It’s almost that time of year when 2-year-old racing begins and we get to see the next generation of Thoroughbreds hit the track. It can be an exciting time for all involved – for owners and breeders it’s the chance to see years of planning and work pay off (or sometimes not) and for trainers it’s the opportunity to turn young promising horses into established stars.
It’s also the chance for handicappers to make some money betting on these races, but of course some advance planning is needed for success. Just as you read through the past performances before making a wager, you should also check out betting reviews and ratings to make sure you are getting the most value for your money.
Once you have done that, you need to find an advantage in these unique races. When you are betting on juvenile races early in the season, the races are very short—usually three to five furlongs. These races are far different than the Triple Crown races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes that are all long distance around two turns.
Instead, these races are short and just have one turn. As these distances, speed and post position are important. Because these races often start close to the turn, the outside posts can be at a disadvantage because those horses might get hung wide. These young horses are still learning how to race, so you might see more bumping and jostling in the early stages. That’s why finding a horse with early speed is also a key, because he can get clear of any potential trouble early in the race.
Looking at workouts is of course one way to find the speedballs, but also remember that some trainers prefer not to work their horses fast, even for early speed types. So it pays to do a little digging and learn the workout style for particular trainers, and obviously look at their success rates with first time starters and young horses.
Another key to look at is the jockey factor. Just like any other profession, some jockeys are better at certain skills than others. There are some riders who excel in turf races, some who do better in longer route races, and others who are really good at getting a horse out of the gate fast. That latter category is the one you are looking for with these type of race, so be sure to check the stats of your favorite riders.
A final factor to consider is the pedigree of the horse. Look up the race record and the sire record of all the stallions represented. Generally speaking, the sires that performed well as a 2-year-old are going to be better sires of 2-year-olds. If you see a horse by a distance sire, you need to consider that maybe his connections have him a short race simply as a prep for longer races down the road.
There’s a lot to consider when betting on 2-year-old races, but the hard work can pay off in the form of big payouts!