Past Performance Symbols

Horse Racing Past Performance Symbols

Horse racing handicapping is easier when you understand what Past Performance Symbols mean. Past Performance Symbols can tell you a lot about the horses running style, equipment, and medication used if any if you can read the symbols.

It will also tell you what kind of track the horse has run on (turf, dirt or synthetic) and how well he performs on different surfaces.

The Past Performance Symbols will tell you if there are any equipment changes in the current race, like if blinkers are on or off.  If the horse is now using the medication Lasix for the first time, which could possibly improve their performance.  

It will show you when and where the last time the horse has raced and the position she/he finished in.


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These are important factors you should take a look at when trying to decide which horse to place a wager on.  First time Lasix can really help the horse perform well in the current race.  

When the trainers or owners want to change equipment they want to help the horse perform to the best of his/her ability.

Past Performance distances are one of the simplest things to pick out when reviewing a horse’s prior races to the current race.  That is one of the key factors to look at when trying to pick out the horse to bet on.  

If a horse usually runs in a spirited race of 5 to 6 furlongs and comes in last.  The horse might not do so well if the race is 7 or higher furlongs race.  They might not have the training to go the distance.

Past Performance Symbols How to read in Horse Racing


How to understand horse racing past performance symbols



Horse Racing Language

 If you plan on going to American Thoroughbred Horse Racing Track any time in your life you will need to learn the language.   There are several terms you will need to understand before you go to any race track.
These are no particular order:
Break Maiden – When a horse or jockey finishes in 1st place for the first time in their career
Across the Board – A Win, Place and Show wager on 1 horse
Blinkers On – When a horse has Blinkers On (see Horse Racing Equipment)
Public Favorite – The horse the public is wagering on and believes will win
Fast Track – Racetrack footing as best, dry, fast and even
What’s the Field – The number of horses that are racing in a race
Handicapping – Someone who analyze each horse’s past performance to pick a possible winner
Head of the Stretch – The straight run to the finish line
In the Money – A horse finishes in either first, second or third place you will win money
Maiden Race – Every horse and jockey that have not won
Morning Lines – Odds that are given when the race is posted
Paddock Area – An area where the horses walk around before the race and get saddled
Photo Finish – When multiple horses are so close a camera needs to determine the finish order
Furlongs – Are the lengths the races are run 1 furlong equals to one-eighth of a mile
For a more in depth list of horse racing terms, check out DRF Daily Racing Form they provide a completed list. 

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