Here’s a quick Q and A with TimeformUS Chief Figure Maker Craig Milkowski explaining an improvement we just made to TimeformUS Speed and Pace Figures. Before we start, if you have any other questions on this topic, you can post below OR you can reach Craig on Twitter @TimeformUSFigs:
Q. Craig, can you explain the problem that TimeformUS is addressing here?
A. We recently concluded an extensive study of off track races (looking at all races since 2009), and it showed that the distance behind the race leader / winner should not be treated with the same significance on off tracks (such as a sloppy track) as it is on fast tracks. We did study wet fast tracks as well but they matched fast tracks to a tee. But for other types of off-tracks, winners were getting a little too much credit, while also rans were being penalized too much based on the data. We are remedying that to make the figures better.
Q. How are you remedying that?
A. Here is what has been done:
- Deductions for lengths behind the leader are now smaller on off tracks (Good, Yielding, Soft, Sloppy, Muddy) than they were previously. Without giving too much away, there are small adjustments for each of the different types of off tracks, affecting both the internal pace calls and the final speed figures.
- The net effect is that also-rans will get TimeformUS Speed and Pace figures a little higher than previously, and winners will get figures that are a little lower.
- One infrequent result our customers will see is that horses with a faster time in a one race could get a lower figure than horses with the same time in a a different race. To understand this point, assume the winner of a sloppy track mile race in 1:36 gets a 100 rating. In the next race run in 1:35, the winner gets a 111. Previously a horse beaten 6.5 lengths in the latter race would run about 1:36 and get the same 100 as the winner of the 1st. But now, the horse would get a 101 or 102.
- Here is a particular illustrative chart (meaning, a more extreme case than most) from a real-world race to further explain the changes customers are going to see in future races:
127-Bullard’s Alley (-5)
117-Oscar Nominated (+1)
Q. Will old races’ figures be adjusted, or is it just races from Jan 1 2018 onward?
A. We’re not currently planning on adjusting older races. This change impacts all races that have been run this year, and all races going forward, rather than prior years.