|WINNING TODAY WITH Ray Taulbots PACE
Howard G. Sartin, Ph.D
always been hesitant about using WINNING in a title. The reason goes back 28 years when I
was asked to address a group of truck drivers on the subject of gambling. They were
members of a Teamsters Benevolent Association and had been convicted of felonies or high
misdemeanors for horse race gambling related acts committed on the road. They were given
provisional drivers licenses and suspended sentences, providing they went into some
kind of psychotherapy.
To prepare myself to lecture on a subject about which I knew nothing, I
went to a place in Los Angeles called Smiths Newsstand where Harry Smith sold
everything ever printed and any gadget made that was related to horse racing.
I gave him my calling card and asked him, "Do you have anything
that tells how to WIN at the races?"
He laughed and pointed at two 80-foot walls of shelves. Looking at my
card he said, "I always thought you head-docs were nuts. See those shelves?
EVERYTHING on them is about winning at the races, MOST even have WINNING in the
When he stopped laughing he suggested three books and a Daily Racing
Form, which I bought. Then he said, "Since you only got a week before your speech and
you spent all this dough, heres a bunch of old Racing Forms, you better learn how to
read it. And, Ill make you a gift of this. It will probably do more good than
anything else I carry."
He handed me a Ray Taulbot Pace Calculator along with the instructions
for use. As I staggered out of his store loaded with books, Racing Forms and a Pace
Calculator, his parting remark was: "And if youre gonna try teaching a bunch of
compulsive gamblers to win, you better understand how to use the Taulbot gizmo; and
pray a little for Gods help while youre at it."
I learned a little bit from the books but with the Pace Calculator,
much to my amazement, since Id never been to a horse race, I started winning
immediately. It taught me the basics of Pace and led me toward my goal of helping others
Fade OUT. Fade IN: Several issues back, in the September 1999 issue of
ATM, I actually wrote a letter to the editor:
Editor Blair penned this after my letter.
Would you be interested in developing a feature for American Turf
Monthly focusing on pace handicapping in general and your recommended strategies with the
Pace Calculator in particular?
When a packet of mail was forwarded to me from ATM, Ian asked if
Id write an article on PROPER use of Taulbots classic Slide Rule. I was happy
to comply since most of the letters said they were not having much success using their
Pace Calculator. They ALL said they used the Highlight Pace Time Method which is best.
Of course, those who didnt write ARE using it properly and
RAY TAULBOTS place in handicapping history is secure because he
focused NOT on the 2nd call pace and Final Time of the horse itself, but on the 2nd call and final time the horse
ran AGAINST. The genius of his Pace Calculator is that with a few movements of your hand
it properly analyzes one of horse racings few incontrovertible truths:
A WINNING HORSE EITHER SETS OR OVERCOMES THE PACE OF THE RACE IT RUNS
It is this simple yet brilliant concept that many Pace Calculator
users fail to accept or completely ignore when reading the instruction manual.
NOWHERE in these directions does it EVER mention beaten lengths. It
refers to 2nd Call
PACE and FINAL TIME of the RACE ITSELF, never the horse. The ability of the HORSES
PACE and FINAL time is measured against the PACE of THE RACE by the
Calculators use of the SPEED RATING. This is the key to proper use and the
Calculators most VITAL Rating.
Taulbots definition of Second Call Pace by distance, leaves no
room for doubt:
As most of you know, the highlight pace time in a sprint race is
the half-mile time, and in a race of a mile or more it is the six-furlong time.
So you need these highlight times if you wish to use this latter method, which is the
method I always employ in my work.
It should be noted that in todays improved Racing Form, in ALL
Sprint Races through Seven and a half furlongs, the 2nd Call is the Half Mile Time. In Routes from a Mile through a Mile
and three-sixteenths, the 2nd Call is the Three Quarter (6 furlong) Time. Dont let this confuse you when
doing races over 7 furlongs or a mile and 3/16ths. Just follow the Taulbot directions as
Throughout the Pace Calculator Instruction booklet are guidelines and
Angles for selecting contenders. These are guidelines NOT rules. The single most important
of those guidelines is THIS:
Consider only the last 3 races in the past performances.
This line alone demonstrates that Taulbot was FAR AHEAD of his time. In
my own work, Ive always suggested using the BEST of the last three lines at a
COMPARABLE distance, surface and competition level. Recently, SPORTSTAT, a highly
reputable Las Vegas Research Organization did a study proving that using the Best of the
LAST THREE races based on the Daily Racing Form Speed Rating PLUS Variant, REGARDLESS of
distance, surface or class level, produced only a minus point 04 (-.04) ROI. This figure
was FAR better than those coming from the best known Speed Rating with built-in Variant
Services, including Beyer, Ragozin and Bloodstock.
While these services did not exist in Taulbots day, he was far
sighted enough to know that an OBJECTIVE, CONSISTENT means of determining Speed and
Variant would remain superior to one made by the ego-driven subjectivity of any
Today the DRF speed rating and variant is based on THREE YEAR BEST
times, not record times. This is an improvement that only enhances the viability of
This is in no way meant to discount the ancillary instructions in the
AMER-VAR section for those understanding them and choosing to do so.
In short, the Pace Calculator Instructions tell us to use CALL times,
NOT the times of the horse itself, which would include lengths behind. Unfortunately, a
lot of people are using the horses own Pace and Final Time. This negates much of the
I will not be so presumptuous as to say that ALL those writing me about
proper use of the Pace Calculator are making this mistake but Ive met many who are.
If you are one of them, RE-READ the Directions. They are complete. To COMPLETELY repeat
them would be redundant and space-consuming.
However, there are several lines confirming that Taulbot designed the
Pace Calculator to use Pace of the race NOT pace of horse.
EXAMPLE: STAR LAKE PETE on Saturday, October 2, first race at Santa
In the third race back at Santa Rosa, this horse earned the best raw
Speed Rating in its last three races. This is a low class Fair Track and even though it
was an Allowance Race, the horse finished 5 ¾ lengths behind the leader. Page one of the
Pace Calculator instructions say that any horse under consideration should have finished
within FIVE lengths of the winner. In todays racing you may find that rule too
restrictive. However, beaten 5 ¾ lengths at a far lower class track should be enough to
ignore that line. I used the Last line at FPX September 19, an oval with the highest class
of any Fair Track.
PACE OF RACE:
6FUR (:21:3) 45:1 111:2.
THIS is the PACE the horse ran AGAINST.
PACE OF HORSE: The Pace Calculator does NOT use Position Calls or
Beaten Lengths. Ignore Them. In this section of the Form use ONLY the Speed Rating.
Ill discuss Variant later. In getting a Final Rating from your Pace Calculator,
IGNORE THESE FIGURES: 7-9 ½, 7-9 ¼, 6-7 and 3-4 ½. Only when a horse is beaten by MORE
than 5 lengths should you consider the final beaten lengths as an elimination factor.
Notice Ive blacked out the First and the Stretch Call. At the 2nd Call the horse was 7th behind 9 ¼ lengths but
finished 3rd, behind
4 ½ lengths with a Speed Rating of 85. Since thats an adequate SR and the horse
gained over 5 lengths from 2nd Call to finish, well keep him.
On your Pace Calculator Move Inner slice Red Arrows opposite 6F-1:11:2.
Move Indicator Slide to 2nd Call 45:1 = 778 (Col.D). Move Red Arrows on Inner Slide to the 45:2 Fix Arrows.
Now move Indicator to SPEED RATING 85. Youll see a FINAL RATING (Col. C) of 863.
For Routes follow the printed directions using the ROUTE TIME side of
the Calculator. To incorporate the Daily Variant use AMER-VAR or my alternative option
appearing in Part 2 of this article.
Taulbot sums up his use of PACE of RACE thusly:
"However, you NOW WISH to add the speed rating (88) to this pace
rating in order to obtain a final rating which will reveal just how well the horse coped
with this average pace of 777".
Taulbot wrote in a style that was more formal than most of todays
readers feel comfortable. When he says: "However, you now wish to add the Speed
Rating to obtain a FINAL RATING which will REVEAL HOW WELL THE HORSE COPED WITH THIS
AVERAGE PACE." He did NOT say: You MAY now wish to. In short, he said: DO IT!
Elsewhere he refers to this FINAL Rating Step with: "...consists of the Speed Rating
which appears in your Racing Paper." The Daily Racing Form.
Many of todays most renowned handicapping experts are also
failing to consider the Pace of the Race itself when discussing pace handicapping.
Theyre apparently under the impression that the Second Call time of the horse
itself, relative to the Horses Final Time, represents PACE. TOO much emphasis has
been placed on the importance of horses that take the lead or are close-up at the Second
Call. This is a VISUAL, sensory impression of EARLY. Following the proper steps on the
Pace Calculator will tell you if its early ENOUGH! While many truly EARLY horses do
win, all too often its at lower prices. The longer priced horses are those that BEST
OVERCOME the pace of the race against which they ran.
These are the kinds of horses that will make you a profit when PROPERLY
using the Pace Calculator. Other vital instructions conceived by the brilliant mind of Ray
Taulbot, though written years ago, are still as current as tomorrows racing card.
con't : Part