Making money wagering on horse races means you have to bet on horses with odds that are in your favor. Wagering on the most likely winner without regard to whether you are getting a fair price will result in your losing money over an extended period of time. The biggest advantage you can have is betting against people who do not have a clue that price makes all the difference.
I was at one time obsessed with finding out what indicators in the Daily Racing Form pointed to the horse that had won the race I had just watched. I had convinced myself that by studying the results of past races I could learn how to find the winner in almost any event I was handicapping. Whenever I lost a bet, I would return to the Form looking for my “mistake.” It took me decades of handicapping this way before I finally accepted the fact that, in any given race, the possibility exists that any horse in the race can finish first. That is the only way I know of to explain winners that go to post at odds of 50/1 or greater. No traditional handicapper looking for “the winner” of a race would consider at horse at those odds.
Any number of things can and often do go wrong in horse races. Horses break down, they stumble leaving the gate, toss their rider, race wide around a turn, get boxed behind horses, etc. I finally learned that my task as a handicapper is not to pick the winner in every race, but to find two or three legitimate contenders and then uncover situations where the betting fans underestimate the chance the horse will win the race. I call these opportunities Value Plays; others call them overlays. Whatever you want to call them, you should consider them your best hope of winning enough money to show a profit at the end of the year.