As promised in my previous article, Tools of the Trade, what follows is a brief comparison of DRF past performances versus Brisnet. Past performances are vital for any handicapper in any era, and I believe the aforementioned options both can give you success. In my opinion, it isn’t so much the tool, but the artist behind the tool that matters most. Be that as it may, I find Brisnet to be my top choice whenever I download past performances.
For quarter horse racing, I definitely prefer Daily Racing Form. To be honest, I haven’t relied on Brisnet too many times for quarter horse racing, but I feel the DRF past performances have more of the information I need for handicapping the quarters. That’s ok because Brisnet probably does not rely heavily on quarter horse handicappers and even my connections on Twitter seem to be overwhelmingly thoroughbred players. When it comes to the thoroughbreds, I prefer the Brisnet product. Much has been said on Twitter about the annoying DRF Bets splash page. The last time I attempted to download past performances on drf.com I was bombarded by this annoying advertisement page. All I wanted was simply to download my PPs and go on my way. After I was so rudely interrupted by the marketing geniuses at Daily Racing Form, I left the site and went to the simple, easy to navigate- yet highly sophisticated- Brisnet website and made my purchase. While I had previously split my loyalty between the two titans, I was now setting up permanent camp in the Brisnet world. Once I invested more time in learning the ins and outs of their PPs and how they differed from DRF’s product, I fell in love with Brisnet.
My weapon of choice is the Ultimate PPs with comments from Brisnet. When you are spending three days prepping for the Donn Handicap or the Risen Star Stakes, you need the data that Brisnet provides. I love the prime power rankings and the sire and dam stats that are easy to access off to the right of the page. At the top of the first page you get a nice summary of who the top three horses are in a number of different categories: speed last race, prime power, class, and best speed at the distance. And on the last page of information for each race, you have great insight to how often favorites win in these types of races. I love the track bias stats and the last page shows you what a great job Brisnet does of summarizing a great deal of information and organizing it in a way that is easy for the horseplayer to access and understand. For example, I loved Tread in Race 11 at the Fairgrounds on Saturday February 23. I liked Tread before the morning line was even made. Al Stall, Clairborne bred and owned, first time lasix, and I liked the horse’s first and only other start. The horse did not pay much, but I liked this horse from the beginning. My confidence was high already, but then on the last page of my Brisnet Ultimate PPs Tread ranked first in every one of the seven categories they listed at the bottom. It was time to bet the farm.
I’m sure there are things that I overlooked that other horseplayers love. But that’s my simple explanation of my favorite tool for looking at past performances. It still didn’t help me figure out that Greydar would win the Donn Handicap in his fourth lifetime start, but that is the beauty of this game. At least with Brisnet, you know you have all the relevant data easily organized and right at your fingertips. Horse racing is the sport for the analytical mind. For those that love baseball for the statistics, horse racing provides far more for the statistical-minded person. The challenge of sorting through all the data and trying to make an educated opinion about a horse, is what makes horse racing such a thrill.
While past performances are vital for the handicapper, the simulcast and ADW era present the horseplayer with a powerful weapon- the ability to choose to play any track regardless of your geographic location. In the past you had to attend live racing in order to wager on the horses, now you have a multitude of options to access any day of the week. If you like harness racing and live in Iowa, no problem. Follow harness racing at Balmoral and Maywood Park with your laptop and a high speed internet connection. Do you think your live racing product is subpar, then sign in to your ADW account and follow the great racing at my favorite track Arlington Park. Have the slots machines taken over the facility at your favorite track, then stay home and focus on Keeneland every April and October. Since the simulcast era began, the horseplayer found himself with more tracks to play. And now in the ADW era, horseplayers can play tracks all across the world and follow any race meet from the comfort of their own home. While nothing can compare to the experience of a day at the track, in our final article on the Tools of the Trade, we will examine the horseplayers’ options of wagering on live racing or playing the horses via the simulcast center or your favorite advanced deposit wagering platform. Stay tuned.