Take Your Handicapping Experience To The Next Level


Fusaichi Pegasus, the number 7 horse, losing 2000 Preakness Stakes as the 1-5 favorite.

Typical race goers lose money betting on horse races, but you do not have to be one of them. While most horse players have similar basic skill sets when it comes to handicapping, it is what they do with those skills that separate the winners from the losers.

The quintessential horse player wagers on every race, while a professional horse player wagers when a profitable betting opportunity arises. So, it is up to you whether you want your spreadsheet to register a positive or negative return at the end of the year. (You do keep track of your wagers, do you not?)

To take your handicapping experience to the next level, try adding the following concepts to your way of thinking. You just might expose yourself to profitability.

Stop Searching For “The Winner” Of Every Race

As I pointed out in an earlier post this week, the race going public as a whole picks the winner an incredible 36.7% of the time. However, to earn a 10% profit wagering on favorites requires an average payout of $5.85. Unfortunately, the average payout for a winning favorite is $4.40. So clearly betting on favorites is not the way to make money.

Look For The Best Bet In A Race

While the favorite may look unbeatable on paper, even horses with odds of 1-5 lose races (see photo of Fusaichi Pegasus above), albeit not often. Sure, you can make money wagering on 1-5 favorites, but you cannot make a living doing so unless you have a bankroll that allows you to ‘plunge’ huge sums of money on a single race.

In 2009, I found a selection method that returned 59% winners over a six week period that included a total of one hundred fifty-five playable races. (The details can be found in The Logical Choice: Tote Board Handicapping Made Easy.) The problem with the approach was its bottom line: all I could do was break even. Well, actually, a $2 Win wager on each horse produced a twenty cent loss. Place betting was even worse, producing a $7.30 loss.

If you learn nothing else from my blog posts, learn this: Betting on low-priced horses is not the way to success.Horse_50x50

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