Most players would like to get an edge in this game and finding one is very difficult. Like doing the New York Times puzzle, figuring out what works for a horse and what does not is a tough task. It takes time, often, a lot of time to figure out what works for a horse. Does it like turf over dirt? or dirt over turf? or is it an oddball that likes the poly?
Will the horse like sprints, routes or long routes? And what is the ideal distance? There are some 25 distances from 4.5 furlongs up to 16 furlongs. Then you have to figure out if it likes a wet track or a dry one, or maybe it just don’t care. Is there a jockey that works better than others? Does a particular track pull better results for the horse? By the time you run every scenario, the horse will be in a wheel chair.
Is there really a way to get any type of advantage in the game. Breeding with top sires is one way. The game tries to resemble real life and in the real world, top sires produce way more stake winners. The game also will throw in stake winners to lessor known sires, but hitting the jackpot with one of those is just like real life, it often does not come.
There are some things you can do to get a win, such as sponsoring a race where you can set the track, surface and distance that may be ideal for your horse which could gain you an edge. Or run a quick hot race where there is a reduced likelihood of competition, but reward is less and where’s the fun if you are racing a bunch of CPU entrants?
One thing you can do is tinker with the Riding Style. This is a box that is set to Jockey Select by default which allows the jockey to determine if he should push the horse to the lead, sit in the middle of the field or relax on the backside. These settings can be altered by the trainer. If you have a horse that goes straight to the lead but get rips apart in the stretch, you might change the setting to 70 (where 100 is to lead and 0 is to trail). This may help conserve some energy. In general, it will take a lot of races to see how well a horse does and figure out how to set it properly, if it works at all. A 70 setting may not be enough, but a 60 may be ideal, or any number in between. Or nothing will work as the horse just wants to lead.
I have found a way to benefit with using this function and it works with only newly bred horses as long as that they have not yet raced. I’ve started testing this last year and my horses that are now 3-year olds have done better than horses with comparable breeding. What I have done over the past year was set the Riding Style before the horse makes it’s first start. To illustrate, Bags of Kash, shown below, has not had any settings tweaked. It’s nicely bred Awesome Again x AP Indy x Nureyev and has only one win with nothing else in 6 starts. Very much a headache to deal with at the moment.
Now President Kash, as you see displayed below, has won 3 starts in 6 tries. I have his setting at 25 which has positioned him towards the back end of the field in each race. Other than his DDS being Nijinsky 2nd, he’s pretty identical to the horse above. I have to say that there is no guarantee that setting the Early Speed will guarantee wins. You still have to put the horse in the correct class of racing where they will be competitive. Place them right and you should see better results.
This time, I’ll show off the better horse of two with similar breeding. With God Over Kash, I set him at 10, looking for a horse who could run hard in the late going. And he has done exactly that since establishing this setting prior to his first start. He’s done so well he just raced in stakes finishing second. He’s a nice runner out of Distorted Humor x AP Indy x Alydar.
Now his counter part, a horse I did not play with any of the speed settings is Kash Shack. In this case, this 3-year old has the exact same breeding but the results have been tremendously different. Kash Shack, unlike God Over Kash above, has yet to hit the board. His results are embarrassing and perhaps if I had set the racing style before his first race he would have been a much better racer.