Handicapping 101

Discover more ways to find angles and improve your odds. Check out our full archives of handicapping tips from horse racing experts.

Betting Regional Class Advantages, Part 2

Coady Photography In a recent article here on BetAmerica, we discussed how regional class advantages can exist throughout the sport of horse racing and produce to profitable wagering opportunities. Our first example noted how turf horses from the East Coast tend to be superior to their counterparts from the West Coast, but when we turn our attention to dirt racing, the picture looks very different. Specifically, when it comes to three-year-old dirt horses—Kentucky Derby candidates—the west has been [...]

Betting Regional Class Advantages, Part 1

Elsa winning the Jimmy Durante Stakes (gr. III) at Del Mar - © Benoit Photo While the old saying “a good horse can come from anywhere” is certainly true, it’s also true that good horses are more likely to come from some places than others. A great example comes from California, where a greater emphasis is placed on dirt racing than turf racing. That’s not to say that California can’t produce good grass horses, but compared to the [...]

How Studying Stallions Can Yield Profitable Pedigree Plays

Stephanie's Kitten winning the Flower Bowl (gr. I) at Belmont Park - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography It’s a known fact that the progeny of some stallions prefer racing on dirt rather than turf (or vice versa), but did you know that these preferences can be even more subtle than that—all the way down to showing a preference for certain turf course conditions? For example, take Kitten’s Joy. A champion racehorse turned champion sire, the vast majority of [...]

Betting Races on Soft Turf, Part 1: Why Europeans Can Have an Edge

Turf racing at Belmont Park - Photo by Coglianese Photography Relatively speaking, racehorses in North America don’t get many opportunities to run on truly soft, rain-inundated turf courses. When heavy rains strike, turf races are frequently transferred to the dirt track in order to preserve the grass. But in Europe, where the vast majority of racecourses offer only one racing surface (grass), horses compete on yielding, soft, and heavy turf courses all the time. This can give them [...]

Should You Bet Horses Returning on Short Rest?

Ria Antonia winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) - Photo by © Breeders' Cup/Pat McDonogh 2013 Although there has been a tendency in recent years for trainers to give their horses more and more time between races, there are some trainers still willing to run their horses back in a week or less, and when you can identify a trainer who’s skilled with this move, opportunities can abound for nice betting scores. One such trainer is [...]

Exploring the Advantages of First-Time Lasix

Cairo Cat (left) rallies to defeat Tight Ten in the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography If you’ve followed horse racing for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard phrases like “first-time Lasix” or “racing without Lasix.” But what does it all mean? For the most part, racehorses in North America are treated with Lasix a few hours prior to post time in order to lessen the likelihood of them suffering from exercise-induced pulmonary [...]

Deciphering Track Biases, Part 2

Super Saver and jockey Calvin Borel after winning the 2010 Kentucky Derby (Photo by Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography) Wouldn’t it be nice if we could predict when track biases will appear and wager accordingly, yielding impressive profits while simultaneous gaining some bragging rights? Perhaps it sounds far-fetched, but truthfully, it’s not as hard as it sounds. We already discussed last week how to capitalize on a bias in the weeks that follow its appearance; now we’ll delve into [...]

Deciphering Track Biases, Part 1

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Track biases… is there a more mysterious aspect of handicapping horse races? Maybe, but I'm not sure what it would be. In essence, track biases are simple enough. Their name says it all—some tracks can be biased toward horses racing on the lead, or horses rallying from off the pace. Other tracks can favor horses racing on the inside; other times, the inside is deeper, and horses racing on the outside have an [...]

How to Bet the Double

Woodbine Racetrack (Michael Burns Photo) If you’re just getting started betting on horse races, you might be confused by the multitudes of wagering options available, with many types boasting unusual names that aren’t necessarily self-explanatory. But never fear—BetAmerica is here to help! We’ll explain the terminology, introduce you to the different types of bets, and provide tips on how to effectively structure your tickets. What is the Double? The double, frequently referred to as the “daily double,” is [...]

Synthetic to Dirt: A Valuable, Overlooked Angle

Wonder Gadot winning the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography Although the glory days of synthetic racetracks seem to be over in North America—tracks like Santa Anita, Del Mar, and Keeneland have all gone back to dirt in recent years—many synthetic racing surfaces remain installed at tracks across the continent and can provide tricky challenges for handicappers. Everyone understands that dirt and turf are two very different racing surfaces, but where do [...]