Season 13 Preview


Welcome to Season 13, everyone!

As with every season, we kick things off with everyone’s favorite horse business holiday, Foal’s Day, when a crop of new virtual horses enters the PFL world.

We have much to do this week as we embark on another four-week trek around the Photo Finish™ world. Let’s get after it.

Rallying for Raven

This weekend, the Photo Finish™ community lost one of its most beloved and longtime community members, SlyRaven, aka Amber (owner of Blackbird Stables), who left us after her courageous battle with ALS.

Third Time Games has created a GoFundMe campaign to ease the financial burden and support her family. Specifically, we’re setting up a trust for both children.

The community has also organized a horse auction, with all proceeds supporting Amber’s family in this trying time. Some initial details are here, and more will follow in an upcoming blog.

Read the full story here to learn more about her battle and how you can help.

We miss you, Raven.

Foal’s Day Tailgate

Every season starts with the biggest game of them all, Foal’s Day. And what do you do before the big game? You tailgate, that’s what.

Third Time Games’ Ryan Yousefi and Bryce Shuck again took to the X Spaces stage to set the tone for another chaotic day of non-stop Foal’s Day content. This week, the pair were joined by community members Commish and DoughBoy to chat about what they have planned for both Foal’s Day and the upcoming Season 13 breeding window.

If you missed the Photo Finish™ LIVE Foal’s Day Tailgate, catch the replay here.

In addition to our Foal’s Day coverage, keep a close eye on the live stream channel in Discord, where our content creators will post about their streaming schedules.

Exoticus Debuts

Season 11’s Foal’s Day introduced over 4,000 new thoroughbreds into the Photo Finish™ world, but none with more fanfare than that of a new legend—Exoticus, the first-ever SS horse.

Now that two seasons have passed since that moment, Exoticus is prepared to make its grand entrance on the racetracks in Season 13.

We caught up with Exoticus’s owner, Blue Elder Racing, for quick comments on what to expect from the history-making horse.

“We believe Exoticus will be a strong sprinter,” Blue Elder said. “We are undecided about how long to race him. It will partially depend on how well he runs.”

“His older brother, Blue Norther, is doing quite well at sprints, and we hope he will exceed him. This would make it challenging to retire before his three-year-old season.”

“We plan to hold the race unless someone offers us a strong offer.”

Click here to read the community blog that goes further into the backstory behind what makes Exoticus so unique.

Singapore Racing Club

Last Wednesday, Third Time Games Middle East & SE Asia Business Development guru Ryan Duguid and longtime PFL community member OEB Racing & Breeding hosted an extraordinary night of Photo Finish™ LIVE at an exclusive VIP Members Only club in Singapore.

What came from it was the first-ever Singapore Racing Club meet-up and seeds planted for numerous other stable owners. The vibes were unique in that attendees were far more intrigued by the horse business side of things than they were by the visuals — you have to love, that.

We’ve got hours of footage, hundreds of photos, and many other things from the one-night affair. The community blog will soon have an update.

Until then, look out for Singapore Racing Club on the tracks. From what we’re told, you very well could hear from them quite often, and in a big way.

Season 12 Track Earnings: Over $700,000

Imagine not staking $CROWN for a share of Photo Finish™ LIVE track earnings each season — couldn’t be us! This season was massive for track owners, who will soon receive over $700,000 thanks to their hard-earned ownership efforts.

This brings all-time track ownership payments to over $3.2 million dollars. And we’re just getting started.

Rapid Fire Richie!

We’ve kicked things off for the past handful of seasons with a Foal’s Day check-in with Richie Choi, the race schedule czar himself. In place of a long-winded chat, for Season 13, we’re changing things up by firing off ten rapid-fire questions.

What was your main takeaway from what we saw on the tracks in Season 12?

Racing is doing well. All data points have been encouraging. While that’s an expected byproduct of so many new stables joining us in Season 12, we also saw significant indicators before that. 

In Season 12, we saw the highest levels of races completed and average fill rates for all race categories.

How were fill rates in Season 12?

Great! Really, great. 

On average, the fill rates of all race types except for allowances were up from 8% to 22%.

Is there anything you are most encouraged about or surprised to see?

It’s hard not to be encouraged by what the data tells us, but to continue the uptrend, we have to stay light on our feet and continue improving.

If I had to pick one thing I was most encouraged by in Season 12, it would be that Benchmark Races are doing well.

Why are we adding more races for 6-8yr olds that aren’t claimers?

We want all horses to have a place to compete on the racetracks. While Claiming Races are a core race, we also wish to your 6-8-year-olds to be able to continually compete against one another without the threat of being claimed.

With that in mind, we’ve added more races for 6-8-year-olds who were not as competitive in running against horses in their prime. We want to keep more horses on the track, winning $DERBY and earning $CROWN.

How are we handling the high demand for graded races?

We are looking at their run rates, the fill rates, and the rate at which these races are ‘oversubscribed.’ 11% of graded races ages 3-8 are oversubscribed compared to 33% of juveniles. 

As an adjustment, we’ve doubled the coverage for juvenile races in response and will continue monitoring these metrics. Also, with the addition of early rejection and the improvements made to the selection committee, we feel confident that horses can find a race for them and won’t be left hanging.

Are there any new race types?

In addition to the newly introduced Last 5 Benchmark races for season 12, we’ve added Non-Winners Benchmark Allowance Races. 

These races are implemented to help address the horse population that may need a helping hand to get their first few wins. They ensure these horses run on a more competitive field and contribute to the goal of keeping more horses racing.

How can we get more Bs on the track?

We’ve also added back B- & B+ allowances back into the fold in replacement of B- to B+ stakes races.

This change is expected to help address the smaller population of these types of horses and to give them an additional place to run.

Is only juicing select picks pools working as the team intended? Will we see more expansion of races covered?

The pick pools have worked as intended, and the net handle per season has steadily increased.

And yes, we will expand the coverage of additional races as the seasons progress to continue building up that wagering economy.

Look beyond S13; what can we look for in S14 and beyond?

Moar! More Horses, More Races, and More Optimizations, and More Fun! 

We’re going to continue to monitor the data, keep our ears close to the community, look to real life to further improve racing, and get PFL towards ‘As real as it gets.'”

Things are going too well, and people are too happy—give the people one unpopular food take you stand by regardless of what most believe.

The Oreo cookie is better than the cream filling. Oreo Thins are the best Oreos!

Want to join the fun?

Visit the Photo Finish™ LIVE Linktree page to find everything you need to get started. Follow us on Twitter and join our Discord channel to receive all of our news and participate in future giveaways.