• FREE Ultimate Past Performances

    POSTED Feb 23, 2012
    In case you haven't heard, Ultimate Past Performances is FREE through February 29 (the promotion applies to the date the track is running, not when you buy).

    Of course, this type of promotion is just every day living for TwinSpires.com players, who receive free Brisnet.com past performances for the tracks on which they wager.

    I have been using Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances since January 1998 when a similar free promotion got me to sign up. As someone used to using the Equibase-style program on track, there was a bit of culture-shock-information-overload the first few times I interacted with the Ultimate PPs, which feature speed ratings, pace figures, race and class ratings, Prime Power, pedigree information, and detailed jockey and trainer statistics--all elements other past performance products have added through the years because of the popularity of Brisnet.com's products.

    For a quick tutorial on using Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances, click here. The most important thing to remember is that just because all that information is available does not necessarily mean you need to interact with all that information each race.

    When looking at a six-furlong race for bottom-level lifetime claimers on the New York circuit, for instance, the pedigree information is unlikely to be very helpful. Similarly, when evaluating a second-time starter who had trouble throughout his entire debut trip, you're better off using trainer-jockey stats and pedigree info than you are figures related to that horse's troubled performance.

    The key is that all that information is available each race, and the more you interact with it the more adept you will become at handicapping efficiently.

    NHC Tour winner Paul Shurman has a great approach when using Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances to complement the other information he uses.

    "I do use a lot of different products, especially for tournaments," said Shurman, who also finished sixth in the National Handicapping Championship. "What I rely on most from Ultimate Past Performances are the track bias stats and the pedigree stats, especially the dam production index when applicable. I have a template made up for tournaments; it's sort of like a checklist for every race, so I have all the information from all my different sources right in front of me, and I don't forget to consider something.

    "The first thing I do when I start handicapping is to make notes for every race in the contest on track bias from the Ultimate Performances. Then I go through pedigree information and mark down anything of significance."

    On balance, my favorite "exclusive" of the Ultimate Past Performances is the class rating, which measures a horse's performance against every other horse's performance not only in that race but also how those horses have performed in future races. I'm a speed figure devotee, but I have found that while speed figures are the best predictor of current form, the class ratings deliver an explosive assessment of relative talent. Entries with a class rating even two points lower than the median for a race are typical underlays, and 3+ points renders them a complete nonfactor.

    Enjoy the promotion!
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