If you are looking for a quick and easy way to handicap a horse race here is a method that makes sense of two major factors. Of course, comparing the horses to determine which horse is the best, second best, and so forth is just part of the problem if you’re looking for good bets. The second part of the process of finding a good bet or perhaps even the best bet of the day is to watch the odds and shop for value. You can’t determine value, however, without knowing which horse has been racing against the best and which horse has been running the fastest.
Therefore, start with class and determine which horse has been in the toughest races. The better the competition, the higher the purse, as a general rule. Just reading the purse values in the runner’s last races isn’t enough because you also need to know how well each horse ran. For instance, if horse A. wins a $5,000 claiming race and horse B. runs dead last in a $7,500 race, which one is really the classier horse? Probably the better of the two is horse A. Horse A. also earned more money in that race and that’s the key, so divide the total amount of money each horse has earned by the number of races it ran. Now you have a dollar figure that represents class for each runner. Make a list of the horses from best to worst and give a point for the best, two points for second best, etc. right from the classiest to the horse with the least class.
Next we’ll deal with speed. Start with the horse with the fastest time in its last race and make a list from the fastest to the slowest. Speed figures work best for that. Once again assign one point for the fastest, two points for the second fastest all the way to the end of the list. The next speed calculation is a little more difficult. Use the last three races and choose the top two speed figures. So if a horse had a 78, 89, 54, you would add 78 and 89 together. Now divide by two. For example, 78 + 89 = 167/2 = 83.5. 83.5 is that horse’s average speed. Make a list and once again assign one point to the fastest, two points to the second fastest and so forth.
You now have three lists with numbers from 1 to whatever number of horses you have in the race. Add each runner’s number from each list. For example, if horse A. had a 1 in the first column, a 3 in the second column and a 2 in the third column it would have a total score of 6. You are ready to make your fourth and final column using the total score. Now compare their scores to the actual odds to find the horse that is the best at the best odds.