HorseracingFLA StaFast Flying Rumor‘s Turf Dash ‘Beyer’ of 108
is Bff Report
Just how fast was Fast Flying Rumor’s (photo on home page) runaway victory in the five-furlong Turf Dash Stakes on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs?
So fast that the 4-year-old gelding achieved a Beyer Speed Figure of 108, which Tampa Bay Downs officials believe is the highest BSF at the track since the figures first appeared in print in 1991.
The highest previous BSF at Tampa Bay Downs was 105, set by the mare Cassydora on March 17, 2007 in the Hillsborough Stakes (Grade 3) at 1 1/8 miles on turf for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up. She won in 1:48.90.
The Beyer Speed Figures, which are published in the Daily Racing Form, are a numerical representation of a horse’s performance based on its final time and the inherent speed over the track on which the race was run.
Fast Flying Rumor’s BSF number is the highest achieved at any thoroughbred track thus far in 2016.
Last year, only three U.S.-based horses earned figures higher than 108 on turf.
Fast Flying Rumor won the Turf Dash in 55.06 seconds–.43 seconds off the course record 54.63 set in the 2015 Turf Dash Stakes by Bold Thunder who was not in Saturday’s race.
Ridden by Ronald Allen Jr., Fast Flying Rumor shot off to the early lead and was never headed as he set fractions of 21.03 for the first quarter and 43.72 for the half mile.
Fast Flying Rumor, at 11-1, won by 4 ¾ lengths over Power Alert, the 3-2 favorite in the ten-horse field.
“He’s just monster fast,” said Gerald Bennett, the trainer of Fast Flying Rumor. “Ronnie didn’t even hit him.”
Bennett said he began receiving offers via phone to buy the horse within minutes after Saturday’s race.
Fast Flying Rumor is owned by Winning Stables, headed by Mary Bennett, and by Midnight Rider which is headed by Matt Ferris.
Although the turf course was listed as firm on Saturday, Allen said it had been softened somewhat by Friday night rain and he felt that was a factor in Fast Flying Rumor’s exceptional BSF.
Bold Thunder earned a BSF of 98 last year on a firm turf course.
In an e-mail to the Tampa Bay Downs Publicity Department, BSF developer Andy Beyer expressed total confidence that the 108 was an accurate reflection of Fast Flying Rumor’s performance, based in part on the figures earned by the second and third-place finishers.
“In our calculations at 5 furlongs, 4 ¾ lengths (his winning margin) equals 15 points,” Beyer wrote. “With the winner earning a 108, runner-up Power Alert – a high-class stakes horse – gets a 93, a typical figure for him. Third-place finisher Night Officer, another length back, earned a figure of 89, after recording numbers of 89, 91 and 91 in his prior three starts.”
Fast Flying Rumor earned a BSF of 87 in his previous start on Dec. 11 in the Turf Dash Prep when he scored under Allen in 55.72 seconds.
“In his last start he had run head-and-head in blazing fractions against a monster speed horse (third-place finisher Rivzinthehouse),” Beyer wrote. “(Saturday) he got loose from the field, and horses usually improve under such circumstances.”
Beyer is a columnist for The Washington Post and for Daily Racing Form and he has written several books on handicapping thoroughbred races.
It was the fifth lifetime triumph in 14 career starts and second stakes victory for Fast Flying Rumor.
Last June 14 he led gate to wire in winning the Select Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs on turf at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.
Fast Flying Rumor is a son of West Acre and was bred in Florida by Gilbert G. Campbell.
Winning Stables and Midnight Rider bought the horse for $35,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s June 2014 sale.
Fast Flying Rumor‘s Turf Dash ‘Beyer’ of 108 is Best in Tampa Bay Downs History