How to read the e-ponies charts

Updated: January 19, 2009, 10:39 PM ET
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For each race, the race conditions are between the solid lines with the category headings to the right. Below the race conditions the horses will be found in descending order based on total points. The horse at the top is the one the computer sees as most likely to win. Points are awarded based on several factors as follows:

SPEED -- specifically early speed. A high number here indicates the horse will usually get out of the gate well and will prefer to run on the front. This is often called gate speed and is different from other "true" speed figures such as Beyerİ figures. Note: the fastest horse out of the gate does not always win.

CLASS -- This is an evaluation of the quality of company with which the horse has been racing. Running with higher quality horses will earn points for CLASS, but winning or hitting the board with higher quality horses earns even more. Class also takes into consideration the size of the field.

FORM -- is an evaluation of the horse's tendency to finish in the money.

LAST -- combines the above scores, but it only looks at races run in the last 45 days. This score is useful in spotting horses coming off a layoff, or coming off a significant effort.

CONN -- is short for connections. This factor is an evaluation of the jockey and trainer's performance for the current meet only. This number will often be zero for the first few days of a meet because possibly neither the jockey or trainer have raced in the meet yet.

LINE -- numerical score based on the morning line odds of the horse. Someone went to a lot of trouble to assign morning line odds. It's like a free bias for a computer program, so this score is used as a tie breaker. In maiden races with first time starters, you will see this score get more weight.

TOTAL -- sums the previous category scores.

JOCK -- is not a numerical score but an indicator of a jockey change.

EQU -- is also not a numerical score but indicates an equipment change

LBS -- difference in pounds of weight carried last time out and this race.

Each horse name will be listed with their program numbers to the left, followed by (jockey) and / trainer and then morning line odds.

e-ponies.com computer handicapping appears daily in the Chicago Tribune, Louisville Courier-Journal and online daily at washingtonpost.com. They are also featured each year in USA Today for Triple Crown races.