Summer Handicapping Progress Report

What to do with your notes

I had the best handicapping question from a long time player the other day. He bought me a draft beer and had a seat. – Before we got down to business we talked family, life, work, and what-not. Just a good beer with an old face from the past. – Well, it finally came down to brass tacks and he asked me. ” Ed, I know you have been playing for a long time and have had the opportunity to know some of the biggest and best gamblers in your travels. What do you do when your data doesn’t work, your handicapping system seems not to scratch the surface, or when you just get tired of getting beat ?” – Hold your answer; I’ll get us another beer and we’ll talk some more.

The answer is never easy, and for me it has been a personal question that comes up in conversation more than you know. – So what are you to do if your sliding down the slope of the gambling world ? – For the almost 30 years I have been playing the races, here are a few ideas that have helped me work through the handicapping fog.


1. – Take a break, and stop completely. It can be hard when you glance at the results, you’ll see a dozen horses you would have played if at the races. – The sudden stop allows you to gather up a new bankroll, allow the passion for racing to return, and will clear your head. You have tried everything else, and what do you have to lose ?


2. – Bet 1/2 of what you normally play, and bet 1/2 of the amount of races you handicap. – This is like portion control for a diet.


3. – Go on a scouting mission. You know, just like the coaches do for players. Get back to the basics of watching replays, charts, and re-introduce yourself to your handicapping data provider. Read over everything that is offered, the changes that are now available as you may have been rushing. – A fresh start is like taking that good morning stretch, a cup of juice and fresh piece of fruit. Think of it as a cleanse that will rid you of the handicapping impurities.


4. – What are you doing wrong ? – Are you playing tracks you normally don’t follow ? Are you betting too much ? Not enough when you really like a runner ? – The time away allows you to see the picture more clearly.


5. – Find a hobby, get back into the gym, eat better, adopt a fresh attitude, and start fresh. Grab that dusty handicapping book off the shelf and give it a read. Look into the interviews of what the successful handicappers are doing. – Slowly get back into reading the daily handicapping sites, and start learning only as you want. You’ll find a new outlook on the game that you have loved.


We all go through the bad spells, and it can be tough to stop or change your ways. If you have a fresh perspective and want a better result just take some time. – Time cures all, and you’ll come back refreshed and ready for the best of the end of summer racing and preparing for the autumn racing that is the best in the country. – For me, I take about 3 weeks off after Breeders’ Cup and watch football and refresh myself. I’ll read some of the daily headlines, but the time away does me good. Once upon a time we had down time. That was when there was only live racing and no simulcast wagering. Now you can bet 365 days a year, and there is more on the wagering menu that does not allow you to breathe. – Take the time and get back to the basics. You’ll find the gaps in your game 9 outta’ 10 times. – My friend agreed and handed me his program for the next day. ” Give it to someone coming in the door, and maybe they’ll get good use of it.” – I think he’s on the right path and it is only a matter of time when I’ll be buying him a couple of beers and talking about his game again. – Best of luck from Winning Ponies !