Daily Racing Form

Moss Pace FiguresPrint




Welcome to the Moss Pace Figures information page. Here you will find everything you need to know about the new Moss Pace Figures, which are offered exclusively on DRF.com.

Moss Pace Figures have been developed for most major tracks, with secondary tracks being constantly added to the list. To view a list of tracks currently running which offer Moss Pace Figures, click here. Keep in mind that Moss Pace Figures have also been developed for tracks on the same circuit. So, for example, if Moss Pace Figures are currently offered for Belmont, Moss Pace Figures will be listed in the running lines of horses who ran recently at Aqueduct and Saratoga.

UPDATE

Moss Pace Figures are now available in Formulator Web. By purchasing a “Deluxe” racecard, you can view Moss Pace Figures within Formulator Web. Moss Pace Figures will appear below applicable running lines, and you can turn this option “on” or “off” by utilizing the “options” menu in Formulator Web. While the PDF version of Moss Pace Figures is still available, it will be much easer to access this information through Formulator Web. Click here for more information on Formulator Web. A Stand-Alone Moss Pace Figure Report is also availavle through Formulator Web, or can be purchased separately.

Moss Pace Figures in Formulator Web are the newest past performance format offered on DRF.com. Years in the making, Moss Pace Figures were released in March of 2007 and are available exclusively on DRF.com. Moss Pace Figure-Enhanced PPs look similar to the standard PPs you would find in the print editions of Daily Racing Form, however a running line with Moss Pace Figures is inserted under applicable races in a horse’s past performances. They contain the same detail and quality you expect of Beyer Speed Figures, but the focus is primarily on internal Pace Figures, rather than final time Speed Figures. To see a sample, visit our Race of the Day page for free past performances. Once you launch Formulator, you'll be able to turn Moss Pace Figures "On" or "Off" through the "Options" menu.

The Stand-Alone Moss Pace Figure Report is available every day for all tracks offering Moss Pace Figures. This report provides the Moss Pace Figures for all horses running at a particular track on a particular day. It is especially popular amongst Daily Racing Form print customers, since it gives you just Moss Pace Figures; it does not provide any other Past Performance data. (See a sample | How to use this report)

Please note: DRF.com is also developing a Past Performance racecard with Moss Pace Figures inserted into each horse’s running line, making for a Single-Line Moss Enhanced PP card. Also in the works is a Databaseable Format for downloading and inserting into personal handicapping programs.

Formulator Web Users: Moss Pace figures have now been inserted into Formulator Web.



How to buy them

There are several different options for purchasing Moss Pace Figures. A single racecard enhanced with Moss Pace Figures costs $4.50, with additional racecards for the same day costing $2.95 each. DRF.com also offers monthly, quarterly and annual plans which provide significant bulk discounts. And by purchasing this premium version of a particular racecard, you are also able to view the Moss Pace Figure Report and Sibling Summary for that same racecard. Click here to buy Moss Pace Figure Enhanced PPs

You can also purchase the Stand-Alone Moss Pace Figure Report for a charge of $2.00 per report. Monthly, quarterly and annual memberships are available for the Stand-Alone Moss Pace Figure Report, which all provide significant bulk discounts. Click here to buy the Stand-Alone Moss Pace Figure Report.



The big picture

Q: What are these numbers telling me?

Just as Beyer Speed Figures indicate numerically which horses have run the fastest races, Moss Pace Figures point out horses that ran the fastest fractions in their races. In fact,the same track variants used in Beyer Speed Figures to determine the daily speed of racing surfaces are also used in the calculation of Moss Pace Figures. The higher the number, the faster the performance.

Q: What patterns am I looking for?

Pace handicappers quickly notice that many horses have a comfort zone. If forced to run faster-than-usual pace figures, their final figure suffers. A textbook example was Afleet Alex during the 2005 Triple Crown. Afleet Alex had established a consistent comfort zone in his prep races, and although it visually seemed he was rated far enough off the pace in the Kentucky Derby, pace figures illustrated that he actually was much too close to one of the hottest paces in Derby history. Afleet Alex was dramatically out of his pace-figure comfort zone, and almost won the race, anyway. In the Preakness and Belmont, he was allowed to run at his preferred pace, and he dominated the opposition.

Of course, there are many other profitable applications in pace-figure handicapping. Frontrunners that show final-figure improvement after setting a slower-than-par pace should not be expected to repeat that effort unless the pace figures indicate they can again get away with a similarly easy lead. Horses that battle on the lead in faster-than-par pace figures and still run a competitive final figure - such as Silver Charm did in the 1997 Santa Anita Derby - deserve extra credit.

Handicappers using accurate pace figures will quickly catch on to their obvious and even subtle uses. My personal favorite is when a lightly-raced young horse is trounced in a fast maiden race, then drops into a maiden-claiming spot with a sizeable pace advantage. Sometimes the edge can be spotted only with pace figures, and I've seen more than a few of these horses win by large margins at decent payoffs.

Q: Why are Moss Pace Figures better than other figures currently on the market?

We're not talking NASA here, but this is easily the most ambitious and extensive pace-figure project ever attempted. Moss Pace Figures are the culmination of a two-year project stemming from a long-held desire by Daily Racing Form to develop and market accurate pace numbers. To make it happen, America's Turf Authority literally opened its vault of past-performance data. Every piece of information recorded in the extensive Daily Racing Form/Equibase computer database was made available, and hundreds of thousands of race results were transferred into spreadsheet files that instantly performed hundreds of calculations - all with the object of obtaining accurate pace figures and pace pars. For example,the 6 furlong pace calculations for Calder Race Course are based on a sample size of 4,082 races. And that's just one distance at one track! The calculation of Beyer Speed Figure track variants involves some human ingenuity,and sometimes pace figures will need to be adjusted for wind and other effects, but there is otherwise very little guesswork involved here. All pace numbers are backed by cold,hard data.

Q: What am I missing by NOT using pace figures?

Just as Beyer Speed Figures can clarify which horses have run the fastest races in the past, Moss Pace Figures point out which horses have run fastest in earlier stages of their races. Pace figures can be used not only to determine the likely pace scenario of today's race, but also to help understand how horses were helped or hindered by the pace in their earlier races.



How they work

Race ShapeQ: What is the "Race Shape"?

The Race Shape is the pace figure line corresponding to the official fractional times for each race, as turned in by the race leaders at each point of call.The race shape is intended to give you an overall sense of the race, for example: Was it fast early and fell apart late? Was it run in typical fashion? And so forth ...

Q: What is the meaning of the superscript numbers in the Race Shape line?

The superscript numbers signify whether pace figures in the Race Shape are faster or slower than "par" - the average pace figures at that track and distance corresponding to the final time of the race. For example, a Race Shape pace figure of 70 with a superscript number of +3 means the race was running 3 points faster than par at that point of call.

Pace LineQ: What is the "Pace Line"?

The Pace Line is the pace figure line recorded by the individual horse.

Q: What is the "Race Shape Progression"?

The new Race Shape Progression is a retooled and improved version of what we formerly called Race Shape Notes. The terminology remains the same (very fast early, slow late, etc), but the way the Race Shape Progression is derived should make it much more useful for pacefig handicappers.

Example: the Race Shape in a one-mile race is 60-66-76 for a final figure of 87. Compared to par, those pacefigs are slow: -16, -10 and -9.

In the old Race Shape Notes, this race would erroneously be described as "very slow early, very slow middle and very slow late," when in fact the first quarter-mile was indeed slow (-16), but the second quarter of the race picked up six points against par (-16 to -10), and the final stage of the race was run considerably faster than par (third call 76-to-final fig 87 compared to par of 85-to-87).

The new Race Shape Progression takes these internal fractions into consideration.

In the above example, the Race Shape Progression would read: Very slow early, fast middle, very fast late.

Q: What do the final, italicized numbers in the "Race Shape" and "Pace Line" tell you?

The italicized numbers corresponding to the final time/finish are simply the Beyer Speed Figure converted to the Moss Pace Figure scale.

We could have used the Beyer Speed Figure alone for this purpose, but the Beyers are on a different numerical scale than the pace figures; most pace handicappers like to see a final figure on the same scale as the pace numbers to get a "feel" for how the pace progressed. For example, a pace of 90-80 and a final number of 70 pretty much fell apart at the end. Conversely, a pace of 60-70 with a final number of 90 would indicate that the early running was slow and the final portion of the race was very strongly run.



How To Apply Them

Q: What condition of races/horses do these numbers work best with?

Pace figures are a valuable handicapping tool for dirt races at every class level and distance. Because early pace is considerably less important in grass racing, pace figures are currently calculated for dirt races only. Once Moss Pace Figures have been calculated for dirt races at all North American tracks, we will begin developing Moss Pace Figures for grass races as well.

Q: Are there any techniques to use when looking at the Moss Pace Figures of a horse who is going from a Route-Sprint, or Sprint-Route?

The pace figures are designed to not only cross from track to track, but also from distance to distance. A half-mile figure of 75 in a route theoretically equals a half-mile figure of 75 in a sprint. However, pace figures are dramatically influenced by the way horses are ridden, and all handicappers know that horses are typically asked for much less early speed in distance races. Therefore, if a horse's route pace figures are comparable to another's sprint pace figures, it would stand to reason that in most cases the route horse will usually be faster.

Q: What should I recognize as a "red flag" if I see it?

Look for Race Shapes abnormally faster or slower than par. Sometimes fractions of :22.3 and :45.3 can actually be significantly faster than fractions of :22.2 and :45.2,depending on the speed of the track surface and even the prevailing wind. And look for individual pace-figure performances that stand out from the pack. Better yet, look for horses that have consistently run faster pace figures than the others, and yet have value on the oddsboard. Handicap each race from a pace-figure perspective. Try to determine the likely pace figures for today's race based on prior performances,which horses would seem most likely to benefit from that pace,and incorporate that knowledge into your regular handicapping routine. Pace figures aren't a system as such, but they can be a valuable handicapping tool.

Q: Will I be able to better predict how shippers will fare against local competition?

Moss Pace Figures are designed to be interchangeable as horses move from track to track. In fact,this element is what may distinguish them most from other published pace figures. Speed-figure handicappers know all too well that horses are not machines that record the same numbers repeatedly. But comprehensive databases and distance/track adjustments are used to help ensure that,for example,a horse from Santa Anita who runs an 85 opening quarter-mile figure ran faster than a horse from Golden Gate who ran a 75.

Q: Are these figures on the same scale as Beyer Speed Figures?

The methodology used to calculate Moss Pace Figures is similar to that used for Beyer Speed Figures, and Beyer Speed Figure creator Andy Beyer has permitted use of his daily track variants to assist in the making of the pace figures.

However, Moss Pace Figures are on a more truncated numerical scale than Beyer Speed Figures to avoid negative numbers in the pace line. Since the same variants are used in both sets of figures, horses with the highest Beyer Speed Figures in any race will also have the highest final figures on the Race Shape line. But on the Moss Pace Figure scale, a figure of 100 represents a top-of-the-line world-class performance,equivalent to a Beyer Speed Figure of 120, and a Moss Pace Figure of 56 would correspond to a lowly Beyer of zero.

Looking for more answers? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.

VISIT RANDY MOSS’ BLOG
Do you have questions, comments, or feedback on Moss Pace Figures? Visit Randy Moss’ Blog to see how he uses pace figures while handicapping.