Handicapping a horse race is more art than a science. I’ve been to about a dozen horse races in the last year, so I still have a lot to learn. One thing I’ve been struggling with, is trying to determine which information is the most important. It’s easy to get information overload when you start looking at past performances of horses, jockeys, trainers, and owners. Before the last two races I attended, I tried to compile a cheat sheet of stats to help me determine which horses to bet on. But, I found that the horses with the best numbers don’t always win. If it was that easy, you’d be a winner every time. I’ve decided that there are only a few basic pieces of information you need and the rest is up to luck.
First, I look at how much money the horse has won. Then, how the horse ran in their last few races, and the comments on their performances. Finally, the jockey and the morning line. Most jockeys do all of their racing at one track during a season, so you get to know who the best riders are. The morning line is what the experts say are the top horses. This is usually pretty close, but rarely how the horses will finish. I use the morning line only to confirm if my picks are close to theirs. The length of the race can also be a factor as horses with speed can have a hard time with longer distances. All of this info is in the racing program you get at the track or online. Next time, I’ll give a few tips on betting and how you can make some serious money at the track.