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What Does Your Horse’s Finish Time Mean in Zed Run?

One of the most complicated things in Zed.Run is figuring out what makes the whole system run.

There are a TON of unknowns about the entire environment — but one of the most intriguing to me is the issue of horse “speed” and Finish Times.

While it would seem intuitive to say that the fastest horses are the strongest runners, it doesn’t seem to be quite so straightforward in Zed.Run.

Please Note: This is absolutely a working and personal theory — meaning I have no inside information from Zed and I am nowhere near the smartest person looking at this data nor am I compiling the most data.

These are my personal thoughts based on some anecdotal evidence I’ve looked at. Please feel free to add to the Discussion in the Comments after the article.

Race Visuals

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now …. Race Visuals don’t matter.

I know my first instinct was to watch my horse’s races to see if it seemed like they were “running out of steam” at the 1600m or if they were still “coming on strong” at the 2000m mark. However, this is not going to give you good data about your horse; as confirmed by Jay from Zed Run:

What does he mean when he says “I know some people tend to think the racing times don’t matter“?

Let’s dig in!

Starting With The Monsters

As Jay from Zed Run says up above, “The best horses top the best time leaderboards for a reason”.

This seems to indicate that times are not completely random. If you look at Panted Ponies and their “speed rating” you can see that the horses who have run the “World Record” times at any distance are the horses who are some of the best in the game.

Doing a search for the fastest times in the 2000m turns up horses that are both dominant racers that inhibit the “U Shape” meta — meaning they often come in 1st or last including: Moonlight Graham, Royal Acquisition, and i95.

It’s clear that there is a huge correlation between the best horses and extremely fast winning race times.

However, the puzzle doesn’t end there of course. We’ve got a whole ecosystem of horses to consider – not just the top performers in the game.

The Real Puzzle Of Zed.Run Finishing Times

Okay, let’s get into the real substance of this article. There are some mysteries regarding finishing times — the main one triggered by something known as a 12-way tie.

Let’s take a look here:


In this image, we have a race where ALL 12 horses have either a Finish Time of 97.7686 or 97.7687.

Pretty close race, huh?

Hope!” is an extremely poor runner who has only come in the “Top 5” of a race around 5% of the time… with the other 95% of Results being in the bottom 7 spots.

However, if we look at its other 1600m times (where the 12-way tie occurred) we also see times of 95.7 seconds in 9th place, 95.7 seconds in 11th place, and even a 94.2 seconds in dead last.

To me, it looks like the stronger the winning horse – the stronger the times of the competition are that comes behind it.

Personally, I don’t know what the larger data set holds, but it seems to tell us that Zed Horse Finishing Times are not completely independent of any other variable — making it impossible to rely on, but allowing us to still keep one major take-away.

Lastly, let’s present one more race comparison for you.

At this link, we have a Class 1 1400m race with monsters in it. Ducky Mallon, Y2k2k, Vanilla Bean, and a few talented Z1 Nakamotos are in the field…. a finishing time of 84.2 seconds for the Winner.

At this link, we have a Class 4 1400m race where the Winner’s Finishing Time was 78.4 seconds. 11 of the 12 horses would’ve beat the monsters in the Class 1 field. This is a field that includes “Mocha“, a A-Shape horse that has often pulled 35-45 odds in Class 4 at 1400m and is 0-for-71 when it comes to winning.

There’s no way that horse could ever win a race like the Class 1 monster field — these are not independent dice rolls. You can’t tell me Mocha would suddenly have a “20 odds” pull when being introduced into high-stakes Class 1. These times are definitely connected to the competition and that is the main reason why Finish Time isn’t a reliable data source.

I think one rebuttal to these race comparisons is that you can find monster races where a horse like Vanilla Bean for example loses 84 seconds (Winner’s Time) to 86 seconds (VB Time). But every single horse is a U-Shape Horse basically…. but then why don’t horses like Mocha win when they’re surrounded by these U-Shapes?

It is interesting to note the difference between variance in a horse like Vanilla Bean and Sandy Beach in the 2200m. Sandy Beach has times from 126-136 , Bean has 120-140. Technically, you could learn from that – but it’s pretty easy to see in the simple distribution of Finishing Positions.

That doesn’t seem to me to lead us to an environment where we can make any conclusions about the speeds or times these races are running at.

What Can We Learn?

Speed doesn’t seem to be a variable that can be consistently relied upon to give strong data about horses.

Since visuals and the “bursts” that horses have don’t matter, and times can get “stuck” by a slow horse winning the race – you’d have to really adjust to a lot of different variables to get valuable data out of this information.

At this time, the only thing that should be relied on is a horse that has true outlier fast times. It seems that most of the horses that are able to be on the “Top Speed Leaderboards” found on Painted Ponies are strong performers as Jay referenced above. This makes sense because it shows a horse that can win against any competition with such a strong outlier.

Why is the algorithm adjusting times for horses in different classes?

We may have to wait on more studies with serious data – however for now I think it is fair to question any article using medians, averages or any other use of “Finish Time” of anything other than 1st Place Horses. 12-way ties are the most mysterious part of this whole conversation.

What do you think? Add to the Discussion below and maybe together we can find out some more about how these horses run!

The post What Does Your Horse’s Finish Time Mean in Zed Run? appeared first on Zed Guru.