A Shot at the Title or a Seat by the Band?

Playing the Breeders’ Cup can be sticky wicket if you’re not prepared. – I guess that is the key to most any day, but this weekend is something completely different. Nobody is using this race to see what they have or prepare for a G-3 at Somewhere Downs. – The key is simple and it starts right here!


The E-Z Win Forms are a one-of-a-kind handicapping tool. – Rarely can a new handicapping program be used by new players and seasoned players?  This is where Winning Ponies differs. With over $7,789,802 in exotic wager winnings, you’ll want to be on board before the first race goes to post. – Here is a guide on how to use the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms:


Follow The Tiers

This is the most important concept when reading my handicapping picks. The horses are grouped into color-coded tiers. The tier colors are displayed as the background color of each horse’s program number. The colors range from dark green to yellow.

They are very easy to use at first glance and the best part is you’re not being told to use just one horse. – You’re being shown how the race will take shape and all you have to do is follow the color-coded tier levels.

Handpick Your Races

Although we are successful at predicting many races, it is common sense that you must be selective when choosing the races to bet. You will not be as successful if you bet every possible race. Typically, we look for races with smaller top tiers (one or two horses in the tier). I also skip races if there are one or more horses in the grey tier.

It Takes Money to Win Money

While you should handpick your races to conserve your bankroll, be prepared to commit enough money to make a proper bet when you find a race you like. Exotic wagers such as Pick 4s, Pick 6s, and Superfectas usually require a significant outlay to have a realistic chance of hitting the bet. I cannot tell you how many times eliminating one or two horses from your combination to try to save a couple of bucks has cost a bettor hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost winnings.

Workouts, Workouts, Workouts

Besides our selections, workouts are the second most important gauge of a horse’s ability. Past performances indicate a horse’s basic ability. Recent workouts are an indication of a horse’s current form. When choosing between two horses with similar past ability, the horse in the best current form will often prevail.

We analyze the quality of workouts for you. Workouts highlighted in red are quality workouts. In addition, if you see the “Monster Workout” icon for a horse, keep an eye out!

Turf vs. Dirt

Horses are either main track horses or turf horses, not both. It is very rare that a horse will run well on both surfaces. Breeding plays a major factor here, as there are physical aspects of a horse which make the horse better on the turf or dirt.

It is enough to know that if a horse looks terrible on the dirt (but has shown some promising short distance workouts), there’s a good chance the horse will perform well on the turf. A horse that is predisposed for turf can look like a completely different horse when moving from the main track to the turf.

Another way to gauge if a horse will like the turf is to see if the horse ever ran on a wet dirt track (Good, Muddy, or Sloppy). If the horse ran significantly better on the off-track than a Fast track, the horse may take well to the turf.

Track Condition

This is a HUGE factor. Similar to the dirt vs. turf issue, some horses prefer a dry track while others prefer a wet track. This applies on the dirt as well as on the turf. In fact, this is often the case with European turf horses. The turf courses in Europe are frequently soft, and European horses usually don’t run as well on a firm course here in the States.

A simple way to determine if a horse likes an off-track is to check his Wet record on our E-Z Win Forms or look at the horse’s individual past performances on a wet track. Luckily, we do the analysis for you for all track conditions. In addition, we also analyze turf races for the dirt (just in case they come off the turf due to inclement weather).

Simply select the dirt and turf conditions on our predictions form to reflect the current conditions. It is important to change your selections during the racing day if the track condition changes. If turf racing is moved to the main track, simply choose OFF as the turf condition. You will then see our dirt selections for all turf races for the dirt track condition you have selected. Sometimes racing may come off the turf but one big turf stakes race will remain on the grass. In this case, first, you select the current turf condition. Then, go to each individual turf race and you can override the surface to Dirt for the races that came off. Simply leave the surface set to Turf for the turf races that remained on the grass.

Class Dropdowns

Another thing to watch for are horses that are dropping in class. Horses that are significantly dropping in class from their last race, are usually a threat.

To determine if a horse is going up or down in class, simply look at the very right of the horse’s section on our sheets. If you see a green down arrow, that means the horse is dropping in class. A red up arrow means moving up in class.

Medication Change

There are essentially two kinds of medication given to racehorses, Lasix and Bute. Bute is only legal at certain tracks (typically on the West Coast).

Any horse that is using Lasix for the first time will almost always improve. We indicate this on the tip sheet with a special icon.

On the other hand, Bute is very different. A horse either needs Bute to run well or can’t run at all with Bute. By looking at a horse’s past performances, you can tell if they run better with or without Bute. The medication column on the past performance is indicated by a ‘B’ if the horse was using Bute. If a horse runs well with Bute and now is off Bute (We use an icon to indicate this), the horse will typically run down and run a terrible race. However, if a horse has always run with Bute and didn’t do well, the horse may run a big race the first time running without Bute.

Jockey/Trainer Change

Many racing enthusiasts make the mistake of betting a particular jockey. It is true that jockeys may have significantly different winning percentages. However, these people do not realize that the most popular jockeys also get the best mounts. A jockey cannot make a horse run better than the horse’s natural ability. Conversely, a jockey can ruin a horse’s chance to win by giving the horse a bad ride. It is the case, however, that some jockeys “know” how to ride a particular horse better. By looking at the horse’s past performance matrix, you can see which jockeys typically rode the horse well.

Keep this in mind: If you give the best jockey the worst horse, he/she won’t hit the board. However, if you give the worst jockey the best horse, chances are he/she will hit the board and possibly even win the race.

There it is. – Do you “Want a shot at the title or a seat by the band?” – Winning Ponies can make all the difference in your wagering plans. We are proud of our record, and marquee days have Winning Ponies taking it to the next level as all runners are bringing their “A” game. – Best of luck and enjoy Breeders’ Cup weekend!