Racing Stats by Neco
Racing Stats Explanation
Here is a quick run down of each stat that is required in racing, and how it affects your runners. I'm not going to say that one stat is better than others, because it isn't! Each of these stats work in conjunction with each other, and can also affect the abilities your horse has, so please make sure you keep all of that in mind as you read over this guide!
Speed: How fast the horse runs with its closing kick. Usually speed doesn't really come into play until the last quarter mile of a race. This is when most of the horses, even the front runners, will display their "closing kick," which means their acceleration to top speed when asked by their jockey. It denotes basically how fast a horse will close into any sort of pace, or how fast a front runner will cruise to the wire.
Staying: How long a horse keep that closing kick going! A horse with a high staying factor will be able to carry his speed longer (time wise) and has the ability to be in contention for that much longer. A horse with high staying has a better chance to fend off closing rivals or a better chance to keep closing over those long final furlongs even if he's flagging a bit in the final stages. Staying works in conjunction with stamina most of the time, and it's best to try and use them together when updating your stats.
Stamina: This is similar to staying, except it applies a bit more to distance than time. A horse with high stamina will be able to run longer distances in a longer time, and this will effect his closing kick; a horse with a high stamina can keep up a sustained bid for a furlong or more, sometimes even a quarter mile or more, once he's given the signal to go. Stamina is often a great stat to have high if your horse is aiming for longer races, as even if his speed is low, he can just grind away at rivals that may have higher speed but lower stamina.
Breaking: This denotes how well and quickly a horse breaks from the gate. I've seen horses just STAND in the gate for a full second after the gate opens before breaking; I've seen others that have reared just before the break and lose that crucial few seconds. A horse with a high breaking stat will be less likely to act up in the gate (pawing the ground, prancing, etc) and will be that much sharper to shoot out when the gates pop.
Power: How strong the horse is. A horse with a high power isn't going to tire as easily or be as intimidated by his rivals; he'll have the staying power to keep on going even if he's lagging in the final 100 yards. This can also affect your horse's closing kick, as a horse with high power will often have a stronger closing kick, even if his speed isn't tremendously high.
Feel: How well a horse will settle in a race. Many times, I've seen a horse keen to go and throw his head up to pull against his rider when the jockey tries to tell him to calm down. This usually happens in the first stages of the race when horses are finding their position, and it can often happen to stalking types and front runners that just want to go go go but need to hold that speed in for the later stages of the race. A high feel can get that horse to settle a lot faster and keep those temper tantrums to a minimum.
Fierce: This is similar to courage, in how aggressive the horse is when fighting to the finish. A horse with a high fierce will often take the fight to his opponent, eyeballing them and intimidating them into submission. A horse with a higher fierce factor doesn't back down as easily from a fight and he will keep fighting on regardless of his flagging stamina.
Tenacity: How much fight and grit the horse has depends on this stat. Horse racing is all about beating your opponents to the turf, and that can often manifest into stretch long battles to the finish between two or more horses. A horse with a high tenacity stat will keep on going and fighting that other horse, while a horse with a lower stat is that much quicker to give up. This can be better translated as "how much grit" a horse has, and how tough he'll be when it comes to another horse looking him in the eye.
Courage: How brave your horse is depends on this stat! Courage can directly affect your horse's ability to go between rivals, come up into a narrow spot or even go head to head with a horse. Horses with low courage will be more timid and less likely to take the route between horses if they have an opening; they'll go around and lose that much more ground. A horse with high courage will bull his way through rivals, drive up the rail inside horses without hesitation and won't be rattled by much at all.
Response: This stat is for how fast the horse will respond to its jockey. This can be anything from a tap of the whip or steering the horse around traffic; I've seen races where a horse can get a few encouraging whacks and he doesn't start to move until a good three seconds later, while other horses will get asked once and take off like a freight train. Response is a good trait to keep high because you want your horse to respond quickly to its rider and react just as fast to the field around it, so it can easily slip between rivals or steer around a tiring horse.
Examples of Stat Combos
It's all well and good to have this explanation in front of you, but how does it work on an actual racehorse? Here's a few examples.
Say you have a front running speedball. You'll obviously want to work on his speed, and his breaking; that way he'll be able to get into that front running position he loves that much faster and can clear the opening rush quicker. Stamina may also come into play with him, if you want that runner to keep up over long distances - a front runner can be at a disadvantage over 10 furlongs or more. Give that horse some high tenacity and response and you have yourself a great recipe for a front runner that won't quit and will rise to the challenge when confronted by a rival.
A closer has a different set of stats that can affect her. You'll want speed, sure, but also stamina and staying to give her that grinding ability to wear her rivals down to the finish. Response needs to be high to keep that horse in tune with her rider, and a high tenacity and high courage will give her the ability to go between horses for a dramatic come from behind victory or gut it out with a stubborn front runner.
Personally, I would recommend trying to keep your stats within a 3 - 5 point window of each other for an all rounder type of horse - when training, I try to keep everything relatively even, with only Breaking one that I train up only once. When the horse is gaining points through racing, breaking is probably the last I update unless it's a frontunner; I'm more focused on the other stats. If I'm upgrading a horse to GIII, I'll usually focus on Speed, Staying and Stamina first to get them up to 70s (I'll usually get speed up at least 5 pts higher than the others, this goes for open level as well) and what other stats I upgrade next depends on the horse's leg type and abilities. Some abilities play so well into your stats - Grit will directly affect "tenacity" and Closer will have a say in your "stamina" stat. Instant Response is pretty self explanatory, while Spurt and Stretch Burst affect the speed stat.
If you have any more questions about this, please don't hesitate to PM me!