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Paulick Report: Andrew Beyer, A Rebel With A Cause

Paulick Report: Andrew Beyer, A Rebel With A CauseWriting in Paulick Report, John Scheinman, explains that "there was no fanfare, no rapturous odes, no good riddance or heartfelt goodbyes" when Andrew Beyer retired from journalism this year. "There wasn't even a traditional gathering in the newsroom, where a ranking editor might offer a rousing speech followed by a round of applause and icing on a cake spelling out the words “Thank You.” When Andrew Beyer ended his career as a journalist after 46 years of covering horse racing, Scheinman goes on, barely a soul outside his inner circle seemed to take notice. Perhaps the greatest public advocate horseplayers have ever known, one of the sharpest minds ever to focus attention on their game, and the man who practically singlehandedly yanked turf writing out of the musty, romantic mists and into clear-eyed – and often polarizing – modern language simply called an editor at the Washington Post earlier this year and said he was done.
The Beyer Speed Figures he created, of course, are now an industry standard, and they will continue, allowing horseplayers to easily compare runners by the assignation of a number that reflects final time, the track surface and its variations throughout the day.
They are part of the past performances of every North American runner in the Daily Racing Form, and are used by countless farms in advertising the precocity of their stallions. The speed figures demonstrated their immense value going into the Breeders' Cup Classic – showing that Arrogate had run faster winning the Travers than California Chrome had ever run in his life. Before the advent of the figures, horseplayers could only guess.
Beyer, working with a team, remains deeply immersed in daily figure making, but his retirement as a writer leaves a gaping hole in the already withered world of independent national horse racing journalism.


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