04/26/2017 2:56PM

TimeformUS pace ratings now in DRF PPs

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Beginning with the Friday print edition and online at DRF.com, Daily Racing Form will publish TimeformUS Early and Late Speed Ratings in all domestic past performances.

The TimeformUS Early Speed Rating is designed to measure where horses are likely to be positioned after a half-mile. The TimeformUS Late Speed Rating attempts to identify horses that will be running the fastest late.

Both ratings look at the last five races for each horse, or as many as are available if fewer than five. The key element is fractional times.

The Early Speed Rating looks at how fast horses run the opening half-mile, regardless of distance. The Late Speed Rating considers the final segment of each race, which varies according the race’s distance. It can be anywhere from two furlongs to as long as 3 1/2 furlongs.

The early position of the horses plays a factor in both ratings, and passing horses is a factor in the late rating. The ratings are adjusted for the track, surface, and distance of the race being handicapped. They also are adjusted for the speed of the racetrack just like conventional speed figures.

A few general guidelines can be applied to the ratings. Early ratings are most useful when the distance is short, the surface is dirt, and the races are for claimers or maidens, especially maiden claimers.

Tracks that favor speed horses also provide good opportunities to employ the early speed ratings. Some tracks are notoriously speed-favoring, while others could have short-term trends favoring those up front.

Late ratings are most useful when the distance is longer, the surface is turf, or when horses are trying to run a longer distance for the first time.

The Early and Late Speed Ratings can save handicappers a lot of time. They are an estimate of what is going to happen in a race and a great starting point for pace handicapping.

The ratings are very useful when the pace is expected to be out of the ordinary. If one horse has a big edge in early speed, it could be a strong contender to steal the race on the lead. If multiple speed horses are entered, the pace could prove to be fast and favor those with the best late ratings. This is particularly true if the horses expected to run up front are closely rated numerically.

The ratings work best when used in conjunction with conventional speed figures such as Beyer Speed Figures. The more extreme the pace is expected to be, the more likely the early and late speed ratings can surpass speed figures as a primary factor.

For more information vist drf.com/paceratings.