Many factors could affect the result of a race, such as the horse racing tracks. Thus, in making your betting selections and decisions, you need to consider the tracks.
Why Tracks Matter
There are two main types of track on which equine races are held: turf (or grass) and dirt. To a handicapper, one essential factor he must consider is the difference between these two surfaces. Horses may prefer different types of track surfaces and conditions; so it is great to know what type of track your selected horse prefers.
One horse could merely be an ordinary performer on a dry surface, but could run fast and perform excellently on sloppy, wet surface. If it loves firm grass, it is possible it would be a failure on soft grass.
Learn About The Horse Performance
On each race that an animal participates in, a lot of data are collected such as date of race, name of host track, track surface and condition and also its race number. These items are usually found or written in track program or racing form.
Depending on what track or surface will be used in the race, you need to look at the past performances of the animal if you want to handicap the race. Suppose the race track is sloppy and wet, you would want to verify from the track program whether that horse has performed well on similar race tracks. If its statistics show that it has poor performances on such a sloppy surface, you know it is best to choose another horse.
Familiarize Yourself With The Terminology
As a bettor, you would also need to be knowledgeable about the lingo of the trade. If you are considering track conditions, be aware that there are also terms that you must learn.
For a dirt track, a fast track refers to one where horses commonly perform their fastest. A wet-fast is dirt surface with thin water layer on top that generates fast times. Good is a surface that is drying out and produces more sluggish times. Muddy is wet and deep. Sloppy is one covered with water where splashing could occur as the animals run. A frozen dirt surface is hard and has frozen moisture. Slow is deep and drying out. Heavy is a deep and wet surface on which horses could get very tired.
For a grass course, firm refers to dry grass track and is the counterpart of a fast dirt surface. Good is comparatively firm with some moisture and slight give. Soft contains adequate moisture and substantial give. Yielding is very wet, thus generates slower times. Heavy is a deep and often waterlogged grass course that creates very slow running times.
If a particular animal has shown preference on a specific type of track, it is highly possible that that horse will always do well on that kind of track. Thus, the track condition and surface are essential factors to check before you handicap the race. Past performance should be checked with the current condition of the racing track.
Remember as well that horses tend to slide even more as they race on dirt surfaces because the ground here is looser. The animal’s foot would probably skid after it hits the ground. Skidding could produce stress on the ligaments and other leg support structure that could result to injuries. It will be less stressful for a horse to run on firm turf.