Database Handicapping Software- JCapper

JCapper Message Board

          General Discussion
                      -- HDW and Turf Numbers

Home Register
Log In
By HDW and Turf Numbers
10:28:27 AM
Listening to Andy Beyer and reading about DRF changes to Turf Beyers I was curious if HDW and/or JCapper figures would make the same consideration.
It was interesting to hear his comments about pace affecting turf racing times perhaps more than dirt racing.
Also, talk about run up distances from starting gate to where races get timed.
Would Trakus feet travelled by individual horse consider this factor?

5:41:06 PM
For those of you who are wondering "What changes to Beyers?" here's a link to the article at

Beyer: Change coming to turf Beyer figures:

"But we are now making important changes to our calculations for turf races so that these figures will better define the ability of grass runners in relation to dirt runners. With the revised methodology, good stakes and allowance horses typically will earn figures two or three points better than in the past. Many horses at the bottom end of the class ladder will receive lower numbers.

We have reanalyzed and recalculated all grass races since Jan. 1 so that handicappers will be using figures that are consistent with one another. The revised speed figures will be entered into the DRF database on Tuesday night and will appear in the past performances for all races whose entries are taken after that date.

Grass races have always produced low figures relative to dirt. Since they usually are run with a slower early pace, they produce slower final times (when the condition of the racing surface is taken into account). We used to believe that the lower figures for turf runners reflected the realities of U.S. racing."
--end quote

My comment:

I don't think Jim Cramer at HDW has made a habit of awarding lower figures to grass runners than dirt like DRF has (per the above bolded line in the announcement about Beyers from DRF.)

So I don't think there's any planned changes to their turf numbers.

That said, I'll ask the guys at HDW to have a look at this thread and go from there.

I'll come post a follow up once I hear back from them.

As to your question about runup distances and the number of extra feet (relative to the race winner) traveled in the Trakus data:

Runup and extra feet traveled by each horse relative to the winner in Trakus data are two completely different things.

For Trakus data each horse carries a GPS enabled chip. Trakus is able to then estimate distance traveled by each horse in the race (as well as estimate fractional and final times for each horse in the race.) How accurate these estimates happen to be have been subject to argument but that's probably a tangent worthy of a separate discussion.

For those of you who might not be aware, here's how runups work:

The actual distance traveled from starting gate to wire is almost never the race distance listed in the track program or even the chart. The actual distance traveled is the runup distance listed in the chart plus the race distance listed in the track program and/or chart.

In North American Thoroughbred Racing, the race doesn't start when the gate opens. It starts when the 1st horse out of the gate breaks the plane of the electronic beam emitted by the first timing device encountered which is placed at varying distances from the gate.

The distance between the gate and that first timing device is called the runup distance.

When the first horse traverses the runup and breaks the plane of the electronic beam coming from that first timing device - THAT'S WHEN the race officially starts and THAT'S WHEN they (Equibase) start timing the race.

Example: In R7 on the Turf at AQU on Nov 12, 2015 the race distance listed in the chart was 1 mile and 3/8ths or 11 furlongs. The runup listed in the chart for that race was 184 feet.

That means the actual distance the horses traveled from gate to wire was 11 furlongs and 184 feet. It also means the horses were given a 184 foot running start before timing of the race began.

That's what is meant by runup and it is something totally different than extra distance traveled relative to the winner in the Trakus data.

However, even though the runup isn't part of the official race - the runup isn't timed and to the best of my knowledge distance traveled estimates made by Trakus do not include any part of the runup:

What happens during the runup - specifically positioning secured by a rider - absolutely can and does impact what happens later on in the race. For example, if you watch Javier Castellano's rides during the early part of turf races at NYRA tracks - quite often his first move is simply to get the horse out of the gate quickly and from there angle in so as to secure the rail. It's surprising how often he does this and how it results in his horse getting a ground saving trip... which of course ends up being reflected in the + or - feet traveled relative to the winner estimates in Trakus data.



~Edited by: jeff  on:  11/19/2015  at:  5:41:06 PM~

6:26:52 PM
Thank you Jeff for your reply. I was curious to know if Trakus included run up distance in the distance traveled by each horse.
I know the run up distances vary more on turf races than dirt races. I know that at Gulfstream (for example) where the turf course is very wide the starting gate position for an inside position would vary the run up distance to when the rails are positioned compared to an outer position. Not certain how relevant this may be. If the distances are published or if this can be used (likely not, I'm guessing) in a UDM. Or simply, notes kept by each handicapper in their trip notes diary. Hope I haven't rambled too much. Just food for thought in this challenging and changing game.

11:22:01 AM
re: more comments on runup distances...

FYI, the point of origin where runup distance makes it into the Equibase data is when the chartcaller makes a new chart for each race.

For that reason - runup distance is not part of the data distributed by Equibase to data resellers Brisnet, DRF, HDW, and TrackMaster before the races are run - and why I haven't made runup distance on race day available in UDMs.

Runup distance is unknown prior to the race off... UNLESS you are making your own notes about gate placement for each race.

In my opinon there IS an edge to be had from doing that WHEN the reported runup distance is wrong (which at some tracks happens more often than you might think.)

FYI, for those of you who are doing your own outside of JCapper data projects: Runup distance for past running lines can be found in field numbers 1016-1025 of the .JCP file.

re: comment on HDW turf numbers...

The guys at HDW confirmed what I said in my above post. They haven't been making turf numbers that are too low. (There's nothing to "fix.")




Copyright 2018 JCapper Software              back to the JCapper Message Board