When I was a young boy, a wise racetrack sage once remarked to me that
I would “have to learn how to lose” before I could ever learn how to
the time, I didn’t understand what he meant and when I did, he was long
gone and playing at the “Racetrack in the Sky”.
you give his statement some rational thought, it really
makes a lot of sense.
the sage was trying to relate to me was to learn why people
lost and then NOT DO the same exact things.
Easy enough said, but not always so easy to implement, especially for
those inclined to bet every race. Because if you bet
every race, you’re already a loser as we all know. You have to “pick
your spots” very carefully where you feel you have an edge
of some kind and can turn a profit.
why do people actually lose and lose continually?
off, let me say that no matter how much valid information or inside
information you might have, as soon as those gates fly open, the race
is out of your hands as a handicapper. Horses stumble, get bumped,
miss the break, get blocked, steadied, pocketed, etc., and there isn’t
a thing that you can do about it. You don’t actually “ride”
what are some of the main reasons why people repeatedly lose?
TOO MANY RACES
mentioned above, there aren’t 9 golden
betting opportunities on a 9 race card. If you are playing every
single race, you are slowly strangling your bankroll no
matter how good your money management system might be.
next time you go to the track itself or to any simulcast outlet, stand
at the entrance 30 minutes before the first race and take note of how
many people enter the track and buy their Racing Form on track.
You only have to stand there for 5 minutes. They’ve done NO
serious handicapping and are sure to pay the price for trying to do
their homework in the classroom itself. Even more likely to fail for
the day, are those “punters” who are armed with nothing more than a
track program. Picking “cutsie names”, silk colors, jockeys, or trainers
is a very quick path to financial ruination.
are all guilty of this at one time or another in our horse playing careers,
but not every single day we go to the track. Some of
the cheaper races on anyone’s daily card are simply indecipherable.
If you wager in Southern California, you’d need tomorrow’s result charts
to pick contenders in our bottom-feeding 10K affairs, let alone
the winners! Trying to find the “least slow” horse is
a much tougher chore than finding the “fastest”
you go to the track on a daily basis, you see things that simply defy
belief. I’m sure you’ve heard the axiom “there’s a thousand ways to
lose a race and only one way to win”. Let me offer #1001. Recently
I had a healthy wager on a horse ridden by Kent Desormeaux who was ahead
by nearly 3 lengths nearing the finish line when he swerved from the
whip and threw his rider one jump before the wire costing him the victory.
I couldn’t feel my knees until about 2 hours after the race. We all
fall victim to bad racing luck, but if we let it upset us,
it can force us to make a bad wager in the very next race(s)
trying to immediately recoup lost monies
instead of waiting for our next good “spot”.
PLAN BEFORE ENTERING TRACK OR SATELLITE FACILITY
or later we’re all guilty of this to some degree because something takes
time from our every day handicapping routine, giving us little solitude
to make a solid battle plan for the day. If you’re seriously guilty
of this, it can contribute to not only a losing day, but a bad attitude
for the next day and another losing afternoon.
should know EXACTLY what races you might
bet if your horse looks physically OK and warms
up well, but as far as the rest of the card goes, it should
be a pass! Simply going to the track and “winging it” thru a 9 or
10 race card is a sure path to financial ruination
and/or the fueling of a losing streak if done on a continuing basis!
How reliable is the info you use everyday?
If using Equibase or a derivative thereof such as the Racing Form, ITS
data, or BRISNET etc. to generate your past performances, you have the
most valid “pps” that you can buy and are at no distinct disadvantage.
However, if you use private services (to include
my own SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HORSES TO WATCH), you better be “dead
sure” that the “alleged” inside information is not only valid,
but available solely thru the source from which
you make your purchase.
example, my SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HORSES TO WATCH is the only
complete source for Southern California racing for barshoes,
covered frogs, blowouts, stops, martingales, and run-out bits!
Again, we are THE ONLY SOURCE, as it is not
printed in any other publication! As far
as it being valid, I and my associates collect it ourselves---there
is no second-hand information in our entire report as WE
ARE the only primary source for what
we offer to the wagering public each and every
LOSSES IN FIRST 2 RACES
as guilty of this as anyone although over the years it occurs with much
less frequency that it did 30 years ago when I was still a bit unsure
of myself. It happens when you quickly lose your first 2 bets and it
could be thru no fault of your own----such as running trouble of your
selection like getting blocked, steadied etc. Feeling distraught and
knowing that your handicapping is solid, you plow thru the rest of the
card that you initially had no intention of betting
when you walked into the track. Over 99 % of the time, you only “compound
the felony” and further deplete your betting bankroll before day’s end.
You’re playing “their game” where you have no decided edge
as you felt you did with your first 2 wagers.
If you lose your “designated” races for the day, that’s it!!!
There is always tomorrow. Your head will be much
clearer and you’ll have accepted yesterday’s losses as part of the game
and hopefully some kind of a learning experience. To keep on pressing
on losing days invites self-destruction!
CHANGING YOUR MIND AND CHOICES DURING THE DAY
There is nothing wrong with changing your mind on track from the
night before. I do it occasionally, but there is ALWAYS
a very valid reason for it. For example, if a horse shows
up in barshoes for the first time indicating splitting
hooves, I’ll pass him if he was my selection the
night before. There’s no compromise here. Barshoes
are always a big time no-no! If I had
a second choice in that field and my first choice becomes unplayable,
I MIGHT bet him if everything is very
correct to include his total race day physicality and pre-race warm-up.
But if you change your mind on a daily basis, you’re courting
a long losing streak! Making new on-track
betting decisions while engulfed in noise, people, simulcasting, food
aromas and a constantly changing tote board while trying to watch warm-ups
is a tall, tall, very tall task! You need to be totally
focused and block out all of those distractions. Even after wagering
for 40 years, I find this very hard to do, because decisions made under
stress are usually wrong ones----at least for me!
So if my last night selection fails to pass muster, I’ll
pass the race 98% of the time unless another horse is so compelling
visually, that he literally takes my breath
ASKING HORSES TO RUN PAST THEIR PEDIGREE
in a great while I’ll ask a horse to run too far,
or too short, or over the wrong surface,
but I’ll have a damn good reason for doing so. If I’m handicapping
a turf race at a mile and a quarter and the pedigree says only
a mile, I’M ASKING FOR IT ON THE CHIN wishing
for that extra 2 furlongs of stamina to suddenly materialize!
However, if the race is only 1 1/16th and the turf course
is strongly favoring frontrunners and I like a “lone
F” (lone frontrunner), I’ll certainly “get down”!
when you ask for more from any horse than he’s offered
before, he MUST have a “decided edge” over
his competition. For example, to expect a dirt horse
with dirt pedigree to win on the dirt is
normal. To expect him to transfer
that dirt ability to the grass WITHOUT a solid
turf pedigree is usually nothing more than wishful thinking!
KEEPING TRACK OF ALL WAGERS
best way to learn about yourself along with your strengths and weaknesses
is by keeping track of each and every bet for at least a year or
a series of 300 bets. Over this time period, you’ll discover things
that you never knew existed in your daily play.
example, as a teenager in the 60’s, I won 3 times as many turf races
as I did dirt races. It prompted me to become a lifetime student
of turf pedigree. To this very day,
feel much more at home on the grass
than I do on the dirt.
you take the time for self-examination, you’ll not
only break the losing habit, you’ll be well on your way
to REALLY LEARNING how to win
and win consistently!