In the 21st century of horse racing there is no downplaying the importance of track bias. The condition of the horse racing track and the affect weather has on it can turn a favorite into a loser and a long shot into a potential winner.
If you go to Vegas and they say there is a fix on roulette and it rarely hits above 22 would you believe them? Well this actually happens at particular races in horse racing and this is called track bias.
In Pilmlico in Baltimore, MD where the first turn is less than a small throw away from the starting gate in 1 1/16 mile races. Horses with sprint speed and inside post positions have a clear cut winning edge. Conversely horses forced to break from the post positions 9-> 12 have to be far more superior and perfectly ridden to have a prayer. Horse tracks that are sealed usually promote early speed. That is just one example here are a summary of the best tracks in the US and their own Bias~ Enjoy!!
Located in Ozone Park, New York this track was rebuilt in 1959 and has 1 1/8 mile dirt oval for the spring and fall meets with a smaller one mile dirt track for the winter.
The main dirt track seems to favor the inside speed at full 1 1/8 distance. Inside speeds also tend to do well at 5 and 5 1/2 furlongs. There is not true build in bias that has been apparent at 6 furlongs although early speed is always an advantage to 6 furlongs on NYRA tracks. In the 6 1/2 furlongs to one mile distances it appears the outer post positions are a plus with the starting gate is in the back stretch being a long way from the far turn. A Horse that has tactical speed is another plus at these distances.
On the one mile inner dirt track for the winter meets the inside rail has been historically important at all distances especially the 1 mile 70 yards with 2 turns. They have changed the track a little bit in 2008-2009 if the track is thawing out after a good freeze a surprising edge goes to horses using mid track lanes off the pace. Its important to take notes of a particular track to view upcoming changes in bias or grounds keeper shifting things up but these bias are up to date.
Located in Belmont, New York this is the largest track in America. Belmont has 2 important race meets: the spring/summer meet, which has the famous Belmont Stakes and the Fall Championship meet.
In the Spring the main track tends to favor the early speed at distances up to seven furlongs, while the races that are run up to 1 1/8 tend to be won by stalkers and middle running stretch-runners. In one turn races stalkers who have the outer post positions tend to have an edge due to the nice sweeping turns. These big wide turns also tend to favor the large body horses who may not have the quickness of more compact runners but are capable of sustained runs at above average rate of speed.
In the Fall the rail becomes deeper and slower than the rest of the strip, which improves the changes of stalkers and closers even more. At the distance of 1 1/4 mile distances the outer post positions are forced to overcome and avoid problems with this wide trip. This is true for the Belmont at this distance regardless the time of year.
Belmont’s 2 turf courses have portable rails to protect the inside paths from being used to much. Most turf races are won by horses with solid late speed burst with this track front runners tend to improve their overall stats here.
Located in Louisville, KY with the famous Kentucky Derby being raced here yearly this track has some identifiable features as well.
The inside posts have an edge on this track in two turn races at 1 1/16 miles and at 7 furlongs along with one mile distances out of the backstretch are prime for deep closers. Churchill’s dirt racing surface is actually made differently than any other track in America. Most tracks have limestone and then dirt built on top of it Churchill has no such base. This track is mixed with a deep layer of soil, clay and organic materials packed down several feet below the surface.
When wet the main track actually becomes faster and in hours or a day after the rainstorm the surface could become the best racing surface available in horse racing. However when Churchill is dry it pays to keep track of the horses that do not like this unusual deep strip it will save you some cash in the long run.
Located in New Orleans, Louisiana this track was reopened in 2003 after being burned to the ground in 1993. With the new slots being added to the track the purses have raised at the fairgrounds giving New Orleans a good source of revenue.
With a long stretch that comes in to play at the Fair Grounds the inside posts do not have sufficient speed to take advantage of the short run to the first turn and affects routes along with sprints. However after a good rain the inside rail can be a big advantage due to unusual drainage patterns.
A good note on this track is the turf course~ It has deep roots and quite different from other Turf horse racing tracks. You want to continue to look at a horses form but the horses that like to race on this turf tend to replicate their performance when they returning to it.
Located in Pomona, CA this small 5 furlong track was open back in 1932. The tight turns nullify the logical advantage that inside post should have and has a opposite bias in the opposite directing in 3 turn races beyond a mile.
As a main rule the track is fair but the horses do not handle the sharp turns well and the jockey who has a special skill in the area plays a big factor. A recent jockey Martin Pedroza is a dominator at this park and has this very skill.
Located in Hallandale, FA this park was completely rebuilt during 2004-2006 with the track enlarged and a small seating capacity that is controversial. The Gulfsteream has a strong speed bias during the winter-springs meets. In route races horses in outer post positions have little chance to win. In 2006 and 2008 Big Brown and Barbaro overcame outer post positions and they went on to be great.
Watch for the cooler than usual weather this speed bias can be overcame. The widely discussed speed bias can play in your favor the other way as well. It pays to bet against the bias when a suicidal speed seems likely to occur. A sharp handicapping ability trumps everything else.