Handicapping 101

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 6, 2018 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

All of us started making a place or show wager. We may have been given a $4 bankroll and tried to eek out a profit. It can be daunting, to say the least, to jump in and start the process. – I’m going to try and break down the process on how to begin so you can take part in the greatest sport.


1. – Buy a track program and turn to the front where there is usually a page that explains with a legend what all the small symbols mean. – You will have a starting point from here.

2. – Start by visiting the paddock, winner’s circle and walk out on the apron and look over the track. – Notice the poles around the track. There are 16 black ones which equal a 1/16th of a mile; there are 8 green ones which represent an 1/8th of a mile, and 4 red ones which mark 1/4 of a mile.

3. – Start with a small wager. – Maybe a place or show wager? – Don’t go wild, just learn the process slowly.

4. – If you attend the races with a friend or two, try pulling a few bucks each and rotate who gets to make the wager for the group. This allows your money to go farther while you learn. ( And it’s more fun to win with others!)

5. – Try this little fun experiment. Find the standings in the program and use the top three riders and the top three trainers when making your wager. – If they team up together they get extra consideration. Now you are beginning to handicap.

6. – Find a trusted source of data to help you decide who to play. – Beginners usually start with a program in hand, but others want a jump to get started and choose data that breaks down the race for you to examine. -You are in the perfect spot with Winning Ponies. – It makes it really easy to use with color coded tier levels for you to examine. – Choose a source that wants to educate you rather than tell you who to bet.

7. – Write down your starting bankroll, keep track of your wagers and write down your end bankroll. – Keeping notes about your wagers will help you learn money management.

8. – “Bet with your head, not over it.”