This short article cannot completely explain the complex subject of horse racing handicapping. So we’ll restrict this article to a few simple horse racing handicapping truths that will help you to pick some winners on your visit to the race track.
A day at the races with a few bets can be a very enjoyable way to spend your day. Millions of people around the globe enjoy the sport every day. There are many kinds of bets that you may make but for purposes of brevity and this article I’ll stick with the win bet. It is just what it sounds like. You bet on a horse or horses to win the race and if one crosses the finish line first, you’re a winner.
The base bet in North America is usually two dollars. Some tracks allow one dollar bets, but most stick with the bet that has been the standard for generations. Now let’s talk about which horse you’ll bet on before you plunk that two dollars down. We won’t concern ourselves with value because that subject is difficult to explain in a short article though I’ve written a few that cover the basics.
You may watch the horses in the saddling ring or paddock while they’re being prepared for the race. Horses that are sweating too much, or “washy,” as it is called, are poor bets because they are too nervous and expending all their energy before the race. Horses that appear lethargic, walking flat-footed and with head down are also usually not in mid-season form or interested in racing. Look for a horse with its head up and ears pricked up sometimes turning those ears toward the jockey.
The odds board will tell you which horse is favored. Look it over closely and see what shape it appears to be in. The favorite is at the lowest odds because that’s the one most of the money is riding on. They win at about a thirty-three percent clip, about a third of the time, and though they are a losing bet in the long run because they return less than the cost to bet them all, they still return more in the long run than most long shots.
Looking at the odds on the tote board, figure out which horses are at the lowest odds and then concentrate your efforts on the three that are at the lowest odds. The winner is from that group about seventy percent of the time. If you can spot a horse in that small group that appears ready to run, with head up, eyes bright and ears pricked up, you may have found a good bet.
Check the jockey’s win average and make sure the rider wins at least twelve percent of the time. Any less means the jockey is a poor bet unless there is a compelling reason to wager on his mount.
Overall, stick with horses in that group and you find a few good ones on the card. Above all, take time to watch and listen and enjoy your days at the races.