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

Posted in Data Studies, Player's Point of View, Product features, Race Previews | Leave a comment

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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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Friday, July 19

Interested in the full Saratoga Strategies package, which includes exclusive access to David Aragona’s Betting Strategies and Highlight Horse every day of the meet? Learn more ›

Race 3: Dearly Declared (#1)

  • Got a peculiar ride last time when she was inexplicably rated in last in a race where she was projected to be the speed.
  • Found the two-turn distances to be a little far for her at Gulfstream, so this turnback to 5 1/2 furlongs makes some sense.
  • Adds blinkers to inject some speed on the turnback.

4-1 on ML

———

Race 6: Rhode Island (#9)

  • Looked like his old self when leveling off down the lane in that maiden score last time.
  • The Pace Projector is predicting that he will get a fast pace to close into.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Linda Rice is 10 for 37 (27 percent, $3.12 ROI) first off the claim in turf routes.

8-1 on ML

———

Race 7: Pillar Mountain (#9)

  • Clearly relishes this 1 3/8 miles distance, having put forth his best two efforts at this trip.
  • Was flattered when He’s No Lemon proved much the best in an N1X allowance race on Thursday.
  • Appreciates a bit of give in the ground and should get his preferred going after Wednesday’s rainstorm.

5-2 on ML

———

Race 9: The Mackem Bullet (#2)

  • After the expected scratch of her stablemate, the Pace Projector will be depicting her in front in a situation favoring the early leader.
  • Was very impressive when taking down the Appalachian over today’s rival Regal Glory.
  • Her effective turn of foot should make her tough to reel in going this one-mile distance.

9-2 on ML

Posted in Race Previews | 1 Comment

Saratoga Horses in Focus for Thursday, July 18

Interested in the full Saratoga Strategies package, which includes exclusive access to David Aragona’s Betting Strategies and Highlight Horse every day of the meet? Learn more ›

Race 1: After You (#6)

  • The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead and he is predicted to be in front.
  • Earned a 98 TimeformUS Speed Figure in his maiden win as a 2-year-old and some of his rivals aren’t even running that fast now.
  • Has been put through a series of rigorous drills for this return for Neil Drysdale.

7-2 on ML

———

Race 4: He’s No Lemon (#2)

  • Has been steadily improving ever since Graham Motion stretched him out to this distance earlier in the year.
  • Was ambitiously entered in the Belmont Derby, where he was excluded on the also-eligible list.
  • Barely lost to the classy Pillar Mountain, who looks formidable against a tougher N2X group later in the week.

8-5 on ML

———

Race 9: Roaming Union (#6)

  • Has shown subtle improvement since the claim by Rob Atras.
  • Is coming in off some of the best efforts of his career in a race where all of his other main rivals are in questionable form.
  • Has always been slightly better around two turns, so should appreciate the stretch-out to 1 1/8 miles.

5-1 on ML

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Wednesday, July 17

Interested in the full Saratoga Strategies package, which includes exclusive access to David Aragona’s Betting Strategies and Highlight Horse every day of the meet? Learn more ›

Race 3: Fully Vested (#9)

  • The Pace Projector is predicting that he will be on the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner.
  • Got an odd trip in his turf debut at Monmouth last time when he was wide and rank heading into the turn before rallying late.
  • Has run some of the fastest speed figures in the field on dirt and would beat this field if able to run those races on grass.

2-1 on ML

———

Race 8: Dovey Lovey (#3)

  • It’s a good sign that Contessa is bringing her back for a higher claiming tag than the one she competed for prior to the layoff.
  • Will appreciate getting back to sprint distances after showing her distaste for routes when last seen.
  • Joel Rosario is a perfect fit for a closing sprinter like this.

15-1 on ML

———

Race 9: Honor Way (#5)

  • Ran better than it seems in each of her last two starts when closing into slow or moderate paces with less than ideal trips.
  • Should get an honest pace to close into if Carrera Cat and Talk Veuve to Me go at it on the front end.
  • May be catching favorite Talk Veuve to Me at the right time, since she’s looked vulnerable in 2019.

9-2 on ML

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Sunday, July 14

Interested in the full Saratoga Strategies package, which includes exclusive access to David Aragona’s Betting Strategies and Highlight Horse every day of the meet? Learn more ›

Race 1: Miss Marissa (#7)

  • Took money in her debut and ran to the support in a solid second place finish.
  • Should improve with turf and added distance, since she hails from a stamina-oriented grass family.
  • Will go off at a bigger price than she really should due to the low-profile trainer.

4-1 on ML

———

Race 3: Wild Boar (#2)

  • Showed some ability on dirt last year and has a right to run faster speed figure as a 3-year-old.
  • His dam was clearly best on turf and he’s by good turf sire Tale of the Cat.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: John Kimmel is 5 for 25 ($6.64 ROI) with maidens trying turf for the first time over the past 5 years.

5-1 on ML

———

Race 6: Cheatam Hill (#2)

  • Showed flashes of ability over the winter and it’s interesting that Servis immediately puts her on turf upon return.
  • Her sire Bellamy Road is not the greatest turf influence, but her dam’s best foal is 2-time turf winner Vip Nation.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Jason Servis is 6 for 25 (24%, $2.29 ROI) with horses trying turf for the first time in routes.

12- 1 on ML

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Saturday, July 13

Interested in the full Saratoga Strategies package, which includes exclusive access to David Aragona’s Betting Strategies and Highlight Horse every day of the meet? Learn more ›

Race 5: Paper Clip (#2)

  • The 110 TimeformUS Speed Figure that she earned in her last start is the highest in the field.
  • Has the speed to get out in front early in a race that does not feature an abundance of front-runners.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Wesley Ware is 11 for 33 (33 percent, $2.18 ROI) with 3-year-old and older last-out maiden winner in turf sprints.

3-1 on ML

——— 

Race 7: Red Zinger (#8)

  • Should appreciate the cutback in distance since he has been tiring at the end of his recent one-mile races.
  • Was compromised by a wide trip over a rail-biased surface last time.
  • Seemed to appreciate the Saratoga main track last summer and can get back on track over this surface.

3-1 on ML

———

Race 11: Coltrane (#6)

  • The 113 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earend three back is one of the highest numbers in this field.
  • Is especially dangerous on the front end and the Pace Projector is predicting he is fast enough to make the lead.
  • Shows many red color-coded pace figures in his PPs, indicating that he’s encountered an inordinate number of unfavorable pace scenarios.

12-1 on ML

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Friday, July 12

Interested in the full Saratoga Strategies package, which includes exclusive access to David Aragona’s Betting Strategies and Highlight Horse every day of the meet? Learn more ›

Race 3: Conquest Hardcandy (#6)

  • Had a valid excuse last time when getting into an early duel with heavy favorite Valedictorian.
  • Is receiving significant class relief as she drops out of graded stakes company.
  • Those recent TimeformUS Speed Figures of 112 and 111 are higher numbers than favorite Complicit has ever earned.

4-1 on ML

———

Race 6: Hay Dakota (#11)

  • Was very impressive in victory last time, easily spurting away from the speeds in a race that fell apart behind him.
  • The two best races he’s run during the past year have come for Eddie Kenneally.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Kenneally is 3 for 8 (38 percent, $2.00 ROI) second off the claim with last-out winners. All 8 finished in the money.

9-2 on ML

———

Race 7: Citizen Matzo (#3)

  • Would be very tough for this field to beat if she gets back to her turf win against open company from Tampa.
  • That most recent effort on dirt is actually encouraging since that’s not her preferred surface.
  • Trainer Roy Lerman is enjoying a fantastic year, winning at 40 percent.

6-1 on ML

———

Race 9: Qurbaan (#8)

  • Is getting significant class relief after coming off a steady diet of Grade 1 races.
  • That Manhattan loss was not as poor as it seems since he ran off when too keen in the early going.
  • Joel Rosario should fit him well since he’s so patient and prior riders have allowed him to make the lead too soon.

6-1 on ML

Posted in Race Previews | 1 Comment

Saratoga Horses in Focus for Thursday, July 11

Race 1: Blurred Line (#3)

  • Put forth his best career effort going this distance on turf.
  • Was in declining form the last time that he switched to dirt and may be able to do better as a fresh horse.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Danny Gargan is 5 for 13 ($4.30 ROI) off layoffs of 180 days or more in dirt routes.

10-1 on ML

———

Race 6: Fled (#4)

  • Came home in very fast time in his turf debut at Laurel, in an effort that was even more dominant than the margin indicates.
  • Is bred to be more of a turf horse since he’s out of a full-sister to turf stakes winner Miss Southern Miss.
  • Is not meeting the strongest field for this class level.

8-1 on ML

———

Race 9: Listing (#4)

  • Appreciated the turnback to 5 furlongs last time and gets to compete over a similar distance here.
  • The 114 TimeformUS Speed Figure that earned for that Desert Code win is the highest turf number in the field.
  • Gets a positive rider switch to top turf sprint jockey Joel Rosario.

4-1 on ML

Posted in Race Previews | 3 Comments