04/13/2016 1:16PM

New symbols more clearly define Race Shape feature


In an effort to help handicappers better understand how to apply Daily Racing Form’s newest handicapping tool, some of the Race Shape symbols have been changed.

Beginning with past performances for this Friday, April 15, symbols for DRF’s new Race Shape tool will be  or  for races where the pace scenario favored horses with speed in a race, while  or  will mean that closers in the race held the advantage due to the race flow.

The Race Shape symbols, located between the distance and the race’s opening fraction on a horse’s running line, indicate which running styles were at an advantage, and which were disadvantaged. Unchanged is the fact that the  means those horses close to the early pace held the edge, while horses coming from off the pace were at a disadvantage. The  still indicates that the race flow was strongly favorable to those horses with SPEED, while extremely limiting the chances of ralliers to make a winning late run, as originally intended.

Conversely, a race where the CLOSERS held the advantage as a result of the race flow is now illustrated by a , which replaces the original “H” symbol. The , which replaces the inverted H, is indicative of a pace meltdown, as a preponderance of speed led to the stretch-runners dominating the running.

::DRF race shape symbols: Frequently asked questions

It’s important to note that the race shape symbols are not an attempt to gauge how fast the early pace of a race was. Rather, they indicate whether the race flow favored those horses who were on or near the lead, or were looking to come from off the pace. Here’s how the Race Shape symbols are assigned: Prior to every race run in North America, the field is scanned to find a projected race shape, whether it be one that should be expected to develop well for closers or for speed, due to the amount of projected frontrunners in the race. Then, after the race is run and the official chart is available, the program checks to see if the race was run as expected. If it was, the pre-race symbol is applied. If it was not, there is no race shape symbol for the race. There is no subjectivity involved, and the “chart check” application ensures that the pre-race designation was in fact correct.

Not every race receives a race shape symbol – in fact, most do not. That doesn’t necessarily mean the race was neutral, as it could also mean that the post-race analysis did not match the pre-race analysis. Or, the lack of defined running styles of the runners in the field made it too difficult to project a race flow with any degree of certainty. The symbols are applied only in situations where the flow of the race clearly aided a particular running style.

Jim Dodge 20 days ago
What is the new symbol to the right of Post No./horse's name?
Howard More than 1 year ago
Green horse symbol:   I am told the symbol indicates that the horse is a graduate of the Keeneland Sales
jmnorvell More than 1 year ago
What does the green icon of a horse and rider to the right of the owner/pedigree information mean in the PPs?
mac412 More than 1 year ago
jmnorvell - any answers? I've had the same question all week.  
jmnorvell More than 1 year ago
nope, not yet
jmnorvell More than 1 year ago
Seriously, no one knows the answer to this? DRF?
Mr_TurfSprint18 More than 1 year ago
I love the  H/S symbols on turf. Can you guys put the old back on turf, I want to know if the race is hot or slow pace on turf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been a longtime user of The Daily Racing Form, 40+ years, and I commend them for trying something new to keep up with their competition. Over the past four months I decided to use a competitors product in order to address race shape within my core handicapping as I felt there was a deficiency in the newsstand DRF product. As a weekly player across all major circuits any way to save time via outside research can be useful.
This weekend I opted to purchase an edition of the DRF at my local race track. After spending a day with these new symbols cluttering my running lines, I have to agree with many of the traditionalists comments. I think most prefer the facts as it relates to mathematical figures , not  speculation defined by a character in my running lines, decided upon by a committee that might not have seen the race day scenario or outcome the same as many of the buyers of the new product.
My personal opinion is to end the public beta test until which time you can bring something killer, not speculative filler.
Thomas MD More than 1 year ago
Will this be integrated into formulator? Sounds like it provides information that is different from what we get from the Moss pace figs.
Marcelino Carpio More than 1 year ago
Agree with Curtis, it' doesn't hurt to have an additional information, nothing was eliminated to have this and many times this new information will come handy.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Joseph Donato More than 1 year ago
hokie-doke? is that really pronounced hokie dokeee?
Mike Oliveto More than 1 year ago
I've seen plenty of nonsense posted on these threads but yours might very well be the most laughable. You get my vote as grand poobah of the tinfoil hat club.
Stephen Mercier More than 1 year ago
 I like this simple handy reference to extremely  fast  or slow paced races ...please add it to the formulator pp,s also
Dan Obie More than 1 year ago
This could be useful but it is explained in a very poor manner.  Pretend we have a 6F race with 5 need the lead horses with :21 flat speed.  The pre-race analysis would suggest a hot pace, one that favors closers.  Say 4 of the speed horses walk out of the gate and the other speed horse becomes lone speed in :23 and runs away with the race.  The pre-race was wrong in this case and a closer bias became a speed bias.  However, due to the opposite result of the pre-race occurring, then no symbol is formed?  Wouldn't it be best to not factor in pre-race predictions and just watch how the race unfolds and see if there are any track biases, etc...  So if this software can't capture my example, then what's the point?  Good idea, terrible execution as far as I can tell.
Enzo Lentini More than 1 year ago
Then develop software that covers EVERY scenario...gate opens a missle hits the race track etc
Dan Obie More than 1 year ago
Haha.  My point was if the software can only report predicted/actual scenarios but misses unpredictable/actual scenarios, then it is worthless.  It'd be be like throwing out all data points in an experiment that don't match the hypothesis.  All results must be reported appropriately for any of the results to hold merit.