Speed & Class Ratings Edit Article


TrackMaster has been providing harness speed and class ratings since 1998, and is continuously improving their accuracy and predictability.

If you would like to learn more about these powerful ratings and how to use them, view our informative TrackMaster Speed & Class Ratings Presentation video or continue reading below...

What exactly are speed ratings and how are they calculated?

Speed ratings allow us to analyze a horse's performance in a race simply and easily, without having to worry about which size track the time was recorded at, or what the condition of the track was during the race, or in some cases even the distance of the race itself. The rating is based on the horse's actual finishing time along with other factors such as post position and track condition. The higher the rating the better, with the fastest horses achieving in the 100s.

In computing a horse's speed rating, four separate factors are combined.

1) The first component is called the raw speed rating. This number is a direct conversion of the horse's finishing time and the distance of the race using our computer modeled formula.

2) The raw speed rating gets modified by an Inter Track Variant (ITV), a number that allows for the speed variations between tracks. To determine the fundamental speed differentials between the various size tracks we analyze horses that shipped to and from various racetracks during the year.

3) The third adjustment to the raw speed rating is the Daily Track Variant (DTV). This compensates for things such as a sloppy track or other day-to-day factors affecting the track condition. This can even vary between races as conditions change.

4) The fourth and final adjustment to the resulting speed rating is the post position adjustment factor. This takes into account the positive or negative effects post has on the horse's overall race performance. This would make it possible to see a horse finish 2nd and have a higher speed rating that the horse who finished 1st.

Combined together, this process produces a single number called the final speed rating that you can use to evaluate a horse's performance no matter where it raced. This lets you easily analyze a horse making its first start at a track or changing class dramatically. Never be misled again by using simple final times as your guide.

What exactly are class ratings and how are they calculated?

Just as a horse earns a speed rating for its performance in a race, the race itself receives a class rating to measure the strength of the field. The class rating is a weighted average of the last 6 months of previous speed ratings from the horses entered in that race. The number is basically a projection of what the expected winning speed rating should be for that race on that day.

As an example, a typical $10,000 claiming race could have a class rating of 85 one week and then 80 the next should a weaker set of horses compete, or a 90 if stronger horses get entered.

How do I use these ratings to get an edge when handicapping the harness races?

The best way to get the advantage when wagering on the harness races is to use the speed and class ratings together when handicapping. Like we have said previously, the class rating can be thought of as the par speed rating for the race. So if a race is given a class rating of 80, a horse that can run that speed ratings of 80 or better would have a great shot at winning the race. Look at a horse's recent speed ratings or an average of past ratings to compare against today's class rating. If the numbers aren't comparable you can feel confident eliminating that horse.

I'm an owner/trainer who doesn't bet often, how will these ratings benefit me?

As a horseman it's always key to know where your horse will race competitively. Speed and class ratings are perfect for keeping track of how your horse is performing and sizing up the fields he'll be running in. For example, say you want to know how your horse will stack up racing in a certain conditioned race after being in the claiming ranks the last few starts. Just take a look at the average class ratings of that conditioned race you are thinking of entering and compare it to the speed ratings your horse has been running. This is also very useful for those who are thinking about shipping their horses off to race at another track. With class and speed ratings, you can easily gauge what level your horse should fit well into without having to worry if you are entering too high or too low. This can save you valuable time and money by finding races where your horse will be more competitive and earn you more money.

Where exactly do I get these speed & class ratings, and are they expensive?

Speed and class ratings are provided for every race in North America when available. You can find these remarkable ratings in virtually all TrackMaster products. Any product that includes past performances will display speed and class ratings on each running line. We also offer a variety of both beginner and advanced handicapping products with average speed and class ratings. Convenient and affordable pricing plans are available for all products.


In order to provide the most effective numbers, speed and class ratings are subject to change, including, but not limited for the following reasons:

• Update/correction to underlying data (i.e. time of race changed, reported beaten lengths changed)
• Upgrade in method used to determine the ratings
• Periodic re-cast of the ratings to improve the efficacy of the numbers due to the increased amount of data available after the original ratings were computed

At TrackMaster, each year we perform a comprehensive quality check of our speed and class ratings for harness racing.  To ensure maximum efficacy of the ratings, TrackMaster goes back and recalculates and revises the ratings for the year.

Additionally, in our efforts to continually improve and refine our ratings, we've made the following enhancements to make them even more accurate:

Ratings For All

Previously, when there was not enough information for us to determine a speed or class rating using our standard methods we were forced to record an N/A (not available). These cases, where not enough data existed to reliably compute a rating, primarily occurred at county fair tracks, races at non-standard distances and races with very few past performances.

We continue to improve our secondary ratings process to assure that every race gets a class rating and every horse that finishes with measured lengths back, a speed rating. This alternate method of class ratings does not rely on the speed ratings of the horses in the race, but instead uses other factors like age, earnings and other related statistics to determine the class. Similarly, the alternate speed rating method does not rely on the time of the race, but instead uses other factors including the history of the winner, class of the race and beaten lengths.

In the end, we believe these revisions and new methods of computing ratings makes our data more accurate when attempting to handicap and evaluate horses.