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The Notepad

One of the things I heard Steve Davidowitz say years ago is to keep a notebook of horses you are watching leading up to the big days.  How did they run in their prep races?  Did they stay on the schedule their trainers intended?  How are they working leading up to the race?  Never is this more important than leading up to the Kentucky Derby and the rest of the Triple Crown series.  Trying to keep all these thoughts organized in your head will turn into a jumbled mess and you'll likely forget something important.  Being the nerd that I am, I use a database to keep all of these notes straight, but a simple notebook will work as well. 

I have used a notebook in the past and I have a few suggestions that will help you keep it organized.  By the time you get to the mid summer races or even the Breeders' Cup you'll have quite a compilation of notes, so it's important to be able to access this information quickly, without too much digging.

First, leave a few pages (4-5) blank at the beginning and number all the pages in the book.  In these blank pages write the names of the horses you are watching and every time you make an entry regarding that horse put the page number beside the horses name.  Also, you can do the same for race notes. 

An example of these would be: 

I'll Have Another - 7,10,12
OR
Fountain of Youth Stakes - 13,14. 

This way you can easily flip to a certain horse or race.  Now since you will be adding horses and races as you go, obviously these first few pages will not be in alphabetical order, but at least you will have some sort of table of contents.

Second, when you make and entry underline the horses name and always put the date beside it. 

So for example:   
I'll Have Another - 5/1/12 Looked good in final work. 

Also, when entering entering a race use all caps for the race name and then use the above format for each horse you are making notes on in that race. 

For example: 
SANTA ANITA DERBY - 4/7/12
I'll Have Another - 4/7/12 SA Derby - Liked the way he fought hard in stretch for win
Creative Cause - 4/7/12 SA Derby - Good run and was game, but still seemed a little green in stretch

It seems like a lot of work, but these notes will pay huge dividends as the horses run against each other.  So whether you're using an old fashion notebook or creating a sophisticated database, doing your homework can be your best bet for a good bet in the future!


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