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Kentuckyt Derby Betting Tips

Kentucky Derby Betting Tips:

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Now that you have selected your horse, and he’s passed all the variables. You need to take a closer look at the track, conditions at race time, and the type of race in which your pick is competing. Among the multitude of factors that go into handicapping a horse race, determining track conditions is one of the most essential and most overlooked.

The Track
There are three main varieties of tracks; dirt, turf (grass), and synthetic –usually a blend of sand, synthetic fibers and recycled rubber coated in a microcrystalline wax. Different racetrack surfaces can play a major role in how a horse will finish, as it affects the hose’s pace, by increasing or decreasing the amount of effort required. Just imagine an Olympic runner who has trained on a track made of rubber granules and binder versus a cross-country runner who has trained on dirt or grass. The surfaces are considerably different, and each runner will perform at their best on the type that they are most comfortable with. Racehorses are no different. Each time a horse competes in a race, the type of surface and track condition is recorded and displayed in the daily racing form. All you have to do is look into which surface your pick has performed best. Each horse will develop either a winning or losing record that directly reflects the specific type of track he likes running on.

Good and Fast or Slow and Sloppy?
A dirt racecourse can be described as good, fast, sloppy, slow, and muddy. A fast dirt surface means the track is dry and at ideal efficiency, while slow means that the base is soft, generally resulting in slower than normal times. A good dirt condition is notorious for being a front-runner surface and a horse that has a front-running style often has the advantage. Or at least a horse that is one that likes to stay just off the pace. In contrast, a deep closer often gets too far behind on dirt surfaces unless the pace is strongly contested. Sloppy or muddy dirt surfaces pose the most difficult for any contender, as labored running tires the horse more quickly. However, some horses actually do better sloshing down the stretch. A strong kickback is usually desired, so again early pace is heavily favored.

The Village Green
Turf or Grass Race tracks can be considered firm, hard, yielding, or soft. A firm, dry turf track is a lot like its dirt counterpart and will produce the fastest times. Hard tracks can have the same impact, but can likely cause a horse to lose his footing or skid if the track does not possess its normal cushion. In contrast, a yielding or soft condition will have a little to a great deal of moisture, and could cause a horses’ hooves to sink in, causing slower than normal times. Because turf tracks can vary dramatically in moisture content, determining what type of horse is successful, and which style of running is favored, is dependent on the moisture content of the grass. As turf becomes soft, acceleration counts for less, and a stalker who lags behind, through, having no early speed, can make big runs at exhausted front-runners.

Synthetic Supremacy
Synthetic track surfaces affect a horse's gait, as it provides no kickback, giving it a solid footing similar to grass. The rubbery stuff has more ability to influence the shape of races than its dirt a turf equivalent. This tends to put the emphasis on a horse's finishing speed, and will usually favor deep closers and stalkers, more so than a front-runner. The field will usually gallop in consistent deliberate motion until the final turn, when they let loose with their powerful finishing kicks.

The Races
Many first time bettors, and even seasoned gamblers, often neglect to take into consideration the type of race in which their pick is competing. While many races appear much the same as others, there are conditions that limit certain types of horses to certain races. Hence, for each type of race, there are different horses competing. Typical Thoroughbreds usually get two weeks of rest between each race and rarely will a horse race twice in two weeks. However, between races, horses will train in the mornings to prepare for upcoming races. By and large claiming-level horses will run more often than higher-quality allowance or stakes-level horses.

First Timer
The Maiden race is only for horses that have never won a race. There are two types of Maiden races: Maiden Allowance and Maiden Claiming. Allowance races are for good, promising horses and Claiming races are for horses not good enough to compete in allowance races. There’s usually minimal performance statistics to work with in most Maiden races and this can make it difficult in picking a winner. However, two things have proven effective for picking Maiden winners. Equipment change, second time starters, and first time Lasix (L1). Blinkers on can assist in getting a panicky horse to run correctly, improving a horse’s race structure, while second-time starters usually increase their Beyer number by an average of almost 10 points. Finally, Lasix -- a medication that is thought to reduce the risk of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage—is widely believed to enhance a horse’s ability to run better than their prior form would indicate. Does your pick have blinkers on, ran fourth or better in his first ever race, or is under Lasix for the first time? Then you’ll want to keep your selection. If all else fails, consider that the public favorite wins about 37-percent of all Maiden races.

Allowance is not just for Youngsters
Conditions for Allowance races can be some of the most cryptic on a race card, but following a few simple rules can assure better wagering results. Allowance races are for horses that have won at least one race and may not be ready for Stakes competition, and usually are written to allow promising young horses to gain experience. Therefore, a majority of Allowance contenders are two-year old “juveniles”. However, you will find a mix of three and four-year olds. Three-year olds will normally have a tough time against a field of older horses in a low-level Allowance race while occasionally being able to out leg their juvenile rivals. Allowance horses are often your future Stakes runners, but bear in mind that most of these colts are still learning to relax and tend to run as fast as they can from wire to wire. Therefore, front-runners are often favorable in these types of races as they discourage those runners who couldn’t get to the lead. Is your selection a proven pacesetter? If so then throw down some coin.

If it’s too good a bargain then look again
Claiming races are the most commonly run races in the country. Horses that are entered into a Claiming race can be bought for a specified amount prior to the start of the race. These races are designed to attract horses of equal ability. Like Allowance races there are various kinds of conditions for Claiming races determined by the Racing Secretary. Read the conditions of a race very carefully. Some horses fit the condition perfectly, and some don't, so think about why certain horses are in a race. For example, a trainer may decide to move his trainee up in class. With this shift, you're bound to get good odds on the horse because the public perceives the animal to be outclassed. However, wagering on a horse in peak condition at a fair price in a good spot is the right move. You may not cash in every time, but the odds are high enough to be very profitable over the long term. In contrast, when a trainer drops his trainee dramatically down in class, a red flag should go up indicating that something is physically wrong, the horse is not training well, or has not been running at full form. If you see a $40,000 Thoroughbred entered for a $10,000 claiming price, be suspicious. You may want to pass on this horse, because the public usually overbets these kinds of horses, meaning the odds are excessively low. Is your pick priced right? If so stick with him, as he’s probably a winner.

The Crème de la Crème
Graded stakes and Handicap races are the highest level of racing at any racetrack and only the best horses usually compete in Stakes competitions. Owners must pay nomination fees and entry fees in order to run their horse in these types of competitions. For a Handicap race, the Racing Secretary assigns weights to horses attempting to level the playing field among the participants. A sign of a strong competitor may be in its ability to bear the heaviest weight, while the least competitive horse will have the lowest weight. However, there are also weight breaks for younger horses or for a filly racing against colts. Stakes races do not have this factor, but can be “Graded”, “non-graded” or “restricted—written for horses born in a specific state. There are three levels in Graded races; I, II, and III with Grade I being the best. Purses range from $75,000 to $1,000,000-plus for this level of racing. These are the most exciting races with just about every horse in the field possessing the ability to win. Has your pick been selected to carry more weight than the rest of the field? He may be the strongest contender despite the odds, but be careful as weight breaks conditions can vary for other reasons. Finally, if you have made a Stakes selection, you can hope to profit by placing your own stake on such a race if you have followed all of the variables in sections 1 and 3.
Next up: Section 3-The Trainers and Jockeys


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