Class: It Tells All
The word class, used by handicapper is no abstraction. The entire structure of thoroughbred racing is based on the differences in class between animals.
In stakes races, for instance, apart from the penalties for prior wins, all entrants carry the same weight.
In handicaps' anyone who's willing to pay the required fees and enters a horse can have the tracks handicapper assigns the weights for the race so as to ensure a real contest.
In allowance races the weights are assigned directly by the conditions of the race itself, not by the tracks handicapper.
The animal with the best prior record in the recent races will carry the most weight with graduation's down to the lightest weight to be carried by the horses of less impressive records.
Just as differences in class are part of the structure of racing, so is the ability to recognize differences between individual horses in point of basic class.
This is an absolutely essential part of the equipment of every handicapper who attempts to pick winners.
It is a very simple matter of avoiding extremely cheap horses, the $5,000 claimers that clutter up racecourses to the boredom of handicappers everywhere should usually be avoided.
Many of these cheap horses are unsound, some are old and almost as unreliable as the cripples, others are simply no good, never could race well and never will race well.
And yet strangely enough these aged horses seemed to have a fatal attraction for players.
Even handicappers with the most basic knowledge of racing cannot fail to recognize that them for what they are in to avoid them like a plague.
Horses of class run truer to form. With the on line and off track wagering facilities available these days there's no reason not to concentrate on the quality racing.
My handicapping is much more consistent when I play the major race tracks.
Belmont and Aqueduct are consistent favorites of mine. Santa Anita and Hollywood Park are also profitable to handicap.
If you concentrate on the better horses there consistency, in easily determined class will give you a definite advantage. Horse racing is a game of slight variances.
Even a mortal lock can have the jockey fall off, or stumble leaving the gate and get beaten by a lesser animal.
In the last analysis, all practitioners of the gentle art of handicapping fall within one or the other of two groups.
The first group is made up of those who attempted analysis in terms of the comparative class and consistency of the individual entrants in each field.
The second group is made up of those who rely primarily upon a process of speed analysis in attempting to get their winners.
Between these two schools of handicapping there has been much spirited debate.
Class is a valuable instrument to any handicapper. How it is best evaluated and measured in any single horse is the dilemma that confronts the serious horse player.