the years many clients from my weekly SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HORSES
TO WATCH have asked me to devise my “system” for picking horses.
were shocked when I quickly stated that any kind of “system” is doomed
is because you’re trying to put old static
statistics and/or past performances into a dynamic
situation where all contestants are interacting with each
other from the time they arrive in the receiving barn until the last
contestant crosses the finish line. Yet day after day, horseplayers
continue to try to devise some kind of “all-encompassing system” that
will generate a flat bet profit in both the short and
long run. Most of these handicapping “inventors” look at their “system”
as an ongoing project that will some day prove fruitful
and supplement their monthly Social Security checks.
there is no misunderstanding as to the definition of the word “system”
for this writing, I’ll define it as “any rote mechanical
handicapping methodology that brings you to make specific wagers on
specific horses without any user’s subjective input. A horse becomes
the selection because they met or fulfilled all the essential requirements
of the system itself”.
a perfect example of a simplistic rote mechanical system that doesn’t
work nor will it ever work in the long run even
if you fine-tune it:
any horse that hasn’t won in over 6 months.
any horse carrying 122 lbs. today unless he’s done it before.
any horse with a switch to a lesser jockey.
any horse who doesn’t show a win over the specific track you’re wagering
any horse dropping in class off a win last out.
out any horse switching to the turf for the very first time in their
career no matter how solid their turf pedigree nor how good their “dirt
form” might be at the moment.
any horse adding front wraps this afternoon.
out any horses with “gaps” in their workout tab.
out any horse changing distance from a route to a sprint.
any horse coming off a layoff of 180 days or more.
don’t know about you, but I’ve had my “clocked cleaned” more than once
by horses who fit one or more of the elimination rules above.
you could increase the scope and sophisticate your elimination rules
to the umpteenth degree, but the end result will
always be the same----you simply “can never say never”
when it comes to horseracing, nor will you ever be correct 100% of the
time at the mutuel windows.
who dabble in “systems” are wasting their time and squandering
their available present moment handicapping activities with nothing
more than “pipe” dreams. If this game could be beaten by only “crunching”
paper, IBM would have cornered the market in the 60’s!
system player’s time would be much better spent
fine-tuning their daily handicapping process and
focusing on today’s card and how to get the most
out of it. Instead of looking for angles or circumstances in the past
performances of any given race that will lead them to cashing a winning
ticket, good handicappers have a handicapping process
they go thru every single race in which they have an interest..
too eliminate horses who don’t fit the above 10 rules,
but wouldn’t hesitate to wager on them if the conditions
were exactly correct!
the major difference between a “process” and a “system”.
“system” eliminates all your “thinking”
and more or less forces you to wager on very specific animals---------a
“process” is an ongoing handicapping routine
that certainly incorporates the above 10 simplistic conditions as well
as innumerable others for tossing horses out, but will always
allow for on track physical observations (satellite viewing
included), nuances, pre-race warm-ups etc. to strongly influence any
final wagering decisions.
“process handicappers” never say never. They might say “rarely” or
“almost never”, but simply “never say never” like “system” handicappers.
“Process” players always have the ability to make changes while on
track or at a satellite if need be.
or “non-process” players have created their own version
of THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD even though it has never
produced a flat bet profit for a single racing meet. For example, whenever
today’s unsophisticated system handicapper finds the “lone F”
(frontrunner) or thinks he has, he bets the horse “blind”,
failing to complete the entire handicapping process for
the balance of the field.
“system players” should be taking particular note of any peculiarities
or situations that could compromise their “lone F” selection instead
of rushing to the mutuel windows. They should also be “working
the paddock” to make sure there are NO
physical negatives with their earlier selections.
negatives might include things such as a compromising
speed bias on a specific afternoon where ALL frontrunners
were getting caught late. Or perhaps a change in the weather and running
surface that would surely eliminate the “lone F” from the winner’s circle.
(Drying out muddy surfaces always kills front speed if you need an example).
Perhaps the horse shows up for the first time in blowouts,
stops, a martingale or barshoes!
Maybe the 4-5 “lone F” system horse fails to warm-up properly
per trainer instructions. This would signal a “no-go” from a betting
stable because the odds were way too low!
could go on and on with many more potential negatives that are encountered
every single day by “system” players costing them
tons of wasted bad bets, but that’s not the purpose or scope
of this writing.
all have elimination rules of some kind---even
the “process” handicappers of which I’m certainly one.
I’ve never allowed these rules to stop me from
breaking them at exactly the precise moment when they
don’t actually apply due to “special” circumstances.
you too can make the above statement, stop looking
for THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD!
already on it!