There are literally thousands of horses that race each day in America and abroad. Just like other athletes, these horses have different skill levels. In horse racing these skill levels are known as class. Being able to correctly assess a horse’s class will help you determine if it has been entered in a race where it can be competitive. Betting class will also help you to eliminate horses from contention.
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Understanding Hierarchies of Horse Racing
Think for just a second about how human athletes compete in sports. Let’s take American football as an example. Kids begin to get serious about the game in high school. If they are good players, perhaps they make it to a college team. The best of the best wind up in the National Football League. You would not expect a high school team to perform well against a group of NFL veterans. The same principle holds true in horse racing.
Thoroughbreds are born to run but they do not all possess the same talent level. The desire to run and compete is inherent but it is not always enough. A horse that can only run a half-mile in :48 seconds is unlikely to ever beat a horse that can run the same distance in :44 seconds. All races are contests of speed. The fastest athlete wins. Period.
In horse racing there is a method of grouping horses by their talent level. Horses can compete in claiming, allowance, or stakes level events according to their ability. Within each of these categories are also many levels.
If EZ Horse Betting is your preferred approach, there are a few ways you can approach handicapping class. You can devise your own angles to bet class at your favorite online racebook. Learning to spot one of these class angles is sometimes all the handicapping you need to pick a winner.
Betting Drops in Class
The horse dropping in class has long been one of horse racing’s most reliable betting angles. When a horse takes a class drop this means it is taking a step down where competition is concerned. Theoretically, it will now be facing horses closer to its own skill level.
Class drops are most frequently noted in claiming races. These races make up the majority of races at any race track on a given day. Claiming races are those in which the horses entered are for sale. Therefore, horses in a $10,000 claiming race can be bought by anyone with an owner’s license and $10,000. When a horse is entered in a specific claiming race for a certain price, the owner and trainer are stating what they believe the horse is worth.
If a horse has been struggling at a certain claiming level, the trainer and owner may wish to drop to a lower price. This can be risky. Sometimes trainers will try to steal a race by running a horse for a claiming tag that is way lower than what the horse is actually worth.
Here’s an example of how a class drop in claiming races works. Trainer Jones has been running his horse in $15,000 claiming races. The horse has been doing well. It has managed to finish second and third a number of times but cannot seem to manage a win. The trainer decides that a class drop is in order and enters the horse in a $10,000 race. This is a class drop.
At most racetracks the bottom of the claiming ladder is $5,000. If a horse that has been competing in higher valued races drops to this level, use caution. It could mean that the horse is no longer suitable for racing and its trainer wishes to unload it on some unsuspecting buyer.
The best way to bet a drop in class is to find horses that were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their most recent race at a higher level. Today, the class drop may be enough to help the horse achieve a win.
Graduates and Class
The question will invariably be posed, how do you evaluate a graduate in terms of class. Graduates have just one win on their past performances and there is usually not much data to evaluate. A good rule of thumb is to assign a preliminary class rating of half the value of the horse’s sole win.
Here’s an example. Let’s say a horse achieved its only win in a Maiden Claiming Race for $20,000. For the purposes of handicapping, give this horse a class value of $10,000. This gives you a little margin for error because all of the rivals beaten by the horse in its maiden win may not have been $20,000 horses.
You can make money from EZ Horse Betting with all sorts of angles. Class drops are just one approach. To refine and discover your own preferred betting angles, why not register an account today with one of our recommended racebooks. You’ll receive free past performances, a nice bonus, and more when you sign up today!