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Why Reading The Form Isn’t Enough

Saturday's Grade 1 CashCall Futurity presents an excellent case study on the need to supplement reading of the Racing Form with watching race replays and/or reading full results charts.

If you hadn't watched the Breeders' Cup Juvenile where Lookin At Lucky finished 2nd to Vale of York, and were trying to assess his performance simply from the data presented in your Racing Form, you would have missed out on vital information that, I believe, drastically changes the perception of the race. Below is the running line for Lookin At Lucky from the Juvenile along with the DRF trip note from the Formulator Past Performance:

13 - 7 (71/2) - 10 (81/4) – 9 (4) – 5 (21/2) – 2 (hd), Bumped late, rallied

Now read the trip comments from the result chart:

LOOKIN AT LUCKY checked slightly while forced out on the first turn, raced in midpack along the backstretch, tipped out midway on the turn, circled five wide into the stretch, made a run to reach contention in midstretch, brushed with the winner while gaining steadily in deep stretch and just missed in the final strides. (Emphasis added)

The first trip note certainly indicates that Lookin At Lucky had some trouble in the Juvenile but the severity of that trouble is not readily apparent. The chart comment, however, clearly demonstrates that Lookin At Lucky had a horrible trip almost the entire duration of the race and yet he still finished only a head behind the winner, Vale of York. You could also have gleaned that information by watching a replay of the race and compiling your own trip notes. Whatever the method, the lesson is still the same: past performances provide valuable information but a player has to be willing to go beyond that information in order to accurately assess the strength of a horse's race record.