Track Profiles And Par Times

Arlington-Park-Rolling-Meadows-Day-2012.06.03-41Many handicappers construct track profiles under the assumption that what happened yesterday is a predictor of what might happen today. They most often base their profiles on par times for every distance at every claiming level, every allowance level, and the various stakes levels offered at their favorite racetrack. In doing so, they seem to ignore what ‘par’ means, the two primary definitions of which follow:

     par: noun
     1. an equality in value or standing; a level of equality
     2. an average, usual, or normal amount, degree, quality, 
        condition, standard, or the like

I have referred to The Fallacy Of Using Par Times in a previous post, so hopefully you will not be bored if I repeat myself, but the assumption that all horses that compete in races at the same distance, at the same “class level,” are somehow created equal, and, therefore, are destined to finish their respective races in the same, par time, is ludicrous. To base track variances on par times only compounds the issue.

The surface condition of a racetrack can change within a matter of minutes depending on the weather, so how do you compare a final time for the sex, so-called class and distance of a race run on a lightening fast track on Tuesday with the par time created from the results of races run last year when the track may have experienced an inordinate number of rainy days?

In a perfect world, every horse would run a given distance in the exact, same time from one race to the next, and it would be obvious that Horse A, with a consistent six furlong time of 1:09 3/5, was faster than Horse B, with a consistent six furlong time of 1:10 1/5. However, the dynamics of every race are different, and profiles are by definition yesterday’s news. Thankfully, it is a rare instance when you find the exact, same group of horses competing against one another.Horse_50x50

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