Horse racing is an equestrian sporting activity which has been practiced over the centuries; the chariot races of Roman times were an early example, as was the contest of the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology. It is often inextricably associated with the activity of wagering on the outcome of a race, gambling. The principal form of horseracing, which is popular in many parts of the world, is thoroughbred racing. Harness racing is somewhat popular in the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Italy and Scandinavia, and to a lesser extent elsewhere. Quarter horse racing is also popular in the United States.
Kentucky Derby - Odds The Kentucky Derby is a stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses, staged yearly in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.
Preakness Stakes - Odds The Preakness Stakes is a classic 1 3/16 mile (1.91 km) thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds, held on the third Saturday in May of each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
Belmont Stakes - Odds Belmont Stakes is a prestigious horse race held yearly in June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The race is the third leg of the Triple Crown, following the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is an annual series of thoroughbred horse races sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is an annual series of thoroughbred horse races sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. It is a one-day event held at a location that changes each year. All the sites have been in the United States, except in 1996, when the races were at the Woodbine Racetrack in Canada.
An impost is the weight that must be carried by a horse in a race. Horses carry lead weights during the course of a race as a form of handicap. Such a race is also sometimes termed a "handicap." These weights supplement a jockey's weight to give a horse his assigned impost. The jockeys use saddle pads with pockets called lead pads to hold the lead weights.
Handicapping theory is possibly one of the most enigmatic theories in all of sports. Horseplayers consider the following elements when handicapping a horse race:
Speed Those horses who run the fastest, win the most races. The DRF lists times at certain call points of each race, and the lengths back from the lead at each call point. Speed handicappers compare race times to help ascertain which horses will most likely win the race. The DRF now contains a numerical summation of the speed that each horse ran in every race, called a Beyer speed figure. The Beyer speed figures takes into account the individual class of a race as well as how the racetrack was playing on a particular day to create an aggregate number for each horse. The basic error behind this approach is that the sample size each day which is used to create the track variant for the speed figure is very small, and hence subject to massive errors in standard deviation. For example, there may be only one turf (grass) race on a given day, and the Beyer system has to extract a variant for that race from a sample of one.
Pace Pace is probably the single most important factor in determining the outcome of a race. Pace handicappers classify each horse’s running style (i.e. front runner, stalker, presser, closer) and then find contenders based on the predicted pace of today’s race. The difficulty is that the jockey has control over where a horse is placed in a race and how fast that race goes in the early stages. This takes the prediction of pace for a given race out of the realm of mathematics and into the realm of mere speculation.
Form Those horses who looked “sharp” in their past race or past few races, win the most races. A sharp horse could have finished strongly, stayed among the leaders, finished “in the money” (1st, 2nd or 3rd) or recovered from a bad racing trip. Likewise, a horse showed dull form if it gave up, looked sluggish or chased the pack. Horses with sharp form have the lowest odds and hence return the least money per bet. Also, often horses will race off a "layoff." A layoff is a rest varying in length from usually two months to a year or more. In this case, workouts, horse appearance, and trainer patterns are the best guides to whether the horse is ready to run after a rest.
Class Horse races occur at different levels of competition. Generally, high caliber horses are entered in races with other high caliber horses and slower horses are entered in races with other slower horses. But a horse can move up or down in class, depending on where the trainer decided to enter the horse based on the results of its last race. Note that the strength of the same class of race, such as a Maiden Special Weight race, will vary greatly from track to track, as well as from race to race at the same track, making this too an inexact determinant of class.
Post Position The horse nearer the inside of a race track will have a shorter distance to run than a horse on the outside track, although it is also more vulnerable to being cut off by horses that start off faster and head to the inside rail.
Other Factors Other factors affecting the outcome of a race are track condition, weather, weight that the horses have to carry, daily bias of the racing surface, and many more factors that the handicapper cannot know.
Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Palace Malice, the colt who set the blazing Kentucky Derby pace, is stabled at trainer Todd Pletcher's Belmont... Full Story...