SPEED & CLASS MOVING AVERAGES
Average Competitive Level (ACL) represents the level of competition a
runner can successfully compete, on average, based on its previous in-the-money
performances. Developed to not only recognize "class runners" while
handicapping a race, but to also to evaluate the previous performances and
current condition of all runners in a race.
This numerical representation is computed by taking the average Race Rating
a runner has run in up to its last five in-the-money performances covering not
more than a year period from the date of the race entered. In-the-money
performances at the same distance/surface category as the race entered are
emphasized through a sophisticated weighting procedure, and then are further
adjusted to reflect the runners in-the-money performance and consistency.
To alert horsemen and handicappers of an Average Competitive Level computed
solely on races NOT RUN at the same distance and surface as the race entered,
it will appear in parentheses, for example: (114.2). IF A RUNNER HAS NEVER BEEN
IN-THE-MONEY, IT WILL NOT HAVE AN AVERAGE COMPETITIVE LEVEL.
WHILE EXTENSIVE RESEARCH AND TESTING HAVE VERIFIED THE PRECISION OF THE
AVERAGE COMPETITIVE LEVEL, PLEASE FOLLOW THE BELOW GUIDELINES WHILE USING IT TO
CLAIM HORSES OR TO HANDICAP:
- Use the Race Rating of previous races to determine the quality of fields,
not the claiming price, purse, or conditions.
- While handicapping a race, note the Race Ratings that each runner has
competed in successfully - preferably under conditions similar to the race
you are handicapping.
- Use the Average Competitive Level as a tool to determine the current
competitive level for all runners in the race. When confronted with young
or lightly race runners, particularly two and three-year-old, which have
recently run successfully in Race Ratings higher than their Average
Competitive Level use those higher Race Ratings as the runner's current
competitive level. By relating a runner's Average Competivie Level to the
Race Rating of its current performances, these improving runners will
- Any runner, including the top Average Competitive Level rated runner, who
has recently been unsuccessful in Race Ratings at the same level or below
its Average Competitive Level without legitimate excuses (uncomfortable
distance, footing, post position, pace, etc.) can usually be considered
unfit. Do not consider a runner's Average Competitive Level to be its
current competitive level.
- Among young, lightly raced, developing runners advancing to higher levels
for the first time, merit serious consideration to those who have just run
"impressive" races. These can best be recognized by their manner of
victory as well as the Speed Ratings earned.
- In claiming races, beware of unusually large claiming price drops.
Particularly those runners with apparent good form. These runners are
heavily bet and are usually hurt. If a good claimer is dropping well below
its Average Competitive Level, it's usually best to avoid it. Trainers
don't give away $35,000 runners for $10,000.
- Avoid a runner which has recently been unsuccessful without a legitimate
excuse in Race Ratings that other runners in the race you are handicapping
have handled successfully under the same similar conditions.
- When evaluating the relationship of each runner's Average Competitive Level
in comparison to its performances in recent Race Ratings don't isolate the
likely winner based upon class alone; use Speed Ratings to separate the
contenders identified by class. Be sure to analyze the Speed Ratings in
the context that the ratings were earned (class, distance, footing, etc.).
- Restrict the usage of Speed Rating to those runners which are not
outclassed today. A runner which earned a big Speed Rating against weak
competition cannot be expected to approach that figure when outclassed.
- A fit runner with a significant Average Competitive Level advantage will
consistently beat its rivals when incidental race factors (distance,
footing, post position, pace, etc.), do not nullify its class advantages.
The Handicapper's Library contains other helpful reference documents.
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