TimeformUS Spotlight Speed Figures


The TimeformUS Spotlight Speed Figure is found by analyzing each horse’s recent races. Taking into account the distance and surface of a horse’s three most recent races, we find what we believe to be the most representative speed figure for today’s race. 

In a recent study, the horse with the highest Spotlight Speed Figure won 29.5% of the time. The horse with the highest Spotlight Speed Figure ran first, second or third 63.1% of the time.

The study looked at 9,190 races between March 15 and June 11, 2013. The data can be found by clicking here. Note that races where at least one horse did not have a Spotlight Speed Figure (often races with First Time Starters or European Shippers) were excluded from the study. Also note that we are continuing to look for ways to refine this study, and we welcome your suggestions in the comments section below.

Related Blog Posts

TimeformUS Speed Figures
Tab 1 – Much more than “Entries”
How TimeformUS is Different

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9 Responses to TimeformUS Spotlight Speed Figures

  1. ladhorses says:

    Parx Racing – Tuesday March 27, 2018 – Race 7

    Horse 8 ‘Zipper’s Hero’: Has 5 Chk Marks & a Spotlight Speed Figure of 108-Dirt
    ML 5-1 & a Running Style of ’98 Midpack 70′

    – ‘Zipper’s Hero’ has not raced in 125 Days
    – Since her last race on 11/22/2017 ‘Zipper’s Hero’ has had exactly 2 timed workouts
    * Parx Racing 02/28/2018 Dirt 4F 49.08 Breezing 3/61
    * Parx Racing 12/16/2017 Dirt 4F 49.48 Breezing 2/28

    Of the 9 horses scheduled for this 7F race, ‘Zipper’s Hero’ has the highest Spotlight Speed Figure by EIGHT POINTS and has.

    Yes, a horse that hasn’t raced in 125 days and has only 2 timed workouts in that period is overwhelmingly the top-rated speed horse. Furthermore, ‘Zipper’s Hero’ gets a ‘Check Mark Rating’ of 5.

    On the preview page you have the TimeformUS Power Picks:
    For this race you list 8, ‘Zipper’s Hero’ as the favorite.

    Please explain to your customers how this can be. How can one make the case that this horse is in form? How can you make the case that the logical Speed Figure for this race is 108-Dirt? How can you make the case that this horse is apt to win?

    What is going on here?


    • ladhorses says:

      ‘Zipper’s Hero’ has never won a 7 Furlong Race.
      ‘Zipper’s Hero’ has never Placed in a 7 Furlong Race.
      ‘Zipper’s Hero’ has captured 2 Shows in a 7 Furlong Race.

      So, of course, ‘Zipper’s Hero’ is your favorite to win this 7 Furlong Race.


      • TimeformUS says:

        Of course!
        Checkmarks are derived from a number of factors but as horseplayers we find plenty of times we bet against them. More broadly, we can tell you they hit at 29% and have a $1.70 ROI over a sample of more than 5,000 races (and yes, we have tested repeatedly). This ROI outperforms the betting favorite. So as horseplayers we tend to do what you’ve done here–check out the top Checkmark horse and see if we like him or not. It’s difficult to improve these sort of algorithmic selections, but a worthy task. And as you know, whether algorithmic or done manually by an expert, it’s absurdly easy to cherry pick a selection and scoff at it. Good luck at the windows!


  2. ladhorses says:

    It seems to me that the “Spotlight Speed Figure” merely represents the highest individual race Speed Figure that the thoroughbred has ever received.

    If that is not the case, then please show me some examples where the “Spotlight Speed Figure” is less than the highest historical value the horse has ever received.

    If in fact the “Spotlight Speed Figure” is just a regurgitation of some historically achieved value then it is at best a useless statistic. In fact, it will tend to overrate the actual current form of a horse. That overrating will cause us, the beleaguered customer, to put value on a horse where they do not deserve it.

    Straighten me out if I am misunderstanding this.



    • TimeformUS says:

      You’re misunderstanding it. Are you a paying customer or only looking at a couple of free races a day? Spotlight Speed Figures adjust for distance, surface, and recency.


      • ladhorses says:

        I’m new and trying to learn. I’ve purchased two full day passes for Santa Anita so far. I’ll buy more as I get comfortable. I’m trying to learn.

        I wish there was a single sort of learning portal where one could ask questions. Now it seems scattered. I don’t know if I’m posting my questions in the right place.

        I’m sorry if I’m irritating you. I don’t want to do that. It is not my intention. My intention is to figure out what the hell is going on.


      • TimeformUS says:

        Start with this page–

        As there is a lot here. We can set up a call when you have more questions.


  3. Clinton Parks says:

    Separate the Surfaces, This may give you an even more accurate speed figure.


  4. Eric Komar says:

    Just signed up for the free trial on opening day at Belmont. Very impressed with the colorful layout and the wealth of information of these forms. Looking forward to seeing them in practice today through the Ky Derby.



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