Statistics (aka figures) to assist handicappers with an appreciation of the importance of race shape and track bias:
FLOW: a figure indicating whether race shape favored speed versus closers BIAS: a figure indicating whether the day's surface favored speed versus closers CFR: a figure derived rating the race on a scale from 1 (most speed favoring to 100 (best for a deep closer) BL12: a figure indicating the number of lengths the winner raced from the lead at the first two calls, combined
For all tracks, distances and surfaces, the FLOW and BIAS averages are 0 (zero). A positive FLOW or BIAS indicates a situation favoring closers. A negative FLOW or BIAS indicates a situation favoring speed.
When you see something like: FLOW +200, BIAS +200, BL12 = 38.0, CFR=100 you can be certain the race favored stretch runners, including the winner. You should upgrade runners that set or pressed the early pace, and downgrade closers.
When you see something like: FLOW -200, BIAS -200, BL12 = 0.0, CFR=1 you can be certain the wire-to-wire winner raced under optimal conditions. The winner should be downgraded next out, while potential closers should be upgraded.
How We Provide It
Track BIAS Report
Each Tuesday, subscribers receive a PDF providing year-to-date BIAS figures, updated to include the past racing week. New subscribers receive access to all BIAS figures issued since January 1, 2013. FLOW + BIAS Report
Each Tuesday, subscribers receive a PDF providing year-to-date FLOW, BIAS, BL12 and CFR figures, updated to include the past racing week. New subscribers receive access to all FLOW, BIAS & BL12 figures issued since January 1, 2013.
Improved Running Lines
Each Tuesday, subscribers receive a file that can be uploaded to the Daily Racing Form’s Formulator Web. This allows you to print FLOW, BIAS, BL12 and CFR figures with your running lines.
The Extreme Race Report
Each Tuesday, subscribers receive a PDF identifying races that were exceptionally kind to either early speed (CFR 1-3) or deep closers (CFR 98-100). Handicappers willing to make the effort can review charts & replays to identify runners positively or negatively affected by the unusual circumstances. With services like Stable Mail and Virtual Stable freely available, there’s no reason to miss the many overlays exiting these events.
This report provides our interpretation of Racing Flow figures for up to 3 race cards. It is not a traditional selection sheet. Upgrades are runners that have recently raced vs. FLOW and/or BIAS. Downgrades are runners that have recently raced with FLOW and/or BIAS in their favor. The report will not tell you whether today’s placement is realistic, the surface & distance are suitable, or if the expected pace scenario will favor the runner. In short, you’ll still have to handicap!
The Racing Flow Database
Racing Flow figures are derived from a database of more than 104,000 races run in North America since 2003. The database is updated daily and covers:
- Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga
- Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Turfway Park and Kentucky Downs
- Gulfstream and Calder/Gulfstream West
- Arlington Park and Hawthorne
- Santa Anita, Del Mar and Los Alamitos Race Course
- Indiana Downs
Each unique distance and surface is considered separately, because the optimal fractions for speed versus closers differ from course to course.
Racing Flow Statistics
Racing Flow uses well crafted statistical models containing up to 14 independent variables to determine the probability a given race will be won wire-to-wire, by a stalker, or by a closer. The degree of "closing" in each race is defined based on the number of runners passed between each point of call and the trips of the top 3 finishers (i.e., running position and lengths behind leader at various points of call). Predictive variables include final race time, race distance, field size, track condition, and the relative speed of each split.
FLOW figures are more affected by relative speed than absolute speed. Stakes races get just about the same FLOW figures as cheap claimers, because we focus not on how fast a race is run, but when during a race the running is fastest. Thus, a race with splits of 22 4/5, 45 3/5, 57 flat and 1:08 2/5 will receive a similar figure as one with splits of 23 4/5, 47 4/5, 1:00 flat and 1:12 flat (both are generally speed-favoring scenarios).
At the conclusion of each racing day, Racing Flow compares model-predicted and actual degrees of closing to determine whether a particular surface, on a particular day, has favored speed versus closers. BIAS figures indicate whether a surface favored speed (a large negative number) or closers (a large positive number). A BIAS figure is issued if 5+ dirt/synthetic races or 5+ turf races were run on the card, an there was no important change in track condition that day.
The CFR (closer favorability ratio) is calculated by combining FLOW and BIAS figures. Races are ranked from "most speed favoring" to "toughest for speed." If CFR = 1, the race ranks in the top one percentile in terms of favoring the front runner(s): 99 of 100 races are tougher on speed. If CFR = 10, the race ranks in the 10th percentile in terms of favoring speed: 9 of 10 of races are tougher for speed. If CFR = 90, the race ranks in the 90th percentile: only 1 in 10 races is tougher for speed.
Click the links below to see how Racing Flow™ figures pointed us to issue BOLD UPGRADES to these runners: