Speed Handicapper® Version 6
Technical Facts About Time and Wind Data From Different Suppliers
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All of the data suppliers now use decimal seconds in their data, so the major rounding problem of the original DRF 1/5ths is no longer an issue. (For a full discussion of that problem, see Carroll Time Article.)
Thoroughbred Final and Fractional Times:
PTD, BRIS, and HDW provide the winner’s final time and leaders’ times at the splits. The original Speed Handicapper® method of calculating non-winners’/leaders’ distance run at the winner’s/leaders’ times is used in calculating the Carroll Speed Figures.
DRF and TMP provide individual times at the finish and splits. (TMP documents it in their data layout; DRF doesn’t seem to know it is there, but it is.) With DRF and TMP the Carroll Speed Figures are calculated using the horse’s individual time.
How important is this? All of the data suppliers’ times produce Carroll Speed Figures that are consistent within their own data. In other words, if you run the same PPs in BRIS and TMP, there may be a one or two point difference between the two data types, but the relationship between PPs and between horses will be consistent and we found no adverse effects upon handicapping. You can use any supplier with confidence.
However, this is Important to know when you look at the Carroll Speed Figures and corresponding time. For example, suppose a PP shows a 956 figure for a horse 2.5 lengths behind the winner, which ran to a 1:10.58 (70.58 secs) finish. If you are using PTD, BRIS, or HDW, you would be correct to think of it just as that sentence is written. However with actual times from DRF and TMP, it means that this horse finished 2.5 lengths behind the winner—but at its own, individual time of 70.58 seconds—the winner finished in less than that. It is good to understand what you are looking at with whatever data you use.
Quarter Horse Final Times:
BRIS, TMP, and DRF all publish individual times in hundredths for all QH finishers. (TMP documents it in their file schema; BRIS and DRF hide it in undocumented fields, and the tech people we contacted don’t know about it. But, CC found it. 🙂
PTD and HDW (.jcp file) do not supply any data for QH races. They do include PPs run by Thoroughbreds in QH races, which you would use only with caution in handicapping a Tbred race.
Quarter Horse Wind Direction and Speed
If you are serious about QH handicapping this is critical. In “Handicapping Speed: The Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Sprinters,” Charles Carroll showed how to calculate the effects of wind speed and direction. The effect is often very substantial. Speed V6 uses an advanced version of this adjustment and should always be used when handicapping QH races.
TMP and BRIS publish both wind speed and wind direction—DRF publishes only direction.
TMP or BRIS are clear choices for Quarter Horse handicappers.