Those of you who read my blog yesterday know that I had six horses whose tote board odds I intended to watch prior to the start of the Belmont Stakes. Those six horses were Orb, Revolutionary, Oxbow, Freedom Child, Unlimited Budget, and Golden Soul.
Orb began the day at 3-1 odds and, as is typical with morning line favorites, was overbet by the public. Thus, Orb was of no interest to me. Revolutionary began the day at 9-2 odds and started the race at odds of 5-1. No Value Play there. Oxbow was the third choice on the morning line at 5-1, and apparently the public did not believe he could repeat his Preakness performance because they allowed him to enter the gate at 9-1 odds. Bingo! A definite Value Play.
Freedom Child and Unlimited Budget were both 8-1 on the morning line while Golden Soul was 10-1. Freedom Child remained at 8-1 odds, the odds on Unlimited Budget rose to 14-1, and Golden Soul rose to 11-1. Unlimited Budget turned out to be another Value Play.
So, if you had wagered as I recommend in my book, you should have placed Win and Place bets on both Oxbow and Unlimited Budget. Using increments of $5 to Win and $20 to Place, you would have wagered $50 total and cashed a Place ticket on Oxbow for $99, proof that you do not have to spend hours handicapping a race in order to make money. In fact, you do not even need to have a ticket on the winner of the race. This race was not an anomaly. Situations such as this occur daily at racetracks throughout the country.
It is your temperament that dictates whether you are an overall winner or an overall loser. So, which of the following scenarios best describes you:
- Scenario One: There are nine races. You bet $2 to win on one horse in each of them, and you have the winner of three. The winners paid $5.20, $4.60, and $6.80, a total of $15.60, resulting in a betting loss of $1.40 for the day.
- Scenario Two: Same nine races. You bet $2 to win on one horse in seven of them, and fail to cash a ticket until your seventh wager. It was your only winner, but the horse paid $23.80. Your betting profit for the day was $9.80.
Tote board handicapping requires patience and endurance. The ability to accept long losing streaks is paramount, but the result can certainly be long-term profits.