Sunday, February 05, 2006Contact: John Cooney
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U.S. modifies horse speed calculations

Equibase Company LLC, the North American Thoroughbred industry’s Official database for racing information, today announced that it has recalibrated the scale of the Equibase Speed Figure, which is a numerical assessment of the quality of a horse’s final time in a North American Thoroughbred race.

Introduced in 2000, the Equibase Speed Figure is the world’s most widely distributed speed figure. In 2005, the Equibase Speed Figure was published in more than 24 million official past performance programs sold in North America.

The revised scale for the Equibase Speed Figure, which took effect on Feb. 1, yields a definitive measure of a horse’s speed. The computer algorithms that generate the Equibase Speed Figure, however, have not changed, and historical figures have all been recalibrated to the revised scale.

The numerical scale now used for the Equibase Speed Figure more closely corresponds with ratings scales used in the international market to gauge the overall quality of Thoroughbred performances. The World Rankings Supervisory Committee publishes the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings twice annually and the list of World’s Leading Horses multiple times throughout the year, based on ratings compiled by the Committee.

“The increase in simulcast signals between North America and other parts of the world has created the need for performance measures that are comparable across geographic regions,” said Equibase President and Chief Executive Officer, Phil O’Hara. “This recalibration is another step in facilitating the meaningful comparison of Thoroughbred performances worldwide as the scope of racing and wagering becomes ever more global in nature.”

The Equibase Speed Figure reflects solely the quality of a horse’s final time in a race, while international ratings reflect the quality of a horse’s performance in a given race and are assigned by experts using additional factors, such as weight carried and strength of competition.

International ratings were initially introduced in Europe and used by the European Pattern Committee. They then were adopted by the World Rankings Supervisory Committee of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, including members of the North American Ratings Committee, to harmonize ratings internationally.

“Thoroughbred racing is a truly global business so recalibrating the scale of the Equibase Speed Figure to reflect a more comparable numerical scale with existing international ratings can only help to spur the continued development of the international wagering market,” said O’Hara.

Equibase has also recalibrated the Equibase Class Rating, which measures the competitiveness of a horse, and the Equibase Pace Figure, which is a speed figure for the early part of a race, so that this suite of figures can be used together for more powerful handicapping analysis.

Equibase Company LLC is a partnership between The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America. Through its web site,, the company provides an ever-increasing menu of handicapping products and racing information for handicappers and fans of all skill levels.