New Format, Detail for our “Question Mark” Speed Figures gives you an edge (updated with a new code)

Our customers bet off of TimeformUS Speed Figures, and we do not want them unknowingly placing faith in the occasional number that we are not yet confident in. From time to time, our figures are under review because the evidence that is ordinarily available to create them has somehow been compromised. What’s the best way to handle this challenge to help our customers?

The Origin of Question Mark Figures

One of the helpful features that Timeform Ratings (from the mothership in England) offer when assessing horses overseas is a question mark symbol when a horse’s rating is considered suspect. With that as inspiration, we implemented question mark symbols in TimeformUS Past Performances in the spring of 2015. An example of how Question Mark Figures were initially displayed in TimeformUS  is below:

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 12.49.56 PM

Beginning today, Question Mark Figures are being displayed in a new format, with a new level of detail to give TimeformUS Customers an advantage when betting.

Moving to The Left

Question Mark Figures are now shifting to the Race Rating field, to reflect that they apply to the entire race, not just the Speed Figure for one horse. Additionally, instead of the general question mark symbol, you will see  a specific one-letter code that indicates the main reason for the question mark designation. Here’s how these races will look for question mark figures assigned for races beginning January 25th or later:

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 5.26.52 PM

Understanding The Codes

Most of the time a tough race to evaluate with a speed figure is marked as such for more than one reason.  The code identifies the main one. Here are the seven possible codes that you will see:

f – First Timers/Lightly Raced – The race was loaded with horses racing for the first time or with very few starts. If a turf or synthetic track race, there could be little to no form on the surface. This is never reason alone to mark a race as questionable. It is usually combined with other factors. For example, a 2yo maiden special weight race with first time starters only and it is the only dirt sprint on the card.

o – Only Turf / Sprint / Route – This one is exactly as described…only one race on the card was run under similar conditions. Much like the f code, this is never a sole reason for marking the race. Most times this is used the race was an “only” and comparing the performance of the horses in the race to the projections varied quite a bit from horse to horse.

p – Pace – There will be some races run with the pace so aberrantly fast or slow that it will cause the horses to all run unreasonably slow final times. Since TimeformUS Speed Figures combine pace and final time figures into one overall number, we’re typically able to capture these nuances, but sometimes the situation is so extreme that we don’t feel we’re able to properly measure it. These races are already flagged via color coding for the fractions/pace figures, but we will go a step further and apply this coding.  It is probably a good idea to ignore races coded “p” from a speed figure point of view.

t – Timer – Unfortunately this is becoming more common in the sport of horse racing. Timer malfunctions are way more prevalent than they should be and races where there was an issue are marked as such. In many cases these races are missing one or more fractional times. We do not attempt to make pace figures for points of call that are missing fractions. Also, there will be no final time figures for races that are not timed at the finish.

b – Breakout – The race appears unusually fast or unusually slow compared to others on the card, including those that come before and after it. Using the same variant as the other races would cause all the top finishers in a race to have aberrant numbers that don’t seem realistic.

n – Possible BreakoutThe race was strongly considered as a “breakout,” code b above, but in the end was left as is with reservations. This is the preferred choice between the two.

c – Track Conditions – Track conditions can change drastically during a card, usually due to weather, and the figures for the race are primarily based on only the horses in this one race.

There are now 2 new types of codes:

  • i – Insufficient data – There simply isn’t enough data to generate a speed figure with confidence. These races will be almost exclusively races for two-year-olds from days when there were no similar races on the card and the two-year-old race was hard to compare to the other races due to things like timing problems, changes in weather, or rarely run distances. As the horses run again, these races will be re-visited to see if enough data has come in to allow us to go back and make a figure with confidence.
  • z – No baseline for pace figures – The race was run on a track configuration that hasn’t been used before or has been used sparingly. The configuration consists of the distance and surface of the race, any temporary rail setting that may be in place, the run up for the race, and the “about” designation used at some locations.

Question Mark Figures: Why We Include This Data in Our Product

To review these suspect figures, we will typically wait for additional evidence to come in, in the form of horses from that race returning to race again. But even that has its limitations. Some figures are questionable when made and remain questionable months later or in perpetuity–because the runbacks do little to clarify the situation. This is rare but it does happen, and we believe it to be true for all Speed Figure makers. When a figure is under review, you deserve to know it.

As a player, you can then incorporate our lack of confidence in the available evidence into your own handicapping and assess additional elements of a horse’s form before placing your bets.

Additionally, if you refer to other speed figures when handicapping, the TimeformUS Question Marks will alert you to difficult conditions that likely affected other figure makers as well. They may not tell you, but we will. And now we’ll tell you why, too.


>How To Use TimeformUS Race Ratings

>Color-Coded Bias Indicators in TimeformUS Race Ratings

>How To Use TimeformUS Speed Figures

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Welcome to the TimeformUS Blog

Hello and welcome to the TimeformUS blog!

The purpose of this blog is to explain features of TimeformUS Past Performances, a new horse racing product which is optimized for tablets and the web. Currently, you can purchase TimeformUS Past Performances at or in the the TVG Handicapping Store.

This blog is also a great place to ask questions and provide feedback about our new product. Use the links below to get started, and if you have questions, email us at


More TimeformUS How-To Videos

How to use TimeformUS Past Performances
TimeformUS Help Legend (PDF)
The Fast PPs
• Result Charts
• The Race Finder Tool

How TimeformUS is Different
TimeformUS Speed Figures
TimeformUS Spotlight Speed Figures
TimeformUS Pace Projector
• TimeformUS Running Lines
TimeformUS Pace Figures
• TimeformUS Bias Indicators
Full Result Charts
Trainer Ratings
• Pedigree Ratings
• Race Ratings
Enhanced Foreign Running Lines
• Running Style and Early/Late Ratings



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How TimeformUS is Different

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 is a new kind of horse racing Past Performances, optimized for tablets and PCs. At TimeformUS, we’re focused on helping you understand races faster. We’re perpetually refining the site and PPs: New features will be introduced regularly.  To start: here’s a top 10 list on how we’re making it easier to play the game; click the links next to each item for a deeper description or a video on how it works.

First thing’s first: if you’re looking for a PDF legend labeling all of our features, click here

1) How we make our Speed Figures
Our state-of-the-art, single-number measure of all-around performance.
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2) Our Pace Projector
The breakthrough timesaver that tells you where they’re gonna be early in a race, and more.
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3) Race Ratings
The TimeformUS Race Ratings help you quickly understand the quality of any race.
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4) TimeformUS Pace Figures
Based on the fractional times run by each horse at each point of call in a race, TimeformUS Pace Figures give you a clear sense of the pace scenarios that a horse has faced in prior races.
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5) TimeformUS Color-Coded Bias Indicators
When we see a surface that favored frontrunners or closers in a horse’s previous race, we flag that running line with red or blue coloring.
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6) Timeform Foreign Running Lines for shippers
TimeformUS PPs offer unparalleled info on horses who previously ran overseas.
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7) TimeformUS Result Charts
One-click access from the 1-2-3 section of every running line,  TimeformUS Result Charts are color-coded  and fully customizable.
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8)  Simplified but smart TimeformUS Trainer Ratings
Our Trainer Ratings show you instantly how a trainer performs overall and in specific situations.
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9) TimeformUS Race Finder
Use our Race Finder to quickly and easily find the types of races you like to play.
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10) TimeformUS Pedigree Ratings based on today’s surface/distance
On a 100-point scale and based on the surface/distance of today’s race, factoring in the TimeformUS speed figures assigned to the horses in the family of today’s runner.
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Visit, or see below for even MORE ways in which TimeformUS is different:

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Sunday, January 29


I won’t argue with anyone who asserts that Villareggia (#3) is the most likely winner of this bottom-level conditioned claimer, but she’s just not the kind of horse that I want to endorse at a short price. She’s been fairly consistent through her recent starts, which is more than the others in this field can claim. Yet she’s a bit of a plodder and now lands in a race that doesn’t feature much early pace. She’s also making her first start off the claim for Amira Chichackly. That barn has had some recent success, but I’m still not sure I’d want to be claiming horses off Lynn Cash, who tends to get the best out of his runners. The TimeformUS Pace Projector points out that there isn’t much speed in this race, predicting a scenario favoring the early leaders. That figures to benefit Easy Play (#5) most of all. No one in this field is a confirmed front-runner, but this Orlando Noda trainee seems most likely to go forward in the early stages, as she tried to do last time. Yet she was coming off a layoff and facing a tougher field of $25k claimers. She’s now dropping in class after getting a pretty tentative ride from Eric Cancel that day. She seems like one who could benefit from that run and I think the slight stretch-out to 7 furlongs will help her cause, especially if the pace is slow. I would also use London Gold (#7), who can be forwardly placed and has been in decent form for Randi Persaud lately. She’s met some slightly tougher fields at this level in recent starts and usually goes off at a square price.


Tonal Impact (#1) feels like a deserving favorite as he tries to break through this N1X allowance condition. He had his 4-race winning streak broken when he just missed at this level last time, but he still ran well in defeat. Gasoline, who looked beaten at the top of the lane, battled back gamely inside of him, but this horse never stopped fighting to the wire. He obviously handles the distance and has been in strong form since the Linda Rice claim. He’s the one to beat, though a short price is all but guaranteed. I’m not a big fan of his main rival Six Percent (#6). This horse did win going the distance at Saratoga last summer, but he did so against a weaker field of conditioned claimers. He’s maintained solid form since then, but I’m not sure that he’s really at his best going this distance. He got a nice speed figure for winning a New York-bred allowance race last time, but the competition is getting much stronger now. I prefer Luni Sima (#3) at a similar price. I’ve always wanted to see this horse stretched back out in distance, but they’ve generally kept him at one turn for most of his career. His lone prior attempt going this 9-furlong distance around two turns came during his 2-year-old season when he finished a decent third in a stamina-testing maiden special weight event at Saratoga. He’s generally been in solid form for Peter Walder, usually running well in his races going a mile and beyond. I thought he had valid excuses in each of his last two starts, and he rebounded nicely last time when more aggressively ridden to press the pace. I’m hoping that Jose Gomez uses similar tactics here, as he’s good enough to compete with the favorite on his best day.


This N1X allowance affair is easily the most wide open race on the card. The Pace Projector is unsurprisingly predicting a fast pace, as there is plenty of early speed signed on. The best of the speed types may be Ruvies in Time (#1). This 7-time winner has more victories at Aqueduct (5) than most horses in this field have won in their entire careers. She’s had some ups and downs over the past few seasons, but she does appear to be in one of her good runs right now. She did well to hold on for second at a big price last time in what was surely a tougher race for this level. The biggest drawback today is the inside post position, since all the other speed is drawn outside of her. One of the primary enigmas in this field is Hot Fudge (#11), who returns from a lengthy layoff for Linda Rice. There’s obviously talent here, but this filly has many questions to answer. She did handle dirt pretty well when she broke her maiden in her second start as a 2-year-old, though she benefited from a rail-skimming trip on a day when the inside path was beneficial. Rice is 4 for 22 (18%, $1.74 ROI) off 300+ day layoffs over 5 years. This filly’s style fits this race, though I do have some questions about whether she’s really a dirt horse, as I’ve been more impressed with her turf races. A filly with a similar profile is Champagne Poetry (#3). There was some buzz about her when she launched her career as a 2-year-old in late 2021, and she did run the two best races of her career on dirt during that campaign last winter. The connections seemingly made a mistake when experimenting on synth and turf in her last couple of starts, but she’s back in the right kind of spot and seems to be working well for her return. Yet I think this race looks ripe to fall apart, so I want a late runner. My top pick is Captainsdaughter (#10). She may not be the most naturally talented runner in this field, but her running style appears to fit this race perfectly. She looked like she might be making the winning move using those tactics last time, but she stalled at the eighth pole going 7 furlongs. She has generally done better at this shorter 6-furlong distance, especially when there is ample speed signed on. She’s a filly who once struggled to win races, but she’s been in career form lately, and usually goes off at a fair price.

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