Handicapping Worksheet

horse-racing-oddsI got an e-mail from a guy recently asking me how I go about handicapping using online past performances. He explained that he hated to print out all the PPs, yet he wasn’t comfortable analyzing races on a computer screen.

It’s a great question… and a common lament, I think.

Generally, I print out either my Pace Profile Report or my Win Factor Report and record all my comments on them, as opposed to wasting both paper and ink printing out pages and pages of past performances. And it got me to thinking: maybe I could come up with something more generic than my reports that would work just as well.

I could and I did.

What’s more, I even came up with a rating system that, in certain instances, will allow handicappers to start with a positive ROI or at least minimize the track takeout.

The system rules are as follows:

* Consider a horse’s most recent race and award points equal to its finishing position in that affair (“1” for a win, “2” for a second, “3” for a third and “4” for all out-of-the-money efforts).

* Divide the number of days since the horse’s last race by 10 and add to the above (all races over 40 days old are worth four points).

* Rank each horse’s last-race speed rating (using whatever figures you’re most comfortable with) and add it to the total. If the speed rating is not ranked among the top three, it’s worth four points.

* Using stats from this year and last, divide each horse’s total earnings by its total starts and rank the quotients from highest to lowest. Horses ranked fourth or worse are awarded four points.

* Using two-year data once again, rank each horse by its win percentage. As usual, horses ranked worse than third are given four points.

NOTE: In the event of ties, average the ranking, e.g. a tie between two horses for first and second counts as 1.5 (1+2 = 3/2 = 1.5).

Play – Bet the horse with the lowest cumulative ranking provided it last raced over today’s general surface (dirt/AWS or turf).

Below is an example of the worksheet in action. It is for the fourth race at Turf Paradise on March 29, 2015:

worksheet

Of course, as is always the case with examples of this type, Pride and Promise paid $11.80 to win.

To download a blank copy of the Handicapping Worksheet, click HERE.

Derek Simon
Derek Simon is the Senior Editor and Handicapper at US Racing.
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