Horse players have always sought instant gratification, which is why methodologies such as tote board handicapping have never caught on with the masses. Most handicappers are incapable of spending a three and one-half hour stretch of time watching eight races unfold only to find three wagering opportunities. When all three horses fail to hit the board, the typical handicapper jumps ship so to speak and is off trying to find another approach.
I remember that period in my life when I would flit from one handicapping idea to the next. The first book on handicapping to influence me was written by Larry Voegele. Titled “Professional Method of Winner Selection,” it was marketed by direct marketing guru Joe Karbo via ads in local newspapers that appeared next to the horse racing selections. As I remember it, the concepts presented eliminated horses that failed to meet certain criteria, one of the first in a long line of books that help folks find the low-priced nags that suck their money from them.
Another book that turned out to be a major time-waster was Andy Beyer’s “Picking Winners: A Horseplayer’s Guide.” I am sure I spent hundreds of hours creating par times and speed figures, only to prove to my satisfaction many years later that Beyer Speed Figures are worthless. The fact that this book is still in print says much about the gullibility of horseplayers.
In the early 1980s, Steven Davidovitz wrote, “Betting Thoroughbreds: A Professional’s Guide for the Horseplayer,” yet another book that over the years influenced my handicapping, and not in a positive way. Following the advice provided in this, or any one of these books, for that matter, will lead you to a high percentage of winners but, unfortunately, these horses are over bet.
Did you notice that the word “Professional” is included in the title of two of these books? I doubt any one of these three guys could make their living solely from betting on horse races. To make serious money at this game, you have to think outside the box, and these guys wrote the books that keep horse players trapped inside said box.