Handicapping Tip of the Day – Pace Makes the Race
One of the first, if not the first thing, you should be doing when handicapping a race is to try to figure out the anticipated pace scenario. Which horse or horses figure to vie for the early lead? Is one of those speed horses faster than the others? You can use excellent pace figures such as the ratings Brisnet puts out, or you can look at the raw fractional times to figure out the typical 1/4 and 1/2 mile time that each horse runs. Additionally, some horses want to be up on the lead regardless of superior early speed of other rivals, and they will ‘use themselves’ in the process to vie for the front end. Needless to say, that can affect all of the horses involved. Some jockeys are better gate riders than others, and it is helpful to know the riders’ traits on your circuit.
After you analyze the pace situation, you can then determine which runner(s) is at an advantage based on the makeup of this race. That’s a big edge over the public that skips this vital step in the handicapping process or does so haphazardly.
~ Rich Nilsen