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Here are some things you need to check that will help you become a smart bettor and king of online sports betting:


It should be known, before a horse can be treated, that he is physically fit enough to be at or close to his peak. The athletes get fit through two ways, practice and exercise. Examine the dates of the last meetings, located at the far left of the previous line of results. The more recent races he has, the more certain that he will be healthy.

If for two months or more he’s been away from the races, examine the morning training workouts shown below the last performance line. Fitness is generally understood to be better obtained from a mixture of practice and preparation. The longer the layoff, the tougher the coming back. Make a final determination, and go to the next variable if deemed fit. If not, remove.

Racing Class

Class in thoroughbred racing can be described by saying class is a favorable attribute that a horse should contend favorably against. Look at the previous conditions the horse has been training in. Outside of any other aspect, it is impossible to expect a horse to compete without demonstrating a previous willingness to do so against similar competition. If he has not shown the previous skill, he can be called a throw-out, unless he is improving rapidly and won his last race with ample legitimacy to move up to tougher competition in the class. If he’s fit and is able to compete against the task, transfer to the next one.


Horses generally do better at certain lengths, either through genetics, conformation, running style, or training techniques. Few are flexible enough to successfully manage both short and long runs. Examine all of the races listed to decide whether he’s done well at the distance suggested. If at the distance of today he’s a proven competitor, keep considering him, and eliminate him if he’s had numerous opportunities without success. He may show a potential for managing distance, but without proof, he can not be overly well looked at. Also, never ask a horse to do anything that it never did before.

Post Position

The Post Position Draw, a random drawing made after race entries, can frequently turn a potential winner into a dead loser, and vice versa! There are track biases at many tracks, which favor post positions inside or outside. Check the stats for post vacancies listed in programs or Lone Star Today to see if some posts appear better than others. As a general rule, sprint posts far outside in dense fields (10 or more) can prove more difficult.The two inside posts can also be counterproductive in big fields. For both indoor and outdoor posts, early pace is preferred, because without it, outside horses lose ground and are stuck indoors. The running style of a horse and the position at the post are directly correlated. Inside posts are almost always preferred in longer, two-turn-races. The shorter the two-turn race is, the more inwardly it favors. If the article could be decided not to be a negative, carry on. But if its decided its odds will be severely compromised by post position, a horse can be tossed out.

Running Style

Horses generally settle down into a certain running style, broken down into three categories: pace-setter or front runner, horses running in the lead or never further back than two lengths; stalkers, horses never further back than 4 lengths from the lead; and closer or rally types, horses never closer than five lengths from the pace. Horses were known to change styles but the vast majority of them had consistent styles. Real runners at the front still try to lead, if necessary. Unchallenged early front runners are most successful. The sooner they get a clear lead, the higher the odds.Prefer front runners when there are few potential challengers, if any, or when there is a pronounced track bias that favors early speed. If not, look more kindly on those who can harass or mobilize.

A stalker never takes the lead, and seldom has a major late shot. They have the speed to stay close and pass fatiguing front runners, and can hold off the big closers behind them. When there are no front runners in the race, Stalkers can take the lead. Prefer stalkers when there are multiple front runners, and without a solid, prepared rally or a closer horse.

Rally or closers are best when there’s an abundance of early speed and are often victimized when a front runner on the lead is loose. Playing rally or closers is more precarious than speed horses as they can run into problems with traffic. And, statistics show that most races are won by horses closer to the lead. However, the closers are a very positive choice under certain circumstances.


Give the trainer, who is just like the coach, special thought. Everyone knows that some coaches are superior to others and a wide discrepancy between the best and the worst can occur. Trainers have a big job, and they must have a wealth of knowledge about a large number of facets of a horse to race training. Not only must they be good horsemen, they also need to have excellent organizational skills to coordinate the efforts of a whole stable. Statistics point out the best trainers on the course, and a handicapper who takes care of each horse’s trainers in each event will soon have a good working knowledge of which ones are appropriate before making a final decision. If the trainer follows the expectations of the handicapper, he can turn to the next element. But you can do an elimination if you feel the conditioner’s competence is in question.


Jockey’s job always gets understated. A small percentage of riders win the great majority of the races by finding out numbers at most circuits. Riding a horse in a race takes up a lot of skill. It is ludicrous to suggest that all riders are equally skilled. Jockeys must have good riding techniques, they must have strength, intelligence, good judgment and timing, and they must be able to communicate with the horse. Many jockeys are far more talented than others and one can know which ones are the most reliable by perusing the records by simply watching them day in and day out. Make sure the horse you are choosing has a suitable trainer before making a final decision. Because of the rider alone, you may be able to eliminate a horse when eliminating horses in fields with numerous contenders.


It’s important to determine before making a final pick that the horse is in good present form. Examining the results of his most recent races shows you whether he’s winning and running well. Statistics prove that the majority of races are run by horses that have recently won or were reasonably close. Some horses have periods of form in that they are going well for a certain period of time, and then tail off. First pick horses that tend to be developing in shape or turning, and be careful of those that have performed well but show signs of tailing off.


Often horses that weren’t close to winning late are abandoned in the classroom and can still be considered acceptable options, but the handicapper would expect the horse in question to at least show some interest toward better competition. Be careful not to give too much thought to horses falling down after they have shown no life at all as they may have lost their will to succeed. Any horse may be last in a race, after all. It is a wise practice to play horses with good present form when making a final decision, and to eliminate those that are obviously off form.

Examine his record for the year and his career record when finding a horse to be a top contender. A handicapper should aim for horses which are more likely than not to perform well. If 50 percent of the time they have finished in money, they can be considered consistent. Most horses with bad histories of quality can not be relied heavily on to perform well after a good effort the time before. So they’ve shown a previous propensity not to replicate strong performances, despite a good recent race. It is impossible to ignore a horse coming off a good race competing in a similar situation. But if he has shown a lack of consistency from the past, his lack of credibility would make it hard to make a serious wager on him. Before making a horse into a serious contender, a handicapper should demand consistency.


Few handicappers use the weight a horse bears as a major factor. This is divisive amongst astute handicappers. One truism is that a freight train will stop weight. However it is not easy to assess how a few pounds, more or less, will affect the performance of a horse. Race horses can weigh more than 1000 pounds. Thus humans, who generally weigh about 80 per cent less, would find it difficult to understand how 10 pounds affect a horse compared to a much less robust and strong human being. Proportionately speaking, one could imagine that ten pounds would sound like just two pounds to a horse to a human being, which is important. Of that two pounds are hardly enough to slow him down a lot.

When you want to use weight as a criterion for handicap, it seems prudent to make it more important as the length of the race grows. It may also be wise not to accept weight as a consideration unless it requires at least five pounds or more of a disparity. You may also want to consider weight when you equate horses in the same event when there is a significant weight difference, such as one horse shaving off five pounds from a race against an opponent who might add up to five pounds. Weight will generally play a lesser role than many have assumed because, without understanding the ability of each horse to carry weight, it may be difficult to use it efficiently. Nevertheless, it may have a role in making a final decision for those who have found success with using this element.

Speed Figures

In recent years, diverse speed figures (Beyers, etc.) have been compiled. These figures essentially allocate a number to a horse running each race. For starters, beyer numbers are based almost entirely on run times in accordance with track conditions. Even speed charts, put out by Ragozin and others, use trip complexity to calculate the number. A few random decisions taken by the delegate often factor in the final number for each list.
The number undoubtedly reduces the past performance of a horse to just numbers, and can be used to classify the candidates easily. Nevertheless, as pace figure creators indicate, the disabled person is implored to use other handicapping methods in combination with the number to be used.

Where used, the numbers should be more used as a guide. Although a horse with an apparently big advantage may at times be a joke on the number alone. Yet, clearly there is no certainty. Using speed figures as one of the many handicap tools available, in general.

Harvey Lewis

Harvey Lewis has blogged 350 posts