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Quest for The Holy Grail

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 8/5/2010 12:48:57 PM

Horse bettors are almost always looking for the Holy Grail of proven systems but the reality is that they don’t exist. Systems can work for a period of time my experience tells me but over the long run, a shallow under achieving outlook at making money at the track is doomed to lose.

When players tackle the major races this weekend like the Whitney, and the Test at Saratoga and the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar, they will be best served to concentrate on the shape of the race, how it is likely to unfold and then just go from there.

As far as the meat of most cards on any racing day, there can be some kind of trend that develops but adaptability is the key to success for all bettors.

There are many ways to skin a cat and the horseplayers that are able to be flexible are the ones that can win and thrive in this changing environment.

With that said there were some interesting notes there were evident on a recent sweep of the web.

One gentleman suggested that being overly involved could be a bad thing.

And I kind of understood where he was coming from. After years of being a public selector for the Daily Racing Form where I would usually handicap a card 48 hours before the races were going to be run, it was amazing to me that my selections on race day were the same ones I came up with 2 days prior.

The gentlemen that I referred to went on to theorize that there were many situations where he going to pick the same horse every time.

Horses like that jump off the page for him in the first few seconds were the ones he concentrated on. He didn’t waste time on looking at longshot angles or negative theories but he found his horse and devoted all the rest of his handicapping time to figuring out who else to use with that obvious horse in the exacta/trifecta/superfecta/double/pick 3/pick 4.

Another bettor said he had been wagering for over 50 year and isolated on cheap claiming sprints, which has a built-in problem.

The problem with betting on super cheap horses is that they keep their form for such a short time and that is why they are cheap horses. The form is easily reversed with cheaper stock because they are not capable, either innately or talent-wise, to put together long extensions of good racing form.

Another fellow horse bettor went on to write that he has seen programs, pace figures, complicated calculations and just about everything under the sun and they will many times come up with the same horse that you would pick just picking the top Beyer figures in each race.

This missed the entire point of making a profit since value always seems to come from those horses that are not top ranked. Many times you have to go below the top three selections from a program to find value.
This is the kind of player that has the potential to make a living in this game because he gets it, the way to profit at
the game is to not only make winning horse bets but to bet runners that will show a considerable profit.

And finally a gentlemen took the ‘Lone Wolf’ road by saying he doesn’t don't buy racing forms, doesn’t look at any numbers, doesn’t pay attention to any sheets but just watches replays and tracks horses.

As we all know, this racing game has a lot to do with ego. And the player that refuses to be swayed by any information other than watching replays and tracking certain horses is not only limiting the ability to be educated but also limiting the power of all that is on the ‘Information Highway’.

The bottom line for all horse bettors is that whatever avenue one chooses to go down, that player has to make his style work and he has to work on his style.

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