Distance & Surface
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Distance & Surface

Distance
Introduction to Distance
Every horse on Flying for Home has a genetic bias for distance. This bias is determined by their Speed and Stamina Aptitude Genes (not to be confused with Early Speed and Late Speed, which are Stat Genes). You can see these genes if you purchase Aptitude Genes, Genetic Ratings, or a Genotype purchased for your horse. If you're new, the best way to figure out what your horse likes is by purchasing their Aptitude Genes (from the Geneticist or their Genetics page, which is relatively inexpensive).

Speed and Stamina genes work together to determine what distance(s) your horse is most suitable for. They also determine what your horse's favorite distance is, which we'll cover in more detail below. The important thing to note is that horses with strong Speed tend to fare best in shorter races, while horses with strong Stamina tend to fare best in longer races. While most horses are either bred for Speed or Stamina, you may be lucky enough to find a horse bred for both - also known as a 'versatile' horse. You may encounter horses with no aptitude for any distance, which are considered 'intermediate' and will favor mid-range distances.

By looking at your horse's Speed and Stamina genes, you can loosely categorize them into one of the groups below.

Good/Fair/Poor Speed & Good/Fair/Poor Stamina
Intermediate; usually prefers 7-9 furlongs
Stock breeds: 400-600 yards | Standardbreds: 8 furlongs

Excellent/Outstanding Speed & Good/Fair/Poor Stamina
Speed-dominant; usually prefers 4-7 furlongs
Stock breeds: 100-400 yards | Standardbreds: 7-8 furlongs

Good/Fair/Poor Speed & Excellent/Outstanding Stamina
Stamina-dominant; usually prefers 9-12 furlongs
Stock breeds: 600-900 yards | Standardbreds: 8-9 furlongs

Excellent/Outstanding Speed & Excellent/Outstanding Stamina
Versatile; may prefer anything from 5-11 furlongs
Stock breeds: 200-800 yards | Standardbreds: 7-9 furlongs

It is worth noting that intermediate horses are generally unfavorable. With no real aptitude for any distance, they tend to lack talent (will have lower potential) and may only be able to learn 1-2 distances while other horses may be able to learn 3-4. They also struggle to maintain distance familiarity and train slower.

On the other hand, versatile distance horses are very desirable for numerous reasons. First, they can often learn 4 distances and will train a little faster. Excelling at any distance you point them at, they tend to have higher potential. For Thoroughbreds and Goldbloods especially, they're also easy to campaign through series races, being able to run in Gems as a 2yo, Trinities as a 3yo, and whatever you'd like to point them at as a 4yo+.
Training & Racing
With the above information in mind, you should usually aim to train your horse for distance(s) that suit their genetic bias. There may be occasions where you want to train horses outside of this range, and that is perfectly fine. Some examples might include training a 2yo for sprint distances to get them racing sooner or training a horse for any random distance to fill in a gap in your roster (for example if you have no stamina-dominant horses, you might train a speed-dominant horse for longer distances). You may also want to train a horse outside of their genetic bias for series races.

So long as a horse is trained at any given distance, they can successfully race at that distance. No matter what distance you are training, you want to ensure a horse is trained to at least a green star (75% proficiency) before entering a race. If a horse is not well-trained for a distance, their Performance Rating (PR) may suffer and they could be at higher risk for injury.
Favorite Distance
As you get more invested in your horses and want to maximize your success on Flying for Home, favorite distance will become more important to you. Every horse has a favorite distance - a distance at which they are genetically predisposed to run their best. This typically falls within the ranges mentioned above.

There are two ways to figure out your horse's favorite distance. First, it is available in the Forever Pro Traits panel if you have a Forever Pro. Don't have a Forever Pro? You can look through your horse's race history and see if you can find a correlation between distance and (estimated) PR. If you notice that your horse almost always runs a few points higher in 5 furlong races, that might be their favorite! You can also do some guess work through buddy workouts and regular training, as horses will have higher BW scores at favorite distance and will also improve proficiency faster when training.

In addition to having a single favorite distance, horses will also run better at the distances on either side of their favorite. In other words, if a horse's best (favorite) distance is 6 furlongs, they will also race better at 5 and 7 furlongs than any other distances. With this in mind, if you can see favorite distance you should usually aim to train a horse at their favorite distance and the distances on either side of it. Using this example, you'd want to train the horse for 5-7 furlongs so that they're always racing at a favored distance.

While favorite distance is important to PR, especially when campaigning G1 horses, you do not always need to race at it. Even if you don't know what it is, you're very likely hitting a horse's best or next-best distances if you've trained them according to their genetic bias. Race a horse at their home track as often as possible, and you'll still be able to be successful with or without seeing their exact favorite distance.
Marathon & Steeplechase
Marathon and Steeplechase are two different types of races that you can transition Thoroughbreds and Goldbloods for later in their life. This is not something to worry about if you're just beginning to play, but is something you'll want to explore later. Detailed information about this can be found in those respective sections of the Handbook, so we'll keep it brief here.

Marathon horses race at 14, 16, and 18 furlong distances on both surfaces. These races are for 4 year olds and up and can be found at the regular tracks.

Steeplechase horses race at 20, 22, and 24 furlong distances over jumps on turf in either the hurdle or timber division. These races are for 4 year olds and up and are held at special steeplechase tracks - which have longer courses designed with jumps.
Driving
Driving is another type of race that Standardbreds are eligible for later in life. 4 year old and up Standardbreds can transition to driving and race over 2, 3, and 4 miles at regular tracks. All driving races are trot races. More information can be found on the relevant section of the handbook
Surface
Introduction to Surface
As with distance, all horses are born with a genetic bias for surface. This is based upon their Dirt and Turf genes, if you hadn't figured that out already. You can see these genes by purchasing Aptitude Genes, Genetic Ratings or a Genotype.

Surfaces are more straightforward than distance. A horse who is genetically Strong for a surface is predisposed to train easily on that surface. A horse who is genetically Low for a surface may struggle to become comfortable on that surface. A horse who is genetically Moderate may be able to learn a surface, but not quite as easily as a horse who is Strong.

A horse who is Strong for both surfaces is considered 'Dual' surface. These horses can easily learn to race on both surfaces and most of them will be trained using 'Alternating' options so that they can build up familiarity on both.

A horse who is Strong for one surface and Moderate for the other surface is considered 'Semi-Dual' surface. These horses still have some aptitude for training and racing on both surfaces, though it will take a little more effort. Many of these also use 'Alternating' training to open up a wider variety of race options.

A horse who is Moderate or Low for both surfaces is considered 'No Surface', as they have no real genetic bias for either. In these cases you'll want to train the horse for whichever gene is higher. If both are equal, pick whichever suits you and your stable best.

In the case of Standardbreds, they always race on the same surface. Instead of surface genes, they have genes for Pace and Trot preferences. These genes work exactly the same way as surface genes and will determine which type(s) of races you should aim them toward.
Training & Racing
Despite the guidelines above, you can train a horse to race on either surface. So long as a horse is trained on a surface, they will race successfully. If you have an excessive amount of Dirt horses and no Turf ones, by all means train some of your Dirt horses to run on Turf instead.

As noted above, you'll find an 'Alternating' option on the Exercise page. This will automatically train a horse for whichever surface is currently lower, making it easy to manage horses you wish to train, and race, on both surfaces. Keep in mind that this training option is not advised for horses who only prefer one (or no) surface. If a horse is not at least Semi-Dual, they will struggle to gain surface training and may not ever end up above 80% for either. With any horse, it's usually easier to train one surface up to 80%+ first, then start adding in the other.

You should never race a horse on a surface they aren't trained for - doing so may cause injury and will lower Performance Rating (PR). A good rule of thumb is to ensure a horse is trained to a green star (80%) before racing them on a surface. You can always double check this by looking at the Entry Checklist ('Check' button next to their entry).

Currently
Saturday, 07:15am
February
Year 44

Series Entries Close
Zodiac Zenith
Initiate’s Quest
Saturday (12:00pm)

Meet Ends
Sunday (1:00am)





Making Magic
Briana (#3)
02/24/21 8:15 pm
The Pacific region will once again host its own set of the various series races this year.
Issa (#1)
02/23/21 8:56 pm
Prime now shows specific values in the Forever Pro Traits panel.
Issa (#1)
02/22/21 4:30 pm
Beginning in Y45 solid bred Paint Horses will be ineligible for series races.
Issa (#1)
02/21/21 10:01 am
Surface proficiency has been impacted by a bug again. You may fix it as directed in the red boxes at the top of horse pages.
Briana (#3)
02/19/21 8:18 pm
Prep races for CC and TT will be occurring in February!
Issa (#1)
02/18/21 7:01 pm
Surface drops will be back in place for this month's rollover. If you notice any surface proficiency issues after the site reopens, please immediately notify a moderator and refrain from training horses.
Issa (#1)
02/17/21 10:51 am
I will be hosting Ask A Mod in Discord for the next couple of hours. Drop by if you have questions!
Issa (#1)
02/17/21 10:46 am
If you edited stud fees in the last 12 hours your fees may have accidentally been set as PC. Please double check and update your fees if you experienced this problem.
Briana (#3)
02/13/21 12:06 pm
Rollover will be changed to Sunday, February 21st.
Issa (#1)
02/11/21 10:36 am
Rollover has been extended to Wednesday.
Issa (#1)
02/10/21 8:17 pm
SIP testing will no longer be available until July.
Issa (#1)
02/07/21 4:18 pm
The Events page has been updated with series race distances for Y44. Please refer to it when preparing your horses.
Briana (#3)
02/06/21 7:37 pm
Experience will be resetting in January due to several bugs allowing horses to gain too much throughout the year.
Issa (#1)
02/06/21 5:58 pm
Buddy workouts will be unavailable after rollover.
Issa (#1)
02/02/21 3:45 pm
We have fixed a bug which was causing some QH/PH/STB to gain Rest in races rather than losing. This will not impact any horse's current Rest levels, but you may see different Rest fluctuation in future months for the horses involved.
Issa (#1)
01/29/21 12:42 am
The Training Help pop-out guide has a fresh coat of paint!
Issa (#1)
01/28/21 1:17 pm
Horses of any age may now gain random stats from Maintenance training.
Issa (#1)
01/27/21 3:29 pm
Buddy Workouts no longer add Risk to horses with low Energy.
Issa (#1)
01/25/21 10:16 pm
Have a moment to spare? If you have any experience with our buddy workout feature we'd love to see you participate in a quick survey here.
Issa (#1)
01/23/21 8:54 pm
Buddy Workouts will be unavailable in November and December to any horse that performed a buddy workout in September, October, or November. Fear not - BWs from any of those months still count for WCF and ISHC!
Issa (#1)
01/21/21 12:59 pm
The cost of Hype has been updated to match Focus. It also now always increases Risk and has a more significant impact on Risk when fed to 2 year olds.
Issa (#1)
01/16/21 11:06 am
You may now add colts of any age to your favorite studs list.
Issa (#1)
01/09/21 1:24 pm
Hype no longer reduces Rest.
Issa (#1)
01/08/21 8:29 pm
Bonuses/penalties for early/late entry have been removed. You may now enter on whatever day suits your schedule without suffering consequences!
Issa (#1)
12/15/20 8:58 pm
Series race pools will not run until 10:00pm tomorrow night. Meet A will still be running as scheduled otherwise.
Issa (#1)
12/06/20 8:07 pm
Training and entering are down for maintenance.
Issa (#1)
11/29/20 4:20 pm
We're ringing in some holiday cheer with a new contest! More details can be found on the forum.
Issa (#1)
11/27/20 4:01 pm
MII qualifications have been adjusted.
Issa (#1)
11/21/20 11:54 pm
Seeing as a lot of people are still trying to finish up barns, rollover is being postponed by 1 hour and will start at 2:00am. The site will be down an extra hour, until 4:00am.
Issa (#1)
11/19/20 3:17 pm
Performance Distinction now rewards Legacy, but no longer adds an extra foal slot to males.
Issa (#1)
11/19/20 1:55 pm
Legacy now always adds 3 slots, up to a maximum of 25 foal slots for stallions. Victor's Blade now always adds 5 slots, up to a maximum of 30 foal slots.
Issa (#1)
11/19/20 1:27 pm
The durability of Happyball and Slurpit has been reduced to 3 months.
Issa (#1)
11/14/20 9:38 am
Words of wisdom: As always, I suggest not getting too far into matching until the dust settles! (Or be prepared to make a few changes if needed.)
Issa (#1)
11/13/20 9:20 pm
Horse Trader prices have been reduced. The HT also stocks 2yo Thoroughbreds again.
Issa (#1)
11/13/20 1:28 pm
Race entering will be unavailable after January rollover.
Issa (#1)
11/12/20 6:12 pm
The Exercise page will be closed for maintenance after the January rollover. We do not yet have an ETA for when it will reopen.
Issa (#1)
11/02/20 5:10 pm
Problems with WCF qualifications have been resolved. Unqualified horses which had already entered the races have been scratched.
Issa (#1)
11/01/20 12:29 pm
Mares who do not receive their second checkup will no longer miscarry at the yearly rollover. Instead, their foals will be more likely to suffer from genetic defects.
Issa (#1)
10/29/20 3:24 pm
Does your horse dream of being a unicorn? Or maybe they're prowling for their purrever pride? Either way, we've got you covered! Trot on over to check out the two newest new backgrounds: Boonicorn and Rainboo Purrade! You can buy them as singles, infinites, or in the Rainboos & Boonicorns infinite bundle!
Issa (#1)
10/27/20 8:08 pm
Hearthstones are now functional!
Issa (#1)
10/26/20 7:08 pm
Trophies have been awarded for all series races from (at least) Y40 to present. This includes: individual CC races, individual TT races, MSF, ES, ISHC, BF/IF, and IQ.
Issa (#1)
10/26/20 1:52 pm
If you had one of the Horse Trader horses that was removed due to a bug this morning, post in the Modbox with the total amount spent and number of Trader Tickets used.
Issa (#1)
10/25/20 10:08 pm
Two new spooky backgrounds are available in the Pro Shop! Boo Sheet and Once In A Boo Moon are two variations of the same background. (One with a costume for your horse; one without!) If you want both you can purchase them in the Dejaboo bundle. (Forewarning: There may also be another background coming soon.)
Issa (#1)
10/25/20 3:40 pm
Yearling buddies who are not fed and trained will not provide assigned yearlings any benefits.
Issa (#1)
10/25/20 3:40 pm
Horses who are not fed will lose Energy at rollover.
Issa (#1)
10/24/20 7:13 pm
Crystal Chalices are now functional!
Issa (#1)
10/24/20 5:01 pm
Pastured mares now have reduced miscarriage and stillborn chances in the year they return from pasture.
Issa (#1)
10/24/20 3:39 pm
You may now extend pasture from the main page of any horse who is currently on pasture.
Issa (#1)
10/24/20 1:49 pm
Stallions have a new SIP icon for 'Sophomore' stallions with less than 10 foals who haven't earned SIP.
Issa (#1)
10/24/20 12:34 pm
The item stock at the Golden Apple Orchard has been updated!