David K. Don, *PROBER'*s president, grills his top
programmer, F.G. Sallustro about **WIRED 4-SPEED**.
What follows is a brief sample from a book to be published by *PROBER*
concerning **WIRED 4-SPEED** and the **Beyers**.

**DKD**- Do you always enter a horse's last three races, even when they differ from today's race?
**FGS**- Yes. Always.
**DKD**- What do you truly think of
**WIRED 4-SPEED**'s approach? **FGS**- It's wonderful. Simple and direct and accurate.
**DKD**- Why? What makes it wonderful?
**FGS**- It makes no pretensions. It ranks all the horses from first to last without hesitation. So many "systems" these days are really data-organizers. What they do is present data for the user to evaluate, usually very beautifully, but without answering the central issue: Who is the most likely winner?
**DKD**- But why concentrate on the likely winner? Haven't you come to know the
real issue is
*value*and not picking the winner? **FGS**- That's nonsense. I suppose it comes from mistaken probability notions.
**DKD**- When you say "most likely winner" are you referring to impact values?
**FGS**- Most definitely not. I wish the whole discussion of impact values would disappear forever. Really, there's no place in handicapping for that approach.
**DKD**- What about more accepted prediction systems like regression analysis?
**FGS**- Useless! And misleading, too.
**DKD**- What approach meets your approval?
**FGS**- That's easy.
**WIRED 4-SPEED**--and any other method that's based on handicapping experiences. Not data expeditions, but experiences playing real races for many years. Of course, it's not that easy to distill the "laws" that underlie the winning horse, but that doesn't mean it can't be done successfully. **DKD**- You're a mathematician?
**FGS**- Yes, but I've worked in statistics since graduate school.
**DKD**- So, how can you not use mathematical-statistical models to uncover handicapping rules.
**FGS**- Please understand that I'm certainly not against using
*any*technique that works, but the models that you mentioned, impact values and regression, have very limited usefulness in horseracing prediction systems. **DKD**- Why?
**FGS**- Essentially, those techniques, like others, have implicit mathematical requirements that are not met by horseracing analyses. In fact, the assumptions are usually violated--which dooms the results.
**DKD**- What about computers?
**FGS**- Very useful. For me, essential.
**DKD**- Yet there are many handicappers who refuse to use one.
**FGS**- Yes. You're one such handicapper.
**DKD**- That's right. I've yet to see any advantages.
**FGS**- Pity. Perhaps I should program your artful approach!
**DKD**- I can't afford to hire you! (FGS laughs nervously) Besides a computer, what else do you find essential?
**FGS**- The Daily Racing Form. And a red pen.
**DKD**- How about services that compute speed ratings or track variants?
**FGS**- I suppose they could be useful for some, but not for me. All I need is my
computer and The Daily Racing Form.
Especially since the DRF incorporated Andy
Beyer's speed numbers. The
**Beyers**are the single most crucial data in the Form. Absolutely and without question. **DKD**- That's quite an endorsement.
**FGS**- I don't think my endorsement matters to anyone.
**DKD**- You're being modest.
**FGS**- No, not at all. Seriously, I wouldn't play the races without access to the
**Beyers**. **DKD**- Yet there are many who think the
**Beyers**are misleading. **FGS**- Is that so?
**DKD**- Yes. For example, some claim that a high
**Beyer**earned in the mud overstates a horse's speed potential. **FGS**- I don't understand what you mean by overstates.
**DKD**- Suppose a horse typically earns
**Beyers**of 80s, but then, one muddy race day, runs to a 95. Doesn't that 95 mislead a horseplayer? **FGS**- Absolutely not. The race effort was valued at 95. Remember, the
**Beyer**pertains to the race, not the horse. Admittedly, that's a fine distinction, but it's clearer that way. At any rate, I hope you wouldn't expect**Beyer**to adjust any figure downward merely because it was*too fast*for that horse. That's tinkering. **DKD**- Isn't that what really happens all the time?
**FGS**- I don't accept that as valid. Listen, how the
**Beyers**are derived has been clearly outlined by Andy Beyer himself in his books, nowhere more eloquently than in**"**. I really think that in the right hands understanding the*Beyer On Speed*"**Beyers**is the light and the way! **DKD**- Are you putting me on? Please explain.
**FGS**- No, I'm very serious about the
**Beyers**. I'm also aware that many handicappers cannot get past the value of a**Beyer**and imagine what it could be. As a mathematician, I naturally love numbers and I know how the**Beyers**are made; as a handicapper, I must*imagine*that a horse might improve by 6+ points given favorable circumstances. But as a handicapper it's my job to*imagine*; not Andy Beyer's job. I want his figures to reflect every horse's efforts--no more and no less. **DKD**- What about
*declining***Beyers**? **FGS**- What about them? It's the handicapper who must learn that a
**Beyer**earned last week may change today. That's what makes this game fascinating. And believe me, if you examine a horse's recent**Beyers**, and keep asking yourself about that horse's form today, right now, you will find yourself imagining what its next, future**Beyer**may be! **DKD**- Do you really think that approach leads to winning?
**FGS**- Yes. There's no other way! The
**Beyers**reflect all the mathematical adjustments needed: Distance-to-Distance, Track-to-Track, and Daily Track Variants. By the way, who could possibly do all this work better than the DRF? Handicappers should sharpen their imaginations and go beyond the data. **DKD**- And
**WIRED 4-SPEED**embodies what you've discussed here? **FGS**- Yes. Imagining makes the difference between winning or losing. If you
don't go beyond the data, you pick what everyone else sees. As the
**WIRED 4-SPEED**programmer I had to translate, into computer code, handicapping art and science. And I needn't tell you that it was the art that proved challenging. **DKD**- Is there anything else you would like to discuss?
**FGS**- On horseracing?
**DKD**- Yes.
**FGS**- No, not today.