02/09/2016 1:29PM

Giwner: New Harness Speed Rating Guide

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While many people disregard final time, it is impossible to deny the importance of speed when wagering on horse racing. Especially during optimal conditions, if a horse isn’t fast enough they are unlikely to win the race.

I am often asked for a simple one-stop chart that provides some clarity as to how tracks compare to each other in terms of speed. For decades we have published a Comparative Speed Rating chart in Harness Eye. It served the basic function of differentiating between tracks and offering a basis for evaluating shippers when handicapping.

[DRF HARNESS EYE: Get the PPs for all the top tracks in one package with Digital Harness Eye + Analysis & Meadowlands Charts.]

In a quest to provide more information and in a more organized format, we have put together the new DRF Harness Eye Speed Chart. Best of all, for the first time ever, you can view it online (below).

Taking you on the 5-cent tour of the chart from left to right: Track name (along with the DRF Harness Eye abbreviation); Track size; Track record; Track record ranking; Speed rating zone. The first four columns are self explanatory but the final one probably deserves a paragraph of clarification.

Each track is assigned a base speed rating zone and time, with The Meadowlands and Red Mile ranked as the fastest. Similar tracks in terms of speed are grouped together. So, just because Georgian Downs is listed first in category 7 (1:57 2/5 to 1:57 3/5), that doesn’t mean that it is a faster track than Maywood Park, which is in the same category but listed last. These tracks are considered to be a “wash” when comparing tracks.

Another important note worth mentioning is that while it seems that tracks are ordered by Track Record, they are actually in Speed Rating Category order. A good example is Harrington, which has a track record of 1:49 but lands in category 7, behind Northfield Park, which has a track record of 1:49 1/5 and resides in category 6.

With the exception of the track records, which are based on actual fact, the base speed ratings and categories are somewhat subjective and fluid. For a mile track Hawthorne is listed as somewhat slow, but that is representative of how the track was playing over the course of the first month of racing.

These numbers can and will change as necessary over time. They represent a happy medium between the maximum speed a horse could possibly travel over a surface and how fast the typical horse would travel considering the quality of stock racing at that track.

Hopefully the chart below will assist you in handicapping. And if you feel we made an egregious error, voice that view in the comment section below or drop me an email. While we worked hard to compile the data for the ratings, nothing is perfect and I welcome all opinions.

 

Track

Track Size

Track Record

Record Rank

Speed Rating Category

Meadowlands (M1)

1   

1.46 4/5

1t

1 (1:54 3/5-1:54 4/5)

Red Mile (LX1)

1   

1.46 4/5

1t

1 (1:54 3/5-1:54 4/5)

Pocono Downs (PcD)

 5/8

1.47

2

2 (1.55)

Mohawk (Mhk)

 7/8

1.47 2/5

3t

3 (1:55-1:55 3/5)

Woodbine (Wbn)

 7/8

1.47 2/5

3t

3 (1:55-1:55 3/5)

Balmoral (BP1)

1   

1.47 4/5

5t

3 (1:55-1:55 3/5)

Springfield (Sp1)

1   

1.47 4/5

5t

3 (1:55-1:55 3/5)

DuQuoin (DQ1)

1   

1.48 1/5

7t

3 (1:55-1:55 3/5)

Hoosier Park (HoP)

 7/8

1.47 2/5

3t

4 (1:55 4/5-1:56 1/5)

Scioto Downs (ScD)

 5/8

1.47 2/5

3t

4 (1:55 4/5-1:56 1/5)

Tioga Downs (TgD)

 5/8

1.47 2/5

3t

4 (1:55 4/5-1:56 1/5)

Vernon Downs (VD)

 7/8

1.47 3/5

4

4 (1:55 4/5-1:56 1/5)

Meadows (Mw)

 5/8

1.47 4/5

5t

4 (1:55 4/5-1:56 1/5)

Hawthorne (Hw1)

1   

1.48 2/5

8t

5 (1:56 2/5-1:56 3/5)

Dover Downs (DD)

 5/8

1.48

6t

5 (1:56 2/5-1:56 3/5)

Philadelphia (Phl)

 5/8

1.48

6t

5 (1:56 2/5-1:56 3/5)

Del. County Fair (Del)

 1/2

1.48 1/5

7t

5 (1:56 2/5-1:56 3/5)

Pompano Park (PPk)

 5/8

1.48 3/5

9

5 (1:56 2/5-1:56 3/5)

Rosecroft (RcR)

 5/8

1.48 2/5

8t

6 (1:56 4/5-1:57 1/5)

Dayton (Dtn)

 5/8

1.48 4/5

10t

6 (1:56 4/5-1:57 1/5)

Saratoga (Stg)

 1/2

1.48 4/5

10t

6 (1:56 4/5-1:57 1/5)

Northfield (Nfd)

 1/2

1.49 1/5

12

6 (1:56 4/5-1:57 1/5)

Georgian Downs (Geo)

 5/8

1.49

11t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Harrington (Har)

 1/2

1.49

11t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Flamboro Downs (FlD)

 1/2

1.49 2/5

13t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Rideau Carleton (RdC)

 5/8

1.49 2/5

13t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Plainridge (PRc)

 5/8

1.49 2/5

13t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Gaitway Farm (Gy1)

1   

1.49 3/5

14t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Kawartha Downs (KD)

 5/8

1.49 3/5

14t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Cal Expo (CX1)

1   

1.49 4/5

15t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Hiawartha (Sar)

 5/8

1.49 4/5

15t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Miami Valley (MVR)

 5/8

1.50 1/5

16t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Yonkers (YR)

 1/2

1.50 1/5

16t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Maywood (May)

 1/2

1.50 2/5

17t

7 (1:57 2/5-1:57 3/5)

Fraser Downs (FrD)

 5/8

1.50 2/5

17t

8 (1:57 4/5-1:58)

Hazel Park (HP)

 5/8

1.50 2/5

17t

8 (1:57 4/5-1:58)

Freehold (Fhd)

 1/2

1.50 3/5

18t

9 (1:58 1/5-1:58 2/5)

Northlands (NP)

 5/8

1.50 3/5

18t

9 (1:58 1/5-1:58 2/5)

Grand River (GRR)

 1/2

1.50 4/5

19t

10 (1:58 3/5-1:58 4/5)

Running Aces (Ace)

 5/8

1.50 4/5

19t

10 (1:58 3/5-1:58 4/5)

Western Fair (Lon)

 1/2

1.50 4/5

19t

10 (1:58 3/5-1:58 4/5)

Batavia (Btv)

 1/2

1.51 1/5

20t

11 (1:59-1:59 2/5)

Bluegrass Downs (BgD)

 5/8

1.51 1/5

20t

11 (1:59-1:59 2/5)

Charlottetown (CDP)

 1/2

1.50 4/5

19t

11 (1:59-1:59 2/5)

Ocean Downs (OD)

 1/2

1.51 1/5

20t

11 (1:59-1:59 2/5)

Monticello (MR)

 1/2

1.51 2/5

21

11 (1:59-1:59 2/5)

Buffalo (BR)

 1/2

1.52

22t

12 (1:59 3/5-2:00)

Century Downs (CND)

 11/16

1.52

22t

12 (1:59 3/5-2:00)

Bangor (Bng)

 1/2

1.52 3/5

23

12 (1:59 3/5-2:00)

Goshen (Gos)

 1/2

1.52 4/5

24t

12 (1:59 3/5-2:00)

Northville (Nor)

 1/2

1.52 4/5

24t

12 (1:59 3/5-2:00)

Scarborough (Scr)

 1/2

1.52 4/5

24t

12 (1:59 3/5-2:00)

Truro (Tru)

 1/2

1.53 2/5

25

13 (2:00-2:00 1/5)

Pinehurst (Pn1)

1   

1.54 1/5

26

13 (2:00-2:00 1/5)

 

Dennis Mitchell More than 1 year ago
Nice to see these ratings that we haven't seen in a racing program in quite some time. My only concern is the bigger tracks with the biggest purses draw the Best horses. Thus the smaller tracks will not draw the cream of the crop and you have to wonder how fast some of these horses would pace or trot if they could draw these faster horses to their tracks such as Buffalo Raceway!