Predicteform.com Pattern Guide
Developed by Equiform/Predicteform founder Cary Fotias and unique to Predicteform.com’s (formerly Equiform.com) daily calculations for every race, Pace Figure Pattern notations are the easiest and most effective way to evaluate what each race tells us about a horse’s expected form cycle. While Predicteform.com’s Pace Figure output now includes valuable Pattern notations stemming from every race, generally, the most recent Pattern for the horse is most indicative of what to expect from a horse in its upcoming race.
Below, we share both a general and technical explanation of each of the Predicteform.com (formerly Equiform.com) Pattern notations that may be noted for each horse in each race. In many situations, horses can qualify for multiple Pattern designations from one race, but only the most relevant and appropriate Pattern is displayed. Specifically, within the Patterns for each track type, calculations are made from top to bottom in the list below, with the last Pattern for which the horse qualifies showing up in the Pace Figure report for that race.
The following Patterns only apply to dirt races for which appropriate data exists:
First Time Starter Patterns:
General: Defines a horse that runs a consistent first race. Compression horses with competitive final numbers will usually beat other second time horses with better final Pace Figures in their second race.
Technical: Occurs when horse races on dirt for first time and has a final Pace Figure within four points of its 4F Pace Figure.
PLUN (“Plunge Line”)
General: Applies to a first time starter that runs 15 or more points higher through four furlongs than its final Pace Figure. These horses, especially second time starters dropping from Maiden Special Weight to Maiden Claiming races are likely to move forward.
Technical: Occurs when horse races on dirt for first time and has 4F Pace Figure that is 15 or more points greater than final Pace Figure.
NEG (“Negative Spread”)
General: A Negative Spread designation applies to any first-time starter that does not qualify for the COMP or PLUN Pattern. These horses are likely to regress in second start, especially if spread is in 7-10 point range.
Technical: Occurs when first-time starter races on dirt and has 4F Pace Figure that is between four and 15 points greater than its final Pace Figure or more than four points lower than its final Pace Figure.
Pace Top Patterns:
CPT (“Cyclical Pace Top”)
General: Occurs when a horse runs its fastest 4F Pace Figure in its last ten races. CPT is especially useful for older horses or for horses making their third start after a layoff.
Technical: Designation is applied when the horse’s 4F pace is greater than any 4F pace it has posted in its previous nine races.
DTOP (“Double Top Pace Top”)
General: Defines a race in which the horse has run its best 4F and final Pace Figures by a notable margin. This is a negative designation as the horse is very likely to regress from these Pace Figures.
Technical: DTOP applies to a horse that posts its highest 4F Pace Figure in its racing history in the same race that it exceeds its previous highest final Pace Figure on this surface by at least two points.
NPT (“New Pace Top”)
General: The horse runs its best 4F dirt Pace Figure of its entire career, yet does not finish with its clear max final Pace Figure. One of the better indicators of future success, the horse is likely to run an improved, oftentimes dramatically so, final pace in its next race. An NPT after a layoff of 60 days or more is powerful.
Technical: Occurs when a horse that posts its highest 4F Pace Figure in its racing career while simultaneously not exceeding its previous final Pace Figure on this surface by at least two points.
DPT (“Delayed Pace Top”)
General: The horse runs its best 4F dirt Pace Figure of its entire career and has raced since, but not on a dirt track.
Technical: Occurs when horse that posts its highest 4F Pace Figure in its racing history races, has raced since but has not raced on a dirt track.
COMP* (“Compression AND Reversal”)
General: Like with the first-time COMP Pattern, the horse runs its 4F pace within four points of its final pace during the horse’s first race on dirt. In this case though, the reversal notation signifies that the horse has a higher final Pace Figure than its 4F Pace Figure in the same race.
Technical: Occurs when horse races on dirt for first time and has a final Pace Figure within four points of its 4F Pace Figure and their final Pace Figure was higher than their 4F Pace Figure.
General: The REV notation signifies that this is the first time the horse has a higher final Pace Figure than its 4F Pace Figure in the same race and that it did so by a wide margin. Most dirt horses run faster pace numbers than final numbers. The reversal is a powerful predictor of future success with stretch-outs or lightly raced routers.
Technical: Defines a race in which a horse posts a better final Pace Figure than 4F Pace Figure for the first time on this surface and its final Pace Figure is more than four points greater than its 4F Pace Figure.
SOFT (“Soft Win”)
General: A soft win occurs when a horse wins a dirt race with both its 4F pace and final Pace Figures below its most recent race’s 4F and final Pace Figures. This horse usually moves forward off this pace pattern since the win was accomplished without difficulty.
Technical: Applies to a horse that wins a race in which its 4F and final Pace Figure are less than its previous race on this surface.
The following Patterns only apply to turf races for which appropriate data exists:
PLOW (“Turf Pace Low”)
General: If the current 4F Pace Figure for this turf race is less than the previous minimum 4F turf Pace Figure for this horse, PLOW applies. This is a key signal for turf horses and always worth investigation.
Technical: Specifically, a PLOW is defined by an all-time low 4F Pace Figure posted for a horse that has raced multiple times on turf. This only applies to turf races that are at least seven furlongs.
TDL (“Turf Decline Line”)
General: The Turf Decline Line is a more powerful subset of the PLOW (“Turf Pace Low”) Pattern designation in which the horse has regressed significantly in its 4F Pace Figure from its previous turf race of a similar distance while the final Pace Figure remained fairly consistent. This is a key signal for turf horses and a powerful pattern on the grass.
Technical: Specifically, a TDL is defined by an all-time low 4F Pace Figure posted for a horse that has raced multiple times on turf. In this case (and what separates TDL from PLOW) is the final Pace Figure is within two points of its previous final Pace Figure and the 4F Pace Figure is at least six points lower than its previous 4F turf Pace Figure in a race that was within one furlong of this race. This only applies to turf races that are at least seven furlongs. TDL is a potent subset of the PLOW and a powerful pattern on the grass.
Here are some additional notes of value from Equiform/Predicteform founder and Blinkers Off author, Cary Fotias:
Dirt Spreads: Defined as 4F Pace Figure minus final Pace Figure, tightening spread patterns predict success in stretch-outs.
Turf Spreads: Unlike a dirt spread, a turf spread is a positive sign when the final Pace Figure is higher than the 4F Pace Figure. If a horse's debut race was on the turf and it runs a turf spread of 10 or more while still earning a competitive final Pace Figure, give it serious consideration in its next turf race. In general, when evaluating lightly raced turf horses, give the edge to the contender with the greatest turf spread.
Dirt-to-Turf Surface Switch: If a horse's initial turf race Pace Figures are substandard (lower than his usual dirt numbers), look for tightening of recent dirt spreads if he is returning to the turf today. With horses who have run well on turf, if interim dirt spreads have tightened or reversed, he is due for a good turf outing. Also, a horse who seems to perform better on grass than dirt and is returning to grass, a NPT on dirt preceding the return is powerful.