Horseplayer Mistakes

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 22, 2018 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

We all like to think we are above making silly mistakes. – Wouldn’t that be nice if it were only true? – Over the years I have seen, watched and heard of some really bad “boo boo moves.” You know, the kind that can bring a big run to a screeching halt or send you swirling into a downward spiral. – Oh, if I could only go back in time and erase these bonehead moves.


The shut-out


There you are studying and digging into your data. – You’re pretty sure you’ve locked in on a good thing and just need to get to the windows and bet. As you saunter up you see a small line. – No problem, it goes fast, and you’ll have time to make your bet and probably grab a beer before heading back to your seat. – Well, time can be a fickle beast and can lay the smackdown on all of us. – I’m looking at the screen above the lines and it reads two minutes to post. No problem, I’ll get there soon enough. – One minute to post and there are two people in front of me. – I’ll forget the beer and grab it the next race. – The two people are still in line and you see the clerk yacking with the player. – Your mind starts spinning and thinking their old college buddies talking about the reunion. – You start seeing the horse nearing the starting gate and now there is one person in line. I’ll make it, but just in time.

The announcer says the horses have reached the starting gate and it is now post time. –  He starts rubber-necking looking back at the screen which is a different track that has 21 minutes to post. What in the hell is he thinking? – After he finally makes his $2 show wager after deliberating, you are now in line. – You find yourself speaking in tongues trying to get out the words of which numbers you want to bet when you hear the horrible sounds of the tote bell ringing. It takes you back to being late for your junior high class where the teacher will scold you for being late. – Well, there’s no scolding from another but as you watch your pick draw away and win by daylight paying a sweet price you could only wish for the teacher to come back and make you wear the dunce cap.


The long-range plan


I started my day with a small bankroll. I think it was $28 bucks and wanted to see if I could roll it up and make a nice wager on a horse I loved later in the day. – The plan had merit and sounds like a winner. – A place bet here and there has my bankroll growing like a weed. All I’m thinking  about is the runner I love later in the day. – He’s only 8-5 on the morning line and I would be lucky to get even money. – Who cares? – I’ll plunk down my cash and get a 100% return on my wager. – I’m not doing it every race and what a way to make the day a winner.

Well, I did all of my work and things are going to plan. – I have $78 and now it is time to climb in the ring and double my money. He was even money and I’m really loving this horse. – I stepped up to a self-bet machine and began to start my wager. – Right next to me was a gent who was not really versed in using the machine. – It was at this time I knew I made the rookie mistake.- ” Hey fella, can you help me make this wager?” – You bet. – I reached right over and created his wager like a pro. Easy work for a player like me and it’s always good to help others. – When I reached back over to my machine I pushed the button for two races ahead of my target bet. – Right about now you can see him drawing away at 7-5 winning like a good thing. – There I am standing with a ticket for a race that goes to post in about an hour. – I cashed it out and walked to the car. My plans were dashed and I only have myself to blame.


Scratches changes and overweights


There was my buddy who was about to make a sizeable pick-four. He had the ticket ready and his cash in hand. – He only forgot to check the rider changes and overweights. – He was going to key a runner and liked him pretty well. The horse was 8-1 and had the leading rider aboard. I guess all systems were go until he made his wager and made his way to the door. He had a tee time and didn’t want to be late. – But what he missed was the top rider in his final leg was replaced by a low percentage rider who hadn’t ridden a winner all meet. – Right about now you can see this jockey giving his all finishing a game 2nd at 23-1. I don’t know if he ever looked closely at the race charts,  but I’m sure he would kick himself hard if he saw a 2% winning rider on the year closing out his big bet.

Focus, focus, focus. – Take your time, double check the changes and go to the windows early. – Now, these all sound pretty easy but we’re all inclined to make these rookie mistakes.  – I’m still stinging from my weekend blunder and I’ve conducted wagering seminars over the years. Nobody is exempt from making rookie mistakes and I can stand on my soapbox and take the blame like a man. – I’ll do better next time and I’ll promise to stick to my plans.