Thoroughbred Partnerships Benefit From The DRF
Have you ever been to the races and not known the first thing about how to pick a winning horse in a race? Many people find themselves betting on horses for a number of reasons that really have no bearing on whether the horse will win the race or not, but don’t have any idea what else to go by. I find people at the track talking about the color of the horse as well as the jockey’s silks and the horse’s birthday. There is nothing wrong with going out to the track and relying on a little bit of luck with one of these methods, but at the same time wouldn’t you like to know how to read the Daily Racing Form?
Have you ever been to the racetrack and seen people everywhere pouring over a newspaper, circling horses on each page and studying so intensely? Well that paper is the Daily Racing Form (DRF), the Bible for most thoroughbred horse racing partnerships and anyone involved in racing. The DRF was founded in 1894 in Chicago, Illinois with the purpose of detailing individual races at a racetrack with the past performances of each horse in each race. This was a way for bettors and thoroughbred syndicate owners to get a better idea of how good each horse was, what types of races they had been running in, and also how they finished in each race.
Today the DRF also acts as a source of thoroughbred racing and breeding news on a daily basis, but primarily is the gold standard for past performances for racing. When you pick up a DRF for the first time at the racetrack it can be quite daunting because there is a lot of information on each page. But there are a few keys things to focus on as you are first learning to read the DRF. First read the condition of the race. The condition of the race will tell you the distance of the race, the surface the horses will be running on, the level of the race, as well as the age and sex of the horses running. From there go through each horse running and see if they have been running at a similar level as the condition listed and see how they have finished at this level previously. This will give you a good idea of what is called the class of each horse. In addition, while looking to see if this horse can compete at this level briefly take a look at the horses overall record as well as their last few races which will give you an idea of the horse’s current form, or how they have been running lately. This will sometimes give you an idea of a certain pattern or trend the horse has been going through.
After looking at the class and form of each horse in a specific race take a look at the pace scenario that may set up during the race. In each past performance of a horse’s previous race the DRF gives you the position the horse was in at five different points throughout the race from start to finish. This will give you a good idea of the horse’s running style. You will see as you look through each horse’s past performances most of them will develop a style that reoccurs from race to race. Some horses will go straight to the lead and stay at the lead and either win that way or completely fade at the end, they are speed horses. Then there are horses that sit just off the speed in about 2nd to 4th and wait until the last couple furlongs for their last kick and win from there. And then there are closers and deep closers who break very slow from the gate and sit towards the back of the pack throughout the entire race and come closing at the very end.
Once you have found the speed of the race, the horses that sit just off the pace, and closers you might wonder well how does that help me? For example, if there is one horse in the race with a ton of speed and now one else in the lead is really ever close to the front, that may give the speed horse a good opportunity to go to the lead without getting much pressure from any other horses and give that a horse a good chance to win. On the contrary, if there are several horses with a lot of speed and a couple horses that like to sit off the pace or closers, the speed horses have a good chance of tiring each other out up front and leaving an opening for the horses just off the pace and the closers to come running at the end.
Hopefully this gives new thoroughbred horse racing owners a better idea of how to handicap a race rather than just picking a horse randomly. Experiment with the form and don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. And for more information about to read the DRF and to see what it looks like follow this link for a full explanation and tutorial at: http://www1.drf.com/flash/drf_pp_tutorial.html .
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