Handicapping a horse race can be done about 10,000 different ways. Some people slave for hours over their past performances, while other people make their decisions based on something as simple as a horse’s name. Anyone that has attempted to handicap a horse race can vouch for me when I say it is absolutely an inexact science. If I had to give someone my personal breakdown of handicapping a race, I’d say it’s probably 1/3 race shape (pace scenario, field size, etc.), 1/3 class (company which horses have been racing against/should be racing against), and 1/3 ability (based on Beyer Speed Figures and previous efforts). As far as my wagering is concerned, I try to do everything in my power to avoid picking the favorite of a race. I’ll reluctantly do it if I truly think the favorite is the class of the field, but nine times out of ten, I’m trying to beat the chalk. I generally play Pick 4’s and Pick 5‘s when I’m playing the races, but I’ll occasionally make win, win/place or exacta wagers. As far as the blog is concerned, whenever I handicap a race here, I’ll give a selection at the bottom of the blog. I’m going to have this be the equivalent of a $2 win wager, and I’ll keep track of how I’ve fared throughout the year, for better or for worse.