what is post position in horse racing

Post position refers to the position assigned to a horse at the starting gate of a race. It’s determined randomly, through a draw or selection process, and affects the horse’s chances of winning. The post position can give a horse an advantage if it’s closer to the rail (the inside of the track), as it has a shorter distance to travel and can avoid being boxed in by other horses. Conversely, horses drawn in outside post positions may have to travel farther and face more competition for position. The post position is an essential factor in handicapping and betting on horse races, as it influences the horse’s starting speed, ability to secure a favorable position, and overall performance.

Gate Placement and its Impact

Gate placement, also known as the post position, is a crucial factor in horse racing. The post position refers to the location of the horse in the starting gate, which can significantly influence its chances of winning.

  • Inside Posts: Horses starting from the inside posts (1-4) often have to overcome slower competitors and navigate turns tightly, putting them at a disadvantage.
  • Middle Posts: Horses starting from middle posts (5-8) have a decent balance of running room and a clear path to the rail, making them competitive.
  • Outside Posts: Horses starting from outside posts (9+) have ample space to accelerate early on but may encounter traffic or have to switch lanes, which can be disadvantageous.
Post PositionAdvantagesDisadvantages
1Quick start, less trafficTight turns, boxed in
5Balanced position, good running roomMay have to contend with inside horses
9No inside traffic, open spaceLong way to the rail, can encounter traffic

The impact of gate placement varies depending on the track, race conditions, and horse’s running style. Generally, horses with good speed favor inside post positions for a strong start, while horses with stamina or ability to navigate traffic perform better from outside posts. Handicappers and bettors consider gate placement as a significant factor when analyzing races.

## Post Position in Horse Racing

In the world of horse racing, the post position refers to the assigned starting spot of a horse at the starting gate. This position plays a crucial role in influencing the outcome of a race.

**The Outside Post Advantage**

Traditionally, horses positioned on the outside posts (farther away from the inside rail) have a significant advantage. This is primarily due to the following reasons:

– **Wider Path:** Horses in outside posts have more room to maneuver and avoid any traffic congestion that may occur on the inside.
– **Less Dirt:** The inside of the track often accumulates more dirt and debris, which can impede a horse’s stride.
– **Clearer View:** Horses on the outside have a better view of the race and can adjust their positions accordingly.

**Exceptions to the Rule**

Despite the general advantage of outside posts, there can be exceptions in certain race conditions:

– **Muddy Tracks:** In heavy rain or on very muddy tracks, horses on the inside may have an advantage as the inside rail provides better footing.
– **Short Races:** In sprint races (typically under 6 furlongs), the starting position has less of an impact due to the limited distance covered.
– **Pace:** Horses that prefer to set the pace may be better suited for inside post positions, as they can dictate the speed and position themselves accordingly.

**Table Summarizing Post Position Advantages**

| Post Position | Advantage |
| Outside | Wider path, less dirt, clearer view |
| Inside | Better footing on muddy tracks, potential pace advantage |

**Additional Factors to Consider**

Beyond the post position itself, other factors that can influence a horse’s chances of success include:

* **Jockey Skill:** The skill and experience of the jockey can play a significant role in navigating the horse through traffic and choosing the optimal path.
* **Horse’s Running Style:** Some horses naturally prefer certain running styles, such as leading from the front or coming from behind.
* **Track Conditions:** The type of track surface (dirt, turf, synthetic) can impact how horses perform in different positions.

In conclusion, the post position in horse racing is a crucial factor that can provide either an advantage or a disadvantage to a horse. By understanding the basic principles and considering additional factors, bettors and racing enthusiasts can make informed decisions.

Post Position in Horse Racing: The Inside Scoop

In horse racing, the post position refers to the numbered stall from where a horse starts a race. It plays a pivotal role in a horse’s performance and can significantly influence its chances of success.

Inside Advantage: Favorable or Not?

The inside advantage refers to the perceived advantage that horses starting from the innermost post positions (1 or 2) have over those starting from outside positions.

  • Pros of the Inside Advantage:
    • Shorter distance to travel on the first turn
    • Easier to stay on the rail and save ground
  • Cons of the Inside Advantage:
    • Can get boxed in if other horses surround them
    • May have to check their stride early to avoid clipping heels

Whether the inside advantage is truly favorable is debatable and depends on factors such as track size, racing surface, and the quality of the opponents.

Impact of Post Position on Performance

Studies have shown that post position can have a significant impact on a horse’s finishing position:

Post PositionAverage Finishing Position

As you can see, horses starting from the inside post positions tend to finish higher on average than those starting from the outside positions.


Post position is an important factor to consider when handicapping horse races. While the inside advantage can provide an edge in certain situations, it’s crucial to evaluate the track, surface, and competition to determine its true impact. Overall, horses starting from the inside post positions have a statistically higher chance of finishing well.

Post Position in Horse Racing

In horse racing, the post position refers to the starting position of a horse in a race. It is determined by a random draw, typically conducted a few days before the race. The post position can have a significant impact on a horse’s chances of winning, as it can affect:

  • The horse’s ability to get a good start
  • The horse’s path around the track
  • The horse’s chances of being blocked or interfered with by other horses

Handicapping Post Position

Handicapping post position is the process of evaluating the impact of a horse’s post position on its chances of winning. There are a few key factors to consider when handicapping post position:

  1. The track’s configuration: Some tracks favor horses that start from certain post positions, while others are more neutral.
  2. The horse’s running style: Front-runners prefer to start from the inside post positions, while closers prefer to start from the outside post positions.
  3. The field size: In large fields, post position becomes less important, as there is more room for horses to maneuver.

    There is no one definitive way to handicap post position. However, by considering the factors listed above, bettors can make more informed decisions about which horses to bet on.

    Table of Post Position Handicapping Factors

    | Factor | Description | Impact on Handicapping |
    | Track configuration | The shape of the track and the location of the starting gate | Some tracks favor certain post positions over others |
    | Horse’s running style | The horse’s preferred racing position | Front-runners prefer inside post positions, closers prefer outside post positions |
    | Field size | The number of horses in the race | Post position becomes less important in large fields |
    Well, there you have it, folks. Now you’re all experts on post position in horse racing. Remember, it’s a factor to consider when placing your bets, but it’s not the only one. So do your research, pick your horses wisely, and have some fun at the track! Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit again soon for more horse racing tips and insights.