Emotional Whims Have No Place At The Racetrack

Betting_on_the_FavoriteDeciding whether to wager on a given race is hard enough without adding emotions to the mix. If history tells you that betting races when the favorite is going to post at odds of 3/5 or less is unprofitable, then allowing your emotions to dictate otherwise is detrimental to your bankroll. There is no other way to look at it. “But the favorite looks like he can’t lose.” Tell that to the folks who wagered on 1/5 favorite, Rachel Alexandra, in the La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs in 2010. Or, the folks who bet on her when her odds were 1/20 in her debut race that year. She lost both races, and is representative of horses I label Money Suckers.

To make money at the racetrack, you must find Value Plays, known by many as overlays, horses with odds greater than you think are realistic. Unfortunately, for most racetrack patrons the excitement of betting on a race is more enticing than actually winning money. Which is one of the reasons horses that rate consideration as one of the top three picks for any given race are almost always overbet. The need for action drives the bettor to make ridiculous wagers that are not based on the potential for profit. Which is okay if you are a recreational handicapper playing the races as a means of escape from your otherwise mundane life, but it is not okay if your intention is to make money from your endeavors.

Wagers have associated with them differing degrees of profit potential, and it amazes me that in this day and age people are still lemmings when it comes to betting on horse races, choosing to bet on some broken down nag going to post as the odds-on favorite rather than seeking out a horse that might actually provide them with a profit at the end of the day.Horse_50x50

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