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:

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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:

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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>>
Learn More >>

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.
Watch The Video>>
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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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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Saturday, April 20

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Race 5: Candygram (#4)

  • The Pace Projector is predicting that he will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner.
  • Ran better than it seems in both of his starts at Gulfstream Park this winter.
  • Jimmy Jerkens gets a 91 TimeformUS Trainer Rating with horses stretching out from sprints to routes.

7-5 on ML

———

Race 8: Alphadora (#7)

  • Should have won last time when her jockey rode her with too much confidence.
  • Her top TimeformUS Speed Figure of 95 stacks up well against the two favorites’ best numbers.
  • The Pace Projector is predicting that she will receive a fast pace to close into.

10-1 on ML

———

Race 9: Bankit (#4)

  • The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, and his TimeformUS Late Pace Rating of 116 towers over this field.
  • Should appreciate the turnback in distance after failing to handle two turns in recent starts.
  • Gets needed class relief as he moves back into New York-bred company.

5-2 on ML

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Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Orbilicious should appreciate the switch to turf

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Aqueduct | Race 5 | Post Time 3:36 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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Pound Note (#12) may be the favorite here despite drawing a difficult outside post position. She was facing some decent fillies in Florida and ran respectably in those races against open company. She should appreciate the return to New York-breds, and it’s a good sign that she’s attracted top rider Irad Ortiz. I’m definitely using her, but I’m concerned about her trip from this slot. This race is fairly wide open among the rest of the field.

Smiles From Sadie will attract support, but she has a case of seconditis, and her lone turf start was lackluster. Summer Squeeze could win this race if she ran back to her lone prior turf route, but she’s missed plenty of time since that race.

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I want to take a shot with a longshot. ORBILICIOUS (#7) would have intrigued me wherever she showed up after her last two trips, but I’m actually quite pleased that she’s been entered in a turf race. She ran much better than it seems two back when she was bumped hard and spotted the field a couple of lengths at the start. Then last time, she again was off toward the back of the pack but then was unwisely rushed up in a premature move. She’s in much better form than it seems, and I believe she’ll appreciate this switch to grass. She’s sired by the decent turf influence Orb, and her dam was clearly best on turf, making 17 of her 19 starts on that surface and winning twice. Eric Cancel needs to deliver a more patient ride this time to be successful.

The other horse that I would use prominently is Codrington (#11). This filly gets a significant trainer change to Danny Gargan, and it’s important to point out that her turf races last fall at Belmont were not nearly as poor as they seem given her difficult trips in those spots. She can make some noise here at a price.

THE PLAY

Win/Place: 7
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 4,9,11,12

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Friday, April 19

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Race 4: Archumybaby (#2)

  • Ran down the talented Summer Punch last time out.
  • Will win this race if she merely repeats her last effort.
  • Gary Gullo gets a 93 TimeformUS Trainer Rating second off the claim.

3-1 on ML

———

Race 5: Orbilicious (#7)

  • Was compromised by a slow start against solid company two back.
  • Made a premature move on the back stretch last time before tiring late.
  • Is bred to improve on turf as a son of a dam who was clearly best on this surface, winning twice.

15-1 on ML

———

Race 8: Rally Cap (#3)

  • Has earned some of the highest TimeformUS Speed Figures in the field.
  • Was always wide last time in a race where the pace never fully developed.
  • Makes his first start as a new gelding, and sports an eye-catching workout since that change.

9-5 on ML

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Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: An in-form Bootlegger switches back to preferred surface

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Aqueduct | Race 3 | Post Time 2:30 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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County Court (#4) may go off as the slight favorite in this conditioned claiming race as he drops in class for Shug McGaughey. This gelding ran well to win the last time he raced for a tag last fall at Belmont, but he benefited from favorable circumstances that day. County Court has always been best over turf courses with some give to them, and he has needed at least nine furlongs to put forth a top effort. I’m somewhat skeptical that he can repeat that effort going this distance, especially in a race that does not feature an abundance of early speed.


His main rival may be Herecomesyourman (#3), who returns on relatively short rest after winning an N2L race just 13 days ago. This horse has always had some ability but always had trouble finding the winner’s circle. If he’s gotten over that issue, he’s a serious threat to win right back, but the lack of pace could hinder him as well.

Rudy Rodriguez entered a pair of runners for turf. Where’s Rudy (#1A) is a bit of an enigma as he tries this surface for the first time. While he is a son of Gio Ponti, his dam’s family is really more dirt-oriented.

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I strongly prefer Rudy’s other horse, BOOTLEGGER (#6). This ridgling performed admirably over the winter even though dirt probably isn’t his preferred surface. I think he’s going to appreciate getting back on grass for this race, and I love the rider switch to Irad Ortiz. This horse’s prior turf starts for Rudy are not nearly as bad as they seem. He was facing a strong field for this level back on Oct. 26, and then he ran off on the lead on Dec. 1. He is fast enough to make the front here, and I’m confident that Ortiz will be able to ration out his speed this time. In his current form, I believe he is the horse to beat.

THE PLAY

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

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Thursday, April 18

Race 3: Bootlegger (#6)

  • His recent dirt efforts indicate that he is in very strong form right now.
  • Ran better than it appears in his last two turf starts of 2018, earning two of the highest TimeformUS Speed Figures in the field.
  • Gets a significant rider upgrade to Irad Ortiz, Jr.

7-2 on ML

———

Race 6: Wicked Grin (#9)

  • Ran very well in his 2 debut before encountering some traffic over yielding ground in his second start.
  • Will appreciate getting back on the turf off the layoff.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Christophe Clement is 18 for 72 (25 percent, $2.35 ROI) with maidens getting Lasix for the first time on the turf.

3-1 on ML

———

Race 8: Roseboro (#3)

  • Was visually impressive in his debut, making a prolonged run from well back to win going away.
  • Should not be terribly pace compromised given that both Leap to Glory and Binkster are need-the-lead speed types.
  • Exits a stronger race than the other recent debut winner, Holey Matrimony, who may be favored.

5-2 on ML

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Wednesday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Catch a Cab fast enough if ready to fire fresh

Aqueduct | Race 7 | Post Time 4:42 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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The scratch of Dowse’s Beach, who appeared to be the stronger half of the Michael Dubb entry, makes this race significantly more wide-open. That said, there is still a good case to be made for his stablemate We Should Talk (#1), who has gotten limited turf opportunities in his career. It appears that he’s been rested up for this return to grass in his first start off the claim for Jorge Abreu. I’ll definitely use him, but I still believe better value lies elsewhere in this field.

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I want to take a shot with CATCH A CAB (#4) as he returns from the layoff. This horse got into very good form last summer for Mark Casse, winning three straight races at Belmont before running poorly against open company. He made his first start off the claim for the Toscano barn in October, and he actually ran quite well. He made a strong move into contention approaching the quarter pole and briefly lost momentum while trying to squeeze through between horses. All things considered, I thought he ran well to just miss finishing second that day. If I’m right about Dowse’s Beach, Catch a Cab can win this race by merely repeating his last effort. He’s clearly the second fastest horse in the field in terms of speed figures. The layoff is obviously a concern, but Toscano has won with a couple of turf horses off similar breaks in the past.

The other horse I want to use prominently is Royal Asset (#7). He might be the speed of this field and he’s run many competitive speed figures on turf, but you have to be somewhat concerned about his lackluster recent form.

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 1,3,6,7
Trifecta: 4 with 1,7 with ALL

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Get The 2019 TimeformUS Kentucky Derby Weekend Package: All the details are here

Once you’ve bought it, get the Contender PPs and Preliminary Pace Projector here.

Frequently Asked Questions about the 2019 TimeformUS Kentucky Derby Package:

Q: How do I get your Experts’ selections, betting strategies, and analysis for all of the stakes races on Kentucky Derby and the 4 stakes races ending in the Kentucky Oaks?

A: Race Analysis and Betting Strategies from our experts David Aragona, Justin Finch, and Craig Milkowski will be available via the Strategies link at the top of the Churchill Downs PPs for Saturday May 5th for all Package Buyers. We’ll post the Oaks Day Stakes analysis by noon on Thursday May 2nd, and the Derby Day analysis by 2pm on Friday May 3rd. The only way to get all of the TimeformUS Experts’ selections and analysis for all Kentucky Derby stakes and the four stakes ending in the KY Oaks is to buy this package.

Q: What about TimeformUS Past Performances, Pace Projectors, Speed Figures for Derby Day?

A: This package includes UNLIMITED ACCESS to PPs  for ALL races at ALL tracks running on Saturday May 4th, from Churchill Downs to Belmont Park, from Evangeline Downs to Santa Anita, etc. Oaks Day PPs must be purchased separately.

Q: Other than the selections and betting strategies (yes–actual tickets!), what exactly comes in the expert analysis?

From TimeformUS Chief Figure Maker Craig Milkowski:
Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Pace Projector Preview: Craig will offer expansive commentary on the Pace Projector’s interpretation of the 2019 Derby and Oaks Fields. Craig will evaluate both races and assess which horses’ chances should be upgraded based on the pace scenario for each race, plus the impact of pace on the contenders’ performances in their prep races.

Q: And just to be sure, can you list all of the Stakes Previews & Selections that I will get if I buy this package?

From our analysts David Aragona, Justin Finch, and David Aragona:

Churchill Downs Friday Stakes Analysis and Strategies to be available at the top of the PPs by Thursday May 2nd at noon EDT, and will include write-ups of the four stakes ending with the Kentucky Oaks.

Churchill Downs Saturday Stakes Analysis and Strategies to be available at the top of the PPs by Friday May 3rd at 2pm:

American Turf presented by Ram Trucks (GIIT)

$400k g

8.5f

Turf

Churchill Downs S (GI)

$500k g

7f

Dirt

Humana Distaff (GI)

$500k g

7f

Dirt

Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI)

$3,000k g

10f

Dirt

Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GIIT)

$400k g

8f

Turf

Old Forester Turf Classic (GIT)

$1,000k g

9f

Turf

Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (GIII)

$400k g

8f

Dirt

Q: I’m already an Unlimited Access PPs Subscriber for $74.95 a month. Will I get the Kentucky Derby Weekend Package as part of this subscription?

A: If you’re on our Unlimited Monthly PP Plan, you’ll get access to all the PPs, but you’ll need to separately buy the Derby Weekend Package to gain access to the Betting Strategies from our experts. Please note: Unlimited Annual Subscribers ($699 a year, email us at tfussupport@drf.com if interested) have access to all Betting Strategy Content.

Other questions? Email us and we’ll help you out.

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