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Myopic

Posted by on 7/29/2015 1:45:25 AM

There are several definitions for myopic that can be translated to horseracing since the turn refers to nearsightedness, lacking understanding and narrow mindedness.

All of these bad traits can come back to bite you in this great game of horseracing and players need to be realistic and to see the forest for the trees and not get hung up on any one outcome or any one way of approaching this game.

There are 100s of different ways to look and evaluate any particular race and probably as many ways to make things go right.

Let’s look at a couple of those ways and how using these angles can work to bolster one’s bankroll.

The need for speed is as important today as it has been since Amerigo Vespucci and Christopher Columbus were on the race to discover America.

Clearly, one of the best bets in all of racing is when a handicapper can find a lone speed horse in a race. It may be just a natural thing, but horses just get brave when they get a lonely, uncontested lead. Even horses that are inferior on paper sometimes just find another gear when they look around and find themselves in front in a race with no challenges.

Even if there are a number of speed horses in the race, all may not be sent.

And players have to be aware of how their preferred track is playing not only day-to-day but also really hour-to-hour.

At a track like Del Mar, the surface can change drastically and if one is not paying attention, it will be costly.

Know that speed can also help runners avoid bad trips and bad posts and looking for the speed in the race is the initial thing that must be addressed.

Betting purely on recent results can be a good thing or can be a bad thing. These beautiful animals are not machines.

They are not brought out of the stable, filled with high octane, with tires checked and windows cleaned and then started up but they have real blood flowing through those veins.

Like the human element, horses have bad days too. A recent win may have occurred because the sun, moon and stars where aligned and a runner got the absolute perfect trip.

Or a runner may have won because he didn’t catch the greatest of fields. Players have to understand that the cheaper runners in this sport are cheaper and run for low purses is because they cannot hold their form of a long time.

One of the most dangerous bets in the game is backing a debut winner right back against winners. No matter how impressive a horse may be graduating at first asking, this is a meteoric leap to face and beat horses that have already had experience and have run against winners.

The late great trainer Mike Mitchell taught me this lesson years ago when I ran into him at a bar at the beach in California. It was in reference to not just taking one performance as the end all to a runner’s ability but to try to put it into perspective.

He had just had a visually impressive filly win at first asking and I mentioned it to him and his response was ‘it’s a whole new ballgame facing winners’.

On the other hands, if a runner seemed to be in a good spot and just threw in a bad race, that kind of running line demands attention. You can’t take the short cuts in this sport and survive.

If a runner with some semblance of quality just never kicked in the last race, did a little deeper and try to figure out why.

Was the speed bias against the runner? Did the runner have a horrible post? Did the runner encounter a roadblock or have a terrible traffic trip?

Or did the rider panic and gun into a hot pace instead of being patient and just riding the race

Seek and you shall find.

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