Racehorse Runner

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Welcome to my personal handicapping website. I've developed an automated approach to
thoroughbred handicapping, which I believe, is second to none. All good handicappers
have certain profiles they look for in a race.  My system defines profiles for speed, class, pace, and pedigree, and displays the information in a simplified manner, making these profiles easy to find.  It enables you to visualize a race in the early stages, determine what horse should make the lead, what horses should stalk the pace, and what horses have a late-running style.  I list enough information on each horse, to do a quick race analysis, make assumptions about the pace, and find spot plays and key selections. This system has become a widely used handicapping method of choice, especially for the rolling pick3 and pick4 player. 

What happens early in a race on the front end can greatly affect the outcome. Middle speed and finishing times are important, but we analyze quarter and half mile fractions to
determine pace. Horses fall under three distinct styles of racing with respect to the quarter
and half mile. There are horses that run faster first quarters, horses that run faster second
quarters, and horses that run similar quarters. Sprinters usually make a big move in the
first or second quarter, and routers typically run similar fractions, sustaining their speed throughout the race. The +/- column is simply the difference in lengths between the
estimated first and second quarters. A value of ZERO in this column is indicative of a router, or horse that prefers distances of 1 mile or longer. For example, 24.5 and 49.0 for the first two quarters is not very impressive. But, if a horse sustains that pace for a mile,
the next two fractions will be 73.5 and 98.0 (or :1-13-2 and :1-38-0). That horse will pass tired horses and appear to be flying at the finish, but he is actually just sustaining his pace. By glancing at the +/- column, you can determine which horses are front-runners,
which are closers, and which are sustained runners. I tend to look for horses that have a
different running style than the rest of the field - lone speed, lone closer, and lone ZERO.

Also listed for each horse is the average purse value in each of his/her starts, adjusted
for state bred or restricted races. This figure, in combination with the predicted running
order at the first call, can identify
speed-class combinations that make some front runners
hard to catch. It can also expose 'cheap speed', which in most cases, eliminates a horse
from serious contention.

It's important to know that the horse with the SPD ranking of 1 should be respected, since this horse is our predicted pace-setter. If the race will have a wire-to-wire winner, this is the probable choice in many cases. Many Racehorse Runner customers are speed players, and always use our top rated front-runner, especially if the $$ figure is competetive in the race.

Races with an abundance or lack of early speed stand out conspicuously on the sheet.
Front-runners are illustrated with negative values in the +/- column, and closers have
positive values. The information is listed to easily identify horses as lone speed and
lone closers. In these two cases, one horse in a particular race exhibits a different
running style than the rest of the field. Although this scenario isn't found in every race,
it can prove to be a valuable observation. Read more about how to use the sheet on the
About the Sheet and Sample Profiles pages.

Understanding speed, class, and pace are essential in handicapping, but in some races,
the most important factor is pedigree. Most handicappers need more than just the names
of a horse's sire and dam, so I list the sire's current year ranking to date, in the
category that applies to today's race. This ranking is based on earnings of the top 500
sires of North American thoroughbreds in each of these five categories - turf, sprint,
mile, route, and all-weather surfaces. The rankings are in the category corresponding to
today's scheduled surface and distance. I find these sire rankings especially helpful in
handicapping maiden and turf races. First time starters can often be handicapped based
solely on this statistic. All-weather rankings are used at tracks with synthetic surfaces
such as poly-track.

I believe there is money to be made in horse racing, if you have discipline in two areas - handicapping and wagering. I've seen many good handicappers who make too many wagers, or make crucial mistakes at the betting windows, and many novice handicappers who know how to put a ticket together. Knowing when, and when not to bet are crucial. Passing certain races is recommended, especially if no profiles are found. Of course, if you're playing a pick4, you can't pass any of those four races. So, in the absence of profile selections, I tend to use more combinations in those legs of the bet. My 'key' horses will often fit one of the profiles defined on my Sample Selections page. But, on occasion, I will find a horse that fits multiple profiles (pace and pedigree). In this situation, I may make a more sizable wager on a horse that should benefit from the pace, and who also has superior breeding for today's distance and surface. This combination isn't found often, but I consider it a 'green light' to make a bigger wager than usual. I think you should keep your unit bet a consistent amount, except in these 'green light' situations. Pace profiles defined on my Sample Selections page are: lone speed, speed-class, and lone-closer. 'Top Turf Sire' is an example of a profile based on pedigree.

Although many other factors are to be considered in handicapping a race, and are used in my system, pace handicapping is the basis for this sheet. The sheets are in PDF format. You must have Adobe Reader
installed on your computer to view or print. This site also tracks some of the recent winners on the sheet. I discuss this website, the sheet, the sport of racing, and other topics on my Lagniappe page.

As a footnote, this approach is not for the handicapping purist, the player who buys his racing form a day in advance, and reads it in his sleep. For him, I would quote an accomplished race player who once told me, 'see the unseen, ignore the obvious'. The factors that separate winners from the rest of the field are not always in big bold print. Good luck at the races.