|Lone F’s: Do They Really Have an Advantage?|
|Lone F’s, (front runners in a field without other front runners) have long been accorded a near-royal status. Is it justified?
To answer this question, we begin by defining and benchmarking “F” horses in general.
Our definition of an “F” horse is a horse with 7 or 8 Quirin Early Speed Points. To benchmark these horses, we grabbed the last thousand races from our database.
(Editor’s note: The selected races did not include any maiden races, nor races for two-year olds.)
The table above shows that 7 and 8 point horses really do have a decided advantage over their rivals as evidenced by the IV column. The PIV column, which measures how the horse performs relative to the wagering, shows that the public is very aware of this advantage and bets accordingly.
First, it is obvious that the sevens and eights really do have an advantage. Note that the win percentages and impact values have risen significantly. In spite of the fact that the public recognizes the power of this scenario and lowered the average odds, they still did not wager enough to prevent these animals from being profitable!
Now for the bad news: The sample above represents all the races we found (at 6 and 6.5 furlongs) which qualified over the past 5 years! Notice the strict conditions for the scenario. The second-ranked horse must not be an “early presser!” That is, he must have less than 5 ES points.
If we isolate on races where the second-ranked horse has 5 or 6 points, the scenario shows to be worthless. In fact, the 8-point horses are now a terrible bet because the public gives these horses credit for a pace edge that they really don’t have!
Now that we have a bonifide strategy, let’s see how it works in similar scenarios.
The “Lone F” horse is accorded a much over-rated advantage. Though there is profit to be found, the scenarios where we can truly take advantage of their running style are few and far between.