The Secret Behind Winning a  Horse Race

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Horse races are considered one of the oldest racing sports. What’s even more interesting is that the basic concept has remained the same. It is still a contest to determine the fastest horse. Of course, there have been some changes. 

One of the biggest mysteries in horse racing today is the secret behind a winning racehorse. Specifically, how can one tell that a horse is likely to win? Pete Monaco, of The Spectrum, actually did a study on this very mystery. A part of his study included a survey that he conducted of 100 seasoned horseplayers. The results showed that 70 percent of them knew by looking at the horse. But what exactly was it they were looking at?

What Are the Basic Makings of a Winning Horserace?

 It’s not like horse racing hasn’t evolved over the years. Traditionally, horse races weren’t big and celebrate events. There wasn’t any technology used to help determine winners. And the races certainly weren’t watched over Optimum TV packages. Perhaps there wasn’t even any money involved. Unlike today, when fortunes are won and lost on the track.

Several factors determine if a horse has the capability winning. Like the people in Monaco’s study suggested, these are all physical. It may take experts years to develop their observational skills. But this blog will help you get started on the right path.

  1. Structure
  2. Tone
  3. Coat
  4. Balance
  5. Movement

#1. Structure

A horses bone structure is the first physical attribute you should consider. If it has a heavy body with thin, weak legs, do you think it will do well? Certainly not. A horse is a heavy animal. To carry all that weight while running at speeds of 40 mph is not easy. Add to that weak legs and you have a recipe for disaster. 

But when looking at bone structure, it is also important to observe the chest, legs, and knees. Look at the horse from all angles. The front and the sides. 

#2. Tone

The next thing you need to focus on is the muscle tone. Muscles are the most important thing you need to look at. Similar to humans, muscles are what determine the actual strength of a horse. 

The back legs do most of the work during a race. A winning racehorse will have strong muscle definition here. So pay close attention to its back legs and quarters. Also, while you’re examining the horse, look at the shoulder muscles. They too have a strategic role to play. 

#3. Coat

Similar to other animals a horse’s coat is a way for you to estimate the health. A shiny coat is usually a sign of good overall health. But of course, this is not a foolproof check. Usually, racehorse owners will ask the caretakers to make sure that the horse is well groomed. That way when you look at the horse’s coat, you will be certain that it is healthy and ready. But actually, that may not be the case.

#4. Balance

Balance is relative to proportion. Horses come in all shapes and sizes. So learn to observe the proportions. The common rule is that the hip, back, and neck need to of equal length. That is what makes a horse look well proportioned. If a horse is well proportioned, he is likely to be well balanced as well.

#5. Movement 

A horse’s movement is another essential observation you need to make. If you want to pick a winner, that is. A winning racehorse should move well. Irrelevant of its pace. But you should know that some horses move well at certain paces, not all. Also, remember that horses with lengthy strides are a safer bet. Because of their stride, they usually perform better. 

Additional Things to Consider

Apart from the physical, other things can determine a winning racehorse. The most important of them is nutrition. If a racehorse is not getting the required nutrition for his body, his performance can’t be good. 

Additionally, the racehorse’s mental state is also a deciding factor. Just like humans, if a horse is spooked, agitated, depressed, or bored, it will affect his performance. So speak with the trainer or caretaker and find out about its mental health.


Racehorses are unique. You can know all there is to know about racehorses and still not be able to select a winner. That is because there is something else that determines true winners. That is desire. Every winning racehorse will have a desire to do all that they can to run fast. That is what truly separates a winner from all the others on the track. 

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