Handicapping Horse Races

horse race

The Triple Crown was first won by a horse named Sir Barton in 1919, but in 1930 it was won by another horse called Gallant Fox. Since then, it has become increasingly difficult to predict the outcome of a race. However, there are a few basic things you can do to improve your odds of picking the winning horse.


There are several types of tracks for horse races. Some are very exclusive destinations, like Belmont Park in New York, and the Santa Anita Park in California. Others are internationally popular. The list below features some of the most popular tracks in the United States and abroad.


The distances of horse races vary depending on the track. Knowing the length of a race is important for handicapping purposes. Besides distance, you should also consider the race’s history.

Distances between starting stalls or gates

Distances between starting stalls or gates in horse races are important to determine the starting order. Horses begin the race by moving from the paddock to the starting gate. The distance between the starting stalls or gates and the finish line is 440 yards, or 1,320 feet. To wager on a race, you must choose the first two finishers.

Photo finish rules

The photo finish is used to determine the winner of a horse race. A timer or photo finish operator records the image of each horse as it crosses the finish line and provides it to the stewards. However, this method has its critics. Some judges believe the photo finish is inaccurate or prone to errors.

Specialty wagers

Specialty wagers on horse races are a great way to make a profit. However, these wagers are not for everyone, and require some careful planning and value-finding. Whether you’re looking for a longshot bet, specialty wagers can be a good option.