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They Call It as It Is : If You Missed a Race, It's All in the Chart

November 01, 1986|BILL CHRISTINE | Times Staff Writer

A Daily Racing Form race chart gives more information about a race than any other sports summary, including baseball and basketball box scores and football and hockey resumes.

A racing chart, in just a few inches, details the progress of the horses at several points around the track and includes the margins that separate all the horses in the field. The margins are noted in superior figures next to the horse's running position.

Also to be found in the chart--the complete version carried in the Form--are the date of the horse's previous race and where he finished; the conditions of the race he's running in; the purse value; the names of the jockeys, trainers and owners; the claiming price if there is one; the closing odds; the time of the race (both the final time and the early fractions); the mutuel payoffs, and breeding information on the winner.

But if the top half of the chart is the heart of the race, the footnotes at the bottom are the soul. It is in the footnotes that the Form's track man--the chart caller--can editorialize about his view of the race. Consider Jon White's footnotes of A Sign of Luck's victory the other day at Santa Anita:

"A Sign of Luck, off alertly, vied for the early lead, was put to right-handed pressure (whipping) in the upper stretch, was switched to left-handed pressure in the final furlong and wore down Special Trick in the last sixteenth to prevail."

There will usually be a one-sentence footnote for every horse in the race.

White, who calls most of the races in Southern California for the Form, and Jack Wilson, the Form's premier chart caller from New York, will alternate on the seven Breeders' Cup races today. Last year, Wilson called all seven Breeders' Cup races at Aqueduct, and in 1984 he shared the assignment at Hollywood Park with Warren Williams.

Wilson is the chief chart caller for the Form at the Kentucky Derby. At Churchill Downs, however, he has an assistant, mainly because the fields have been close to 20 horses for the Derby in recent years.

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