The Daily Racing Form

Last year I took my first trip to Woodbine Racetrack and posted my observations about it afterwards. As part of that post I wanted to scan a few pages of the daily racing form that is available for a couple of bucks at the track. Now that I have my new scanner and a few free minutes, I can!

(click on the image for a full-size PDF file)


Woodbine derives neither its power nor its profits from the capital that is concentrated in the racegrounds proper. Rather it is through the control of information that Woodbine asserts itself: it is flatly impossible to do a decent job of wagering on the horses without the sophisticated information contained in the daily racing form; it is equally assured that the majority of track goers do not want to share their programs — and their scribbled meta-analyses of the information contained therein — so that they may retain as much of an edge as possible against the betting odds.

I think that a glance at the racing form lends support to this analysis. That this is an extremely sophisticated piece of information technology is perhaps patently obvious (to understand better, see the legend here and here). But if one visualizes each piece of information contained therein as a cell in a database, one begins to have a greater appreciation for the vast tidal flows of information that must circulate in order to create the form in the first place on a daily basis — and what kind of power the vectoralist possesses by controlling it.

By the way, my scantly "scribbled meta-analysis" didn't win me a damn red cent.


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