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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Race 1: Lonhtwist (#3)

  • Ran deceptively well in his debut when setting a fast pace while racing on a dead rail.
  • Is a turf-inclined runner, so he may find himself right at home on a sloppy, sealed track.
  • Races with Lasix for the first time.

3-1 on ML

———

Race 4: Incubator (#3)

  • The 113 TimeformUS Speed Figure he earned last time suggests that he’s fast enough to win at this level.
  • Will appreciate the turnback to his preferred one-mile distance after hanging on going 1 1/8 miles last time.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Rudy Rodriguez is 5 for 12 (42 percent, $2.69 ROI) first off the claim in dirt routes with horses moving up in claiming price by 50 percent or more.

2-1 on ML

———

Race 6: D J’s Favorite (#3)

  • Ran deceptively well last time when chasing an honest pace going a distance that is a bit too far for her.
  • Has run well over wet racetracks in the past and is likely to encounter a sloppy surface on Sunday.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Linda Rice is 12 for 32 (38 percent, $2.52 ROI) with horses coming off layoffs of 7 to 12 days on dirt at Aqueduct.

3-1 on ML

Posted in Race Previews | 1 Comment

Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Almithmaar’s recent form is stronger than it appears

Aqueduct | Race 7 | Post Time 3:55 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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I suppose J S Bach (#5) will be a deserving favorite off a pair of solid third-place finishes at this level. While he’s achieved the majority of his success against cheaper company, he has improved his speed figures in recent months and was facing tougher fields in his last two starts. The cutback to seven furlongs may actually help him given how well he ran going sprint distances at Saratoga last summer. Everything Jason Servis sends out has been dangerous lately, and this gelding figures to work out a good trip from stalking range.

The Pace Projector is predicting that Bon Raison (#2) will lead the field early in a situation favoring the front-runner. However, I think this horse is one to take a stand against. He earned the highest TimeformUS Speed Figure in the field in winning his last race just seven days ago, but he benefitted from riding the golden rail that day. I highly doubt he can repeat such a performance on a fair surface.

Almithmaar.png

My top selection is ALMITHMAAR (#6), who may sit the perfect trip just in behind the aforementioned speeds, assuming Bon Raison can’t seal the deal. Almithmaar’srecent form is a lot better than it might appear at first glance. This horse contested a strong pace against superior rivals on Sept. 29 and then was wide against a strong rail bias on Oct. 26. I can excuse his turf effort two back, and last time, he had to contend with a sloppy track. I thought he would have finished closer that day had Dylan Davis continued to send him through inside in upper stretch, as he seemed to lose momentum when he altered course. Nevertheless, he still finished relatively close to the talented Eye Luv Lulu and defeated next-out winner Preservationist. His 117 TimeformUS Speed Figure stacks up well against these, and he still has room to improve.

THE PLAY

Win: 6
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,2,3,5
Trifecta: 5,6 with 5,6 with 1,2,3

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Saturday, February 23

Race 4: Kid Is Frosty (#3)

  • Raced 3-wide against a strong rail bias last time out.
  • Did well to hang on for second last time after making a move into a very fast pace.
  • Brad Cox gets a 99 TimeformUS Trainer Rating with horses making the second start after a trainer switch into his barn.

8-5 on ML

———

Race 7: Almithmaar (#6)

  • Has had legitimate excuses in recent starts, such as when he was wide against a rail bias on Oct. 26.
  • Should sit a good trip stalking outside of the speedy but vulnerable Bon Raison.
  • The 117 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earned last time out puts him on par with favored J S Bach.

4-1 on ML

———

Race 8: Forgotten Hero (#4)

  • She earned a 112 TimeformUS Speed Figure last time out, which is easily the highest number in this field.
  • The Pace Projector is predicting that she is clearly faster than her two main rivals in the early going.
  • Beat classy foe Sassy Agnes when she won her stakes debut last time.

8-5 on ML

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Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Ro Bear is back at the right class level

Aqueduct | Race 6 | Post Time 3:33 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 
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H Man (#2) has to be considered the horse to beat as he makes his first start off the claim for Jason Servis. He is especially dangerous in these situations, and it’s probably a good sign that he’s moving this runner up in class in his first start for the new barn. H Man would not have to improve much, if at all, on his runner-up finish behind the Servis-trained Planet Trailblazer last time. He carved out legitimate early fractions that day and just succumbed to the winner while well clear of the rest of the field. I’m hardly against him, but these low-level claimers are not that reliable, and I don’t want to accept a very short price on anyone.

Some may consider Sparty Boy (#6) as an alternative, but I find him difficult to recommend off his recent form. This horse exploded with an 11-length triumph in very fast time in his first start for the Rudy Rodriguez barn, but it’s been downhill since then. He showed some signs of life when back on a wet track at Parx two back, but his most recent performance at Aqueduct was quite dull.

Ro-Bear.png

Instead, I want to take a shot with RO BEAR (#4). These low-profile connections rarely take a ton of money, but this horse should probably be among the favorites based solely on his recent efforts. He easily won while defeating today’s rival Halloween Harrow the last time that he raced in a straight claiming event. Since then, he’s faced tougher optional-claiming and allowance foes, yet he has not disgraced himself in any of those performances. He had little chance chasing the very fast Charlie McCoy two back, but he nevertheless stayed on well to finish just a length behind the runner-up. And then last time, he took advantage of a good trip while finishing just behind Papa Shot and Horoscope, both of whom would be heavy favorites in a race like this. A one-turn mile is his best distance, and Harry Hernandez seems to ride him well.

THE PLAY

Win: 4
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 2,6,7
Trifecta: 2,4 with 2,4 with 1,5,6,7

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Friday, February 22

Race 2: Ribbonite (#3)

  • Her rider lost the irons in the early stages last time, which prevented her from getting to the lead.
  • Has run faster than her rivals and has done so against tougher competition.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Jeremiah Englehart is 35 for 75 (47 percent, $2.26 ROI) with horses dropping in claiming price by 50 percent or more in dirt sprints.
  • 7-5 on ML

———

Race 6: Ro Bear (#4)

  • Has been performing well against tougher company in recent starts.
  • This barn often gets overlooked in the wagering, yet does well with limited runners.
  • A one-turn mile is his best distance.

9-2 on ML

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Thursday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Storm Prophet is dangerous first off the claim for Rudy

Aqueduct | Race 8 | Post Time 4:40 p.m. (ET) | Go to the FREE TimeformUS PPs 
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A few entrants exit the seventh race on Jan. 12, which was also contested at this class level and distance. Mr. Dougie Fresh (#5) was the slight favorite and looked like a winner past the eighth pole before a resurgent Stoney Bennett reclaimed the lead at the wire. Mr. Dougie Fresh will be tough to beat if he merely repeats that performance, but he got a fantastic stalking trip that day in a race that seemed to favor those with a forward position.

I prefer Allured (#4) out of that spot since he had to race through traffic and was closing best of all at the end. Chad Brown has good numbers when adding blinkers, and it’s a positive sign to see Manny Franco stay here rather than hop aboard Business Cycle.

Nicodemus (#8) is an intriguing new face as he makes his first start since the Curlin Stakes last year. He was no match for Hofburg that day, but he stayed on gamely to be second in the slop while achieving a field-best 118 TimeformUS Speed Figure. He appears to be working well for his return, but Linda Rice does not have very strong numbers in this situation.

Storm-Prophet.png

I’m using all of these runners in some capacity, but my top pick is STORM PROPHET (#1). He’s likely to race as a solo betting interest since entrymate Blewitt is almost certain to scratch following his win last Sunday. That should drive up Storm Prophet’s price since he appeared to be the lesser half of the entry. He lost to today’s rival Gio d’Oro when they met last time out on Jan. 4, but Storm Prophet had the much tougher trip that day, racing wide around both turns. According to Trakus, he covered 56 more feet than Gio d’Oro, more than the margin of defeat. I like this turnback to a one-turn race for Storm Prophet, and Rudy Rodriguez has does extremely well in this situation. Over the past five years, he is 28 for 62 (45 percent, $2.80 ROI) first off the claim in dirt routes at Aqueduct.

THE PLAY

Win: 1
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 4,5,8,11
Trifecta: 1 with 4,8 with 3,4,5,6,8,11

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Aqueduct Horses in Focus for Thursday, February 21

Race 2: Team Win (#6)

  • Probably needed her first race, as she took very little money when debuting in a dirt route.
  • Gets a positive rider upgrade to leading rider Manny Franco, indicating that she may be well-meant for her second start.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Todd Pletcher is 20 for 55 (36 percent, $2.10 ROI) with maiden second time starters in dirt routes who also debuted routing.

7-2 on ML

———

Race 8: Storm Prophet (#1)

  • Ran better than it appears last time when going very wide around both turns.
  • Should appreciate the slight turnback to one-mile in a race that should feature a faster early pace.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Rudy Rodriguez is 28 for 62 (45 percent, $2.80 ROI) first off the claim in dirt routes at Aqueduct.

10-1 on ML

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