As promised, we wanted to dig more into the world of horse racing, and more into handicapping specifically. It’s quite possible to end up not handling handicapping the way you should. We understand that there’s a lot of data to process. you might not know where to really begin. But if you really want to dominate the racetrack in good time, you have to start looking at pace form a more serious point of view.
Can you use software to make pace handicapping easier? Absolutely — but you don’t want to do this right away. Like most things, it’s better to know how to do it manually. That way if you ever have to get things going on your own, you’re still going to be just fine. Some people rely so much on software that they really don’t understand the mechanics of what they’re dealing with. That’s a good way to lose money over the long run. Keep in mind that while software is definitely helpful, it can’t turn you into something that you aren’t. It can’t turn you into a super profitable, bettor that can see a good horse from a mile away. You have to do the research and put in the time — just like all of the other successful gamblers. Anybody can get lucky and bet form the gut a few times, winning small here and there. But you’re going to have to treat this almost like a lifestyle in terms of how much time you’re really willing to give to it. Some people can’t handle that, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s better to know your limits than not.
Anyway, moving back to pace handicapping. Pace covers the entire race as a whole. You need to try to figure out which horse can easily overtake the others, which horse is fast enough to keep up, and how hard is each horse really going to work. As you might imagine, these are some pretty tough questions to answer. You’ll get better at answering them and making educated guesses. Did we mention guesses? Yes, it’s true — you have to guess based on what you know. But that’s still an educated guess. You’re taking time to do the research into something that interests you.
However, it still gets even deeper than our little overview. Smart punters get into handicapping pace because it allows them the proverbial 50,000 foot tower view of everything that’s going on. This is something that you have to work up to, but it’s completely worth it in the long run. Some people feel that they would be better served by looking at other numbers. That’s a bit misleading — you have to pull data from a lot of sources in order to really understand a horse’s pace. It also helps if you’ve seen the horse actually compete. There are times where the commentators are indeed wrong, or the horse shows a little more fire than expected later on. You just never know until you start looking into things further for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with knowing where you want to go, and even realizing that you have limits in place.
One of the top factors to look at when it comes to pace would have to be running style for each and every horse that you have your eye on. This is also where watching the replays really comes in. You have to look at some past performances in order to get the historical data you need.
Some horses race for speed, and they’re going to be out in front the most often. Or maybe you have a horse commonly referred to as a “presser”, where they tend to be very fast, but they never quite manage to be fast enough to lead the pack. This is a title for both male and female horses.
One running style that intrigued me when I first got into handicapping for pace had to be the stalker. This is a horse that definitely doesn’t match the pace types stride for stride, but they could easily step in and cause problems for your strategy. They’re the “random” horse that you need to pay attention to. If you’re not betting on them to win, don’t dismiss them just yet — they may turn around and find ways to knock out the competition…including the horse that you bet a lot of money on for a win!
There’s plenty more to go with handicapping pace, but we’ll pick up this series another time. This is already quite a lot to digest!