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 have a Genotype purchased for your horse. If you are 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 is covered in more detail below. The important thing to note is that horses with strong Speed tend to perform best in shorter races, while horses with strong Stamina tend to perform 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
GB: 5 miles | QH/PH: 400-600 yards | STB: 8 furlongs

Excellent/Outstanding Speed & Good/Fair/Poor Stamina
Speed-dominant; usually prefers 4-7 furlongs
GB: 3-4 miles | QH/PH: 100-400 yards | STB: 7-8 furlongs

Good/Fair/Poor Speed & Excellent/Outstanding Stamina
Stamina-dominant; usually prefers 9-12 furlongs
GB: 6-7 miles | QH/PH: 600-900 yards | STB: 8-9 furlongs

Excellent/Outstanding Speed & Excellent/Outstanding Stamina
Versatile; may prefer anything from 5-11 furlongs
GB: 3-7 miles | QH/PH: 200-800 yards | STB: 7-9 furlongs

It is worth noting that genetically Intermediate horses are generally at a disadvantage. With no real aptitude for any distance, they receive a penalty to their potential. They also struggle to maintain distance familiarity and gain distance familiarity slower.

On the other hand, Versatile distance horses are very desirable for numerous reasons. Excelling at any distance you point them at, they receive a boost to their 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+.

Horses lose distance familiarity at each monthly rollover at a rate based on their Distance Genes.
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. However, horses will lose distance familiarity faster at distances they do not have a genetic aptitude for.

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 yellow star 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.

Thoroughbreds will only ever have a 4F or 12F favorite distance if they are Outstanding for Speed or Stamina and Fair/Poor for the opposite distance gene. Quarter Horses and Paint Horses follow that same rule for 100 or 900 favorite distances.

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 Thoroughbreds 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.

Steeplechase Goldbloods race at 5, 6, and 7 miles over jumps on sand, turf, and varied surface. They can only be trained for timber races. Their races are also for 4 year olds and older, but are held at the regular Endurance courses.
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 STB tracks. All driving races are trot races. More information can be found in the relevant section of the handbook.
Surface
Introduction to Surface & Gait
As with distance, all horses are born with a genetic bias for surface or gait. For Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, and Paint Horses this is based upon their Dirt and Turf genes. For Goldbloods surface aptitude is based on Sand and Turf genes. Rather than surface, Standardbreds have gaits - Trot and Pace. You can see these genes by purchasing Aptitude Genes, Genetic Ratings or a Genotype.

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

A horse who is Strong for both surfaces or gaits is considered 'Dual' surface/gait. These horses can easily learn to race on both surfaces/gaits and most of them will be trained using 'Alternating' options so that they can build up familiarity on both. If they are a Goldblood, they're also a candidate to enter Varied surface races, which include both Sand and Turf terrain.

A horse who is Strong for one surface/gait and Moderate for the other is considered 'Semi-Dual' surface/gait. These horses still have some aptitude for training and racing on both surfaces/gaits, 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 or gaits is considered 'No Surface/Gait', 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. They will have also received a penalty to their potential at birth, so they typically max a bit lower.

Horses lose surface and gait familiarity at each monthly rollover at a rate based on their Aptitude Genes.
Training & Racing
Despite the guidelines above, you can train a horse to race on either surface or gait. So long as a horse is trained on a surface or gait, they will race successfully. However, just like Distance, a horse will lose Surface/Gait Proficiency faster on surfaces or gaits for which they do not have a genetic aptitude.

As noted above, you'll find an 'Alternating' option on the Exercise page. This will automatically train a horse for whichever surface or gait is currently lower, making it easy to manage horses you wish to train, and race, on both surfaces/gaits. You should never race a horse on a surface or gait 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 75% (yellow) before racing them on a surface/gait.

Currently
Monday, 05:15am
October (Meet A)
Year 49

Series Entries Close
Gold Cup
Zodiac Zenith
Wednesday (12:00pm)

Meet Ends
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Making Magic
Alex (#165)
06/24/22 12:09 am
Some of the Goldblood mares in the Select Sale Auction were consigned incorrectly. They have now been fixed and may be bid on again!
Issa (#1)
06/12/22 9:06 pm
Per community feedback, some updates have been made to the YA. See recent news post or Consign page for more information. Yearlings may also eat Alfalfa Cubes now.
Issa (#1)
06/12/22 6:15 pm
Suggested Grade has been updated to reflect recent PRs when a horse has finished races within the current year. This will make it a more accurate representation of what grade a horse should perform best in.
Issa (#1)
06/09/22 1:46 pm
You may now purchase up to 200 partnerships in yearlings each year. This is an increase from the former limit of 60.
Issa (#1)
06/06/22 8:28 pm
Racing horses 9 and older have been returned from pasture in case you'd like to race them this year with maximum racing age changes. If you want to keep them on pasture, just click the button to pasture them again.
Issa (#1)
06/06/22 6:06 pm
If you aren't seeing updated tack art/colors, you may need to hard refresh by pressing CTRL+F5. Clearing your cache may also help.
Issa (#1)
06/03/22 1:52 pm
The Golden Apple Orchard now offers Heir's Crowns.
Issa (#1)
06/02/22 8:59 pm
Retired mares are now eligible to pension for free. This is being offered on a trial basis through at least the end of the Y50 breeding season.
Issa (#1)
06/02/22 7:39 pm
Beginning in Y50, the maximum racing age will be reduced to 10. Horses 11 years and older will be ineligible to enter races and automatically retired from racing.
Issa (#1)
05/27/22 12:18 pm
The color scale for Rest and Morale has been adjusted to include a blue indicator for the most ideal range, making it easier for those who can't see exact % to manage racing and training.
Issa (#1)
05/20/22 7:28 pm
The June Board Game Arena tournament is open for registration! Information can be found on Discord and the forum.
Issa (#1)
05/02/22 11:53 am
As part of our 30 (60) Days of Flowers, I will be painting every flower onto a postcard. If you'd like a chance at receiving a postcard, provide your address through this form. Recipients will be drawn randomly for each flower and each person may only be chosen once. You do not need to be inside the US to sign up.
Issa (#1)
05/02/22 11:47 am
Calling all colorists! A new quest has appeared in #inky-adventures! Are you up for the challenge?
Issa (#1)
04/30/22 12:22 pm
Final reminder: The Spring Fling sale ends sometime tomorrow!
Issa (#1)
04/26/22 10:59 am
Registration is now open for May Board Game Arena tournaments. Registration information can be found in #tournament-info on Discord.
Issa (#1)
04/21/22 2:09 pm
As matching season draws near, the Intro to Matching page has a couple updates - including new charts for genotype searching and a revision to the KISS tutorial linked within.
Issa (#1)
04/18/22 4:58 pm
You can now 'Subscribe' to forum posts to receive notification of replies.
Issa (#1)
04/18/22 4:40 pm
You may now purchase custom Goldbloods again.
Issa (#1)
04/18/22 3:43 pm
Race Preferences may now be set to include Any Tracks, which will show races at tracks from all regions.
Issa (#1)
04/18/22 10:44 am
Have you checked the forum lately? A spiffy new contest for Standardbreds is kicking off this year!
Issa (#1)
04/18/22 10:36 am
Training is now available for all horses.
Issa (#1)
04/17/22 6:14 pm
Distances and home tracks may now be assigned to Goldbloods.
Issa (#1)
04/17/22 4:39 pm
The Spring Fling Pro Shop sale has started! For every 3 PC purchased, earn 1 free! There's also a variety of fun and rare items stocked in the Pro Shop.
Issa (#1)
04/17/22 3:36 pm
Training Assistant and Jockey purse fees have been updated and can be viewed on their respective pages. You may also begin to hire assistants at Endurance tracks.
Flash (#2)
04/16/22 6:08 pm
Training will be temporarily unavailable at the start of January. Steeplechase transition for Goldbloods will also be inaccessible.
Issa (#1)
04/10/22 2:09 pm
Gelding buddies from the HT are temporarily available at reduced prices. Prices will return to normal in March Y49.
Issa (#1)
04/09/22 5:44 pm
All race preferences will now be reset when a horse is sold, leased, auctioned, or claimed.
Issa (#1)
04/09/22 5:15 pm
Driving Trials do not factor in Colt Composure or Filly Power. This applies to all current and future DT-related races.
Issa (#1)
04/09/22 3:05 pm
Groundwork for racers and Long Gallops have been improved with added benefits. More details will be in an upcoming news post as these changes may impact how you start 2 year olds in January.
Issa (#1)
04/09/22 12:41 pm
Gold Loot Crates have been reimbursed with Crystal Chalices and Green Loot Crates have been reimbursed with Classic Surprise Boxes. Apologies this update has been much delayed!
Waylon (#1593)
04/08/22 7:51 pm
The SS Yearling Raffle will begin at 8:30pm FFH time on Discord!
Issa (#1)
04/07/22 11:20 pm
Don't forget the Select Scholarship entries close Friday morning. Click here to participate!
Maeve (#1539)
04/07/22 9:08 pm
April Art to Heart is open! Our prompt this month is Blossom! Respond to the prompt to earn features and prizes. Check out our discord or the link HERE for more info!
Issa (#1)
03/31/22 11:07 am
Invites for the April BGA tournament must be requested by tomorrow, Friday, morning! Tournaments start Friday night.
Issa (#1)
03/19/22 11:15 am
New? Have questions? Just want to chat about FFH? Stop by Discord for Coffee with a Mod (me!) this morning.
Issa (#1)
03/13/22 12:02 pm
The Y48 Yearling Sales are open for consignment!
Issa (#1)
03/12/22 4:14 pm
Do you like Standardbreds? Get your driving horses lined up and prepaired for 3 mile races. Something unpaircedented is coming soon!
Issa (#1)
03/12/22 4:04 pm
Beginning in Y49, Goldbloods will no longer be sharing races with Thoroughbreds. More details on what's coming for the breed will be announced closer to that time.
Issa (#1)
03/12/22 2:10 pm
Retired Quarter Horses, Paint Horses and Standardbreds no longer suffer from extra Condition loss until they are 20 years or older.
Maeve (#1539)
03/10/22 6:46 pm
March Art to Heart art event is now open! Respond to a provided prompt and earn prizes and features! Check out our discord or the link HERE for more information!
Issa (#1)
02/28/22 11:00 pm
Moderator applications will be closing Wednesday, March 2nd. Please indicate interest, as explained in the '2022 Outlook' post, by that date.
Issa (#1)
02/25/22 10:36 pm
March Board Game Arena tournaments are open for entering. Sign up for a chance to win prizes, including end-of-tournament raffles! Information can be found in the #board-game-arena channel on Discord.
Issa (#1)
02/19/22 12:31 pm
Roses are red, violets are blue... The lovely and talented Raz (#1016) has made a new background for you! This may be a few days late, but you can still dress your horse up for an important date! Single and infinite Heart Bouquet backgrounds are currently available in the Pro Shop.
Issa (#1)
01/29/22 1:16 pm
As a reminder, you should not be reloading other players' 2 year olds. If they aren't reloaded yet, it's probably because the owner hasn't looked at them yet - don't ruin their surprise.
Issa (#1)
01/25/22 7:43 pm
Stud Services now has a breakdown of mares due in the current year and mares already covered for the upcoming year to make it easier to keep track of foal slots. Players can no longer accept breeding requests if total foals + mares in foal would exceed a stallion's foal limit.
Issa (#1)
01/25/22 7:41 pm
Spring now has a daily limit of 10 plays for monetary rewards (rather than $100,000). You may continue to play additional games to earn blackout raffle tickets.
Issa (#1)
01/24/22 11:06 pm
The Trophy Hall revamp is live! You can view it from your Stable profile page.
Issa (#1)
01/24/22 1:45 pm
Due to a bug with Blood Type inheritance, some unretired horses may have a rerolled from their sire's BT to their dam's BT.
Issa (#1)
01/23/22 7:14 pm
The February Be My Palentine Board Game Arena tournament is open for registration! Information can be found in #board-game-arena on Discord.
Issa (#1)
01/22/22 5:16 pm
Training will be temporarily unavailable after tonight's rollover into the new year.