To develop a statistical model to evaluate the influence of specific parameters on racing performance in Thoroughbreds.
Racing records of Thoroughbreds performing in Louisiana from 1981 to 1985.
Race results for 20 randomly selected days from 5 racetracks during 5 years were analyzed, using regression analysis.
The most influential parameter was distance raced. There were significant differences in racing performance among horses at different tracks. At the tracks examined, fast racing surfaces resulted in significantly faster finish times than good racing surfaces, and good racing surfaces resulted in significantly faster finish times than muddy racing surfaces. Finish times also were significantly faster as a function of increasing purse amount and age of horse. Finish times were significantly faster during quarter 4 (summer) and significantly slower during quarter 1 (fall). Races were run at significantly faster times as the number of the race progressed during the day. The finish times were significantly slower as the number of horses competing in the race increased, as the weight carried by the horse increased, and as the starting position away from the rail increased.
The coefficients used in the statistical model of this report may be used by researchers to compare before injury and after treatment finish times. The coefficients can be used to standardize past racing performances to uniform conditions, thus permitting comparison from 1 race to another to determine success of treatments and to inform owners of prognosis.