Most horseplayers surrender to the lure of placing a wager on every race with an unfounded belief that more winners somehow means a greater chance of escaping the embarrassment of being a loser. Such thinking, most often, cannot be backed up by statistics. Many also believe that by avoiding low-priced horses they are wagering on overlays, which is typically not the case unless, of course, such an incident occurs by accident, because, most longer-priced horses are overbet.
This inexplicit perception regarding the underlay-overlay relationship that exists among competing horses is simply not reliable enough to produce profitable returns. From the perspective of a traditional handicapper, ascertaining legitimate, rewarding wagering opportunities requires the careful scrutiny of each of the top two, three, and sometimes four betting choices in order to establish the presence of worthwhile underlay and overlay possibilities. If such an analysis points out that the top public choices are more or less properly bet, the likelihood of a respectable overlay existing becomes remote. Races of this nature should not be bet even if you have a personal preference for one horse over another.
If you are indeed interested in making money, and not simply having bragging rights related to the number of winning tickets you have cashed, you need a practical set of tools to enable the thorough examination of past performance data, and you need to create your own morning line to compare against the wagering taking place at the track. This entails an incredible amount of work, which is why most horseplayers are willing to accept the negative results of their losing endeavors.
It is my belief that judgments about betting imbalances should be made with ease and corresponding certainty, something difficult to achieve for most race goers. In my forthcoming book, Handicapping The Handicappers, hopefully available this October, I go into great detail about how I accomplish this task using nothing more than morning line odds and the odds on the tote board.