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How To Read Past Performances

Thoroughbred Horse Racing: How To Read A Program

A thoroughbred horse racing program can be broken down into two sections:

1. Information about today’s race
2. Details about the horses’ past performance

We have included a sample horse racing program below, labeled each section, and given a detailed description of each.

Knowing how to read a horse racing program will tell you about that day's race.

Information About Today’s Race

ADistance of the race
BRace Number – This indicates the order the race will run for the day.
CTrack Name – Designates the track where the race is run.
DExotic Wagers – Wagers offered in this race. (The exotic wager types listed are in addition to Win, Place, Show. If there is no minimum listed next to the wager, it has a $1 minimum.)
EProgram Number – Refers to the number the horse is listed under in the program. This is the number used for wagering purposes.
GTRA Saddle Cloth Color – Indicates the color cloth the horse will have under his saddle. The saddle cloth will also display the program number of the horse.
HHorse’s name
IRace Day Medication – Indicates if the horse is running with Lasix or special equipment. L – Lasix, B- Bute, b – blinkers, f – front bandages
JHorse’s color, gender, age, and pedigree
KWeight – Weight indicates how much the horse will be carrying in the race. This includes the weight of the jockey and all equipment.
LBreeder Information – The breeder of this horse.
MMorning Line Odds – Refers to the odds set by the track oddsmaker. This is an estimate of what the oddsmaker believes the chances are of each horse winning. (Odds can fluctuate based on how much money is bet on each horse prior to the race.)
NClaiming Price
OTrainer/Jockey Stats
PCurrent Year Record
RFirst place finishes
SSecond place finishes
TThird place finishes
USpeed/Class Rating

Details About The Horses’ Past Performance

If you know how to read a horse racing program, you will find details about horse past performance.
1Race Dates – Race Dates show the dates of the horse’s past races (Look for trends on how often a horse runs and its success. Also, see if it has been a while since the horse’s last start. If it has been a while, the horse may need more conditioning before running its optimal performance.)
2Race Track Abbreviation & Race Number – Shows the track where the horse ran and what race number.
3Course Conditions – This shows the condition of the track for that race. (Some horses will perform better over a wet track than they will on a fast track. Look to see what conditions a horse does well or badly over)
4Race Restrictions – The age restrictions for the race: A race designated with 3^ would be a race for three-year-olds and up. A race designated with 4^ would be a race for four-year-olds and up. No designation means that the race was not age-specific.
5Common Race Type Codes – This identifies the race condition a horse has run in the past. (It is important to identify if the horse has performed well in the past at similar conditions. If it has not done well in similar conditions before, you may find another horse that has done well instead.)
6Fractional Times of Race – Shows the split times of each of their previous races. (Use in conjunction with the Order of Calls to see if the horse benefited or was hindered from either too slow or too quick of a pace.)
7Final Time of Race – The Final Time of the Race is shown in 100ths of a second for the noted race.
8Equibase Pace Figure – The Equibase Pace Figures are basically the horse’s ‘speed figure’ at the first call of the race and are available for all Thoroughbred and Arabian races. (Based on the horse’s actual time and other conditions, such as track condition, these figures allow you to compare a horse’s performance at the early point of the race.)
9Post Position – Lists which post or gate the horse was in at the starting gate.
10Order of Calls – Lists where the horse was and how many lengths ahead the horse was at each point of call. The number of points of call will vary by race distance. (The Order of Calls shows you a horse’s progression through each of its past races and can help you determine if the horse has a lot of speed or if a horse likes to do its running at the end of a race. Comparing this to the rest of the field can help determine how the race will unfold.)
11Final Finish Position & Beaten Lengths – The position where the horse finished. (Locate the horse’s best finishes to determine if it may do well in today’s race.)
12Jockey’s Name – The name of the jockey that rode the horse in that race. (Look at the Jockey’s Name to see if they had success with this horse in the past. You can even see if a jockey that has ridden this horse in the past is riding another horse today.)
13Weight Carried By Horse – This shows the weight the horse carried in that race.
14Medication/Equipment – Indicates if the horse ran with Lasix or special equipment. L – Lasix, B- Bute, b – blinkers, f – front bandages
15Equivalent Odds – The decimal odds the horse went off at in the race.
16First Three Finishing Horses – This shows the first three finishers of the race, followed by the weight that horse carried and then followed by the number of lengths in front of the next position that horse was in when it crossed the finish line. (Names in bold will be horses they are competing against in that race. Names in italics indicate the horse won its next start.)
17Comments Regarding Race – Reflects the chart comments listed for that horse in that race. (Comments Regarding Race gives you short notes about the horse’s performance in that race. Find out if the horse had trouble in a certain race, which could explain a bad performance.)
18Number of Horses in Race – Indicates how many horses started in that race.
19Morning Workouts – Morning Workouts show the date, distance, and time of recorded works for that horse. (You will see how their workout time rated against all other horses that worked the same distance on that day (Ex., 1/24 – the horse worked fastest of 24 horses).

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