Stay, Or Play?

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 21, 2010 in General Discussion, Handicapping | 3 Comments >>

The hardest question that can be asked of any horseplayer is to bet, or just to watch and go on a scouting mission by watching the race. I have been playing for some years, and I have had the pleasure and pain of watching folks fight the dragon every race. The dragon, is that dreaded beast that makes you play races that are not worth the risk. Here are a few questions that you must ask yourself before embarking on any gambling journey:

  1. Have you set a goal or a loss limit? This is a must, and without it, you will surely lose in the long run.
  2. Do not shy away from using higher level handicapping tools such as data or predictions. Many feel that this is not handicapping. I don’t know of any business in the world that will not gather all of the most valued information first before making a move. It only benefits you, and it allows you to keep a fresh perspective about the race.
  3. Stay away from track touts. You know, the guys that hang around and tout a live runner only so they can come up and hit you up for a piece later. They are a penny a dozen, and they have gone the way of the dinosaur. I have watched many over the years, and they give out five different horses to five different players. I guess their odds are going to kick in sooner or later.
  4. Don’t play the odds board. Who cares if a horse is 4-5? I now have to decide if the price is worth the risk…. $3.60 for a $2 wager isn’t bad, but if you don’t use it in exotics and maximize value, you are leaving money on the table. Don’t let the board make up your mind……
  5. The top three riders, and the top three trainers are ITM 75% of the time…. You can’t beat those odds, and you always want to look at riders and trainers who have solid success…
  6. Only play with the money you came with. I have never won with borrowed money, and it is a sin just to think you can now overcome a bad day with your new $100 loan… Suckers beware!
  7. If you don’t like a race, don’t play. There is no trophy for betting the most races. Skip it, and grab a dog and a beer. You can always watch, and study up and plan ahead….

These are a few ideas to hold close. They won’t fail, and only time will show you how much they are true… I once heard the best line ever:  ” There are 3 types of people in the world – those who watch things happen, those who wonder what happened, and those who make things happen.” Which one do you want to be?