Wind As a Factor in Horse Racing Handicapping

Making money by betting on horse races and handicapping races often requires you to think out of the box, so to speak. When looking over the past performances you will see the same information that many other people see. Though you may reach different conclusions than some handicappers, you will often reach about the same conclusion as many. The odds on the toteboard will attest to the merits of each runner.

So how do you get an edge and make a living from horse racing? You must see more and do more. It isn’t easy, but you must be observant. One thing to keep an eye on is the weather and especially the wind. Whether handicapping Thoroughbreds or Standardbreds, the weather plays a big part in how each horse performs.

When you see a strong wind blowing down the stretch it tell you that it will be right in the face of the horses in the lead and those that follow will be able to draft along behind with less effort. If it is a tail wind up the backstretch and your horse is going to swing out and make a move then with no cover behind, then it will benefit your horse because it will push him or her along. Does that sound crazy? Do you doubt that a thousand pound horse can be affected by the wind?

Consider this, horse races are often won by inches. A twenty or thirty mile an hour wind pushing against the horse all the way through the stretch does have an effect on it. I never raced horses but I have driven them to exercise them and I can tell you from personal experience that a strong wind does slow them down and tire them out.

If you follow harness races you know that horses who race with cover, a horse directly in front, have more energy at the end of the race. That happens even on days when there is now wind. Imagine how much more of an effect it has when there is a strong wind pushing against the horse in front. So if you are at the race track, or even watching the races on a monitor, pay attention to the wind and use the information in your handicapping.

If you are trying to decide between two evenly matched horses, give an edge to the one who benefits from the wind, if it is windy. Nature is a factor in horse races because they are subjects to the same laws of the natural world like all creatures. That slight edge gained or lost by the wind can make a big difference. On a windy day, you may bet closers or early speed, depending on the wind. Call it a wind bias.

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