How to pick the best horse to bet on: Speed, past performance, surface, and more, all play a part
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How to pick the best horse to bet on: Speed, past performance, surface, and more, all play a part

The best horse doesn't always win, but that's part of the fun and skill of handicapping and betting.

Like any other form of sports betting out there, there is no way of knowing the outcome of a horse race. However, that doesn't mean there is no way for you to increase your chances of winning. And when it comes to winning, picking the right horse is the top priority. There are tons of hints in the horse alone of its upcoming performance on the field. And if you're keen enough to see this in a horse, then you might accurately predict if it's a winner or not.

Of course, this can be done through research and study. If done well, you'll know that certain factors make a horse a winner. From its track record to its behavior going to the field, we will be talking about each of them in great detail. That said, here are telltale signs that make a horse a winner.

Track record

Let's start with an obvious one. The track record of a horse gives you a general idea of what the horse is capable of. Generally, a good sign that a horse is a winner is its constant placement in the first three placements. Of course, these results should be recent, or this information is useless. And when it comes to these results, you should see the specific factors that lead to these placements.

For example, a horse is a constant top three winner, and you notice that all of the races were held on a straight dirt track. However, the current race that it's in is a circular synthetic one. That said, it might be a bad idea to bet on that particular horse. Remember that different horse breeds specialize in different types of race tracks. Some breeds do well on a straight line, while some don't.

This is why you should take particular notice of the type of race track the race is on and its track surface. But, of course, different horse breeds also specialize in different track surfaces. For example, some do remarkably better on a dirt track than a synthetic one and vice versa.

Days since the previous race

Many horse bettors nowadays, both newbies and veterans alike, don't seem to care that much on the days since the previous race of a particular horse. Well, we're here to tell you that it also plays an important part in a horse's performance on the field. Just like human athletes, horses also need to take a break between games. As humans, we all know our limitations, but how do you know a horse's limit?

With that in mind, a horse should have a range of days before it goes into another race. The sweet spot of days is 30-60 days at most. A horse with days lower than 30 would be too exhausted and handicapped in its next race.

On the other hand, a horse with more than 60 days tends to be too relaxed and will not be 100% on the next race. But even if a horse has rested between 30-60 days, it still might not be at its full peak. This is because a horse tends to get back on its peak after 1 to 2 races after its rest.

Surface Type Efficiency

As mentioned earlier, each horse breed specializes in a specific track type. Once you figure out what type of track surface a horse specializes on, you can cross-reference this information on the current race. The breeds that do particularly well on dirt tracks are light-footed. Since they are light-footed, they don't bury their hooves that much when running.

This is especially important when it's raining since they won't be bothered by the mud as much. This is unlike heavy-footed breeds that bury their hooves when running as they impede the force they exert. But when it comes to synthetic, like in the del mar thoroughbred club, heavy-footed horses will have nothing to impede the force they exert on their steps, making them gallop harder and faster.

Emotional Well-Being

Emotions also affect horses. And just like us, they also feel nervous or elated before an important day. This is important because their emotional well-being largely affects their performance in the race. But what signs should you look for in a horse when it comes to the emotional aspect?

A horse that is calm and sure in its steps is a sign that it's not nervous, which means it has confidence in the upcoming race. However, a horse that is angry or shaky tends to not do well in the race.


Although there is no way for you to accurately predict the outcome of a race, there are telltale signs on a horse that portrays how it will hold up in the race. By researching and utilizing all the available tools, you'll see these signs and use them to make an educated bet on the race. Just make sure to assess this information carefully and thoroughly.

Contact Kristel Gil at

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