The Secondary Handicapping Factors

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The Anatomy of a Thoroughbred Horse Race

Level of Competition

Since every competent handicapping process must begin here, it will be imperative for horse players to be able differentiate among the various types of races, racing levels, conditions and restrictions; as well as the complexities involved with why a horse has been entered in a specific race.

Track workers prepare the turf course during opening day at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017.  (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Track workers prepare the turf course during opening day at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

 

Thoroughbred Horse Racing Over the Main Track and Sod

Racing Surface

From a handicapping standpoint, there is a fundamental difference between dirt and turf races.  Whereas over dirt, speed as an individual element of Class will often be decisive; winners of turf races will require more stamina and determination during the final fraction in order to prevail, thus as a handicapping factor, turf and dirt races must be approached with different methods.

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The Distance Factor in a Thoroughbred Horse Race

Racing Distance

Distance is extremely important in thoroughbred racing, certain distances can favor the conformation, temperament and running style of a race horse.  Therefore, there will be an exact distance or distances (win range) at which the great majority of thoroughbred horses will be capable of winning.

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Thoroughbred Horse Racing and the Weight to be Carried by Each Entry

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According to logic, the weight to be carried by an entry should have a demonstrative effect upon the outcome of a race.  In fact, the old Jockey Club method of weights and scales, is still used by racetrack handicappers pretty much everywhere, to assign varied weights to the entries in a race; in order to equalize chances of winning and thus level the field of competition.

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Human Interaction with Thoroughbred Race Horses

Racing Connections

Racing connections are those people that own and work with a thoroughbred race horse; the owner(s), trainer, rider(s) and stable employees.  In terms of handicapping a horse race, the trainer and jockey will be most significant, but it's important to understand the numerous complexities arising from this human interaction with a race horse.

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An Important Measure of Performance

Thoroughbred Earnings

From a handicapping standpoint, earnings are an important measure which can be used to gauge performance at a specific distance, over a given surface or under various conditions of thoroughbred racing.

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The Effects of Weather on a Thoroughbred Horse Race

Environmental Conditions

At any thoroughbred racetrack in America, on both the main track and turf course; the condition of the surface will have a decisive impact upon the outcome of the race.  The most significant environmental factor will be the weather, specifically, the amount of recent rainfall.

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Additional Handicapping Factors

Statistical Analysis and Quantification

As noted above, we view the Secondary Handicapping Factors as those which are beyond the horse's control.

In other words in our view, any existing factor with the potential to impact the outcome of a race, if it can be quantified, and, if it is outside the horse's realm of control; then we classify that factor as a Secondary Handicapping Factor.

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