Most successful handicappers I have met over the years bet on horses that other people are not wagering on. Since seven out of ten handicappers play one of the top three picks in each race, it seems only logical that profits will come from betting on the three out of ten horses they are not wagering on. The problem you need to overcome is how do you decide which horse(s) you should bet on out of the thirty percent not wagered on by the masses.
Long shots do not win every day at every track, but they win often enough that wagering on the appropriate horse(s) in select races can definitely produce long-term profits. So, take a look at reality. Picking 40% winners, slightly above the national average for favorites, at average odds of 2-1, well above the national average for favorites, will net you a between $40 and $76 over every 100-race betting cycle. Picking 10% winners, far below the national average for favorites, at average odds of 11-1 will net you between $40 and $59 over a 100-race wagering cycle. Guess which win percentage is the easiest to maintain.
In all my years of traditional handicapping, I was never able to maintain a 40% win average for more than a few weeks at a time, and the average payout never approached $6.00. I finally started making serious money when I figured out that, by watching the tote board, I could find 15-20% winners without spending half my day pouring over the Racing Form handicapping races in the traditional sense.
I want to stress that you cannot play every race if you want to make money gambling on horse races. An example of a race you should not bet is a race where there is a 2-5 favorite. It is counter productive. These favorites win seven out of ten races, and the second and third choices in such races win a majority of the other three races. If you want to wager on a long shot in such race, you might just as well throw your money away.