CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT MY EXRACER'S BACKGROUND?
by Keely Morgan

  

Researching the history of your thoroughbred can help you gain great insight into your exracer's previous career. There are many avenues to take, and plenty of information to be found, if you just know where to look! 

Your Exracer's Tattoo

All thoroughbreds must be lip tattooed before they can be entered in a race. Very often, this happens as soon as the young thoroughbred first comes to the track to begin training, long before they are ready for their first race. For this reason, it is possible to have a thoroughbred who is tattooed, but has never raced. If your exracer has a tattoo, it is a good indication that he or she at least received some sort of race training.

The thoroughbred tattoos are applied by a representative of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau only after registration papers have been issued. Your exracer will have a letter, followed by five numbers tattooed underneath the upper lip. The letter signifies the year your horse was foaled and the numbers are the last five digits of the seven digit Jockey Club registration number that appears on the papers. The first two numbers of the registration number are the year of foaling. For example, a tattoo reading V37317 would indicate that the horse was foaled in 1992, and that the Jockey Club registration number would be 9237317.

Discovering the identity of a horse from lip tattoo only is a very simple process if the tattoo is easily legible. You may order research for $35.00 or $50.00, depending on the amount of information you want along with your
exracer's name, from the Jockey Club online through EquineLine.com. You do not need to do a tattoo research on a horse if you are certain of your horse's registered name. This research is only necessary to find out registered names. Once you have the name, the hard part is over!

If only a part of your racer's tattoo is legible, there is still hope! The Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau will do a partial tattoo research for you and try to match up what you have with a horse that fits your horse's description. For a difficult to read tattoo, try taking your horse to a dim area and shining a flashlight from below on the lip. Keep in mind that the tattoos are made up of dot patterns, and are a very squared shape. Also keep in mind that the first and last parts
of the tattoo will generally curve up into the corners a bit from the digits in the center when the lip is turned up.


Tattoo Chart

A=1971
B=1972
C=1973
D=1974
E=1975
F=1976
G=1977
H=1978
I=1979
J=1980
K=1981
L=1982
M=1983
N=1984
O=1985
P=1986
Q=1987
R=1988
S=1989
T=1990
U=1991
V=1992
W=1993
X=1994
Y=1995
Z=1996
A=1997
B=1998
C=1999
D=2000
E=2001