Unique Past Performances

Today’s Racing Digest’s Past Performances are the best in the business.  They are the easiest way to get an edge on the rest of the betting public allowing you to quickly uncover hidden value, overlooked contenders and false favorites.  The Past Performances found in the Digest race sheets are different and better than what you can find in any other handicapping publication.  From the Pace and Final Time Ratings to the Key Race Feature and Track Bias no other data lines give you the range of information needed to be a successful handicapper.

Today’s Racing Digest’s data lines do the work for you.  Many professional and experienced handicappers will mentally calculate how a past performance will translate to today’s race conditions.  This can be difficult especially if the horse is moving, tracks, distances or surfaces.  This why so many handicappers rely on Today’s Racing Digest’s race sheets.  Each data line includes our exclusive projected interior and final times based on a par-time-by-class standard that takes into account the subtle differences among race tracks across the country.  This makes it easier and gives you more confidence when comparing past performances even if the horses are moving tracks, surfaces, and/or distances.

 

Basic Information Found In the Data Lines

Track (TRK)

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Indicates at what track the horse’s race occurred. Today’s Racing Digest uses standard track codes, such as SA (Santa Anita Park), SAR (Saratoga), DMR (Del Mar), FPX (Fairplex Park), GG (Golden Gate Fields), AQU (Aqueduct), BEL (Belmont Park), GP (Gulfstream Park), etc.

 


Date & Race (DATE&RACE)

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Lists the date of the race and the race number (after the dash) of the horse’s race for each horse’s past six races. The format is month/day/year. Chronologically, the races are listed in descending order beginning with the most recent. In the data line example on the left Hard Aces most recent race occurred at the track DMR (Del Mar) on August 22, 2015 (8/22/15-9) and competed in the 9th race on the day. Remember, the Race Number is separated from the date by a hyphen. Horses with recent race activity, called “recency”, may have a significant fitness edge.


Distance/Surface (DIST/SUF)

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This is the distance, as well as the surface of the race. Sprints (under one mile) are expressed in furlongs (6-1/2 = 6.5 furlongs; a furlong = 1/8 mile), whereas routes (one mile and over) are noted in miles (Example: 1-1/8 = One and eighth miles). An “A” indicates the race was run on an all-weather or synthetic surface. “T” indicates the race was a turf race. Races run on dirt carry no designation.


Post Position, Field Size & Key Race Winners (POS/FLD WINNERS) 

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The first number is the horse’s post position for the race, followed by the total number of all the horses in the field. A very valuable statistic you will want to pay attention to is the Key Race Winner which is the numeral after the dash that indicates how many horses returned from the particular race to win their next starts. Theoretically, the higher the number, the stronger that particular race.

The Key Race Winners is a powerful feature that gives you an idea of how competitive this horse’s past races were.  The race sheets tell you how many horses out of this horse’s past race went on to win their next race.  If a lot of horse’s went on to win their next race and this horse may have ran 4th in that race this horse may still be a contender since it was such a competitive race with a number of winning horses.


Weight (WGT)Trainer/Jockey (TRNR JCKY), Track Condition (TK CD)

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Weight – This is the weight carried by the horse.

Trainer/Jockey – The trainer and jockey for the particular race is noted here.

Track Condition – Was the track fast, muddy or sloppy? Was the turf firm for good? We note that in abbreviated form here. (FM = firm, FT = fast, GD = good, etc).


Track Bias (TRK BIAS)

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A tremendous Digest feature. This column displays any bias that was in effect during the horse’s race. We note the type of bias (O = outside, I = inside, F = speed bias, L = late runner bias) as well as the strength of the bias on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 being a mild bias and 3 being a dominant bias.

Race tracks play differently every day due to weather, normal maintenance, etc. Sometimes the track seems to favor no particular running style and no part of the track seems better than another. That’s not always the case, though, and trip handicappers have long made their money by noting whether the track favored one type of running style or another and then following the horses that ran “against the bias”. We divide track bias into two types on the main track.

HOW TO READ TRACK BIAS

The main track can be biased toward front-runners or late-runners and/or horses racing on the inside or outside part of the track.

F  =   A Front-runner’s or speed bias

L  =  A Late-runner’s or closer’s bias

I  =  An Inside bias

O =  An Outside bias

Each will carry a modifier of 1 (moderate), 2 (strong) or 3 (dominant).

Turf races may have a frontrunners or late-runner’s bias as well as an indication whether the auxiliary rails were up (up) or down (dn)

Examples: F1/03 = Moderate Frontrunner and dominant outside biases.

L2/DN = Strong Late-runners and the rails were down on the turf.


Race Type (RACE TYPE), Race Conditions (RACE CONDITIONS)

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Race Type – Lists the type of race in abbreviated format. What are the conditions of a horse’s previous race? The Digest provides that information for each horse’s last six races under the Data Line header RACE/TYPE and RACE/CONDITIONS. There are many types of Race Types, including Claiming (CLM), Allowance (ALW), Allowance Optional Claiming (AOC), Optional Claiming (OCL), Stakes (STK) and Handicaps (HCP), as well as Maiden (MDN) and Maiden-Claimers (MDC).

Race Cond – Listed to the immediate right of Race Types, the race conditions distinguish similar Race Types from one another. For instance, there are many types of Handicaps (HCP): Some may be listed as Grade I (GI), the best races on the grounds, Grade II (G II), a cut below Grade I, or as restricted Handicap, such as a race where horses who have not won a Stakes my only enter (NW-STK).

 Examples of Race Conditions for Race Types

  • Stakes (STK) and Handicaps (HCP): Grade I (G I), Grade II (G II), Grade III (G III) or purse listing (e.g., $250k, $150k, $75k, etc.).
  • Allowance (ALW): Non-winners of three (NW3), Non-winners of two (NW2), etc.
  • Allowance/Optional Claiming (AOC): Non-winners of three or Claiming price $62,500 NW3/CLM 62.5), Non-winners of two or claiming price $40,000 (NW2/CLM 40), etc.
  • Claiming (CLM): $50-$45,000 (50-45), $32-$28,000 (32-38)…$10,000 (10.0), etc.
  • Starter Allowance (STR): Southern California tracks card Starter races for horses that broke their Maidens for $40,000 or less and have never won two races (40 MDC-NW2). More traditional Starter Allowance races are restricted to horses who have raced for a certain claiming price within a given period of time. These Starter races list the claiming price needed to have started for in order to have qualified for the race, such as $4,000 (4.0), $12,500 (12.5), etc.
  • Maiden (MSW): “Straight” Maiden races have no conditions unless they are restricted to state-breds, which are designated as “s” under the Race Conditions heading.
  • Maiden-Claiming (MCL): $50-$40,000 (50-40), $32-$28,000 (32-28), $25,000 (25.0), etc.

 Race Competition Level (RCL)

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This is the Race Competition Level for the race this horse ran in. Compare this number to the Race level in the Race Header and other RCL’s to see if this horse has been moving up or down in class and by how much.  Two columns to the right shows the Finish Position and Beaten Lengths (FIN POS/BTN LNGH) for this horse’s past performance.  The first number is position the horse finished the race, followed by how many lengths he was beaten (or won by if the first number is a “1”) crossing the wire.  Now you can quickly determine if this horse is a contender in today’s race.

Learn More About the Race Competition Level


Comprehensive Performance Rating (CPR)

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CPR’s for up to the horse’s last 6 starts are listed on all Digest racing sheets in the horse’s data lines under the CPR heading.  The CPR’s listed in the data lines can give you an easy way to quickly identify any trends or cycles the horse may be having or see if he/she is improving in form.  It also makes it easy to compare other horse’s running in the race to see if they compare in terms of speed.

Learn More About the Comprehensive Performance Rating


Finish Position & Beaten Lengths (FIN POS/BTN LNGH)

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The first number is position the horse finished the race, followed by how many lengths he was beaten (or won by if the first number is a “1”) crossing the wire.

 

 

 


Morning Line (MORN LINE), Odds (ACTL ODDS)

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The Digest lists both the horse’s Morning Line odds and the Actual Odds at post time. This gives you an idea if the horse was bet (perhaps he was “live”) or not (“dead on the board”).  The value of seeing the Morning Line next to the Actual Odds is a bit situational and can be a benefit especially in Maiden Claiming races.

 


Track Variant (TRK VAR)

It’s important to understand that the recorded time of a race may not be the same thing as how fast it was. This seems like an illogical statement but there are other forces at work. On a given day, the effects of temperature, humidity, wet weather, wind, track maintenance and even the angle of the sun can have a dramatic effect on race times. To take into account these “effects” a track variant is used to adjust the speed of the race either slower or faster. The variant Today’s Racing Digest uses is a measurement of the difference in time between an individual performance and our class/distance par times for each track. This is one of the most accurate ways to ensure accuracy because without an accurate variant any speed or pace figures calculated using that variant will be inaccurate.

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The variant Today’s Racing Digest uses is a measurement of the difference in time between an individual performance and our class/distance par times for each track. This is one of the most accurate ways to ensure accuracy because without an accurate variant any speed or pace figures calculated using that variant will be inaccurate. The track variants listed in the data lines have been used to generate the projected interior and final times presented in the data lines.

A positive variant means the track was playing faster than normal.  A negative (-) variant means the track was playing slower than normal.  Each number is equivalant to one length.

One of the reason’s Today’s Racing Digest’s interior and final times are so powerful is that they have been created in part by using the Track Variant.


Projected interior and final times

How do you compare a horse’s past performance and translate that to today’s race when they are moving to a different track, distance, surface and/or class?  Then try and take that information and compare it with all the other horses in the race which are also moving tracks, distances, surfaces, and class.   It’s virtually impossible without normalizing all of those past performances, to reflect today’s race conditions, by converting that data utilizing very specific and accurate track pars and variants.

This is what Today’s Racing Digest’ Past Performances do for you.  By utilizing sophisticated algorithms refined and proven over 45 years of experience along with our powerful database the Digest normalizes the raw data projecting how the horse will run in today’s race conditions. By normalizing the past performances you now can easily see how each past performance would translate into today’s race conditions.  In other words, the Digest past performances are the times the horse is expected to run at each point of call in today’s race if they ran a similar race.  Instead of comparing apples to oranges with the traditional past performances you now can compare apples to apples saving you time and giving you a higher level of accuracy and confidence in your handicapping.

Position at Each Call & Beaten Lengths

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The first number is the horse’s position at each call followed by his time at those calls (these are not the leaders times, they are this horse’s particular times for the race).  All times are adjusted to today’s distance and surface, taking into account differences in track pars and variants (routes are adjusted to route and sprints to sprints, but not routes to sprints or vice versa).  This allows for easy comparison among different distances and between tracks.

The beaten lengths shown in the data lines have been converted to decimal to help make them more understandable.  Here are our equivalents: Nose = .05, Head = .10, Neck – .25, 1/2 length = .50, 3/4 length = .75.

A << to the right of the final time for any of the past performances this indicates that the past performances was run on a different surface than today’s race.   As an example, if today’s race is on the main track and you see the << this means the other race was run on the turf or vice versa.


Last Fraction (LST FRT)

In longer races called routes, especially in turf routes, the ability of a horse to have a fast closing ability can make a lot of difference in how the race will be run.  This especially becomes important when a race has multiple horses that like to be out in the lead (front runners) where a potential speed duel may occur. The Digest race sheets make it easy to find the swiftest closer using the Last Fraction (LST FRT).

LST FRT Datalines
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The Last Fraction (LST FRT) for up to the horse’s last 6 starts are listed on all Digest racing sheets in the horse’s data lines under the LST FRT heading.  The Last Fraction listed is the final fraction the horse is expected to earn in today’s race if he/she had a similar performance to the past performance it is listed with regardless of a new race distance and surface.  This now makes it easy to compare a horse’s ability to close in the last leg of the race and to see if the horse is improving and how they compare to other horse’s running in today’s race.


Pace Rating (PAC RAT)

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Relying on performance and/or speed figures that are solely based on a final time can be helpful but it is only one piece of the puzzle and you may be missing out on important information that can cost you.  Many times final time ratings are influenced by what goes on early in the race (the pace).

In the horse data lines in the race sheets under the column titled PAC RAT is the Pace Rating which takes into account the speed the horse displayed through the first two calls in a sprint and the second two calls (half and six-furlong) in a route. It’s an assessment of a horse’s early speed or pace.  The Pace Rating listed is the figure the horse would earn in today’s race if he/she had a similar performance in today’s race as it did in the past performance it is listed next to.  The higher the Pace Rating, the faster the horse ran in the early part of the race.  Using the PAC RAT in combination with a final time rating can give you a much clearer picture in determining which horses are in good form, may have a pace advantage, or can “go long” when moving from a sprint to a route.  Learn how to use the Pace Rating (PAC RAT) with the Final Time Rating (FNL RAT) below.


The Final Time Rating (FNL RAT)

This measures a horse’s final time against our track pars, with the daily track variant factored in. A horse equaling the track par (Average Time (AT) listed in Race Sheet) for the distance would earn a 150 Final Time Rating. Three points are deduced for each length slower than par.  The Final Time Rating considers only the final time earned by the horse.  In theory, the higher the Final Time Rating, the faster the horse.  Of course, Final Time Ratings are often influenced by what goes on early in the race (the pace).  By using the FNL RAT with the Pace Rating (PAC RAT) you will get a good picture of how the race will be run and who will be out in front at each point in the race.

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The Final Time Rating for up to the horse’s last 6 starts are listed on all Digest racing sheets in the horse’s data lines under the FNL RAT heading.  The Final Time Rating is a valuable speed figure that makes it easy to compare a horse’s past performance to see if the horse is improving and how they compare to other horse’s running in today’s race.  Understanding how to use the Digest’s Final Time Rating can also help give you an advantage in determining which horses are in form and might run well in their next start and which may be in need of additional works and races before they can compete in today’s race.

How to Use the Final Time Rating (FNL RAT) with the Pace Rating (PAC RAT)

There are various ways to use Final Time Ratings we recommend using them with the Pace Rating (PAC RAT).  Here are a few examples of how to use both Pace Rating and Final Time Rating:

Finding the Quickest Frontrunner – If one speed horse can outrun the other speed horses in a race, it usually means curtains for the other frontrunners.  If one of the frontrunners consistently earns higher Pace Ratings than his adversaries, he may boast a “pace advantage” in today’s race.

Sprint to Route – If a horse has never routed before, Pace and Final Time Ratings can help determine whether he’ll “go long”.  Horses who tend to do better going from a sprint to a route for the first time have Pace and Final Time Ratings either in balance (i.e., relatively the same) or show higher Final Time Ratings than Pace Ratings.  This is usually an indication that the horse is finishing and might not mind a route.

A Strong Final Time Rating Last Race – Horses in good form usually earn strong Final Time Ratings in their last start.  While the pace often can influence a horse’s Final time Rating (e.g., an easy lead, speed duel, etc.) horses with strong Final Time Ratings compared to their competition often run well right back.

2 Different Ways to Use the FNL RAT to Determine If A Horse Is a Viable Threat

1) Compare the FNL RAT to the RCL

It’s rare but when you see this scenario it can be worth it’s weight in gold.  If a horse earns a final time rating (FNL RAT), in it’s most recent race, greater than the Race Competition Level (RCL) of that same race it has a good chance of winning. If the final time rating of it’s last race is greater than the RCL of today’s race it has a great chance of winning.  Of course you would need to compare it with the other horses running as there might be multiple horses that earned a final time rating greater than today’s RCL.

2) Compare the FNL RAT to the Class Level FNL RAT

A horse can be determined to be a viable threat by comparing the Final Time Rating (FNL RAT) with a Final Time Rating for this class level.  There is a little math that needs to be done to get the Final Time Rating for this class level but we’ll show you how below.

All of our Average Times (AT) are the equivalent of a 150 Final Time Rating.  In other words any horse that had a Final Time Rating of 150 would have a final time the same as the Average Time listed for that race.  The Average Time (AT) and Average For This Level (AFTL) listed in the top of the race sheets.

To determine the Final Time Rating for this class level find the Average Final Time at this Level (AFTL).  Take the final time of the AFTL and subtract the final time of the Average Time (AT).  The difference in seconds should then be divided by 2 to give you the number of lengths. (1 second = 5 lengths)  Then multiply that number of lengths by 3 (3 points = 1 length).  Then subtract that number from 150.  Any horse with a FNL RAT at or within 9 points below that number should be considered a viable threat.

Example of how to do the calculation:

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In the example race on the left the AT is the average time which is 1:02.3.  A horse with a projected 1:02.3 final time would earn a 150 FTR.  However, this race is rated at 125 (Race Level) and the AFTL is 1:03.9.  That’s a different of 1.6 seconds or eight lengths (1 second = 5 lengths).  Multiply the difference in the number of lengths by 3 (3 points equals a length) and the class par would be 126 or 150 – (8 * 3).  Horses in this race should be earning in the 126 to 117 range to be considered viable threats.

 

 

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In this race, neg dropper W. Giles shows four races in this 126 to 117 range and he won the race despite the drop from $20,000 to $8,000.

 

 

 


Equipment

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Medication and equipment used by the horse for its race is listed here. (L = Lasix, b = blinkers, F = front wraps, C = the horse was claimed (bought by new connections) out of the race)