What IS the "Fast Horse Format"?
NAME Trk Race Last Race Fin*FHF ITM Avg| Today ML
3-Sunnybrook Bel 1 06Aug11 4SAR 3 * 4 32,090 | 9K / 4 (2-1)
1A-Juliann's Approval Bel 1 14Aug11 10SAR 1 * 3 27,714 | 14K / 7 (15-1)
|Column one is comprised of the saddle cloth number and the name of the horse||3-Sunnybrook|
|Column two indicates at which track the horse is running today||Bel|
|Column three indicates which race the horse is competing in today||1|
|The next two columns tell us which fast race the horse ran in, the date of that race, the race number, and the track where the race was contested: Race Date / Race Number & Track (In this example, it was Aug. 6th, 2011 in the 4th race at Saratoga).||06Aug11 4SAR|
|Columns six and seven are all important as they indicate the finish position of the horse and the FHF rating of the race: Finish * FHF Rating||3 * 4|
|There are also two supplemental indicators immediately after the rating. A + sign (not shown in this example) shows the race was the last race the horse ran in. Also, a T indicates this as a 'TARGET' race.||+ T|
|The column labeled ITM Avg is an indicator of the horses 1-2-3 finishes and the average purse value of those races.||32,090|
|The Today column indicates whether the horse is competing for a purse value greater than its in-the-money average. A negative number means the horse is receiving a drop in purse relative to its in the money finishes. The second number (after the slash) is the rank of that purse value increase or decrease relative to the other horses in the race.||9K / 4|
|The last column is simply the morning line odds.||(2-1)|
In the first race, there are two horses that are singled out as
horses that competed in fast races. What are fast races? They are races
where the split times (quarter, half mile, etc.) are superior to the
usual times run for a given distance and track. Of course, not all horses qualify, nor do all races were some splits are fast.
They have to be FHF fast. Most horses will not qualify. But the ones that do are
listed on Slew's daily sheet as having competed successfully in those
races, even if they did not win.
When we consult the past performances for race one, we see that Sunnybrook raced in a qualifying FHF race on 08/06/2011 in race number 4 at Saratoga, and finished third in a race that is ranked a "4". You will only see 3 ranks for horses listed on Slew's sheet: 3,4 and 5.For the most part, a rank of 4 or 5 holds pretty much the same weight. They are superior races indeed. A rank of 3 is a notch below both, but still is a rather significant heat and merits serious attention, especially if the horse stands alone. So in our example, Sunnybrook ran in a fast race (06Aug11 4SAR), and finished third. Note that there is no plus sign after the rank, so it was not her LAST race. Consulting the past performances you will find that Sunnybrook's last race was an off the turf affair in open company at Saratoga on August 22. She won that race.The significance here is that her FHF listing would have shown up on that day with a PLUS (+) sign after the rank, because the fast race was, at that time, her last race. As such, a third place finish in such a high ranked race would have merited serious consideration. In fact, this did not escape the notice of sharp handicappers, as she won that open affair as the favorite, even though Sunnybrook is a NY bred. Her line that day looked like this:
|1-Sunnybrook SAR 2 06Aug11 4SAR 3 * 4+ 32,916 | -3K / 5 (5-1)|
A lone 4 rank that finished second or third is almost a sure bet. However, if the horse had finished first, then form, distance, pace and footing considerations along with sound handicapping principles should guide your selections. If the FHF listed race was not the horse's last race, then handicap the race knowing that the horse may have the potential to put away the field. But if it was his last race and he WON that race, be mindful that most horses cannot repeat a winning effort, especially when moving through allowance ranks or stepping up into stakes company. However, a really good horse may run well enough to merit a position in the exotics, often at a nice price. That is one of the strongest angles of Slew's Fast Horses.
On this day, we see that Sunnybrook has run 2 strong races, and while her last one doesn't qualify as one of Slew's "FAST" races, that off the turf affair in open company bodes well for today's "drop" into state bred competition, as her 2-1 morning line odds would suggest.
The Second horse, Juliann's Approval, ran in a fast race on Aug. 14th at Saratoga and won the race. But then why are her ML odds so high and why do we not consider her the same way we consider Sunnybrook? A quick peek at the PP's for this race tell us that Juliann's Approval won that MAIDEN race on Aug. 14th after 19 tries as a maiden. Her next race was an awful attempt at the allowance level - [S]N1x -, finishing the 10th of 12,. So even though she shows up on our list, she is a no play. Had she shown she could compete at her new level in her last race, she may be eligible for consideration for a lesser prize, and used in exotics. But she is a perfect example of why a horse on the list is not necessarily in contention for today's top prize. It may be another 10 races before she finds a field she can handle. Or, it may never happen.
The second part of the listing shows horses that come from races where there was at least one next out winner AND the FHF rating was at least a 3.
NAME Trk Race Last Race Fin * NOW ITM Avg| Today
Sunnybrook Bel 1 06Aug11 4SAR 3 * 1 32,916 | 9K / 4
Missile Motor Bel 2 30Jul11 11MP 3 * 1 27,334 | -6K / 6
Take a Walk Bel 3 22Jul11 6SAR 6 * 1 28,916 | -7K / 2
Jeanbaptiste Corot Bel 3 20Aug11 5SAR 7 * 1 41,133 |-20K / 1
Next Out Winners number. This number is usually as recent as the last racing day for each venue covered by Slew's Fast Horses.
Posted: A long time ago...
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