June 22, 2024

Sports Enthusiast

Professional Sports Purveyors

Horse Racing Handicapping Using Dynamic and Static Factors

When evaluating horses in order to determine win probability many factors may be useful. Those factors while seemingly all relevant fall into two categories. Some factors are dynamic while others are static. Dynamic factors are those that change and interact while the race is in progress. Pace matchups in a race is one example of dynamics. The pace as dictated by the front runners determines how the other horses must race in order to keep up and have a chance to win.

Pace is probably the most dynamic of all parts of a race. Each horse interacts with another horse or horses and the mood and fitness as well as the interaction of the rider all create a very fluid and unpredictable situation that the handicapper must deal with. We read a racing form and try to picture how the race will play out. Noting pace and speed figures we try to predict the actual speed of the race based on a par. That par is a static figure. It is already set.

Other static figures are those established by other horses running the same type of race. Par times, race models, breeding statistics all help us to set a top limit for what we expect from the runners. We work within parameters to estimate pace as well, but until that race is run and we know how each horse will break from the gate and settle into the race, we don’t know how those dynamic figures will work out.

Sometimes races seem incredibly slow and a fast pace that was expected, perhaps a duel between two or more runners, never develops. Even racing styles, a factor that may seem to be static, may suddenly change when a horse that normally races from far back in the early stages of a race is sent to the front to contend with the early speedsters. I consider racing style to be a dynamic factor though I rely on it to picture the scenario of a race. Because I rely on it, though, I can be burned and have been on more than one occasion.

Before you handicap your next set of races think about hose two terms, static and dynamic. How heavily you rely on the dynamics will impact the number of times you get burned or fail to set the right price on a horse if you seek value in your wagers. I’m not saying that static factors can’t disappoint, but they are more likely to be a true measure of a race simply because they have already been set.

Whether or not the horses measure up to that factor is another story, entirely.