5 positive signs when betting on unraced horses

October 5th, 2022

It can be tricky for inexperienced horseplayers to bet on maiden races filled with unraced horses. How is it possible to predict the performances of horses who have never run?

Fortunately, it’s easier than you might expect. Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances, for example, are packed with data and stats to help you sort through first-time starters and identify likely winners.

Here are five positive signs to look for when analyzing unraced horses.

1. High-percentage trainer stats

Often the best place to start is with trainer statistics. If one horse is conditioned by a trainer who wins at a 3% rate with first-time starters, and a rival hails from a trainer who strikes at a 27% rate with debuting runners, it’s clear the latter horse is more likely than the former to factor on first attempt.

You should also watch out for more nuanced trainer stats. A trainer who wins at a 20% rate overall with first-time starters might strike at only a 5% rate with horses debuting on turf, or at a 7% rate with horses getting started over a route distance.

2. Favorable sire stats

Sire stats can also be employed to analyze unraced horses. An accomplished stallion with hundreds or thousands of foals at the races does well to sire 15% winners from first-time starters, while hot young stallions just getting started often exceed a 20% win rate with first-time starters.

Consider also surface stats. Perhaps the progeny of a given stallion win only 5% of the time on turf compared to 12% on dirt. Average winning distance (AWD) numbers can also come in handy, helping you determine whether an unraced horse is bred to sprint or run long.

3. Productive dam stats

Does the unraced horse you’re analyzing hail from a winning female family? Check out how many starters the dam has foaled, and how many have visited the winner’s circle. If the race is on turf, how many grass winners has the mare produced? Has she foaled stakes winners in the past? And if her starters have competed as two-year-olds, what percentage managed to win at age two? All these dam stats can help guide you toward winning prospects.

4. Hot jockey assignment

It never hurts to see a hot jockey named to ride a first-time starter. If the leading jockey at a given track (or better yet, the leading jockey in the nation) has the riding assignment, that’s a promising sign. But any jockey winning at better than a 20% rate should catch your eye if they’re riding a first-time starter, especially if the jockey wins at a high percentage when teaming up with the trainer.

5. Fast workouts

We’ve discussed a lot of statistics, but none are a direct indication of talent in an unraced horse. Fortunately, we can also analyze morning workouts to get a feel for a horse’s talent and potential. What constitutes a promising work tab can vary greatly from horse to horse (it depends a lot on the trainer), but if you see bullet or near-bullet workouts coming from a horse whose trainer wins at a lofty percentage with first-time starters, you may have found a winner.

Good luck!