Getting a horse to the races is a complex process that involves many people. Horses are not taken from a pasture or paddock and sent to the races. Instead they must undergo training and be prepared for competition. After this, agents or trainers submit to the process of horse racing entries. This is how races are filled.
At EZhorsebetting, we will take a look at horse racing entries and how horses are selected to compete. The information may help you in your handicapping as you consider the process. Remember, any edge that you can gain over your fellow bettors is able to assist you with winning more bets.
Before Horses Can Enter Races
We are only going to consider thoroughbred horses in this discussion of horse racing entries. Before a horse can be allowed to compete at a race track in North America, Europe, or other parts of the world, the owners of the horse must show proof that the horse is a thoroughbred. All thoroughbreds are direct descendants of one of three original stallions.
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The Jockey Club in the United States is responsible for issuing foal papers to each thoroughbred born in the US. There are similar organizations in other parts of the world. These papers have a unique identifier that is ultimately tattooed on the inside of a horse’s lip. Every time the horse enters the paddock for a race, the track’s identifier will check the tattoo to make sure it matches the foal papers.
Horses also have to have a valid Coggins test in most jurisdictions, and they may also have to submit to further testing depending on the race track. Finally, a vet check is often conducted a few hours before the race to make sure the horse is basically sound.
As you can see, horse racing is not as simple as owning a horse and deciding that you want it to race. You have to meet all the preliminary conditions before you can enter.
The Process of Entering a Horse Race
Let’s say that you are the proud owner of a horse that is going to race soon. You and your jockey’s agent will likely work together to identify a race that will fit the horse and allow it to be competitive. Horse racing tracks publish something known as a condition book. This book lists all of the races that are being considered for a certain day.
Once you have chosen the proper race, the next step is to make your way to the racing office on entry day. The racing office is located on the track property. This is where you will give your horse’s information to an entry clerk. The clerk will input the data into a computer and your horse will now be considered for the race.
Making the entry does not guarantee that your horse will be able to race. In most cases, races will have more horses entered than the race will accommodate. This is why a draw is conducted after all of the racing entries have been taken for the day. The horses that are chosen during the draw will be allowed to enter the starting gate on race day.
Horse Racing Entries and Handicapping
It may not seem like horse racing entries and handicapping are related. They most certainly are related to one another. When you are able to understand the conditions of horse races, you will be able to see which horses are suited to a specific race and which horses are likely over-matched.
Conditions in horse racing are varied. They are meant to establish a level playing field in which all horses can be competitive. In other words, conditions are meant to prevent horses with exceptional talent from running against horses with limited ability.
Can you imagine if there were no such restrictions in horse racing? A horse that was a graded stakes winner could enter cheap races and scoop up purse money without even being tested. That would not be fair to the other horsemen on the track that have paid lots of money to get their horse to the races.
It benefits every handicapper to spend some time learning how to read a condition book and understand the nature of horse racing.
Getting a Condition Book for Horse Racing Entries
If you are a serious handicapper you cannot simply walk up to the horse racing office on a track and request a condition book in most cases. Access is usually restricted to those individuals who possess a valid racing license. There are a few ways around this type of thing.
You can ask someone that you know with a racing license to get a copy of the condition book for you. The books are free to licensed individuals so this should not be a problem. There is also the possibility that you can download a copy of the condition book from a horse racing track’s website. It is becoming more common today for tracks to make their condition books available online.
Once you have a condition book in your possession, the real work begins. You will need to spend some time studying the material to get a feel for horse races and how they are filled. You will also be able to see which days are available for horse racing entries.
A Fun Horse Racing Entries Exercise
A fun exercise that you can do with entries to make yourself a better handicapper is to try and anticipate which race a horse trainer will choose next for its horse. You do this by first looking at the last race of the horse you like.
You will be able to find clues in the last race of the horse that you like which may point to where the horse is headed next. This can be a great way to identify horses which are bound for stakes races. If you can determine the mindset of a horse trainer, you may be able to get a feel for the talent level of the horse.
Yes, using horse racing entries in your handicapping is an advanced skill. You may not think it is worth the effort at first. Your opinion will change when you start to cash some large tickets because of your research into condition books and entries. If you are in the United States, check our Bovada racebook review, AmWager review, BUSR, BetUS, Twinspires review, or Betamerica review. If you are outside the US, 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!