How to handicap workouts with Maidens

Workouts are a crucial part to handicapping horses. The condition that a horse is in prior to the race can be the deciding factor of the horse being in the money.In maiden horse racing you do not get a lot of data to go from so then the workouts play even a bigger factor. Here are some tips for using horse racing workouts to your advantage in cashing in maiden tickets.

First of all there are 2 types of workouts breezing and handily. Breezing means the horse is working under no pressure at all but is in stride and not galloping. Handily means the horse is being urged by the jockey but not under pressure and stress of racing conditions.

If a horse is 48 breezing then it should be at 46 handily and 44-45 in an actual race. Of course this is true only of a horse that has been working on a regular basis.

If a horses workouts are 50-50-50 respectively in the last 3 breezing and competition is 44-45 in an actual race even deduction 3 to 4 seconds in racing conditions this horse will be more likely unable to keep up.

Be on the lookout for workouts not showed or call ins

If a horse is making the first start of the year and has been working out at comparable distances his chances go way up. A horse who is making his first start must have at least one official workout too. There are workouts that the clockers miss or do not record correctly which is important to catch. This happens a lot when trainers are calling in their workouts.

Most Daily racing forms will have a sheet where additional workouts are posted. If they are posted a few days before racing see if they are valid. If its just one or two posted on the same day its important to question their validity and how trustworthy the trainer is.

If a horse has not started in last 30 days it needs an official workout posted. If are looking at a horse that ran 119 1/5 in 6 furlongs with not a lot of pressure but it shows a workout time of 118 2/5 a workout with no pressure. This raises red flags as the horse could not even run her supposed time. Use this information later to see the trainer might not be trustworthy.

Finding out if horse can finish

One of the hardest things to figure out is if first time starters can last. Many solid 2 year old’s can work 3 furlongs from the gate but its lasting 5 to 6 furlongs that separates the men from the boys. When looking at workouts your looking at horses that can finish out. If they don’t have proper conditioning the horse can empty out and fall short.

All have similar workout sheet and close speeds

When looking at the workout list and you see 5 or more horses finish very close to the same quick time then it might be more of the track conditions than actual ability of the horse.

This can be conceiving when you see a horse wit a fast bullet but put too much value on it.  If it worked on a day and many of the horses clocked the same close quick speed in the workout sheet its not something that should be regarded highly.

Good workout bad trainer

Most handicappers shy away from maiden races due to the lack of information to go on. If you can key in on a few good points there lies some gold in these races.

The competition at Monmouth is always better than at Pimlico. Pay good attention to the adjusted times and compare that to today’s race and what most of the horses times are. When you see many bullet workouts dig a little deeper and make sure they are backed by a good trainer. If you just go off the workouts it could fall under the bad trainer good workout category. Workouts cannot be trusted in general when you have a bad or unheard of trainer.

Great workout + bad training = losses

Working at one track and running at another

A cheap horse that impressed  at one track then moves to another track for whatever reason comes up flat. They become accustomed to one track and when brought to a different one with different surface and atmosphere they have trouble adjusting.

Track comments of workouts are often only effective when the horse runs at the track he is comfortable on.

Race to close to workout

A workout does and will take a lot out of any animal and unless gets proper rest the horse will not have time to re-cooperate.

Be very cautious of good workouts just a few days within the race. It has been proven many times that the workouts took too much out of the horse and it did not have sufficient time to rest.

Good trainers know this: Workouts closer than two days to the date of the race and any longer than 3 furlongs in distance stay away from.

Comparing workouts

When reviewing all the workouts for a particular track and day take note if you ever see a list of horses and one or two of them have stand out speeds. Many times these superior workouts fuel the two horses that posted them to a few upcoming victories.

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source: “Workouts and Maidens” by Vencent M. Reo can be ordered at

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