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 is now an eighth type of code–for races we can’t give a figure for at all:

  • 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.

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.

Related:

>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 TimeformUS.com 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  Support@TimeformUS.com

Visit TimeformUS.com

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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TimeformUS
 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.
Watch The Video>>
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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 TimeformUS.com, or see below for even MORE ways in which TimeformUS is different:

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Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Dr. Edgar’s pace advantage may be too much to overcome in the Poker

Belmont | Race 8 | Post Time 5:18 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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There are many ways to go in this highly competitive Poker Stakes. While I usually search for a price in a spot like this, I’ve landed on morning-line favorite DR. EDGAR (#9). I don’t think any horse is going to be bet down too significantly in this spot, so I think we might get somewhere around that 3-1 price.

I just feel that Dr. Edgar is coming into this race in top form and is the most likely winner. He ran well to win the Appleton two back, holding off a strong late challenge from Hawkish after setting the pace while never letting that foe go by him on the gallop-out. He then stretched out to nine furlongs last time in the Fort Marcy. That’s just a bit too far for him, but he actually ran extremely well to be second. The pace of that race was fast – indicated by red color-coded pace figures in TimeformUS PPs – and Dr. Edgar gamely held on for second after dueling Robert Bruce into defeat. Now he’s turning back to a mile, and the Pace Projector is predicting that he will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner. This is arguably the toughest spot he’s tried, but I just think he fits this race perfectly.

Poker-Pace.png

I’m not trying to beat the favorite, but I will use some others. Clyde’s Image (#1) obviously must be respected off his pair of Grade 1 placings. He probably appreciated softer ground in those starts, but he’s obviously in top form. Krampus (#3) did not get an ideal ride behind Dr. Edgar at Gulfstream last time and deserves another shot at a price. I’d even use Breaking the Rules (#8), who was very wide in the Turf Classic last time and is overdue to start delivering on his potential.

THE PLAY

Win: 9
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 1,2,3,8
Trifecta: 9 with 1,3 with 1,2,3,4,6,8

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Belmont Horses in Focus for Sunday, June 16

Race 4: Seven Is Heaven (#5)

  • Ran deceptively well in his debut when shuffled back in traffic.
  • Disappointed as the second choice last time, but was coming off a layoff that day.
  • Should improve on the stretch-out given the stamina in his female family.

7-2 on ML

———

Race 5: Sentry (#5)

  • Was improving during the second half of 2018, actually winning at this distance in November.
  • Got the wrong trip in a Grade 3 event over the winter when making a premature move.
  • Looked good in his final workout for this race, going well in company with Breaking the Rules.

5-1 on ML

———

Race 8: Dr. Edgar (#9)

  • The Pace Projector is predicting that he will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner.
  • Defeated a good horse, Hawkish, when he won the Grade 3 Appleton two back.
  • Ran better than it seems in the Fort Marcy last time after setting a fast pace going a distance that is too far for him.

3-1 on ML

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Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Archumybaby is ready step forward second off the claim

Belmont | Race 2 | Post Time 2:02 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
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The Drawing Away Stables entry figures to be favored in this spot. The stronger half of the pair appears to be Fair Regis (#1A), who has been a presence at or around this level for the past eight months. Save an ambitious placement against stakes company last fall and a poor effort Feb. 9 when compromised by a rail bias, she’s run well in almost all of her recent starts. She could not catch the returning Sue’s Fortune last time, but that filly flattered the effort when she returned to finish a strong second in the Jersey Girl last weekend. She has tactical speed and is drawn well outside of her main pace rivals.

Archumybaby.png

My top pick is ARCHUMYBABY (#5). This mare exploded with a surprising win in the Videogenic back in March, earning a career-best 99 TimeformUS Speed Figure. Her subsequent performances don’t quite measure up to that standard, but she’s had excuses. She got the wrong trip April 19 as she was repeatedly shuffled back on the turn, and then she was forced to chase wide against a strong rail bias on May 18. She gets a positive rider switch to Irad Ortiz in her second start off the claim for Linda Rice. She has the tactical speed to sit closer to the pace this time and figures to be a square price.

I would also include the two Charlton Baker-trained runners, Forever Changed(#2) and Our Super Nova (#6). The former is harder to trust as she returns from a lengthy layoff, but she showed some potential as a 2-year-old and has a right to step forward. Our Super Nova benefited from a fast early pace last time when she closed for second behind Carrera Cat, but she’s clearly in solid form right now.

THE PLAY

Win: 5
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,2,6
Trifecta: 5 with 1,6 with ALL

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Belmont Horses in Focus for Saturday, June 15

Race 2: Archumybaby (#5)

  • Was compromised by an uncomfortable trip 3 back when continually shuffled back on the turn.
  • Raced very wide against a gold rail in his first start off the claim for Linda Rice last time.
  • Gets a positive rider switch to Irad Ortiz.

7-2 on ML

———

Race 6: Passporttovictory (#5)

  • Does not handle wet tracks anymore, and should appreciate getting back on fast going here.
  • Was shuffled back on the turn two back and was running on well through the lane in a race dominated by front-runners.
  • Her best dirt performances make her faster than all of her rivals in this spot.

2-1 on ML

———

Race 9: Midnight Disguise (#5)

  • Has won both of her prior starts sprinting, and may appreciate the cutback in distance.
  • Showed improved speed and form when chasing home the talented Kathryn the Wise last time.
  • Has run well in both of her fast track starts in 2019 and deserves a pass for her two poor efforts over wet going.

5-2 on ML

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Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Elektronic can take another step forward on the class rise

Belmont | Race 2 | Post Time 2:02 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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I don’t usually strongly endorse favorites, but I believe ELEKTRONIC (#4) will be very tough to beat. This lightly raced 3-year-old is hardly a standout in terms of speed figures, but you get the feeling that the best is yet to come. Linda Rice’s runners almost always need a start first out, and he showed improvement, which is typical of this barn, in his second start. Elektronic stepped up to handle winners last time, and the manner in which he won belies the final margin. He was always in control of that race, flicking his ears back and forth as he brushed off Veteran’s Beach in deep stretch. This colt is bred to be special as a son of the 13-time turf winner Karakorum Elektra, and he has the tactical speed to work out a favorable trip. Notably, Jose Lezcano rode all three of this race’s top choices in their prior starts yet sticks with this colt.

Elektronic.png

The main alternative is Rice’s other runner, Fast Getaway (#7). He dominated an overmatched group upon his return at Aqueduct, but he was supposed to win as the favorite last time. He is honest and reliable, but I get the sense that we’ve already seen his best, whereas Elektronic is clearly on the rise.

The other horse to consider is Mango M (#1). This 4-year-old gelding finally broke through his N1X allowance condition last time after failing at short prices on a number of occasions last year. That was a relatively soft race for the level, and this one is considerably tougher due to the presence of the two Rice entrants. Turning back to seven furlongs should not pose a problem considering how well he ran going six furlongs last June. I find the other two to be more appealing though.

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 1,2,7
Trifecta: 4 with 1,7 with 1,2,3,7

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Belmont Horses in Focus for Friday, June 14

Race 2: Elektronic (#4)

  • Is improving with every start and seems likely to take another step forward here.
  • Won much easier than the one-length margin would indicate last time.
  • Jose Lezcano lands here despite riding all 3 of the top choices on the morning line in their prior starts.

8-5 on ML

———

Race 6: Ownitifyouwantit (#2)

  • Showed some talent on the dirt this winter despite not having much pedigree for that surface.
  • Is bred to improve on turf since all of this dam’s foals to try turf have won over it.
  • Picks up leading rider Jose Lezcano for this start.

8-1 on ML

———

Race 9: Dynamite Kitten (#2)

  • Ran a remarkable race in her start two back, covering 111 more feet than the winner, according to Trakus, after bolting on both turns.
  • Also ran better than it seems last time after chasing a very fast pace for the distance.
  • Gets a positive rider switch to Junior Alvarado.

9-2 on ML

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Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Purrageous Dyna is ready to step forward second off the layoff

Belmont | Race 7 | Post Time 6:14 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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This is arguably the most confusing race on the card, as you make a valid case for almost all of the seven runners.


I suppose Dream Passage (#5) will go off as the favorite off her visually impressive score going this distance in late April. She was only beating New York-breds that day, but she took down a heavily bet Chad Brown favorite and earned an impressive 111 TimeformUS Speed Figure. She had previously been a closing sprinter, so the sudden improvement going a mile was fairly surprising, but she must be respected off that effort. I prefer her to Go Rose (#7), who earned a respectable speed figure in her U.S. debut last time but did so with the benefit of a perfect trip. I’m more interested in a couple of horses looking to get back into top form.

Goodbye Brockley (#2) ran a number of races in 2018 that would make her a player in this spot. She was never in serious contention in her return last time, but she may not have appreciated the 1 1/8-mile distance of that race. This turnback should be to her liking.

Purrageous-dyna.png

My top pick is PURRAGEOUS DYNA (#4). This mare might look inferior at first glance, but her turf form actually stacks up well against this field. She put in an encouraging effort at this level last June, finishing just behind a pair of superior Brown fillies, Complicit and Silver Shaker. She didn’t handle 1 1/4 miles in her next start, and she was placed over head in the Yaddo. Yet she put in a good effort when she was back in a realistic spot in September, finishing second behind Golden Attitude, who returned to place in a stakes. Her most recent dirt start was a prep, and she should be set to move forward.

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 2,3,5,7
Trifecta: 4 with 2,5 with 1,2,3,5,7

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