January 2000, Number
Calls for Profiles and Papers
Handicapping Tips: Hall Pace and Speed Figures
ALL-Ways Version 8.0
ALL-Ways Version 8.0 is Here
ALL-Ways Version 8.0 software is now available. It is loaded with powerful new features that will save you valuable time and will help you achieve handicapping success at the track. See page 4 of this newsletter for a description of what has been added to Version 8.0 as well as how to obtain your personal copy of the software.
Call for Handicapping Profiles
We request that current All-Ways software users visit the Users Corner of our Web site at www.frandsen.com and review the list of Handicapping Profiles that are available for downloading by All-Ways software handicappers. If you have a set or sets of profiles that would make nice additions to those that are already posted, please e-mail or mail them to us. Instructions are included on the Web site.
We would appreciate receiving short papers (articles) from All-Ways software users that we may publish in our newsletter. We are not after promotional articles. Instead, we would like to learn of ways that you use All-Ways software that have been successful for you and/or some interesting days that you have experienced at the track while using All-Ways software. Articles about 1 to 2 pages in length are about right. You can mail or e-mail them to us. Your name will be withheld upon request.
Hall Pace and Speed Figures
All-Ways software provides two different types of pace and speed figures, namely BRIS figures and Hall figures. BRIS figures have proven to be very strong indeed, as is evidenced by their consistently high Impact Values. Hall figures have some very unique features that go well beyond traditional pace and speed figures. They too have consistently high Impact Values, tend to have high returns on $2 flat bets and have some very special uses in your handicapping arsenal. As you will see in this article, using the BRIS and Hall figures is not an either/or proposition. Instead, you should consider the Hall figures to be a powerful and important supplement to the BRIS figures.
This article will explore some of the fundamentals for developing good pace and speed figures, how the Hall figures employ these fundamentals and go even further than traditional figures and the special uses for the Hall figures in your handicapping process.
All-Ways software is the only place that Hall figures can be found. But, even if you are not an All-Ways software handicapper, we suggest you read this article. It will help many of you to better understand how pace and speed figures are developed and important ways to use them in your handicapping.
Hall Figures Are Unique
A little later on, we are going to cover topics such as how to determine if a horse can run to todays Par Time, how close a horse is likely to be at the all important Second Call, how well a horse is likely to do when changing distance, whether a horse is exhibiting improving or declining form, and which Dangerous Non-Contenders are most likely to surprise and do well at a big price. First, however, it is important to understand some key terms and concepts relative to pace and speed figures. As we go through this, we will point out why the Hall figures are so unique.
BRIS Race Ratings
BRIS Race Ratings are central to just about everything in All-Ways software. There simply is no better way to evaluate the level of competition in a race than using BRIS Race Ratings. Most pace and speed ratings in existence today rely on the assumed accuracy and consistency of race types, such as all $10,000 Claiming races are alike and all Grade II Stakes races are alike and all $50,000 Allowance races are alike and so on. BRIS Race Ratings, on the other hand, look at the individual class rating of every horse in the race and determines the level of competition based on these specific horses. It is entirely possible, indeed it happens frequently, for one $10,000 Claiming race to have a BRIS Race Rating of 112 and another $10,000 Claiming race to have a BRIS Race Rating of 109. Another example is that it is entirely possible for a horse moving up from a $10,000 Claiming race to a $12,000 Claiming race, an apparent rise in class, to actually be moving from a 113 Race Rating down to a 111 Race Rating. The public sees this horse as rising in the level of competition when it is really taking a slight drop. Another major advantage of BRIS Race Ratings, besides their accuracy, is the fact they are comparable across every track in North America.
Simply stated, pace and speed Par Times represent average fractional and final times respectively for each type of race run at a particular track. For example, the Par final time for six furlong dirt $10,000 Claiming races carded for 3 year and up horses at a track may be 70.6 seconds. This is simply the average final time for all such races run on dry tracks at that particular track.
All-Ways software actually maintains pace and speed Par Times in your computer for every track in North America. These Par Times are updated with hundreds of new races every time you process a race card in All-Ways software. Now, here is one of the major unique features of Hall pace and speed figures. All-Ways software Par Times are based on BRIS Race Ratings as opposed to using the suspect concept that "all $10,000 Claiming races are alike." All-Ways software knows the average 2nd call time and final time for 115 Race Rating 6 furlong dirt sprints carded for 3 year and up males and females at Santa Anita are 44.7 seconds and 69.6 seconds respectively.
Daily Track Variants
Very often a track is said to be "running slow" or "running fast" on any particular day compared to its Par Times. There are many things that can make a track fast one day and slow the next. The track condition is the most obvious, such as fast or good or muddy. Other things can contribute to these variations as well, such as the strength and direction of prevailing winds and how the track surface was prepared for the day. Most people are familiar with the Daily Racing Forms Track Variant which is a measure of this "fast" or "slow" condition. All-Ways software calculates and maintains, in your computer, Daily Track Variants for every track in North America. These are highly accurate variants because they too are based on BRIS Race Ratings. To accurately evaluate a horses pace and speed performance on a particular day, it is necessary to adjust the horses times to reflect the Daily Track Variant.
How do you evaluate the times of a horse that ran at a track other than todays track? The answer is to apply a track-to-track adjustment to the fractional and final times the horse ran at the other track. The track-to-track adjustment is essentially the difference in Par Times for the same type and caliber of race at the two tracks. If the Par Time at the past performance track is 0.2 seconds slower than todays track, then we would subtract 0.2 seconds from the horses time at the past performance track, making the adjusted time comparable to what the horse likely would have run at todays track.
Velocity Based Figures
If a horse was in the lead at the Second Call, which is where we measure Early Pace, and at the finish of the race, we know how fast the horse ran because it is these times that are printed in the past performance line. Most horses we look at were not in the lead, so it is necessary to estimates the horses times based on how far the horse ran behind the leader. the traditional method of doing this is simply to add one-fifth of a second for each length behind the leader the horse ran, the theory being that one length equals one fifth of a second.
Hall pace and speed figures are all velocity based. This means they are based on feet-per-second rates of speed that are calculated for each fraction of a race. Since horses travel at a much greater rate of speed during the early part of a race compared to their rate of speed coming down the stretch, velocity based figures provide a much more accurate method of calculating the pace and speed figures for horses that are not on the lead. The difference of one length at the beginning of a race is very much different than one length at the end of a race. Likewise, the difference in one length in sprints is quite different than one length in routes.
Our first exposure to the concept of energy as applied to horse racing was in reading materials about the Sartin Methodology in Tom Brohamers excellent book "Modern Pace Handicapping", a "must read" for serious pace handicappers. The concept is deceptively simple. Like its human counterpart, each horse has just so much energy to put into the running of a race. We call this the horses Total Energy. All-Ways software uses a proprietary technique to calculate a horses Total Energy expenditure based on its feet-per-second velocity and distance run. If the horses past performance race was at a distance different than todays race, All-Ways software projects what the horses final time would have been at todays distance had it expended the same Total Energy. Furthermore, All-Ways software also examines how the horse apportioned its energy throughout the race. This allows All-Ways software to project the horses pace figures as well.
Pace and Speed Figure Calculations
All-Ways software calculates Hall Pace and Speed Figures for each race in a horses published past performances. The following steps explain the process:
1. Using beaten lengths and the lead horses feet-per-second velocity, calculate the horses times for each fraction and the finish of the race.
2. Adjust the horses times by the appropriate Daily Track Variant for the day.
3. If the past performance race was run at a track different than todays track, apply the track-to-track adjustment to the horses times.
NOTE: This is where other pace and speed figures leave off. But, All-Ways software continues on.
4. If todays race is at a different distance and/or on a different surface than the past performance race, use a "Conservation of Energy" approach and the knowledge of how the horse prefers to expend its energy to project how that past performance would have looked had it been run at the specific distance and surface as todays race.
5. Compare the pace and speed times calculated above to the Par Times for todays race at todays track, and assigns Hall Pace and Speed figures based on the same scale as BRIS Race Ratings. (Remember, All-Ways software maintains Par Times based on BRIS Race Ratings).
Available Hall Figures
Let us look at what specific Hall figures are available in All-Ways software.
This is the horses overall speed rating for the race and is measured at the finish line.
Hall Early Pace (EP)
This is a pace rating measured at the Second Call which is at the 4 furlong mark in sprints and the 6 furlong point in routes.
Hall Final Fraction (FF)
This is a pace rating measured from the Second Call to the finish.
This is a compound pace rating that is the sum of the early pace (EP) and final fraction (FF) ratings. For example, if a horse has an EP rating of 112 and a FF rating of 117, then the Combined rating is 229.
This is a measure of how fast the horse ran around the turn leading into the stretch run. This is measured from the 2 furlong to 4 furlong mark in sprints and from the 4 furlong to 6 furlong mark in routes.
All of the figures described above are available for all the available past performance lines of a horse. All-Ways software also selects one of these races as the horses Paceline Race. All-Ways software also identifies the two best races out of the horses last three races and presents a set of Hall figures that are averaged for these two best races. So, the primary sets of Hall figures are the Hall Paceline figures and the Hall Best 2 of 3 figures.
Using Hall Pace and Speed Figures
Now lets look at how the Hall pace and speed figures can be used in the handicapping process.
1. Horse-to-horse comparisons
First, lets state the obvious. As is the case with all pace and speed figures, the Hall figures can be used to compare the pace and speed capabilities of all the horses in the race. The higher the number, the faster the horse has demonstrated it can run. Unique to the Hall figures, these comparisons can be made across all distances and surfaces and all tracks in North America.
2. Ability to run to Par in todays race
All-Ways software shows you a BRIS Race Rating for todays race. By comparing the Hall Speed figure to the Race Rating you can tell instantly if a horse has demonstrated its ability to run to Par. For example, lets suppose the Race Rating for todays race is a 115. If a horse has a Hall Speed Rating of 112, it has not demonstrated its ability to run to Par. If it has a 118 Hall Speed Rating, it has demonstrated it can run 3 points better than todays Par. Either the Hall Paceline Speed or the Hall Best 2 of 3 Speed Ratings can be used for this. Experience has shown us to use the highest of these two sets of figures.
Note that, in round numbers, one Hall Speed point is equivalent to about one full length at the finish.
3. Changing distance and/or surface
Remember, the Hall Pace and Speed Ratings for every horse in the race are "normalized" to todays specific distance and specific surface. This makes the Hall figures particularly useful to determine how well a horse will perform if it is stretching out to a longer distance or shortening up to a shorter distance today. This applies to small changes such as going from 6 to 6 1/2 furlongs as well as major changes of moving from a sprint to a route or vice versa. Also, using the Hall figures in conjunction with BRIS class ratings gives us some insight to how well a horse might perform if moving from dirt to turf.
4. Projecting lengths ahead/behind at the Second Call
The Hall Early Pace figure (EP) is used for this purpose. In round numbers, one Hall EP point is the equivalent of about 1/2 length at the all important Second Call. The horse with the highest Hall EP figure is the most likely horse to be on the lead at the 2nd call, especially if the horse has an early running style. Lets say this horse has a Hall EP Rating of 116. If another horse has a Hall EP Rating of 114, that horse will most likely trail the pacesetter by one length at the Second Call. If another horse has a Hall EP Rating of 111, it figures to be 2 1/2 lengths behind the leader at the Second Call.
The Track Bias Report in All-Ways software shows you the Average Lengths Behind at the Second Call for the winners of races similar to todays race. This is shown for the current week and the current meet. This is also shown over the long term for both win horses and place horses. Armed with this information and Hall EP Ratings, it is a fairly simple matter to eliminate from contention horses that will be too far behind the pace at the Second Call.
5. Determining the best closers
The Hall Final Fraction Ratings, both the Paceline and the Best 2 of 3 figures, are extremely useful for identifying the horses that will be running fast late in the race. These figures are particularly useful in two areas. First, they point to the horses that are likely to pass the front runners in races with a lot of early speed. Second, they often point to high paying surprise horses that come in to place or show. The Hall FF figures are a powerful tool for playing Exactas and Trifectas.
6. Combined Pace, a singularly powerful handicapping factor
One of the most powerful figures in All-Ways software is the Hall Best 2 of 3 Combined Pace Rating. Again, this is the sum of a horses Hall EP plus Hall FF figures. A horse that ranks in the top 3 of this figure should never be ignored.
After All-Ways software selects the horses it believes to be the true contenders in the race, it goes a step further to see if there is a reason to identify another horse (or horses) as a Dangerous Non Contender (DNC). The Hall Combined 2 of 3 Rating has proven to be a powerful method of evaluating these DNCs. Again, if a DNC ranks in the top 3 or is very close to the top 3 for the Hall Combined 2 of 3 Rating, the horse should be included at least underneath in Exactas and Trifectas.
7. Evaluating Form
Most handicappers know that evaluating form is one of the most difficult handicapping tasks and one of the very most important as well. Another powerful use of Hall figures is to evaluate a horses current form. Because the Hall figures for every race in a horses available past performance lines are all "normalized" to todays distance and surface, they provide a great way to evaluate form. In particular, look for horses that are improving in Hall Speed, Hall Combined Pace and/or Hall Turn Time. The Pace Past Performance Report shows all this data and BRIS Pace and Speed Ratings as well. Also, the Form-by-the-Numbers Report shows these figures in a weighted moving average format. It shows you at a quick glance which horses are on the improve or on the decline. Finally, in the All-Ways Pro Edition, the Form Graph Report shows a graph of these figures for each horses last ten races and it shows all horses on a single page. Again, you can spot where a horse is in its form cycle with a quick glance at this report.
The BRIS Pace and Speed Ratings are "the very best in the business" and should be part of your handicapping arsenal. The Hall Pace and Speed Ratings come at the issue of pace and speed from an entirely different perspective. More specifically, the Hall figures utilize a proprietary "Conservation of Energy" approach to normalize all figures to the specific distance and surface of todays race. This makes the Hall figures well suited to compare horses against one another, to equate a horses past performances to todays race and to evaluate the horses current form.
The Hall and BRIS Pace and Speed Ratings will sometimes point to different horses. Very often, the different horse identified by the Hall figures will be a high paying horse. This is quite logical because the public does not have access to the unique Hall figures. We strongly recommend you use both the Hall and BRIS Pace and Speed figures in your handicapping. If the figures point to different horses, pay attention to both horses and try to work them both into your wagers.
All-Ways Software Version 8.0
All-Ways software Version 8.0 is available now.
The "anchor" new feature is the new Race Card Function. Now, with the simple click of the mouse button and in less than two minutes, All-Ways software will automatically analyze each race on the race card, identify similar races in your Race Database for the track, calculate the Impact Value for each of All-Ways software key 71 handicapping factors for those similar races, create a Best Factor Handicapping Profile for the specific race being run today that looks specifically for the probable win horse, create a Custom Multiple Regression Analysis Handicapping Profile tuned to finding the win, place and show horses in todays race and then print a summary of the entire race card on a single sheet of paper. If you are out of breath reading this long paragraph, that was intentional.
There are more than 20 new features in Version 8.0, too many to cover in this newsletter. You can read a complete description of all the new features in Version 8.0 on the BRIS (brisnet.com) or Frandsen Publishing (frandsen.com) Web sites. Here are a few of them:
Automatic updating of Custom Handicapping Profiles
Many additional Race Screens for
segmenting races including the powerful Race Category
Race Screen that identifies and isolates Chaos, Contentious and Orderly races
An expanded Track Payoff Analysis Report
Automatic Handicapping Profile
generation for both the main and inner tracks at Aqueduct,
Belmont and Saratoga
An extensive Full Pedigree Report
Automatic retention of the going-off-odds
of all horses in the race (for use by a future version
of All-Ways software)
Profile Management Module
And, much, much more.
You can download the Standard Edition of All-Ways software Version 8.0 from BRIS or call them at 1-800-354-9206 to have them mail the software to you (There is a $6.95 S&H charge.). You can order the Professional Edition by calling Frandsen Publishing at the number shown below.
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