Sunday, August 7, 2011

Using Trainer Moves and Habits to Handicap Horse Races and Find Winners

By Bill Peterson

Horse racing winners come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, well at least the trainers who win do. They may use many different paths to get to the winners circle, but one thing they all have in common is that they beat every other trainer's horse in the race. You may have a hall of fame trainer whose horse gets beaten by a trainer who wins at a dismal 7% rate, but in that particular race, the low percentage trainer came out on top.

While betting trainers who rarely win may not be a sound financial strategy, unless their winners pay very big mutuels, it is important to note that all trainers, sooner or later, make it to the winners circle. Your ability to make money by betting on horse races will relate directly to how well you equate a horse, and consequently its trainer's ability to win a race, to the odds being offered. That, in a nutshell, is the whole profit equation in horse racing betting.

Successful, high profile trainers rarely produce profitable bets when you back all their runners. You have to find the right horse in the right situation, just as in any handicapping situation. The suppliers of past performances often supply the win percentage and ROI (return on investment) for obvious trainer moves such as blinkers on, second race off the layoff, drop in class.

While this information is helpful, I've rarely made money when trying to stick to what they tout as profitable trainer moves. Why is that? Because once it is touted, when the stable cat is out of the bag, so to speak, handicappers bet the daylights out of it and it no longer makes money. Therefore, the idea of playing trainer moves to make money only really becomes a profitable one if you can get the right odds on a horse, or better yet, if you can find trainer moves that have surfaced yet.

That is obviously just about impossible unless you know the trainer and he or she tells you that something new is in the works. Therefore, from a handicapping and profit stand point, the best trainer moves are new ones, not the habitual ones that everybody and his brother or sister knows about. Your job as a handicapper isn't to look for old trainer moves and then to bet them when they show a positive ROI.

What you really should be doing is to find a trainer who is trying something different. He or she may or may not be successful at it, but if he or she has had success in the past then there may be a way to make this new move work and you will be in on the ground floor. You'll have o dig to find these moves, though, because they won't be neatly listed in the form with a win percentage and ROI figure beside them.

The way to do this is to familiarize yourself with a few young-ish trainers and watch them closely. When you see one doing something he or she hasn't tried or has done only once in a long while, then see if you can get decent odds on the horse and if through your handicapping you can see any way for the runner to win. Outside the box is where you will find the big payoffs and the next profitable trainer moves. As for trainer habits that were profitable in the past, drop them like a... well, like a bad habit.

If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to and get the truth about betting on horses and winning. Bill Peterson is a former race horse owner and professional handicapper. To see all Bill's horse racing material go to Horse Racing Handicapping, Bill's handicapping store.

Article Source: