in a context such as this. And I'll accept your assertion that you didn't intend to impugn the reputations of Secretariat and his trainer (the two are inextricably intertwined in this context). The intent of this thread would have been better served if the conversation did not take a detour into steroid use and the naming of a particular horse as an example of the issue.

The unfortunate tendency toward a knee-jerk defense dismisses what I contributed to this conversation -- that Lucien Laurin denied that Secretariat ever was administered drugs like steroids. He denied it in that SI article and he denied it many years later to me only a couple of years before his death. This is a first-hand true account whether or not the people here want to believe it. It shouldn't matter what a news article said while using the all-too-typical sly tactic of rank speculation to draw impressionable readers to the conclusion the author wants to assert without being able to do so with facts. It should matter a lot that the Hall of Fame trainer who was closest to the horse during his racing career denied in print and in my first-hand account that steroids were ever used on Secretariat. This is the "elephant in the room" that the rush to your defense misses.
I've spent three years working on this. I was excited to share the results and encourage discussion on the topic, and my original statement was an attempt to discuss the findings and place the subsequent hypotheses in a historical context. I generally look forward to all topics of discussion, but I do NOT appreciate you coming in here and berating me, berating the other people in the thread, while telling me how to "better serve" my purpose. You're on the warpath because you took offense where none was meant, you apparently can't let go, and I'm just not interested in continuously defending myself from someone who can't separate emotion from fact-based discussion. You're attacking targets that were never there in the first place.

So in summary, YOU have derailed this conversation, not me. I've explained my case and I'm not interested in continuing further down this dead end. I'm done engaging with you, but I hope that others are not discouraged from posting in here because of it.
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Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby peeptoad » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:25 am

You did a good, objective, un-biased job, Tessa.
The entire world on a global scale is tilting toward defensive, emotional, amygdala-dominant behavior both on and off the internet. It's a sad direction that humanity has carved a path towards over the last few decades, and this thread is turning into a small reflection of that. Us and them I guess. Some people just can't function without having opposition of some sort, even if it's fabricated (my current job is rife with these types, actually).
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Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby Somnambulist » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:11 am

peeptoad wrote:You did a good, objective, un-biased job, Tessa.
The entire world on a global scale is tilting toward defensive, emotional, amygdala-dominant behavior both on and off the internet. It's a sad direction that humanity has carved a path towards over the last few decades, and this thread is turning into a small reflection of that. Us and them I guess. Some people just can't function without having opposition of some sort, even if it's fabricated (my current job is rife with these types, actually).


I like the amadygdala driven description. It's so accurate.
Social media has made beasts out of people.

Regardless the SI articles are so fun. Primary documents are my favorite reading.
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Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby peeptoad » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:34 am

I agree on social media. It's the main reason I am only on 3 message boards and linked in. And linked in is only because of work. The Internet has morphed into a soapbox for many people and it's starting to bleed over into reality.
The best thing is to limit it and just try to keep perspective. At least for me; can't speak for others.
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Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby Ridan_Remembered » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:01 am

"Disclaimer: this is meant to encourage discussion, not anger!"

Not out of anger, but out of dismay.

And discussion should include all points of view, not just those who are complimentary and in total agreement. Otherwise it isn't a discussion at all.
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Re: Ranking the Derbys: A Quantitative Analysis

Postby Insane Crazy » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:15 am

Ridan_Remembered wrote:
Tessablue wrote:Thanks to all for the defense of my statement. My intent was not to impugn any particular horse!


It's all fine that people rush to your defense. We all need friends and supporters, even in a context such as this. And I'll accept your assertion that you didn't intend to impugn the reputations of Secretariat and his trainer (the two are inextricably intertwined in this context). The intent of this thread would have been better served if the conversation did not take a detour into steroid use and the naming of a particular horse as an example of the issue.

The unfortunate tendency toward a knee-jerk defense dismisses what I contributed to this conversation -- that Lucien Laurin denied that Secretariat ever was administered drugs like steroids. He denied it in that SI article and he denied it many years later to me only a couple of years before his death. This is a first-hand true account whether or not the people here want to believe it. It shouldn't matter what a news article said while using the all-too-typical sly tactic of rank speculation to draw impressionable readers to the conclusion the author wants to assert without being able to do so with facts. It should matter a lot that the Hall of Fame trainer who was closest to the horse during his racing career denied in print and in my first-hand account that steroids were ever used on Secretariat. This is the "elephant in the room" that the rush to your defense misses.

All you have done here is attempt to dictate the purpose and intention of a thread that has NOTHING to do with the things you're taking issue with. Tessa has tried REPEATEDLY to explain why she said what she said in terms of how it impacts the numbers -- steroid use DID likely begin in the early 70s, and whether or not Sec had anything to do with it, he is the name people looked to when considering (a) a horse who COULD be on one, or (b) a horse who would drive OTHERS to try to get an edge/be more like Big Red. Neither of those things are defamation of Sec, Laurin, or anyone in between

Furthermore: you're essentially saying your alleged story (not that I don't believe it's true, but I only have your word for it) and hurt feelings over the most oblique, non-personal offense possible is more important and worthy of our time than Tessablue's three years of very tedious and very neat work with numbers, stats, and research. More important than her contributing something very useful and interesting to a board full of people who like this stuff! Who cares about the "elephant in the room" as you continue to clutch your pearls over who or who did not say something completely unspecified about a horse? You're letting your tender and frankly unrelated emotions over a single sentence relating to an off-site article derail a good poster's very hard work. You're being ludicrously rude directly to someone who never said anything to you in the first place.

Seriously, dude. Let. It. Go.
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no, but a race where they sit down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey boy sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil? Well, I should say!
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