Formulator Direct is Daily Racing Form's free horse racing handicapping software that utilizes truly interactive Thoroughbred horse racing past performances. Formulator Direct Version 4.1 is easier to use for the less experienced horseplayer, with more features for the seasoned handicapper.
The installation will go smoothly if you simply follow the prompts through the install process. There's only one point where you could cause yourself some troubles. During installation, you will be prompted as to what folder you want to install Formulator in. It's strongly encouraged that you accept the preset option at that point (it's installed in your C drive), and simply choose "next" and continue with the installation. A few users may have other preferences at that point, which is fine, but you're encouraged to just accept the default choice.
:: You MUST restart your computer upon completing the installation process.
Please note, in the new version of Formulator, you can access the icon either from your desktop or from your Start menu. If you choose your Start menu, then select "Programs", there will be a "Formulator 4.1" icon you should select to access the software. For now, your old version of Formulator will remain on your machine as well. Beginning April 1st, it will be obsolete.
Also note, you will no longer open a browser and visit DRF.com to download PP files from the site. Formulator Direct will now directly download the PPs. Simply open Formulator Direct and click on the "download racecard(s)" icon near the upper left corner of the screen, and follow the prompts from there.
Form Notes Users: If you want to copy your 4.0 Notes into 4.1 Just copy the your current 4.0 "drfnotes.zip" file into your new 4.1 Notes directory, which is located in c:\\program files\\drf\Form41\Notes, replacing the empty Notes file supplied with Formulator 4.1. Keep in mind that your Notes updates for 4.1 will not be available in 4.0. For Export and Form Notes users we have added a new Form Notes export function. It is located under the File->Export->Export FormNotes menu option.
Highlights of Formulator Direct
Much quicker than ever before. Download racecards directly through Formulator without going to DRF.com.
TIMES IN HUNDREDTHS
Option of displaying fractions and final time in hundredths of a second, or the more traditional fifths.
Improved screen scrolling and graphic integration makes for a better handicapping experience.
TRAINER PATTERN ENHANCEMENTS
With a click of a button, you can save your filter settings as queries. Plus many new trainer angles to utilize, including:
3YO vs. Elders
Claiming to Allowance
Allowance to Claiming
In Trainer Angles: Maximizing Profits Using Formulator and Advanced Trainer Stats, the author reveals how using advanced trainer analysis and the Formulator 4.1 program consistently uncovers live longshots at both minor and major racing circuits under various race conditions, surfaces, class levels, and distances. Purchase Trainer Angles
Hard drive space required: 26.7 Mb
Processor: 448 Mhz (minimum required); 731 Mhz (preferred)
RAM: 256 MB (minimum required); 512 MB (preferred)
OS: Windows 98 or higher
After you've read the intro section on this page, there are three ways for you to get help from DRF on any questions you may have about Formulator Direct Version 4.1:
1) Contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you've got basic questions on how to download the software, or how to use it, this is the right e-mail address to use.
2) Contact us via the email@example.com e-mail address for more complicated issues - If you're trying to understand how to use the Trainer Pattern tool in your handicapping, for example, this e-mail address will be good to use.
3) Phone us at 1-800-306-FORM (3676). We'll have a 24/7 team of customer service representatives ready to help, and from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Eastern Monday-Saturday, we will have a team of Formulator 4.0 specialists ready to work with you through more complicated issues.
Archiving your Notes database
The Notes database (drfnotes.zip) is a password-protected zip file that is used exclusively by Formulator. The Notes database stores the comments you add to past performances using the Trip Note, Horse Note, and Note for Entire Card options available from the Notes menu.
To archive the Notes database:
1) Select Menu Option File->Backup Notes Database
2) Click the Directory button and navigate to the directory where you want to archive the file.
3) Click OK to backup the file.
For information on restoring the Notes database, see the Formulator User Guide.
Formulator Basic files and Formulator Direct Version 4.1 software
Let's say you try out Formulator Direct Version 4.1 but decide you want to stick with the Formulator Basic files. You will not need to download some older version of Formulator to access the Basic files. Formulator Direct Version 4.1 software will function with either the Basic or the 4.0 files.
Formulator Direct Version 4.1 and the size of the files
Here's the gist of the technology of Formulator Direct Version 4.1-don't worry, we'll keep it simple. There's a server set up at DRF.com that is holding an enormous database of past performance information about every horse in every trainer's barn in the United States over the last 5 years, as well as extensive chart data, too. Formulator Direct Version 4.1 allows you to click on a horse's running line to see its three most recent charts, and you can click on a trainer's name to launch a tool called Trainer Patterns that allows you to create your own set of trainer statistics. We'll explain more on how to use this further down the page, but the main point here is: Some of these files that you will be accessing via the internet are very large. No, not all of them, but, for example, if you click on trainer Scott Lake's name, you'll be pulling up a very unusually large file-over 5 Mb. Again, Lake's file is exceptionally large because he runs so many horses. Most files are less than 1/10th the size of Lake's.
Formulator Direct Version 4.1 and your computer's speed
Because of the size of the Trainer Pattern files, it is suggested that your computer is operating with at least a 448 Mhz Processor, and at least 256 MB of Memory. These are the minimums, but it's preferable if you have a more robust computer - a 731 Mhz Processor and 512 MB Memory is recommended, and it is also preferable if you are using the internet via some sort of high speed access-cable modem or DSL. If you are using dial-up access to the internet instead, Formulator Direct Version 4.1 will still work, but these are big files that you'll be accessing, and it can take some time.
We've found, if you have high speed/cable modem/DSL access, that the largest Formulator trainer files download within 60-90 seconds. Smaller files take a few seconds. But if you're on a slower, older model computer and/or are using a 56k or slower modem, these files can take much longer to download-5 minutes or longer for the largest files.
A system for saving large files and saving time, too
Formulator Direct Version 4.1 has a bit of a system in place to make these larger files easier for you to access. Under the "file" dropdown menu within Formulator there is a category called "Set-Up Defaults". This category has several options that pertain to "trainer pattern files." Among them is an option that allows you to save trainer pattern files for a number of days-however long you'd like-but let's say you set it for 14 days. You can also choose how big the file has to be before you will go with this "save" option. This means that you may wait 5 minutes to download Scott Lake's Trainer Pattern file the first time, but the file is saved on your machine for the next 14 days. This way, you don't have to go through the download process for Lake for the next couple of weeks, whenever you click on his name to get trainer stats. At the end of the two weeks, a click of Lake's name will mean you'll have to download his file again. But once again, once the file is saved, it'll be clear sailing for another 14 days.
Exporting Comma-Delimited Files Via Formulator Direct Version 4.1
Just like in earlier versions of Formulator, you'll be able to export a comma-delimited version of the PP files via Formulator Direct Version 4.1. Other than the addition of the Tomlinson distance number, there are no changes in the comma-delimited export in this version of the software-the trainer profile files and chart files will not be exportable.
Trainer Pattern Tool
The possibilities are almost infinite. Simply by clicking on a trainer's name within the PPs provided via Formulator Direct Version 4.1, a whole new world of evaluating the training history of this trainer will open up to you. For example, let's say you're looking at the PPs of a Richard Mandella horse entered today at Hollywood Park, in a mile allowance race on the turf, with Victor Espinoza riding. By clicking on Mandella's name, his trainer file will be saved to your machine, and the Trainer Pattern Tool will launch as soon as the file has finished downloading.
At first, the Trainer Pattern Tool will display some stats that are relevant to the race in question-some variation on Mandella's statistics with allowance runners on the turf-but simply click on "modify TP filters" and you can decide exactly what stats you want to see-you're in charge!
Use the "time frame" option to choose between looking at the stats relevant for the last 5 years of Mandella's barn, or choose a smaller time period-you can look at just the last 30 days, if you'd like. Use the "surface" option to select turf. Click on the "filters with ranges" tab at the top of the tool, then select distance, then scroll down to "set minimum/maximum distances". Once you've selected that option, click on the "min/max" button and set the distance exactly to 8 furlongs (1 mile) in both the min and max distances, so you can see how Mandella has done with milers, exclusively, over the years. Now click on the "track/jockey filters" tab at the top of the tool, and under "jockey filter" click on "include jockey list" and select Victor Espinoza's name. Now click on the "Ok" button and you'll get the relevant statistics for all of the combined choices you've just made-you'll answer the question: In the last 5 years, how has Richard Mandella done in mile races on the turf with Victor Espinoza riding?
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Remember, there's a red question mark at the top of the page that is Formulator Direct Version 4.1's help function. In the Trainer Profile Tool, there's also a button that says "TP Help" which offers the same list of help options. If you're at all confused by the variety of "trainer pattern options" you have to choose from, there's a great category within the help section called "Viewing Descriptions of Trainer Pattern Options" that explains every single category, every last option.
View Trainer Pattern Past Performances-An unprecedented feature
Not only does Formulator Direct Version 4.1 give you the statistics that you want to see, it also gives you unprecedented access to the past performances that make up these statistics. This helps you "get inside" the numbers in a completely unique fashion-you can compare the horses PPs that you are looking at today with similar PPs from horses in the trainer's past. After you've pulled up any stat, simply click on "View TP PPs" to see the relevant past performances for the horses who make up the stat! The default setting here is to put only the relevant running lines from each horse's PPs (in the Mandella example we're using, this would be the running lines of all other Mandella turf milers who Espinoza has ridden) in black, while the less relevant running lines are in gray. View TP PPs is a great way to compare today's runner with Mandella's runners from the past in similar situations-to see if today's runner compares favorably or unfavorable to his successful runners from the past.
Trainer Pattern Workouts-Another unique feature to give you an edge
Formulator Direct Version 4.1 allows you to compare the workouts of horses who are running today with the workouts of relevant horses in Trainer Pattern PPs. After you've set your Trainer Pattern Options, first click on "View TP PPs" to see the PPs of the relevant horses. Remember, the black running lines are the ones that are relevant to the statistics, the gray lines are not. Then go to the "TP Options" dropdown menu at the top of the page and select the last option-"TP Workouts". Now you will see the last 6 workouts prior to the relevant black PP lines within View TP PPs. By clicking on the "return to racecard" button at the top of the page, you can view the workouts for today's horse within the racecard's PPs, and by using the red backwards arrow within the racecard's PPs, you can return to the TP PP view, to compare to the workouts from the relevant horses from the past.
Viewing Charts by clicking on a running line
With Formulator Direct Version 4.1, you'll have easy access to the charts of the last 3 races any horse has run simply by clicking on the blue link of the race date, within the horse's past performances. Click on the blue date link, and the chart for that race will pop up within a few seconds. By clicking on the icons at the top of the screen, you can also evaluate the charts in numerous ways. Besides the standard chart view, you can also select "next race" to see if any of the horses in the chart have run back and how they have done. There's also a "Beyer Figure Matrix" to see the Beyers for the last ten races for all of the horses in the field. Other features show you the incremental pace or the elapsed pace for each horse in the field, plus you can look at the chart comments or your own FormNote (more on this below) comments. All of these features are in place to help you gauge the quality of the race in question, by maximizing the information that is readily available in a DRF chart. Further, you can use the blue arrows or dropdown menu at the top of the page to look at the other charts on the same racecard-it's a great way to check if there were any track biases that day.
Viewing competitive horses' PPs from the charts
After you've clicked on a running line and a chart pops up, you'll notice the names of all of the horses in the chart are blue. By clicking on any of those names, the lifetime PPs for the horse will pop up on the screen. If you're looking to check out the quality of a horse's competition, this access to the PPs via the chart function is a great way to do so.
FormNotes and ChartNotes
In Formulator 3.0, DRF introduced the FormNotes function-simply by using the "Notes" dropdown menu at the top of the page, the user can enter notes for a specific horse, a race, or an entire card. Once entered, those notes will appear in all future Formulator PPs that you access. In Formulator Direct Version 4.1, you can take FormNotes to the next level with the ChartNotes function. Whether you've purchased a racecard to use today or not, if you're watching the races and notice a horse, race, or an entire card that you'd like to make a notation on for future use, simply open up Formulator and select "open chart" from the "file" dropdown menu at the top of the page, and select the track and race date from the last week of racing. Then use the blue arrows at the top of the page to select the race in question. After you've located the appropriate chart, simply use the "chart" dropdown menu at the top of the page to enter your Chartnotes just like a FormNote. And just like a FormNote, your ChartNote will appear in all future Formulator PPs that you access.
Race Info Page
The Racing Info page in Formulator Direct Version 4.1 has been upgraded to help you have a better reference point for the types of races on today's card. When you open a racecard in Formulator, the race info page will be your entry point into the PPs. But before you go into the PPs, go to the "view" dropdown menu and select "race conditions". Comprehensive race conditions for each race will now be included on the page, as well as wagering info for each race. You can print this page out for easy reference. Also, by de-selecting race conditions the page will return to a briefer listing of race conditions.
Beyer Speed Figures in Formulator Direct Version 4.1
When using many of the functions of Formulator Direct Version 4.1, you'll be able to pull up PPs or other features that display Beyer Speed figures for horses who are not entered in today's PPs. In cases when a horse has run in the last two weeks but has not run again, the most recent Beyer figure will not be available.
Expiring Race Cards
You can always go back to look at the past performances in Formulator Direct Version 4.1, just like the earlier versions of Formulator. But the main new features - the trainer pattern tool and the chart access - expire at 4:00 a.m. Eastern the day after the races. For example, if you buy a card that runs on Saturday, at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday it will expire.
Microsoft Vista Users
If you are having a problem getting Formulator to work on your Vista operating system you’ll need to change the compatibility settings.
To Change these settings do the following:
a) Right click on the 4.1 icon
b) Click on Properties
c) Choose Compatibility
d) Back it down to Windows 98/Windows ME
After you’ve done this you shouldn’t have any problems using the program.