A couple of days ago, this came across the old Twitter wire from o_crunk:
Never did sign up for Bris. Now they’re offering free .pdf charts all the way
back to 1991. Mr/Mrs Pls tear down this USER/PASS wall.
Free charts? For almost 20 years? Too good to be true. Can’t be true. What’s the catch?
So off I go to BRIS, and there it is:
New Price…FREE!!! ARCHIVE RESULT CHARTS at Brisnet.com – Full PDF Race Charts including conditions, weather, values, payoffs, pedigree, exotics, full summary, owners, trainers, breeders, and race notes dating back to January, 1991.
A quick and subsequent Twitter conversation revealed that for people like me, who already have an account with BRIS, there is no catch. Log on, and you can search the charts by track or by date. In a perfect world, we could also search by horse name, but even without that capability, having this information available for free is exactly what I’ve been asking for for years. It’s practically nirvana.
Dana Byerly of Green but Game, who tweets as superterrific, quickly found what a flaw: if you don’t already have a BRIS account, you have to open one in order to access the free charts. And in order to open an account, you’ve got to provide your social security number and a credit card number. And any thinking person will pause at that, and possibly turn away–it seems a lot to ask for that level of personal information in order to access a free service.
But this is still a major step forward for historians, archivists, fans, and gamblers. Earlier this summer, I wrote in the Saratogian,
Want to know the Mets’ 1978 roster? One search term, one click gets you there.
Want to know who won the 7th at Belmont on Oct. 11, 1985? Good luck.
I still can’t find out who won that race, but thanks to this new, FREE (yippee!) resource, at least I can find out who won any race at any track on any day in the last eighteen years. And that is a huge step forward. Bravo, BRIS!