The Form and Kentucky Derby Betting Tips for Newbies

The Form and Kentucky Derby Betting Tips for Newbies

Category : News - Fri 06/05/2016 - 19:39 EDT

So you've decided to bet the 2016 Kentucky Derby, but the form chart is all Greek to you? Here are a few things to consider.

It takes time for someone to pick up a racing form chart and understand what all the information means – often even experienced handicappers tend to use the information they understand best, and ignore the rest. But for someone new to the game, you have to start to somewhere, and here are a few basics to help you bet the Kentucky Derby.

Speed ratings separate fast from faster

Every type of form chart has some kind of speed rating for each horse in each of its last races. The premise is simple – the higher the number, the faster the horse ran relative to other horses in the race and relative to other races at the same distance over the same track. Speed ratings are generally adjusted for the conditions of the track, which is why you’ll often see a horse with a lower rating but a faster clock time. The horse may have been running on a day when the track was particularly “fast” based on the time of that day’s races. Another important factor is simply how well the horse has done racing under similar conditions – has the horse won previously either at the track or at the distance? The second is a moot point in the Kentucky Derby, as all the horse will be running 1 1/4 miles for the first time. Still, it’s better for a horse to be running well at the end of a 1 1/8 mile race – even if it didn’t win the race – than to be dropping back.

How has the horse done against its competiton?

Another important factor on Derby day is the level of competiton the horses have faced. Many of the Derby horses have already raced against each other, and so it’s easy to tell how they have done against their competion in those races. However, just because one horse has beat another in the past, doesn’t gaurantee they will do it again, and so this is where reading the “trip notes” come in. Was a horse blocked as they began their charge for the front? Did the horse break poorly from the gate, or was he forced to go wide around the turns. And given a change in those conditions, would the race result have been different? And is horse A showing improvement from race to race, while horse B seems to have leveled off?

One race will not make you a handicapping expert, but just these few inportant points will help make an informed choice when you go to the betting window.


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