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Our customers bet off of TimeformUS Speed Figures, and we do not want them unknowingly placing faith in the occasional number that we are not yet confident in. From time to time, our figures are under review because the evidence that is ordinarily available to create them has somehow been compromised. What’s the best way to handle this challenge to help our customers?

The Origin of Question Mark Figures

One of the helpful features that New New Balance 520 Suede Sneakers, Size 10 (from the mothership in England) offer when assessing horses overseas is a question mark symbol when a horse’s rating is considered suspect. With that as inspiration, we implemented question mark symbols in TimeformUS Past Performances in the spring of 2015. An example of how Question Mark Figures were initially displayed in TimeformUS  is below:

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Beginning today, Question Mark Figures are being displayed in a new format, with a new level of detail to give TimeformUS Customers an advantage when betting.

Moving to The Left

Question Mark Figures are now shifting to the Race Rating field, to reflect that they apply to the entire race, not just the Speed Figure for one horse. Additionally, instead of the general question mark symbol, you will see  a specific one-letter code that indicates the main reason for the question mark designation. Here’s how these races will look for question mark figures assigned for races beginning January 25th or later:

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Understanding The Codes

Most of the time a tough race to evaluate with a speed figure is marked as such for more than one reason.  The code identifies the main one. Here are the seven possible codes that you will see:

f – First Timers/Lightly Raced – The race was loaded with horses racing for the first time or with very few starts. If a turf or synthetic track race, there could be little to no form on the surface. This is never reason alone to mark a race as questionable. It is usually combined with other factors. For example, a 2yo maiden special weight race with first time starters only and it is the only dirt sprint on the card.

o – Only Turf / Sprint / Route – This one is exactly as described…only one race on the card was run under similar conditions. Much like the f code, this is never a sole reason for marking the race. Most times this is used the race was an “only” and comparing the performance of the horses in the race to the projections varied quite a bit from horse to horse.

p – Pace – There will be some races run with the pace so aberrantly fast or slow that it will cause the horses to all run unreasonably slow final times. Since TimeformUS Speed Figures combine pace and final time figures into one overall number, we’re typically able to capture these nuances, but sometimes the situation is so extreme that we don’t feel we’re able to properly measure it. These races are already flagged via color coding for the fractions/pace figures, but we will go a step further and apply this coding.  It is probably a good idea to ignore races coded “p” from a speed figure point of view.

t – Timer – Unfortunately this is becoming more common in the sport of horse racing. Timer malfunctions are way more prevalent than they should be and races where there was an issue are marked as such. In many cases these races are missing one or more fractional times. We do not attempt to make pace figures for points of call that are missing fractions. Also, there will be no final time figures for races that are not timed at the finish.

b – Breakout – The race appears unusually fast or unusually slow compared to others on the card, including those that come before and after it. Using the same variant as the other races would cause all the top finishers in a race to have aberrant numbers that don’t seem realistic.

n – Possible BreakoutThe race was strongly considered as a “breakout,” code b above, but in the end was left as is with reservations. This is the preferred choice between the two.

c – Track Conditions – Track conditions can change drastically during a card, usually due to weather, and the figures for the race are primarily based on only the horses in this one race.

There is now an eighth type of code–for races we can’t give a figure for at all:

  • i – Insufficient data – There simply isn’t enough data to generate a speed figure with confidence. These races will be almost exclusively races for two-year-olds from days when there were no similar races on the card and the two-year-old race was hard to compare to the other races due to things like timing problems, changes in weather, or rarely run distances. As the horses run again, these races will be re-visited to see if enough data has come in to allow us to go back and make a figure with confidence.

Question Mark Figures: Why We Include This Data in Our Product

To review these suspect figures, we will typically wait for additional evidence to come in, in the form of horses from that race returning to race again. But even that has its limitations. Some figures are questionable when made and remain questionable months later or in perpetuity–because the runbacks do little to clarify the situation. This is rare but it does happen, and we believe it to be true for all Speed Figure makers. When a figure is under review, you deserve to know it.

As a player, you can then incorporate our lack of confidence in the available evidence into your own handicapping and assess additional elements of a horse’s form before placing your bets.

Additionally, if you refer to other speed figures when handicapping, the TimeformUS Question Marks will alert you to difficult conditions that likely affected other figure makers as well. They may not tell you, but we will. And now we’ll tell you why, too.

Related:

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>Color-Coded Bias Indicators in TimeformUS Race Ratings

>How To Use TimeformUS Speed Figures

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Welcome to the TimeformUS Blog

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Hello and welcome to the TimeformUS blog!

The purpose of this blog is to explain features of TimeformUS Past Performances, a new horse racing product which is optimized for tablets and the web. Currently, you can purchase TimeformUS Past Performances at Azura Women's Rikki Ankle Boot or in the the TVG Handicapping Store.

This blog is also a great place to ask questions and provide feedback about our new product. Use the links below to get started, and if you have questions, email us at  Support@TimeformUS.com

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TimeformUS
 is a new kind of horse racing Past Performances, optimized for tablets and PCs. At TimeformUS, we’re focused on helping you understand races faster. We’re perpetually refining the site and PPs: New features will be introduced regularly.  To start: here’s a top 10 list on how we’re making it easier to play the game; click the links next to each item for a deeper description or a video on how it works.

First thing’s first: if you’re looking for a PDF legend labeling all of our features, Reebok F/S Hi Colors Sneakers - Womens

1) How we make our Speed Figures
Our state-of-the-art, single-number measure of all-around performance.
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2) Our Pace Projector
The breakthrough timesaver that tells you where they’re gonna be early in a race, and more.
Watch The Video>>
Learn More >>

3) Race Ratings
The TimeformUS Race Ratings help you quickly understand the quality of any race.
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4) TimeformUS Pace Figures
Based on the fractional times run by each horse at each point of call in a race, TimeformUS Pace Figures give you a clear sense of the pace scenarios that a horse has faced in prior races.
Learn More >>

5) TimeformUS Color-Coded Bias Indicators
When we see a surface that favored frontrunners or closers in a horse’s previous race, we flag that running line with red or blue coloring.
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6) Timeform Foreign Running Lines for shippers
TimeformUS PPs offer unparalleled info on horses who previously ran overseas.
Learn More >>

7) TimeformUS Result Charts
One-click access from the 1-2-3 section of every running line,  TimeformUS Result Charts are color-coded  and fully customizable.
Learn More >>

8)  Simplified but smart TimeformUS Trainer Ratings
Our Trainer Ratings show you instantly how a trainer performs overall and in specific situations.
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9) TimeformUS Race Finder
Use our Race Finder to quickly and easily find the types of races you like to play.
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10) TimeformUS Pedigree Ratings based on today’s surface/distance
On a 100-point scale and based on the surface/distance of today’s race, factoring in the TimeformUS speed figures assigned to the horses in the family of today’s runner.
Learn More >>

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Daddy Knows (#3) is the likely favorite in this spot. At this point, everyone is tuned into how well Linda Rice does with second-time starters, and she’s even proficient with this dirt-to-turf move. This gelding actually ran quite well in his debut, closing from far behind after a sluggish start to lose by just more than a length to the superior Red Zinger. While he would be quite formidable if he translates that form to grass, he did get a pretty fast pace to close into that day. Furthermore, he’s bred to handle dirt as a half-brother to the talented New York-bred Mr. Buff. Sire Scat Daddy is a solid turf influence, but it’s not clear if this horse will do much better switching to grass based on his breeding. I’m using him prominently, but I’d rather take the runner who finished just behind him on dirt last time.

Quiet-Out-East.png

QUIET OUT EAST (#6) ran well that day, but he is really more of a turf horse. He displayed an affinity for this surface as a 2-year-old, closing well to be third in his second start despite racing wide over a rail-biased course. I would argue that his dirt performance last time merely signals that he has returned as an improved horse as a 3-year-old. He had been working very well coming into that May 12 race, and Christophe Clement was able to use it as a prep. Now he’s switching back to the right surface, and Clement is 6 for 12 (50 percent, $3.11 ROI) with maidens going from dirt to turf second off a layoff. If he improves as expected, he’s going to be a handful for this field.

The other interesting runner to consider is Wacky Pal (#2), who ran on decently against open company last time after a somewhat uncomfortable trip through the lane. This horse trained well over the winter, and may improve for the new barn while returning as a first time gelding. It’s also noteworthy that Christophe Clement’s other runner Uncle Curly (#11) draws in this race from the also-eligible list. His best effort is clearly good enough to beat this field, but I was not thrilled with his return to the NYRA circuit last time.

THE PLAY

Win: 6
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,3,9,11
Trifecta: 6 with 2,3,11 with 2,3,5,9,11

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Race 5: Dancingwthdaffodls (#7)

  • Ran better than it appears in her turf starts, especially on Oct. 5 when she got shuffled back early.
  • Has improved her form on dirt for the Edmund Pringle barn and may be able to do better with this surface switch.
  • Gets a significant jockey switch to excellent turf rider Jose Ortiz.

6-1 on ML

———

Race 7: Labeq (#9)

  • Proved that turf is his preferred surface last spring, and finally gets back on that surface here.
  • Will appreciate softer company after making his prior turf attempts against extremely tough fields.
  • His last race was one of his best dirt efforts, indicating that he may be in good form.

4-1 on ML

———

Race 10: Quiet Out East (#6)

  • Ran very well on turf in his second start, making a strong late run despite going wide against a rail bias.
  • Performed well in his dirt return, indicating that he may have come back as an improved 3-year-old.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Christophe Clement is 6 for 12 (50 percent, $3.11 ROI) with maidens going from dirt to turf second off a layoff.

4-1 on ML

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Saturday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Clint Maroon will be tough to run down in the Pennine Ridge

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Both of Chad Brown’s runners in this Grade 3 Pennine Ridge are making their stakes debuts, and the one who figures to attract the most support is Value Proposition (#1). This British-bred son of Dansili has made only one start, but it was a special performance. He launched a sweeping move from far back to easily take over at the top of the stretch and fended off a serious challenge before drawing off late. He was even somewhat green in the lane, ducking down to the rail late while continuing to widen his advantage. He earned a speed figure that suggests he can make this transition into graded stakes company, but he’s facing a pretty salty group in just his second career start.

I actually prefer Brown’s other colt, Demarchelier (#3). He hasn’t run as fast or won as stylishly as his stablemate, but I like the way this grinding son of Dubawi finishes off his races. I get the sense that we haven’t seen the best of him yet, and he figures to be the biggest price of the main contenders. Demarchelier appears to be working particularly well ahead of this race, though he is unproven over less-than-firm ground.

I’m using both of these runners, but I think Todd Pletcher’s entrants are just as appealing. Social Paranoia (#4) is the classier of the two, coming off a solid third-place finish in the Grade 2 American Turf. He signaled that he had returned as an improved 3-year-old with that impressive maiden score two back, and he backed up that performance behind Digital Age last time. However, now he must stretch out to 1 1/8 miles and I’m somewhat concerned about him getting the distance. Social Paranoia possesses good tactical speed, but I would assume that he will allow his stablemate Clint Maroon to set the pace.

Clint-Maroon.png

CLINT MAROON (#5) is my top pick. I don’t think this son of Oasis Dream will have any problem handling the distance given his strong finishing ability. He had everything his own way up front in the Woodhaven last time, but he also leveled off and finished up the race with a ton of power. This grey gelding doesn’t need the lead, but he’s awfully difficult to run down when he’s allowed to set the pace. A little rain Thursday should have softened the turf courses a bit, and he loves some give in the ground. If he turns into the stretch with an advantage, I believe they will be hard-pressed to run him down.

THE PLAY

Win: 5
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,3,4,7
Trifecta: 5 with 1,3 with 1,3,4,7
Trifecta: 3 with 5 with 1,4,7

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Belmont Horses in Focus for Saturday, June 1

Race 1: Real Money (#4)

  • The 112 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earned last time out is the highest in the field.
  • Should appreciate the slight cutback in distance to 6 furlongs.
  • Strong workout last week suggests he’s coming into this race in top form.

3-1 on ML

———

Race 3: Ekhtibaar (#4)

  • Was placed in very tough spots in his last two starts and will appreciate the class relief.
  • His recent dirt speed figures make him a very logical contender.
  • DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past 5 years, Ray Handal is 10 for 34 (29%, $2.45 ROI) with horses going from turf to dirt.

3-1 on ML

 ———

Race 8: Clint Maroon (#5)

  • The 113 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earned last time out is tied for the highest in the field.
  • Will appreciate a little give in the ground after Thursday’s rains.
  • May play out as the controlling speed in a race that lacks other confirmed front-runners.

3-1 on ML

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Our analyst David Aragona is going to do the sort of deep dive that you’ve come to depend on from TimeformUS: horse-by-horse analysis of the full fields for each of the ten stakes on the Belmont Stakes Day Card, plus Betting Strategies (yes, the actual tickets) for each race, including related pick 4 and pick 5 tickets. It’s an essential package for anyone who is serious about crushing the Belmont Day card…

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Remember: Beginning at 2pm on Friday, the Betting Strategies Deep Dive will be available at the top of the Belmont PPs, under the Strategies Tab:

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Friday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Reata’s Reward will be tough to catch with a clean break

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Rudy Rodriguez holds a strong hand in this conditioned claimer, sending out Simona (#3) and Promise Me Roses (#5). The former filly may go off as the favorite as she steps up to the N3L level off an easy win in late April. She always runs competitive speed figures but tends to settle for minor awards, so it remains to be seen if she can put together back-to-back victories.

Her stablemate Promise Me Roses seems like the a more talented individual, but she’s failed to maintain her form ever since being claimed away from Rob Atras. Rudy Rodriguez did get a little too ambitious off the claim, running her in a tougher starter allowance two back, and it’s possible that she hated a sloppy track last time. However, the track is likely to be wet again on Friday and she has also struggled to get out of the gate in recent starts. I’m using her, but I want to look elsewhere for my top pick.

Pace-Reatas-Reward.png

I’ve landed on REATA’S REWARD (#1), whose early speed is going to make her dangerous. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead, and she is clearly faster than her rivals in the early going. She was supposed to have a similar advantage last time, but she stumbled and fell to her nose at the start, losing all chance. I think it’s noteworthy that she had been well supported in the wagering that day – bet down to a surprising even-money – because it may signal that she’s doing well and can get back to her better efforts from 2018. As long as she breaks cleanly this time, I think she’ll be tough to reel in.

THE PLAY

Win: 1
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 3,5,6
Trifecta: 1 with 3,5 with 2,3,5,6

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Belmont Horses in Focus for Friday, May 31

Race 1: Reata’s Reward (#1)

  • The Pace Projector is predicting that she will be on or near the lead in a situation favoring the front-runner.
  • Lost all chance last time when she stumbled badly at the start.
  • The way she was bet last time suggests she might be ready to get back to her top races for the prior barn.

7-2 on ML

———

Race 6: Opt (#11)

  • Gets some needed class relief as he drops down to maiden claiming company.
  • Was hindered by a speed-favoring surface in his February debut.
  • Is a half-brother to 4 turf winners and Will Take Charge has had some success as a turf sire.

10-1 on ML

———

Race 8: Gidu (#7)

  • Earned a career-best 122 TimeformUS Speed Figure after chasing a fast pace in his 2018 finale.
  • His 2018 form looks inconsistent, but that was primarily a result of some unfavorable trips and pace scenarios.
  • Gets back to 7 furlongs, which appears to be his best distance.

4-1 on ML

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