Betting Post Positions In Horse Racing

There are many variables with impact EZ Horse Betting. One of these which is not often considered is post position. The placement of a horse in the starting gate can sometimes flatter or compromise that horse’s chances to win. If you are able to spot advantageous post positions, you can sometimes pick a winner without the need for more complicated handicapping. The first step to doing this is to understand what post position is and how it comes into play.

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What is Post Position?

Have you ever heard the traditional bugle call which is sounded before major races at all race tracks? The title of this bugle blast is the “Call to the Post.”. The post is simply the spot on the track where a race begins. It is also the place where the starting gate is stretched across the track

Post position is the numbered stall of the starting gate into which a horse is loaded to await the start of the race. The positions begin with the number 1 closest to the inner rail and proceed outward toward the middle of the track in numeric order. Most starting gates can accommodate 12 or 14 horses. Therefore, the number 14 post position would be that furthest from the inner rail.

Racetracks, like the tracks on which human runners compete, are arranged in an oval shape. Therefore, the shortest distance around the track is nearest the inner rail. Horses, unlike their human counterparts, are not required to remain in a specific lane once the race begins. Also, there is no staggered start. All horses begin at the same spot.

Post positions are assigned at something call the “draw” which is held in the racing office. At the draw horses formally gain entry into a race and are assigned their race number which corresponds to post position. Trainers cannot choose which position they would like. The only exception to this rule is in major races like the Kentucky Derby. In those cases the trainer of the first horse drawn into the race can  choose their post position.

Trainers almost always have the following order of preference for post positions: Inside, middle, outside. The outside post is considered to be a disadvantage in almost all cases. It can be difficult for horses breaking from the outside to move over to the rail and save ground, an important racing tactic.

Betting the Inside Post Positions

When betting post positions in racing, look for horses with early speed which have been assigned the 1, 2, or 3 post position. Having an inside post and a quick turn of foot will allow the speed horse to get away quickly and establish an early lead. They also do not have to contend with heavy traffic and try to get to the rail because they are already on it.

This scenario is particularly advantageous when there is a short run to the first turn. The less distance between the starting gate and the first turn means less time for horses on the outside to clear rivals and make a dash to the inside.

Andrew Beyer once said that he visited a racetrack in Chile and spent an entire race card betting horses with early speed that were drawn to the rail. He had a profitable day. While we cannot promise this angle will be successful each time, it works often enough to allow you to find horses at decent odds you can bet on a daily basis.

Betting the Middle Post Positions

If you are thinking about betting horses who have drawn into the middle of the starting gate—the 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 spots—you might want to look for horses that like to stalk the pace of the race rather than run to the lead. Being in the middle of the pack still gives them a good chance to break well and save ground behind the speed balls by getting over to the rail at the first opportunity.

Many trainers love the middle post positions. They claim that horses are less likely to get into speed duels or traffic trouble. This, of course, depends heavily on the jockey riding the horse today. You should also remember that inside, middle, and outside post positions are relative to the number of horses in the race. For example, if the race contains just 8 horses the middle positions would be numbers 3, 4, and 5.

Betting the Outside Post Positions

It is very rare that having an outside post position will convey an advantage to any running style. The exception might be the deep closer who prefers to trail the pack and run late. But even deep closers need to establish some type of position early and not surrender too many lengths to their rivals.

Perhaps the best way to bet an outside post position is to asses which horses will be most negatively affected and eliminate them from competition. The horse most likely to be compromised by an outside post position is the horse with little or no early speed.

When a horse breaks from a far outside post position it is even more important that the horse has enough early speed to clear its rivals and secure a spot on the rail before going into the first turn. The horse who does not have a sharp turn of foot will often find themselves “hung wide” on the first turn which can cause them to lose valuable ground which cannot be made up.

EZ Horse Betting Fun Fact

The Kentucky Derby allows 20 horses each year to enter the race. An auxiliary starting gate must be added to the standard gate in order to accommodate the extra horses. This auxiliary gate includes the dreaded No. 20 post position. No horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby when racing from the 20 post position. Eliminate this horse from contention unless it is a very special animal.

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