How to Read the Racing Form

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Reading "The Daily Racing Form" to garner information on specific horses and feeling a bit clueless? That's not surprising - there's a ton of information crammed in there. Here's how to interpret it.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculators
  • Daily Racing Forms
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Notebook Papers
  • Find the horse's name in the upper left-hand corner of the chart, with the owner and trainer listed below it.

  • Look for the horse's weight, color, date of birth, and breeding across from the name, reading left to right.

  • Notice the sex on the upper line, listed before breeding.

  • Analyze the horse's performance over the last two years using the figures in the upper right-hand corner.

  • Note that the dates of previous races and their outcomes are listed in the first column on the left.

  • Note the location of the race, distance and times of the race, which are shown, respectively, in the next three columns reading left to right.

  • Note the track conditions in the next column (see Glossary for definitions).

  • Read the odds for winning each race listed in the next column.

  • Consider the horse's weight during each race in the next column.

  • Read the next four columns. They tell you where the horse was at the one-quarter mark, the half mile, the stretch and the finish.

  • Read the next column, which indicates who the jockeys were and what their post positions were.

  • Learn the classes of the races the horse has run in the next column.

  • Find out the speed at which the horse ran in the various races by checking the next column.

  • Review the following column, which is called "the company line." It tells you which horse won, which placed and which showed in your horse's previous races.

  • Find out how many horses were in each race in the final column.

Tips & Warnings

  • Track locations are abbreviated. You can find a glossary of track names in "The Daily Racing Form."
  • A (c) means colt, which is a male horse until he turns five and becomes an (h), which means horse. A (g) indicates a gelding, which is a castrated male horse. An (f) indicates a filly, which is a female horse until she turns five and becomes an (m), which means mare.
  • Odds listings are always to be read as the number to one. For instance, if the first number in the odds column is 2, it means that the horse's odds of winning that particular race are 2 to 1.
  • The little letter next to the number in the finish column indicates how the horse finished. A neck is abbreviated (nk), a head is abbreviated (h) and a nose is abbreviated (no).
  • A "T" with a circle around it indicates that a race was a turf race. This means the horse ran a race on a grass track.
  • Gambling can be addictive. If you think you have a problem, get help immediately.

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