Three Rules For Winning at the Track

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 10, 2015 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | 4 Comments >>

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were only three ? – Well, you are hearing it loud and clear right here. There are only three you need to think about. If we quit trying to attach everything but the kitchen sink to winning, we just might have a chance at doing better in the upcoming year.


1. – Work to be a better money manager = The first step is to allocate a certain amount of funds that you plan to bet with – this amount then forms your bankroll. This amount should be money that you can afford to lose and you should separate it from your savings and day to day funds. You don’t necessarily have to deposit it all at a sports betting site, just ring-fence it somehow. Once you have decided on the size of your bankroll you need to decide what percentage of your roll should be your base betting unit. Your base betting unit is basically how much you want to risk on a normal wager. Somewhere between 1 – 3% is ideal but you can go as high as 5% if you’re comfortable with the increased risk. – I know plenty of very good handicappers, but horrible money managers. At the end of the day, I have often heard them say ” I should have won more today.” – They’re right. They had the homework complete, the replays watched, and the biases noted. Right before they hit the windows, they lost their way thinking they could take it all down in one or two bets.


2. Decrease the distractions = I know plenty of folks who love to gamble with others. You’ve read many times how I’ve mentioned friendships that can grow at the track. But you still have to focus on the details. – Let’s use my good pal, Dan. He loves to sit and talk all day with three or four guys everyday. They are all retired, and this is the reward they enjoy. But I digress. – Dan makes a few small friendly wagers. A very small place parlay, a nice show wager. – In a small notebook he has 3-4 runners, the tracks they are to run, and the post times. When the race is 10 minutes to post, he gets up to take a walk and makes a good bet. He ventures over for a cup of coffee, or to wash his hands. He’s just getting into character. – He finds a TV and watches intently. Win or lose, he heads back over to the guys. – ” I love the fellas, and they make the day. But I learned long ago if you limit the distraction, you’ll do better over time.”


3. – Target your focus = There used to be nine to ten live races and then you went home. In the times of simulcasting, you can see ten tracks in 15 minutes at times. If you try and “tap dance” all the races, you’re dead in the water. – Limit the number of tracks you follow to two or three. These are the tracks where you know the biases that erupt on a muddy day, how the rail is doing, who the best riders and trainers are on track. – There is plenty of information to peruse for stats, but nothing beats the human eye. You need to watch the races, and keep copious notes about the races. You don’t need to re-write War and Peace, but keep notes on the dead rail, speed being king, the closers who ruled, who has got a bad trip and why. – The best handicappers I have ever watched keep their own notes. They use handy stats from many sources, but nothing beats the old fashioned time spent to actually watch the races.


So there it is, and no secret sauce recipe was stolen. They have been there the entire time, and all you have to do is employ some restraint and keep your focus. – I’ve loved the time spent with friends, but don’t lose track of why you are there in the first place. All can be accomplished, but we need to take that break away and dedicate our total focus. – If you haven’t in 2015, we are coming to the close of another year. Make this new year a better wagering experience. It’s your money, your time, and to a great degree it is all up to you on how you’ll employ your tactics. – Good luck from friends at Winning Ponies !