List of Horse Racing Statistics
Horse racing is a sport of statistics. More often than not, the fastest horse will win the race. Without actually getting up on each horse's back and riding them, how can we figure who the fastest horse is? The answer is to look back through the past performances at the statistics. There are other stats that may affect the result of a race. These stats can be related to the human factor in horse racing or the race track itself.
The fastest horse doesn't always win the race. This is because the jockey on the horse's back plays a major part in the outcome.. Each track keeps statistics on the jockeys that ride there. These stats show: number of starts, wins, 2nd place finishes, 3rd place finishes, win percentage, total money earned and percent of top 3 finishes. The jockey can be the decisive factor in the result of a race, so it is important to pay attention to their stats. A jockey with a win percentage around 20% is outstanding.
The horse trainer is the professional responsible for the horse's health and condition. They schedule the horse's feedings, workouts, veterinarian visits, jockeys and anything else involving the horse on a day to day basis. The average horse fan cannot get access to each and every trainer's barn to view how the trainers go about their business. Therefore, the way to measure a trainer's effectiveness is by viewing the trainer statistics. The tracks keep the same statistics for the trainers as for the jockeys. A win percentage of 20% is very good and the elite trainer's win percentage may reach 25% or higher.
The trainer is hired by the horse owner, who can be one individual or a group of people owning a certain share of the horse. It is likely that the owner uses the trainer statistics when deciding which trainer to employ, hoping to send the horse to a successful trainer with excellent results. The tracks and racing publications also keep statistics on owners' success. While the total number of starts won't be as high as the trainers' or jockeys', the most important figures are total earnings and earnings per start. These stats are important because the owner needs to make money to stay in business. The stats are also used to decide on owner awards at the end of the season.
- Workout Stats
- Past Performance Stats
- Sire Stats
- Broodmare Sire Stats
Before a horse starts in an official race, it will have officially timed workouts leading up to the first race. The horse will have subsequent workouts after its first race as well. These works are timed by official clockers who work at the track or training site. The results of these works are published by the track and kept in their records. These workout stats can also be viewed on various racing publications and provide information on how fast the horse may be over a certain distance, usually between ⅜ of a mile and ¾ of a mile.
Past Performance Stats
Each horse that has run at least one official race has a race result stat known as past performance (pp). This stat will inform the public of the horse's: total number of starts, wins, 2nd place finishes, 3rd place finishes, win percentage and total money earned. This information is made public because past performance is the main way to tell how well a horse may run it's next race. These stats are also important to compare top horses for end of the year awards.
A major factor in a horse's ability may very well be it's bloodlines. The horse's sire (father) and broodmare (mother) can have a tremendous effect on it's ability. This being the case, there are organizations and publications that keep track of each stallion's progeny results. These results will show the stallions' number of foals, runners, winners, stakes winners, average winning distance, progeny earnings, etc. These statistics are important to the gambler because they may indicate a stallion's progeny prefers to race over certain distances and/or surfaces. Also, the stallions' average earnings per runner may indicate that progeny of certain stallions are more likely to be successful than others.
Broodmare Sire Stats
These stats are very similar to sire stats except they indicate how successful each stallion is at producing talented broodmares. These statistics are important because there are instances where a stallion may historically be a better producer of broodmares than actual racehorses. For example, the great Secretariat was a much better broodmare sire than racehorse sire.
- Wins by Post Position
- Track Records
Tracks keep statistics on daily attendance, the amount of people going through the gate to see live racing. With the advent of online, simulcast and sportsbook gambling, these numbers have decreased drastically through the years. There are still popular race meets and special race days that attract spectators for various reasons (Saratoga, KY Derby day etc). Attendance, while meaningful, is not as important as it once was for these race tracks. Of most importance is that people continue to wager on the races.
The handle is the total money bet on races at each race track. The handle can be broken down by race, day, race meet and year. The handle is also classified as on-track handle and off-track, which is the amount bet at sites other than the track (online, casinos etc.). The handle is important because wagering is vital to the tracks' income, without it the race tracks would cease to exist.
Wins by Post Position
Each track keeps statistics indicating which gate position the winners broke from. This stat is important to indicate a possibility of race track bias. If the sample is large enough, the public may notice that one post position has been winning a disproportionate percentage of races. This may be the deciding factor in the outcome of a close race.
Race tracks have archives and they make all their records public. These records can include: highest daily attendance, meet attendance, handle, etc. The tracks also make public the records for fastest race performances over distance and surface ever at their race track. These records are important simply on a historical basis such as the home run records in baseball.