Every serious race handicapper needs an arsenal of high-powered information to fight the daily pari-mutuel battles. TrackMaster blends the latest computer technology with a team of expert race consultants to produce more winning days at the race track. It's long been understood that players with accurate class and speed ratings have an edge over the average player. TrackMaster combines these two powerful ratings to produce that high-tech advantage. Pace ratings are similarly invaluable for assessing how a horse is likely to race. These proprietary ratings allow you to easily determine a horse's particular racing style. Finally, power ratings are the amazing handicapping innovation devised by TrackMaster that combine speed, class, pace and numerous other factors into one dynamic number. TrackMaster power ratings give horse players a powerful tool not found anywhere else.

The Power of Combining Class and Speed Ratings

TrackMaster calculates class ratings (CRs) and speed ratings (SRs) for every harness race in North America. While these are useful handicapping tools used independently, they become extremely powerful when used together, particularly when horses are moving in class or shipping to different tracks, and it is not clear from other available information if the horse will be competitive in the race. As a review, let us explain the basics of CRs and SRs as they appear in TrackMaster.

Class Ratings (CRs)

TrackMaster class ratings are based on projected finishing times based on the speed ratings of the individual horses coming into each race. Our research showed us how to take the last three months of speed ratings from all of the entrants in a race, and make the best possible predication as to the winning time. So a $25,000 claiming race could have a class rating of 88 today and then the next week an 84 should the horses change to a particularly weak field, or a 92 with a particularly strong field. The new, more powerful class ratings are best described as a relative rating for a given field of horses in a given race at a given track.

Speed Ratings (SRs)

TrackMaster speed ratings are calculated in a few basic steps. First, a "raw" SR is computed using the actual race time and a complex formula. Second, the "raw" SR is adjusted by the appropriate calculated track variant. Next, the adjusted SR is further adjusted by the daily track variant (DTV). The DTV is computed using a proprietary formula which computes the difference (or deviation) between the winning times at a specific track and the appropriate par times, for each racing day. There can be multiple DTVs on a given day if conditions change sufficiently through the day to affect the underlying condition of the track. Finally, the resulting SR is enhanced by the post position adjustment factor. This takes into account the positive or negative effects post has on the horse's performance.

Class and Speed Ratings Working Together

If the class rating of a previous race was an 80 and a given horse from that race ran a speed rating of 75, TrackMaster infers that the horse finished 5 rating points off of par, after all adjustments have been taken into account. To put things into perspective, a point is equal to about 1/5 of a second at a one mile race. For simplicity, you can think of one rating point as a length.

Horses Moving Up in Class

Let us say you saw the following horses entered today in a class 80 race:

Horse Last Race 2nd Race Back 3rd Race Back
A 80/74 80/75 79/75
B 78/81 78/80 78/79

Assuming all other factors equal, the decision comes down to class and speed. The issue in this race: Can the B horse successfully move up two notches in class (from a recent 78 to an 80) to defeat the A horse that has been racing competitively in 80 class company. The power of the speed and class relationship becomes apparent in this example. In its last two outings, the B horse has achieved a speed rating that is equal to or higher than the class entered today. Therefore, it has achieved the "par" time of the 80 class today. Given this achievement, combined with the better absolute SRs over the last three races by a significant margin, the B horse has an excellent chance to defeat the A horse. Of course, the betting strategy would be odds dependant, but if these are the only two contenders, there is a good chance the price on the B horse will be more attractive than the A horse, making this a great wagering opportunity.

Horses Moving Down in Class

Let us say you saw the following horses entered today in a class 70 race:

Horse Last Race 2nd Race Back 3rd Race Back
A 74/36 75/37 75/40
B 70/62 70/63 70/62

Assuming all other factors equal, the decision in this race comes down to the relevance of the big class drop of the A horse, and whether this class drop is enough to overcome the obvious speed advantage of the B horse. The power of the speed and class relationship is once again apparent in this example. While the A horse was entered in class 74 and 75 races, it is hardly a class 74 or 75 horse. Its speed ratings are so far off the class rating (so far below par), one can conclude that it has not yet found its class. Is it possible that class 70 is its class? It is possible, but in all likelihood, such a class drop will entice a lot of action, and the horse will go off at a short price. Remember, a horse entered in a given class does not make the horse that class of horse. It must race somewhat competitively to be considered of that class. Trainers will occasionally enter horses in claiming races above the horse's ability to get work (with poor SRs resulting) at no risk of being claimed. These horses can win after the big class drop. However, as illustrated above, one can identify class droppers with little chance to win by using the SR and CR together.
Pace Style And Ratings

Pace styles are a relative mathematical average of where a horse has raced historically at different points of call. TrackMaster estimates positions at the 1st quarter call, 2nd quarter call, 3rd quarter call and race finish to let you know where that horse usually is at those stages of the race. These calculations allow handicappers to identify a horse's particular racing style, whether it be early speed, maintained, or late closing speed.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final #R
Horse 3.5 3.2 2.9 2.5 10

At the 1st quarter call, the horse has been averaging 3.5. This figure means that the horse has been racing between third and fourth position at this point of call. At the 2nd quarter point a figure of 3.2 means typically between third and fourth, but a little closer to third. At the 3rd quarter his figure of 2.9 puts him on average just about third. He then winds up at the Finish with a 2.9, or just about third. To demonstrate how these figures are computed, an example will help. If a horse raced in three races, and he was third (3) at the 2q call in one, second (2) in the next, and fifth (5) in the last, his position would be (3 + 2 + 5) / 3, or 3.3 at the 2q call. TrackMaster then adds adjustments for the field size. For example, a horse racing third in a twelve-horse field is given more front credit than a horse racing third in a five-horse field.

TrackMaster analyzes a horse's pace figures at the same four calls. These pace figures also include a post position adjustment factor just like the final speed ratings do. This unique style of presenting pace figures is based on the fact that horses are creatures of habit and once a horse develops a particular style of racing (i.e. early speed, stalking or pressing the pace, off the pace or closing speed) he will continue to demonstrate that style throughout his racing career.

1Q 2Q 3Q Final #R
Horse 75 77 80 82 10

Late speed horses will display low figures at the 1st couple of points of call. Even though their final number may be higher than the 1q and 2q figures, you must respect horses with this type of speed, especially on a race track that favors that style.
Pace figures for horses who typically lag back early and save themselves for one late burst in the stretch will appear in the middle or bottom of the 1q & 2q column and then continue to move up through the 3q and final columns. The #R represents the number of races (up to maximum of 10) used to calculate the pace figures. The greater the #R the more confident you can be that these figures will be an accurate predictor of where the horse is likely to be.
TrackMaster Power Ratings

Continuing our dedication to facilitate handicapping for TrackMaster customers, we have developed TrackMaster power ratings (TPRs). A TPR is a single number assigned to each horse in a race. It reflects the horse's strength in up to sixteen measurable areas. Furthermore, the relative weighting of these factors is different for each track, and is determined by what has been winning in the recent past at each track (the track profile).

Power Rating Components

The speed component includes:
  • Average of the best 5 speed ratings in the last 10 races
The class component includes:
  • Average of the best 5 speed ratings in the last 10 races
The pace component includes:
  • The composite pace figure.
Other factors included in the TPRs:
  • Post position
  • Driver & Trainer
  • Fitness
It is equally important to understand what is NOT reflected in the TPRs:
  • Exceptions for troubled races
  • Equipment or medication
  • Today's track condition
We have developed a formula which creates a number for each of the three major TPR components:
  • Speed
  • Class
  • Pace
We are most concerned with odds and margin and how they are used in particular circumstances of a race. Specifically:
  • The odds of the highest (or near-highest) power rated horse
  • The margin that the highest power rated horse has over its rival's power ratings.
We developed this formula by using our main computer which runs special programs to assign weights to these three components, for each track, based on maximizing profitability. The computer simulates betting $2 to win every race on the horse with the highest TPR in each race. It then searches for the combination of weights which maximizes profitability. It does this for every race track that TrackMaster supports. It is important to understand that the weights are based on profitability maximization, rather than maximizing the percentage of races won. This is based on the assumption that how much you win is more important than how often you win.
TrackMaster Power Rating Basics

TPRs are not the "end all" of handicapping tools. They are simply another statistic designed to ease the handicapping burden. For the bettor that has no more than a few minutes to look at a race, then betting the highest TPR in the race might be called for. However, this is not recommended as TPRs do not reflect all of the relevant statistics for a given race (though we believe they reflect most of the key statistics). In general, bets should be odds-based. That is, if horse A has a 25% chance of winning and is going off at 7:1 and horse B has a 50% chance of winning and is going off at 3:5, horse A is the better "value" bet. Since we will be using these terms - odds and margin - during the remainder of this explanation, an example is called for.

Horse Odds TPR
A 2:1 80.4
B 9:2 80.3
C 5:1 78.0

The odds mean the odds at post time. The margin means the difference in the TPRs between the highest power rated horse and the next highest power rated horse. In the example above, the margin from the highest power rated horse to the next (Horse A to Horse B) is 0.1. The margin from B to C is 2.3. If a win bet were called for, leaving all other factors aside, a bet on Horse B is probably the best opportunity.

Finding TrackMaster Power Ratings

The power rating is found next to the morning line odds on page one of the Snapshot/Power section of the main menu. This positioning is to enable you to get a feel for "value betting" based on odds. As mentioned earlier, while the TPR is a powerfully valuable tool, it is just that, a tool, and should not be used as the sole criterion for a wagering decision.

Using TrackMaster Power Rating Historical Results

We provide a simple table of historical results to use the TPR (optimized for maximum profitability). Each track will have a separate table based on its own unique weightings of the three TPR components based on what has been winning at that particular track (track profile). Since the two key determinants of TPR profitability are odds and margin (as discussed above), a table like the following will appear on page 3 of the Snapshot/Power section of the main menu. This application of TPRs may not be for everyone. But for those who use the table, the rewards may be significant.

Race 1 1 MILE CL$10K CR: 80 $11K 3+
Power Rating Margin
TO $1 0-0.9 1-1.9 2-3.9 4-5.9 6++
0.0-1  23  24  25  28  30
-10 -08 -02 +03 +10*
1.1-3  22  24  25  26  27
-08 -04 -01 +03 +10
3.1-5  20  21  22  23  24
-05 -03 +01 +03* +04
5.1-8  18  19  21  21  22
+20 +20 +25 +30 +41
8.1++  11  12  14  15  17
+06 +05 +04 +05* +05*
Top # is win %; Bottom # is profit %
"*": Less than ten races in calculation

Power Rating Margin Table

The table is a historical look at the success of TPRs under specific circumstances. The table is based on a period of time ranging from last year to the first half of any particular meet. In time, the table will be based on roughly the last 100 racing days at a particular track. The table reflects results of our computer simulating betting the highest power rated horse in each historical race to win. The rows represent different ranges of odds (to $1) that the highest power rated horse went off at. The columns represent the margin of difference in power rating points between the highest power rated horse and the second highest power rated horse in a particular race. Again, the rows will be referred to as odds (or odds bands) and the columns as margin, for short. Each "cell" in the table has two numbers. The top number is the percent of races won under the given odds and margin circumstances. For example, using the table above, when the highest power rated horse went off between 1.1:1 and 3:1 (second row), and had a power rating point margin of between 2 and 3.9 points (third column), that horse won 25% of the races (historically). The bottom number represents the percent profit (or loss) for betting all races under the odds and margin conditions. Using the same example, while you would have won 25% of the time, you would have lost $1 for every $100 bet (-01%). Another example might be helpful. Based on the table, a horse that went off at near 6:1 (fourth row from the top) with a TPR margin of near 1.5 points (second margin column), historically won 19% of the time and returned a profit of +20%. The purpose of this table is to take a look at recent history, and apply it to the present to uncover good wagering opportunities. It can also be used to help manage money, betting heavier on the historically profitable situations, and less money on the less profitable situations. We would like to cite two particular cautions in using the tables: The table is based on history and history may not repeat itself. Present returns may not resemble what has historically been occurring. The table is based on hundreds of races. A bettor must take a long term view of the opportunities. Some profitable opportunities may only win 10% of the time. This does not mean that you would historically win every tenth race! There is some randomness to the "order" of the win percentage and this must be taken into account before wagering. In sum, marrying the power ratings of today with what has occurred historically by examining the appropriate table can be a powerful tool to maximizing your profitability at the race track.
Advanced TrackMaster Power Rating Historical Results and Track Profile

The final power rating tool is a historical table that appears on page 4 of the Snapshot/Power menu selection. As mentioned in the beginning, the TPR has three primary components, speed, class and pace, and the relative weightings of each are optimized based on what has been winning at a particular track. The table isolates the three components by weighting each of them 100% (and the other two 0%) and betting the highest power rated horse to win. While it would generally be foolish to bet along a one dimensional line, the relative results are indicative of what has been winning at a particular track, and therefore reflects a track's profile. Consider the following table as an illustration.

Race 1 1 Mile CL$10K CR: 80 $11K 3+
TPR Factor
TO $1 Speed Class Pace
0.0-1  24  26  21
-01 -25 -05*
1.1-3  24  26  21
-02 -23 -04
3.1-5  21  20  21
-01 -23* -03
5.1-8  19  15  18
+05 -15 -02
8.1++  12  09  11
+06 -15* -00
Top # is win %; Bottom # is profit %
"*": Less than ten races in calculation

Track Profile Chart

The odds rows have the same meaning as the table discussed earlier. In addition, each cell has the same meaning with the top number indicating the percent of races won by the highest power rated horse in each category, and the bottom number representing the profitability percentage. Again, understand that this table is designed to be used on a relative basis, not an absolute basis. The interpretation of the information in the example above is that the track in question is a "speed track" (the speed component results in the highest relative win percentage and highest relative profitability percentage over the other two factors). While the pace factor is still significant (its numbers not too far behind speed), the class importance appears to be quite low. This type of information gives great insight into the track profile and what type of horse will do well.

Historic Value Indicators

TrackMaster has added historic value indicators to the Snapshot/Power category. These symbols (+, L and B) will allow quick identification of those situations which have historically shown to produce a positive long-term profit. The "+" symbol next to the morning line odds means that the power rating margin table displays a positive historical profit. Remember, this table indicates profit based on both post time odds and the power rating difference between the two top power rated horses. This "+" indication simply saves the step of going to the table. Since we cannot predict post time odds, we use the morning line to approximate the post time odds. The "L" symbol denotes a potentially valuable long shot play, defined as post time odds of 8-1 or greater. "L" plays are based on computer analysis of various "angles" which have produced long-term positive profits. It is important to understand that these indicators are based on maximizing profit rather than percentage of races won. Results from the many tracks TrackMaster supports reflect a win percentage only near 10%. The "B" symbol indicates both the "+" and "L" conditions apply. When using these symbols or the tables in the Snapshot/Power category, remember that they are based on a historical look at the success of power ratings under specific conditions. History may not repeat itself. As always, we do not recommend using power ratings alone. Though it is believed that power ratings reflect key statistics, we encourage you to use them in combination with the rest of the valuable information available.