So You Want to Handicap the Harness Races?

Harness-Racing-GraphicPeople always stop me in the streets to remind me that I am Ray Cotolo, teenage harness handicapper extraordinaire (their words), and not, as one guy called me, “Dweebs McGiggleface.” I usually thank them, because I constantly forget who I am, and then they inquire: “How can I handicap harness races like you?”

I have never answered — just so I can give a mass response to every single person that has asked me this loaded question, as well as to explain why I awkwardly stood silent in front of them.

Now, please note: these are all general ideas to help you handicap like me, Dweebs McGiggleface. I will likely expand on these concepts in future columns.


Opening up the past performances will subject you to a hostile soup of numbers. All of them mean something… and most of them mean nothing. You can go more in depth with this old column from my “Ray on Racing” blog.

Don’t Be Afraid to Lose 

Nobody likes wimps, especially the ladies. The best gambles are never guaranteed, so analyzing races more cleverly and, yes, riskily will separate you from the public, allowing for maximum profit potential.

Class and Trip Are Everything

Trips can tell you a horse’s class and ability and a horse’s class can tell you their class and ability. Bad trips at high classes usually signify great horses, while good trips at lower classes usually signify luck.

Ignore the Drivers

Sure, Jigs McDougallkuggs may have won 36 races on a 10 race card at Racino Downs, but who cares? Class and trip are everything. They’ll help you find better prices than betting on Jiggy McDinglekangs.

And Finally…

Class and trip are everything.


You’re now one step closer to being an expert harness handicapper like me, Dweebs Cotoloface! These tips will make you the talk of the racetrack. Everybody will want to talk to you, hear who you like in the next race and, most importantly, want to kill you! But, greatness always comes at a cost.

Now get out there, champ, and conquer the chumps of the world!

Ray Cotolo
Ray Cotolo is a seasoned handicapper and harness writer. At 17-years-old, he has worked in the harness racing industry for approaching a decade. Known for his creativity, humor, and eccentric personality, he works to promote harness racing while also entertaining. He is also known as the son of harness-racing guru Frank Cotolo and focuses primarily on the pari-mutuel side of the sport, invested in seeking value.

Ray hosts the weekly radio show “North American Harness Update,” which combines his talents to both entertain and aid the public in discovering overlay contenders from the highest-stake harness races to the cheapest overnights at Truro Raceway. He strives to put on the greatest show possible for all audiences along with his co-host, Mike Pribozie. It airs from 9-11pmEDT on SRN One.

Outside of racing, Ray is a playwright, writer, and, debatably, a comedian. He has performed and written sketch comedy while attending high school, as well as plays and varying side projects. He continually updates his Twitter account, @RayCotolo, with thoughts either pertaining to or not pertaining to harness racing.

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