Cheap Cappin’

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 13, 2009 in General Discussion, Handicapping | No Comments >>

Handicapping cheap races can be a double-edged sword. It can be tough, but it may offer great value if you want to make a go of it.

Here are a couple of plays to examine when following smaller circuits.

First, don’t ask cheap horses to do something they have never done before. Sounds easy, and it is. Don’t ask a 50-time runner trying the turf for the first time, to light up the board. This is a double no-no when they are extremely cheap. When you find this track condition switch, it pays for you to try and find some speed. They can get loose on the lead, and cheap horses have trouble playing Silky Sullivan.

In a race where everyone looks the same. This condition can be found for instance in claiming races with a condition tag. Don’t play the runner who just made  a “big” run last out. Cheap horses don’t hold their form. Look for runners who have solid running lines such as: 5th – 5th – 6th – 4th – 3rd. They have the look of running the same race every time. These are more playable during fair seasons, and for small tracks. I love the same look of a runner. They are bound to get a break, and the toteboard will light up.. It is worth the play…

Skip the runners who just broke their maiden, and now try cheap conditions. This will hurt you more than help. Favorites win 33% of the time. But, tell me how often they lose… Don’t make this play. Cheap runners can’t make the jump. They usually get hammered, and you can play away from them.

I like a rider / trainer combo. If they have had any past, you may want to follow. This means they probably work in the morning, when you are at work. I like to follow this angle. Good riders know how to make a horse perform better. Good trainers can patch an old gelding for many seasons.

There it is, cheap cappin’ in a nut shell. They always offer value, and are worth the play. You usually get these early in the week, when the marquee tracks are not running. Go ahead, and try your hand. It may be a lot of fun, and pay off in the long run…