The vision of becoming a professional handicapper has entered the mind of most racegoers at one time or another. All, but a rare few, have failed to pursue their vision despite the reality that a significant number of them possess excellent handicapping skills; many of them better than the skills possessed by public handicappers who work for daily newspapers, racing-specific publications, and television networks.
So, why does excellence in handicapping not result in a successful outcome at the racetrack? The short answer is it requires a special mixture of personal attributes while the long answer is complicated. So complicated I could likely fill several pages with details pertaining to the intricacies involved. Some of the attributes required of a professional handicapper include having a mind capable of solving puzzles, good judgment when it comes to making decisions, the ability to work hard, a decisive nature when it comes time to make that all-important bet just before the gates open, the patience needed to sit through several races before a betting opportunity presents itself, the patience to tolerate long stretches without finding a winner.
There are more, but this will give you a general feeling for why there are so few professional handicappers in this world. It is not an easy task, which is why, after the current Del Mar meet has concluded, I will spend eleven weeks “recharging my batteries,” thinking as little about horse racing as possible. It is then that I will make the final edit on my forthcoming book, Handicapping The Handicappers, and spend some of the winnings I have accrued this year. I tell you this to let you know that your vision of becoming a professional handicapper does not have to remain a dream; that it is possible to make your living based on your passion for handicapping. Unfortunately, in this modern day world of “I must have instant gratification,” it is not easy.