Tools of the trade
Horseplayers of an era gone by were shrouded with darkness. They relied mostly on “insider tip,” personal observations, and other crude measurements of horse ability to form their wagering opinions.
This version of the sport conjures up images of men wearing fancy suits and hats in 1920. However, the lack of reliable or standardized handicapping information persisted for decades. The latter provided a catalyst for data-driven approaches to the game, which exploded in popularity with the advent the internet in mid-90’s.
The best online resources
Although the internet has not made everything easier, it has increased the accessibility of reliable and varied information. This is especially true in the context of horse racing. The internet has many benefits for horse players today, including daily race replays, virtual stables to track horses and trainers, as well as situational statistics and the ability to place and track bets online.
Below is a list of my top online resources, along with a brief description.
- Daily Racing Form: This industry bible is full of Beyer Speed Figures, stats, and the “Form”. The preferred tool of regular horseplayers
- Equibase: This company is the industry’s most trusted database. It allows players to quickly review entries and create a virtual stable for free to track horses, trainers and owners.
- Bloodhorse: A reliable online publication that provides updates and news daily on breeding/racing news.
- The Paulick Report: A reliable and informative daily source of industry news
- bovada.com/bodog.com – Excellent offshore racebook that offers daily odds and wagers on top tracks all over the globe
- Race replays: Once you have had the chance to analyze a race in detail, it is a good idea to go back and view race replays of top runners. Horse racing is a game in which visual cues can give you a lot of information.
- The Ragozin Sheets are a powerful, yet less-used handicapping tool for serious gamblers. These can be used to supplement or replace the Beyer Speed Figures.
- It helps to keep track of a specific racing circuit’s web address if you are a keen follower. They frequently post daily changes/scratches prior to other sites, as well as news and notes from behind the scenes.
- Clocker Reports are harder to find online. However, publications such as Daily Racing Form provide them from bigger tracks on important racing days. It is crucial to know which horses are well trained.
- E-ponies: There are many sites that promote shady racing, but this one is correct in claiming it’s “older than the internet.” The computer-generated selection system can be quite accurate. This is a great tool for professionals looking for a different perspective.