Making money betting on horse racing and handicapping often requires you to think outside the box, so to speak. When you look over past performances, you’ll see the same information that many others see. Although you may come to different conclusions than some handicappers, you will often come to roughly the same conclusion as many. The odds on the toteboard will confirm the merits of each individual runner.
So how do you get a head start and make a living from horse racing? You have to see more and do more. It’s not easy, but you have to be observant. One thing to keep an eye on is the weather and especially the wind. Regardless of whether you handicap Thoroughbred or Standard Blood, the weather plays a big part in how each horse performs.
When you see a strong wind blowing down the stretch, it tells you that it will be right up against the horses in the lead, and those following will be able to pull back with less effort. If there is a tailwind up the back stretch and your horse is going to swing out and make a move without cover behind, that will benefit your horse because it will push him or her forward. Does that sound crazy? Do you doubt that a thousand pound horse can be affected by the wind?
Consider this, horse races are often won by inches. A wind of twenty or thirty miles an hour pushing against the horse all the way through the stretch has an effect on it. I’ve never ridden horses, but I’ve ridden them to train them, and I can tell you from personal experience that a strong wind slows them down and wears them out.
If you follow harness racing, you know that horses that run with cover, a horse directly in front, have more energy at the end of the race. It happens even on days when it is now windy. Think how much more effect it has when there is a strong wind pushing against the horse in front. So if you’re at the racetrack, or even watching the races on a monitor, pay attention to the wind and use the information in your handicapping.
If you are trying to choose between two evenly matched horses, give an edge to the one who has the advantage of the wind, if it is blowing. Nature is a factor in horse racing because they are subject to the same laws of the natural world as all creatures. The small edge gained or lost by the wind can make a big difference. On a windy day, you can bet closer or early speed, depending on the wind. Call it a wind bias.