12/22/2017 10:56AM

Q and A: TimeformUS Pace Figures


TimeformUS handicapper David Aragona and TimeformUS chief figure-maker Craig Milkowski discuss the addition of TimeformUS Pace Figure to DRF Formulator.

David Aragona: How do TimeformUS Pace Figures differ from the TimeformUS Early/Late Ratings already in all DRF PPs?

Craig Milkowski: The TimeformUS Pace Figures are given for each race and evaluate how fast each horse ran at different points of call. The Early/Late Ratings are an overall rating based on multiple races.

DA: Explain the TimeformUS Pace Figure scale, and how it should be used in combination with Beyer Speed Figures.

CM: The TimeformUS Pace Figure scale is similar to the Timeform scale. A 140+ is a great performance by a top-tier Grade 1 horse. The average for a Grade 1 older male winner hovers around the 130 mark. It is possible to have much higher figures at the pace calls. Horses can and do run much faster than what is ideal for portions of a given race. However, they cannot maintain it for the length of the race. Beyer Speed Figures are on average about 20 points lower than TimeformUS Speed Figures. This is over large numbers of races and often doesn’t apply to individual contests.

:: TimeformUS Pace Figures: A new tool for handicappers in DRF Formulator

DA: What does the final number below a horse’s finishing position represent? Is this a pace figure, too?

CM: The number below the finish position is the TimeformUS figure for the final time of the race. It is similar to Beyer Speed Figures in that regard.

DA: The color-coding of pace figures seems like an intuitive feature. How do you use color-coding to quickly assess a horse’s performance?

CM: The color coding is a quick way to assess the pace of the race, or race shape as some like to call it. Red coloring indicates the pace was much faster than would normally be expected for the final time of the race. Blue indicates the pace was much slower than would normally be expected for the given final time.

DA: Can you compare pace figures across multiple races? Is it wise to compare sprint pace figures to route pace figures?

CM: It is not a good idea to try to compare pace figure across different distances or surfaces. For example, a 120 TimeformUS Pace Figure after a quarter-mile in a dirt sprint displays much faster raw speed than the same figure in a mile race on the turf. Tools are available to compare races like this in TimeformUS Past Performances, but not in Formulator.

DA: Do you find turf pace figures to be as reliable as dirt pace figures?

CM: The pace figures for turf races are as accurate as for any other race, but they may not necessarily be as predictive as they are on dirt. Turf races are generally run at a slower pace than dirt races are, and it is easier for a horse to change running style and be on or near the lead.