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Today we cover the subject of predicting the pace of a race.

Pace of a race depend on many factors and we will cover them individually. Also these factors are different in different types of races. Not keeping this in mind, will result in less reliable predictions.

We need to emphasize that we can not always predict the pace just by looking at the pace numbers and running styles of individual horses in the race.

Some of the reasons for this are:

Unreliable running styles. We assign a running style to horses after a few tries on the track. This running style is much more reliable with more experienced horses and better trainers. Unexperienced horses that have not shown success on the track most likely be trying a different running style by the trainer. These unexperienced horses usually have Q numbers in the the middle (3-5) and usually increase or decrease their total Pace number by a few points when trying a new tactic. That's why we do not rely on these horses to predict the pace of the race.

Unreliable trainers. Low percentage trainers will make changes to see if any improvement and mostly without a solid resoning behind it. You may see a horse that has had more success coming from behind to be rushed to the lead for no other reason than just trying something new.

Horses with running style that does not match the pace numbers. The mismatch indicate a situation that the horse unsuccessfully has faced in the past and even though we predict another unusual pace match up, we try not to use the numbers to base our predictions on. Mismatch numbers are the running style of a front runner but late pace number (LP) that is larger than horse's early pace number (EP). The same for a late runner that has early pace numbers that are larger than late pace numbers.

Horses with any combination of the following: New surface, new trainer, new jockey, equipment/medication changes.

Now back to predicting the pace by looking at the running styles and pace figures.

  Race  1 AQU 02/26/15    d  6 F         Clm 10000   4 year olds And Up F&M Only                   Purse:   20000 
 PACE: 6-3-8-1   SPEED: 3-6-4-5   CLASS: 6-3-4-5    POWER: 6(134)-3(133)-5(121)-4(120) 
 EXACTA; TRIFECTA (.50); SUPER (.10); PICK 3 RACES (1-3); PICK 5 RACES (1-5) / DOUBLE WAGERS
Pars --> 93 96 86 91 86 P Ang Horse_Age Line DB W SP1 LS SP2 LS2 SP3 LS3 Sty Q EP TSP LP PACE SPD CLS FM PT 6 HCF DISCREET FORCE ( 5M) 8/5 18 0 81 d 94 d 75 D E 5 92 94 80 89 81 94 1 105 3 HC ISLAND CANDY ( 4F) 7/5 18 0 83 d 83 d 52 D+ E/P 6 90 89 87 89 83 90 1 104 5 PURLING ( 5M) 6/1 18 0 76 d 73 d 68 d P 2 78 81 86 82 76 76 0 99 4 BRIDGET MOLONEY ( 4F) 8/1 18 0 77 d 73 d 78 d P 1 70 77 91 79 77 89 1 99 1 ECOACH ( 7M) 20/1 18 0 72 d 73 D 81 D E/P 4 90 90 73 84 72 76 0 99 8 BLUE BALLERINA ( 5M) 20/1 18 0 72 d 74 d 65 d E 7 94 88 74 85 72 66 0 95 2 HOOPSKIRT ( 7M) 20/1 27 0 62 d+2 70 d 52 d+2 S 0 69 70 91 77 70 60 0 94 7 s WILDCAT RUBY ( 4F) 30/1 78 25 37 D-2 43 D- 62 D E 7 94 94 38 75 37 73 0 90 P Jockey J Trainer T BSPD HLS HDS HDI HAS HAI HTS HTI HWS HWI SIRE Dirt Wet Dist 6 CRUZ ANGEL 50 GULLO GARY P 50 94 10 7 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 DISCREET CAT 107 107 107 3 ORTIZ IRAD JR 35 JACOBSON DAVID 35 88 13 6 5 0 0 1 0 4 4 CANDY RIDE 108 108 108 5 ALVARADO JUNIOR 17 BARBARA ROBERT 6 86 24 13 6 0 0 1 0 6 4 PRIME MERIDIAN 95 93? 96? 4 C+BEATO INOEL 16 DIPRIMA GREGOR 9 84 23 15 9 0 0 0 0 5 3 POLLARD'S VISI 103 104 104 1 AMARO CHARLIE 9 GUTIERREZ LUIS 7 96 32 24 11 0 0 0 0 11 6 ZAVATA 99 99 101 8 C+GOMEZ O 18 C=BREED DEBRA 9 85 36 24 11 0 0 5 3 5 3 BLUEGRASS CAT 105 104 106 2 C+GARCIA WILMER 5 QUICK PATRICK 5 91 33 4 1 1 1 11 5 1 0 BIRDSTONE 107 107 106 7 C-MANGALEE N 10 C=IBRAHIM EMRO 0 72 9 6 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 WILDCAT HEIR 106 106 107 P SP1 DB2 Comment SP2 Com2 SP3 Com3 6 81 56 (2 /11)Prompt; led; collared 94 (1 /10)Spurted 2p; kicked clr 75 (4 / 8)4w 1/2;tired 3 83 24 (1 /11)4w upper; inched away 83 (1 /12)Rated ins to upper 52 (8 / 9)2p; felt a pair turn 5 76 21 (4 /11)Chased 2-3w; mild kick 73 (2 /10)Overland good courage 68 (8 / 8)Overland; bled 4 77 21 (3 /11)7w upper; mild kick 73 (3 /10)Rail run turn;weakned 78 (1 / 9)4w pursuit; inched clr 1 72 101 (8 /11)3w in aim; weakened 73 (6 / 6)Btwn trn; weakened 81 (1 / 6)3p 1/4;quick lead;drvg 8 72 28 (9 /11)Speed ins; weakened 74 (3 /10)Floated 5w into upper 65 (6 / 9)Hustled st; weakened 2 62 19 (4 / 7)Tracked ins; weakened 70 (5 /10)Saved grd; belatedly 52 (6 / 6)3-4w pursuit; faltered 7 37 48 (9 / 9)CT - Led;chased;faded t 43 (9 / 9)Rail; faltered 62 (1 /11)Strong urging Notes 3 * 83% ITM at the Distant 4 * Good finish and jockey switch


First thing we look and mark on the detail report is any horse that has any positive or negative Marks. These could be anything like Positive or negative jockey or trainer changes, layoff with no work in the past 10 days for the comeback, just a bad work (less than 20) and similar.

Next, we look and mark the distant, surface and Style/highest Q numbers (most likely front runners).

We look at suface and distant to get a feeling about how the race most likely unfold. Very few routes are won by front runners unless they are superior to the field in all pace fractions or rarely the only front runner in the field.

Next, we mark the top EP and TSP numbers of the field. In this race, #6,#7 and #8 are early runners and with a good start, should be on the lead. #3 is an early presser that most likely be right off the front runners.

Next, we mark the top LP and Pace numbers of the field. #1,#7 and #8 did not show much late stamina in the last but #1 was coming off of a 101 day layoff and still ran a 72 spd. #1 should improve and being an early presser (E/P) and she probably will stay off the front runners and try to get a piece late at good odds.

Top 4 horses ran against each other last out and finished in the super in that race. #6 will probably turn the table on #3 with less pressure early but too close in pace number to leave out of top spot.

Not much value in the top 2 and we are hoping for #1 to improve enough to squeeze in the tri. Small EX 3-6/1, tri 3-6/1-3-6/1-3-4-5-6

Final thoughts, try this if you enjoy predicting things and accept the fact that you do not have any control over the factors gone into your prediction. At first most races will run different from what you expected but will soon have a better handle on the numbers and better payoffs.


Questions or comments?