Caused By Water Flowing Down The Side Of A Slope Wind As a Horse Racing Handicapping Factor

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Wind As a Horse Racing Handicapping Factor

Since horses race outdoors, the elements play a major role in racing and which horses are good and which are at a disadvantage. Most people who handicap horse racing are familiar with rain and muddy tracks. Some horses race better when the surface is muddy, sloppy, yielding or good. There are also tracks that have a bias when the weather is bad. It may be because water collects inside the track due to the gradient of the slope or for some other reason.

Wise handicappers learn about the bias at their favorite venues and use it to assess each runner’s chances. But how many people know how to use wind as a factor or are aware of its important role? It is important in thoroughbred racing and especially important in harness racing.

Fortunately for handicappers, most racetracks fly flags inside the course so wind direction and speed are obvious. Crosswinds and headwinds play differently. A crosswind is one that blows across stretches at an angle of about 90 degrees. Runners will therefore have the wind blowing in their faces at the turn or the wind blowing at their backs.

In the case of a headwind, the breeze blows in the same direction as the stretches and will blow in the runners’ face or cross. In races where the advantage is sometimes just a nose or a head, this can make a big difference. Imagine a 20 or 30 mile wind blowing against a horse running at the front in the stretch. Any horse behind him has the advantage of covering, but the front runner will at some point encounter the wind head-on, whether he is running the last or home distance.

On high wind days, find more closers to win. They don’t necessarily come far off the pace, but they will be a horse that sat behind another and benefited from it. If you have a handicap using course designs and running styles, consider the effect of the wind and adjust your game accordingly. On windy days, especially if it is blowing in their face, only play one that is very strong. A horse like this is likely to be over-bet anyway as most people don’t use the wind as a factor so you may want to look at any horse that will run close to this but will benefit from cover.

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