03/03/2016 11:37AM

Pace Ace adds new tool to DRF past performances


A firm grasp on pace handicapping is elusive to most horseplayers due to the many variables involved – tumultuous starts, the whims of jockeys, distance changes, gate placement, etc.

Pace figures are one way handicappers can address this issue. Without question, reliable pace figures – such as DRF’s Moss Pace Figures – are a valuable tool. But in many cases, a race’s fractions tell an incomplete story of how a race was run, and bettors perusing past performances have had no way to determine which horses had an edge due to the pace scenario – until now.

DRF’s new Pace Ace feature reveals just that.

If an abundance of speed improved the chances for closers, handicappers will know. If a lack of pace gave runners close to the lead an advantage, it will now be apparent.

Pace Ace will expose possible false favorites who ran top Beyer Speed Figures when taking advantage of a favorable pace situation. It also will uncover longshots whose poor recent form can be directly attributed to unfavorable pace setups.

A tumultuous trip is made apparent in the comment line and provides all handicappers with some insight into a poor performance. However, horses who were compromised by an extreme pace scenario also have a valid excuse, one that previously had been disguised as a poor effort.

Utilizing data going back to Jan. 1, 2015, Pace Ace is applied prior to every race at North American racetracks in search of clear, expected pace scenarios. After a race is run, Pace Ace applies DRF’s proprietary algorithm to determine if the race was run according to the expected scenario. When that happens, the race receives one of four labels:

Slow Pace – Race was light on pace, giving those on or close to the lead an edge while compromising the chances of closers.

Very Slow Pace – Race was very light on pace, giving those on or close to the lead a strong edge while severely compromising the chances of horses in the second half of the field early on.

Hot Pace – Race where the closers had the edge and the chances of horses on or near the lead were comprised.

Super Hot Pace – Race where the closers had a big advantage, while the chances of horses in the top flight early were severely compromised.

Horses coming out of races with these labels can now be viewed in a new light. A stone closer who ran a seemingly subpar race in his latest can be viewed very differently if the race features either of the “S” symbols since the pace dynamics give him a built-in – and previously unknown – excuse. A horse coming off a blowout front-running score may be a short price in his return, but DRF readers will know if he took advantage of a paceless field, thanks to an “S” symbol in his running line. Conversely, those horses who were off the pace can be expected to improve next time in a race with more early speed.

The effort of a horse who blew a clear early lead is often viewed in a negative way. But what if he had to outrun several other speeds to get that lead? The “H” symbol lets readers know that it might have been a better try than it appears. Another horse might show a big closing effort, but that effort can be downgraded if the “H” symbol shows up in his running line.

Handicappers who had previously done pace analysis independently will find Pace Ace to be an important time-saving tool. Those using Moss Pace Figures will find Pace Ace to be a perfect complement to the figures. Moss Figures assess pace based on fractions, while Pace Ace takes into account the makeup of the field and race development. Thus, the two products work hand in hand. Bettors previously unfamiliar with the value of pace handicapping will be astounded to see how much an extreme pace scenario can affect a horse’s form on paper.

Pace Ace is revolutionary. It will change the way handicappers look at past performances, giving DRF readers an edge.

Dom Capobianco More than 1 year ago
Can someone tell me what the letter "C" stands for where the pace letters are located.  I just started seeing this and can't find what it stands for.
William Waters More than 1 year ago
Dom,  Closers favored "C" and speed favored "S" have quickly and silently replaced the "H" for hot pace and the "S" for slow pace.
Dom Capobianco More than 1 year ago
Thanks William.  Not sure how much those symbols will help but it's more information.  Thanks again.
Julian Brown More than 1 year ago
More helpful would be a bias figure like what's seen in Today's Racing Digest
brad More than 1 year ago
it's probably not a good idea to change the way you pace a race, ha! ha! not sure I care for it, time will tell, it's probably good for the casual handicapper, not the avid one,
Steve Kendall More than 1 year ago
And then they say on the show they changed the starter number where it should be (so it's been in the wrong place for the last 50 years)???? I bet they had a ton of complaints for people wanting it changed. The # belongs at the end because it is mostly a pointless # just like ACE PACE, and hardly matters that's why you just glance at it, at the end... Not see it in every running line... Nice job on the Gulfstream mess-up today.... TOP CLASS!!!
Steve Kendall More than 1 year ago
You here this guy on Steve Byk show Friday , I have to handicap this race the old way, without ACE PACE??? Gimme a break, what a JOKE
Steve Kendall More than 1 year ago
OK nobody seems to care at this company on this matter. Put the number back by this Saturday 3/12 or nobody buy a FORM on Sunday 3/13 if it's not fixed. BOYCOTT spread the word. Let's leave them with all their overpriced, programs and show them we don't care about them either. WE Horseplayers need to stand together until someone hears our voice. I'm tired of getting stuck from bogus websites tournaments that don't want to pay, BS objections, stewards have no clue. Let's show them who has a clue... US HORSEPLAYERS. Spread the word Sunday March 13 BUY no programs ON SITE anywhere. BS
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
absurd......folks can see fractions.......this along with the ever changing Beyer opinions..
DRFFormulator More than 1 year ago
Repeat after me, Pace Ace is about race flow not fractions, Pace Ace is about race flow not fractions, Pace Ace is about race flow not fractions.
Rick Guior More than 1 year ago
More space for expanded company lines? How about first ensuring the company lines are accurate? Anyone who watches race replays knows that the company lines are misleading or outright dead wrong a good 15-20% of the time. Clearly there's nobody QCing this information.
Steve Kendall More than 1 year ago
Someone please explain how the expanded company line works better by moving field size #.... You can write steadied instead of stdd , FYI all the words fit in company line doesn't need to be expanded. and the field size doesn't have to be moved. What EINSTEINS you have there!!! DISGRACE!!!!!
Steve Kendall More than 1 year ago
Nothing like seeing where your horse starts from and then to where he breaks , hey let's insert a bunch of / 10's everywhere in between, where it makes absolutely no SENSE!!!! Put it back or put it before the JOCKEY or after FINISH Position , Where it actually RELATES to something!!!!