Tools for Informed Handicapping

Handicapping race horses is an exercise that requires access to certain tools. There are specific tools that have been used successfully by horse bettors for many years. We have put together a list of the ones you might want to consider as you bet horses at an online racebook. Here are 8 tools for informed handicapping.

Speed Figures

There are no other horse racing betting tools which revolutionized the sport like speed figures. When first introduced by legendary handicapper and turf writer Andrew Beyer, no one had ever attempted such a project. The Beyer Speed Figures were able to express the speed of a horse in a single number. This made for easy comparisons between horses.

Andrew Beyer understood that horse races are essentially about speed. Which horse is the fastest? He developed a mathematical system that is able to assign a single number to each performance of a horse. What made Beyer’s figures unique was the ability to compare horses from different tracks, at different distances, and even on wet or dry surfaces.

The rights to the figures were purchased by the Daily Racing Form many years ago. They remain exclusive to that publication to this very day. You can also find speed figures from other companies like Equibase. The best way to get them is to bet online with a racebook that provides them for free.

Past Performances

Past performances are also an essential tool for informed handicapping. These useful charts include side-by-side comparisons of the recent performances of all horses in a race. You can see where the horses has been finishing, and also evaluate the competence of its trainer and jockey. No serious handicapper attacks horse racing without consulting past performances.

Once again, the Daily Racing Form can be a great source for PPs. It can also be an affordable source. The other option is to purchase your past performances from a service like Equibase. This can become costly if you wager each day.

The best solution? Once again it is to bet with an online racebook that may be willing to give you the information for free if you wager a certain amount each week.

Racing Charts

Now we are starting to get into the tools for informed handicapping that separate those who win at horse racing betting from those who do not. Racing charts used to be included in racing publications like the Daily Racing Form, but this is no longer the case. In most cases you will need to purchase them from providers.

Some handicappers like to keep a set of racing charts from a meet in dedicated folder. This allows you to look back at the historical results from a specific meet. That type of information may be able to give you information on things like a track bias that is not available to the casual handicapper. You can also use race charts to evaluate the trips of a horse and how those may have impacted its ability to win.

Race Replays

Race replays fall into that same category as racing charts. They are not typically made available for free, but some online racebooks will provide them if you wager a lot each month. A race replay is just what the name suggests. It is a video feed of a race that happened in the past. The best way to use a race replay is to watch it in tandem with the past performances.

A running line in a past performance can only tell you so much. A video is a dynamic representation of that running line. You can actually see for yourself the trouble that horse may have encountered on its last trip.

Race replays can be especially useful when you are considering a horse that has not competed in a race for several months. A replay in that case may give you far more information than you would get from an old running line.

Trip Notes

Trip notes are usually a part of every racing chart. These are made by a professional chart caller who is trained in what to look for. While trip notes that you get from a racing chart can be very beneficial, they are subject to human error. You might want to consider making a notebook in which you can record your own trip observations.

When handicappers do this it is usually to follow a certain horse or a specific racing circuit. Trying to keep your own running lines on each track in the world is virtually impossible. Narrow it down, though, and you can have a powerful tool that contains some good information.

Statistics

Next up on the list of 8 tools for informed handicapping is access to good statistics. Basic statistics are available in the Daily Racing Form, but what you are looking for goes beyond basic. You want to know things like how well a jockey does at a certain distance at a certain track. Or maybe how well a trainer does when it makes the first start for a new horse in its barn.

There are two ways that you can go about getting your hands on statistics like these. You can keep them yourself. This is very time consuming. The other way is to buy them from a company like Daily Racing Form which has access to all manner of stats.

Just one long shot winner each month can be enough to justify paying for statistics. Some services offer package deals, so be sure to shop around and see if you can get the best one.

Reliable Workout Information

Yes, there is workout information which is published in the Daily Racing Form. The problem with this information is that it is not always the most reliable. You should probably think about looking for your own workout info. Again, you can pay to get this information or you can spend the time at the race track and capture it yourself.

Before you buy a stopwatch and decide to time some morning workouts, know this. It is not as easy as it looks. Horses are not announced when they come to the track, so you will need to identify the horse you want to time. You also have no way of knowing how long the horse is working.

A major problem here is that many trainers really don’t want to publicize workout info. They prefer to keep it under wraps to conceal horses that are ready to win a big race.

Expert Opinion

Finally, don’t discount the ability of experts. Horse racing betting experts come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them charge for their selections, and others give them away for free in televised programs. You can get valuable insights from tipsters such as Betting Gods.

What we recommend is that you don’t rely on these services to the exclusion of your own handicapping. There are no shortcuts when it comes to success in horse racing. See our Bovada racebook review, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review. All great choice if you are in the US. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!

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