Telltale Signs that a Horse is a Winner

Like any other sport out there, there is no surefire way for a person to accurately predict a game’s outcome. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge the person has or how well he knows the game participants; everything is a possibility. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do everything in your power to give yourself a chance to guess correctly.

It’s also the same in horse racing. There’s no way for you to predict which horse will be the winner, but you can do some research about the horse and the jockey. Horse racing is a beautiful thing because it’s an excellent example of how a man can bond with a beast in terms of competing. That said, a fast horse without a good jockey will be a complete failure since a horse needs a suitable jockey to be in its full potential.

Jockey John Velazquez riding Authentic, right, crosses the finish line to win the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

That goes with the horse, too. Without a suitable horse, a jockey can only do so much. However, we’ll only focus more on the signs that you can see in a horse that signifies it’s a winner. That said, here are some telltale signs that the horse you bet on is a winner.

Track Record

The first thing you should do when you want to research a horse is its track record. Usually, a horse with a consistent track record of being on the top 3 is a good bet. However, it would be best to make sure that all of these races are close and recent, or this information will be useless. For more information about track records, click here.

Not only that, but you also need to look at the factors within those races. We all know that different thoroughbreds are excellent in different aspects, such as the type of race track the stadium uses or the weather. For example, a horse is consistent in being in the top 3, but you also notice that all races are using dirt tracks.

That means that when a horse runs on any other material such as synthetic or turf, the horse might not be in its best form. On that note, dirt can be a little bit more complicated than the rest. Horses can be light-footed or heavy-footed. Light-footed horses are fast, even when running on mud, while heavy-footed horses will have difficulty running on mud since they have more power in their step, thus burying their hooves on the mud.

John Velazquez rides Always Dreaming, right, to victory in the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. At left is Lookin at Lee, with jockey Corey Lanerie. Photo: AP Photo/Garry Jones, File.

Days Since the Previous Race

Many bettors, both newbies and veterans alike, seem to think that the number of days the horse has since its last race is trivial, when in fact, it’s essential to the horse’s performance during the race. The number of days since a horse’s last race signifies how much a horse has rested since then. You wouldn’t want an overworked horse since it can affect its performance negatively.

On the other hand, you also don’t want an over rested horse since not having enough exercise can be a disadvantage. Two simple things to remember is that a horse tends to be at is (1) his full power in 1-2 races after a long period of rest, and (2) a horse that has below 30 days of rest is overworked, which will cause it to be too exhausted to be at its best. That said, the sweet spot is anywhere between 30-60 days at most.

Emotional Well-being

We’re not saying that horses are emotional, but they do seem to react more to their environment than some animals. They also show different emotions, like happy, nervous, or sad. An essential emotion you should be looking out for is loneliness.

Horses are herd animals, which makes them very social. Obviously, they are happier in large groups, and as prey animals in the wild, their means of survival is speed. Some horses, of course, can handle lone training and stalling better than the other horses. However, horses that struggle being alone can have a massive difference in their stamina and overall performance in the race.

Tiz The Law trainer Barclay Tagg rides a horse on the main track during workouts at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)


Speaking of emotion, they can also manifest prior to a race. The best thing about betting on an actual stadium is that you get a chance to see the horses face to face. With this, you can see a horse’s behavior and guess how a particular horse will do in the race. This is more obvious when a horse is on its way to the paddocks.

Of course, just like humans, horses can do particularly bad when it’s nervous, which is evident in its sweat. The traits you should be looking for is relaxed and calm, which signifies its readiness for the race.


Just like human athletes, horses also need the right preparations to do well in the race. Without the proper training and nutrition, a horse will surely come last in the race and fail spectacularly. That said, the traits of being prepared and fit for a race must be seen on a horse before and during a race. With the right knowledge and know-how, even a beginner can see these signs and get big on a bet.