Horse Racing Handicapping

Handicapping the Horses

When it comes to horse racing handicapping many factors are to be taken into consideration. To handicap a horse race is to basically pick a winner. When you apply the rules of handicapping you assign different weights to each horse, with the best horse receiving the highest weight and the worst horse if you will, getting the least weight. So you see when you try and pick a winner you are actually assigning weights to do it.

However it doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. Even when the racing secretary at the track assigns weights, it doesn’t always work out. That is why you get the longshots. Handicapping in horse racing is not an exact science.
These are flesh and blood athletes that can not be 100 % predictable. No one has any way to know that the 20-1 shot is feeling the best he has felt in months. And no one knows that the 2-1 favorite is just getting over the 24 hour flu and is no way going to run his best race. There are just too many variables that can’t be accounted for, but this is why handicapping horse races can be such a challenging and rewarding pastime.

So How Do You Handicap Horse Racing?

Even with all of the variables you can’t account for, you still have to handicap the race. Right or wrong you will have to assign a probability of winning to the horses. To do this, you have to dig deeper into all of the variables you can account for. Some will do this by watching race replays or “trip” handicapping, while others will pour over racing forms and look for factors within past performances or workouts.

Everyone’s method of handicapping is different. There are so many variables involved in each horse race that it is impossible for any two handicappers to handicap using the same methods. And although they may use different methods, they may well come up with the same “top weighted” horse. The thing to remember here is that you must find the variables or factors that consistently work for you and help you to produce winners. As HHR progresses, we will be tackling some of the numerous ways you can handicap a horse, what tools you can use to do so (free or otherwise) and which methods work best in particular situations.

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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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