With a plethora of horses coming back of layoffs, this time of year can be a great but difficult time to bet. I end up passing on a lot of races because I just don't know how a horse or several horses are going to perform coming back from layoffs. However, that does not mean that I sit idly by, reading just the news on drf.com. This is a great time to make notes on horses and their trips, even if you are not betting. I've heard Steve Davidowitz say multiple times to keep a journal from year to year on horses and their trips. Being somewhat of a computer geek I designed a database to hold my notes, but a journal would suffice just fine. The notes that you make now will lead to solid bets in the late spring, summer and fall races. You'll even find that it helps you remember how horses ran when they switched surfaces, shipped, ran on off tracks, what level of competition best suites them, etc. And trips notes are just as important too. Were they wide all the way? Did they get blocked, esp. in turf racing? Where they coming like a freight train late in a 6f race and appeared to need more ground?
Making these kinds of notes now will really help you later in the year or next year when your memory can't quite recall. While these notes alone are quite often not the end all of horse race handicapping, when used in conjunction with other principles they give you a seriously strong edge.