There are many things to consider when you want to effectively handicap in a horse race. Horse racing tracks are among these factors that you should consider when making your bets. One horse may perform ordinarily on a dry surface, but if racing on a sloppy and wet surface, you might be surprised at how excellent it is doing. Each horse may have its own preferred type of track where it can run effectively and amazingly.
Review The Past Performances Of A Horse
Handicapping races requires that you review and look at the past performances of the participating horses. If the track to be used for that day’s races is sloppy and wet, this will help you in choosing which of the horses you should wager your money on; those that have great past performances on sloppy, wet tracks.
Likewise, it will also be helpful if you are well-read and knowledgeable about the various conditions of the tracks. This way, you have an edge at handicapping. Tracks may either have dirt or turf surfaces. Both of these surfaces may also have varying conditions that are labeled accordingly.
Dirt Tracks
Fast. It is the label assigned to dry surfaces because horses generally perform their fastest and best on such track conditions.
Wet-fast. This is the name that experts use in referring to a track of dirt with thin water layer on the surface. It is called as such as this type of dirt track can also produce fast records for some horses.
Good. When the dirt track is drying out, yet can still offer a good, but rather slower running time for horses; it is called as good dirt track.
Muddy. It is a horse track with deep and wet surface of dirt.
Sloppy. This refers to a dirt surface whose surface is generally covered with water to create splashing as the horses run.
Frozen. It refers to a path of dirt with frozen moisture surface. This track is obviously very hard.
Slow. This is the label given to tracks whose dirt surface is deep and drying out; thus, producing slow times for running horses.
Heavy. This dirt surface is wet and deep and can be very exhausting for horses to run on, thus, producing extremely slow times.
Turf Or Grass Courses
Firm. This label corresponds to the fast dirt track. The surface is of dry grass.
Good. The turf surface is comparatively firm with some moisture contents.
Soft. This grass course contains fine amount of moisture; thus, provides considerable give.
Yielding. It is quite wet on the surface, deep and offers slower running times.
Heavy. The turf surface is waterlogged, heavy and deep that can produce very slow running performances.
Dirt To Turf And Vice Versa
In general, horses slide more on dirt surfaces. This is because the ground is looser; the feet of the horse skids into the dirt when they hit the ground. Skidding can produce too much stress on the horse’s leg support structures and ligaments; thus, resulting to aches and injuries. Running over a firm turf can also cause sliding of the foot; but only until the foot has come in contact with the grass roots. Therefore, less strain occurs on the foot structures and ligaments. So, in reviewing horse performances, keep in mind that a horse that has raced previously over a dirt track may perform better if moved to a turf course.