PHOTO CREDIT: NYRA

Running style by course and distance

I learned something new: Saratoga doesn’t run 8 furlong races.

With that fun fact out of the way, time to talk running style. I am not going to do a chart by chart analysis of this, as I think it can serve as a reference for the forty race days of Saratoga. I will however, list a few major takeaways that I had in inspecting the data.

Takeaways:

  1. Early positioning (sorry for the obvious) on the dirt is extremely important. You want horses that are projected to be on the front end at the first point of call especially in shorter distance races. And if you play vertical wagers, runners that make it to the lead, or are near the lead on the dirt are typically in the money over half of the time.
  2. Longer distances on dirt, (perhaps counter-intuitively) appear to be even more favorable to front runners, or leaders than some shorter distance races. This may result from tactics in the races which potentially turn the races into gallops for 3 quarters of the race, and then sprints for the last quarter or so.
  3. Both turf courses play similarly with respect to front runners and off the pace types. It’s striking to note the difference in dirt versus turf courses spelled out with data.
  4. Generally if you are able to find the horse that ends up on the lead, from a win bet perspective, you would end up with a flat bet profit. Now, that is obviously easier said than done, especially given the number of factors involved in predicting the runner that will be on the lead, but something worth noting nonetheless.

To clarify quickly, the early_style_two column describes where the runner was at the first point of call for the specified course and distance. This analysis does not take into account projected running style, but the actual positioning of horses during the race. Hopefully, this can help in translating your race design, whether you use TimeformUS pace projector, or Stats, or your own algorithm, into picks and plays throughout the meet.

So without further discussion, here are the stats for Saratoga races run since 2015.


COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Dirt51: lead0.214.3100115.124.3
Dirt53: 1 to 2 lengths off0.26100000000
Dirt54: 2 to 3 lengths off0.152001000.500
Dirt55: 3 to 4 lengths off0.072000100.500
Dirt57: 5 to 10 lengths off0.04300000000

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Dirt5.51: lead0.280145.753511150.440.762.191.82
Dirt5.52: 0 to 1 length off0.183837.0584100.210.581.140.98
Dirt5.53: 1 to 2 lengths off0.151081021820140.170.481.110.94
Dirt5.54: 2 to 3 lengths off0.136937.571490.10.430.790.54
Dirt5.55: 3 to 4 lengths off0.1455254270.070.240.520.45
Dirt5.56: 4 to 5 lengths off0.115217.53750.060.290.510.34
Dirt5.57: 5 to 10 lengths off0.11639.85219130.010.210.130.06
Dirt5.58: more than 100.064823.31250.020.170.330.49

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Dirt61: lead0.19248474.27928520.320.641.691.91
Dirt62: 0 to 1 length off0.15190204.43520290.180.441.211.08
Dirt63: 1 to 2 lengths off0.15404296.55953680.150.450.950.73
Dirt64: 2 to 3 lengths off0.14238145.852544230.110.390.750.61
Dirt65: 3 to 4 lengths off0.12184118.651226230.070.330.540.64
Dirt66: 4 to 5 lengths off0.115737.5919140.060.270.590.24
Dirt67: 5 to 10 lengths off0.09414199.32846370.070.270.740.48
Dirt68: more than 100.06810010200.1500

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Dirt6.51: lead0.19149230.64610310.310.581.611.55
Dirt6.52: 0 to 1 length off0.1610965.951717150.160.450.950.61
Dirt6.53: 1 to 2 lengths off0.16247191.83529430.140.430.890.78
Dirt6.54: 2 to 3 lengths off0.14140108.651626200.110.440.790.78
Dirt6.55: 3 to 4 lengths off0.1311366.2112090.10.350.750.59
Dirt6.56: 4 to 5 lengths off0.177125.541070.050.270.51.63
Dirt6.57: 5 to 10 lengths off0.09220102.051732190.080.310.880.46
Dirt6.58: more than 100.075526.42440.040.180.520.48

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Dirt71: lead0.16183330.25328280.290.61.771.8
Dirt72: 0 to 1 length off0.16123166.652127270.170.611.081.35
Dirt73: 1 to 2 lengths off0.16346318.055450520.160.4510.92
Dirt74: 2 to 3 lengths off0.13201102.51721240.080.310.640.51
Dirt75: 3 to 4 lengths off0.13147198.92113180.140.351.131.35
Dirt76: 4 to 5 lengths off0.1111226.254980.040.190.330.23
Dirt77: 5 to 10 lengths off0.0926891.61231220.040.240.50.34
Dirt78: more than 100.0541002100.0700

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Dirt91: lead0.19208260.45335370.250.61.341.25
Dirt92: 0 to 1 length off0.196586.95195120.290.551.541.34
Dirt93: 1 to 2 lengths off0.19325235.855955620.180.540.970.73
Dirt94: 2 to 3 lengths off0.15190141.952428260.130.410.830.75
Dirt95: 3 to 4 lengths off0.1415155.61226230.080.40.570.37
Dirt96: 4 to 5 lengths off0.1511452.451016200.090.40.60.46
Dirt97: 5 to 10 lengths off0.11239155.62533240.10.340.930.65
Dirt98: more than 100.094115.44820.10.341.050.38

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Dirt101: lead0.17931.654030.440.782.553.52
Dirt102: 0 to 1 length off0.2549.32010.50.752.032.32
Dirt103: 1 to 2 lengths off0.118004100.2800
Dirt104: 2 to 3 lengths off0.151422.32420.140.570.971.59
Dirt105: 3 to 4 lengths off0.07500000000
Dirt106: 4 to 5 lengths off0.04500000000
Dirt107: 5 to 10 lengths off0.0814001200.2100
Dirt108: more than 100.0811101000.090.091.080.91

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Dirt141: lead0.144000200.500
Dirt142: 0 to 1 length off0.04100100100
Dirt143: 1 to 2 lengths off0.23117.453120.270.551.160.68
Dirt144: 2 to 3 lengths off0.1426.31100.513.63.15
Dirt145: 3 to 4 lengths off0.11100000000
Dirt146: 4 to 5 lengths off0.03100100100
Dirt147: 5 to 10 lengths off0.11400000000

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Inner Turf81: lead0.11137446.44218110.310.522.773.26
Inner Turf82: 0 to 1 length off0.072712.81360.040.370.520.47
Inner Turf83: 1 to 2 lengths off0.12190213.552923270.150.421.271.12
Inner Turf84: 2 to 3 lengths off0.1213867.651019100.070.280.580.49
Inner Turf85: 3 to 4 lengths off0.1213653.15920210.070.370.550.39
Inner Turf86: 4 to 5 lengths off0.14121104.9178150.140.3310.87
Inner Turf87: 5 to 10 lengths off0.1386139.952338390.060.260.580.36
Inner Turf88: more than 100.07883.91440.010.10.150.04

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Inner Turf8.51: lead0.11126259.353311140.260.462.412.06
Inner Turf8.52: 0 to 1 length off0.113626.83420.080.250.760.74
Inner Turf8.53: 1 to 2 lengths off0.12160115.11720200.110.360.910.72
Inner Turf8.54: 2 to 3 lengths off0.13134123.452416140.180.41.370.92
Inner Turf8.55: 3 to 4 lengths off0.13124941414190.110.380.880.76
Inner Turf8.56: 4 to 5 lengths off0.112128.25614140.050.280.490.23
Inner Turf8.57: 5 to 10 lengths off0.1388159.852437400.060.260.650.41
Inner Turf8.58: more than 100.0896343720.030.120.40.35

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Inner Turf91: lead0.13158.452110.130.271.060.56
Inner Turf92: 0 to 1 length off0.1781.351200.120.380.740.17
Inner Turf93: 1 to 2 lengths off0.132413.653420.120.380.990.57
Inner Turf94: 2 to 3 lengths off0.1113633120.230.462.014.85
Inner Turf95: 3 to 4 lengths off0.13129.752030.170.421.330.81
Inner Turf96: 4 to 5 lengths off0.1613001100.1500
Inner Turf97: 5 to 10 lengths off0.083340.13460.090.391.131.22
Inner Turf98: more than 100.08142.51200.070.210.850.18

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Inner Turf111: lead0.123839.6544120.110.530.911.04
Inner Turf112: 0 to 1 length off0.159000100.1100
Inner Turf113: 1 to 2 lengths off0.144827.655430.10.250.740.58
Inner Turf114: 2 to 3 lengths off0.153335.058440.240.481.591.06
Inner Turf115: 3 to 4 lengths off0.14326.43750.090.470.690.2
Inner Turf116: 4 to 5 lengths off0.123116.32440.060.320.540.53
Inner Turf117: 5 to 10 lengths off0.138689.7161360.190.411.451.04
Inner Turf118: more than 100.1244.11220.040.210.430.17

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Inner Turf121: lead0.091422.32300.140.361.551.59
Inner Turf122: 0 to 1 length off0.154001000.2500
Inner Turf123: 1 to 2 lengths off0.161912.52120.110.260.640.66
Inner Turf124: 2 to 3 lengths off0.158001200.3800
Inner Turf125: 3 to 4 lengths off0.181124.24120.360.6422.2
Inner Turf126: 4 to 5 lengths off0.11513.52220.130.41.350.9
Inner Turf127: 5 to 10 lengths off0.133216.654460.120.440.960.52
Inner Turf128: more than 100.142001000.500

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Turf5.51: lead0.15225335.555826270.260.491.671.49
Turf5.52: 0 to 1 length off0.1413393.751615280.120.440.860.7
Turf5.53: 1 to 2 lengths off0.14371311.85135500.140.370.990.84
Turf5.54: 2 to 3 lengths off0.12249225.353236280.130.391.060.91
Turf5.55: 3 to 4 lengths off0.12221192.62038250.090.380.760.87
Turf5.56: 4 to 5 lengths off0.1117489.051421160.080.290.740.51
Turf5.57: 5 to 10 lengths off0.09484241.053046480.060.260.710.5
Turf5.58: more than 100.0687132610.020.10.410.15

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Turf8.51: lead0.1211599.851217120.10.360.890.87
Turf8.52: 0 to 1 length off0.092525.42320.080.280.851.02
Turf8.53: 1 to 2 lengths off0.12167123.752421200.140.391.180.74
Turf8.54: 2 to 3 lengths off0.1311480.4149130.120.320.980.71
Turf8.55: 3 to 4 lengths off0.11114103.91013190.090.370.760.91
Turf8.56: 4 to 5 lengths off0.1111039.45814160.070.350.640.36
Turf8.57: 5 to 10 lengths off0.113332484036280.120.311.120.74
Turf8.58: more than 100.087043.84240.060.140.730.63

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Turf91: lead0.082343.653140.130.351.551.9
Turf92: 0 to 1 length off0.14500000000
Turf93: 1 to 2 lengths off0.11267.952340.080.350.720.31
Turf94: 2 to 3 lengths off0.11258.053310.120.281.080.32
Turf95: 3 to 4 lengths off0.122229.354330.180.451.561.33
Turf96: 4 to 5 lengths off0.152410.64510.170.421.110.44
Turf97: 5 to 10 lengths off0.135635.1567100.110.410.820.63
Turf98: more than 100.091718.71100.060.120.671.1

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Turf9.51: lead0.1226322720.080.420.651.23
Turf9.52: 0 to 1 length off0.058321110.120.382.634
Turf9.53: 1 to 2 lengths off0.124320.35340.120.280.980.47
Turf9.54: 2 to 3 lengths off0.14309.553250.10.330.740.32
Turf9.55: 3 to 4 lengths off0.122226.554220.180.361.511.21
Turf9.56: 4 to 5 lengths off0.092392320.090.30.960.39
Turf9.57: 5 to 10 lengths off0.116552.858670.120.321.080.81
Turf9.58: more than 100.096001200.500

COURSERACE_FURLONGS_xearly_style_twoEXPECTED_WINSMOUNTSPAYOUTWINSPLACESSHOWSWIN_PCTITM_PCTIMPACT_VALUEROI
Turf131: lead0.2143.31010.250.51.190.82
Turf132: 0 to 1 length off0.08100000000
Turf133: 1 to 2 lengths off0.038001000.1200
Turf134: 2 to 3 lengths off0.2431.71100.330.671.410.57
Turf135: 3 to 4 lengths off0.12200110100
Turf136: 4 to 5 lengths off0.193000200.6700
Turf137: 5 to 10 lengths off0.1284.251100.120.251.030.53
Turf138: more than 100.1925.31000.50.52.612.65

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