By looking at a horse's past performances, you can tell if they run better with or without Bute. The medication column on the past performance is indicated by a 'B' if the horse was using Bute. If a horse runs well with Bute and now is off Bute I use an icon to indicate this , the horse will typically run down and run a terrible race.
However, if a horse has always ran with Bute and didn't do well, the horse may run a big race the first time running without Bute. Many racing enthusiasts make the mistake of betting a particular jockey. It is true that jockeys may have significantly different winning percentages.
However, these people do not realize that the most popular jockeys also get the best mounts. A jockey cannot make a horse run better than the horse's natural ability. Conversely, a jockey can ruin a horse's chance to win by giving the horse a bad ride. It is the case, however, that some jockeys "know" how to ride a particular horse better. By looking at the horse's past performance matrix, you can see which jockeys typically rode the horse well.
I personally put minimal weight on the rider of the horse. Keep this in mind: Nevertheless, when there is a change of jockey, I highlight it on my selections form. I show the past jockey's record at the track the horse last raced, and the current jockey's record at the current track. If the record has a star next to it, that means the data was not accurate and I had to estimate the jockey's record for that track. Trainer changes can make a big difference, especially over the span of the horse's next few races.
Simply, you can compare the records between the previous and current trainers. Again, if there is a change, I highlight it on my selections form. If the record has a star next to it, that means the data was not accurate and I had to estimate the trainer's record for that track.
Big 'Uns are big payouts that you would have hit had you followed our handicapping picks. We will be publishing handicapping articles periodically on the site. Follow The Tiers This is the most important concept when reading my handicapping picks. Handpick Your Races Although I am successful at predicting many races, it is common sense that you must be selective when choosing the races to bet. It Takes Money to Win Money While you should handpick your races to conserve your bankroll, be prepared to commit enough money to make a proper bet when you find a race you like.
Workouts, Workouts, Workouts Besides my selections themselves, workouts are the second most important gauge of a horse's ability. Dirt Horses are either main track horses or turf horses, not both. Track Condition It always amazed me that most handicappers never take track condition into consideration. Class Dropdowns Another thing to watch for are horses that are dropping in class. Layoffs Layoffs are important in the following two ways: If a horse hasn't raced for more than 45 days since his last race, the horse is currently laid off.
Horses that are significantly laid off, tend to not perform to their normal standards because they need a race to get back on track no pun intended. However, the importance of layoffs varies from track to track.
At tracks with better horses e. Aqueduct, Gulfstream Park, Hollywood Park , even a short layoff can transform a horse from a contender to a loser. However at tracks with cheaper horses, horses can win their first race back from a long layoff. If a horse's last race was coming off a layoff, the horse is bound to improve this time out. The past race was "needed" and will usually not indicate the horse's true ability.
In the past performance section if a race was coming back from a layoff, I highlight the date of the past performance in red. Medication Change There are essentially two kinds of medication given to racehorses, Lasix and Bute. This is the horse's first start on the turf. Click here to see the section describing Turf vs. The horse had one or more "Monster" workouts since his last race. Click here to see the section describing workouts.
The horse looked significantly better in his last outing compared to the horse's typical form. The horse could be in better form now or may have just had a fluke race. Typically, I rank horses by examining their form over their last several races. If the horse has improved, he could be better than his ranking shows. The horse had an excuse on his last outing. Either something bad happened left at the gate, bumped, etc. Click here to see the section describing layoffs.
Is there a cap limit to the score you can earn for each selection , and if so, what is the cap? What is the deadline for entering picks? Once you have basic rules down… The next step is working to determine what it takes to win or qualify. Is there a benefit to winning or are all the prizes the same? Is the prize structure firm, or does it depend on the number of players?
A win-place contest awards points based on the pari-mutuel payout for horses who win and place finish second. To reach a target score, take an average of the past scores of the contest based on average score for each race multiplied by the number of contest races. In the NHC, I was shooting to get to points and thought that would give me a top 5 finish.
Turns out it did, and I was able to get a bit higher than that to win, but the winning score there has been about ish over the past few years. Even with more players this year, the score was roughly the same. Take a good look at the races being offered and adjust your target score based on the field sizes and the likelihood of short-priced favorites in the races.
For example, a contest flush with 6-horse fields and logical favorites might produce an average score of only 8 points per race. This is critical to my contest playing. This means that you can adjust your odds spread for selections to include shorter-priced horses because the total winning score should fall below average.
Or, and this is just as important and contrarian, it means one big longshot can propel you to a contending position. I tend to avoid horses below early in a contest. All three of the secrets mentioned above contributed to my 6th place finish. He was also moving up in Class. Praetorian Perfect and No Three Words were logical horses that many bypassed for bigger prices.
The fourth race was a Maiden Claimer with nine horses running. Dolce Lemone split horses and got up in the final strides before the wire. That is the definition of a separator horse. Again all three of the secrets mentioned earlier contributed to my win. The Luckiest Day of My Life. Your email address will not be published. Putting It All Together It is easy to say these secrets work but without proof is there any reason for you to trust me? Good luck and remember to say hello if you see me in the Derby Wars chat.