Stakes Profile: Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic is 12 furlong turf race for 3-year-olds and up at Belmont Park. First run in 1977, it’s currently a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race. While the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic has produced its fair share of Breeders’ Cup winners, what kind of betting race is it?

Below is a snapshot of what has produced Joe Hirsch Turf Class winners since 1991 including odds, bettors’ choice, field size, running styles, prior race location, prior race finish position, number of days since the last race as well as Brisnet speed figures.

The charts and graphs are interactive. Hover over or touch bars and lines for more information.

All data is via Equibase with the exception of Brisnet ratings.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winners Odds & Payouts 1991-2018

Odds are shown as listed in the charts. Hover-over or touch each bar for $2 payout.

2009 winner Interpatation has been excluded from the Odds graph as an outlier at $1 odd of $43.75 to allow for an overall better visualization, but is included in the averages and medians.

1991-2018

Average $1 Odds: $5.40
Median $1 Odds: $2.80

2010-2018
Average $1 Odds: $4.00
Median $1 Odds: $3.70

1991-2018

Average $2 Win: $12.80
Median $2 Win: $7.70

2010-2018
Average $2 Win: $10.00
Median $2 Win: $9.40

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winners Bettors’ Choice and Field Size 1991-2018

Bettors’ Choice is the ranked order of the field by final odds: The favorite is the first choice, the second favorite is the second choice and so on. For example, 1991 winner Solar Splendor was 2nd choice in a 9 horse field. Hover-over or touch the bars for more information

1991-2018

Average Choice of Winner: 2.70
Average Field Size: 7.21
Average Favorite Finish Position: 2.85

2010-2018
Average Choice of Winner: 2.67
Average Field Size: 7.22
Average Favorite Finish Position: 2.82

Winning Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Running Styles 1991-2018

To read the charts below, 0 on the vertical axis is the lead, any distance behind the leader is below 0 and any distance above 0 is the amount the leader is ahead of the next horse. At the bottom are the points of call as they correspond to the charts. Each line is a horse, and you can hover over the point of call for each line to see more information about the horse.

For example, if you hover over the bottom-most line in the first chart at the 1/2 mile mark you’ll see that in the 2015 winner Big Blue Kitten was 19 lengths behind the leader at this point in the race.

Since 1991 the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic has predominantly been won by stalkers/pressers, or those who are on-the-pace runners. However in the last 10 years off-the-pace runners and closers have won 60% of the time.

Below is a closer look at winning running styles by decade.

Winning Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Running Styles 1991-1999
Winning Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Running Styles 2000-2009
Winning Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Running Styles 2010-2018

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winners Last Track Raced & Days Since 1991-2018

Winners have come mostly from Arlington and Belmont in the time period. A change in the Belmont racing calendar has produced more winners from Arlington and Saratoga in the past decade. Winners have generally raced within the last 30 days.

Days Since Last Race 1991-2017
Average Days Since Last Race: 34.36
Median Days Since Last Race: 35

Winners Placing in Prior Race 1991-2018

Just under half of Joe Hirsch Turf Classic winners won their prior race and more than three quarters of the winners finished in the money, or no worse than third, last out.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winners Age 1991-2018

The majority of winners have been 4 and 5-year-olds. The only 9-year-old to race in the time frame, John’s Call (2000), won. There have been no 8-year-old winners since 1991.

Odds by Age Group 1991-2017
Age Average
Starter Odds
Average
Winner Odds
3 year-olds $16.10 $5.90
4 year-olds $13.80 $2.60
5 year-olds $11.10 $4.40
6 year-olds $11.50 $7.40
7 year-olds $8.40 $16.40
8 year-olds $14.30 $0
9 year-olds $10.40 $10.40
Listed as $1 odds
Winning Joe Hirsch Turf Classic All Starters by Age 1991-2018

4 and 5-year-olds comprised the majority of starters since 1991. 4-year-olds hold a slight edge in both number of starters and winners.

Winning Joe Hirsch Turf Classic All Starters by Age Group 1991-2018
A/E Ratio by Age Group 1991-2018
Age Average vs Expected Value Ratio (A/E)
3 year-olds .69
4 year-olds .72
5 year-olds .99
6 year-olds .34
7 year-olds 4.79
8 year-olds 0
9 year-olds 11.40
Numbers over 1 outperform expected value and numbers less than 1 underperform expected value. Learn more about how A/E ratio is calculated and how it should be interpreted.

Looking at the performance of each age group, 7-year-olds had the highest win rate to relative starters at 23.1% while 6-year-olds have the lowest win rate of the groups with more than a few starters at 3.45%. 3-year-olds have also not performed well with only a 8.3% win rate while representing 11.8% of the starters.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Multiple Winners & Run Backs 1991-2018

There have been two two-time winners since 1991: Val’s Prince (1997, 1999) and English Channel (2006-2007). A total of 28 individual starters have made more than one start in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic since 1991 for a total of 40 run back starts.

A run back is defined as an starter who made a prior start in the race. For example two-time winner English Channel first ran in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in 2005 and finished 2nd. He ran back in to win in 2006 and 2007.

Starters who have run in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic have not performed particularly well, winning only 20% of the time. Run back starters have fared much better if you look at in the money finishes, hitting the board 60% of the time since 1991.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Brisnet Ratings 1991-2018

Below is a look at Brisnet speed ratings of Joe Hirsch Turf Classic winners. Learn how the figures are calculated and keep up with weekly ratings for stakes races.

Winners Last Three Brisnet Speed Ratings 1991-2018

The chart below represents the last three Brisnet speed ratings earned by the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic winner, and includes the winning figure for the Turf Classic. In instances where a starter did not have three consecutive Brisnet speed ratings leading into the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, the line starts with most recent.

Apple Tree (FR) (1993) and Tikkanen (1994) were omitted from the chart since they had no Brisnet speed ratings prior to the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.

Coming into the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic 1991-2018
Brisnet speed ratings - Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
Brisnet Speed Averages 1991-2018

Winning Brisnet Speed: 105
Brisnet Speed Prior Race: 100
Brisnet Speed 2 Back: 102
Brisnet Speed 3 Back: 99

Since 1991 winners have been roughly split between those coming in on a regressed Brisnet Speed Rating and those coming in on an improved Brisnet Speed Rating. In the last ten years runners coming in on a regressed Brisnet Speed Rating had the edge, winning 70% of the time.

Winners Last Three Brisnet Speed Ratings 2009-2018

Summary

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic has been a formful race since 1991 but in the last 10 years it’s been a good place to find a price.

The average winning odds since 1991 are 5.4-1 with a median of 2.8 and an average $12.80 payout for a $2 win ticket. Since 2010 the averages have crept down to odds of 4-1 with a payout of $10.00 while medians have crept up to to odds of 3.7-1 and $9.40.

Favorites have have performed close to the 2017 average win rate of 37.89% to win 35.7% of the time since 1991 but only 10% in the last 10 years. The winner on average has been 2nd, trending towards 3rd choice (2.7) since 1991. Favorites on average have finished almost 3rd (2.85).

Stalkers have won 35.7% of the time since 1991 with off-the-pace runners runners winning 60% in the last ten years.

The majority of winners are 4 or 5-years-old. While 3-year-olds have not entered often or performed particularly well with only a 8.7% win rate, the betting public correctly plays them by making them 5th choice on average while they finish 4th on average. 7-year-olds have the highest win rate relative to starts.

Starters who have made a prior start in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, known as a run back have won 20% of the time, but ran in the money a notable 60% of the time.

Belmont and Arlington have produced the most winners since 1991, but in the last years winners have come Arlington and Saratoga. Since 1991 the average field size on par with the 2017 average of 7.7 starters with an average of 7.21 starters, since 2010 that number ticked up slightly to 7.22 average starters.

Since 1991 winners have been roughly split between coming in on an improved Brisnet Speed Rating and a regressed Brisnet Speed Rating but in the last 10 years 70% of winners came in on a regressed Brisnet Speed Rating.

Running Style
Stalkers have had the edge in full time period. Closers have had the edge last 10 years.
Last Raced At
Arlington or Saratoga
Age
4- and 5-year-olds
Favorites
Favorites have won only 10% of starts in the last decade

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