TimeformUS Speed Figures

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TimeformUS Speed Figures are a breakthrough rating combining the horse’s final time, the pace at which the horse ran, and the pace of the race in which he ran.


By combining a horse’s final-time figure, pace figures, and running style into one number, we form what we believe is a state-of-the-art single-number measure of all-around performance.

By adjusting our figures for pace, we engineer them in a manner meant to express the totality of the horse’s effort. Rather than reflecting only his final times, which, after all, can be affected by slow or fast paces, they reflect his actual ability.

>>Learn More about how our Pace Figures are created and integrated with our Speed Figures.

Created by our US-based team, TimeformUS speed figures are on the global Timeform scale, which tops out in the high 140s. For horses running in North America who have previously run in Europe and elsewhere, we use speed figures provided by Timeform’s UK-based team for their overseas races. They’re the leading global speed figure provider, and their ratings on those overseas horses now running in the US are available exclusively on TimeformUS.com.

color1TimeformUS Speed Figures are found in the past performances, and are also used to create the Spotlight Speed Figure, which is displayed on the preview page. The spotlight figure is each horse’s most relevant speed figure among the recent races he’s run. On both pages, the speed figures are color coded for surface – brown for dirt, green for grass, and blue for synthetic.

Elements of the TimeformUS Speed Figures

1) Pace Figures: We create accurate pace figures on all surfaces. Calculated via a combination of intensive database testing and daily manual inspection, our pace figures are presented on a coherent, easy-to-read scale that allows the reader to compare, say, the horse’s variant-adjusted opening 1/4 to his variant-adjusted opening 1/2, and compare either (or both) of these to his variant-adjusted final time, secure in the knowledge that what he is seeing is interchangeable from track to track.

2) Final Time Figures: Final-time figures made by hand and made in a pure manner that keeps them uninfected by pace adjustments.

3) Running Style: We create late pace figures that assess a horse’s late speed without falling into the trap of overrating plodders. This is a “breakthrough rating” that will change the way people look at closers and final fractions.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What scale are these Speed Figures on?
A: These figures top out around the high 140s, to keep it in harmony with the global Timeform Scale.

Q: Do your Speed Figures account for ground loss?
A: No, not presently, although we are considering adding that element. If we were to add ground loss, note that we would always give the user the option to include it or disregard it within the Speed Figures.

Additionally, we offer the “long comment” in each running line. This allows the user to get a better feel for the trip a horse got and decide for himself if the performance should be looked at differently.

Q: The runner-up in a race got a higher Speed Figure than the winner. How is that possible?
A: Because our Speed Figures account for the pace of the race, this scenario is possible and not that rare. Imagine a race where the eventual winner enjoys running on the lead, and he got away with an uncontested lead and set slow fractions. Now imagine the eventual runner-up’s preferred running style is to close. He would have had to work much harder during his closing move (because of the slow early pace) to get up for second. This is not the ideal pace scenario for this particular horse, yet he still managed to close and finish second. In a scenario like this, we would upgrade his performance and downgrade the winner’s performance.

Q: How does time form adjust for run ups on dirt and grass and rail placement on turf?

A: The answer has a few parts.

  • We used different “speed charts” for all rail settings.  Every turf course that uses temp rails has a different chart for each rail setting.  They are treated like different turf courses.
  • For run up, We use grouping for the speed charts.  0-15, 16-30, 31-60, 61-90, and 91+.  So if the run up is 35 feet we use the 31-60speed chart.  This keeps us from using the same speed charts when run ups differ.
The first answer is pretty self explanatory.  The second answer keeps us from using faulty relationships between distances.  For example, Aqueduct has been running 6.5f races with only 12 feet of run up lately, but using 40 feet or so for 6 and 7f races.  If we used “standardardized” speed charts the 6.5f races would get penalized for the short run up.
The tricky part with run up is sometimes it doesn’t matter.  It is pace dependent.  If the horses are not hustled out of the gate, a long run up might not lead to a faster time.  For that reason pace is considered as well.  There is no perfect answer until the day comes when the entire race, gate to wire, is timed.  But until then we do consider it in our figures and do the best we can.

Other helpful blog posts:
How-To Overview
Tab 1 – Entries, Check Mark Ratings, Selections, and much more
Tab 2 – Fast Past Performances
TimeformUS Pace Figures

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16 Responses to TimeformUS Speed Figures

  1. Tim Richards says:

    If you guys espouse to having such state-of-the-art techniques/technology, explain to me this…on 1.02.19 @ Penn National Race 1, you give the 1 horse a 57 rating and you give the 4 horse a 53 rating, for their respective last races. Both of their previous races were on Dec 19 and they were in the same race that day. The 4 horse ran second and the 1 got third. How is it that you give the 1 a higher number than the 4 when the 4 finished 3/4 length in front of him? In my calculation, that makes the 1 horse a length better than the 4, a disparity of 1& 3/4 lengths


    • This is directly from above and applies to this situation:

      “By adjusting our figures for pace, we engineer them in a manner meant to express the totality of the horse’s effort. Rather than reflecting only his final times, which, after all, can be affected by slow or fast paces, they reflect his actual ability.”

      The 1 horse ran faster early last time and was part of a speed duel. He gets extra credit for the effort. If you look at the final time figures, which is an available setting (This horse instead of Leader), you will see that the 4 horse has a figure one point faster as would be expected with traditional, final time only speed figures.


      • Tim Richards says:

        Thank you, Craig. I have done well with Timeform and will continue to subscribe.

        One last question. How do I calibrate the following horses for today, based upon their last race? The first number is their rating for that day (right side on TF running line) and the second is for their previous race (left side number on TF running line). The par for the race today is 91
        # 1 96/91
        #2 82/79
        #3 89/100
        Is there a specific rule of thumb/formula to use that could give an idea of how each horse shapes up against each other pursuant to their previous race? In this case, you have the first two who ran over their par for the day and the last who ran against, I assume, tougher competition? Do I give more credence to those who ran above par or more to the one who ran against tougher?
        Or am I merely thinking too much…as my wife says? lol


  2. Yes, each horse has a projected running style listed for today’s race. The more races the horse has run and the closer the distance and surface match recent races the more accurate it is likely to be.


  3. TimeformUS says:

    Yes, it’s called the Pace Projector.


  4. ladhorses says:


    Parx March 31, 2018 – Race 6
    6.5F on Dirt ‘Fast’ – 4+ $30K – StarterAlw

    1st: Conscience, he leads wire to wire and wins by 1 length. He is awarded a Spd Fig = 120.
    2nd: Stand and Salute, Midpack until stretch and closes for 2nd. He is awarded a Spd Fig = 105.

    Now the interesting part:
    5th: Cozy Lover is in 2nd/3rd until the end when he weakens to finish in 5th by 1.75 lengths.
    For his efforts, Cozy Lover is assigned a Spd Fig of 117.

    Second place gets a 105 & 5th place gets a 117.

    Say what you will about Pace being incorporated into these figures but……………

    If the SPEED FIGURE for 5th place in a single race is 12 points GREATER than the SPEED FIGURE for 2nd Place in the same race then SOMETHING is WRONG. Don’t ya think?

    It certainly renders this “measurement” of the horses’ speed, meaningless for me. How could I possibly use it? It certainly doesn’t indicate that one horse is “speedier” than the other.

    At the very least you need to stop calling it your Speed Figure.


    • TimeformUS says:

      Final Time Figures are available for those who don’t like Pace Adjusted Speed Figures.
      As our customers know, there are countless examples of horses who finish 5th, get a faster figure, and go on to win the next race.


  5. ladhorses says:

    On March 12, 2018 – Mahoning Valley – Race 1 – 6F Dirt Fast

    ‘Regent Diamond’ finished 1st and was assigned a speed figure of 80
    ‘On the Clock’ finished 2nd and was awarded a speed figure of 88
    ‘Go’ finished 3 and was awarded a speed figure of 89

    Could you comment on those assignments? They seem to be illogical.

    Also, if you move forward to Mar 26th – Mahoning Valley – Race 1
    The PP for this race for ‘Go’ lists the speed figure as being 90 and not 89.

    Again, what’s up here?


    • Hi, I make the speed figures for TimeformUS. We incorporate pace into the numbers. Horses that use early speed in races with a fast pace like the one at MVR get higher ratings since we combine pace and final time figures for an overall rating. The final time rating alone is also available as the number under the finish position. In the race you cite, the top three had final time ratings of 80, 78, and 75. This is about as extreme a race as you will find when it comes to overall numbers adjusted for pace.

      The figure for the March 26th race—race 7 actually—is one point higher because he is carrying less weight today than he did last time. If you don’t want to use weight adjustments, they can be turned off by clicking in any of the running lines and changing your preferences in the window that pops up.

      Hope that helps!


  6. Clocker Bob says:

    How many lengths = a point in your Final Speed Figure?


    • TimeformUS says:

      value of one length on TimeformUS Speed Figures (approx)

      1/4 mile, 6 points
      1/2 mile, 3 points
      5 furlongs, 2.4 points
      6 furlongs, 2.0 points
      7 furlongs, 1.7 points
      8 furlongs, 1.5 points
      9 furlongs, 1.4 points
      10 furlongs, 1.3 points
      12 furlongs, 1.1 points

      The pace numbers are also on the same scale.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Belmont Stakes Race Dynamics: Distance trumps traditional handicapping - Unlocking Winners

  8. Aaron Shapiro says:

    Will you be labeling,the type of running style each is expected to run in a particular race ?



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