Handicapping

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A horseplayer’s paradise

Kentucky Downs has become one of the most bettor-friendly racetracks in America. We have a lower takeout and a higher payoff, which means your chances of winning big are better! Visit us at Kentucky Downs to make your picks and place yours bets. Are you new to horse racing? The first step to betting at the racetrack is learning a little something about handicapping.

What is handicapping?
Handicapping is predicting which horse has the greatest chance of winning the race.

What is the Daily Racing Form?
The Daily Racing Form (DFR) is a newspaper that publishes past statistics of each horse entered to race. Stats include the odds of winning, work-outs, past performances, lifetime records, money earned, and more.

Learn how to read a program

How should I prepare for a race?

  1. Study the Daily Racing Form. Consistency in a horse’s past performance is key.
  2. Observe the horses’ body language and behavior on race day.
  3. Watch the tote board for changing odds and clues about how the general public views the horse’s chances of winning.
  4. Note the race day conditions.

When handicapping a race, it is important to consider the following:

  • The speed of the horse, the pace of the horse, and his or her form all contribute to how likely the horse is to win a race.
  • There are different classes of horse races. Take note if a horse has just moved up a class. This will be a more difficult race for him or her.
  • The post position, or where the horse is located at the starting line, plays an important factor. A horse that starts on the inside of the track has a shorter distance to run, but is also more susceptible to being cut off.
  • Pay attention to the reputation of the jockeys. Good riders will help a horse ride to its full potential.