- bad post position;
- poor start;
- change of jockey;
- change of distance;
- change of equipment.
- pace was too slow;
- pace was too fast;
- jockey rode the horse poorly;
- field was too large.
Or, the horse
- was running for a new barn;
- was stuck on the rail;
- was forced wide throughout;
- met with a lot of interference;
- does not like _______ (fill in the blank) surface.
Did I miss any? I am sure I did, but these are the ones that quickly came to mind as I began writing this morning.
Now, perhaps one of those excuses was the reason your horse ran so poorly, but how will you ever know for certain? Uncovering the cause of a bad performance relies on educated guesswork at best, and often requires making assumptions that might be better left unassumed. Besides, what purpose does it serve to dwell upon it after the race has run; after your money has found its way into the pockets of another bettor?
Some would argue that a good horseplayer needs every edge he can get, and, therefore, such observations should be made; that it provides you with an edge over your fellow bettors. Does it really?
I would argue that quite often people ignore the last race of a horse because it allegedly had an excuse when they should have simply noted that the horse ran a poor race. I say that because most people, who make excuses for a bad performance, do so for the low-odds horses that were favored in their last start but failed to hit the board, the “beaten favorite” angle if you will. The problem with this scenario is you end up betting, for a second time, a low-priced horse which you should have ignored anyway instead of finding a better wagering opportunity.