Skip links

How To Handicap A Horse Race

I’m asked many times, how do players handicap themselves and make a profit

You must keep complete and meticulous records of your handicapping and betting.  NOT only the results, but also make quick notes on each race as to why you made the decision you did.  You should keep track of the odds at which you were willing to bet (what you considered “fair odds”) the night before the race, and the odds you actually accepted when betting the race.

The thing here is that you had a reason before the race – you have a handicapping method, a system, Brisnet – whatever – that has pointed certain horses out to you.  Now . . . if you have “changed your mind” since – you need to keep notes on why you changed your mind, and how it worked out money-wise versus staying with your original plan.

Keep accurate records of which kinds of races you do best at, such as stakes, claimers, maidens, routes, sprints, turf, artificial, dirt, etc.  As well as at which tracks you do best.  I suggest the major tracks if you are a beginner.  What kind of wagers are making you money and what kind are losing you money; win, place, exacta, trifecta, daily double, show parlays, etc.  I suggest win or place bets only.  All of this will help you understand where your “illusions” are about your handicapping and betting – and where the profits actually are.  Again I often use the panning-for-gold metaphor.  Where are the nuggets – where are the flakes even, but crucial to your betting success is distinguishing . . . where is the “fool’s gold?”  Once again, I suggest that you follow my daily picks until you feel comfortable in making a pick – just click here!

Continually seek to optimize everything about your own game, and your unique approach to both handicapping and betting.  Just remember, speed, speed and speed!

With other sports, many bettors will rely on the eye test when making wagers. These bettors argue they have seen teams play many times, and can, therefore, predict the outcomes of their next games.

In horse racing, witnessing every horse’s prior races is nearly impossible.  There are too many horses in too many locations to be confident in comparing horses around the country.  I suggest to only spend your time on 1 to 3 tracks only.

Whether you are watching live at a racetrack or betting online from home, one should completely dissect the racing program for each race.  I suggest that you get a subscription to Brisnet since it has all pertinent information like recent racing history, speeds, and times at various lengths and other invaluable race information.  Thus, bettors that may not know anything about a horse coming into the day can quickly formulate an opinion of a horse from these statistics.

One of the things I look at first is the amount of recent top-two finishes.  If a horse is not consistently “hitting the board”, they are not a reliable bet in most cases.  I say win or place and NOT show!

For my money, I avoid “place” and “show” bets.  Though these bets are safer, they do NOT return enough money, in the long run, to make them worth it.  Sometimes I will bet the same horse to win or place, depending on the odds. If I am betting a single horse, it will always be to win.

Finally, do NOT place a wager on a race you have not studied.  It is more than fine to sit out a race at your local track.  In fact, I only bet online (I use to go to Santa Anita – less than 2 miles from the house) and maybe 1 or 2 bets per track.  Stick to what you are confident in and have the patience to wait for your races.


Please follow and like us:

Leave a comment