Unlike most major sports there is no real "offseason" in horse racing. While unofficially the major-race season in North America runs from the Kentucky Derby in early May to the Breeders' Cup in November, the fact is, big-money races featuring top horses are being run all year around - for example, the qualifying series for the Derby starts to heat up in January, with races run California, Louisiana, Arkansas and Florida, right through to the actual Run For The Roses.
Also unique among major sports is the fact horse racing is a sport literally based on wagering - the point of the sport is to bet on the horses. All of the best online horse betting sites recognize these factors, and provide horse racing fans with multiple tracks to bet on all year around, and betting platforms that offer all wager types and the same odds you can get by betting at the track.
Online Racebook Reviews
While nothing beats the experience of live racing at the track, first telephone betting and now online wagering have changed the sport, and given horse racing fans who don't live near a track the opportunity the get in on the action. There are a wide variety of racebooks on the web, and checking out some online racebook reviews is the best way to figure out where to open an account.
Online Racebook Features
While most online racebooks share some similarities, the decision of where to open an account typically comes down to the type of bettor you are and how that applies to the various online racebook features. If you want to concentrate on betting just a few specific tracks, you might like a racebook with fewer track options, but a higher first-deposit bonus.
One the other hand, if you like to bet on international races, you'll want a racebook that offers more overseas tracks, no matter what the deposit bonus might be. If you like to bet exotics like exactas and daily doubles, then you want a racebook that pays a high cash-back bonus on those types of bets. If you're only an infrequent bettor, you might want to look closer at sites that offer the lowest rollover requirements. Once you've gone through a few reviews, you'll start to understand how the different options might work best for you.
Basics of Horse Handicapping
If you're venturing into the world of horse handicapping for the first time, the sheer amount of information available can be a bit overwhelming. There is no doubt that learning to read and fully understand past performance and other information doesn't happen overnight.
At the same time, the basics of horse handicapping are essentially comparing the recent performances of the horses in a given race against each other, and using those comparisons to predict how well the horses will do against their competiton that day.
Most of this comparison comes down to two things, prior form and prior pace.
Determining a horse's form is generally looking at how well the horse has been running in it's most recent races, and where it has been finishing. Has the horse been racing with the leaders in the recent races and managing to stay on and finish in the top three, or has the horse been making a strong move to pass mutliple horses and get into contention late in the races? Or, has the horse just been plodding along in mid-pack, not really moving up or down, or worse, consistently dropping back as the race goes on, and never getting into the top three? Another important aspect of form is the level of competiton the horse has been facing, and if it is getting tougher or easier, and what kind of results has it been getting in those races.
Pace, on the the other hand, is all about the speed of the previous races and whether the horses being handicapped have been in races run at a faster or slower pace, and where they were positioned in the race as each quarter-mile is run. Were they keeping up with a fast pace setter and then improving their position near the end of the race, or were they able to close from far back even if the horses up front were going relatively slow?
Once you've spent enough time looking at past perfomance information, you'll start to recognize both good form and good pace, and the next thing you know, you'll be a handicapper.