All posts by Dave Williams

How often does the favorite win a horse race?

On average favorites win about 35% of horse races.  But, that win percentage can fluctuate based on the distance, surface, class, etc. For example, favorites are more likely to win dirt races than turf races. Another thing that will obviously make a big difference in the win % of favorites is the number of horses in the race. Favorites will win more often in small fields than in races with a lot of other entrants.

We recently looked at a large sample of data in Angler for races that had 8 horses starting. These races contained all tracks, distances, surfaces, classes, etc. The only consistent thing was that they had 8 starters.

We wanted to look at each horse in those races based on their rank in terms of their final odds. The horse with the lowest odds is the favorite, and the horse with the highest odds was the 8th choice.



The table above shows you how often a horse runs better, worse or as expected.

If a horse was the favorite, they couldn't run better than expected (as they were expected to win) and the 8th choice couldn't run worse than expected (it was expected to finish last).

The favorites in these 8 horse races won 35.4% of the time and ran worse than that 64.6% of the time.  Worse could be anything from 2nd through 8th. The 2nd betting choice ran as expected (2nd) 20.7% of the time and ran better than expected 21.6% of the time and ran worse than expected (3rd through 8th) 57.7% of the time.

As you look through the table you will notice some interesting things:

The betting public is better at deciding which horse will win than which horse will finish last.

In races with 8 horses the winner will be among the top 4 betting choices 82% of the time.

Horses that are the 5th choice will run better than expected 45.9% of the time, which puts them on a lot of superfecta tickets.

While this information is not all that surprising, it should help you think in general terms about percentages and odds. If you want to make money betting on horses you need to be betting against the favorite in the races that it is going to lose, and as you can see that happens more often that not (64.6% of the time). If you are betting on a horse that is the 5th choice or higher you are only going to win about 18% of the time. A horse could be the 5th choice and have odds of 7:1 or it could be the 5th choice and have odds of 12:1 or more. So, when you consider the general percentage chance that you have of beating the public opinion make sure you are going to be paid accordingly if you are right.

Finding the value plays is the key, and using Betmix will get you there. Betmix angler will help you find value plays and give you answers to almost any statistical question you have about horse racing data.




A few new Betmix Handicapping Tools

Three new Betmix tools:

1. Updated Horse pop-up info
When you click on a horse's name in Betmix you will see that horse's PP info.  We have added several new things to that screen.

A. If the horse had a layoff of more than 45 days, you will see that number in RED by the date of the race. You can use this information to see how well a horse typically runs back from a layoff.

B.  The AVG speed rating for each horse in the race that has run at today's distance and surface.  Speed ratings that are better than AVG will appear in Green and races where the speed rating was below AVG will appear in Red. This is very useful information for judging what it will take to win today's race and will help you easily spot capable horses.

C. The top three finishers in each previous start for the horse, horses listed in BOLD are running in today's race.

D. Trip comments for each previous race.

Take a look at this in the Free Race of the Day.

2. Detailed Track Report

When you click the TRACK REPORT button on any race screen you will see a pop up window that contains valuable information about the races being run at that track.

A. Winning posts positions for Dirt Sprints (less than a mile), Dirt Routes (mile or longer), Turf  Sprints and Turf Routes.

B. Information about what winning horses in each race type are paying.

C. The percentage of favorites that are winning each race type.  In the example above for Gulfstream West, you can see that there have been 205 races this meet and favorites have won 68 of those races (33%).  Dirt Route races have been the most predictable (40% favorites) and Turf Sprints have been the least predictable (26% favorites)

Take a look at this in the Free Race of the Day.

3. Sire, Trainer and Jockey report in the Handicapping Journal.

The Handicapping Journal is now listing data for Sires, Trainers and Jockeys.

List of the 10 sires with the most runners on the previous day, and current day. When you click on a horses name you will see detailed information about each runner sired by that stallion.  Where they ran, what type of race, purse, ML odds, finish position, purse money won, and $2 win bet pay out.  The information in the list is show a total for each horse.

The same information tables are available for the 10 trainers with the most runners and 10 jockeys with the most mounts.

Looking at this information will give you a better feel for what sires are producing the most winners, and what types of races they are doing well with.

Take a look at the Handicapping Journal everyday and see who is hot and who is not...

Quick handicapping method using Betmix

A Quick handicapping method using Betmix

There is a lot of information available in Betmix and its always helpful to take a look at some of the stats and features in a little more detail.
We often get questions about what certain things mean, or about how to use one of the tools.  Hopefully this handicapping method will explain some of the stats in more detail and give you some ideas on how to use BETPAD, one of our more popular tools.The TOP 4 stat and the ACCURACY stat 

The race profile stats contain information about how good each factor is at predicting the type of race you are looking at. There is information about Win%, Place%, Show %, Accuracy, Win ROI, Place ROI, Show ROI, TOP 4 and Advantage.  We get a lot of questions about Accuracy and TOP 4, so lets take a look at those in more detail.

The ACCURACY stat tells you how well a particular factor is at predicting the correct order of finish for the race.  If a factor had a score of 100, that would mean that the factor always predicted the correct order of finish for the top 4 finishers in the race - the top ranked horse always won, the 2nd ranked horse always ran 2nd, the 3rd ranked horse always ran 3rd, and the 4th ranked horse always ran 4th.  A cold superfecta every race!  Unfortunately, you will never see a factor with a score of 100...  However, factors that have an accuracy rating in the 30's and above are excellent to use when handicapping for exactas, trifectas, etc.

The TOP 4 stat tells you what percentage of the time a horse ranked in the top 4 for a particular factor wins the race.  Looking at the above screen shot, the factor Trainer Current Year has a TOP 4 score of 80%, which means that in the sample of similar races, a horse ranked in the Top 4 for Trainer current year won 80% of the time.  It is not unusual to see TOP 4 scores in the high 80's or even low 90's.  If you are a tournament player and are handicapping a race that has a factor with a high TOP 4 score you can feel very good about finding the winner in one of the 4 top ranked horses within that factor.
Each column in the factor detail table is sortable.  If you click on title of the column it will sort the factors from high to low. So, if you are looking for the factor that has the best Accuracy Score or Best Top 4 score, just click to sort and those will be at the top.
Using several factors in BetPad
Betmix is all about combining data, and using factors in combination to achieve a better overall result.  When you combine the best Accuracy Factor with the Best TOP 4 factor the results can be very powerful.  You can do that in a few ways (use the sliders) or you can click the Factor name within the table and it will be added to Bet Pad for you.
Its probably easier to watch how that is done than to explain it in an email, so take a look at this quick video to see how you can use a few key factors to come up with a very solid handicapping approach with just a few clicks.Combining Factors and Mixes in BetPad

Quick handicapping method using Betmix

Quick Handicapping Buttons


Available on both the desktop and mobile versions of Betmix, these buttons will give you a very accurate and quick way to handicap any race.

Clicking one of these buttons will create a mix for you based on the detailed race profile stats we compile for each race in Betmix.  Using these buttons individually or in combination can provide you with great handicapping angles in each race. As an example, if you are betting a superfecta, it would be a good idea to use the top ranked horse from each button.  If the top ranked horses are the same you can add the 2nd ranked horse to your tickets.

The TOP 10 button will create a mix based on the top 10 factors for the race type. It will give the most weight to the top ranked factor and a progressively smaller amount to every other factor in the top 10.  This is a good method for identifying the likely contenders in each race.

The WIN % button will create a weighted mix based on the factors that produce the highest percentage of winners. The highest weighted factor will be the one with the highest win %.  This button will identify a top win candidate.

This button will create a mix using factors that are good at identifying horses that will hit the board.  For each factor category (Speed, Pace, Earnings, Trainer Jockey, Class, Form, Pedigree) the factor that is most likely to predict a top 4 finish is weighted and used as part of the mix.  This is a great tool for finding a key horse for Trifectas and Superfectas.

This button creates a mix using the top factor in each category (Speed, Pace, Earnings, Trainer Jockey, Class, Form, Pedigree). The factors are weighted based on their overall rank.  Using this button will identify the most "balanced" horse in the race, the one that ranks highly in each factor category.

This button uses factors that have high WIN ROI$.  Factors with high can identify horses that are potential longshots.  If the highest ranked horse using this mix is going off at high odds, then it means that the horse fits the profile of the typical longshot winner of the race type you are handicapping.

Tips for handicapping Keeneland

A few mixes to get you started at Keeneland

The Keeneland Spring meet starts on Friday, and we have created a few mixes to help you get out of the gate quickly.
These mixes are based on the results of the Keeneland Fall meet that occurred in October of 2014, the first meet held on the the new dirt surface.
We have mixes for Dirt Sprint (races less than 1 mile), Dirt Route (1 mile and longer) and a Turf Route (1 mile and longer on the turf). There was not a large enough sample of races to create a Turf Sprint mix.  Please note that these mixes and results do not include any maiden races.If you are a monthly or yearly subscriber to Betmix you can find these mixes in theMix Library.

They are named:
Keeneland Dirt Route, Keeneland Dirt Sprint and Keeneland Turf Route
Go to Tools/Mix Library ( and then select Keeneland in the track dropdown and hit the SEARCH button and all of them will show up.

The results for the mixes were pretty good, and should provide a great starting point for building out your Keeneland mixes for the Spring Meet.

Handicapping Angles

Another quick handicapping angle...

The information found in the Race Profile Statistics can be a gold mine if you use it in the right way. For those of you who are new to Betmix, we will quickly recap what those stats are and how they are created before showing you a quick way to find a likely winner.
The Race Profile Stats are created by looking at a group of races that are similar to what you are handicapping.  If you were handicapping a 6f Dirt Claiming Race at Gulfstream Park, the information in the Race Profile Statistics box would be derived from compiling information from up to the last 40 6F Dirt Claiming Races at Gulfstream Park.  It is information that is very specific to the race you are looking at.
We currently use 45 handicapping factors in Betmix, and each of those factors is ranked from best to worst.  You can see all of the factors ranked from best to worst, or you can pick a category (Speed, Pace, Earnings, etc) and view only those factors. Click this link to find more detailed information.
A quick handicapping method using these stats
We recently had to pull some data for a custom project we were doing and in the course of that process we uncovered some interesting stats about the profitability of betting horses who were ranked on top in certain factor groups.The data we were looking at consisted of 500 races (No maiden races) and contained dirt, turf, sprint and route races.  It was a completely random sample across many tracks and class levels, so keep that in mind when considering these results - they could be better or worse depending on the type of race you are looking at.Looking at the chart below you will see that we have statistics for various factors.  Some of them are single factors and others are in combination.  If you look at the very bottom of the chart you will see that betting the horse that ranked 1st in the best Class Factor for the race was the least profitable. There were 500 races in the sample, and if you had bet $2 to win on every single horse that was ranked 1st in the best class category you would have wagered a total of $1000 (500 x $2).  You would have won 82 of those races (16.4%), had a return of $771.00 on the bets for a loss of $229, or a return of -22.9%.  Not too good.  The best single factor in terms of win % was Speed, winning 26.2% of the time yielding a minuscule profit of $22.  Betting every horse that was ranked 1st in the best Trainer/Jock category you would have ended up with 24.8% winners (124 out of 500) but a much better profit of $189.

Where this gets interesting is when you look at the results for betting horses that were ranked 1st in two or more categories.  As an example, look at the combination "Pedigree & TJ". You will see that in the Bets column this combination only occurred 75 times in the 500 race sample: The horse that was ranked 1st in the best Pedigree factor was also the horse that ranked 1st in the best Trainer Jockey factor.  In the 75 races where that occurred, the horse won 28 times (37.3%) and provided a profit of $58 on your $150 investment for an ROI of 38.7%.
On the very top line you will see Pace, Pedigree and Form.  This combination only occurred 12 times in 500 races, but provided 10 winners (83.3%) and a fantastic ROI of 246%.
Looking down the list you will see various combinations along with their win% and ROI.  There are 35 different combinations of factors, some single, some double and a few triples.  29 of the 35 were profitable, but clearly the best combinations involved finding horses that were ranked 1st in two or more factors.  Those are not common situations.  Using this sample of 500 races you can see that only 12 times did the same horse rank 1st in the best factor within the Pace, Pedigree and Form category.  12 races out of 500 is about 2.5% so you should expect to find that particular combination about once in every 40 races you look at (excluding maidens).  We did not analyze every single combination of factors, just enough to illustrate the concept and provide you with some ideas on how to consider horses ranked on top in more than one factor.
A few handicapping angles using race profile stats.

The recently improved Race Profile statistics have generated a lot of feedback and enthusiasm. We have received several emails from users about how they use the stats to handicap and we wanted to share a few of those methods with you.It probably goes without saying, but please remember that nothing works 100% of the time. These angles are provided to give you ideas on how to use the stats and provide you with some inspiration for developing your own methods.

We have spot checked these and found them to be pretty good, but have not done any deep analysis to provide long term win/loss statistics.  Again, the purpose of these tips is to provide you with some ideas and perhaps give you a couple of new approaches to put in your handicapping toolbox.

#1 Finding A Single

If you make multi-race bets (Pick3, Pick4, etc.) you know how important it is to find a solid horse to use as s single to reduce the cost of the tickets.  This is simple method to use, and is great at identifying solid favorites that you should never ignore.
How to do it: Look at the top ranked horse in the overall rankings.  If that horse is also the top ranked horse in the top ranked factor it is a one star single.  If it is also the top ranked horse in the 2nd ranked factor it is a 2 star single, and so on. You're not going to find any longshots using this method, but if you are looking for a likely winner this is an easy way to spot one.
#2 High ROI/High Accuracy

We received this angle from a user who also provided a spreadsheet of each of his picks using this method at Gulfstream Park in January and part of February.  His results showed that he made 144 bets ($4 per play) for a total of $576.00. He had 74 wins (51.3%), and collected $980.00 for a ROI of 70.22%.  His average winning payout was $13.25.How to do it: Looking at the top 3 factors only, find the factors with positive Win ROI.  If more than one of those 3 factors have positive win ROI's then look at the Factor Accuracy score.  The factor with the highest Factor Accuracy is the one to use.  If none of the top 3 factors have positive ROI's then skip the race.  If the factor has a positive win ROI , but the factor accuracy is not above 30 skip the race.  When you have a qualifying race you bet the top 2 horses for that factor to win.

#3 Pace Advantage in a top factor

We've talked about this before, but when a horse has a big advantage in a pace factor you can't ignore it. The Race Profile statistics make finding those horses very easy, and can let you know when it matters.  If a horse has an advantage in a factor that is ranked very low overall its not meaningful, but when that factor is in the top 10 it can produce great results.How to do it: Click on the PACE filter to show only pace factors in the statistics box.  Look for a factor that is ranked within the top 10 and see if the top ranked horse has an advantage of 5 points or more.  If you find a horse that fits the bill, consider giving extra attention to that horse if it appears within the top four in one or more of the top speed factors.  A pace advantage combined with being competitive in speed is a winning combination.

#4 Top Factors in each category

In many races you will notice that most of the top factors come from one category - usually speed. When you put too much emphasis on one category your handicapping may be unbalanced.  An easy way to make sure that you get a comprehensive view of the race is to use top factors from each category. You can select the top factor in each category and add it to the BetPad, or you can give them a value with the sliders to create a mix. The values can all be equal, or you can weight them based on their win percentage.It may not be necessary to use the top factor from each category. If the top ranked factor in Pedigree is ranked 27th overall you can safely ignore that category all together.

#5 Use the last race

One user sent us this suggestion along with some documentation of how many exactas he played and hit.  Very impressive!How to do it: Click on the Races Tab to bring up a list of the races used in compiling the race profile stats

After clicking the races tab, you will see a list of all the races used to compile the date for this race type.  Click on the date of the most recent race and that race will open up in a new window in MixMaker.

When that race is loaded, look at the results and then look at the top ranked factors to find one that contained the top 3 finishers.

Now,look for the highest ranked factor that contained those top 3 horses.

Go back to the race you are currently handicapping and look at the top 4 horses for the factor you found, and box those in an exacta. Very easy, and the results were surprisingly good.

These are nice angles to use for quick handicapping, but in the long run you are going to have much more success creating mixes for specific race.  There is nothing wrong with using methods like this, they can produce good results and can be done very quickly.  Keep in mind that the purpose of sharing these angles is to show you that there is always more than one way to skin a cat, and at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is winning the race. It doesn't matter if you used a mix that took you 6 hours to develop, or if you used one of these quick methods.  Cashing a ticket is all that counts!
We hope that you find something useful in these angles and that they inspire you to start looking at the data in new and profitable ways.

How can a computer predict the result of a horse race?

Horse Racing Data

Analyzing the data is the key to solving the puzzle

When handicapping a horse race most people look at the relative abilities of each horse and judge them according to the past performance information they see in the racing program.  Information about where and what types of races each horse has been in recently, how fast the horse ran, the horse's running lines, information about the trainer and jockey and several other pieces of information can be considered by the handicapper as they try to figure out who will win. In a race with 10 horses you could potentially be considering several hundred data points for the field and managing that type of data load using only your head is extremely difficult.

Lets assume that you studied the racing form for 20 minutes and decided that horse #8 was going to win the race.  You place your bets - and as you predicted, #8 wins the race by 2 lengths and rewards you with a $10.00 win payoff. Congratulations!  Your work paid off, and now you are on to the next race.  You start the process all over again... Can you duplicate how you handicapped the last race again?  If you were only judging the horses by a few factors you probably could, but if you were considering multiple handicapping factors and assigning a different level of importance to each one it may be hard to analyze each race in the same way.  Or, the way in which you handicapped that winning race may not be the best way to handicap the next race.  If that race was a 6f dirt claiming race, and the next race is a 10F turf stakes race, chances are that you need to consider a different set of data points.

Which handicapping factors are important in each race type?

At a typical race track you have sprint races (races run at 7 furlongs or less) and route races (8 furlongs and longer - a furlong is equal to 1/8 of a mile).  Some are run on dirt, some on turf and some tracks have a synthetic all-weather surface.  You have maiden races, claiming races, allowance races, stakes and several other variations of class levels.  The factors that are important in one race may not mean much in another.

In order to determine the most predictive factors for each race, Betmix looks at all of the similar races in our database and ranks each individual factor in order for its ability to accurately predict which horse will win. As an example, if you were looking at 6 furlong Allowance Optional Claiming races run at Churchill Downs Betmix would be able to tell you that the most important overall factor for predicting winners is Last E2 Pace.  The next most important factor would be the average of the best 2 speed numbers from the horses last 3 races.  Betmix currently looks at 45 factors.  These factors represent data for Speed, Form, Earnings, Trainer/Jockey, Class, Pace and Pedigree. When you know which factors have historically been most predictive for the race you are looking at you can focus on those horses who are ranked highly in those areas.

Using the Betmix software to analyze with accuracy and consistency

After looking at the race you are getting ready to handicap and determining which factors are the most important you can begin to construct a Mix.  A Mix is combination of factors and weights that tell the computer how to handicap the race. If you think of a Mix as you would a recipe it might make more sense.  A recipe for a cake might call for eggs, flour, sugar and butter.  A Mix for a 8 furlong turf allowance race at Saratoga might call for Last Late Pace, Best Speed on Turf, Jockey Current Year, Turf Pedigree and Average of Last 3 Race Classes.  Think of the factors you need to use as ingredients in your handicapping recipe.  The weight (importance) that you assign to each factor would be similar to how much of the cake ingredients you used.  In baking a cake you could use the correct ingredients, but in the wrong amounts, and you would end up with a mess. Same thing holds true for handicapping a race.

Building your Mix using Betmix handicapping data

Its easy to determine which factor are the most important in handicapping a race - just look at the race profile stats on the Betmix screen
Predictive Handicapping Factors

The most predictive factors will point you in the right direction for adding the right "ingredients" to your mix, but you still need to know how much of each ingredient to use.  The amount that you would use is the "weighting" in Betmix.  As you build your mix you assign a numerical weight to each factor by using the sliders or by typing in a value by the factor name.


You can see a graphical representation of your mix, that shows you in a pie chart format how the factors are being weighted.

Handicapping Software analysis


How do you know if your Mix will work?

The best way to test a mix is to run it against several similar past races.  You will then be able to see how accurate the mix was.  How many times did the top ranked horse run 1st, 2nd, or 3rd? How many times did it hit the exacta or trifecta? Would you have shown a profit overall?

Testing your mix is easy.  When you are looking at a race, you can click the "Race Profile Report" button and that will launch a screen that shows you all previous similar races.

After your profile report has launched you can apply a saved mix to that report, or create one on the fly.  The results box shows you how well your mix would have done for the group of races you are looking at.  Each time you make a change to your mix by either selecting a new factor or changing the weight of existing factors the results box will update.  The image below shows you the results of applying a mix to the last nineteen 8F dirt Allowance Optional Claiming races at Churchill Downs.


You can see that after we applied our mix to the group of similar races we would have won 12 of 19 races.  If we bet $2 to win on each of those horses our total bet amount would have been $38 ($19 x $2) and we would have received $61.40 in winnings for a profit of $23.40.  If we would have boxed the top 4 horses in each race in a $1 Trifecta it would have cost us $456 ($24 x 19 races) and we would have won $589.40 for a profit of $133.40.

You can modify this mix on the fly to see how adding a factor or increasing or decreasing the weight of a factor effects your overall results.  When you think that you have created the ideal mix for this race type you can save it and then apply that mix to similar races in the future.  When you save a mix you can give it a name and also define it by racetrack, distance, surface and race type.  When you are looking at an upcoming race you can easily sort your mixes to find the best option for the current race based on those criteria.

The handicapping software at Betmix allows you to create mixes and test them against historical races to see if you are using the correct factors.  Since the computer is handicapping each race the exact same way (using the factors and weights you specified) you will not make errors and you will know that in future races you will be using the exact process that has worked for you in the past.

Experiment with Betmix by taking a look at the free race of the day, or learn more about how to use this handicapping software by watching some handicapping tutorials.



Find a Dominant Horse

Find a Dominant horse using the Race Profile Statistics

We introduced the Race Profile statistics a few weeks ago. You will see them at the bottom of each individual race page and they provide information about winning posts, average winner payout and details about the most predictive factors for each race:
There is a lot of information contained in the Race Profile Stats, and many ways to interpret that data and use it to handicap. One of the many reasons that betting on horses is so intriguing and rewarding is that aside from winning money, there are numerous approaches that you can take to figure out the puzzle. Let's take a look at one way you can use those stats to find great betting opportunities.

Let's start by going over what the information within the Winning Factors box means.  When you look at the factors box you will see information about the most predictive Factors ranked by their ability to predict Win, Place, Show, and a tab called Accuracy that ranks the factors by their predictive ability to get the horses in the correct order from top to bottom.

For this method we are just going to focus on the Win % Factors.

In the above example, I am on the Win % tab which shows the most predictive win factors, and I have clicked on the SPEED category which will display only the factors based on speed.

The race we are looking at is an 8f Dirt CLM race at Indiana Grand from yesterday. If you are a subscriber you can view the race as you follow along.

For 8F Dirt Clm. races at Indiana Grand, the most predictive Speed Factor is AVG SPEED LAST 3. Next to that you see the top 4 horses within that category (6,8,2,5) and the number 32%.  The 32% number means that over the sample of similar races that we have in our database, horses that are ranked the highest within that factor (Avg. Speed Last 3) win 32% of the time. The next most predictive factor is Avg. Best 2 of Last 3, and that factor has accurately predicted the winner 26% of the time.

Looking at the list of factors and the top horses within each factor you could assume that the #6 horse was going to be a major player in this race.  He is ranked 1st in the top 3 most predictive speed factors for this race type.  But, what you cant see by simply looking at the top 4 horses is how closely ranked they are.

In this race there were 3 scratches (#3, #11,#12).  If you are following along at home go ahead and scratch those horses from the race.

Now, lets turn on the factor for Avg Speed Last 3 and see how closely the horses are ranked (By "turn on", I mean give the slider for Best Speed Last 3 a value)
After moving the slider for Avg Speed Last 3, and giving it a value (Turning it "ON") we can see in the rankings view how closely the horses are ranked within that particular factor.

Although the #6 horse is ranked on top he is not "dominant".  There are 3 other horses that are very closely ranked within the factor Avg Speed Last 3. If you turn on the other most predictive speed factor (Avg Best 2 of Last 3) you will see 5 horses in Green.

Although the #6 is ranked on top within the 3 most predictive Speed Factors, he is not heads and shoulders above the rest of the horses. If that is the case then how much importance can you give those factors since there are so many closely ranked horses?

What this tells us is that there are a handful of horses in this race that are equally fast.  We know which speed factors are most predictive at finding a winner, but we cant be very confident in any one horse since they all have similar abilities.


Now let's take a look at the Pace factors and see which one is most predictive:
This chart shows us that the most predictive pace factor is Avg. of Last 3 E2 Pace. The top ranked horses for that factor are (2,4,10,1) and based on similar races the horse that is ranked on top within that factor wins 42% of the time.

When we "turn on" the factor for Avg. of Last 3 E2 Pace we see these rankings:avge2pace

The #2 horse, (Stormanminster) is ranked on top.  He has 100 points and the 2nd ranked horse has 89.8 points.  He is the only horse in "Green" and has a 10.2 point lead over the 2nd ranked horse.  When you have a horse with at least a 5 point lead over his rivals we consider that dominant.  In this case he is very dominant, having over a 10 point lead.

We know from the most predictive factor table for pace that the horse who ranks highest in Avg. of Last 3 E2 Pace wins 42% of the time, and we also know that the speed factors do not indicate a dominant speed horse.

The #2 horse won and paid a very generous $28.60.

Look for dominant horses within highly predictive factors
In the above example, the #2 horse was the dominant horse for the Avg of last 3 E2 Pace category. From our race stats we know that factor was very predictive, pointing you to the winner 42% of the time.  If the factor was only able to predict the winner 20% of the time then a dominant horse would not be that important.

Speed and Pace are probably most important
When there are several equally matched speed horses finding a dominant pace horse is very helpful, and when the horses are evenly matched in Pace look for a dominant speed horse.  Finding a dominant horse in other categories like Pedigree, Form, etc. seems to be less important.  While those factor groups are valuable as part of a mix, they do not necessarily dictate how a race will be run.

We will be enhancing the Race Profile Statistics in the near future to indicate which factors contain dominate horses.  Until then it will take you a few clicks to figure it out on the screen.

We can't promise that this approach will work every time (nothing ever does!) but it is a very useful approach when analyzing a race.  To win consistently at the races you need an edge, and this approach can provide you with one.

Use Race Profile Statistics to help you handicap

The Race Profile Statistics Box

In every single race view in Betmix (Today's Races, Historical Races, MixMaker, Free Race of the Day) you will see the Race Profile statistics on the main screen just below the BetPad. All of the information in the Race Profile is based on similar runnings of the same race type at the track you are looking at.  In the above example the data shown is for the last 22, 8.5F Turf Allowance races atTampa Bay.You will see information about the winning posts for that race type, average payouts for winners, the most accurate factors for Win, Place, Show and Accuracy and the ability to sort those by Category (Speed, Pace, Earnings, etc). You can click the Race Profile Report button and that will launch a report that grabs those last 22 races for you (no need to build it in Create My Report). Let's look at each feature in more detail:

Winning Posts

This graphic will display the winning posts for this race type and allow you to determine if there is any bias. When looking at certain race types you may decide that the rail is the best place to be, or that a horse has the best chance of winning from the middle or outside. Mousing over any column will show you the number of winners for that particular post.  On the main display you will also see the Program number for each horse and their actual post if it differs from the program number.

Winning Payout

The winning payout graphic will show you how often favorites or longshots win this race type.  It is broken down into four categories: $2.10-$6.00, $6.01 -$10.00, $10.01 - $20.00 and $20.01+.  This data will let you know if this is a race type that is predictable by the public or not. Longshot players can use this screen to find races that tend to produce longshot winners and focus their handicapping on finding a long horse with a big chance. In this example race type you can see that although the race is typically won by favorites, there is also a large number of winners that pay between $10.00 and $20.00.


The Races tab will show you a list of all the similar races that were used to compile the race profile statistics. You can sort by date or payout.  You can click on any of those races and open them up in MixMaker.

Most Important Factors


Rank - Each factor is ranked from best (1) to worst (45).  When handicapping or creating a mix use the best factors from each group to find the most likely winner and contenders in the race you are handicapping.

Factor - This name of each handicapping factor.

Top 4 Ranked - This shows you the top 4 horses within that category.  In the example above, the best factor for predicting this race type is Last Late Pace, and the top for horses in that factor are 10,8,5,1.

Win % -  This tells you the percentage of time that the horse ranked on top for that factor ended up winning the race.  In the above example we are looking at a sample of 40 races, and the horse that ranked best for the factor TRAINER CURRENT MEET won 13 of 40 races (33%)
Place % - This tells you the percentage of times the top ranked horse ran at least 2nd.
Show % - This tells you the percentage of times the top ranked horse ran at least 3rd.
Accuracy - This number tells you how accurate the factor was.  A perfect score in accuracy would be 100 and that would mean that in every race, that factor had correctly predicted the top 4 finishers in order.  The more accurate a factor is (higher accuracy number) the more times you are likely to find the exacta, trifecta and superfecta in the top 4 horses.  Factors with high accuracy scores should be used if you are making exotic bets.  Factors with High Win%, High Accuracy and positive ROI are extremely important.
Win ROI - This shows you what you would have won or lost if you bet every top ranked horse for a factor to win.  In the example above, if you would have bet $2 to win on every horse ranked highest for Trainer Current Meet you would have made a profit of $26.00.  Many times you will see that a factor with a very high positive ROI has a low win %.  This will tell you that the factor has produced some longshot winners.  Over a 40 races, it may have only predicted 15% winners, but each of them may have been high odds horses that resulted in big win payouts. Conversely, low ROI and High Win % would indicate a lot of short priced winners (favorites).
Place ROI - This shows you what you would have won or lost if you bet every top ranked horse for a factor to place.
Show ROI - This shows you what you would have won or lost if you bet every top ranked horse for a factor to show.
TOP4 % - This tells you the percentage of times that a horse ranked within the to 4 in that factor wins the race.  In the example above you can see that for the factor Jockey Current Meet the Top 4 % is 82.  This means that in the group of similar races we are looking at, 82% of the time one of the top 4 horses in Jockey Current Meet will win this race type.  This is very useful information for betting Pick 3's, Pick 4's etc.
Advantage - this is the last column (abbreviated as ADV).  This shows you the point difference between the top ranked horse and the 2nd ranked horse for that factor. If the ADV is 0.0 that means that there is a tie and the top 2 horses have the same score for that factor.  Advantage is very useful to spot dominant horses. Sometimes you will see and advantage of 100, which means that the top ranked horse for that factor may be the only horse in the race with data. Maybe only one horse has started on turf, so he will have advantages of 100 in Turf Speed and Turf Earnings.  That may not be a useful advantage in a dirt race. However, pay very close attention to horses that have a big advantage in pace factors.  Especially if those factors also have high win, ROI and accuracy scores. Horses that are dominant within predictive factors should never be ignored.Watch A Tutorial Video for more information!

Horse Racing Past Performance View

Betmix offers users the ability to handicap races using Mixes, which are a group of factors and values. The Betmix tools offer you a very easy, fast and accurate way to handicap. Creating mixes with the help of MixMaker, or doing deep analysis by creating a report and testing the results will provide you with very accurate insight into how you should handicap races.

Understanding that many people are used to looking at races with a traditional Past Performance view like they would see in the track program or racing form, we have created the PPview (Past Performance View) that will give you a familiar view of the race while also providing you with control over how you see the data and giving yuu the ability to search and rank horses.

The Past Performance view can be seen by clicking the PPView Button:
When you click that button you will see all of the horses with their past performance data in one screen.  One obvious change in comparison to the track program or racing form that you will notice immediately is the color coded running lines.  At any point of call in the race if a horse if far back that position will be be highlighted in red, and if they are on the lead it will be highlighted in green.  Positions in between are shades of orange or yellow.
Horse Racing Running Lines

Looking at the colors, you can easily see which horses are front runners or which horses may be closers.

Each column in the past performance view is sort-able.  You can click on the column headers and the data in that column will be sorted.

You can type values into the search bar and the races you see will be limited to what you searched for.  For example, type BEL 8f Turf and you will only see races that were run at Belmont going 8 furlongs on the Turf.  If you type 'Rosario' into the search box you will see every horse that was ridden by Rosario and can easily see which horses he has ridden in the past and compare that to who he is riding today.

If you click the "Head2Head" button:
You will only see races where horses have run against each other.  This gives you a very quick way to see the key races and find out who has beaten who.

The best way to understand the PPview tool is to jump in ans start playing with it.  You can try it out on the Free Race of the Day, or watch a detailed tutorial video that shows you how to use the Past Performance View.