How to read a Daily Racing Form - WDRB 41 Louisville News

How to read a Daily Racing Form

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When it comes to picking a winner for the big race, the Daily Racing Form can help. But reading one, isn't easy. WDRB got a lesson on how to read the DRF.

In a field of 20 thoroughbreds, the road to the Winner's Circle is full of bumps and turns, especially when it comes to Kentucky Derby 143.

"There's a chance that the favorite in the Derby this year might be the highest odds ever.  And that was six something to one back in 2010," said Marty McGee, the Kentucky Correspondent for the Daily Racing Form.

While picking the next American Pharoah isn't an exact science, the Daily Racing Form can give you a leg up. The DRF is the go-to guide for serious handicappers, listing all the data from a horse's past races. The information can help you pick a winner, if you know how to read it. 

"It's a lot of gibberish to a lot of people and it has taken me a veritable lifetime to discern who might win these races," said McGee, who is attending his 44th Kentucky Derby.

With a dozen different variables listed McGee gave us a beginner's guide to reading the DRF.

Listed at the top of the form is the name of the horse, his owner and his trainer. McGee says not to overlook that information.

"I think the trainer is very critical because if you know your trainers you might be ahead of the game," he said.

Under that is most recent races, when and where they happened and the distance. It also lists the race condition, fast track or sloppy, which is good to know when the weather is ever changing on derby day.

"A lot of times the surface comes into play as to how a horse might race that day," said McGee.

Have another horse you're eying? Another part of the DRF tells you how that horse raced against other thoroughbreds. Take a look at the running line if you want to know the horse's position throughout the race.

"Classic Empire was 6th, then 7th, then 6th then 3rd then first. That was in the Oaklawn race. The Arkansas Derby," said McGee.

The Daily Racing Form includes a lot of information crammed into a little space. And if when you get to the betting window you rely on silks colors or horse name, McGee says there's no shame in that strategy.

"Whatever gets you there use that. Say if your daughter's birthday is May the 10th, go with the 5-10."

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