Handicapping Horse Races

horse race

A horse race is a type of horse race that takes place over a specified course. The horseback rider must follow the course and jump hurdles in order to complete the race. The first, second, and third place finishers get prize money. The course and conditions are very important in determining the winner of the race.


In handicapping a horse race, the distance of the race is extremely important. Horse races can be anything from 440 yards to two miles, but most are between five and twelve furlongs. Short races are often referred to as sprints while longer ones are often referred to as routes or “staying races.” Knowing the distance of a horse race will help you make the best possible decisions when deciding which horse to bet on.


The start of a horse race is a critical element of the race. Horse racing has many rules and regulations, including the location of the starting gate. The starting gate is a mechanical device used to initiate a race. The starting gate must open before the horse is allowed to cross the starting chalk line. If a horse breaks away from the gate prior to the start of a race, the jockey must try to get the horse back to the starting stalls.


A condition race is a horse race that has specific rules that a horse must follow before competing in it. Conditions are set by the racing secretary and are often a day or two before entries are taken. They are announced on the overnight sheet and on the public address system during the morning workout. These conditions are a form of handicapping that level the playing field in allowance races. They work much like claiming prices in claiming races, and are an important part of the race process.


There are certain rules that must be followed during a horse race. These rules govern everything from dead heats to course changes and headgear. Headgear is a crucial element in horse racing, as it protects the horse’s ears and promotes concentration. It must be worn by every horse entering a race.

Prize money

Prize money in horse races can vary greatly depending on the number of participants and purse size. The winner of a race is usually awarded more than 60% of the purse, while second and third place winners are awarded smaller amounts. The remaining purse is split amongst the remaining horses according to their placing. For instance, a horse finishing first will receive sixty to seventy percent of the money, while a second-placed horse will receive fifteen to twenty percent. Although this percentage may vary from race to race, the general rule is that a horse finishing fourth or lower will receive 1% of the purse.