FAQs Home : FAQs
Handicapping FAQ

1. How will the PaceAppraiser PPs help me save time so I can handicap more tracks?
The PA PPs are designed to make the information flow for ease of use. You simply start at the eligibility conditions, move to the competitive speed figure and pace pressure gauge readings, then the pace picture made up of running styles, and the raw Quirin speed points. At this point, you'll have the race's foundation built, you might say. Each one of these areas will be discussed in greater detail in the remaining FAQs.
2. Where are the fractions?
We've taken a bold but necessary step to help players overcome handicapping distractions. We have removed the fractions! Here's why: The PA pace figures and pace of the race velocity ratings have the fractional information included already. No need for redundancy. Excessive comparative handicapping is not an efficient approach, so removing the fractions helps simplify the flow of information and keeps players focused on the most important core data.
3. How are the PaceAppraiser running styles different from BRIS and TSN styles?
You'll notice quite a difference. First of all, we have seven labels. E - E/C - E/P - E/P/C - P - P/C and C. The two additional labels, E/C and E/P/C help players recognize races with the most chaotic match-ups. The E/C horse has shown the ability to race an early one dimensional style and a closer's style. The E/P/C has shown the ability to race all three core styles. The races with the most potential chaos are revealed with these additional running styles. The question is then which style will the horse use today? It's difficult to predict how the race will unfold in real-time when the E/Cs and E/P/Cs are in the match-up. Another difference you'll notice is a two dimensional label for the off pace horses. BRIS and TSN use the S label for a catch all in the late pace department. We believe there's a huge difference between a presser/closer and a closer in certain pace match-ups. The S designation does not fully cover the depth of talent off pace horses have demonstrated. In moderate to high pace pressure races a P/C (presser/closer) is almost always preferable to a C (closer) type; off pace horses come up short too often, anyway. The S designation leaves too much room for more guesswork than is necessary.
4. What do you mean by "raw" Quirin speed points?
We have eliminated the seven furlong bonus points, 1 or 2 points. Seven furlong races are treated like any other sprint. We want to know the totals at the first call only; this is the reason we call them raw. Now the pace pressure gauge is compressed, you might say, for better, tighter readings.
5. How do I determine the pace match—up bias?
The Pace Pressure Gauge, located to the right of the eligibility conditions, gives you this information. The Pace Pressure Gauge is made up of two components, pace pressure and pace velocity. The gauge points to the pace match-up bias. The Pace Pressure Gauge is calibrated early because over 60% of all races, regardless of distance, are won by early pace running styles. The gauge output will look something like this: 34 X 1. Of course there are many possibilities. The first number represents pace pressure and is generated by the number of early pace horses (E, E/P, P) with 5 or more Quirin speed points. The second rating is generated by the number of one dimensional early pace horses (E) with 5 or more speed points. When the Pace Pressure Gauge exceeds 21 in the pressure reading, the pace bias has shifted slightly to a late pace bias. The higher the numbers the more likely the race will go to our P/Cs and Cs. Conversely, the lower the numbers the more likely the race will be won by our Es and E/Ps. The Pace Pressure Gauge is also a tool to help you assess value. For example, if you must play a horse that is facing a pace match-up bias that's not in its favor, add points to the odds you're willing to take.
6. How do I determine if a extreme pace aberration has appeared?
The Pace Picture uncovers the extreme pace match-ups. It's as easy as taking a glance at the race pace picture. You'll know right away if there's a potential lone front runner or if the pace pressure is so extreme a presser/closer or a closer types have the advantage. The pace picture does the work for you.
7. What is a horse's depth of talent?
Notice the superscript number to the right of the speed points and then to the right of the running style; this is the Pace Comfort Zone, and represents a horse's depth of talent at the pace call. It tells you the number of lengths a horse has run from off (or on the pace) pace when it runs its best races. As you move your mouse pointer over the running styles in the pace picture the pace comfort zone reading will appear as well, which is a good way to do some pace picture handicapping. The higher the pace pressure the more PCZ talent you should demand from your horses.
8. What is an opposites attract exacta and how do I recognize it?
The key word here is "lone" - a lone front runner and a lone presser/closer. The idea is they meet at the wire, attracted by their opposite running styles and pace match-up. The pace picture will quickly expose this profitable pace match-up.
9. I purchase Sire Ratings and Trainer Stats. How can the PaceAppraiser PPs enhance them?
One of the most conspicuous mistakes handicappers make is playing horses with positive factors in isolation but are disadvantaged by the pace match-up. It matters little if a horse with high turf ratings is moving to that surface for the second time if it will be disadvantaged by the unfavorable pace match-up. And of course, the same is true with trainer stats. Horses with a pace advantage, or at least comfortable with the pace match-up, and have positive turf and/or trainer stats are some of the best bets at the track. Once again, the pace picture is your friend.
10. How can I know right away how competitive a race is likely to be?
Over 85% of the races run are won by Competitive Speed Figure Range qualifiers. The horses that qualify will have bold fonts in the pace picture. You will know with a glance how many horses qualify. Many horses, of course, will not pass typical handicapping tests - class, form, etc. - but you'll save time with your contender list by checking those horses first in conjunction with the pace picture match-up. Note that the competitive speed figure range qualifiers are in bold in the pacelines as well.
11. What is the difference between a pace of the race pace figure and all the others?
The PA pace figures are not your regular run of the mill pace figures. They're designed to help us visualize where the horse was positioned in the herd at the pace call. For example, let's say the pace velocity rating is Fast 4 and the pace figure is 103. Simply subtract the velocity rating from the pace figure and it will tell you the number of beaten lengths at the pace call. In this case the horse was one length off of the leader at the second call (Par is 100). Easy. We just reverse the process for slow pace races. For example, let's say the pace was Slow 3 and the pace figure was 93. You simply add the pace of the race velocity rating to the pace figure and you'll know that the horse was four lengths off the pace at the second call. Yeah but...do they work just out of the box without all the adding and subtracting? They do. You could say, like some investors like to put it, the pace of the race velocity has been discounted in the pace figure, and that's good. And naturally, a 100 at Santa Anita is a 100 at Churchill Downs.
12. How will I know when the big time chaos race is at hand?
As has been stated, PaceAppraiser has 7 running styles. Races with E/Cs and E/P/Cs should be considered higher level chaos events. Chaos levels will increase as the number of E/Cs and E/P/Cs increases.
13. The crowd seems to be pretty good at recognizing lone speed. How can I get better odds on those opportunities?
As you will remember, over 85% of races are won by CSFR qualifiers. There are a number reasons horses win outside of this range - extreme class drops, jockey changes, coming back from long layoffs, and an extreme pace advantage. The lone front runner with a CSFR qualifier listed in one of its past ten races (must be beyond 3 races back) will produce some of your best prices. The bold speed figure makes it easy to recognize these nice opportunities. The "dirtier" the form the better the odds.
14. Horses that come out of the clouds run 2nd and 3rd a lot. How can I determine the best opportunities?
The best time to play P/C and Cs is when pace pressure is extremely high. The Pace Pressure Gauge will give you that information. When the gauge is over the 30 mark for pressure, your chances improve greatly. This is a good approach for adding longshots with P/C and C running styles to your exotic tickets.
15. Race shapes are all the rage right now so how can I use them without all the confusion?
PaceAppraiser focuses on pace of the race, not pace of the horse, so there are only three possible race shapes, or you could say pace shapes: Average/Average - Fast/Slow - Slow/Fast. Keep in mind an image of a seesaw, one end goes up and the other end goes down, and that's the pace of the race way. So, when you see a F5, say, you know that the race shape was a Fast/Slow. A Slow 3 makes for a Slow/Fast shape. Now all you have to do is relate the race/pace shape to a horse's running style. Easy. For example, a Slow/Fast race shape favors early pace horses, and a Fast/Slow favors the off pace runners. An Average/Average favors no particular running style.
16. How can I uncover stress free horses?
Use the Pace Pressure Gauge and the Pace Picture. Look for pressure readings that favor certain running styles. For example, a light pace pressure reading creates relatively stress free trips for early pace horses. And too, anytime a contender has the only running style of its kind in a favorable pace pressure situation, the horse will usually run its best race.
17. How can I uncover weak pace ability horses?
The pace velocity rating will give you this information. When horses give their best effort in races with a slow pace, proceed with caution because if the pace of the race quickens in today's race (consult the Pace Pressure Gauge) more than likely the horse will fall back out of its pace comfort zone and finish poorly.
18. What is a reliable way to disregard bad pacelines?
It's no secret that the last paceline usually doesn't provide much value on the odds board. But we can't go two or three races back without a good reason. One of the best reasons to go back is by checking the pace of the race velocity rating and the horse's running style. You will know quickly if the race shape favored the horse's running style or not. If not, then you have a good reason to check the next paceline back.
19. What is your definition of a key pace race?
When the pace of the race is Fast 5 or faster, you have a key pace race. Watch for maidens coming out of key pace races.
20. Where will I find the best overlays?
The PaceAppraiser PPs are designed to help you do that; you'll find them in the pace picture, where pace aberrations are revealed.
21. You say your PPs are simple to use. How?
Handicappers are focused on the core information and no more. Redundancy has been eliminated.
22. What is the number beside the running styles and speed points?
When a horse runs its best races how many lengths off the pace was it, and will that number help or hinder it in today's race? As you analyze the pace picture, the pace comfort zone number will show you which horses have the most depth of talent relative to their running style. Important: As pace pressure increases the horses with the best PCZ rating have the advantage.
23. How do I use the Pace Comfort Zone rating and the Pace Pressure Gauge with the match-up?
The guideline: Low Pace Pressure Gauge reading, low Pace Comfort Zone rating. High Pace Pressure Gauge reading, high Pace Comfort Zone rating. We need more depth of talent as pace pressure increases. Less early pace talent works with a low PPG. For example, a PPG reading of 36 X 0 points to a late pace bias, so P/Cs and Cs should have PCZ ratings of 5 or more lengths. One conspicuous mistake players make is supporting off pace types with weak PCZ ratings. If the P/C in our example has a 2.0 PCZ rating, it will be very difficult to get into its optimum position at the pace call, which generally results in a poor performance. Now, if an early pace horse has a 2.0 PCZ rating and the PPG is 15 X 1, then we can say this horse should be comfort with the match-up in terms of pace call position. A 19 X 2 would require more talent, e.g. 3.0 – 4.0 PCZ rating. These are tandem tools, and are designed to bring the pace match-up requirements into sharper focus.
24. When does the Pace Pressure Gauge reading point to a late pace bias?
In sprint races, a late pace bias appears when the pressure reading (first number) reaches 26. In routes, we shift to our late pace contenders at a 21 reading. Please note that the second number in the gauge represents velocity, which is the number of one dimensional early pace horses with 5 or more speed points. The higher the numbers in each category (pressure and velocity) the more likely the winner will be a P/C or C.

User FAQ

1. How do I upload a file?
Click the Browse Button on the Java console and navigate to your BRIS or TSN single data file.
2. How long does it take for the single data files to upload into the program?
Since the program is client side, load time is relative to the speed of your computer.
3. I can't see the file I want in my folder. What's the problem?
You must unzip your BRIS and TSN files then your files will appear. We recommend www.unpacker. You can download it from the developer's site here: http://lars.werner.no/?page_id=6 or you can use the Windows Extract File option on your right click menu.
4. Is there a filtering option?
Yes, there are two: You can select one race or all races for printing. You can also select the number of pacelines you wish to review.
5. Is there a scratch option?
Yes. The horses are listed in the Scratch Horse dropdown menu. Select the scratched horse and click Display. The Competitive Speed Figure Range, Pace Pressure Gauge, and Pace Picture will recalculate to reflect the new range, pressure and match-up.
6. Can I print the races?
Yes. You can print all races or just the races you want.
7. How do I view the next race?
The console has forward and back buttons. They are positioned below the All Races button.
8. What is the Default Style option?
The PA PPs will appear in white when you load your file. At this point you can choose a pleasant blue or green tinted PP style. They are very easy on the eyes.
9. What do the column headings mean?
Date: Standard Race Date
Trk: Track
Srf: Surface (A= All Weather, D = Dirt, T = turf, t = inner turf)
TC: Track Condition
Dist: Distance ( - = About)
AR: Age Restriction
Class: Class (Lowercase “c” = Claimed)
PF: Pace Figure
PVR: Pace of the Race Velocity Rating (F3, S4, etc.)
SF: BRIS/TSN Speed Figure + Adjusted Speed Figure for Pace of the Race Velocity
ME: Medication and Equipment Changes (b = Blinkers On, L = First Time Lasix)
FN: Field Number (Number of Horses in Race)
Please note: The time under the race number is your local time set by your computer’s clock

Technical FAQ

1. Why does a "Warning - Security" window appear when I access the Past Performances page?
Because the Java security model does not allow local file access without your explicit permission, you must select Run when prompted. Otherwise, the program will not function properly. Quite simply, the security notice just allows you the ability to use your own local data files.
2. Why is there a gray box on the Past Performances page instead of the control panel?
Typically, this means you do not have the Java Runtime Environment installed on your computer. This software is required to run our control panel applet. You can find Java here...http://www.java.com.
3. Why is there a box with a red X on the Past Performances page instead of the control panel?
There are many possible reasons for this type of applet error. Many times this can be fixed by updating to the most recent version of Java. If for some reason updating does not resolve your issue, please send us an email via our Contact page.
4. Why is the message "Java Applet Error" on the Past Performances page instead of the control panel?
Although you may have Java installed on your computer, this error usually indicates Java has been disabled. Please enable Java through your internet browser.
5. How do I adjust my print margins to maximize the printable area?
Internet Explorer 7 - On the File menu, click Page Setup. Under Margins, change to desired sizes and click OK.
Mozilla Firefox 3 - On the File menu, click Page Setup. Click the Margins & Header/Footer tab. Under Margins, change to desired sizes and click OK.
Safari 3 - On the File menu, click Page Setup. Under Margins, change to desired sizes and click OK.
* We recommend 0.25 for Left/Right and 0.50 for Top/Bottom. You may need to experiment with the sizes to find exactly what your printer will allow. (Note: Safari doesn't seem to save the margins, so they may need to be changed each time you print.)
6. How do I include background colors and images when I print the past performances?
Internet Explorer 7 - On the Tools menu, click Internet Options. Click the Advanced tab. Under Settings, scroll down until you find the Printing category. Make sure Print background colors and images is checked, and then click OK.
Mozilla Firefox 3 - On the File menu, click Page Setup. On the Format & Options tab, under Options, select Print background (colors & images). Click OK.
Safari 3 - Set by default, no action required.