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What are Brisnet Speed and Pace rating pars?

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

June 1st, 2022

If you’ve ever handicapped horse races using Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances, you’ve probably wondered about the “PARS” section displayed so prominently on the first page for each race.

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The pars section lists four categories and corresponding numbers, but what do they mean, and how do we put them to use? Let’s dive in and explain.

What are Brisnet Speed and Pace rating pars?

The numbers listed in the pars section are Brisnet Pace and Speed ratings. Specifically, you’ll find an E1 Pace rating, an E2 Pace rating, a Late Pace rating, and a Speed rating. The precise definition of each rating can be found in our introduction to Brisnet Speed and Pace ratings, but to quickly recap, they measure how fast horses run across different portions of a race. E1 and E2 measure early speed, Late measures finishing speed, and Speed measures the final time (and thus, the entirety of the performance).

When you’re handicapping a race, the E1, E2, Late, and Speed ratings posted by any given horse can be found in the race-by-race data sections dedicated to each horse in the field. In the example shown below, the horse Vortex Rising has only run once, earning a 69 E1, a 69 E2, an 84 Late (LP), and a 62 Speed (SPD).

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That’s all fine and well, but how do you know whether those figures are good or bad? That’s where the Brisnet Speed and Pace pars come into play. The pars simply list the average figures earned by horses competing over the distance and class level of the race you’re handicapping. Following with our example from earlier, Vortex Rising is entered in a race where the par ratings are 90 E1, 88 E2, 75 Late, and 73 Speed. He looks a little slow to win a typical race over this class level and distance, though his 84 Late Pace rating (nine points higher than par) is encouraging.

How do I use Brisnet Speed and Pace rating pars?

It’s important to remember par ratings represent the average ratings earned over the class level and distance you’re analyzing. Some races will come back faster, and others slower.

Determining whether the race you’re handicapping is likely to be fast or slow is one of the best ways to use Brisnet Speed and Pace pars. Let’s say the par winning Speed rating for a race is 90, but several entrants consistently earn ratings of 95+ or even 100+. This is shaping up to be a faster-than-average race, making it difficult for slower longshots to step up and challenge for victory.

On the other hand, you might find a race where the par winning Speed rating is a 90, but none of the entrants have earned a rating higher than 80. This is shaping up to be a slow race, so it wouldn’t take much improvement for a longshot to outrun expectations and challenge the favorites. It’s also a good opportunity for a first-time starter to vie for victory, as this lucrative example from 2020 details.

So why not start incorporating Brisnet Speed and Pace pars into your handicapping? They provide a quick and easy way to gauge the overall strength of a race, which is often a good place to start.

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