Learn to Play the Races!

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There's no one right way to play the races.
Every player has an angle, which means no one way is foolproof. But even as a casual player, you'll win more often if you know how to size up the horses.

We asked our Facebook fans"If a friend who knows nothing about handicapping asked you for one key insight, what would it be?" They said:

  • Class figure
  • Jockey & trainer: individual performance, performance together, or changes -- "At Turfway trainers are the key. Then I look at the class droppers and start positions. If I was going to bet from one thing on the program....trainer!!! They know the horses, jockeys, and track better than anyone."
  • Consistency; for example, finishing in the money with maidens
  • "Horse for course"--proven record on the specific track
  • Distance specialist--proven at the distance
  • Drop in class; for example, from maiden special to maiden claiming
  • Speed figures
  • Running style--"My handicapping has improved tremendously since I started paying attention to how many stalkers, closers, and front runners are in the race and how the pace is set to be affected by these."