Following Trends in Horse Racing Handicapping or Knowing When to Zig or Zag

Perhaps you’ve had this experience when handicapping horse races.  You start out with a plan to pick winners in a certain way and develop your own little method.  It starts to show promise and then starts going sour on you.  You started out by winning a little or perhaps even a lot, but then you watch your winnings dissolving and even start to lose money.  You wonder if you should stop or if the method you were using will start working again.  Does this scenario resonate with you?

One of the most common responses you’ll get when you ask a horse player how he or she is doing is, “Up and down.”  Gambling on horses is a roller coaster ride, both financially and emotionally.  The problem is that it is hard to tell if you’re winning or losing at the moment.  One way to solve this problem is to work in modules.  You can set aside your next twenty bets as a module, for instance and just keep track of them and see if you make money.

Whatever the length of the module happens to be, if you continue using the same criteria and start to have a history of modules to look at, you may be able to determine if you’re really winning or losing.  It may also teach you other things about your career as a horse player.  If you find twenty races too cumbersome, you can always use fewer races.

The same method may be applied to the race results at your favorite track.  You can use it to spot trends and those trends may be the very reason you are losing that money back.  Just be careful when looking at trends or setting up modules that you don’t start over reacting to normal fluctuations.  Knee jerk reactions will set you on a course of chasing the normal aberrations in statistics as though they were a long term pattern.

On the other hand, if you see that in your last three modules over a two week period a certain factor, say early speed, has lost a lot of its clout, you may be able to change your method slightly to account for that.  Weighting factors formally or informally, depending upon how rigid your guidelines may be, will adjust your method of picking winners according to changes in the track as well as the changes in the horses themselves.

One example of this adjustment process if the natural maturing of horses that occurs every year, but gets little notice by the bettors.  I’m talking about how a horse that is three weeks away from becoming a four year old is considered a three year old, even though it is nearly a year older and about to be considered a four year old.  While stewards make weight allowances and adjustments throughout the year as the horses mature, how many of the bettors won’t bet a three year old against older horses, even when it is just weeks or even days away from becoming a four year old?

If your modules show more and more three year olds beating four year olds, it is just because they are maturing and learning how to race as they also become stronger.  How many other trends do you think you could spot if you had a month or two of modules to compare?

If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to and get the truth. Bill Peterson is a former horse race owner and professional handicapper. To see all Bill’s horse racing material go to Horse Racing Handicapping, Bill’s handicapping store.

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Horse Racing Handicapping Hidden Moves Angles That Result in Big Winners

Picking horse racing winners by spotting big speed figures is not hard to do, but unfortunately, it doesn’t pay well enough to make your bets profitable.  Just sticking with the horse with the highest last speed fig or average will only result in low priced winners and your losses will outweigh your winnings.  You need to dig deeper to make money betting on horses.  One angle that works well is to identify a middle move that shows real ability.

By identifying a move during a race that doesn’t stand out to the crowd, but shows a horse is ready to win at the right level, you can cash a winning ticket at a good price if the horse is dropped in class.  But how do you know when a horse is ready to win?  Pace figures can help you to see secret moves that others miss.  For instance, it isn’t just how high a runner’s pace figures are that matters.  It is also how they change throughout the contest.

Let’s say a horse starts in a $ 10,000 claiming race and shows a 60 pace figure for the first quarter.  In the next quarter it registers an 85.  It finishes the race with a 65 and a final speed figure of 65.  The eventual winner of the race finished with an 80 and posted an early pace figure of 70, and second quarter of 72 with a final speed figure of 74.  It appears that the first horse was severely over matched.

But look closer at those pace and speed figures and look at the tremendous move our loser made between the first and second quarter calls.  It accelerated from a 60 pace figure to an 85!  In other words, the jockey sprinted the horse all out in the early stages of the race and challenged the leader only to drop back.  He used his horse up at the wrong point.

The winner sprinted out of the gate and posted an 80 leaving the loser behind, but the second quarter found the loser racing up to contend with the front runner only to fade.  The jockey made up too much ground and lost all chance of winning due to haste.

Now was that intentional?  Did the trainer want to know if the horse was fit and ready and had a chance to win at a slightly lower level?  The answer may well be, yes.  That was a  very athletic move and cost the runner any chance at winning.  Now if it is dropped to a lower level, it may maintain a more rational pace and easily compete throughout all stages of the event.

What makes this a great betting angle?  The crowd will look at the final speed figure and see a 65, 9 points lower than the eventual winner.  If that is also lower than the par for the race it is in today at a lower class, they may dismiss the horse and figure it is still over matched, while nothing could be further from the truth.  

Look closely at each pace figure for a horse and learn to spot big differences that mean there was a middle move in a race that sapped the horse’s reserves and set it up for failure.  It may well get a better and smoother trip next time out and win easily.

If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to and get the truth. Bill Peterson is a former horse race owner and professional handicapper. To see all Bill’s horse racing material go to Horse Racing Handicapping, Bill’s handicapping store.