Bias Indicators are the latest addition to TimeformUS Past Performances. Now you can easily identify races that took place on speed-favoring or closer-favoring dirt and synthetic tracks. Here’s how this new feature works:
You’ll notice the color of some “Race Ratings” boxes are now red, light red, blue light blue, and white. These are races where we’ve identified the following track tendencies:
Red: The track significantly favored speed that day
Light Red: The track favored speed that day, but not as strongly as in the solid red-coded races
Blue: The track significantly favored closers that day
Light Blue: The track favored closers that day, but not as strongly as in the solid blue-coded races
White: No noticeable track trend.
How we determine bias:
First, we create an “expected outcome” for every race at every track. Before the races are run, we look at the running styles and competitiveness of the horses that make up each race. If our data shows us that the speed horses are the best horses in every race, we expect a lot of front-end winners on that day’s card.
Then, after the day’s races have been run, we look at the results and determine if they are in-line with our “expected outcome,” or if the actual results show us something different: a racetrack that seemingly rewarded one running style (frontrunners) or another (closers). We now use the color-coded Bias Indicators to flag those situations for you, so you can more deeply understand a horse’s performance.
To be clear, just because every race on Santa Anita’s dirt track on a given day was won by a leader doesn’t mean we’ll label that day’s races “Speed Favoring” and color it red. We believe that if every race was won by a speed horse, but those horses were all 2/5 as the fastest horses in each race, there is no reason to use our color-codes. In other words, a day’s races would only get the Bias Indicator if the results are significantly different than our “expected outcome.”
Using the Bias Indicator
There are at least three ways to use this new tool:
1) Use it as a flag or a cue to dig deeper. If you see a race color-coded for track bias, click on the top 3 finishers in the running line to take a look at the chart and see for yourself how the track was playing that day. The full racecard from the day is easily available from the chart, for your review.
2) Simply let us do the work for you. Similar to how our Pace Projector saves you the time of figuring out who will get the lead, let the Bias Indicator quickly inform you how the track played on a given day.
3) Ignore it. If you don’t factor track bias into your handicapping, or feel it is being overbet, just disregard the color coding.
Here’s an example of a running line showing a horse who benefited from a track bias:
In Tycoon Cat’s race on April 26, he went wire-to-wire at 14-1. The Bias Indicator for that day is red, meaning the track favored speed horses in that day’s dirt races (indeed, 4 of 6 winners on the card went wire to wire, and a 1/5 shot won from a stalking position).
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you have “inside-out” Bias Indicators? For example, if there’s a rail bias or an outside bias?
A: No, at this time our Bias Indicator only looks for frontrunner-closer trends.
Q: What surfaces do you provide Bias Indicators for?
A: At this time, we provide them for dirt and synthetic races. The sample size for turf racing in the US is typically too small for us to confidently label the turf as biased, though we certainly have seen examples of turf courses that play to a particular running style.
Q: How does the red and blue in the Bias Indicators’ color coding correlate to the red and blue color coding elsewhere in TimeformUS PPs?
A: In general, red means “speed,” blue means “slow.” But these colors are used in somewhat different ways when applied to internal fractions and pace figures. In the internal fractions and pace figures, red means the fraction in question was run fast (in relation to the final time of the race). Blue means it was run slowly. Learn more about red and blue coloring as it appears in the running lines. As mentioned, in the Bias Indicator, red means the track favored speed horses. Blue means the track favored closers.
Q: You’re color coding the box that contains the Race Rating. Does this color have anything to do with the Race Rating?
A: No. The Race Rating is specific to this race, while the color coded box is specific to the winning running style on main track races for the entire day’s card. To learn more about Race Ratings, click here.