Running style classifications, early speed ratings, and late speed ratings are the newest features included in TimeformUS Past Performances.
The Running Style for each horse is based on his last several performances. There are six different Running Style classifications. They are as follows:
Leader (a one-dimensional front-running horse)
Speed (a horse who races on or near the early lead)
Tracker (Generally a stalking type of horse, or one with a very tractable running style)
Midpack (A horse who generally races in the middle of the pack)
Closer (A stretch-running horse who comes from the back of the pack)
Plodder (A one-dimensional horse who languishes at the back of the pack)
In some cases, such as first-time starters, second-time starters, and foreign imports, there will be no running style classifications.
Early Pace Ratings:
This number attempts to rate which horse is the fastest early speed horse in the race. It is not directly tied to the running style classifications above. For instance, if a horse has been racing in mid-pack in a series of recent hot-paced sprint events, and is now stretching out to a route, it's entirely possible for it to have the best Early Pace rating in the field while still being labeled as a horse with a mid-pack running style.
The Early Pace Ratings are created by looking at a horse’s last four races and factoring in position along with his early speed velocity to come up with a rating to judge the level of early speed the horse has shown over its four most recent races. Factors like distance and surface are also considered in the ratings.
For instance, if one horse going six furlongs on dirt ran its opening quarter in 22 seconds flat over a souped-up track at Turf Paradise, and another horse going six furlongs on dirt ran its opening quarter in 22 seconds flat on a day at Calder when the track was slower than par, obviously, the latter horse demonstrated a considerably higher degree of early speed.
In races lacking a Pace Projector, generally maiden events with multiple inexperienced horses in the field, looking at each horse’s Early Speed Rating is a very useful indicator to help you identify the potential early leader.
Late Speed Ratings:
The Late Pace Ratings also are created by looking at a horse’s last four races, factoring in the closing velocity to come up with a rating to judge the level of late speed a horse has shown over its four most recent races. Factors like distance and surface are also considered in these ratings.
For instance, if a horse comes home in 25 seconds going a mile on Santa Anita's Turf course, he's struggling. But if a horse comes home in 25 seconds going a mile on Aqueduct's winterized Inner Dirt track, he's absolutely flying. The ratings will indicate this.
The formula for these three new features have long been in place, and we've had a chance to monitor them internally for a long time. It was just a matter of time until they were given the green light for our tech department to work into the past performances.
Over the year and a half we've reviewed them, we have been very pleased with their relative consistency and effectiveness.
We have also observed numerous sensational examples of their success. For instance, this is what our running style classifications, Early Pace Ratings, and Late Pace Ratings looked like for the 8th Race at Penn National on January 31st.
As you can see, 50/1 morning line Chariot Char owned the best late pace figure in the field by 8 points. That was important because this was also a race where the TimeformUS Pace Projector indicated a "fast pace" would occur. Fast paces can often lead to pace meltdown scenarios that favor stretch runners, and that's exactly what happened in the aforementioned Penn National race.
Chariot Char was "content to lag following a slow break," according to the result chart. However, as the hot early pace took its toll on the speed horses, she steadily catapulted her way past all of her badly tiring opponents and scored a last-to-first victory at 94/1 odds, paying $191.60 to win.
The horse with the second-best Late Pace Rating in the race was Aspen Blush, who had a 38. She was "fractious in the gate, and raced five wide" according to the result chart, and could manage only a 6th-place finish.
However, Do Dolan (37) and Marlee (35) owned the third and fourth best Late Pace Rating in the field, and they clunked up to finish in second place at 7/1 odds and 3rd place at 21/1 odds respectively.
An otherwise impossible trifecta that paid in excess of $12,000--consisting of a winner with the best Late Pace Rating, a second-place finisher with the field's third-best Late Pace Rating, and a third-place finisher with the field's fourth-best Late Pace Rating.
Woodbine's 8th race on December 13th of 2012 was another crazy example of glory for the yet-to-be-unveiled Late Pace Ratings.
As you can see, Hardroad To Heaven owned the field's best Late Pace rating, a 54. However, he was scratched and never competed in this race.
That scratch left Uncle Carm (52) and Mighty Monarch (50) as the two horses with the field's best Late Pace Ratings. As you can see from the chart, a pace meltdown occurred and 132/1 longshot Mighty Monarch rallied from dead last to get the win. Uncle Carm rallied from twelfth position to finish second and complete a $1,557.70 exacta that consisted of the field's two best Late Pace Ratings horses.
Obviously, these three features weren't implemented as tools for bettors to go hunting after crazy longshot closers in pace-meltdown races with big field sizes.
However, they are unique features you'll find only in TimeformUS Past Performances, and they should definitely save the simulcast horseplayer some time and work by allowing him/her to quickly identify the running style of each horse, along with its early speed velocity and late speed velocity.