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10:57:21 AM
For those of you with access to both JCapper past performances and Brisnet PP files, check out the 5th race at Charles Town today. Take a good look at horse #2, Senor Fuego.

Now, I'm in no way endorsing this horse, but I find it very interesting how differently Bris and JCapper (or HDW) see this horse. Bris has him pegged as an E6, while HDW/Jcapper see him as an S7.

Personally, I think that both the E and S designations are off here, and he looks like an E/P horse to me, at least in his recent races. I watched this horse break his maiden at Churchill on Oaks day back in 2009, and that day he was definitely a sustainer.

Any comments or insight? Why the big disparity between Bris and JCapper?

11:17:43 AM
Also, just FYI... the horse in question has now been scratched. The question still stands, however.

1:16:15 PM
When HDW was added as a data vendor, there was a lot of discussion on the HDW running styles (check the older threads in the private section). I agree, the HDW designations can seem very confounding at times... if I remember correctly, HDW evaluates on winning races only. So if a horse is a habitual front runner, but for whatever reason, in his one winning race he was sitting off the lead, HDW isn't going to call him an E. I guess the easiest way to think of it is, BRIS tags the horse based on how it usually runs, and HDW tags according to how they ran in races they ended up winning.

4:06:00 PM
Well that's an interesting approach. I don't necessarily disagree with it as being something valid, but it doesn't really accurately predict the way the race might play out today.

1:38:33 PM
Here's a cut and paste of a post I made last year in one of the private section threads:

Ron Tiller's in depth explanation about HDW run styles...

"Regarding the running styles, be advised that BRIS does not use our running style designations. Each horse's race has an actual running style and a running style. The actual running styles Jim assigns are E, EP, P, PS, S, SS and U. There are different combinations of upper and lower case we use but these can typically be ignored as they are very subtle differences.

Each running style defines the successive spot in the race where the horse "gets into" the race or becomes a factor in the race. This is a very rough guide to the actual running styles:

E = on the lead at the 1st call (i.e. the 1/4)
EP = overlapping the horse on the lead at the 1st call and still there or on the lead at the 2nd call (i.e. the 1/2)
P = not an E or EP but is close up at the 2nd call
PS = not an E or EP or P but is close up at the stretch call
S = not an E or EP or P or PS but is closes at least some during the race
SS = not an E or EP or P or PS or S but is closes at least some from way back during the race
U = unknown (e.g. foreign shipper) or ugly (does not fit any of the above definitions)

The running style designation we assign a horse going into a race uses the horse's actual running styles to arrive at a running style. This is NOT a prediction of how the horse will run today. It is based on each horse's last 3 wins (or in the case of maidens, the last 3 2nds, 3rds, etc., whichever is that horse's best finish position to date).

If a horse has won only 1 race, the horse's assigned running style is the actual running style of that winning race, followed by a tick = '
Horse wins maiden race last out wire to wire: running style = E'
Horse wins first race with an actual running style of SS but after that races near the front but does not win: running style = SS'

If a horse has won more than one race, the running style is calculated by looking at the last 3 wins. If they were all won in the same running style, the horse's assigned running style is the actual running style of those wins, followed by an exclamation mark = !

If a horse won in 2 or more actual running styles, the horse is assigned the running style farthest back.

Horse wins a race with an actual running style of E; 4 races later he wins with an actual running style of E again: running style = E!
Horse wins a race with an actual running style of S; 4 races later he wins with an actual running style of E: running style = S

This is similar to the horse you mention, Tar Beach. Tar Beach won his 2nd race lifetime at Saratoga 4 lengths back at Call 1, 1.6 lengths back at Call 2 and 1.6 lengths back at the Stretch Call. This gave him an actual running style = S for his 1st win. 11 races later, on Dec 3rd at Aqueduct, he won .5 lengths back at Call 1 and then on the lead from Call2 to the rest of the race. This gave him an actual running style = EP for his 2nd win.

So going into the race on Jan 9th at AQU, he had 2 wins, one running EP and one running S. In this case we give the horse an S running style. Just a plain S, with no ' or !, means that that horse has won running both as an S and something closer (in this case, an EP). If he had won his first race wire to wire instead, he would have been an EP.

Here is a link to another explanation, from the RsPos web site:

The running style as Jim defines it is intimately tied to the position of the horse, which is the horse's ranking in today's race of his best 1/4 mile time. So a horse designated as an E!8 is a horse who only wins wire to wire but is 8th rank in raw speed to the 1/4, which puts him at an obvious disadvantage. That horse may need to find a new way to win today or he may kill himself getting the lead. On the other hand, an S1 is fastest to the 1/4 and wins as an S and something closer. This can be a big advantage depending on the composition of the field and the jockey riding.

So in the end, the BRIS defined running style is measuring something completely different - I'm not sure what. If a customer takes ours to mean a prediction of how this horse will run today (say, based on how the horse ran in his last few races), they will be endlessly frustrated.

The purpose of running style, coupled with position, as Jim defines them, is to provide a mechanism to help evaluate how a horse can run, how they need to run to win, and whether the twain shalll meet. Jim developed these concepts in tandem over the past few decades - they weren't simply a data slot that needed to be filled with something.

I hope I haven't made things more confusing by all this - it is really important to get all this straight right out of the gate.

Give me a call if I've mucked up the explanation.



--End Quote.

Here's a cut and paste of a post I made in the HDW Beta Testing thread on 2/25/2010:

"Earlier today I asked Ron Tiller about the X and 1RL run styles... In his reply back to me he mentioned the meaning behind lower case e horses:


We use X for Unknown - i.e. foreign horses with no point of call info, oddball cases where a horse's first and only race was in the fog and there are no points of call for that race (yes, these exist!) and a few other infrequent situations where there is no data to base a running style on)

U is solely for Ugly, not Ugly or Unknown. U is basically any thing that does not merit an identifiable running style

1RL is 1st Race Lifetime.

One final caveat I forgot about - a running style of e (lower case 'e") is a peculiar exception to the E rule (on the lead or up to a head back and wearing blinkers - he THINKS he's on the lead). A horse gets an "e" actual running style if, although not on the lead, is within a few lengths of the lead and collapses further and further back at each successive call. For example:

C1 = 2-3
C2 = 3-6
Str = 5-9
Fin = 7-15

This horse starts off 3 lengths back but has a catastrophic collapse, getting further and further back till the finish, 15 lengths behind. This is a typical pattern of a horse that goes balls to the wall to the 1/4 and completely runs out of gas. We give that type of running line an "e" designation in honor of its valiant but futile and ultimately unsuccessful effort to run all out early.

An "e" line is ALWAYS, by definition, a failure; a big failure. An "E" line might be a success or a failure - it doesn't matter to the "E" designation. If you want to separate these 2, you'll have to use a case sensitive routine (which you may be using anyway) or modify it to something else. Because an "e" line cannot be a win, you'll never see a horse that has won with a running style of "e", although he might have some running lines with actual running styles of "e".

--end quote--

I've written to ask Ron about the differences between lower case p and lower case s horses vs. upper case P and upper case S horses... and will post his reply when it comes back.

Something tells me I'm going to have to handle all 55 observed cases of run style if I'm going to do this right. "

--End Quote.

Here is Ron Tiller's reply when asked about the differences between lower case p and s vs. upper case P and S:

"Except for the lower case "e" and upper case "E", the differences between the other upper and lower case variants is very subtle and probably statistically insignificant. We chose to maintain the distinctions though. Take EP for example.

Ep is a little more E than P
EP is in the middle
eP is more P than e

These are very small differences that we put in years ago when we solidified the code for the various running styles. In practice, Jim does not distinguish between an Ep versus an EP or an ss versus an SS. We just treat all these variants as EP or SS. The distinction between the E versus the e is important but all the other case variants can be ignored...


--End Quote.

For those of you who are Registered Program Owners, here's a link to the older thread itself in the private section of the board:



~Edited by: jeff  on:  3/9/2011  at:  1:38:33 PM~

11:06:22 AM
From the email inbox..

"Jeff, I hope all is well with you. Have a quick question. The race below (04-16-2014TAM R2) is Race Shape "E". If you look at the 2 horse, he is the lone E but he has 0 for QSpeed Points and ranked 5th for Early Con. How is he considered an E and do you use anything else to give you a better idea of Race Shape?


--end quote

My reply:

HDW Run Style and Brisnet Run Style are based on two entirely different methodologies:

• HDW Run Style is based on the way a horse runs its races in its winning (or absent a winning effort its near winning) efforts.

• Brisnet Run Style is based on the way a horse runs its races regardless of whether or not effort displayed for a given running line was competitive or not.

Here's a link to a screenshot of JCapper PPs for the horse in question:
04-16-2014 TAM R6 #2

Note that I've clicked the horse's lone winning running line to highlight it. In that running line, the horse went to the front and wired its field.

I can see your point though. In subsequent running lines - most notably the running lines from Oct 23 2013 and Mar 01 2014 - the horse sat well off the pace and rallied to finish a close 2nd. (What I see here is a horse whose connections have taught it to rate.)

That said, the E designation generated by the HDW Run Style algorithm is correct. (The horse's lone winning effort was achieved in wire to wire fashion.)

You also asked:
"and do you use anything else to give you a better idea of Race Shape?"
--end quote

My reply:

Yes. In addition to ESPRaceShape, two indicators built into most of my UDMs are: PaceIndex and PacePressure (from race shape.)




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