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.

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.
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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.
Learn More >>

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, August 23

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: Behind the Couch (#5)

  • The 99 TimeformUS Speed Figure that she earned last time out makes her a top contender.
  • Is one of the few horses in this race actually bred to get the distance.
  • Can sit off what should be an honest pace, with three main speeds in the mix.

5-2 on ML

———

Race 6: Rockin Jo (#3)

  • The Pace Projector is predicting that he’s fast enough to contest the lead after he was rated in his prior start.
  • The 99 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earned last time is the highest last-out figure in the field.
  • Gets a positive rider switch to Manny Franco.

12-1 on ML

———

Race 7: Big Q (#2)

  • Is one of the few true closers in a field that is loaded with speed.
  • Stepped up nicely in the Adirondack last time, reaching contention in midstretch while getting pushed into the rail.
  • May be set to improve again as she adds Lasix for this third start of her career.

6-1 on ML

———

Race 8: City Man (#3)

  • Was visually impressive in his debut, overcoming greenness and a wide trip to win impressively.
  • Performed like a horse who should relish the added furlong he gets to work with.
  • Didn’t run significantly slower in his debut than his rivals exiting stakes races.

3-1 on ML

———

Race 10: Not That Brady (#7)

  • His recent TimeformUS Speed Figures, all between 118 and 122, tower over this field.
  • Was arguably best in each of his last two starts, barely losing after setting contested paces.
  • Is a more convincing candidate to handle this 9-furlong distance than many others in this field.

5-2 on ML

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Thursday, August 22

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 4: Grit and Glory (#5)

  • Has a right to improve off a 2-month break after racing 3 times in quick succession at the Churchill Downs meet.
  • Appears to be training forwardly for this Saratoga start.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Stanley Hough is 8 for 24 (33%, $3.54 ROI) in dirt routes.

7-2 on ML

———

Race 8: Shamrock Kid (#4)

  • There isn’t much speed in this race, and the Pace Projector is predicting that he’ll be vying for early command.
  • It’s conceivable that this 9-furlong distance may be in his wheelhouse since he’s previously run his best races going a mile.
  • Earned a competitive 113 TimeformUS Speed Figure in his first start off the claim for Rick Schosberg.

8-1 on ML

———

Race 9: Hotsy Totsy (#10)

  • Encountered traffic trouble when closing well to be third amongst a crowded field in the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
  • Looked like she had adapted nicely in her recent workout in company with older stakes mare Homeland Security.
  • Shouldn’t mind a bit of give in the ground after substantial rain on Wednesday.

3-1 on ML

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Wednesday, August 21

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 2: Smooth With a Kick (#5)

  • Handled this course and distance very well in her maiden win last time, earning a strong 104 TimeformUS Speed Figure.
  • Has the tactical speed to make the lead in a race that features a No Speed situation.
  • Worked with Dunbar Road in her final drill for this race and held her own against that superior rival.

7-5 on ML

———

Race 4: Red Knight (#5)

  • Got poor trips in each of his last two starts, racing wide las time and making a premature move the time before.
  • Obviously figures to relish this 1 5/8 miles distance, having won going as far as 2 miles.
  • Has the tactical speed to get the jump on deep closers like Highland Sky and Pillar Mountain.

8-5 on ML

———

Race 8: Noblame (#9)

  • Deserves another chance on grass as a daughter of good turf sire Blame.
  • Should love this 5 1/2 furlong distance given her preference for shorter trips at Charles Town.
  • Has reportedly been working well for this race, on both turf and dirt.

10-1 on ML

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Sunday, August 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: Somekindofmagician (#6)

  • Should appreciate the turnback in distance given that he was very effective sprinting earlier in his career.
  • Figures to receive some pace to close into with multiple speeds signed on.
  • Has steadily been rounding back into form for Mike Trombetta, who sends live runners to Saratoga.

9-2 on ML

———

Race 7: Macho Blue (#9)

  • Gets some needed class relief after trying tougher foes last time.
  • Was never put to a full-out drive when basically eased home in that most recent start.
  • Figures to be fitter and show more speed in his second start off the layoff.

8-1 on ML

———

Race 8: Hit a Provisional (#10)

  • Ran very well off the layoff last time, contesting an honest pace before battling on gamely.
  • The 102 TimeformUS Speed Figure she earned last time makes her very competitive against this field.
  • Should appreciate the slight turnback to a mile.

9-2 on ML

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Saturday, August 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 1: Yankee Empire (#7)

  • Had significant trouble in his debut when steadied repeatedly after breaking slowly.
  • Has the pedigree to handle turf as a son of turf influence Cairo Prince out of a dam who is a half-sister to a turf stakes winner.
  • May play out as the controlling speed here in a race primarily filled with less experienced runners.

7-2 on ML

 ———

Race 5: Nakamura (#6)

  • Took both of his starts in 2019 impressively, winning in more dominant fashion than the final margins indicate.
  • Proved last year that he’s clearly better going longer distances, so the stretch-out figures to help his chances.
  • Gets a positive rider switch to Jose Ortiz as he returns to the NYRA circuit.

6-1 on ML

———

Race 9: Blowout (#4)

  • Showed a ton of grit when holding off stablemate Nova Sol in the Wild Applause two back.
  • May not have appreciated being forced into front-running tactics last time.
  • Is more likely to appreciate the slight stretch-out to 1 1/16 miles than stablemate Regal Glory.

5-2 on ML

———

Race 10: Street Band (#5)

  • The 112 TimeformUS Speed Figure that she earned in the Indiana Oaks puts her nearly on par with the two favorites.
  • Got a terrible trip in the Kentucky Oaks, when rank early and wide every step of the way.
  • Has the tactical speed to work out a good trip in a field that is primarily composed of plodders.

10-1 on ML

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Friday, August 16

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: Shennan (#6)

  • May not have appreciated boggy going in his U.S. debut last time, which was run during a rainstorm.
  • Was compromised by a slow break last time.
  • Showed real promise in Ireland prior to the layoff.

7-2 on ML

———

Race 5: Fuel the Bern (#6)

  • Has been in the best form of his career ever since he was turned back to be a dirt sprinter.
  • Was hardly disgraced at this level when last seen in May, as he understandably faded after chasing a fast pace.
  • Danny Gargan’s horses have been running extremely well at this meet.

5-1 on ML

———

Race 7: Up the Ante (#1)

  • The Pace Projector is predicting a No Speed situation with this horse clearly in front, a position that he prefers.
  • Ran well over this course in the Saranac last year, proving that he can run well outside of Belmont.
  • Gets needed class relief after facing much tougher company in the Monmouth Stakes last time.

5-2 on ML

———

Race 9: Another Miracle (#3)

  • Will be very difficult to beat if he transfers that 101 TimeformUS Speed Figure to turf.
  • Is bred to handle turf as a son of turf influence American Pharoah from a turf/synth female family.
  • The Pace Projector is predicting that he may just be too fast for these in the early going.

7-5 on ML

 

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Thursday, August 15

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: Tale of Silence (#4)

  • Is finally dropping into a realistic spot off a steady diet of graded stakes races that may have been too tough.
  • Was compromised by a wide trip in the Met Mile last time and a slow pace in the Gulfstream Park Mile the time before that.
  • Ran one of the best races of his career going this distance at Saratoga when fourth in the Grade 1 Allen Jerkens.

5-2 on ML

———

Race 7: Tzipi (#5)

  • Took to turf well in her maiden win, getting the victory despite racing greenly.
  • Lost all chance when she got away awkwardly from the gate last time.
  • Linda Rice gets a 100 TimeformUS Trainer Rating with the Blinkers On move.

10-1 on ML

———

Race 8: Bonita Bianca (#2)

  • Has arguably run some of her best races over sprint distances.
  • The last time she raced in a sprint was when she won this race last year.
  • Should get an honest pace to close into with speeds Baby Boss, Fair Regis, and Carrera Cat signed on.

9-2 on ML

 

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