Graphics— Performance Space and Past Performances
The Performance Space Report™ is unique to Track Judge®. It is a depiction of the early pace, overall speed and running style for each horse in the race. With a single graph, the handicapper can grasp the pace scenario and identify the most likely early, middle and late contenders. Early pace battles, deep closers and mid pace horses become obvious.
Statistics show that horses getting a clear and uncontested early lead control the race and have a better than expected chance to win. The first question in handicapping any race is to identify this early pace scenario. Once established, the question becomes whether the early lead horse has sufficient energy to maintain his advantage and if he will be challenged early in the race. It is simply easier to see this in a graph than derive it from tabular data.
What the graph shows
Suppose we take the last three starts; plus
1. the best pace rating in the last 10 starts, and
2. the race with the best speed rating in the last 10 as well. These data points give us “recency” as well as the horse’s best performance. This is our horse’s “envelope.”
Next we construct an x-y scatter-plot graph. On left from top to bottom (y axis) is a quarter-mile pace rating. On the left-right or X axis, is the speed. We now connect the dots, forming an area we call the “Performance Space” for this horse, #8. This is his envelope.
add symbols and colors
Next, using symbols and colors, we indicate the running style of the horse. This horse is an E! type signified by bold red dots. E! horses must have an early lead to win.
We begin adding more horses. Our next is another E! horse, #4. We can immediately see a pace battle shaping up. A third E! horse, #2 has similar pace and speed numbers occupying the same space.
different running styles
Our fourth horse, #7 has a different running style. He is a “presser”, who can win if he’s a length from the leader at the half mile call. Presser horses are shown in blue. Our fifth, #1, is an early presser. Early Presser horses have a red dot-dash pattern on the graph. Our final horse, #5, is “sustained”, a horse that runs no more than seven horses back at any time. Sustained horses are plotted as a black line. This is our field.
par box, pace to speed ratio
We now add a par box showing the pace and speed numbers of the middle 50% of winners on this track for this condition. A vertical line shows the best last race speed rating of any horse in the field. A diagonal line shows the average ratio of early pace to final speed for winners at the condition.
Finally, we convert the pace and speed to time (across the top) of the graph. What we see is the race scenario. In this graph, we have three E! horses with similar speeds battling it out, but none dominates the other. On the graph, their energy is expended above the par box, suggesting they will go too fast in the early going. Horse #5’s numbers run right through the par box, and that makes him the prime contender.
Here’s what happened:
Notice that #4 and #8 are noses apart in the early race, but #5 our “sustained” entry, wins paying $48.80
Performance Space Example (click for PDF)