Harness Races Use Different Handicapping

Harness racing is very popular at local horse racing tracks across the nation. Unlike thoroughbred horse racing, harness racing requires standard-bred horses to pull a jockey on a wheeled “sulky” instead of carrying the jockey. The horses have shorter legs than their thoroughbred counterparts and do not run at a sprint. Instead, they trot or pace themselves, and races are handicapped by making the older, stronger and more mature horses run longer distances than the others. Because of the size of the wheeled contraptions, traditional starting gates often times aren’t used. Instead, many horses begin from a trotting start with a vehicle usually pacing the field and pulling away when the race begins.