LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Serious bettors are always looking to gain a competitive advantage. Many handicappers believe that you can gather some important information about the horses just by looking at them in the paddock.
We caught up with Kevin Kerstein of Churchill Downs to learn about what bettors are looking for.
"Horses are just like human athletes. Football players show a certain build, we look for an athletic build in horses," said Kerstein.
Here are 5 things to evaluate in the paddock before the race.
1- A good sign is when a horse's ears are pricked. That means the ears are standing straight up. This is a great indicator that the horse is focused, attentive and ready to run.
2- Evaluate horses like you would evaluate athletes. Look at their physical attributes. A strong rear end is a positive. Most of the horse's power comes from its backside.
3- Study how the horse walks. Look for swagger. Does it have a good stride, does it walk awkwardly, and is it confident?
4- It's natural for a horse to be anxious at times, but avoid horses that won't settle down. You might want to avoid betting on horses that are too anxious.
5- It's okay for the horse to sweat a little bit, but excessive sweating behind the neck could mean the horse is terribly uneasy and nervous. However, like some people, some horses just sweat a lot. Also consider the temperature outside. If it's hot, a horse is supposed to sweat.
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