Scientific Study on Speed, Pace and Aerodynamic Drafting in Thoroughbred Horse Racing

“Choice of pacing strategy and the benefit of aerodynamic drafting are thought to be key determinants of racing performance. These effects have largely been analyzed without reference to final outcome, in small datasets with low temporal resolution, and a focus on human swimming, cycling and running. Here, we determined the position and speed of 44,803 racehorses, once per second, in 3,357 races ranging in length from 1006 to 4225 m (50.9–292.9 seconds duration) using a validated radio tracking system.

We find that aerodynamic drafting has a marked effect on horse performance, and hence racing outcome…”

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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