When determining the winner of a horse race it boils down to two basic questions. Can the horse physically win the race and by physically I mean is he in fit condition to for today’s race? The second question which is equally important: is the horse superior in his ability (competitive enough) to win at today’s level of horse racing?
When handicapping the condition of a horse its important to remember that no matter how much superior ability the horse has if he is in poor shape or condition he will not win the race. Looking at previous workouts and races in the Daily Racing Form you can determine quickly the condition of the horse.
Start by looking at how datos americanas recent was the last race he ran in? A horse that has been away for 60 to 90 days needless to say is not in the best physical shape to contend. Its important to look at large gaps between races the horse might have ran just a couple weeks ago but before that it was 2 months. A good rule of thumb is if it has had 3 races after a lengthy layoff its in good shape to run today. As a rule competition makes a horse more fit than training but if no races are present workouts are listed at the bottom help you see the fitness of a horse.
In handicapping horse racing a horse that has not raced in a month and no workouts is in questionable condition. So is a horse that had a year layoff with many workouts. A successful handicapper in horse racing has to make a decision of the fitness on a horse if there are several races that its been in consistently then there is no problem if not it becomes a guessing game. sometimes there are legitimate reasons for a month layoff.
Here are some hard fast rules for figuring out if the horse is in good form.
In Betting on claiming races follow closely these considerations
1.) In recent races at 7 furlongs or less, accept horses that have run within the last month, preferably at the same track they are today.
2.) In routes, horses should show a race within the last month plus 2 workouts. If they have raced within 2 weeks and show one workout, this is acceptable. If within one week no workouts are needed.
3.) At 7 furlongs or less, horses can be on form even if they have not raced in 45 days, provided they have been working out at regular intervals of four or day longer and have previously won after absences of that length or longer.
In Betting on non claiming races (allowance, handicap, and stakes horses)you can be more relaxed with these bigger races
1.) Horses that have been out 60 to 90 days are rarely in good form unless they have worked out often with respectable clockings. Some tips on this below
A workout is more satisfactory if the horse breezes (runs without urging) at a rate of approximate 12 seconds for each 1/8 mile. 1.00b for five is a definite sign of life, so is 1.13b for six
A longer workout is always more significant than a shorter one
If it has a bullet by the workout it means the horse had a very fast workout and should be noted~ be on the lookout for these trends on workouts if its been awhile since the horse has raced.
2.) In allowance races the horse that has raced well in the last week or two is better than one that has not been our for four weeks or more.
Along with what to look for to see if a horse is poised to run a great race there are also some danger signs for ones not being fit. Here they are:
1.) Throw out any horse that bled, ran sore or finished lame in last race
2.) Throw out any horse that slowed into the stretch considerably or bore out notably in last race.
3.) Throw out any horse that is stepping up in class after a race it won while losing ground in the driving stretch.
4.) Except for the highly consistent horses that give their best every race~ throw out any 4 year old or older, that engaged in dueling finishes in its last 2 outings. (notable exceptions are lightly raced 3 year olds of really high quality or handicap and stake races from top barns)
5.) Throw out any horse aged 5 or older whose best effort at today’s distance occurred in its last race, unless the horse is a male and it demonstrated reserved speed.