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What's your form?

Racing forms come in all shapes and sizes.  In France, apparently bigger is better.. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Racing forms come in all shapes and sizes. In France, apparently bigger is better.. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

If you spent any significant amount of time handicapping horse races you know that there are about a million and one different resources available to the player.  For most people, the centerpiece of their handicapping is some sort of racing form, but even racing forms come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Among the products a handicapper can choose  to use are the Daily Racing Form, Brisnet, Equibase, "The Sheets", and track programs, just to name a few.  Some come in paper form, others you can buy on-line, and others offer an interactive and customizable experience.  Whatever you're looking for in a form, chances are somebody is producing it.

Horseplayers tend to be dedicated to the form they choose because it provides the data and information that fits with their personal handicapping style.  We become familiar with the layout and the presentation in a way that allows us to effortlessly glide across the page with our marker.  At the end of the day, the piece of paper filled with names and numbers is akin to a graffiti-ed wall - awash with colors, numbers, symbols and abbreviations.  The form and the manner in which we read it is our method of translating the world of horse racing.

I thought it'd be interesting to do a two-part question to you, the readers, about past performances and your personal handicapping methods.  This first part is simply a question of what past performance products that you all like to use when handicapping and why.  Are you a standard DRF reader?  Equibase?  Bris?  The Sheets? Or something else entirely? Or do you just ignore forms entirely and do your picking in the paddock (like a real gambler!)?

The second part of the question (that we'll revisit in a later date) will focus on personal handicapping language of each of us.  How do you mark up your form?  What factors do you focus on first and what, if any, notations have you developed to assist you in quickly synthesizing the data in front of you?

As for the question of "form of choice", I've been using DRF's Formulator PPs for a while know, mainly due to the race replays and interactive charts (and some decent pedigree information on the dams).  I also use Bris PPs on occasion (which I know are popular with several readers).

So what's your form of choice and why?