The average retail store in the United States netted a profit of 2.06% in 2007 while the food services industry netted 4.34%. That was the latest year for which I could find statistics. I suspect these percentages do not fluctuate much from year to year. Since wagering on horse races does not have the overhead of these types of businesses (employee wages, lights, water, heat, air conditioning, etc.), it is safe to assume a profit of ten percent from wagering on horse races is possible. To do that, you must cash…
50% of your bets at average odds not lower than six-to-five (6/5), or
40% of your bets at average odds not lower than seven-to-five (7/5), or
30% of your bets at average odds of five-to-two (5/2), or
25% of your bets at average odds of seven-to-two (7/2), or
20% of your bets at average odds of nine-to-two (9/2), or
15% of your bets at average odds of six-to-one (6/1), or
10% of your bets at average odds of ten-to-one (10/1), or
8% of your bets at average odds of fourteen-to-one) 14/1.
Based on a $2 bet, if you wager on 1,000 races and cash tickets 36.7% of the time, you will wager a total of $2,000. To generate a 10% profit on those 1,000 races, you will need an average payout of $6.00. Sounds easy, right. Well, think about this: The favorite won 36.7% of all races in 2010. The average Win payout was $4.40. That is a long way from $6.00.
As you can clearly see, betting on favorites is not the road to riches, but how do you find horses with payouts large enough to put you in the black? I found the answer for me was learning how to watch the tote board, but I know of handicappers who make money by spotting betting opportunities the typical horse player overlooks. However you go about it, profits are found by betting on the horses 70% of the betting public ignores.