Par times are speed numbers, or actual times, at which the average winner wins in a given class and distance of the race. For example, a 6 furlong $10,000 event for 4-year-olds and older might have a par of 1:10, meaning one minute and ten seconds and a par of 88 (speed number). The rate number can be a Beyer rate number or another method can be used to calculate it using proprietary software.
They are also used for fractions or segments of the race, such as: a par of 80/92/89. This would mean that the eventual winner of the race ran the first leg or quarter of the race in 80, the second quarter in 92 and the last in 89. Looking at each runner’s expected pace would then give you an idea of which horses best fit the winning pace profile for the race.
Of course, in a perfect world, horses would always run exactly the same and you would win all your bets, but this is the reality of horse racing, so we know that’s not going to happen. It is still very difficult to turn a profit from horse betting, even with such sophisticated information.
On the other hand, it’s nice to think that before the race starts you know exactly how the runners will run and where everyone will be in each quarter of the race.
Once the gate opens and the chaos begins and you get that sinking feeling in your stomach, well, you realize that par times and pace and speed numbers are just a guide. Nonetheless, they are useful and should not be overlooked as a handicap tool. A good way to use them is to look for horses that have recently completed a race where they have set the par times in each faction as well as the final time count.
Using the par times and pace pars above as an example, any horse that set those pace pars and also the finish time for a race would be considered a contender. Since this isn’t an exact science, you might want to wiggle it out a bit and say that any horse that came within a tick or two of that time is also a possibility.
With younger horses these methods must be used as a rough guide as young horses are still improving and the pars they have achieved in past races may not reflect what they are capable of today. However, many have already peaked in handicap racing for older horses and the par times you’re seeing in past races are the best you can expect.
Thanks to Bill Peterson | #Horse #racing #handicap #entry #times