I remember a time when I would look at the tote board and cringe whenever I saw a horse I had spent an enormous amount of time singling out as the likely winner of a given race going to post at odds of 5-1 or greater. I would start to second guess myself, and wonder what I had missed. I would wonder why was the horse not the favorite as if lower odds magically signaled a better chance a horse had of winning a race. Eventually, I would follow the herd and bet the favorite, or maybe the second choice in the betting while my original selection would waltz home a winner at long odds. I long ago lost track of how many times that scenario took place before I finally learned to go with what I know, not with what “they” ostensibly know.
Well, my days as a traditional handicapper who tries to pick THE winner of a race are over. No longer do I spend countless hours attempting to find the logical choice to win the race. What truly amazes me, even to this day, is how long I held on to the belief that there had to be a way to piece all the clues available in the Racing Form together to find that elusive winner of each race. What I failed to understand for so long was horses are living, breathing animals, not bits and pieces of information. Some days, horses simply do not feel like running, just like there are days when I do not feel like writing a 300-plus word essay for this blog. If I skipped a day because I was not feeling well, would my readers even notice? A horse that is not in the mood to run, however, has no choice because its connections decide when it will run and when it will stay in the barn.
The people who bet on the horse that does not feel like running will blame its loss on the jockey, its post position, whatever suits their fancy, but the point of this diatribe is simple. If your ultimate goal is to make money, negative influences can make or break you. Find what works for you as a bettor, and do not allow others, be they individuals or the collective, influence your betting decisions.