We all know what we would like in our ideal candidate for 2012 but the true measure of handicapping is the ability to pick the winner. In one of my recent outings to the real horse track I picked up an issue of the Daily Racing Form and began to read the 6 Simple Steps to help you pick a winner. Here are the steps.

Step 1: Recency

A horse racing at regular and consistent intervals is probably fit. A horse that has been away for a while may have been sick or unsound. Be aware of these horses as they could need a few races to get into shape.

Step 2: Just what has this horse done in his/her career?

The horse’s lifetime accomplishments broken down into a variety of categories. How many times has he /she won. His/her career earnings. Lifetime speed rating in previous races.

Step 3: Who are the human connections?

Who are the horse’s handlers such as trainers? Jockeys, owners? Keep in mind that 80% of all races are won by the top 20% of jockeys and trainers. Trainers are like coaches. Once they establish a winning record they will often have an edge against their competition.

Step 4: Speed Figures

How fast and successful the horse has run, taking into account surface conditions, distance, weather, etc. Does the horse show an upward or downward trend based on the possible conditions they will face going into the race?

Step 5: Where did he/she finish last time?

How the horse has performed in prior races. Did he/she over or under perform based on their potential going into the race?

Step 6: Running Style

Is the horse a front-runner, stalker, or closer? Most horses have a running style they operate from. Which style do you believe will be most successful in this particular race?

I am very curious to know how you feel about the candidates if we were to operate from these “6 Simple Steps”. Are there any sleepers who may have what it takes based on these conditions? What will the issues (track conditions) be in 2012 they may give a candidate an advantage?

Good Luck!