“Bias” is defined as giving an unfair advantage. Track bias is one of the newest “secrets” currently being proclaimed by modern horse players. Their never ending search for the secret to horse racing has taken many players down the “track bias” road.
Yes, American racing does favor early speed. Yes, some surfaces, wet one’s, CAN produce more wire to wire winners. Not because the surface is biased, but because the off the pace horses are often all but blinded by water and mud being thrown in their faces.
True “track bias” DOES NOT exist. Track maintenance people are too good at their jobs.
One, and only one rare exception…… Wet Turf Races. The maintenance crews can do nothing to a turf course between races.
Most races carded for the turf are, as you know, moved to the main track if the turf course comes up wet.
The primary reason for this is the turf course can be badly damaged if racing is conducted on a wet grass.
Back to the track bias of wet turf courses. There are two times when racing continues on wet turf courses.
Watch and wait for either of these two great wagering opportunities.
I will go into detail about each.
- The rain begins during the days races. When the rain starts and the days races are already underway, the scheduled turf races are much more likely to be allowed to continue on the turf if at all possible. If these races are moved to the main track, too many horses are scratched. The track has to deal with much less money wagered on these races! This is not something the track wants. If the days racing has already begun the track will allow turf racing when they normally would declare the days turf “off”‘
- The days featured race(s) are scheduled turf races. Turf racing is much less likely not to be canceled because of a wet turf course if the race or races scheduled for the turf are the days “featured” race(s). The reason for this is again simple economics and the fact many horses ship in for these bigger turf races.
It is the turf stars, the horses the tracks betting coustomers come to the track to watch run (and to bet on!) Once again the track wants the money people will bet on these featured turf races. A Grade 1 or 2 race has a large purse value. Money wagered on these races is how the purse money is collected.
Track bias is todays subject. Wet GRASS surfaces are EXTREMEILY biased to front running or early speed horses! Please let the last sentence sink deep into your handicapping mentality. You will make a lot of money if you are conscience of this one, true track bias! There are several reasons the early speed horses often win wet turf races, often at huge mutuals.
#1 Wet grass is simply less tiring. The early speed often “skips’ along the wet grass and has enough left in the stretch to hold off the late runners.
#2 Turf horses, even more than dirt horses,are much less likely to want to move forward into the water, mud, and wet grass being thrown back into their face from horses in front of them. Turf horses do not race on wet grass often enough to be come use to it.
#3 Turf horses are often trained to run late.
#4 turf races are often handicapped to favor the late runners. Much has been written about the final quarter time or stretch time ability in handicapping turf races. Turf handicappers refuse to adjust to a wet grass surface and continue to handicap wet turf races as they do firm turf races and bet the late closing runners.
Here is how you do it….. Google “weather channel “and enter the zip code of the track or tracks racing today. You will be given an hour by hour break down of the weather for that day. Note any anticipated rain in the city the track is located. Next use the DRF entries for the day (the post time is for each race is listed) Any anticipated rain pryor to any scheduled turf races is noted. you may get a turf race or two in before the races are moved to the main track. Front running horses in theses races are easily spotted and can be backed with out further handicapping.
One additional thought on wet turf races. Races taken off the turf and moved to the main track are often decimated by scratches.
The race goes to the horse with decent dirt form or has proven ability on the dirt. He or she only needs to defeat handful of turf horses that remain in the dirt race so the race “goes”. Most are only only on the main track for a “work out” at the request of the racing secretary. Again the handicapping is quick and effective.
MTO (main track only) entries should be given careful consideration. Most small to mid size race tracks to not have MTO entries.
I have read,over the past 40 yrs., everything ever written on horse handicapping. I have never read or heard anyone mention wet turf races. Please invest the time and energy necessary to understand and apply this profitable handicapping angle. I personally use this important tool and have won many tournaments with wet turf races.
Call me for clarification or consultation.
– Ted Whitley