EquiSim ROI User's Guide

Table of Contents

  1. About This User's Guide
  2. A Note for Users of Previous Versions
  3. First Things First
  4. Data Files

  5. First Steps
  6. The Form View
  7. Summary Report View

  8. Comments View

  9. Matchups View
  10. Speed Graph View

  11. Fractions View

  12. The Formula View

  13. Simulating and the Simulation View

  14. Tuning Simulations

  15. The Wagers and Selections View

  16. Creating and Maintaining a Database

  17. The Chart Viewer

  18. The Profiler

  19. The Selections Performance Analysis Tool (SPAT)

  20. The Connection Report View

  21. The Post Position Report View

  22. The Wager Report View

  23. The Options Dialog (under the Tools menu...)

  24. DB Direct

About this User's Guide 

First, take a deep breath. That’s what I just did as I looked at all of the explaining and documenting I had in front of me. Yes, there’s a lot of functionality in EquiSim. You might need to take two deep breaths.  Keep two things in mind while taking those breaths. First, the program really isn’t that difficult to use – you’ll get it.  Over the years I’ve found that the most difficulty arises in areas that are fundamental to Windows usage – how to find a data file, how to create a folder, etc..  This stuff you will rarely, if ever, need to do when using EquiSim – but being able to do the fundamental computer stuff will make using the program, or any computer program, much easier – its just the nature of the beast.   If you don’t know how to create folders, what files are, how to download files, and stuff like that, it will be a good idea for you to read some tutorials about using Windows, or perhaps even take a computer class. 

For your second deep breath, consider this – you don’t need to know it all, or use it all. EquiSim is a complex program -- it offers a myriad different usages. But once you get past the basics – and those are mostly just understanding fundamental Windows stuff -- you can make your usage of it as simple or complex as you want.  And you can start off slow and build from there.

This User’s Guide is organized around the principle of a tutorial. I’m not going to laboriously document every menu entry and button item by item. Not only is this boring to write, its boring to read too. This is a “how to” User’s Guide.  Contrary to my writing style, I’ll try to be brief and to the point around every turn.

Should you have questions the very best place to ask them is on the ThoroTech Discussion Forums.  There you’ll find a lot of friendly, helpful folks.  You can probably find answers to questions that others have already had by using the Search feature on the forums. The forum is also a great place to express ideas for improving the program, and to discuss different strategies for using it.   

Throughout this document you will find color codes to indicate various special topics. The codes are:

Notes appear in this color.
Tips appear in this color.
Work Alongs appear in this color.
Sub topics appear in this color.

This guide was designed as a hypertext document -- there are hot links throughout.  "Back" links -- links that take you back to where you came from after clicking on a hyperlink -- have not been supplied. You can use your web browsers back button to accomplish this.  The guide was created as a single HTML document to facilitate printing from a web browser.  For this purpose also the guide it has been kept as one complete document file rather than split into many files linked together via hyperlinks.  

A Note for Users of Previous Versions

First Things First

System Requirements

You need an IBM compatible computer running some flavor of a 32 bit Windows operating system (Windows 95 through XP, currently). Any processor speed will work, but the faster the processor the better your performance will be when dealing with databases. To that, you should also note that having a good deal of RAM memory (256 megabytes or more) will make a significant performance difference compared to machines with less memory (especially machines with 64 megabytes or less).  A graphics card with OpenGL hardware acceleration is recommended for optimum performance while watching the simulations. The simulations can be run without viewing them. In this case the graphics card does not come into play.   Database files can get large. 100-500 megabytes is not uncommon.

Install the Program

The first thing you want to do is get the program installed on your computer.  

Tip: You do not need to uninstall the demo version of EquiSim before installing the registered version provided you install to the same folder.

To do this you run the setup program that you downloaded from the web or received on CD Rom. The setup program will install EquiSim onto your computer. Unless you really know what you are doing, just accept the default location.  After the program is installed it will place an icon on your desktop and a program group in your Windows Start Menu called “EquiSim ROI 4”.  You can use these to start EquiSim.

Tip: You may only run one instance of EquiSim at a time from the same folder (on the same computer). This is due to database restrictions. If you launch more than one instance of EquiSim, the program will display an error message and will not start.

Run the Program

At this point you should launch the program. You can use the desktop icon and the icon in the Start Menu to start it.  Here’s a critical point – do you have the Microsoft Jet Database Engine installed on your computer?  If, when you start the program, an error message appears that looks like this:

 

You probably need to install the Jet Database Engine.  Don’t fret – this is a FREE install from Microsoft. It is available on the EquiSim ROI CD ROM and also via download from the ThoroTech Web Site. You simply need to run the installer for it.  You can find the download here: http://www.thorotech.com/equisim/jetdatabase.html

Activate the Program

If this is the licensed version of the program (that is, you’ve purchased a license to use EquiSim), then you will immediately be prompted to enter in your Activation information. This is the information you would have obtained from ThoroTech. It is necessary to enter it once at startup in order to activate and use EquiSim.

Data Files

Types of Data Files EquiSim Uses

Before you start using the program you should understand something about the data files that EquiSim uses and where you can get them. Data for upcoming races is available in a format compatible with EquiSim from BRIS and TSN. 

Work Along To computer wizards there are only a few basic pieces of information you need to know in this section. To those less familiar with computers, however, this section has proven the most difficult aspect of the program.  If you find yourself struggling to get things right just remember two things -- you'll get it! And, when you do, you'll have become more adept at using your computer in an area applicable to many applications. We're dealing with downloading files and storing them in particular places on your computer's hard drive. 

Here is the list of what types of data files EquiSim uses. Tip -- there are links to these product download pages in the EquiSim  Tools Menu. There are also tools that are included with EquiSim that will aide in downloading the files - see "Tools For Downloading Data Files" below.

Data Card Files

 You need these files -- they contain the race information

Note: EquiSim will also use TSN ProCaps data files and BRIS MultiCaps data files. These files are more expensive but contain mostly the same data as the above files. The are more expensive because they are the only files that work with some of the "free" programs available from BRIS/TSN.

Exotic Results Files

You need these files if you wish to create a database.

Instant Race Charts

Instant Charts can not be used as a substitute for Exotic Results files. You do not need these files to use EquiSim -- they can be stored for fast chart retrieval -- TODO: put link to where this is.

Getting Data Files, Step by Step

1. Decide which Data Provider you want to use - BRIS or TSN.  The data from each provider does differ in several areas.  

2. Register for an account with the data provider you have chosen at their web site.

3. Now you need to download some files to use with EquiSim.  EquiSim's File Grabber is the most efficient way of downloading files.  When you download data files you should organize them in a specific way so that EquiSim can best take care of you. It lets you download the files just like a web browser, and it automatically puts them in the proper place and creates the necessary folders.  Even if you use the File Grabber, here are a few simple things to remember:

So, all in all, your file structure looks something like this (remember, GGX is inside of your Data Card Root Folder - C:\My Cards)

 

Tools for Downloading Data Files

You can use any web browser to download files, and you can create the folder structure described above manually as well. But EquiSim has a couple of tools to help you download files that will place them in the proper place.

The File Grabber

You can launch this program by going to EquiSim's Tools Menu and selecting "File Grabber".  There is also a short cut in the EquiSim program folder in the Windows Start Menu. This program allows you to download data files (cards, results, and charts) from BRIS or TSN much more easily than getting files one by one. Plus, you only need to specify your Data Card Root Folder and the program will automatically place the files in the correct location. It will even re-name Chart files correctly (see below).

The File Grabber is simple to use. You start it, enter in your login and user information FOR THE DATA PROVIDER you are using, and then select which type of data file.  The File Grabber then goes to the Data Provider's web site, logs you in, and provides the necessary info to download. NOTE - where applicable the data provider will bill your account with them just as if you were using a web browser to download the data file.

The File Organizer Wizard

  1. Download your data cards to any folder you want to. You could create a folder named "Downloads" and download everything there. (You must name Instant charts correctly -- see below).
  2. After you have downloaded files to your folder, start EquiSim and go to the File menu. Select the "File Organizer" command. This brings up the File Organizer Wizard.
  3. In the first step of the File Organizer window you will be asked to verify that your Data Card Root Folder is correct. The Data Card Root Folder is the folder that is the parent of all TRACK folders. See Above. If the Data Card Root Folder listed in the Wizard is correct, click the Next button.
  4. After you click the Next button you are taken to the screen where you can select the folder that you downloaded your files to -- that's the one you specified in step 1..  EquiSim remembers the last folder you selected.  If necessary, use the button on the screen to browse to and select the folder. You also have the option to Overwrite the files if they exist in the target location, and Delete the files from your download folder after they have been copied.
  5. When you are ready, click the Next button. EquiSim will then create any necessary folders for you and copy, or move, the files in your Download folder to the correct location. A report is generated that tells you exactly what EquiSim did.
  6. After your files are moved, you can open them using the File->Open Card... command in EquiSim. You should look for them by first going to the folder designated as your Data Card Root Folder.  Under this folder there will be folders, one for each track. Beneath this folder there are "year" folders. In these year folders you will find your data cards. It's all quite logical.

Naming Instant Charts when Downloading with a Web Browser

There is a trick to how you must NAME and DOWNLOAD the instant chart files described in this section. Tip: The EquiSim File Grabber will name these files correctly and download them into the proper location for you.

  1. Go to the BRIS Instant Charts Page, or to the TSN Instant Charts Page
  2. There are several ways to download the Instant Chart, depending on your web browser.. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT SAVE THIS FILE AS "Text". It must be saved as an .html document. Here's the method I find most convenient. Select the Instant Chart file you'd like to download by RIGHT clicking on it (left click if you are left handed).  A MENU will appear.  On this menu will be the option to "Save Target As..." Select this option.  A dialog will be displayed prompting you to select a location in which to save the file and a file name.
  3. For location, select the appropriate location as described in the "Where to Store Your Data Files" above.  IMPORTANT. You must name the file according this this convention:
    2or3lettertrackabbrev_month_day_2digityear.html
    Note -- do not add an "x" to the name of the file if it only has a two letter abbreviation.
    Here are a couple of examples:

Tip: Information about how to put instant charts into your database is provided in the section on the Databases in this User's Guide (TODO: Link).

 

First Steps

Opening a Data Card File

Now that you know how and where to get data files, and also where to store them on your computer’s hard drive, its time to get down to business.  The first thing you need to know is how to open a Data Card in EquiSim.  This action loads the data for a card’s worth of races, making it available for you to handicap using the program.

There are two ways to open Data Card files.  Both are found in the File Menu.

File->Open Card(s) by Date…: This command brings up a dialog that you can use to select which cards to open on a particular date.  This works well if the card you want to open is on or around the current date because the dialog’s date defaults to the current date. This dialog remembers the tracks that were last selected.

File->Open Card(s)…: This command brings up the traditional Windows File Dialog.  You want to use the “Look In” portion of the dialog to move the appropriate track\Year folder for the card you want to open. You can select multiple cards from the same folder by holding down the Control or Shift key while selecting the files with your mouse. Once you have made your selection, click the “Open” button to open the files.  This dialog remembers the last folder that you opened a Data Card file from.

Work Along: Open the Sample Data card that comes with EquiSim. Use the File->Open Card(s) command. Browse to C:\my cards\XXX\TODO\.  Once there, locate the file "TODO", select it with your mouse, and click the open button.

Tip: You can open multiple cards in EquiSim. A card is not closed until you use the File->Close Card command on it, or you exit the program. You close a card by selecting it in the Card drop list (see below) and using the Close Card command on it

Navigation Overview

When you open a Data Card file EquiSim’s user interface springs to life. If you're working along you've probably noticed that a lot of things have changed in your User Interface now that your card is open.  Before going on, I’ll give you a quick overview of the various navigation tools in EquiSim – the items in the user interface that allow you to move from tool to tool, card to card, and race to race. Later we'll explore each one of them in more detail.

Main Menu This is the menu that runs across the top of the program's window.  The main menu has most of the commands available in the program within it, but, its the slowest way to access those commands. Many of the commands are also available via toolbar buttons, dialog buttons, hot keys, and context menus.

Navigation Toolbar The Navigation toolbar lets you open and close card data files, move from one open card to the next via the card drop list, scroll to entries in a handicapping view (where available).  The toolbar also contains commands for bringing up the reports related to database analysis. Note that these buttons are disabled when you are not connected to a database. Buttons for starting the Simulation Tuning Wizard and controlling the visibility of the report controls dialog are on it as well.  This toolbar is dockable on the top and the bottom of the window. It can also be floated.

Take a moment to look at this toolbar. From left to right, this is what these buttons do:

TODO - Links

Brings up the Open Cards by Date dialog
Closes the currently active card
Lets you move to any race in the active card.  You will use the Card Tools on the active race.
The list of entries in the active race. You can use it as quick list, and some of the views let you scroll to an entry by selecting the entry in this list
This button is only enabled when one of the "report" tools is active.
Displays the "Selections Analysis Performance Tool" report, aka SPAT
Displays the Connections Report
Displays the Wagers and Selections report
Displays the Post Position Report
Brings up the Simulation Tuning Wizard

Card Tools Toolbar The Card Tools toolbar gives you quick access to the handicapping tools in EquiSim that relate specifically to a race in an individual race card. Tools include the Form View, Simulation View, Profiler, and more. We'll talk about all of them below. You'll note that the buttons are disabled when no data card is open. This toolbar can be docked on any side of the window and can also be floated. 
 

From left to right, these buttons:

Bring up the In Today's Card view for the active card.
Brings up the Scratches view for the active card.
Brings up the Form View for the active race
Brings up the Summary Report for the active race
Brings up the Notes page for the active race
Brings up the Matchups view for the active race
Brings up the Fractions view for the active race
Brings up the Formula View
Brings up the Simulation view for the active race
Brings up the Simulation Chart for the active race
Brings up the Profiler view for the Active race
Brings up the Wagers and Selections view for the active card

Marker Toolbar: The Form View lets you create highlight areas (as if you were marking up a paper form with a highlighter). This toolbar has commands that control the highlighter. You can hide/display it from the View Menu. NOTE - once you create a marker area that area is static and unchanging. But, the text of the page is dynamic and can change based on your choices (if you choose to show more or less past performances, for example). So, be aware that any change in the orientation of text on the form view will cause the text to move while any markers you made previously will stay in the same place.
.

Context Menus: These are the menus that pop up when you alternate mouse (right click for righties) in some area. They provide menus that match the "context" of the mouse click. EquiSim has a bunch of them.

Database Basics

This is just a very simple primer on the database aspects of EquiSim -- just the ones you need to know about.  First, a database is just another type of data file.  It has a name and it exists in some location on your hard drive. You can create databases in EquiSim using the command Profiler Database->New Profiler Database. Second, in order to use a database you need to connect to it.  To do so you either tell the program to connect to a particular database whenever it starts up, or use the Profiler Database->Connect to Profiler Database command to select the database file you want to connect to.  That's it!  The rest is all just clicking a few buttons. 

Work Along: Create a database in EquiSim using the information above.  Make the program connect to this database whenever you start it. Take NOTE of where you created this database on your hard drive.

Introduction to the Basic Handicapping Tools

At this point you've learned about the files that EquiSim uses and you've opened a data card file.  You've also learned with the general navigation tools are in the program, and you've even created a database. Now we're going to start really using the program to handicap. This section describes the basic handicapping tools that are part of EquiSim.  These are the features that can be put to good use on a single day's racing card without any concern over databases and such.

The Form View

When you first open a data card the first thing you see is the Form View for the first race on the card. Note: EquiSim does not display Quarter horse races if they appear in a card.  The Form View is your view of the Past Performances -- the typical stuff you see in publications such as the DRF, along with a whole lot more.

ESFormTut - Tutorial Application

I've created a small application to help you become acquainted with the EquiSim Form View, and racing forms in general.  It presents a view of the form that you can use your mouse to click on items in order to get more information about the item clicked on.  A short cut to the program is installed with EquiSim and is available in the EquiSim program group in the Windows Start menu. The short cut is called "ESFormTut" and the program is called "ESFormTut.exe".

Work Along: I highly recommend that you check out this tutorial, especially if you are new to EquiSim and/or are new to handicapping.

Tip:There are many aspects of the Form view that can be customized. You can hide the Horse Comments area, for example.  Most of the commands  to perform tasks on the Form view are located in the Race Form View menu, described below.  There are a couple also located in the Tools Menu->Options dialog.

Selecting  Pace Lines

EquiSim relies on the selected pace line (past performance) of each horse to generate simulations, assign profiler abilities, and to display in the Summary Report. TODO: Links. 

When you first open a race card EquiSim automatically selects pace lines for you. You can select your own, and the program will remember what you've selected the next time you open the card. To select your own pace lines simply click the check boxes next to the form view -- the one that is blue is the selected pace line. New pace line selections automatically update the necessary areas of the program. Note that you will need to re-simulate and re-Profile in order to see their effects on those features. 

Multiply Selecting Pace Lines

EquiSim allows you to select multiple pace lines to drive the simulation, profiler, and summary report.

Tip: You can reset the pace lines to the program selections by using the Tools Menu->Reset Paceline Selection command.  This will work on the ENTIRE race CARD that is selected in the loaded card list on the Navigation Toolbar.

Try selecting a few pace lines, both singly and multiply.

Pace Line Selection Rules

EquiSim selects the pace line to use for each horse using one of two algorithms.  These are the things each algorithm looks for:

The default algorithm is "Find the Most Suitable Race". Using the above criteria, this is how it works:

Look at the pace lines, most recent to last.  Keep looking until one of the criteria below is met.

  1.  ST and P and S and D and DT and NE.
  2.  P and S and D and DT and NE.
  3.  S and D and DT and NE.
  4.  S and D and DT.
  5.  D and DT.
  6. DT
  7. Use any

The other algorithm is the "Use Last Race" algorithm. It is implemented as follows:

Look at the pace lines, most recent to last.  Keep looking until one of the criteria below is met.

  1.  DT and S and NE
  2.  DT and NE
  3.  DT
  4.  Use any

You can select which algorithm to use by creating a bias (or editing an existing one) in the Simulation Bias Settings dialog (see below). This, however, is an advanced feature. Currently the automatic selection of pace lines is something designed for the software to handle. In the future, more algorithms will be added (you may even be able to create your own) and an easier way to select them will be implemented.

Tip: The program selects MULTIPLE pace lines in a less exhaustive fashion. It takes the top X number of races, where X is the number that you specify in the Tools Menu->Options->General Tab

 

I'll assume that you've looked at the tutorial application and are now familiar with all of the parts of the EquiSim racing form.  You probably wondered what the "Power Move" stuff was and were dissatisfied with the brief description offered by the application.

Power Move

The Power Move is something new in version 4.0 that I think will help indicate the quality of competition a horse faced previously relative to his own abilities. It is also meant as an indication of whether the challenge a horse faces in the upcoming race is likely to be harder or easier than his previous contests.  The power move may also prove useful in identifying what handicappers refer to as the "form" of the horse.

The Power Move indicators (there are three of them) all have something to do with the Prime Power number. This means that if you are using the TSN 50 cent cards that lack Prime Power you won't have the Power Move feature available to you.  This number is a proprietary number developed by the Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS), and it is available in their data files and in the ProCaps data files available from their sibling company, Thoroughbred Sports Network (TSN).  The Prime Power alone is a very effective number, but tends to reveal a lot of favorites and is generally over bet. Power Move seeks to use the effectiveness of the Prime Power numbers, but in ways that may eek out better prices. 


The three numbers that make up the Power Move are (from left to right in the image above):

Power Difference This is the difference between the average of the top three prime power numbers in the race and this horse's prime power number. Positive numbers mean the horse is/was above the average top three.  This indicator gives you an idea of how this horse stacks up, prime power wise, with the field.  The average works well here. If one very strong horse has a towering prime power, all the other horses, even the 2nd and 3rd power horses, may have negative differences.
Power Change This is simply the difference between the horse's prime power in the upcoming race and the horse's prime power in his last race. This can be important because the Power Move (below) may be in positive territory for a horse that moves from a very, very bad situation  to only a very bad one. These may indeed be good plays -- but the Power Change can clue you into the times when a long shot really is a long shot.
Power Move This is the difference between the Power Difference (see above) of the horse's upcoming race and the Power Difference of the horse's last race. It indicates the direction of change in the level of competition this horse is facing and the amount of change. 

 

Lets put it together.... In the example above, this horse went from a -10.2 to a -4.1 Power Difference.  The difference between the two is 6.1. This is a really good number. However, the one thing that is worrisome is that the Power Change dropped off by 4.6 points and this horse is also 4.1 points off of the average top 3 prime power horses in the race.  Will this "class drop" help him out, or is his form declining?

Work Along: Look back over the definition of the three factors that make up the Power Move stuff. Write down the order in which they appear on a scrap piece of paper until you always remember the order -- in order to save space they are not labeled in Form View.

Lastly, it is important to understand how EquiSim creates the Power Move stuff.  Whenever you open a race card EquiSim grabs info from the data file you opened and stores it into the Settings database. You do not have to concern yourself with this database. It is managed totally automatically (at least, that's the design).  When you open a new race card, EquiSim goes in and sees if any of the past performances on the race card have been seen before as race cards.  If it finds them, then it can create the power move information for that past performance (and, likewise, bring up any of your old notes, etc.).

So, the bottom line is that all you need to do to get the Power Move info is to open up a race card (and have race cards with Prime Power in them).  The settings information, including Power Move, is stored when the card is closed (or when the program exits).

On top of all the good information that the Form View provides are the features that let you control how the information is displayed. Here is a list of those features, what you can do with them, and where to find them.

Race Form View Menu

This is the menu that exist on the main menu bar. It is loaded with features that work specifically with the form view. 

Work Along: Try out these commands and see how they impact the Form View

Convert Horse Fractions to Race Distance This command will convert the fractions of every horse's past performance to the distance of the upcoming race. The conversion algorithm  uses general par times and energy distribution of the past performance to come up with the converted times. If a race has been converted its fractions appear in red.
Days Since Last Race When this feature is enabled the race index of the past performance (Track/Date/RaceNum) is replaced by the number of days the horse was off since his last start.  This is a good way to see if a pattern exists in a horses rest periods, and when that horse does the best.
Fractions in 100s Displays the past performance fractions in 100's of a second. The default is 10s of a second.
Fractions in Seconds Displays the fractional times in seconds only. So 1:11.01 would be 71:01 seconds
Horse Abilities Horse Abilities are part of EquiSim's Profiler.  In brief, the Profiler determines what abilities, or factors, each horse has in relation to every other horse in the race.  The profiler generates statistics for each of these abilities. They are listed on the Form View, when this feature is enabled, for reference.
Horse Fractions Enable this feature to convert the fractional times of the past performance from the leaders running time to the horse's personal running time.  Running times are calculated by using lengths back at each call.
Horse Comments Area This lets you hide and show the Comments area of the Form view - where you can enter you own comments for each horse.
Jockey Choice

When the Jockey's Choice option is enabled in the Race Form View menu colors are used to indicate certain key jockey changes so that they are more noticeable to you when you handicap.  I thank Mark Smickley for suggesting this feature.

 This is the way it works:

  • When the jockey of a horse is not the same rider who rode the horse in its last race, the jockey's name will be green unless the condition below also appears.  This indicates a change in jockey.
  • When the jockey of a horse is not the same rider who rode the horse in its last race and the jockey rode another horse entered in the race in its last outing,  the jockey's name will be red. The horse that the jockey did not "choose" to ride in this race will have the text "jc:#" next to its program number, where "#" is the program number of the horse that the jockey did choose to ride. This situation indicates a jockey change and possibly a jockey's choice situation. 
  • When the jockey of a horse is the same rider who rode the horse in its last race and the jockey rode another horse entered in the race in its last outing, the jockey's name will be blue.  The horse that the jockey did not "choose" to ride in this race will have the text "jc:#" next to its program number, where "#" is the program number of the horse that the jockey did choose to ride. This situation indicates a likely jockey's choice of mounts to ride.
JR's Magic Marker Enable this feature to highlight any Pace and Speed figure in the Past Performances that are equal to or above the Par for the race according to the race card data file you are using.  I thank "Just Ralph" for suggesting this feature.
Mixin Workouts Enable this to mix in the workouts with each past performance line by date. This is a great way  to insure that you will not miss a hot recent workout, but it takes up more space vertically.
Morning Line If this feature is disabled the Morning Line odds will not be displayed in the program. Tip: This also impacts the Summary Report
Perf Power Move & Comments Enable this feature to view the Prime Power, Power Move info, and any comments you might have made about this horse for each past performance. The trainer for the horse when it had its past performance is also listed. Note that this  information is only available if you have previously opened the race card for this past performance. The power move information is only available if you have data cards with the Prime Power numbers in them.
Profiler Values The Profiler values come from the Profiler View. TODO - Link They are always 0 until you have Profiled a race using the Profiler.  You'll learn more about the Profiler View later.
Show Only Contenders This allows you to hide horses that do not have the blue "Contenders" box checked in the Form View. Usage of the contender box is entirely at your discretion.  I use it when I have thrown a horse out and no longer want to look at him (especially if he's the favorite and I don't want to be tempted). Others use it to decrease the amount of paper they have to print if they know they are going to throw out a horse, or if there are horses on the Also Eligible list that won't make it in the race.
Split Times Causes the fractions of the race to be displayed in split time intervals instead of running time.
Change Jockies Allows you to change the jockeys for each horse. This can be useful if you are maintaining a database that you want to keep accurate jockey statistics on.

  Highlighter

You can use the Highlighter to draw rectangle highlights on the Form View. The highlighted areas will be remembered when you close and then re-open a card. To use it, simply click the toolbar button that looks like a pen on the "Marker" toolbar.  When its pushed in, you can then use the mouse to "draw" on the form view. Just click and hold the left mouse button, move the mouse, and then let up on the mouse button when you are done.  You can erase ALL of your highlights by clicking the toolbar button with the picture of the eraser on it.  You can also select the color of the highlight pen.

Tip: You can hide the "marker" toolbar, and then show it again, using the View Menu->Hilite Marker Toolbar command.

Tip: You may need to adjust the color of the highlighter, either darker or lighter, in order to make it show up better on your printer (if you print the Form View).

The Summary Report View

he Summary Tool collects vital statistical information about the race and displays it in a compact format. 

Work Along: To display the Summary Report

  1. Open a Race Card. The form for the first race of the card will automatically be displayed in the main viewing area.
  2. Press Summary Report button in the Cards Tool Barr. It will display the Summary Report for the current race.  There's also a command under the "Tools" menu for displaying the Summary Report.

There are two sections of the Summary Report. The top half displays averaged statistics, records, and other information. You can click on any of the buttons in the Summary display and it will reorder the horses based on the category of the button clicked. These categories are explained in more detail below.

Horse The horse's name and Quirin Running style
DSL Days since last race of the horse
Odds The Morning Line Odds of the horse. If you click on the Odds button, it will order the horses by lowest odds first.
E1, E2, Late, Spd The AVERAGE E1, E2, Late pace figure and Speed Figure for this horse taken from races of the same distance category as today's race.  The number indicated by (Max #) is the maximum number of past performances, starting with the most recent, to use to calculate the average. You can change this number in the Options dialog found in Tools menu. You may wish to do this so that you are viewing the averages only for more recent races for each horse.
Avg$(#)  The average purse that this horse has competed for. The number in parenthesis is the number of races, starting from the most recent, used to calculate the average purse.  You can change this number by using the Options dialog found in Tools menu.
Last 4 Spd Figs The last four speed figures of the horse
Records The horses life record, track record, and either Turf record if a turf race or, otherwise, off track record.
Pedigree Ratings Pedigree Ratings are only available in BRIS cards produced in 2001 or later.  For more information on Pedigree Ratings, see the BRIS web site.

The Selected Pace Line Race Summary lives at the bottom of the Summary Report. It shows you how each horse did in the past performance(s) that you select in the Form View.  Information about how to select this pace line is described in the section dealing with the Form View. The race that has the checked box  is the one used in the Selected Pace Line Race Summary (also used for the Simulation). If the File Menu->Use Multiple Pacelines option is checked then multiply selected pace lines will be used (they are averaged).  The Selected Pace Line Race Summary shows speed figures, pace figures, and BRIS Prime Power Ratings if the card you are viewing is a BRIS card published in 2001 or later.

Comments View

The Comments View is a consolidated view of the horse and race comments that also appear in the Form View.  These comments are stored in the EquiSim Settings database and are AUTOMATICALLY saved and loaded when you open a race card. You click the area beside each horse name, or the race comment, in order to enter or edit a comment.

Work Along: Go to the Form View and enter in a comment for a horse. Then go to the Comments view and notice that the comment appears here. If you edit in the Comments view, the changes you make will be visible in the Form view as well.

Matchups View

The Matchups Tool is a more sophisticated way of looking at which horses have competed against each other in the past.  If you're used to looking at Daily Racing Form past performances then you know that the way they show you which horses have competed against each other in the past is to make a horse's name bold face in the "company" portion of the past performance lines.  This has several draw backs, including the fact that you only get to see whether a horse competed against another if one of them was in the money in the race.  You also have to go looking through all of the past performance lines, paying special attention to the bold face print.

The Matchups Tool gives you all of the previous meetings between horses in one place (at least, all of the meetings available in the past performances given in the form).  It also puts the horses entire past performance lines of the horse side by side, for easy comparison. 

Note: Horses will show up in the Matchups view even after they have been scratched within the program.

Speed Graph View

The speed graph tool allows you to compare the pace figures and speed figures of each horse visually. This not only lets you see, at a glance, who the fastest horses are, it can also tell you how fast a race might turn out to be (whether the front runners stand a chance or whether the pace will get too hot for them, for example). 

One of the key features of the Speed Graph is the ability to toggle through each horse's past performances.  Just click on the horse's name in the speed graph and it will display the next set of pace figures and speed figures for that horse.  This way you can get an eyeful of information about how a horse stacks up against the competition in general.

While EquiSim version 4.0 now offers the ability to do multiple pace line selection, the Speed Graph view does not show graphs of averaged (or median, or...) pace lines.

Note: The "classic" speed graph style was to draw a single line connecting all data points for a horse. If you prefer this style, you can revert to it by going to the Tools menu->Options and selecting "Use Version 3.5 Speed Graph Display" under the General tab.

Fractions View

The Fractions Tool is a view of all fractional times OR pace figures for each horse in a race organized in a way that makes it easy to compare them.  Each past performance is color coded, one color for each horse.  This allows you to see, at a glance, whether one horse has superior fractional times in any part of the race. 

The Fractions tool allows you to specify the criteria for including a past performance in the view.  You have the option to include only races that are of a "Maximum Age" in days, to use Pace Figures or fractional times, to include sprints, routes, turf races, and to include races based on whether they are in the same distance category or of the exact same distance as the race the horses will be competing in.  You can control all of these variables using the check boxes at the top of the Fractions view.

The data in the Fractions view is displayed in a rows, one for each past performance.  The rows are color coded depending on which horse the past performance belongs to.  Each row is subdivided by columns that include the data for the Fractions view.  The order of the rows can be sorted by most of these columns.  Simply click the column heading to re-sort the view. This data is:

Horse The horse's name
Race The race index that the past performance came from
Dist The distance and surface of the past performance
Surf The surface the race was run on
Age The number of days since this race was run from the date of the race card.
E1, E2, Late The E1, E2, and Late Pace figures
Speed The speed figure.
E2+Late The E2 pace figure added to the Late pace figure
2F, 4F, 6F, etc. The fractional time of the horse taken at the specified furlong.
Final The final time the horse ran the race in.

You can print the Fraction view by pressing the Print button at the top of the Fraction view.  This is the only way to print the Fractions view in EquiSim.

Formula View

EquiSim’s Formula View is a spreadsheet based view that allows you to customize each column in the spreadsheet by drawing from a wide array of information and math functions.  This flexibility allows you to customize the presentation of handicapping information to fit your needs and to create custom “systems”.

A quick example of a simple “system” created in the Formula View will be a useful orientation before delving deeper into the operation of the Formula View. In this example we create a Formula Template designed for six furlong races.  We will create a “system” that looks at the past performance of each horse in the race. We will stipulate that the past performances must be between 5.5 and 6 furlongs to be eligible for inclusion in our view.  Here's an image of the first few rows from the system we are about to create:

We will then look at the speed figures from each past performance. This will be one column in our spreadsheet based view.  This column can be sorted, ascending or descending, and is also color coded by horse.  This provides a convenient way of inspecting the speed figure makeup of a race quickly, at a glance.

We will add an additional column to our Formula View. This column will compare the speed figure of each past performance with the winning speed figure PAR for this type of race.  The formula we will use will subtract the PAR from the speed figure. The difference will be displayed in each cell of the column.  Since this column is also sortable, we can use it to assess the overall likelihood of each horse in the race being suited to win based on the speed figure PAR.  Note in the sample picture above that Nevada Strip clearly outclasses all the other horses in terms of speed figures. Of the top 10 speed figures, he has 7 of them! The above display, sorted by the "GoodBet" column, reveals an equally impressive situation.

Finally we will add an additional column that will return a ‘1’ if the difference between the speed figure of a past performance is five points greater than the  PAR speed  figure AND the speed figure of that past performance is three points higher than the MEDIAN of ALL the speed figures of each horse. For each past performance that does NOT meet these conditions, a ‘0’ will appear.  We could then use this as our ‘system’, preferring to wager only on horses who have past performances that meet the rules laid out in this formula.  The expression to do this is somewhat complex compared to simple data extraction expressions. Nonetheless, it is simply a series of smaller, basic components put together. Once you master the basic concepts you can create more complex expressions such as this one:

#GREATER("ppSpeedFig", #rMED("ppSpeedFig", 0, 1000, 0, 50, 0, 0, 10, 0, 10000) + 3 ) * #GREATER( #COLVAL(3), 2 )

Lets break it down:
First,  use the #GREATER function to determine whether the speed figure for the past performance in any given row is greater than the median value of all the speed figures of each horse.  Here we pass a function in (rMED) as a parameter to another function (GREATER). The #GREATER function returns a 1 if the right hand operator is greater than the left.  We'll then multiply this value, 0 or 1, by the rest of the function.  So, if the past perf fails this first test, all other values will be 0. Sounds complex?  Its not -- they're all just simple building blocks put together. Once you know how to use one function you can use them in all sorts of combinations. 

Second, we use the GREATER function again to determine if the difference between the speed figure is at least 3 points greater than par. Since we already computed the difference between the speed figure and and the par in column 3, we'll use the COLVAL function to retrieve it and check if its greater than 2 (meaning it is at least 3 points higher). Again, GREATER returns 0 or 1, and we multiply our result of the first half of the expression by it.  All told, there are two criteria to meet. If one fails, the value will be zero. If both pass, the value will be 1.

The example Formula View above is a quick orientation of the sort of thing you can do with the Formula View – but it only scratches the surface of what the Formula View offers.  The main force behind the Formula View is the ability to get at all sorts of information. Not only can you access standard data available through the form, you can get at data that EquiSim’s Profiler produces as well.  A complete list of the data available to the Formula View is given below.

How to Create a Formula View

The Formula View is really just the view of a spreadsheet. The contents of the spreadsheet – what each COLUMN represents and what information is used to create the ROWS – is defined by a Formula Template.  So, the first step in creating a Formula View is to create a Formula Template.

To create a new Formula Template open a data card and then click the Formula View toolbar button.  This brings you to the Formula View.  Note - you must have a data card open to get to the Formula View Template Editor - even if you just want to create a template.  The data card, and the specific races in that data card, have no bearing on the creation of the Formula Template – you just need to open a data card in order to get to the Formula View.

Controls for managing the Formula Templates are located at the top of the Formula View.  You will see a list of the Formula Templates that you have already created. The current template used to populate the Formula View is the one selected in the list of templates.  There are buttons for editing the selected template, removing it from your system, and creating a new template.

Click the “New…” button. This will cause a dialog to appear asking you to supply a name for the new template.  The name must be unique amongst the other templates that you have and you should only use characters that are legal in Windows file names.  

Note that you can create a new template by copying the pertinent information from an existing template into the new one. This is not mandatory, but you may find it convenient.

A file is created for each Formula Template. This is how EquiSim keeps track of your templates – it also provides a convenient way to share, and backup, your templates.  When you create a template the file for the template goes in the folder named “FrmTempls” located in the EquiSim folder (typically c:\program files\thorotech\ESROI\FrmTempls).  When EquiSim starts up, it looks at the files in this folder and loads the templates from these files.

After supplying a name for your new template the Formula Template Editor dialog will appear. This is the same dialog that would appear if you select a template from the template drop list and click the “Edit…” button.  This dialog is where you design the look and behavior of the Formula View.

The Formula Template Editor

As its name suggests, the Formula Template Editor lets you create and modify the details of a Formula Template.  The various things you can do with the editor are described below.  The Formula Template Editor looks like this:

Formula Type

The “Type” drop list allows you to select which “Type” of Formula Template this is to be. The “Type” dictates how the ROWS of the Formula View are populated.  The possible types are:

Past Perfs

A ROW is created in the Formula View for each Past Performance of each horse in the race.  The left most column is automatically generated in the view to hold the race index (e.g., 31Mar03Aqu1) of the past performance represented in each row. Note that with this Type of Formula Template you can also use the “Pace Line Inclusion Filters” to establish rules that filter which past performances are included in the view.

Trainer

A ROW is created in the Formula View for each Horse in the race. However, the automatically generated left most column holds the name of the trainer of each horse.

Horse

A ROW is created in the Formula View for each Horse in the race. The automatically generated left most column holds the name of the horse the row represents.

Jockey

A ROW is created in the Formula View for each Horse in the race. However, the automatically generated left most column holds the name of the jockey of each horse.

Owner

A ROW is created in the Formula View for each Horse in the race. However, the automatically generated left most column holds the name of the owner of each horse.

Sire

A ROW is created in the Formula View for each Horse in the race. However, the automatically generated left most column holds the name of the sire of each horse.

Workout

A ROW is created in the Formula View for each of the workouts of each horse in the race.  The left most column is automatically generated in the view to hold the workout index of each workout.

 

To an extent, the Type of Template governs what type of data you can access in the formulas for each column. For example, a template of type “Past Perfs” would not be able to reference the “wkDistFurs” variable (the distance of a WORKOUT) because Past Performances do not have WORKOUT distance information (they are not workouts!).  There are a variety of cases such as this, most of them are quite logical.  

Advanced:

Note, however, that there are features that allow you to get at information from “cross template types” where it makes sense to do so. For example, if you have a “Horse” type template you wouldn’t expect to be able to get at the $ppSpeedFigure variable – since the “Speed Figure” variable is related to a Past Performance, not a Horse.  But – you could get at the speed figure of a particular past performance from a Horse row by using an offset designated by the use of brackets []  (e.g., ppSpeedFigure[0] gets the speed figure of the first past performance).  This type of usage will be explained more fully in the Variables section.

Race Assignment Filters

The Race Assignment filters allow you to establish rules for assigning each template to a particular type of race.  When you open a race card, each race is assigned a Formula Template to use by default on a best match basis.  There are a number of filters, all relatively self descriptive.  For example, there are a set of distance check boxes. If you wanted a template to be assigned only to sprint races, you could check the “sprint” category check box. Then, when it came time for EquiSim to assign a Formula Template to an upcoming race it would see that this template, with the “sprint” filter applied, matched sprint races better than any template that did not have the sprint filter applied. In this way you can manage which templates get applied to each race by default.

Note that you can change the Formula Template for a given race on the fly.  To do so you simply select a different template from the Template drop list on the Formula View. Nothing could be simpler.  Do also note, however, that EquiSim does NOT remember which Formula Template you have assigned to a particular race.  Formula Template assignment is only done by using the Race Assignment filters as described above.

Pace Line Inclusion Filters

These filters are only used if the Template Type is set to “Past Perfs”.  These are filters that govern which past performances will be included in the Formula View for any given race being displayed in the view.  Again, the filters are fairly self-descriptive.  You can opt to have a Formula Template that ONLY displays past performances that were run on the same surface as the race you are handicapping. You can opt to have a view that only displays past performances that fall within a certain distance range.  This is a convenient way to filter out those past performances that you know you don’t want to look at when you are handicapping a specific type of race.

Use Background Colors

The background colors are the colors used to shade the ROWS of the Formula View. When turned on, each row is shaded a color according to the horse the row is representative of.  The colors are close approximations of the standard saddle cloth colors.

Columns

Columns are the meat and potatoes of the Formula View.  You can create as many as you’d like. Each column has a “formula”, or “expression”, that tells the Formula View what you want to do in each cell of each row.  Extensive samples of how this works will be provided below.

There are a set of  controls that let you work with Columns. You can Add a column, Remove a Column, and change the order in which the Columns appear using the “Order Columns” button.

Value Type

A column’s value type can be either Number or Text. You must specify this so that the Formula View knows what it can, and can’t do, with the information to be displayed in the cell.  This is very straightforward – if you use a variable to return text, such as the horse’s name, then the type of column should be marked “Text”. Otherwise, you’ll want the column type to be Number.  This topic is re-addressed in the discussion on Variables, since some variables return numeric values ($ppSpeedFig) and some return text ($hrNameS).  In general, variables that return text have a capital 'S' following them (e.g, ppTrackS). Variables that return a 0 or a 1 (boolean values) have a capital 'B' after them (e.g, hrLasixB).

Rank Ascending

This checkbox is used to specify whether the data in a NUMBER type column is ranked ascending or descending. Descending is the default.  This is important only because there are a couple of functions (described later) that will return the RANK of a column. The usefulness of these functions will be discussed below.  NOTE that this has nothing to do with the ability to SORT a column. All columns can be sorted ascending AND descending by simply clicking the Column Header with the mouse while the Formula View is displaying data.  

Display Rank

This checkbox works on Number columns only. It causes the rank of the value in each cell to appear next to the value in parenthesis  (e.g., 10 (3)). Note: If you use the Display Rank sorting by column will be based on Text Values. This could cause some numeric values to appear out of order in the column. This does NOT affect the rank of the value - just the way it is sorted in the Formula View.

Expression

The expression field is where you enter in the formula, or expression, that the column will use to generate the value that will be placed in each cell of the column.  You build expressions using:

Using Variables

  In order to use variables you need to know what the names of the variables are, along with a few rules about their usage. When typing your expressions in the Formula Editor dialog you can easily pop-up a list of all the variables and pick from that list.  This happens automatically whenever you type the $ character.  Since all variables need to be prefixed with the $ character, remembering how to engage this pop-list couldn't be any easier. There is also a complete list of variables here Formula View Variable Master List. NOTE - when using variables in FUNCTIONS you do NOT include the $ character.  In FUNCTIONS, variable names need to be enclosed in quotes ("").

  The rules for using variables:

  1. All variables are preceeded by the $ character.  There can be no spaces between the $ character and the name of the variable.
  2. You cannot have any spaces in a variable name. Variables should have a space after them, or some other legal delimiter, such as a parenthesis () used where appropriate.
  3. You should obey the case that variables are spelled with in the documentation.  It won’t always make a difference, but you should maintain proper CaSe SenSitIvity when using variables.
  4. Variables that end with a CAPITAL S are text type variables (string type). They return a TEXT value instead of a numeric value.
  5. Variables that end with a CAPITAL B are Boolean (true or false) type variables. They are the SAME thing as numeric value, except that they will return the value 1 if they represent a “true” value and the value 0 if they represent a “false” value. An example of a Boolean type value is ppTurfB. If the past performance in a ROW was run on the Turf, this variable would return a 1, otherwise it would return a 0.
  6. Variables that do not end with a specific CAPITAL letter are numeric variables – they return numeric values.
  7. Don’t do anything silly such as adding a TEXT type variable to a Number type variable (eg, $hrNameS + $hrAge) – it won’t work.
  8. Remember to set the COLUMN VALUE type, in the Formula Editor Dialog, appropriately based on the type of variables you are using. If you are using TEXT type variables ($hrNameS), the column value type should be Text.
  9. To help you understand what variables apply to what type of data, the variables are all prefixed with a two letter abbreviation that indicates the general area of data the variable represents.  These abbreviations are:      

Pp

$ppSpeedFig

Past Performance info

Rr

$rrTrackS

Race info

Hr

$hrNameS

Horse info

Pr

$prDomeE1

Profiler info

Tr

$trDomeE1

Trainer based Profiler info

Ow

$owDomE1

Owner based Profiler info

Sr

$srDomE1

Sire based Profiler info

Jk

$jkDomE1

Jockey based Profiler info

Hz

$hzDomE1

“Has” a profiler ability. $hzDomE1 would return a 1 if the horse has the DomE1 ability, or 0 if he doesn’t.

Wk

$wkBulletB

Workout info.

 

  1.  You can access information about a specific Past Performance or a specific Workout by “indexing” into the array of past performances and workouts of a given horse.   To do this, you include brackets [n] at the end of a variable that references either a past performance or a workout.  The first (most recent) past performance or workout is referenced using the number 0. For example, $ppSpeedFig[0] will return the speed figure of the first pace line for each horse. This can be useful in a number of scenarios. For example, you could compare each past performance speed figure to the most recent past performance speed figure. To do so, you’d create a template of type Past Performance – this causes each ROW in the formula view to be populated with past performances, one row per past performance of each horse.  You’d then create a column with the expression $ppSpeedFig[0] - $ppSpeedFig.  This would cause each cell of the column to subtract the speed figure for the past performance of the row from the horse’s MOST RECENT speed figure.  Using this type of “indexing” may also be useful if your template type is something other than Past Perfs. For example, you may have a template type Horse where you also wanted to access information about a past performance. You could have a column that added the last two speed figures together: $ppSpeedFig[0] + $ppSpeedFig[1].  You’d then have a formula view with a ROW for each horse, and each horse would have a cell that displayed the sum of each horse’s last two speed figures. Note - when using a Past Performance TYPE Formula View, only past performances that meet any "Pace Line Inclusion Filters" are accessible in the Formula View.
  2. There are a set of variables designed to get at the information in the Profiler.  For example, the variable DomE1 is a Profiler variable. In order to use it you must PREFIX it with information and POSTFIX it to tell the Formula View what you are after.  The list of valid prefixes and postfixes is in the Master Variable List.  For example, $prDomE1_WP  will give you the PROFILER value (pr) for the ability DomE1 and, specifically, it will return the Win Percentage (_WP) of the DomE1 ability for the profiler of the race in question. The Prefixes and Postfixes are summarized here:

    PREFIXES:

    pr

    Profiler variable

    tr

    Trainer variable in the Profiler

    jk

    Jockey variable in the profiler

    sr

    Sire variable in the Profiler

    ow

    Owner variable in the Profiler

    hz

    “Has” this variable. Returns ‘1’ if the horse has this type of Profiler ability and ‘0’ otherwise.

    POSTFIXES:

    _WP

    Returns the Win Percentage of the Profiler based variable.

    _PP

    Returns the Place Percentage of the Profiler based variable.

    _SP

    Returns the Show Percentage of the Profiler based variable.

    _ROI

    Returns the ROI of the Profiler based variable.

    _ST

    Returns the number of starts of the Profiler based variable.

    _R

    Returns the number of races of the Profiler based variable.

Using Math Operators

You use math expressions the same way you did in basic math. You can add, subtract, multiply, divide, use modulus, etc..  The one thing you cannot do that some might expect is use the greater than/less than signs (<, >).  These won’t work. HOWEVER – because these operators are so useful, the special functions GREATER and LESSER have been added to the Formula View. These are described below in the Using Custom Functions section. 

Using Built In Functions

VBScript offers a wide array of built in functions that you can use in your expressions. These functions are straight forward to use. You can find a reference for all the available functions on the web very easily using a search engine.  Usage of these functions is as simple as typing the name of the function and including any necessary parameters. For example, to generate a random number you could use the VBScript function “Rnd”.

In an expression you’d simply type:

Rnd * $ppSpeedFig

This expression multiplies the speed figure value of a past performance by a random number, from 0 – 1, returned by the Rnd function. If you want a different range of random numbers, you could simply multiply the return value of the Rnd function:

(Rnd * 100) * $ppSpeedFig

This expression multiplies the speed figure of the past performance by a random value from 0 to 100.

Using Custom Functions

A set of custom functions is provided with the Formula View to perform some tasks useful to the handicapper.  There are functions to return averages, medians, standard deviations, and more.  The functions are tailored to work at the past performance level and at the race level.  For example, you could use a function to return the MEDIAN speed figure for each horse and ALSO use a function to return the AVERAGE of the BEST speed figure of EACH horse.  In short, you can do all sorts of useful stuff with a handful of these custom functions.

To use the functions you simply enter them into an expression. Functions must be preceeded by the # character.  Each function takes a set of parameters that help specify exactly what you want that function to do.  TIP: You may not always want or need to use every parameter in a function. When this is the case, simply supply values for the parameters that are sure not to have any effect on the function. For example, some of the parameters can filter out past performances based on the distance of the past performance. If you did NOT care to filter out any past performances based on distance, you could specify a minimum distance of 0 and a maximum distance of 100 – this would ensure that no past performance would be filtered out based on distance.

REMEMBER - when you use variables as parameters in a function you do NOT put the $ character in front of the variable name and remember that variable names must be enclosed in quotes ("").

As with the variables, there's a pop-up list of functions that appears whenever you type the # character.  You can the optionally select a function from the list. When you do so the function is inserted into your expression, along with the default parameter values.

These functions, along with their parameters, are described in the same document as the the complete list of variables found here (at the bottom of the Variable List): Master Function List

Using the Formula View 

The hard work is over once you’ve created your Formula Template(s).  The next step is simply to open a race card and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Remember, the Formula Templates have Race Assignment filters – so, with any amount of luck and perseverance on your part, you’ve armed yourself with a set of Formula Templates that get automatically assigned to just the right type of race whenever you open up that race to handicap it.


So there’s just a couple of notes about the Formula View itself.

·        Whenever you go to the Formula View, the data in it comes from the currently selected race in Equisim.  This, by and large, is the way the other tools in EquiSim work.  You can use the Track and Race selector on the main navigation toolbar to change races on the fly.

·        Whenever you leave and come back to the Formula View it is re-calculated.

·        You can use the Re-Calc button to force a re-calculation of the view you are looking at.

·        The Templates list displays the current template being used by the Formula View. You can change the template being used on the race you are looking at by simply selecting a different template.

·        You can re-size the columns by clicking in between two columns with your mouse and dragging until the size fits you.  You can SAVE the layout of the columns by clicking the “Save Layout” button. This is a good thing to do so that you won’t have to re-size the columns constantly every time you re-start EquiSim.

·        You can sort the data in the Formula View spread sheet by clicking the name of the column you want to sort on. Only one column can be sorted on at a time.  The column that is being sorted on has a little arrow in the column header.  You can change the sort order (ascending or descending) by clicking again on the column. The little arrow on the sort column indicates which direction the data in the column is sorted.

·        You CAN copy data from the Formula View and paste it into another application, such as Microsoft Excel.  To do so you select the cells you want to copy and then you must press CTRL-X – NOTE that is CTRL-X. CTRL-C will NOT work to copy the data.  Ctrl-X, typically used to CUT data, will copy the data here but will NOT cut it.  Once copied, you can use the typical Paste command (CTRL-V) to paste data into another application. You CAN’T paste data into the Formula View.

·        The Export button allows you to export the data in the Formula View to a comma delimited file.  When you do this, any commas present in the data are converted to semi colons (;).

·        The Print button allows you to send the contents of a Formula View to a printer.

DB Direct Database Templates

DB Direct is an additional feature of the Formula View that requires separate activation to use.  This area allows you to setup custom export of your formula view templates directly to a database.  This feature, including how to use the DB Direct Template editor is described in the section called DB Direct 

The Simulation View

Race Simulations have two primary purposes. First,  they are a means of giving you a visual indication of how a race will setup -- who the front runners will be, whether there's a dominant closer, if the pace will be fast, etc.. Second, the race simulation engine has evolved into a system for determining the winner of a race which has proven successful. Note that it won't always be successful, and that I'm not trying to tell you that EquiSim is a genii capable of giving you all the right answers. I'm saying that, in the past, betting the simulation winners under certain circumstances has proven profitable.  Those circumstances change over time, track, and race type -- you must work to stay on top of your game.  Further features have been developed to help you do this -- the Profiler feature and the Simulation Analysis feature both tell you specifically where EquiSim's simulation winners are doing well, and where they're not doing that well. Additionally, the "Simulation Tuning Wizard" adds another way of modifying the way that simulations are computed in order to find the best way for using EquiSim's simulation results in your overall game. These tools are described in their own sections. The remainder of this section describes how simulations are generated and how to work with the Simulation View.

How Simulations are Generated

EquiSim uses a variety of data culled from the past performances to generate its race simulations.  Many different factors are considered, including the physical characteristics of where the horse races on the virtual track (the track and horses are "to scale").  In the absence of past performances, EquiSim uses other factors, such as the trainers winning percentage with first time starters, to determine how the horse might run. Obviously, results obtained without any past performance data are going to be less reliable than otherwise. 

By far the most important factor are the pace figures.  There are also factors called "Biases" in EquiSim that can substantially change how a horse runs.  Biases are only engaged after you have used the Simulation Tuning Wizard to obtain biases for a particular track, race distance type, and surface. You can create biases, and edit them, yourself, but this is an "advanced feature". Biases and the Tuning Wizard are described in the Simulation Tuning Wizard section.

EquiSim simulates each horse based on the pace line selected for the horse. EquiSim's simulation engine allows for each to effect how other horses in the race run. So horses do effect one another. 

EquiSim selects the pace line to use for each horse using one of two algorithms.  These are the things each algorithm looks for:

The default algorithm is "Find the Most Suitable Race". Using the above criteria, this is how it works:

Look at the pace lines, most recent to last.  Keep looking until one of the criteria below is met.

  1.  ST and P and S and D and DT and NE.
  2.  P and S and D and DT and NE.
  3.  S and D and DT and NE.
  4.  S and D and DT.
  5.  D and DT.
  6. DT
  7. Use any

The other algorithm is the "Use Last Race" algorithm. It is implemented as follows:

Look at the pace lines, most recent to last.  Keep looking until one of the criteria below is met.

  1.  DT and S and NE
  2.  DT and NE
  3.  DT
  4.  Use any

You can select which algorithm to use by creating a bias (or editing an existing one) in the Simulation Bias Settings dialog (see below). This, however, is an advanced feature. Currently the automatic selection of pace lines is something designed for the software to handle. In the future, more algorithms will be added (you may even be able to create your own) and an easier way to select them will be implemented.

The pace line selected for each horse is indicated in the Form View by a blue check box next to the selected pace line. You can change this by clicking on a different pace line's check box. Multiple Pace Line selection is also possible (see the Form View section to learn how to select multiple pace lines). When you have the File Menu->Use Multiple Pacelines option turned on, the simulations will be the result of all the pace lines selected for each horse.

Simulation Bias Settings

Please note that the Simulations Bias Settings dialog is an advanced feature.  It does allow you to add bias settings manually, and to edit existing ones, but the principal usage of it is in tandem with the Simulation Tuning Wizard.  That said, you do not have to master or make great use of these settings in order to get the most out of EquiSim. It can manage the bias settings for you.  The only time you really need to interface with this dialog is if you need to load, or export, bias settings outside of the Simulation Tuning Wizard.

Simulation Bias Settings give the software ways to adjust how each horse runs in the simulations outside of how its pace figures compare to other horses in the race.  Biases are applied only to the races that match the same Track, Distance (route or sprint), and surface (turf or dirt) as the bias.  

Tip: You can turn Biases On and Off using the "Use Simulation Biases" command beneath the Simulation menu. The Status Bar indicates whether Biases are currently in use. Only races that have matching Bias Categories will have biases applied to them.

The biases that EquiSim uses are:

Each of these biases will be explained below, after looking at the dialog. To open the Simulation Bias Settings Dialog, use the "Simulation Bias Settings..." command under the "Simulation" menu. The dialog below will appear.

 

You can do 7 things with the Simulation Bias Settings Dialog:

  1. View the settings for a particular bias.  To select a bias category to view, use the drop list at the top of the dialog. Biases are always based on Track, Surface, and Distance (route/sprint). Also, they are only applied to races that match the Track, Surface, and Distance they are based on.  When you select a bias, the values you see in the dialog are the values for that bias. The biases are listed to the left in the dialog.  If the check box next to a bias is checked that means the bias is being used.  The number of points to the right of each bias indicates how heavily it is being used to alter how each horse runs.  These numbers are not on a scale that means a lot to humans.  0 means no bias.  A number greater than 10 is somewhat of a bias, and 30 is a substantial bias.  Again, you are free to play with these numbers but the software, via the Simulation Tuning Wizard, can probably control them better than you or I could by guessing at what they should be. Early Speed and Late Speed are special cases to the above rule. The numbers to the right of them directly affect how much the E2 pace figure and the Late pace figure of each horse is altered. So, if the Early Speed bias is a 1.25, then each runner in the race will have its E2 speed figure multiplied by 1.25. Obviously this helps horses with the greater E2 figures. For example, 1.25 * 100 = 125, whereas 1.25 * 90 = 112.5. The horse with the 100 E2 figure gains 25 points while the horse with the 90 gains only 12.5.  Likewise, a number lower than 1 will bias against the pace figure.
    The other component to a bias category is the algorithm used to select which pace line EquiSim automatically chooses for each horse for simulation purposes.  The two algorithms are described above in the section "How Race Simulations are Generated".
  2. Edit an existing Bias Category.  Biases most likely come from running the Simulation Tuning Wizard.  You may have cause to change them manually. After selecting the bias you want to edit, you can change the values for the biases using the controls on the dialog. In order for a bias to be in effect, the check box next to it must be checked. The values next to the biases control how much they effect the running of the simulated races (see above). After you have made changes to a bias you must click the "Save Changes" button.  Again -- you must Save Changes after editing any ONE bias.  Do not make changes and then switch to another bias before clicking "Save Changes". If you do so your changes will be lost. Next, when you are all done making changes to existing biases, you should click the "Store in Connected Database" button.  That means you should also be connected to a database.  If you do not do this, then the changes you make will disappear when you close the EquiSim application.
  3. Create your own Bias Category.  You can create bias categories without running the Simulation Tuning Wizard. You must create a setting for a specific Track, Distance (route/sprint), and Surface (turf/dirt). This bias setting will only be applied to the Track/Distance/Surface that you specify.  To make a new bias category, click the "New Category" button.  A small dialog will appear where you can enter in the Track abbreviation, distance type, and surface type for the setting. When you are done with this dialog your new bias category will appear in the list of bias categories at the top of the dialog.  Now if you change any of the bias fields, and then press the "Save Changes" button, you can setup the bias category the way you want to.  Remember to use the "Store in Connected Database" when you are finished in order not to lose your bias category when you close EquiSim.
  4. Delete Bias Categories.  You can remove bias categories by first selecting the bias category you wish to remove from the drop list and then clicking the "Delete Category" button.
  5. Tell EquiSim whether to use the biases or not.  The "Use Simulation Biases" checkbox tells EquiSim whether it should use or ignore any and all bias settings.  There is a menu command beneath the "Simulation" menu that allows you to do this as well. Also, the Status bar displays text indicating whether biases are in use.
  6. Load in Bias Settings.  When you use the Simulation Tuning Wizard it generates bias setting files.  While you can use the Simulation Tuning Wizard to store the contents of the bias settings into a database, this dialog lets you do that as well. This is useful if you want to store simulation biases from one file into many databases, or if you want to use the simulation bias settings that someone else generated with EquiSim. To load bias settings, click the "Load Bias Settings" button.  A File Dialog will appear. Select the bias settings file that contains the settings you want to load and click the "Open" button.  After you have done this the Race Categories drop list will be populated with the additional bias settings. NOTE: Loading bias settings will overwrite any bias settings that are the same with the bias settings being loaded. For more information about Simulation Bias Settings files, see the Simulation Tuning Wizard section.
  7. Export Bias Settings. You can export bias settings currently loaded into EquiSim. You may want to do this for one of the following reasons:

Running All Simulations (without watching them)

EquiSim gives you the ability to run all simulations for races that you have loaded (opened) in it very rapidly, without watching them.  To access this feature use the "Run All Simulations" command beneath the "Simulation" menu.  There are several reasons why you may wish to use this feature:

The Simulation Controls Dialog
When you display a race simulation, the simulation controls dialog will appear. This is a dockable toolbar, meaning that you can dock it on the frame window or let it float.  This dialog doubles as a command console and a partial tote board to display call times and leaders.  From it you can also control what horse the camera is on, and whether or not to employ the "Jockey Cam".  Each aspect of the Simulation Control Dialog is explained in the table below.

Time The running time of the race.
1st Call The time that the lead horse ran the first 2 furlongs in.
2nd Call The time that the lead horse ran the first 4 furlongs in the race.
Stretch Call The time it took the lead horse to get to the top of the stretch
Finish The time it took for the winner to run the race.
Put Camera On If the View Mode is set to normal, the camera follows a particular horse throughout the race.  You can use this drop list to select which horse you would like the camera to follow, or select the "Lead" option to tell the camera to follow whichever horse currently has the lead.
View Mode There are two viewing modes: normal and Jockey Cam.  Normal view mode makes the camera follow the horse indicated in the "Put Camera On" list box while the race is running.  Jockey Cam allows you to ride the horse selected in the "Put Camera On" list.  In order to go into Jockey Cam, you must select an option from the "Put Camera On" list other than "Lead".
Sim Speed Sim Speed tells the simulation how fast it should run.  "Real Time" is the default.  Provided your computer has enough processing power, it will run the race in more or less "Wall Time".  If you're computer does not have enough processing power to perform simulations at "Wall Time", then it will run slower. However, the simulation will still be accurate despite the slower than "wall time" display of the race.

Special Note: Results will be altered depending on what Sim Speed you choose.  It is usually best to run simulations in "real time". However, the results from simulations run at different speeds are still useful and can be beneficial if you do not have enough time to watch a lot of races in real time.

Start Starts the simulation. This button is disabled if the simulation is already running.
Stop Stops the simulation -- the horses remain in the same position.  This button is disabled if the simulation is not running.
Reset Resets all of the horses and race fractions to their starting position. This button is disabled if the race is running or if the horse's are in their start positions.
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4rth The numbers of the horses in the first four positions throughout the race.

Note that you can also Start, Stop, and Reset a simulation in the "Simulation"  menu.

Getting Around the Race Track: The Camera
EquiSim 2000 employs a camera metaphor in order to direct your view of a simulated race. There are two modes that the camera can be in: Normal and Jockey Cam.  

Normal Mode:
In Normal mode, the camera follows one horse.  The horse followed can be either whichever horse is on the lead or a particular horse selected in the "Put Camera On" drop down list.

Jockey Cam Mode:
In Jockey Cam mode, the camera will show you the view from atop the horse selected in the "Put Camera On" drop down list.  

Panning and Zooming
You can pan and zoom the camera's view of the race at any time during simulation. LEFT click and move the mouse up or down to zoom in our out.  Zooming can only be done in Normal mode.  RIGHT click and move the mouse left or right to pan the camera.  Panning can be done in either Normal or Jockey Cam mode.

Viewing Simulated Race Results
After fully completing at least one run of a simulated race, results from that race will be recorded in a Race Chart.  In order for a Race Chart to be generated, all horses running in the race must cross the finish line! You can record up to five runs of each race. Successive runs will replace the oldest run first.  For more information about the Race Chart, see Simulation Results Chart.

When Horses Collide

I've gone around and around looking for an answer to this problem.  The problem is that EquiSim does its best to represent a realistic horse race. Horses will try to avoid each other if they can. In the past this has led to problems of horses getting "stuck" behind another horse once in a while.  What I've done in the latest version is to let the horse do its best to go around a horse it seeks to pass. However, if it can't find the room to do so, I let him run through the horse that is blocking him.  For those who ask -- "isn't blocking part of the game"? I say, yes, but EquiSim isn't sophisticated enough to predict what these living creatures and their riders are going to do to get them into positions where they have steady in the race.  So I rather let the numbers do the work, rather than the pixels that happen to get in the way.

Computer Performance Options
Depending on a number of factors, simulations may run slowly on your computer.  When writing EquiSim I knew that not everyone would have the latest equipment to run the product on, so I built in a couple of features that will let less powerful machines run the simulation with decent performance.  Although these features are not a cure all for all machines, they might help you.  For more information about what you can do to increase simulation rendering performance, see the section Simulation Graphics and Performance Options.

Tuning Simulations

EquiSim allows you to tune simulations in order to increase the ability of the simulations to predict the winners.  Note, tuning the simulations does not necessarily cause them to reflect the way a race is run more accurately. In fact, after tuning the simulation winner may hit more actual winners while the portrayal of the simulated race may be very skewed.

You MUST store your data files (card files and exotic results) files as described in the Data Files section in order to use the Simulation Tuning Wizard. See that section for more details.

The Theory of Tuning

This section describes the theory behind the Tuning Wizard in EquiSim. The section below describes how to use it. 

Tuning allows you to take any number of races from a particular track and use the results of those races to find out what "bias settings" inside of EquiSim would produce the highest percent of simulation winners who won the actual races.  You can also opt to tune for the best ROI produced by betting the simulation winners.  Tuning operates under the assumption that different pieces of data are more important at different tracks, during different times, on different race surfaces, and races of different distances (routes vs. sprints).  If this is true, then the trick is to find out what pieces of information will be the most important for upcoming races.  Since we cannot see into the future, the next best thing is the recent past. That's where the Simulation Tuning Wizard comes into play. You can use it to run hundreds of simulations for a set of races that you select.  Each simulation is run using slightly different settings, or "biases".  When the Simulation Tuning Wizard is finished, it knows what settings produced the best results.  You can then run upcoming races using these settings (biases) and, if all goes well, the biases will still be prevalent and EquiSim's simulations will be producing more winners than before. 

There are a couple of things to mention about these biases. First, they are obtained through past race results.  You've seen this at the bottom of many a companies quarterly earnings report -- Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  The same goes for horse racing.  Secondly, I've noticed that biases can change very rapidly.  One week early speed can be dominant, and the next week it may be that early speed can hit the board.  Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, remember that EquiSim is a handicapping tool. It generally tends to do pretty well with its simulation winners considering what it is up against (live horses -- flesh and blood). And it tends to depict how a race will setup well too.  But, by default, it isn't "tuned" for any one race track. In this way, the "biases" that the Simulation Tuning Wizard may not be track biases as much as they are EquiSim biases. If the Tuning Wizard comes back and says that there is a 50% early speed biases for routes at a particular track, this may be the case. Or, it may be the case that the pace figures for that track don't accurately reflect the typical way the track runs.  The Simulation Tuning Wizard can help discover this and "correct" the way that EquiSim's simulations perform.

How to Use the Simulation Tuning Wizard

Note: You do not have to use a database in order to use the Tuning Wizard. However, doing so makes the process of applying the simulation biases generated by the Wizard easier.  The difference is this: if you do not use a database you will need to load simulation biases from simulation bias files manually every time you start EquiSim. If you do use a database, you store the biases in the database after you create them. Then, when you connect to that database, the biases are automatically loaded. Read on for more info. 

Using the simulation tuning wizard is pretty simple.  Before getting into the nitty-gritty, here's a broad overview of how it works:

  1. You select the cards you are interested in using to tune the simulations. When you tune, you will generate "Bias Categories". A bias category is applied to a particular track, distance (sprint or route), and surface (turf or dirt).  So it doesn't make much sense to use a bunch of cards from Belmont to tune the simulations for upcoming races at Calder. Again, bias settings are generated for Track/Distance/Surface categories.  They only get applied to races that are from the same track, are of the same distance type, and on the same surface.

  2. You then select which things you are interested in tuning. More on this below.

  3. You let the Simulation Tuning Wizard do its work. This constitutes running simulations over and over again with slightly different settings each time a simulation is run. While running these simulations, the tuning wizard will record the best settings it finds.  Note -- this may take a LONG time.  The Tuning Wizard will tell you approximately how long it will take.

  4. When the tuning process completes you will then do three things: A) Export the bias settings to a file. B) Load these bias settings into EquiSim. C) Store the bias settings into the database you are currently connected to. This is all done through the Simulation Tuning Wizard.

Now that we've covered the tuning process from afar, lets look at how go about running the Simulation Tuning Wizard.

In order to run the Tuning Wizard you must not have any cards open in EquiSim. You do not need to be connected to a database in order to export bias settings, but you may want to be so that you can quickly store the bias settings in the database from the Wizard when you are done.  If you forget to connect to a database, don't worry. You can use the Simulation Bias Settings dialog to import bias settings from files whenever you wish (more below).

Also, in order to use the Tuning Wizard you must have your data files stored in the way described in this guide. See the Data Files section for more information.

To start the Simulation Tuning Wizard, either click the toolbar button for the Wizard , or use the "Simulation Tuning Wizard..." command under the "Simulation" menu.  When you do so, the first page of the Tuning Wizard will appear.

You use this page to select race card files that you want to tune with. Click the "Add" button to add cards. A File Dialog will appear.  Use it to navigate to the cards you want. Select them (hold the Ctrl key down to select multiple files) and press "Open" when you are done. The names of the cards you have selected will appear in the wizard.  You can select files and use the "Remove" button to remove them from the tuning process as well.

 How many cards should you select?  I don't have a really good answer to that question right now.  I have found that biases can change quickly. This implies two things. First, that you should use recent cards if possible. Second, that you should run the Simulation Tuning Wizard fairly frequently to stay on top of the change in biases.  For the most part, I use 7-10 race cards per track when I tune.

When you've selected all the cards you want to use for tuning, click the Next. button. This takes you to the screen below.

This screen is where you let the Tuning Wizard do most of its work. There are quite a few options, so I'll explain what each one of them does.

Comparison Method:  This lets you tell the Tuning Wizard whether to concentrate on finding the best Win % when comparing the simulation winner to actual results or to concentrate on finding the best Return on Investment. You can also tell the Wizard to ignore races that were held on off tracks in the tuning process if you prefer.

Past Performance Selection: This tells the Tuning wizard what algorithm(s) to use when automatically selecting pace lines to use for each horse in the simulations. These options are NOT exclusive of one another.  If you have both selected, then the Wizard will run two separate sets of simulations, each set using a different pace line selection algorithm.  (You must have at least one of the selected. The "Pace Adjustment" option.) The purpose, of course, is to determine which is the best selection algorithm to use. This information, along with the bias settings, is stored with the bias for the Track/Distance/Surface and applied to races that fit this category.

Tune Options:  Within the Tune Options are the guts of what the Tuning Wizard is looking for when it does its thing. These include the bias categories:

You can elect not to have the Wizard bother tuning any of these biases by un-checking the checkbox next to the bias category.

The Tuning Wizard also looks at Early and Late speed bias.  In the Wizard, this is called "Pace Bias".  For the pace bias, the check box labeled "Do Pace Bias Tuning" enables and disables pace tuning. above the fields that let you specify the range you are interested in tuning for.  You can specify a range and an increment for tuning the pace bias. By default, the Wizard will run simulations with the Early and Late biases ranging from .5 to 1.5, incrementing the bias value by .1 for each simulation of a particular race. This information is all right below the "Do Pace Bias Tuning" checkbox in the dialog above.  You can change these values if you wish. Keep in mind that a value of 1 means that there is no bias. A value greater than 1 will increase the potency of the bias, and a value of less than one will decrease it.  Also keep in mind that the greater the range, and smaller the "Bias Increment", the more simulations the Wizard needs to run.

This screen also has some information that will tell you how long the simulation process will take and will update you on its progress while it is tuning.

When you are satisfied with the setting for the Tuning wizard, select "Start Tune". This may be a good time to have a snack, or even go to bed, as the tuning process may take quite a while depending on the speed of your computer and the number of cards you are using to tune.  When you press "Start Tune", this button will be disabled. Should you need to stop the tuning process, you can press the Cancel button.

When the Tuning Process completes, the Next button will suddenly appear enabled at the bottom of the Tuning Wizard screen.  You can then press this button to be taken to the final screen, pictured below:

This screen shows you a report of the Bias Categories generated by the Tuning Wizard, tells you about any problems it had with races (lack of a results file, for instance), and also gives you the option to store the generated bias settings to a file and also store them in your database.  Here's a step by step procedure for using this view:

  1. First look at the report. Is there anything you didn't expect? The wizard will tell you about data cards that had no corresponding results file as well as a few other potential problems.  Also look to see how well the results turned out after tuning.  If they aren't what you want, you might not want to use these bias settings at all.
  2. If you like what you see, it's time to export the bias settings generated by the Wizard to a file. Why is this necessary?  Because you may wish to save multiple bias settings and having them in a separate file is the best way to do it. You may also want to share your bias settings with other EquiSim users, and this is a good way to do that to. To store your bias settings, click the "Export Tune Settings to File" button. A File Dialog will appear. Type in a descriptive name for these settings and click the save button. Also -- remember the location you saved the file in!
  3. If you are ready to use your bias settings, of if you are already connected to a database and you wish to store them there,  click the "Load into Current Settings" button. This will bring up a File Dialog as well. Use it to browse to the bias settings file you just created.  Select it and click the "Open" button. After doing so your bias settings will be loaded into EquiSim. At this point, these bias settings are NOT loaded into any database!
  4. If you are ready to store you bias settings into the database you are currently connected to, press the Store "Current Settings in Database" button. You must do Step 3 (and 2) above before doing this! This will store the bias settings currently loaded in EquiSim, including the new ones you just loaded in Step 3, into the database you are connected to.
  5. Click the Finish button. You are done.

Final Notes

A few final notes.

 

 

The Wagers and Selections View

The Selections and Wagers view is a feature that enables you to approach your selection and wagering process
more methodologically with a minimum amount of additional work. This record keeping is what many consider to be
the most important aspect of a handicapper's success. The tools built into EquiSim's Selections and Wagers view
allow you to track the success of your selections and your wagers using the same sort of tools available to track
the success of the simulation results and Profiler Value rankings. A popular system for creating a template based
odds line has also been implemented in this view.

To use the selections and wagers view open a race card and click the Selections and Wagers button on the toolbar.
Its the button with the $ on it.

Making Selections
On the left hand side of the view you can make your selections. Simply click on a row beneath the "horse" column.
A drop list will appear with all of the horses that are in that particular race. Select the horse from the drop list, the drop list will go away and the horse will be left in place. You do NOT need to assign a selection for each finish position.

This is useful in two ways. It allows you to solidify your selections and then have a handy printout to bring to the
track with you. It also allows you track how well your selections do. In order to track the performance of your
selections you must save the race card to your database. This is covered in the Managing Databases section. After your selections have been saved in the database you can then use the Selections Performance Analysis Tool to analyze their performance. You simply go to the SPAT and, from the Selection Type drop list select "My Picks". Then you can use all of the tools available in the SPAT to analyze how well your selections do.

If you wish to make a change to your selections AFTER you have stored the race card to the database you must RE-STORE the race card to the database for the changes you made to be reflected in your analysis.

Assigning an Odds Line
At the top of the selections area for each race you will see three fields. They are: Tmpl (template), Odds Cnfd
(Odds Confidence), and Sel Cnfd (Selection Confidence). These three fields allow you to set an odds line and
also characterize the way you feel about the race. This method is best described in Steve Fierro’s The Four Quarters of Horse Investing book. The book should be sought out for a proper description of the application of this method. In a nutshell, you will select your top contenders for each race. Then you will assign an odds template that is based on the number of horses you feel are contenders (either three or four). The template you choose will automatically assign odds to the top horses. Hypothetically, you would then only bet the horse(s) that go off at odds equal to or greater than the odds given to each horse. These template based odds for the horses appear in the "CO" column next to each horse's name. CO stands for "Contender Odds". There's also a column for "ML" (Morning Line) odds and "PT" (Post Time) odds as well as "Finish" (finish position). The Post Time and Finish column are only filled in when the results file is availabe (and you have purchased and downloaded it). Note that when the results file is present any selections you made that match the race's outcome will be highlighted..

As part of this system you may also wish to assign the level of confidence you feel you have in assigning both the
selections process AND the odds template to each race. You can then use these pieces of information to guide your
wagering strategy. You can ALSO use this information later when you analyze the performance of your WAGERS (see below).

Again, this system is fully outlined in Steve Fierro’s The Four Quarters of Horse Investing. If record keeping of your selections and wagers interests you (and it SHOULD!) then you should definitely have a copy of this book as
a reference for using this system.

Entering Wagers

You use the left hand side of the Selections and Wagers view to enter wagers. Note that only Single Race wagers
can be tracked using EquiSim (win,place,show, exacta, quinella, trifecta, superfecta).

To enter a wager you click the "Add New" button above the race that you wish to enter a wager for.
This will cause a dialog to appear. Use this dialog to select the type of wager you wish to make,
create the ticket selections, and select the amount of the bet.

You can create your ticket selections either by manually typing in the program numbers in the "Selections" field or by DOUBLE CLICKING on the horse(s) in the "Entries" list box.   The ticket separates entries with a '+' and different portions of a wager with a forward slash '\'.  So, a win bet on two horses might look like: 2+5.  An exacta might look like: 2+5/3+4.  Again, you can type this in or use the entries list to create the selections for the ticket.   When you double click on an entry its program number appears in the Selections field. The Entries list is also useful just to remind you of which horses are which in the race. Whenever you need to supply a "with", as in exotic wagers, you use the forward slash "/". You can either type this in or you can press the "with" button on the dialog. Pressing the button inserts a forward slash ("/") AT THE END of whatever text is currently in the Selections field.

You can also assign Tags to each wager. These are VERY useful. Each wager can have up to three tags assigned to it.
Additionally, there are 249 user definable tags to choose from. That is, you can edit the tags to something that is
meaningful to YOU. To do so, click the "Edit Tags" button on the dialog. You will see yet another dialog appear with
the list of all of the assigned tags. Double click on a tag to change its name. NOTE -- you should NOT change a tag name that you
have PREVIOUSLY used. If you do you will no longer be able to do analysis on that the tag's previous name (see below). To assign a tag simply select one of the tags from the three "Tag" drop list fields.

Now, why are tags useful? Because you can use them to help you identify where your strong, and weak, plays are. For example, maybe you have a particular reason for making a wager -- a categorical reason. For example, maybe you like a horse enough to make a wager because of a "Trainer Angle". It could be more specific than this (First After Claim, for example), or even more general ("Connections Angle"). The point is that you can name one of your 249 tags "Trainer Angle". Then when you make a wager __based on a trainer angle__, you would assign the "Trainer Angle" tag as one of the three tags. You will then be able to discover how well your wagers that have the "Trainer Angle" tag do. The importance of knowing this information should be obvious to anyone who plays on any type of regular basis.

Remember, your wagers are not stored in a way that will allow you to ANALYZE them until you store the Race Card to
the database you are connected to. The raw Wagers and Selections you make are automatically stored whenever you
close a race card, or shut down EquiSim.

Special Note --- How Wagers of Type "Other" Work

When you create a wager of type "other" the wager is really only available for storing to a 
database during that session (before you shut ES down, or close the card you are working on).
So, to use an Other type wager this is what you would do:

A) Results at this point are in and you have a results file.
B) You load up the card you want. 
C) You go to the wagers and selections screen -- perhaps you've already made the wagers (including the "other" type wager), perhaps not. Its not important. What is important is that you make them now.
D) At this point, when you make your "other" type wager, you manually fill in the  number of tickets (number of plays on a ticket, if you will), and the total return for the wager. Note that this info is wholly generated for you by ES for all of the natively supported wager types.
E) You then connect to the database you want to store the wager in (if not connected already), and do the old "store to database" trick.

The major concept here: If you have wagers that are the "other" type then you MUST enter  in the number of tickets (to generate cost of the wager) AND the return from the wager right before you store to database. NOTE that this means that you can NOT use "other" type wagers AND use "store by track" because "store by track" opens the card(s), does what it needs to do,  stores it, and then closes it -- you don't get a chance to enter in your other type wagers. 

Analyzing Selections and Wagers

The tool to analyze Selections has been mentioned above. It is the SPAT and its usage is described in the SPAT section.

There is a different tool available to analyze your Wagers. It is the Wager Report view. You can get to it by first connecting to a database and then clicking the "Wager Report" button on the Navigation Toolbar. This is the button with the striped post on it that has a "W" on the bottom of it.


Payout Note: Historically the payouts for exotic wagers that appear in the BRIS and TSN results files have not
been standardized. That is, some tracks would report the payouts in $1 units, others would use $2, and some would change midstream.... Worse still, there is no way to determine, programatically, which tracks use which unit from the results file. While there has been rumor that BRIS and TSN are planning to standardize these payout units in future cards, as of this writing (August, 2003) it is unknown by the author (me) whether this has occurred or not.
EquiSim, version 4.0, does have a feature that will allow you to set the payout increments on a track by track basis. It is in the Tools menu->Payout Increment command. To use it simply bring up this dialog (use the command), find the track you want (or use the New command if your track with 2 or 3 letter code does not appear), and double click on the row. This will bring up a dialog that you can use to edit the payout units. Note that payout units are in EquiSim are in $2 amounts unless overwritten by the Payout Increments.

Folks using EquiSim to track exotic wagers are advised to check the units of the payouts being used in their data files periodically by going to the Profiler Database menu->Chart Viewer and viewing a race chart of a race in your database. Note here that you need not have the results CHART for this Chart Viewer to work. It is a combination Chart Viewer and EquiSim Results viewer (with exotic payouts as stored in the database and other information).

Introduction to the Advanced Handicapping Tools

The advanced features of EquiSim are those that involve using a database to handicap races.  There are many powerful ways that the database concept can be put to use in handicapping.  A typical handicapper is going to have one form's worth of data available to them for each race.  Having a database allows you to have access to much more information. Not only might the database be used to track information about a horse that is older than what typically appears on the form, an even more powerful use is to track information about other races that have run recently.  This is the heart and soul of EquiSim's Profiler and most of its other database related features.  These features bring together information about races similar to the one you are handicapping.

Creating and Maintaining a Database

To use the database capable features in EquiSim it follows that you need to have an EquiSim database.  We will refer to these databases as "Profiler" databases.  You can make them using EquiSim. To do so you will need the data files for each race card you want in the database along with the appropriate results file for that data card. You can also purchase databases and database updates from ThoroTech via the DataFresh program, which is explained elsewhere.

Work Along: Follow the steps below to create a database and add some data to it. There is also a TUTORIAL here

Creating a New Database

1) Go to the Profiler Preferences menu and select New Profiler Database   A dialog will appear asking you to select a name for your database. This is the STANDARD windows File Dialog.  Use it to select the folder to store the database in and also to give the database a name of your choosing.  A Profiler Database is just a file that exists on your hard drive like any other file.  REMEMBER what folder you stored the database in.  When you install EquiSim it creates a default folder called "databases" located at: C:\program files\thorotech\esroi4\databases.  You can use this folder if you wish, but it is not mandatory. After you have selected the name and folder click the "Save" button. This will do the work of creating the new database file.

2) After you click Save another dialog will appear if EquiSim succeeds in creating the database and connecting to it. Note - if EquiSim FAILS to connect to the database you probably need to install the Microsoft Jet Database Engine. Use this dialog to specify whether you want EquiSim to connect to this database whenever it starts up.  There's also a button for bringing up the Profiler Preferences for this Database called Connection Preferences. It is a very good idea to configure this stuff now.  Configuration is discussed below in the Database Configuration section.

3) After you click the OK button you will be created to the database that you just created. Tip: Whenever you are Connected to a database the Status bar, at the bottom of the EquiSim screen, will read "DB: Name of Database Connected To".

Connecting to an Existing Database

In order to use a database you need to connect to it. In general there is nothing wrong with using ONE database for all of your cards. While some will find reasons to have multiple databases, the program has all of the facilities to filter by track, date, etc., so that you need not store race data from different tracks or circuits to individual databases. NOTE: be aware that the Jet Database has size limitations and you may run into trouble when your database gets to be about one gigabyte in size.

1) When you created your database you had the option to specify that you wanted to connect to this database whenever you started the program. If you did this, then the Status bar should indicate that you are connected to your database whenever it starts. You can change this option whenever you want to by going to the Profiler Database Menu->Profiler Preferences. The General tab contains information about the "startup" database.

2) To connect to an existing database manually go to the Profiler Database menu->Connect to Profiler Database.. command.  In the STANDARD Windows File Dialog that appears, "look in" the folder that your database file is in, select it, and click the "open" button. This will connect you to the database and the Status bar will indicate this.

Database Configuration

Here's where things start to get a little bit more tricky.  To keep things simple, here's what you need to know in list fashion:

  1. The database stores information about the Profiler factors, or "abilities".  These factors come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  They include such things as horse attributes -- who has the Best Speed figure in a race, for example. They also include all of the information about the "connections".  How well does a trainer do when he has the horse with the Best Speed Figure, for example.
  2. The more information you store in the database the bigger it gets.  Typically, a large database is slower than a smaller one.   The database configuration utilities allow you to select what pieces of information you are interested in storing.
  3. EquiSim's Profiler feature creates various "Profiler values" that are based on these factors we are talking about.  The database configuration stuff allows you to customize which of these factors are used to create these Profiler Values.
  4. So, to sum up this first part, there are a bunch of factors that can be stored in the database. These factors can also be used to create the Profiler Values that are part of the Profiler feature. 
  5. Naturally, you can customize which factors are stored and used. I wouldn't be writing this if you couldn't... This is where the "Connection Preferences" button that appears on the dialog you see right after you create a database comes in. If you click it you will come to the screen when you can customize the storage and usage of the factors. You can also get to this screen by going to the Profiler Database Menu-> Profiler Preferences->Setup tab. This dialog is discussed below.

The Profiler Preferences->Setup tab lets you configure which factors you wish to store in your database, and which of these factors you want to use in the creation of the Profiler Values. To use this dialog do the following:

  1. Connect to a database
  2. Go to the Profiler Preferences option in the Profiler Database menu.
  3. In the Profiler Preferences dialog select the Setup tab.
  4. In this screen you will see a list of "Connections" at the top. There are five categories: Horse, Trainer, Jockey, Sire, and Owner.  Below this list you will see two lists - one for "standard abilities" and the other for "Connection Abilities".
  5. The "Horse" connection is somewhat different than the others. All of the standard abilities are stored for each horse. Standard Abilities include Best E1, Best Speed, etc.  HOWEVER, you can still choose whether or not you want to use these abilities in the creation of the profiler value in the Profiler view. To change the selection, click on the "use" field next to the ability you want to change.  Also note that there are no "connection" abilities for the Horse connection. Tip: You can SORT the columns by clicking on the column headers. This will give you a fast way to determine what you have selected to store and use for each type of connection.
  6. Use the Connection drop list to change to a different connection.  Now note that you can opt to totally ignore this connection by checking or unchecking the "use" checkbox at the top of the screen.

TIP: It is REALLY UNWISE to CHANGE the store and use criteria AFTER you've stored some data into your database. The reason is that changing these options does NOT effect the data that you've already stored. So, if you make changes, part of your data will be stored one way and part of it will be stored another way. If you want to test DIFFERENT setups (a good thing to do!), then its best to make new databases.

There's one more piece of database configuration information to cover. Its also located in the Profiler Preferences dialog, in the "More Config" tab.  This dialog lets you do the following:

Putting Data in Your Database

There are several ways to get data into your database with EquiSim. They are all very easy once you understand how to store your data cards and how to configure your database.  The two most prevalent ways are:

By Opening a Data Card

A) After you have downloaded the Results file for a data card and stored it in the proper location on your hard drive, open the data card (NOT THE RESULTS FILE, the data card).  When you do this, EquiSim will automatically load the results file.  You will see on the Status bar at the bottom of the EquiSim window that the text reads "results loaded: yes".  If you do not see this then you either do not have the results file for the card you have open, or you do not have it stored in the correct location.

B) Once your data card is open, and the results automatically loaded, go to the Profiler Database menu and select Store To Database->All Loaded Races. This will simulate all races that have not been simulated and, if you have the "Enable Profiler Value Storage" option set, will Profile every race that has not been profiled. When done, it will store all the races for all the open cards into the database you are connected to. Note that I've been assuming you have connected to a database all along here.  You could manually simulate and profile the races. If you do then the LAST simulation results and the LAST profile you create are what get stored in the database.

By Using the Store By Track Command

A) Connect to a database and close any data cards that you may have open.

B) Go to the Profiler Database menu and select Store By Track...  In the dialog that appears, select the tracks that you wish to store and the date range that you wish to use for the selected tracks. Click OK.

C) The program will then store all the races for each card you chose in chronological order (on a card by card basis, not on a race by race basis). All races will be automatically simulated. If you used the "Enable Profiler Value Storage" option, all races will be profiled.  Races being profiled will use the Min and Max races for each profile as specified in the Profiler Preferences Dialog->More Config tab. After a card has been processed it is automatically closed and the next card is processed until all the cards are done. A progress dialog indicates where you are in the process.

TIP: YOU MUST BE CAREFUL WHEN USING THE "ENABLE PROFILER VALUE STORAGE OPTION" NOT TO STORE DATE FOR THE SAME RACE TWICE.  Remember, the profiler values are generated by looking at EXISTING data in your database. If you create a profile for a race that uses the data FROM THE RACE YOU ARE GENERATING THE PROFILE FOR then you are essentially "back fitting" the data to the race.  This can have very adverse effects, typically realized as strikingly high win percentages for each profiler value and statistic.  EquiSim has several features that you can use to ensure that you do not store the same race more than once.

The Chart Viewer: Viewing Race Results and Race Charts

EquiSim has a built in feature that allows you to:

This feature is called the "Chart Viewer". It is merged into EquiSim's Form view seamlessly. You can also bring it up from the Profiler Database Menu->Chart Viewer Command.

You must be connected to a Profiler Database to use the Chart Viewer.

In the Form View right click (context click) on the race index of a pace line. In the menu that appears you have the option of bringing up the "chart" for the race the pace line is from. Note that you can also right click anywhere and, from the menu, select the "Show Race Chart" command to bring up the "Chart" for THIS race. 

When you execute this command the Chart Viewer window will appear with the chart of the race you are interested in displayed, if the results and/or actual chart for the race were found in the database you are connected to.  

If you bring up the Chart Viewer manually using the Profiler Database Menu->Chart Viewer Command then you use the controls at the bottom of the view to select the track, date, and race of the results chart you would like to view. 

The Chart Viewer only works if you have the results for the race that you want to look at.. This brings us to the next point -- how to get the information into your database so that you can recall it quickly using the tools described above. There are two ways.

The Profiler View

The Profiler feature allows you to evaluate the performance of many handicapping factors statistically. In EquiSim these factors are often called "abilities".  The program calculates many of the abilities based on the selected pace line(s) in the form view. Statistics for these factors are derived from races that are very similar to the race being handicapped, hence the notion of a race Profile.

You must be connected to a database to use the profiler feature.
You must have data in that database for the profiler to do you any good and that data must match the particular filters you have set when you analyze a profile.

Work Along: Here's a typical way of using the Profiler View
1) open a race card
2) Connect to a database
3) Go to the Profiler View
4) In the Profiler Controls Dialog -- the one that floats above the profiler view -- you can
set the filters that you would like to use to generate the statistics. Then you click the Analyze button.
The profiler then goes to the database you are connected to and retrieves data from races that meet the
filters you have set. 
5) You can review the statistics in the profiler view along with the "profiler value" numbers and rankings
that are calculated from the statistics.

Some helpful tips....

Profiler Values

The Profiler Values  appear with each horse in the profiler view are calculated directly from the ability stats.  Remember, the abilities stats are on display because they were selected for "Usage" in the Setup tab of the Profiler Preferences dialog when you created the database.

Tip: You can create different databases that use different ability configurations and then use the SPAT to find out which configuration performs the best very quickly.

Profiler Values normalize the total of the stats and assign values between 0 and 1 for each category, the higher the better. "Comp" means comprehensive -- it is made up of all the values. You can use the SPAT to find out how well each of these profiler values are performing if you choose to store them to the database.

You can store the Profiler Values to the database. If you do so, you can then use the SPAT to discover how well each value does using a wide array of filters to pinpoint the type of races you are interested in getting this information about.

 To store the profiler values you must turn the "Enable Profiler Value" storage option on in the Profiler Database menu.  Then, when you go to store a card per the usual way, the profiler values will be stored. There's a few caveats about this:


Selections Performance Analysis Tool (aka, SPAT)

To view the SPAT you must be connected to a database.  To make use of it, you must have stored some races into the database. Bring up the SPAT view by clicking on the SPAT toolbar button on the Navigation Toolbar. You can also use the command in the Tools menu and also in the Profiler Database menu called "Selections Performance Analysis Tool".

This view lets you find out how well various ratings perform. You can specify which tracks, race surfaces, distances, etc., etc.. When you click the Analyze button a report is generated that shows up on the SPAT view.

Tip: You can create Macros by pressing the "Record" button on the controls dialog. Once depressed it stays depressed and the text of the button changes to "stop". Now any analyses that you perform are recorded. When you press stop you are asked to give the macro a name. From that time on you can select this named macro and press the run button to run all of the analyses embedded in the macro. This is a great way to save time configuring the filters if there are a lot of analyses that you do frequently -- just create a macro that has all of your queries in it!

The Connection Report View

The connection report is a research tool that works with an EquiSim Profiler Database. You can use it to
find the statistical performance of various factors cross referenced with each type of "connection" (trainer,
jockey, owner, and sire).

A list of all the connections that the program has seen is kept up to date whenever you open a race card. When
your first display the connection report view these connection lists are loaded -- so it may take a few seconds for
the view to appear the first time.

To use the connections report view you must be connected to a database.

  1. You then can set the various filters to analyze the specific type of connection you are interested in. The
    only filter available for the connections view is the Track filter. That is, you can opt to run an analysis that
    does NOT consider what track each race was run at, or you can specify a filter and have the statistics generated come only from the tracks you specify.
  2. You select one of the four types of connections from the "cxn" drop list.  You then enter in the
    value for the connection in opposite "Val" field. You can either type in the value, or you can
    select it from the drop list. Note that if you type it, it must match the spelling that is used in the database
    exactly for it to work correctly.
  3. You then select the type of ability you want to evaluate for that connection. Note that some abilities,
    such as "Best Speed", have predefined values - you do not want to change these. Others require you to input a value either by typing it or selecting the value from the drop list.  For instance, the "Jockey" ability requires you to specify the value you want.
  4. You can also specify the minimum Starts, Win Percentage, and/or ROI needed for an ability to appear when you do the Analysis.
  5. Once you have set up the fields for your query, press the Analyze button. If any matches were found for your query a report will appear on the Connection Report View.

The "For Each" Option
The For Each tool allows you to use the Connection Report view as a way to handicap an upcoming race more quickly. It will let you perform a query on a particular ability "for each" connection in a particular race. Here's how to use it:
 

  1. Open a race card
  2. Connect to your database.
  3. Go to the Connections View
  4. Click the "For Each" check box.
  5. Click the "Select" button. A dialog will appear. Use it to select the race you are interested in getting information about. Also select the type of connection you are interested in (trainer, jockey, owner, sire) and then click "OK".
  6. Select the Ability you are interested in from the Ability drop list and provide an ability value if appropriate.
  7. Click the "Go" button (note, NOT the analyze button!). The Connection Report view will then do an analysis of the ability you selected "for each" connection of the type you chose for every horse in the race that you chose.

Tips:

Post Position Report View

The post position report provides a statistical breakdown of winning horses by post position. As with the SPAT and other tools you can filter the types of races you are doing analysis on so that you can get as specific or broad as you'd like.

The report gives the post position, number of starts at the post, number of wins and win percentage of starts, and
then an overall win percentage by running style for each post.

Wager Report View

The wager report view works much like the other report views in that it has a control dialog (which can be toggled on and off using the "C" button on the toolbar) that is used to filter the races and perform queries. The difference is that the wager report view provides statistical information on the wagers you entered using the Wager & Selections view.

Use the Wager Controls dialog to create queries. It works very similarly to the other type of Report dialogs. You can restrict the wagers that will be analyzed by race characteristics by selecting filters. You can also restrict the wagers analyzed in a particular query by using the Wager Type, Min/Max bet type, Odds Template, Selection Confidence, Odds Confidence, and, of course, the Tags fields that are part of the Wager Controls dialog. These filters give you a tremendous amount of flexibility, and power, in determining the strong and weak points of your game.

Note that the Tags that you optionally applied to your wagers can be combined using the "AND" or the "OR" operator. The drop list that says "And Tags" and "Or Tags" controls this. When you "And" tags that means that the wagers returned by your analysis must contain ALL of the tags that you select (up to the maximum of three.  When you "Or" tags that means that the wagers returned in your query must contain at least one of the tags that you select out of the possible three assigned to any given wager.

Note that you do not need to apply the tags in the same order that you assigned them when you created the wager. For example, say that you assigned a tag you created called "good trainer" to the first slot in a wager. You could do analysis and have the third slot in the wager controls dialog set to your "good trainer" tag and this would pick up the "good trainer" tag assigned to the example wager -- it does not matter which slot the tags are in.

After you've selected the filters press the Analyze button. The program will go to the database you are connected to, find the wagers that match your filters, and perform the statistical analysis on it. The results will be printed on the Wager Report view.

For more information on entering wagers see the Wagers & Selections view section.
Tips:

 

Options Dialog

The Options Dialog is located under the "Tools" menu. It allows access to a number of miscellaneous features used to control the way that EquiSim behaves.

Note -- new features have been added to the Options Dialog. See the What's New Section of the User's Guide

General

The General Tab has four check boxes on it. The "Comments" section has check boxes that deal with the loading and storing of comments. Comments refer to the things you write about each race and each horse using the Form View or the Comments view. These comments are stored in tiny text files in the "comments" folder in your EquiSim program directory. By default, these two options are on. They just tell EquiSim that when you open a card it should load and display any comments you have for that card. When you close a card, it should save your comments. You can turn these options off if you wish.

The "Display all messages..." check box tells EquiSim to display the pop-up dialogs that appear from time to time. You know -- those annoying things that tell you something useful -- with the check box saying "don't display this again"?  Check this box and hit OK to see them again.

The "Do NOT show..." check box does what it says. If you check it, the "tips" dialog won't appear. Uncheck it to have it appear at startup again.

Form View

There are a couple of options that control how the Form View is displayed.  The "Trainer/Jockey Year Record Display" options are listed first.  If you select "Show Previous Year's...", then the YEAR record for the trainer and the jockey displayed in the Form View will be from the previous year. You can have EquiSim automatically detect whether to display the current year or the previous year's records.  When "auto-detect Record Display" is turned on, the previous year record will be displayed until March 31st (the card date) of the current year.

You can also tell EquiSim how many past performances (pace lines) it should display in the Form View. The maximum is 10.  This is helpful for those who want to save paper when printing.

The final option is to limit the number of Trainer Stats displayed.

Summary Report

There are three options for the Summary Report.

"Max PPS Used For Avg. Purse.": There is a column in the Summary Report called "Avg. Purse". It is the average purse that a horse has competed for. Use this field to specify the maximum number of races -- starting with the most recent -- to use to calculate the average. For example, a value of 3 tells EquiSim to use the last three races to determine the average purse displayed for each horse in the Summary View.

"Max PPs used for Avg. Speed and Pace Figs":  In the Summary Report there are columns for the average speed and pace figures earned by each horse at the distance category of the current race. Use this field to tell EquiSim the maximum number of past performances, starting with the most recent,  that are of the same distance category to calculate the average.

"Always use First Pace Line for Summary": When EquiSim loads a race card it uses an algorithm to determine the best pace line to use for the simulation. If this option is NOT checked then EquiSim will also use the pace line selected for the simulation as the "Selected Pace Line Summary" for this horse. If it is checked then EquiSim will always select the first pace line for the "Selected Pace Line Summary". Of course, you can change which pace line is displayed in the Summary Report by going to the Form View and clicking on the pace line you want to use for each horse.

Graphics Options

If you do not have an OpenGL accelerated graphics card you may want to consider reducing some of the things that EquiSim renders during its simulation of the races on your screen. This dialog allows you to do that. The FIRST thing that you should turn off is the "Skin Textures".

Track Layout

EquiSim allows you to customize the dimensions of the virtual track on which it runs its races. To do so, use the "Track Layout" view:

  1. Click the "New Track" button. A field will appear where you can enter a new track name. Press the "Create Track" button.

  2. The new track you created will be selected in the Track drop list. You can now edit the values for the track dimensions. The dimension fields are:

Note: When you select a track in the "Track" drop list it becomes the selected, current track (after you press OK).  Any changes you make to the track selection, or any edits you make to a track, will not take effect until you close EquiSim and re-start it.

DB Direct

(DB Direct requires separate activation to use.)

DB Direct is a feature that allows you to export data from EquiSim Formula Views directly to a database.  Since the EquiSim Formula View has access to nearly all of the data inside of EquiSim, that provided by the data cards as well as EquiSim's own computed values, this is an ideal mechanism for building your own, custom databases.

DB Direct strives to provide a simple to use means of populating databases with horse racing data.  There are only two simple steps - you create a DB Direct database template and then you store data to a database by telling EquiSim the tracks and dates of the cards you want data stored from. DB

DB Direct officially supports the Jet Database Engine (Microsoft Access) and Microsoft SQL 2000 Server databases.  Other databases will likely work, especially other flavors of MS SQL Server,  provided you have the ODBC driver for them installed on your computer.

In order to use Database Direct to store data you must have certain database system components installed on your computer. Microsoft provides these components free. They go by the name of MDAC.  Many computers will certainly already have these components installed. If you feel you need to install these components, or if the program fails when you try to store data with it, a quick search for MDAC at the Microsoft web site will quickly reveal the latest download link for these components.

Step One: Creating a DB Direct Database Template

A database template tells EquiSim which data from a Formula View template to acquire data from, which database to put that data in, and in what format. Database templates are assigned to Formula View templates. When you go to store data you will select the Formula View template you wish to use and, from it, select the database template.  You can have as many database templates per Formula View as you'd like. 

To create a database template you first go to the Formula View editor. In the Formula View editor there are a set of controls that list the existing database templates in the Formula View template and allow you to edit, remove, or add a new template. See the section on the Formula View for help in getting to the Formula View template editor.

When you create a database template you are essentially doing two things - creating one or more tables in which to store the data and selecting the fields of data you wish to store in those tables.  We'll walk through this process using the Database Template editor, shown below.

Template Options

The Database Template editor contains the controls for setting up a database template. You can change the template name, but remember that all template names in a Formula View must be unique.

The are three options that each template can have. They are:

Selecting a Default Database

The database template needs to know which database data will be stored in.  You click the Select DB button to choose that database.  Note, when you go to store data you can override this selection.

In order to use a database with DB Direct you must enter the database in your computers  Data Sources control panel. To do this

  1. Create the database you will use.  Tip -
  2. Now you must enter the database you created as a Data Source on your computer.  You use the Data Source control panel to do this. Typically you will find the Data Sources control panel in the "Administrative Tools" area on your computer.  This is also called DSN.  To get there you (probably) can go to your Control Panel and then select "Administrative Tools". In their you'll find something called Data Sources (or something similar).  The Data Sources control panel looks like this
  3. Go to the System DSN tab. Click the Add button. Click the appropriate name for the driver in this dialog. If using Microsoft Access based databases, select the Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb). If using MS SQL Server, select the SQL Server item. Click Finish to bring up a dialog that will let you choose the database. If Access you will provide a name for the data source and select the database file. If SQL Server, you will provide a name for the data source and select the database server from a drop list of available servers.
  4. Once you have the data source created you simply click the Select DB button. This brings up a dialog similar to the one you used to create your data source.  Here, click the System DSN tab and you will find the name of the data source you created. Select it. When you press OK you will find the name of the data source you selected in the Default Database field in the database template editor.

Creating Database Tables

Databases keep the data you store in them in tables.  You can create as many tables as you wish (up to the maximum which the underlying database engine can support, which is more than any you'd ever need...).  Each table's name needs to be unique, and table names need to follow the rules of the underlying database engine. Naming rules are typically what you'd expect stick to letters and numbers, good practice is to not use spaces in the table name.  When you store your data all of the tables in the selected Formula View template will be populated with data.

Note that when you remove a table from the Database Template you are not removing the data from any databases you had previously created from the template. There is a way to clean up databases from EquiSim (see below), but this is not the way to do it.

Adding Columns to Your Database Tables

Just as databases are made up of tables, tables are made up of columns, or "fields".  These correspond to the columns you created in the Formula View.  When you store data to database, you are essentially extracting the portions of data you retrieved using the Formula View and placing into the database in much the same format.  Data columns are created and new rows of data are created every time you store data, sort of like a spreadsheet.

You add columns to your table(s) by selecting the existing columns from the Formula View template, listed on the left of the DB Template Editor, and adding them to the columns in the Database Columns area, to the left of the screen.   To add a column you select the Formula View column from the left that you would like to create a database column from and then you press the "Add" button. A few things:

Storing Data

Once you've created a database template inside a Formula View template you can then use it to export data to a database. First, close all data cards - the DB Direct exporter only works when all cards are closed.  Then go to the DB Direct menu and select Export to Database... This brings up the dialog below:

In the DB Direct exporter you select the Formula View template you wish to use to get the data ready for export.  To the right there are indicators that show whether the races will be profiled, whether they require the results, and whether only "native" races in a race card should be exported.  The "Apply Formula View Template to All Races" checkbox will cause the selected Formula View Template to be used on all of the races that you export, irregardless of the "Race Filters" settings. Remember that each Formula View template has race filters that determine which type of race the formula view should be used on.  Without this checkbox, only the races that the selected Formula View template best matches will be exported.

The Export Database area displays the database that data will be exported to.  You can change this database by using the Change Database... button. Again, in order to export to a database you must place it in your DSN (ODBC Control Panel). See Selecting a Default Database above for more info.  The controls to alter the database are also here.  When you use the (Re)Create Tables button you will cause the tables defined your selected database template to be created on the database. If as table already exists with the same name as the table you are creating the operation will fail unless the "Drop Existing" check box is used. The "Drop Existing" check box will drop, or remove, every table in the database that has the same name as the tables in your database template.

The last thing to do before exporting is to select the races you want to export data from.  To do this you click the "Select Tracks" button. A familiar dialog appears that allows you to select a date range and a set of tracks. 

When you click the Export button the race cards in your selected tracks and date range will be loaded chronologically, profiled (if enabled), the Formula Views applied, and the data exported from them into the selected database.