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Pace Comfort Zones

Posted By Randy Giles On January 2, 2010 @ 10:10 pm In Articles | Comments Disabled


One of the tools we use with the PaceAppraiser PPs is the Pace Comfort Zone. This rating tells us the number of lengths from off the pace at the second call (one dimensional early pace types always have a zero rating) a horse can be successful. A horse that does not get into its pace comfort zone, even though it appears to be in its running style, will usually run poorly. You could call it a depth of talent rating for the various running styles. For example, an Early Presser with a PCZ rating of 2 is more talented than one with a 0 rating. So I’m going to step you through an easy way that will bring the full power of the Pace Comfort Zone rating into play. It’s very simple and can be done quickly. I’ve received numerous questions about its use and so I hope this little tutorial answers them.

The first thing we want to do is check for the top PA pace figure in the race. We use only the last paceline. Let’s says it’s 103. The top pace figure in the field does not necessarily signify the pace setter, although that could very well be the case. It could say the top figure represents pace ability in reserve. That’s important.

Next we want to check each horse’s last pace figure and subtract it from the top figure, which is 103 in our example. We’ll use a figure of 100 for our second horse in our example. The result is 3. We only need to check the horses that fit the competitive speed figure range since these are the horses that qualify on final time competitive ability. The PA PPs have these horses listed in bold type.

Now we simply check the PCZ rating, which is listed next to the horse’s running style and speed points. If the PCZ rating is equal to or greater than the results of our pace figure subtraction then we have a horse that qualifies on pace ability for today’s race. Let’s say the horse with the 3 total difference has a PCZ of 4 – that qualifies. Now if the horse has a PCZ of 2 then the horse would not qualify. More than likely it would find itself farther back at the second call than it can handle.

There are a three exceptions we’ll need to be on the lookout for (go back to 2nd or 3rd races): Distance changes, blinkers on, and dropping in class to lowest level. Horses that are stretching out can outrun their pace figures early, horses that have blinkers on move up closers to the pace, and horses with big class advantages will sometimes move up in the early going. No surprises here and easy enough to deal with.

The PCZ rating is designed to bring a horse’s running style into sharper focus in terms of length requirements. While running styles tell us where horses like to be positioned in the herd, the PCZ ratings tell us the optimum placement of the position for best performances.

IMPORTANT: You’ll have the best results backing horses with a PCZ rating limited to 5.0 in the win pool. Any horse with a PCZ rating of more than 5.0 is best used on the “bottom” part of your exotic wagering tickets.

I think we have to remember always that some races are so bad in terms current form that the winner ends up being the horse that can stagger home first. Pace advantages don’t mean much or anything at all in these types of events. It’s our job, of course, to invest in races where pace advantages mean something.

Give it a try. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.


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