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|How to Calculate|
|Potential, as discussed in the Stats & Traits section of the Handbook, is simply the sum of a horse's 6 base stats. If a horse has 1 Breaking, 1 Early Speed, 1 Versatility, 1 Rating, 1 Acceleration, and 1 Late Speed their Potential would be 6. On the other hand, a horse with a 10 for each stat would be 60 Potential, otherwise known as Peerless.|
|What it Indicates|
|Potential is simply another word for aptitude or talent. It is a measure of a horse's predisposition for racing well - or racing poorly. The higher a horse's Potential, the more likely they are to end up performing in the highest grades of races. A 55 Potential, for example, is a horse with high aptitude and usually indicates that a horse will perform well in Grade 1 races. 10 Potential, on the other hand, indicates a horse has little innate talent and will probably not be successful outside of Allowance races.|
|How it's Calculated|
A Peer Comparison is a measure of how good or bad a horse is when compared to other horses of the same age and breed group. A 2 year old is compared to other 2 year olds, while a 3 year old is compared to other 3 year olds. A 2 year old may look lackluster against older horses but could still be one of the best among their 2 year old crop.
Peer Comparisons for 3 year old and older horses are based on a formula that factors in current Potential as well as Peak, Morale, Courage, and Consistency.
Unlike older horses, 2 year old Peer Comparisons are based only on current Potential and Peak.
Because many of these factors are ever-changing, a horse's Peer Comparison will also change throughout their lifetime.
|What it Indicates|
A horse's Peer Comparison will always fall into one of five categories:
Far Below Average (FBA)
Below Average (BA)
Far Above Average (FAA)
These descriptions should be mostly intuitive - a horse who is Below Average is worse than many of their peers, while a horse who is Above Average is better than most of their peers.
This rating can be used to 1) decide what grade your horse would race in, 2) determine your horse's approximate Peak, and 3) see if your horse is currently living up to their Potential.
If you know your horse is 55 Potential, such as the example above, then you know they have the talent to be a very nice racer. You would expect to see a high Peer Comparison to match the high Potential. If your 55 Potential horse only has a Below Average rating, it would indicate that something is stopping the horse from reaching its true potential. Evaluating this further may help you figure out how to improve your horse's race performance.
|Performance Ratings (PR)|
|What it Measures|
Performance Ratings are a measure of how well a horse ran in a specific race. You can purchase these as a stablewide upgrade, but you can also estimate them by looking at a horse who placed before or after your horse in the race.
PRs can vary from race to race for even the most accomplished horses. They are influenced by many factors each to varying degrees. Some major components of PR include: Potential (including racing style), Peak, Morale, and in some cases Experience. Other components of PR include: Energy, Consistency, Courage, Experience, Favorite Distance, Distance (training), Surface (training), Equipment, Jockey (and Familiarity), Track Conditions (Mud), sometimes Colt Composure/Filly Power, Track Familiarity, Soundness, Maturity, Pace, and Track Bias. This sounds like a whole lot of stuff, but it gets a lot easier to understand as you begin to race more!
It is worth noting here that injuries incurred during a race can reduce PRs and some things that have little to no influence on PR can contribute significantly to chance of injury.
|What it Indicates|
You can use PR to determine what grade your horse should race in, as it is the most specific and detailed way to gauge a horse's true ability at a specific point in time. While all horses will experience rise and fall in PR, a significant change in PR can also indicate a problem. A horse could run a 200 PR one week and turn around a run a 190 PR the next week, but running 200 and then 150 would be concerning. Looking at the various factors that contribute to PR can help you determine why your horse's score might vary.
Horses who are downgraded will also have handicapped PRs, causing them to run a lower PR than they would have in the appropriate grade. Performance Ratings are never a reliable indicator of talent if accompanied by a 'Handily' note. Should you ever see this note, enter your horse in a higher grade immediately.
Always keep the date of last PR in mind. If a horse's last PR was 6+ months ago, it may in no way indicate their current capabilities. If you're looking at a 4 year old who last raced as a 2 year old, you might as well ignore their previous PR(s).
|Putting it Together|
|What to Use When|
|Now you're probably feeling a bit confused about when and where to use the various ways to measure your horse's talent. While any and all of these measures can be useful throughout a horse's life, there are certain times when one may be more useful than others. The sections below give some general guidelines as to when it is best to look to Peer Comparison, Potential, or Performance Ratings.|
|2 Year Olds|
2 year olds, as a whole, are lower (current) Potential than older horses as they have not yet reached their maximum Potential. There is not significant difference between one horse and another, so Potential is rarely the deciding factor in 2 year old races. What is the most important factor? Peak! In fact, a 6 potential 2 year old can win series races over much higher Potential horses if their Peak (and other smaller factors) is better.
When determining if a 2 year old is ready to race and what grade to race them in, you should look at Peer Comparison. PR can be useful as the year goes on, however, Potential is rarely a reliable grade or talent indicator for 2 year olds.
|Normal Mature Horses|
Normal, 3 year old and older, horses are loosely defined as horses who are maxed or near-maxed in Potential, have high Morale, and are at Peak. These horses are the easiest to manage and enter in races, as they are very straightforward with little variability. Unless there is a problem, high Potential horses should race well.
When determining what grade a normal horse should be competitive in, look to Potential. This is the easiest evaluation method and, thankfully, reliable for most well-attended horses.
Every now and then you will come across horses with special circumstances. These may be horses who meet any of the following cases: not yet at 100% Peak, out of Prime and losing Peak, low Morale, low Courage and/or Consistency, or (for G1 only) low Experience.
If a horse meets any of these conditions you will likely notice that their Peer Comparison and Potential do not align - in other words, they may have high Potential but low Peer Comparison (or the reverse).
Performance Ratings are the most reliable indicator of what grade horses with special circumstances should enter. You may also find PRs more useful when determining whether a horse should enter regular G1 races or Stellar races or when deciding which of your horses to campaign for series races.
The chart below serves as a loose guideline for choosing which grade to enter. Keep in mind the tips above when debating which column to look at. When in doubt, always revert back to PR if a recent, not 'Handily', PR is available.