Handicapping success stories are numerous when it comes to handicapping contests. Garry Addley of Alberta, Canada, won the Daily Racing Form NHC Tour Online Challenge Saturday, June 1, while Larry David of Santa Rosa, California, finished second in two separate qualifying rounds in February. Both are headed to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship to be held next January in Las Vegas, Nevada. These two individuals are obviously good handicappers as are hundreds if not thousands of other people throughout the United States.
The question I have when I read stories of success such as those above is this: did these two individuals make serious money from wagering on horses races last year? Did they make any money at all from betting on horse races or are they just two lucky contest winners? I do not say that to denigrate Mr. Addley or Mr. David, but to suggest that having a winning day is not the same as having a winning year. I can go two days in a row without a winner, but be whole again on the third day when I catch three winners that each pay $18 or more to win.
Larry David was quoted as saying, “I have very limited experience playing multiple entries in contests, and when I’ve played two or more, my results have not been very good, I couldn’t seem to get my winners onto the same ticket.” That suggests that, while he may very well be a proficient handicapper, luck played a role in the outcome of his contest finishes. A horse player who wants to make a living from his endeavors cannot afford to do that.
The only true assessment of a competent handicapper is whether he feeds the beast or the beast feeds him. If you are keeping a record of your plays, a quick look will tell you how well you are doing so far this year. If you are in the black, congratulations. If you are in the red, you may still be a good handicapper, but you certainly need to work on your betting skills.