If you want to handicap a horse race and really have an idea of ​​what is going to happen, or at least identify the most likely winner, then you need to know what factors matter and how to use them. My own research has shown that class, speed, recent form are the factors that will point you to more winners. You might be thinking to yourself, “That’s not exactly news.” I agree. But the fact that these factors matter, and yet people who supposedly understand them and still use them lose, should show you that they are not using them correctly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s ever easy to handicap horse racing and consistently pick winners, but it is possible. How good are you at handicapping? Do you watch a race and really understand which horse has a speed edge or a class edge? Can you identify the special situation when a horse has both speed and class edge? You might think that when a horse has both the highest average speed and class that it is always an insurmountable favourite, but this is not the case.

One horse that recently ran and won at the Belmont and showed such an advantage was Maya Charli, 4th in the 8th race on Saturday, June 19. Maya Charli paid $16.20 to win and still showed both top class and speed with my key horse method. That is why I encourage all handicappers to learn to identify speed and true class. Checking your top picks against my key horses is one way to do that.

I define true class as the ability to compete and finish well at or above the level that the other horses in the race have recently met. You can’t just look at bags in the race and define the class. Anyone who has handicapped enough horse racing knows that the horses in one $10,000 race may not be the same caliber of horse that you find in another race with the same purse. Therefore, I look at the race and determine the ability level of each individual horse. The top horse, in other words, the one with the highest level of ability, becomes the class of the race.

Any horse that can compete at that level in the race and has recently demonstrated that ability is considered a fit and ready horse. Any horse that is fit and ready should be considered exotic. Once again, you might think that a race with just one fit and ready horse would produce an insurmountable favourite, but on Friday 18. June Twofourseven won at Harrah’s Chester Race Track and paid $35.80. I had identified that horse, which ran from post position 1, as the only fit and ready horse in the race.

What I’m trying to impress upon you is that the fundamentals really work in horse racing handicapping just like the fundamentals work in any field of work, you just have to really master them. Think of handicapping a horse race as a sport, yes, many actually call it an intellectual sport. Do you know of any sports that a professional athlete can play and win without mastering the basics? No matter how good an athlete may become, he or she can never forget the basics or the rest won’t matter. The same applies to handicapping in horse racing. Master the basics, learn to identify key horses and well-trained and ready horses, and you could one day become a professional handicapper.

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