Handicapping Tips #3 – Every Runner Has This

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

Handicapping Tip of the Day #3 – July 14, 2014

Every race horse has  one particular distance that they excel the best at, and the handicapper is wise to look at every runner in a race to determine if today’s distance meets that preference.   Even the champion runners have preferred distances, but what separates many of them is that they can carry their game across a variety of distances and, sometimes, even surfaces.  Secretariat, and more recently American Pharoah, are classic examples of horses with this rare trait.

Many average horses, e.g. claimers, can perform well at multiple distances but they are always at their best at a short range of distances; for example, 5 1/2 furlongs to 6 furlongs.  Constantly be on the lookout for a horse that is switching back to his or her preferred distance after attempting something outside their scope in their previous start or two.

Read Tip # 2

Read Tip # 1

Handicapping Tips #2 – July 11, 2014

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AgameofSkill.com Handicapping Tip of the Day #2

Some jockeys will have an excellent rapport with certain horses.  You’ll oftentimes see a jockey who wins or finishes in the money (top 3) every time he gets aboard a particular horse; whereas that particular horse has less success when other riders are in the irons. Maybe it’s their “hands,” the way they get the horse to relax, or they just know how to ride the horse given the horse’s respective running style, but we don’t really need to know the reason.

Always be on the lookout for a jockey switch to a “winning” rider for this horse.  It can result in big improvement off the horse’s recent form.

Handicapping Tips #1 -The Drop

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

AGameofSkill.com Handicapping Tip of the Day – July 7, 2014

Class drops in horse racing are situations where a horse has been facing tougher competition and now is dropping into “softer” company.  The most potent of all class drops is the maiden special weights to maiden claiming move.  In maiden special weight races horses can not be “claimed” or purchased for any price.   Whereas in the maiden claiming races, horses are entered for a specific claiming price.  Every horse in the race is for sale as a pre-determined price.  The drop is most powerful when the claiming price of today’s race is $40,000 or less.   The lower price, the softer the competition.  Handicappers will often see remarkable turn-arounds, such as a horse defeated 15 lengths or more in a maiden special weights who returns to win when dropped into the maiden claiming races where the competition is significantly softer.

One caveat that handicappers should be aware of with this handicapping tip is the state-bred maiden special weights drop into open maiden claimers, where horses from any state can run in.   In many cases, this is not much class relief for the horse in question and will not result in a huge turnaround.

– Rich Nilsen