June 22, 2024

Sports Enthusiast

Professional Sports Purveyors

Using the Daily Racing Form Consensus to Handicap Horse Races

The “Daily Racing Form” is sometimes referred to as the Bible of Horse Racing. It certainly has a lot of useful information in it including the past performances. It isn’t my only source of information, but I do still use it and enjoy sitting down and reading it. There is something about having a whole newspaper, filled with horse racing information, and nothing but horse racing information, in my hands, that reassures me that no matter how crazy the rest of the world may be, my favorite sport is alive and well and life goes on.

One of the features of the form is the articles and opinions of the handicappers that write for it. It is interesting to watch the consensus where they rate the horses in the race that they believe are the contenders and even go so far as to give each one a score or number that appears to tell how strongly the group feels about a particular runner. I am sure those handicappers take great pride in their ability to pick winners.

Now I realize that they don’t very often show a positive R.O.I. for all their picks, but on the other hand, they have to handicap all the races and can’t pick and choose like we can. Even their best bets don’t seem to show a profit, but let’s be fair and realize that because they publish their best bets, the public backs them heavily at the windows and therefore drives the price down.

If I had to post my own best bets so the public could see them, they would do the same and my best bets wouldn’t show a positive return. There are still a few ways to use the consensus, however, to find value on the board. I like to find a horse that is backed heavily by one handicapper, may even be his or her pick of the day, but is not rated highly by the other handicappers. This often indicates that the handicapper has spotted something the others missed and also means that many people will pass the horse because the rest of the pack passed it up.

Another angle for win bets is to find a horse that no one picks to win but is tagged for second or third place by at least two of the cappers. I always say, if a horse is good enough to place, it is good enough to win, with a little racing luck. Jumping on the consensus pick of the day will only get you a low priced bet that in the long run will probably not pay off, but watching the picks and spotting a horse that might figure but is underestimated is a decent angle for picking horse racing winners.