Old And Sold Antiques Auction & Marketplace

Antiques Digest Browse Auctions Appraisal Home

Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Horse Racing Wagering System:
Business And Pleasure At The Racetrack
Past Performances Of Horses
Getting Rid Of Goats At The Racetrack
Speed Vs. Class In Horse Racing
Fundamentals Of Handicapping Horse Racing
Colt System
Claiming Race System For Horses
$61,00 For $2 In 30 Days At The Races
Pulliing Out Of A Slump At The Racetrack
How To Bet Horses
More Horse Racing Tips

Past Performance Of Horses

( Originally Published mid 1950's )

The first thing an embryo race fan must do is to learn something about the past performance records printed in the official racing papers. These records give pertinent facts about a horse's performances in his last eight or nine races.

For picking horses on the basis of the two systems outlined in this book, the Morning Telegraph is recommended, but the Daily Racing Form also may be used.

But, for three reasons, you are advised to disregard completely many of these items in the racing paper. One reason is that some of this superfluous information is more or less academic, such as the name of a horse's ancestors. An experienced race fan frequently can deduce from a study of a horse's family tree whether an untried steed can run in the mud or at a long distance, but it generally takes years for a beginner or casual racegoer to be able to use such factors as a sound basis for ,handicapping.

The second reason deals with the names of a horse's owner and trainer and the names of the horses against whom he competed in previous races. We omit the names of the owner and trainer in the hope that the reader will not get into the habit of following all horses in a certain stable, a practice followed by some race fans. We omit the names of other horses because some fan who likes a horse called Black Beauty, for instance, might be frightened off a good bet by the presence in the race of another horse which in a previous race had beaten Black Beauty -under different conditions.

The third reason for omitting some of these items is that they will be useless to followers of this book's methods. For instance, we pay no attention to fractional times and speed figures, or to a horse's post position in past races, or to the names of the jockeys who rode him in his previous starts.

Race fans who regard the past performance records in the racing papers as some mysterious form of Egyptian hieroglyphics need not worry about them as far as this book is concerned.

All that followers of this book's systems actually will need to know is a few basic facts including the date of a horse's last race, whether he won it, the distance of today's race, what weight the horse is carrying today, etc.-in short, such information as usually is listed by handicappers in the daily newspapers.

There will be no need to deal with fractional time, finishing time, speed ratings, track variants and other items that clutter up the past performances in the racing papers. And most important of all, a reader will be advised to be guided mainly by what he has seen with his own eyes-not by complicated figures and symbols.

The reason for the simplicity of this book's systems is a case of necessity being the mother of invention.

As a newspaper handicapper, the writer had no access to the past performances in racing papers and had to make his selections hours before those papers were published.

A newspaper handicapper has time to make only a few notes-mental as well as written ones. And needless to say, such notes must be basic, important ones-calculated to produce future winners.

Therefore, instead of trying to accomplish the hopeless task of keeping track of all horses currently in competition, it was decided to take note first of horses coming off of a race so impressive that they seemed likely to win their next start.

It was noted that a horse which was running second or first at the start of the last run for home, drew ahead and won a race, frequently was in such good shape that he could be counted upon to win his next race.

It is easy for a spectator to remember such a steed because of the thrill experienced in watching him put away his rivals.

This is a note of the mental picture type. Another note in the same category is the class in which horses run. After only a few visits to the track, a race-goer will find himself becoming familiar with the various grades of horses and the company in which any one steed usually competes.

When a race fan sees a horse dropping down in class to run against a cheaper band of performers, he will realize that such a steed is dangerous.

Both of these two types of horses are considered to have. a probable edge over their rivals. The first type, which took command near the finish and drew away to win, is deemed not only to have improved already but also likely to improve still more, in his next start, even though he might move up in class.

If a written record were kept of such a horse, it would look something like this:


Str Fin
26JY $5000 2 1/4 1 1

This would denote that in its last race, on the 26th of July, the horse trailed the pace-setter by a length and a half at the stretch, and came on to win by a length. Also that the class of the race was $5,000.

Even if the horse had not won the race, it still might be a play next time out if dropped in with a bunch of cheapsters running for a claiming price of something like $2,500, or maybe even $3,500.

It will be noted that this simple illustration covers both types of horses just mentioned.

The third and final main type dealt with by this book's systems (usually a gelding) is considered to have an edge because of its sheer consistency, measured in terms of the amount of purse money won.

For instance, going into a race, a horse's moneywinning record might be 7-$4,725, meaning that in seven starts during the current year the horse had won $4,725 in purse money, or an average of approximately $675 per race. If it won again and picked up an additional $1,000 in purse money, the figure naturally would be changed to 8-$5,725.

A consistent money-winning gelding who is in good shape will crop up as a play repeatedly in claiming races, thus also becoming a "mental picture" play.

For the purposes of illustrating this book's systems, the writer will reproduce throughout simple, home-made methods of keeping basic records which he developed as a handicapper.

As the reader becomes familiar with these three main types, he will be able to recognize them without keeping records of any kind.

For instance, the most powerful kind of play is a horse which in its last race took the lead at the start, led all the way and gained in the stretch run. A written rec ord of such a performance would look something like this:

However, it is not necessary to keep any such records, because a race-goer who has seen a horse take the lead right at the break and make every post a winning one is not likely to forget him in a hurry.

In addition, handicappers in the daily newspapers are helpful in calling attention to such types by summing up a horse's last race with some such comment as "won going away" or "won easily." These handicappers also give us a good line on our consistency requirements by listing the finishing position of each horse in each of its last three races.

In fact, the only basic factor which newspaper handicappers do not list is class, and on this point the reader will be better off if he forms his own ideas.

For instance, in claiming races, a beginner or casual race-goer will begin to realize that roughly speaking, there are three different class groups.

The top group runs in claiming races of from $10,000 up. The next lower group competes for anywhere from $5,000 to $7,500. And the lowest group runs for from $2,500 to $3,500 (we ignore races with a claiming price of less than $2,500).

A beginner soon learns to associate any claiming horse with one of these groups and will notice instantly a switch to another group. Thus when a horse drops from one group to a lower group, he may become a very good play. But if he tries to move to a higher-class group, he may be a bad proposition unless he happened to win his last race in an impressive manner.

With this introduction behind us, let us now look at a typical example of our simplified version of a horse's past record, and then explain it:

Scobeyville C3 117 1952 4 1 2 0 $4,225 1951 6 2 0 0 $3,725 3MY GS fast 6f Allow 6 4 3 13 1 4 1/2 111 Easily Best

That is all we will need. First, the horse's name. The "C3" shows he is a three-year-old colt, and the figure 117 means he is carrying 117 pounds today.

The boxed figures at the right of the figure 117 give the colt's consistency record and purse money earned during the current and previous years. We see that in 1952, Scobeyville started four times, won one race, finished second twice and never ran third, compiling earnings of $4,225 during that period.

The third and last line gives the colt's record in his last race, on May 3 at Garden State, on a fast track at a distance of six furlongs. The abbreviation "Allow" means it was an allowance race. Or it might be "Hcp" for a handicap race, or "Stk." for a stake race, or "Mdn." or "M. Sp. W." for a maiden race, or some such figure as $3,500 or $12,500 for a claiming race.

The figure 6 at the right of "Allow" denotes that in his last race the colt "broke" (or left the starting gate) in sixth position. The figure 4 shows that he was fourth at the quarter-mile call. The figure 3 means he was third at the half-mile.

The large figure 1 denotes that at the stretch call, after the field rounds the final turn for home, Scobeyville was running first, and the smaller figure 3 adjoining it shows he was leading by three lengths at that stage. The final two figures, the large figure 1 and the smaller figure 4 1/2 adjoining it, means that he won the race by 4 1/2 lengths.

The next figure, 111, gives the weight the colt was carrying in his last race. And the final comment "Easily best" is called either the tag line or the trouble line, because if the horse got into trouble during the running of the race, there will be some such comment as "blocked" or "knocked back," etc.

At this point the reader should compare our simplified record, which is all he will need to do his handicapping, with the far more elaborate but unnecessary past per formances printed by the racing paper. This is suggested so that the reader will become familiar with just what symbols we disregard.

In the first place, we generally need only the record of a horse's last race, and not eight or nine earlier ones. Also, only very rarely will we have to refer to any list of workouts, or training trials, that the horse has been given.

In Scobeyville's original record, adjoining the notation "C3," there were a flock of names dealing with his ancestors, his owner, his trainer and his breeder. We need none of these.

Now let's compare the third line of our simplified record with the original. In the latter, after the notation "6f" and ahead of the abbreviation "Allow," were three speed figures giving fractional time and final time. We want no part of these, so we will omit them.

Also in the original record, right after the abbreviation "Allow" and just in front of the figure 6, there was another figure showing Scobeyville's post position in his last race. We are not interested in that either.

The only other parts of the original version of Scobeyville's record that we want are the weight he carried in his last race, 111, and the comment line at the end. The items that are omitted are the name of the jockey who rode him, the type of equipment he carried, his odds, the speed rating and track variant, the names of the three horses that finished in the money in that race, and the number of horses that ran in the race.

Readers desiring additional information concerning these symbols should read the glossary in the last chapter of this book, and also the Morning Telegraph's explana

tion of its itemized records. This explanation is furnished daily' just ahead of the past performances for the first race listed.

As for the dozen items in our simplified version, we will further explain and illustrate them just as they happen to come up. Thus the beginner will be able to digest

this information slowly and comfortably, instead of bolting all of it in one gulp and probably getting mental indigestion as a result.

In the next chapter we begin, step by step, the engrossing study of how to pick winners.

Bookmark and Share