Horse Racing Strategies by Jockeys

The Jockey is an integral part of the horse racing “team”, and poor jockeying has often led to even a “favored” horse losing a race he should have won. When savvy bettors and handicappers evaluate the merits of a winning horse and the odds of victory, they will also carefully consider the jockeys as well. For most punters, a combination of a reputable jockey and a horse’s bloodline, earnings, and temperament will have the greatest appeal for bettors in search of a winner.

Some bettors consider the track record of the jockey as much as the earnings of a race horse.

A jockey’s weight is often taken into account when riding in Handicap races, and heavier jockeys will have less solid weight added to their mounts in compensation. The jockey’s weight most often come into play in thoroughbred racing where handicapping is not performed. Top thoroughbred jockeys often come under considerable pressure to stay light, or at least to maintain a set weight through each racing season.

There are many famous jockeys who have built up enviable winning records, whether in thoroughbred racing, handicaps or harness racing.

One of the most famous modern jockeys was William (“Bill”) Shoemaker who passed away in 2003. Undersized at birth, Shoemaker was perhaps preordained to become one of the greatest jockeys to ever ride. As a full adult and at the height of his career, between 1949 and 1990, Bill Shoemaker reached a height of just 4 feet 11 inches and was a mere 95 pounds.

During his exciting career, Shoemaker rode in a record 40,350 races, winning 8,833 of them. He won an amazing 11 Triple Crown races, including the Kentucky Derby in 1955, 1959, 1965 and finally 1986 at the age of 54, aboard Ferdinand. Such was Shoemaker’s prowess that the older racing term “shoo-in” became associated with him.

The total amount of money wagered on horses ridden by Shoemaker is not recorded, but it only goes to follow that his participation in a race would entice horse bettors to favor the horses he rode. Any serious bettors who hope to succeed in their wagering would be advised to study the jockeys and their records, in search of that ideal winning combination and to look at Bill Shoemaker as an example of how punters can often succeed by “betting on the jockey” as well as the horse!