Handicapping Tips & Insights
In this section you will find many tips
and insights into handicapping the
thoroughbreds, including the following
articles that I've written.
To read an important article on "Pace Shapes"
and "Running Styles"
To read an article entitled, Is This Value?
To read about the tremendous tip-off
Move that Monarchos made in his
first race as a 3-year-old
To read an article entitled, "Handicapping for
Speed in Sprint Races"
To read an important discussion about
To read an article about What Makes Horses
To read an article about Internal Fractions Comparison
There are a lot of ways people handicap the horses and yet few can say they are in
the black at the end of any period of time, say 3 months, 6 months or a year. Why?
Well first of all, most races are complex puzzles that need individual solutions. What
works for one race may not work real well for the next.
Following you will find lots of tips and suggestions offered about handicapping, many
of which will open your eyes to the reality that there are situations that exist
that provide high-percentage success rates.....
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Believe it or not, there really are people who make money regularly on the
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For Starters Here are some
Insights based on 30 years of Serious Study on How to Truly Make Money Playing
Tip #1. - Identify the Pace Matchup for each and every field.
One of the most important and yet least understood and utilized techniques in
handicapping is identifying the running style for each horse in the field. Every
horse in every race has one of 4 distinct running styles.....
1.) Early (E) speed type that wants and needs the lead.
2.) Early presser (EP) that can either go on top or sit
1 to 3 lengths off the pace.
3.) Presser (P) that doesn't want the lead, but stays in
contact with the field, usually running 4 to 6 lengths
4.) Sustained (S) run closer that likes to run way off the
pace and make a late rally.
It is of critical importance to matchup those running styles in every race to
see which horse or horses have the right running style to succeed today!
Tip #2. - Understand which running styles are best suited for which kinds of
Sprint races without a doubt favor early speed. Most winners of sprint races are
within 2 to 3 lengths of the lead at one or both of the first two call
points. Therefore, stone-cold closers desperately need enough early speed in the race
to create the right pace for them to successfully make their late charge. And of
course, if you have a matchup in which there is a lone early speed horse, even
if it has not held up lately that horse has a better than even chance to go all the
way on top, often at a good price.
Tip #3. - To make money at this game, you need to know when to pass.
The primary reason why people lose money at this game is that they play too many
races. In order to succeed, you have to be ultra-selective and play the waiting game.
You must wait out the right matchups that will give you the best chances of making money.
As surely as the sun will rise each day, there will be prime opportunities that will
come along just as regularly.
Tip #4. - To make money at this game, you need to know how to wager.
As simple as it sounds, this is a major stumbling block for most players. They
simply don't know how to construct the best wagers for the situation at hand. You
should know when to make win wagers and when and how to make the right exotic wagers.
Tip #5. - You need to make only value plays.
The way to stay ahead and maintain a positive ROI (return on investment) is
to demand value regardless of the play, be it win or exotic wagering. No
matter how much you like a horse, it should be played only if it presents value.
Value, simply put, is a payoff of greater odds than your morning line odds. I said
your morning line odds, not the track handicapper's. And that can include
playing a horse at a short price that you love on top in an exacta with one or more
contenders... if the probable exacta wager payoff(s) shows enough value.
Tip #6. - You need an approach to handicapping that is consistent and proven to
The only way you are going to succeed at this game is to have an understanging of
"what makes horses win races" and an exact handicapping process that produces
results that you can duplicate each and every time you find a race that appears playable.
You can add to these requirements self-control, which is necessary when you need to pass
a race when the matchup does not present enough value to justify the risk you take by
placing a wager.
Determine if a race is playable or if you should "pass."
There are certain "signposts" and "signals" that are posted conspicuously in every
race that tell us when to play and when to pass.
Determine if there is enough value in any race to warrant a play.
Understand the relationship among morning line odds, projected odds and post time odds
and you will understand how to instantly spot a value play, which is the only
situation you should risk your money on.
Determine the running styles of every horse in a given race and
know which have the advantage in any given
You should label each horse with its particular running style to correctly matchup the
Determine what the pace shape is of any race.
You should label the pace shape of each race to project how the race will be run. How
many of each running style are there in this matchup?
Determine what the race shape is of any race.
There are 4 race shapes: fast, lone early, honest, and slow. You should see
how the 4 running styles match up against one another in each.
Determine which running styles will have the advantage in any
Examine the running styles, pace shape and race shape of any race and you will see
which horses have a pace advantage and which are at a distinct disadvantage.
Be aware of what the main reason is for favorites losing 67% of
The main reason favorites lose 2 out of every 3 races is not because of
class hikes or inferior speed figures or because they bounce.
Determine which horses are the true contenders.
You have to be able to "whittle" down every field to a maximum of 3
or 4 contenders or it's an immediate no-play situation. A short series of
techniques will tell you quickly if you should continue the handicapping process.
Determine which horses are the pretenders of any matchup.
It's a pretty easy and quick process to eliminate "dead wood" from any
field. You just need to know which key elements to look for, and you will quickly
separate the contenders from the pretenders or also-rans.
Know how to maintain a healthy ROI even if at times you
connect on only one of every 4 or 5
races you handicap and play.
The only way to maintain a healthy
ROI is to know which races to
handicap and play and which races
to pass. A short list of things to
look for will tell you when to do either.
Know when a horse is properly conditioned to run his best race
There are simple tipoffs
that reveal if a horse has been properly conditioned to run his best race today.
Know how to properly use the Beyer speed figures located in
the Daily Racing Form.
Those numbers to the immediate left of each horse's running lines in the Daily Racing
Form are great tools...if you know how to use them. Are they the "be all and end all"
to the handicapping process? Of course not, no one factor is, but I'll tell you this,
correct utilization of them can be extremely rewarding. Can you find
situations in which underlay Beyer speed figures are at an advantage?
Yes with a capital Y.
Be one of a tiny fraction of players who know how to use the
"invisible" Beyer speed figures.
This is an amazing, needs-to-be-seen
handicapping technique that is completely
unused by 99% of all players that
points out a regular stream of winning
overlay plays that are
visible to only those in the know.
And More Handicapping
Know and understand the absolutely key internal fractions
of a given race and how to easily figure and
There are some key internal fractions that you should be looking at for every
horse in every race. They are simple
to calculate but give you a tremendous advantage over your competition.
Know the most important portions of the racetrack on which
to judge past performances, which are
completely overlooked by most players.
There are a couple of segments of a race that the majority of players don't even look at,
let alone realize the importance of. They are the places in the race where many important
moves are made that signal next-out readiness.
Know the correct way to handicap turf races.
Turf racing vs. dirt racing is like baseball vs. football; 2 different games, and you
have to know how to play each, the right way, in order to win. Grass racing is an entirely
different entity from dirt racing and the focus of your handicapping should be on one
particular segment. When you know what to look for and how to match up contenders you will
accomplish 2 things; 1.) you will have no hesitation about playing turf races,
and 2.) you will cash more tickets.
Know how to determine the "speed of the speed."
It can be extremely important to separate the speed of the speed from the other early
runners in any field. Mainly because if there is a dominant speed horse from among
the group, while he's continuing on for the win or place spot, as a rule most if not
all of the rest will not hit the board.
Even More Handicapping
Know how to spot overlays.
Overlay situations are what
we should look for and how we maintain a positive ROI. Spotting them is as
easy as 1-2-3.
Know how to spot underlays.
Identifying false favorites and other underlays will greatly increase your profits.
Discover the Turn Move play.
The Turn Move horse is my top play. I came up with it
after watching the race
Monarchos ran in the 2001 Florida Derby. The T/M
horse makes 2 strong moves that stamps him as
a potentially potent next-out performer, often at a great price.
Discover the Profile play.
The Profile horse is a value play I discovered in 1995. It is a
move-within-a-race that is made in sprint races only. The positioning and
move the Profile horse makes on a particular part of the racetrack tips his
hand for an improved performance in his next outing, many times resulting in a real
Discover the SRE play.
The SRE play can be found in sprints and routes and is another powerful
move-within-a-race I discovered in 1998. This major move is made on one of the parts
of the racetrack I spoke of earlier which is totally ignored by most players, and
frequently signals great next-out results.
Discover the WIR play.
The WIR play is yet another move-within-a-race found in route races
which is similar to the Profile move and it is nothing short of miraculous. As in
the cases of the Profile and Wide Out plays, after making the WIR move-within-a-race, a
horse at times improves his speed figure by 20 or more points in his surprise next-out win!
Discover the Wide Out play.
The Wide Out play is an exciting spot play
because it is completely ignored by the public and as such creates "overlay" payoffs,
consistently in double digits. As with all of the other "moves-within-a-race" this play
usually has inferior speed figures compared to its competition. But the move it makes sets
it up for a much better next-out performance and accordingly a much better speed figure.
As you go to the cashier's window after hitting a Wide Out or any of the other
moves-within-a-race, you will see people scratching their heads and muttering how that
horse couldn't have won the race.
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