How to Find Paid and Free Past Performances for Thoroughbred Racing

Horse race
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If you're an avid Thoroughbred horse racing fan, you know the value of paid and free past performances. Past performances list every horse scheduled to run in a given race, along with data collected from each horse's last 5 to 12 starts.

Most past performances for Thoroughbred racing you'll find online cost money because the data is extensive and takes a lot of time to compile. However, if you don't need past performances for multiple races on a certain day, you can also find some decent free past performances.

What is in Past Performance Records? 

Past performance records usually include a speed figure for each horse running in a race, which may be calculated in Beyer Speed Figures or Equibase Speed Figures, two common ways to gauge a horse's racing prowess.

A horse's past performance record will also give you the date it last ran, the track where the race took place, the race the horse ran in, and the class of the race. It also should tell you the condition of the track and what kind of surface the race was run on, such as dirt or turf. The record should also list the distance of the race and it will give the fractions—how long it took the horses to complete different segments of the track. This, as well as the winner's final time, gives you an idea of the pace of the race.

Past performance records will also typically tell you the horse's trainer and whether there's been a change at any point in the horse's recent past.

They also list the name of the jockey who was riding in each race, how much weight the horse was carrying and any special equipment the horse was wearing or medications it might have been on. You'll also see information regarding the horse's recent workouts. Just as with a human athlete, all of these factors can affect a Thoroughbred's performance.

Paid Past Performance Records

All of this data can take time to digest, but if you're serious about racing and making wise wagers, past performance records can be very useful. Here are a few good sources of paid past performance records:

  • BRISnet offers past performance records in a variety of formats from $1 to $3 for a single race card as of July 2017. A race card gives you information on every horse scheduled to run in every race over the course of one day. BRISnet uses its own proprietary algorithm for speed figures, and comma-delimited data is available if you want to build your own databases. Annual plans range from $75 to $699.
  • Daily Racing Form offers past performances in three formats. The EasyForm is pretty basic and doesn't include all the details of the other two. Classic PDF looks just like the print edition of the publication, while the Formulator allows you to customize racing data by downloading their free software. Past performance reports range from $1.50 to $4.95 per race card as of July 2017, but the site frequently offers discounts and promotions.
  • Equibase sells official programs with past performances, handicappers' selections and lifetime data for individual horses. Equibase's performance program costs $1.75 a basic card or $2.50 for the premium edition, while annual subscriptions range from $199.95 to $1,999.95 as of July 2017.
  • Post Time Solutions doesn't sell traditional past performance records, but it does offer race cards and some comma-delimited data, as well as a handicapping program it calls Post Time Daily 2.0. The initial Post Time program is free and reports for past individual races runs from 50 cents to $1.50 as of July 2017, or you can buy the Handicapping Magician to crunch race data for you for $97.  
  • TrackMaster offers past performances in various formats for Thoroughbred, harness and quarter horse racing, using Equibase's Speed Figures. A single card is $1.50 as of July 2017, and you can purchase monthly, yearly and unlimited subscriptions. A monthly subscription with 20 downloads per month costs $49.95, for example, while the unlimited yearly subscription runs $1,099.95. 

Free Past Performance Records 

Some leading trainers, farms and racetracks offer past performance records for free, but you may have to hunt for them:

  • BRISnet offers pages dedicated to many of the top trainers in the country, listing the horses they have entered in upcoming races.
  • If you click on Todd Pletcher's page, you'll see the notation "Ultimate PPs" next to the horse's name. Click on this and it will take you to BRISnet's past performances for that particular race for free.
  • Daily Racing Form also offers free past performance reports if you wager on the site through DRF Bets, but this option isn't available in all states. 

If you want to wager on more than one race that day, you'll have to follow the same procedure for a horse with a notable trainer in the other races, too. You can also search BRISnet by a horse's sire, and you can get free BRISnet PPs for just one race a day, typically what a track deems to be its key race.

Who knows? The $2 you save by doing a little extra work might earn you $32 if you put it on a 15/1 long shot to win instead.