Every Race Has A Favorite

"Identify the Vulnerable Favorite"

By: Richard Reese


One thing that will improve your bottom line is learning to identify races that have legitimate favorites and false favorites.

Every single race will have a favorite, determined by having the most money bet on it.

But even the favorite loses about 66% of the time.

Your job as a handicapper is to figure out what horses are legitimate favorites and what favorites stand a better chance than good to not run so well.

A false favorite is a horse that has taken the most money from the public, but you know through your handicapping that it probably won't win on this day.

One of the biggest reasons a favorite loses is it gets caught in a race where the pace is all wrong for its style of running.

Suppose it is a horse that likes to run off the pace, but gets caught in a race with little to no speed. Then this horse will be compromised on the win end because there is no speed to set up the run of this one.

Or suppose you have a favorite that likes to run out on the lead, but there are 3 or 4 other horses in the field that also love to run on the lead.

You know this horse has no other style of racing, but to race on the lead and because of all the other speed in the race will probably burn itself out on the lead.

Other reasons a horse might be designated a false favorite are: has recently shown poor form and is dropped several levels, hasn't shown a propensity to like the distance or surface being run today, or the horse is outclassed at the level it is racing at today.

And for the most part I don't like betting favorites that in their last race won in the maiden ranks and are taking on winners for the first time.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part a horse that just broke its maiden, taking on other winners for the first time is often too difficult a hurdle to win first time out.

For every favorite you see, ask yourself this question.

Does the horse deserve to be the favorite?

And if it doesn't deserve to be the favorite, then you might just have found a great race to bet on.