The Distance Factor in Horse Racing – How to Handicap Sprints Vs Routes


Distance is a key factor in betting on horse racing and lets cover some tips that are crucial to your handicapping. When handicapping distance in horse racing we refer to a route being 1 mile or longer and anything less than that will be considered a sprint distance. The length of the race your handicapping is very important to the horses that are about to race. After you take into account the running style of the horse and the distance it prefers you can begin to visualize how the race will break down to the finish line.

It is a fact that some horses just prefer to run certain distances. Some horses will run both route and sprint races but they will favor one or the other. Training can also play a factor as the trainer controls what races the horse is entered into. In cheaper races horses are often placed at the wrong distance just to get them into the race and develop experience.

I will go over a few key variables in distance that can give you some bullets in your gun next time you are at the track.

* When a horse moves from a sprint to a route he will have a better chance than one that moves from a route to a sprint.

* The style of running also plays a factor in distance I am a firm believer that the number of challengers determine how tired the front runner get, and not how fast they run. A horse gets tired from trying to pull away from his rivals who are right by his side, especially in a route race.

* A sprinter who takes an early comfortable lead in a route then is asked to run slower than he normally does and is not challenged by anyone else for a long time can go all the way.

* The best time to play a sprinter in a route race is when you found one who has shown early speed in sprints.

*Also take notice when a horse has run evenly or who has been able to stay close, then closes ground in sprints. When these horses are entered in a longer race where there is no front speed.

* A closer in a route seldom has much chance when placed in a sprint.

* When all the races in a horses past performance are routes, one must assume that the fast early pace of a sprint will hurt the router too much to recover.

* Closers in routes make the worse possible bets in sprints and should be eliminated in almost all cases.

* Distance in workouts is also something that you want to look at. A general rule I use for this is the longer the distance in workout the better shape the horse is in. If you see 2 or 3 workouts at 5 or more furlongs the trainer is trying to win or he noticed the longer workouts were not working so he is experimenting. (which is good as well that means he is trying to win) I always look for longer workouts but will take notice if there were quite a few long ones without a win then he might just be trying to switch things up.

* Also along with a decent distance workout if the horse did it breezily and has a bullet buy it you have a horse in approaching peak condition.


Source by Joe Kaufman