In 2012, D. Wayne Lucas was talking to reporters before the Kentucky Derby. When asked about Beyer Speed Figures, Lucas said, “Throw ’em out. They’re as obsolete as high-button shoes. If you go by the Beyer numbers, you’re never going to pick a winner. They’re just too unpredictable. I don’t have any confidence in them, and I don’t know any other trainer who does.” Lukas then singled out a reporter and cried, “If the Beyers were any good, you wouldn’t be standing there, with a 39-cent pen, taking notes. You’d be off somewhere sipping Pina Coladas.”
If a trainer with the credentials of Wayne Lucas fails to see any benefit from using Beyer Speed Figures, why would you as a handicapper pay any attention to them? They are based on final times, class levels and highly suspect track variants. They fail to take into account a myriad of other factors, including the pace of the race, whether the horse had a clean trip or whether it was blocked, steadied or forced to go wide in the race, whether or not the horse wore blinkers, etc.
The following, quoted verbatim from a Chicago Barn to Wire forum post, says volumes about Beyer Speed Figures. “Today’s tenth at AP. The Beyer figures for the 2 and 3 are 64 which they earned in a race that went 6F in 110:3 on May 18th. They both finished four lengths behind the winner(111.2). The 4 and the 9 earned Beyers of 60 on the same day in an earlier 6F race that went in 111:3, they both finished a neck and a 1/2 lenght back respectively(111.3). In today’s program at AP(I’m hearing this second hand)the 2 and 3 have speed figs of 60, whereas the 4 has a 74 and the 9 has a 75. The 2 and 3 went faster on the same day, yet there speed figs are way below there slower opponents. Can any one explain this?”