another “brick” for your Yellow Brick Road? See if this “golden” one
time you lose a wager, make an exact determination
as to why you lost.
happens most often after any race is that the winners “gloat” and the
losers bury their faces in the Racing Form or the track programs trying
to recoup lost monies in the very next race.
don’t know about you, but I hate to lose. Sure, it’s an inescapable
part of our great game, but that doesn’t lessen the momentary
pain or sense of being stupid because you didn’t have the winner that
often appears quite logical as you play Monday morning quarterback when
glancing back over the past performances.
that still doesn’t answer the question at hand.
you didn’t bet the winner, why did your selection
always been of the opinion that only 50% of any
race is handicappable. By this I mean that you can have every
conceivable piece of information on every single horse in a race and
still only have half of the puzzle solved before the horses exit the
over which you have no control (in no particular
isn’t sending today for any number of reasons from larceny (mutuel
price too low) to an owner(s) unable to attend due to a Board meeting
or illness in the family.
existing running bias that clearly favors your horse suddenly disappears
right after the last race. I’ve seen this happen many times. Moisture
is the biggest culprit. If you abruptly go from a dry to a wet track
due to a storm, prior golden “paths” can, and usually do, quickly disappear.
I can recall this happening many times during long summers at Monmouth
Park. The sun would be shinning and everything “bone dry” for the running
of the 7th race, but a freak summer storm would come from
nowhere and dump a half inch of rain on the track in 25 minutes and
render it “sloppy” for the 8th event. Good bye existing
bias! Additionally, I’ve seen tractors reverse direction midway
thru a day’s card and the very desirable inside or outside paths suddenly
problems. We’ve all been victim to this one quite frequently.
It’s very difficult to get a thoroughbred to stand still
in a starting gate before the beginning of a race. If you’ve ever heard
a jockey yelling “no,no,no,no” once loaded, he’s trying
to get the attention of the starter to let him know that his horse isn’t
standing correctly and not to open the gates. Sometimes he’s not
heard or the gates fly open at the exact same time
he’s yelling that he’s unprepared. Other times, the assistant starter
in the stall with the horse might have his head cocked the wrong way.
When the gates open, the runner breaks into the gate
itself and loses valuable position from the bell and most likely the
rider. This is obviously the most serious of
gate problems because you can’t win a race without a jockey in the irons.
Additionally, how many times have you had a riderless horse compromise,
block, or intimidate your horse causing defeat?
asleep on his feet. How many times have you wagered on a great
looking horse who has every conceivable handicapping factor
going his way, only to receive the worst ride
you’ve seen in 20 years? Did I hear you say that happens to you every
week? Well it shouldn’t and probably doesn’t, but it positively happens
and it’s totally out of your control! (What is even more frustrating
is that sometimes the same jockey comes back in the very next race and
rides a 3-legged broken-down pig to victory at 35-1 and burys you again!)
trip. It is not the purpose of this writing to go into every
possible negative scenario that can cost you a race. We’ve all been
victim of a bad trip---after all, we don’t ride our wagers
and even if we did, some mishaps often wouldn’t even be our fault.
Most times, our rider is the victim rather than the instigator of race
related “trouble”, but the end result is the same. We
lose! Always remember that “bad trips” are not by design (unless
a “stiff” is in progress), but usually by a reaction by our rider after
an incident caused by another runner.
takes a bad step. Though not as frequent as a bad trip, this
negative situation probably happens more than one might imagine. Dirt
tracks are not newly paved highways where uniformity
is the rule rather than the exception. If you were to walk the entire
length of a mile dirt oval in the 3 path after “grading” by the tractors
before the next race, you’d be amazed at how uneven the surface is though
appearing quite uniform. What amazes me to this very day is that horses
don’t take more bad steps than they actually do every
race. If a horse does take a bad step, you have no
control over it!
mishaps. Though infrequent and regularly inspected by trainer,
groom and jockey, equipment does break during the running of a race
(broken stirrups and bridles, thrown shoes etc.). Again, you
have absolutely no control over this or any way
of knowing that it is about to happen!
physical problems. These situations are too numerous
to mention, but here’s one that we can all relate to. Many times I’ve
bet a horse that looked flawless in the paddock and got a fantastic
4 to 6 furlong pre-race warm-up only to watch him pull-up prematurely
because he “bled”. This sometimes even happens to horses running on
lasix. In fact every horse bleeds a tad during a race, but usually
it is not enough to stop him from performing to maximum
by clogging his breathing system.
above 9 areas make up most of that 50% of a race
that you can’t control! I’m sure I haven’t
every area known to the racing world, but once you begin to accept that
the 9 areas do exist and have for quite some time, you
can begin to make more money!!!!
do this by either giving your selection the benefit of any doubt and
betting him right back if placed in a similar field next
time, or by tossing him out when you discover that
he HAD NO EXCUSE and most likely isn’t this good
or hasn’t been this good for some time.
way, it’s a win-win situation for you! But as stated above,
you have to make that determination for yourself. This requires post-race
work like watching the warm-downs and inspecting every horse as he’s
unsaddled regardless of finish position.
you work tirelessly to do so every time you wager, you have to
come out better than you would have by gloating or immediately burying
your face in the Racing Form!