Beyer Speed Figures
Beyer Speed Figures appear exclusively in Daily Racing Form. Every performance by every horse in North America is assigned a Beyer number which reflects the time of the race and the inherent speed of the track over which it was run, permitting easy comparisons of efforts at different distances. A horse who earns a 90 has run faster than one who runs an 80. In this system of numbers, 2 1/2 points are roughly equal to one length in sprints, and 2 points to one length in routes.
On the Beyer scale of numbers, the very best stakes horses in the country earn figures in the 120's. Good allowance horses or low-grade stakes horses run around 100. A typical $25,000 claiming race would be run in the low 90s, a $10,000 claiming race in the low to mid 80s. The average winning figure for bottom-level $2,500 claimers at smaller tracks is 57.
Speed Rating and Track Variant
Daily Racing Form's Speed Rating and Track Variant provide an "old style" gauge of a horse's speed in a race.
The Speed Rating is a comparison of a horse's final time with the best time at the distance at that track in the last three years. The best time is given a rating of 100. One point is deducted for each fifth of a second by which a horse fails to equal that time. Thus, in a race where the winner equals the best time (a Speed Rating of 100), another horse who is beaten 12 lengths gets a Speed Rating of 88 (100 minus 12).
As a companion to the Speed Rating, Daily Racing Form's Track Variant takes into consideration all races run on a particular day under the same conditions of distance and track surface. The Speed Ratings of all winners in each type of race are added toget her and an average is computed. This average is deducted from the par of 100 and the difference is the Track Variant. (Example: if the average Speed Rating of winners sprinting on the main track is 86, the Track Variant is 14 (par of 100 minus 86). The lower the Track Variant, the faster the track, or the better the overall quality of competition that day.