Here are 20 horse racing handicapping angles to consider when making informed picks:
Speed Figures: Speed figures are numerical ratings that reflect a horse’s performance in previous races. They can help identify horses that have been consistently fast in recent races and may have a competitive advantage over the others. Look for horses that have been running speed figures that are higher than the rest of the field.
Class: A horse’s class level refers to the quality of horses it has been competing against in previous races. A horse that has been racing at a higher class level than the current race may struggle, while a horse that has been racing at a lower class level may find the competition easier to handle. Look for horses that have been competing at a similar class level to the current race.
Distance: Certain horses may excel at certain distances. Some horses may be better suited for shorter races, while others may be better suited for longer races. Look for horses that have had success at the current distance of the race.
Track Bias: Different racetracks can have biases that favor certain running styles or positions. For example, some tracks may favor front-runners, while others may favor closers. Look for horses that fit the track bias based on their running style or position.
Jockey/Trainer Combination: A jockey and trainer combination that has worked well together in the past may be a good indicator of future success. Look for horses ridden by jockeys who have had success with the trainer or horses trained by trainers who have had success with the jockey.
Recent Form: A horse that has been consistently running well in recent races may be in good form and may be more likely to run well in the current race. Look for horses that have been finishing in the top few positions in their most recent races.
Post Position: The post position a horse draws can impact its chances of winning the race. Depending on the distance and track configuration, certain post positions can be an advantage or disadvantage. Look for horses that have a good post position for the race.
Workout Times: A horse’s recent workout times can indicate whether it is fit and ready to run a good race. Look for horses that have been working well leading up to the race.
Weight Carried: Horses that carry less weight may have an advantage over those carrying more weight. Look for horses that are carrying a manageable weight for their abilities, relative to the other horses in the race.
Equipment Changes: Changes in equipment, such as adding or removing blinkers or a tongue-tie, can have an impact on a horse’s performance. Look for horses that have made positive equipment changes, especially if the change seems to address a specific problem the horse was experiencing in previous races.
Race Shape: The pace of the race and the way it unfolds can impact a horse’s performance. Look for horses that are likely to benefit from the race shape based on their running style and position.
Jockey Switch: Sometimes a change in jockey can have a positive impact on a horse’s performance. Look for horses that have a new jockey who has had success with the horse’s running style and the type of race being run.
Age: Younger horses may be improving and have more potential for growth, while older horses may be past their prime. Look for horses that are in the right age range for the race.
Pace: The pace of the race can have a big impact on a horse’s performance. Look for horses that are likely to benefit from the pace of the race based on their running style and position.
- Consider the reputation and success of a horse’s owner, trainer, and jockey to determine whether the horse is likely to be well-prepared and have a good chance of winning.
Post Position Statistics: Historical data on post position statistics can help identify which post positions have historically performed well or poorly.
Breeding: A horse’s breeding can provide clues as to its potential for success in certain types of races or surfaces. Look for horses that have successful sires, dams, or siblings in similar race scenarios.
Weather: Changes in weather conditions, such as rain or extreme heat, can impact a horse’s performance. Look for horses that have had success in similar weather conditions as the current race.
Layoff: Horses that have been away from racing for an extended period may need a race or two to get back into top form. Look for horses that have had a recent race or two or have been working out consistently during their layoff.
Connections: A horse’s connections, including owners and trainers, can be a good indicator of its potential. Look for horses that are owned and trained by individuals with a history of success in similar race scenarios.