I found the following definition at Dictionary.com:
consistency: steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.: There is consistency in his pattern of behavior.
How does that apply to handicapping horse races? Well, it has been my experience that all race goers have a consistent course of action they pursue when betting on races. It could be as simple as wagering on whichever horse their favorite jockey is riding, or it could entail checking any or all of the following factors.
- the conditions of the race
- the last out finish of every horse
- the speed figures for every horse
- the pace times for every horse
- recent workouts for every horse
- the final fractions of every horse
- the post positions of every horse
- watch available race replays
- trainer statistics
- jockey statistics
- jockey changes
I could continue this list, but I think you get the idea. Everyone processes a race differently. There was a time when I was very consistent; when I considered every one of the above factors and more before I would make a wager. The sad thing was, I wasn’t making any money. Oh, it was challenging, and I thrived on the challenge, but even with a consistent thirty-eight percent winners, it was not financially rewarding. I could not play the races on a daily basis if I wanted to eat and have a roof over my head.
Today, I seldom look at a Racing Form. Not because the Form isn’t useful when it comes to picking winners, but because I learned many years ago that picking winners is secondary to making money. After nearly forty years of traditional handicapping, I encountered an unassuming stranger at Santa Anita who said four little words to me that changed my life. “Watch the tote board.”