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Old 12-29-2017, 10:43 AM   #1
Gasser57
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Declining form or just a poor last race?

Occasionally Brisnet PPSs will say a horse showed declining form and speed, and another horse will have poor numbers and be poorly positioned at each call like the declining form horse, but will have nothing mentioned about declining form.

So when a horse has a poor showing after a good race or two, and it’s stats and notes look similar to a horse that’s labeled as showing declining form, should you just assume it had a poor race but still is in good condition? It’s also confusing because sometimes the pro handicappers still pick “declining form” horses to win or at least make the board.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:14 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Gasser57 View Post
Occasionally Brisnet PPSs will say a horse showed declining form and speed, and another horse will have poor numbers and be poorly positioned at each call like the declining form horse, but will have nothing mentioned about declining form.

So when a horse has a poor showing after a good race or two, and it’s stats and notes look similar to a horse that’s labeled as showing declining form, should you just assume it had a poor race but still is in good condition? It’s also confusing because sometimes the pro handicappers still pick “declining form” horses to win or at least make the board.
I don't know how anyone could assume declining form from just one race.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:41 AM   #3
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I don't know how anyone could assume declining form from just one race.
Good point. A horse that broke well, had a good trip, but still did poorly following recent good performances might have a form issue - or maybe just a little stomach trouble at race time.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:06 PM   #4
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Is there a valid excuse for the poor performance? Sloppy track, wrong distance, poor break. Or does the horse appear to be in distress? Watch the replay a judge for yourself.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:05 PM   #5
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Is there a valid excuse for the poor performance? Sloppy track, wrong distance, poor break. Or does the horse appear to be in distress? Watch the replay a judge for yourself.
Good advice. I've seen a number of races lately where many of the horses in each race had poor last performances following a stretch of good ones. Replays might provide more insight into whether it's a form issue or situational factors that were responsible.
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Old 12-30-2017, 04:39 AM   #6
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Horses are often given an unimpressive "breather" after a hard-fought race or two...especially at the smaller tracks. There is also the amusing scenario where horses sometimes alternate their good and bad efforts, and the proof is there in black-and-white...for those who bother to notice the patterns that these horses (and their handlers) sometimes fall into. If a particular horse has the habit of running good races right after bad ones...then it would be quite foolish to take this horse's last race as "gospel".
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