Selecting The Right Races

It isn’t wise to bet just for the sake of betting. Many people go to the track with the preconceived notion that they will be betting on every race. This is simply not true with professional handicappers. Rather than betting every race, we look for the races where we have a clear picture of how the race should develop.

Specializing in a certain type of race is a good place to start. Here are a few of the options that you can choose from:

  • Dirt. Most races are run on dirt tracks. Some tracks use synthetic dirt to lessen the chance of injury to the horses.
  • Turf. Some races are run on grass. Many horses are more successful here than on dirt.
  • Synthetic. Some of the newer tracks now have a synthetic surface that is supposed to imitate dirt, while being less stressful on the fragile thoroughbreds’ legs.
  • Sprints. Races shorter than one mile are considered sprints. You will find most two year olds do not run long distances. Speed horses are also kept in the shorter races.
  • Routes. A race longer than one mile is considered a route. The Triple Crown races all fit under this category. Usually these races are reserved for horses with a good deal of endurance and stamina.

By specializing in a specific type of race, you gain more insight into the conditions that make a horse a good pick.

How do you select the right specialization? This question requires a bit of practice and a bit of introspection. By keeping records of your picks and a few notes on why you picked a specific horse, you will really be laying down a foundation for yourself. It is okay for beginners to bet every race, as long as they use only a tiny portion of their bankroll. After a month of betting has gone by, sit down and look over your notes. Ask yourself which type of races were you most successful at? This will be followed by another question: why were you most successful at those races?

Just because you specialize in something does not mean that you are stuck with betting specific races only. You should, however, focus your bankroll on those races. Still, if an interesting opportunity arises in other areas, be prepared to tackle it. Carryovers are a prime example of this.

For our next lesson, we will be entering high school. Now that you know the basics of successful handicapping, we will be going into some of the more technical aspects of wagering. Next stop: the morning line.

elementary school
Pre-KHorse Racing Basics
KindergartenPari-Mutuel System Betting
1st GradeHorse Racing 101
2nd GradeWhy Pick One Horse Over Another
3rd GradeReading Horse Charts
4th GradeWhy Class Matters
5th GradeSpeed Figures
middle school
6th GradeIntro to Exotic Betting
7th GradeExotics Part II Multi Race Bets
8th GradeSelecting the Right Races
high school
9th GradeThe Morning Line
10th GradeMoney Management
11th GradeBetting Tactics to Avoid
12th GradePerfecting the Craft