Horse Racing Stakes Races – A Maiden Horse Racing System For Picking Winners

Horse racing handicapping, like anything else you do, is best done with a systematic approach. Taking a little time to think through the method you’ll use before you actually handicap a maiden horse race will help you to pick more winners and possibly make a profit from your wagers. You must be prepared, however, and stick to a method, in other words, to have a plan because those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

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Let’s start by clearly stating the goal of any handicapping method. You want to rate or estimate each horse’s probability of winning based on class, speed, connections, breeding, form. It is the same for a race for non-winners or for stakes horses. The basics don’t change, only the numbers and how you apply them.

Using one factor to start your evaluation of the runners in a race for horses who’ve never won a race is a good place to start. Let’s start with class. In maiden horse races, runners usually don’t move up in class and fare very well unless they change barns. So if you don’t see a new trainer but you do see that a horse is moving up in class, you must ask yourself if it has a realistic chance of winning.

The only indication of a possibility is if there was an equipment change that has made a big difference or a new trainer. If you don’t see one of those changes, the horse is probably not going to be competitive at a higher class. If you see the addition of blinkers, for instance, and the runner had a recent workout that was very fast, it may be that the conditioner put blinkers on the horse and it made a big improvement. If that is the case it has a chance to move up and win, but otherwise, rate it as an extreme longshot.

There are some trainers who do a great job with young horses. You should be aware of them and always give their horses extra credit. There are other trainers who struggle to get a win out of a horse when it begins its career and you should rate their horses at longshots. If a horse is a first time starter, there are two ways to rate it. Start with the trainer and find out his or her average with first time starters. Secondly, look at the breeding of the horse and see if it is bred to win first or second time out. If not, unless it is getting heavy action on the tote board, pass it by.

Now let’s talk about form. If a horse was recently within two lengths of the winner in a race and is not adding a significant amount of weight or switching to a low percentage jockey, it should be considered the most likely contender and get the highest rating. Assign odds to each horse based on those factors and then watch the tote board for the best odds on the most likely contenders. In some races it may be a horse that was close last time out while in others you may find more value in a horse dropping in class or from a trainer who wins with first time starters.

Just betting one or the other angle all the time usually doesn’t pay off. You have to watch the odds and see if there is value in any of the angles that the race presents based on how strong you rate each horse.