Joe Takach

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Last week we offered options of what to do if you lose your 1st bet of the day.  In re-reading part one, I noticed I omitted something under the “sticking to your game plan section.”

The scenario presented assumed that you only had a single bet that specific day, but most often we have anywhere up to 3 or 4 races that might be very playable “on paper” on any given afternoon.

If we lose our first wager, it is imperative that we find out “why” before we move on to our second wager of the day.


The main reason is track bias.

Even though the running bias we saw yesterday is most likely still in place, it could have changed since yesterday for no other reason that weekly track maintenance. 

Take Del Mar for instance.  After the last race on every Monday afternoon, they cut the track, regrade the surface and in doing so redistribute the excess dirt that has gravitated to the rail during the last 6 race days of steady pounding.  If track maintenance didn’t do this, sooner or later all the dirt would become level and there would be no essential “banking”.  With no banking, the horses must slow down because the centrifugal force is carrying them to the outside.

Point here is that if you know the maintenance schedule at your home oval, you can often explain a bizarre performance by a specific horse or an apparent subpar effort by your wagering selection.     

Moisture could also be the culprit causing you to rip up your first bet.  If it rained overnight and stopped in the early morning, 6 hours later the inside could be like quicksand.

If the bias has changed and it is quite obvious to all to include the hot dog lady, STOP BETTING AT ONCE!

Take Southern California for example.  It is no secret that the 3 major ovals (Del Mar, Santa Anita and Hollywood) are extremely kind to frontrunners.  At the moment of this writing (closing day at Hollywood) 111 six furlong sprints have been run over the dirt at Hollywood.  A total of 64 out of those 111 races were won by horses who were either setting the pace passing the ¼ pole or pressing the leader and within a ½ length of him. 

Again 64 or 57.66% of all 111 six furlong races were won by very “early” horses.  That’s an incredible betting edge if you have that specific knowledge. 

Suppose that you do actually have this knowledge.  You bet the first race, but you get beat by a “deep closer”?  Did your selection have a legitimate excuse for losing such as physically looking a wreck, a bad trip, poor start, or suicidal speed duel? 

If he did, proceed on the card where you have multiple bets. 

If he didn’t, was a frontrunner and got caught anywhere in the final 1/16th, you might want to rethink your strategy for upcoming potential wagers if you play a speed-crazed dirt surface such as Hollywood’s and handicapped the day’s card for front speed.

Ideally we would like to “watch” the next race or two to see if “deep closers” again fare well and close on the speed. 

If they do, yesterday’s speed bias is clearly gone and so are your day’s remaining wagers (again assuming you handicapped for frontrunners).

Whatever you do, DON’T TRY TO RE-HANDICAP the day’s card while you are on track!

You picked your today’s horses in the comfort of your home in soothing solitude without P.A. systems blasting in your ears or people screaming like maniacs at TV screens.  Additionally if playing a track very similar to Hollywood, your next day’s selections were made for the same frontrunning track that you left the afternoon before.

Change the surface even mildly and anything and everything can and usually does change!

If my next bet after my first losing bet actually comes in the very next race, I’ll pass until I’m dead sure that my first mistake (where a deep closer won) was nothing more than a one-time aberration.

As once remarked to me by a trusted racetrack sage, “It costs you nothing to pass a race”.

I agree, but offer even more and you still can have a little “betting action”!

If you lose your first bet of the day, make your next wager a “mind” bet where you never actually take your hard earned cash out of your pocket.

If you lose, you can only lose your mind----not money needed to make wagers when you are, in fact, deadly sure!

Go knock ‘em dead!


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