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Horse race handicapping factors

In this day and age of computers it is important to have a comprehensive list of horse race handicapping factors. Here is the start of a list that includes 20 factors. It is envisaged that there will be over 100 factors to make a competitive model of a race.

Independent Variable Definition
FINISH1 Recency-weighted mean of past normalized finishing position.
WEIGHT(REL) Today's weight carried minus mean weight carried on all horses in this race.
WEIGHT(REL)DIST WEIGHT(REL) times distance of this race.
FIRSTCALL Recency-weighted mean of past first call position (an early speed factor).
FIRSTCALLDIST FIRSTCALL times distance of this race (in combination with FIRSTCALL, this enhances the impact of early speed in short races).
WINHISTORY Recency-weighted mean of past win history (binary coding with 1 for wins and 0 otherwise).
LENGTHSBEHIND Recency-weighted mean of past lengths beaten, distance normalized.
DAYSSINCE Days since last race minus median days between races.
CAREERSTARTS Number of career starts.
FINISH2 Average past normalized finishing position.
COMPETITORS1 A complicated current-competitor factor which serves to boost horses who have actually raced with and beaten other horses in this race in a recent past race.
COMPETITORS2 Recency-weighted mean of average lengths beaten of all other horses in this horse's past races.
LASTRACE Normalized finish of this horse in its last race times the recency weight of that race.
SPECIALDIFF Recency-weighted mean of past officially reported "trip" difficulties this horse has experienced (e.g. "was bumped and lost two lengths in last race.")
DISTANCEPREF Preference (positive or negative) for this race's distance.
TRACKPREF Preference for this race's track.
JOCKEYHISTORY Recency-weighted past skill of the jockey that rode this horse in past races.
JOCKEYCURRENT This race's jockey advantage factor (basedon an auxiliary regression model).
TRACKWORK Trackwork factor (based on an auxiliary regression model).
STRENGTH Recency-weighted estimated strength of other horses in this horse's past races.
  1. R. G. Chapman "Still Searching for Positive Returns at the Track:"


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