Recently, I found cause to read portions of a series of articles I wrote about Derby Fever long before it was named; DerbyFever. Back then, for lack of a better term and because this horse racing game was the first game offered from: SimulatedSports dotcom. Those of us who played this game back in 1999 – 2002(?) when the name was changed to DerbyFever, we affectionately called this game: “The SIM”.
When I joined in the Spring of 1999 there was mechanical instruction of how to Enter your horse in a race and what the health conditions of the horse meant: “Sharp”, “RTG” – Ready To Go, “A Little Groggy”, along with how to do things around the game site. There was a complete lack of how to analyze and understand what your horse is telling you from its races. Nothing about why they change to different health Conditions, how to Place/Enter your horses in positive race situations, understanding how to improve the racing of your colt/filly through the years it matures into a horse/mare. I also wrote about some basic handicapping tools used by professional race handicappers and turf writers and applied them to the SIM Horse and how these tools help you to analyze the performance of your SIM horse so you know how and where to place them in races that will suit and benefit them. These tools expose the Class and Ability of what your SIM horse may be suited for.
When I discovered that these tools were effective in determining the Class and Ability if the SIM horse and somewhat more efficiently than in Real Life racehorses (because of the closed environment of a computer game) I really began to appreciate the similarities in character that these SIM horses had to the Real Life horse races and horse. These SIM horses were mimicking traits of the Real Life horses in having Form Cycles, exhibiting Progressive and Recessive Races and maturing individually.
I do want to explain that these articles are not for everyone, there are players in the game as well as at the Real Life race tracks everyday that will deny that any of the previously mentioned even exist. What the overall concept that the SIM Files of long ago and what I am writing today are for the new player to the game and whoever will use them in a constructive manner to set their own parameters and criteria in classifying the SIM horse for better enjoyment from the DerbyFever game. All Real Life have their own sets of criteria for running their stables and for training their horses in their stable. These articles are for that purpose.
There are no “absolutes” in SIM Racing or in Real Horse racing other than that you may breed a horse, run them in a race and then immediately send them to Auction with $0.00 as a retainer all because that horse; Absolutely STINKS!
I have chatted with players, some that have been playing DerbyFever for a few years now and were unaware that our SIM horses do have a daily routine they follow while in your Stables. Contrary to some beliefs that your horses lounge around and watch the “Soaps” in the afternoon. All horses are creatures of habit. They expect to be fed at certain times, are bathed, shod and have veterinarian visits even though you aren’t aware. (one thing I haven’t noticed is the random, occasional Stable Injury that we had years ago, a non-racing Injury. Does this still happen?)
Every morning the SIM horse is given a morning jog, while he is in your Stable. This is not so at the Farm, that’s why they get Piggy. Six days before a Scheduled Training Date your horse starts to Train for that date and will gain a Sharp condition before that date. If you had not decided on which race to Enter him, the Sharp Condition will keep for another Six Days after the Training Date. This should give you a Sharp Conditioned horse for every race. In Real Life, even through a Training period it is not a certainty that the horse will gain a Sharp Condition for their Race day. Just as it was in the SIM years ago there was no guarantee although the horse had Trained for a specific date and there was even less of a chance for a Sharp Condition before the SIM Training Program was installed. In 1999-2001(?) we relied on the horse’s own Sharp Cycle which was not trustworthy to plan for upcoming races, they would turn Sharp on their own in their own time. But we also had different methods to prompt a horse to turn Sharp through the different types of races.
I agree with Mike Wallace as I am sure most everyone does for his decision to have all horses in a Sharp Condition for their race day. Why not? This way everyone is happy, happy, happy.