From WHOA to GO
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., February 26, 2015—One hears the cliché all the time: Age is just a number.
But not as far as John Nerud is concerned. As I celebrated a birthday on Tuesday, I really appreciate the fact that spending 102 years on this planet is no trifling achievement. And to be as sound and cogent as Mr. John is at this stage, is nothing short of remarkable.
I was reminded of his age when it was announced that Nerud became the 1000th racing practitioner--of whom there are nearly 700 are owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys--to join WHOA, the Water, Hay and Oats Alliance.
This group is an amalgam of the industry’s best, brightest, and most influential, media types and racing fans, and the time has come for the group to break out into the open with its plans.
Projected Energy Performance Figures: A Contrarian Approach
How will my horse run today?
Since August, 2013, most of my time has been spent trying to re-evaluate the answer to that question.
In the immediate aftermath of the loss of my good friend and business partner, Cary Fotias, I’ve been searching for a new methodology that I could have confidence in.
Without Cary’s daily, hand-crafted Equiform Performance Figures, the X-TRAs, I was lost.
Going back to Handicapping 101 principles, while ever timeless, simply was not going to be an option. The variables of class, speed, pace and trainer methodology, as they pertain to the modern Thoroughbred, requires something more.
My handicapping had become dependent upon a new approach to this art-science learned while working with Cary. But without his relentless pursuit of daily performance-figure accuracy, I lacked the most reliable implement in my handicapping toolbox.
In my view, there was nothing out there that even came close to his figures because of the relationships he mastered with respect to how, in the final analysis, pace relates not only to final time but, more significantly, to Thoroughbred condition and development.
There was no getting around it: I needed to go back to the future, come up with my own set of figures, based initially on Quirin speed points, but combined with the principles that worked so well when Cary and I worked in tandem on many successful handicapping projects, including several unique product lines.
After much trial and error, mostly error, I found an approach: My own Energy Ratings combined with time-honored principles and statistical analysis of lessons learned in nearly five decades of public handicapping experience. I place more emphasis on what I believe to be the most significant aspects of a horse's past performance lines.