Handicapping a Horse Race

Gambling Blog Aug 2, 2023

Behind the romanticized veneer of horse racing lies an underworld of injuries, drug abuse and gruesome breakdowns. While humans adorn themselves in expensive attire and sip mint juleps, horses are forced to run at breakneck speeds–often assisted by illegal electric-shocking devices–that exceed their bodies’ capacity to heal themselves. When injured in their natural state, horses take steps to rest and recuperate before continuing. On race tracks however, horses must constantly fight onward with whip urgings, often trying desperately to stay with artificial herds.

Before each race begins, a track releases odds for each horse – known as morning lines – based on how much money has been wagered into pools and fluctuate throughout the day as more or less money is wagered in them. Horses that receive more funds in win pools typically see their odds decrease while those receiving less see theirs rise.

When handicapping horses, consistency is of utmost importance. A horse that tends not to repeat good races should not be seen as serious contenders in races; many horseracing fans opt for placing a “show bet,” in which all three top finishers must be picked instead of betting solely on one single winner.

Beside traditional win, place and show wagers, other options available to bettors are trifecta, superfecta or exacta bets. When placing these bets it is also important to take track bias into consideration; longer two-turn races often favor inside posts more heavily.

Horses must meet several criteria in order to participate in races, including having a specific breed and pedigree, along with sire and dam purebred members of their breed. Crossbreed bets may also be placed, although it should only be done under advice from an experienced horseracing professional.

Betting options available when betting on horse races typically include win, place and show bets; however you may also place parlays, combination bets and pick 4s. While parlays require more research than straight bets to place successfully, their reward could be much greater should you get them right!

At horse races, it’s crucial that you eliminate noise pollution such as analysts and commentators. Also focus on making your own judgments and analysis for each race so you can choose the most reliable horse and maximize winnings.