What’s Missing?

What’s Missing?

Do you ever get the feeling that ‘something’ is missing in your day-to-day handicapping and playing the races (other than profits!)?  For me, it tends at times to become a bit of a drag.  I’m not referring to the “burn-out” factor (which rears its ugly head now and then), but to the fact that it is a never-ending game . . . and a never-ending game with no opponent.

We’re always playing against the “crowd.” When we win – there are hundreds of others who also won on the same horse.  We get no special kudos for having picked a horse that hundreds of others also smoked out.  When we lose – thousands of others also lost that race, so though we lost a few bucks, we haven’t really “failed” because we have so much company.

Want a change?

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Ky Derby 2016

Ky Derby 2016

For me – the Kentucky Derby marks the start of the ‘good’ time of the year.  

For others, it might be Memorial Day – traditional start of summer on the last Monday in May . . . or the start of the Major League baseball season in first week of April . . . or the Vernal Equinox, or the last frost date – whatever, but for dyed-in-the-wool horse racing fans – it’s the “Derby.”

Life (at least horse-racing life) seems to wake up again as Derby Day approaches. It never fails to excite, and a happy anticipation builds towards that first Saturday in May.  The old bankroll can ‘wake up’ again as well.  The Derby has had some monster payouts in its recent history . . .

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Hot Odds

Hot Odds

Allow me make some assumptions (one or all these assumptions will apply to around 95% of those reading this) . . .
1. You are a decent handicapper and you’ve been in the game somewhere between 4 months and 4 decades.
2. You have up days or cycles where you make good money – then you have losing streaks where you give it all back, and -
3. You can’t quite put your finger on why this is, but -
4. You’d really like to solve this and make some money in the game – to the point that you’d be willing to give up your left hand
(or right hand if you’re a lefty), or maybe even sacrifice the wife (or hubby) ?!?  

. . . Okay, okay – just joking about the wife part  :-)

Interested in a way you might solve the race-player’s dilemma – forever?

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Year End Review 2015

Year End Review 2015

Another day – another dollar.”

I’ve always kind of mistrusted that expression – even though it is most often true . . . that we make our way through this life “by the sweat of our brows.”

Unfortunately – far too much energy is given to ‘earning a living’ – as if we are, after all, just a higher-thinking version of any of the other beasts of burden.  We get pretty much captured by the desire and the need to earn.

In race betting it seems that even more energy is given over to that motive. It’s the way we keep score if a ‘recreational’ player, or the way we make ends meet if a ‘professional’ player.

So – what are the pre-requisites to attaining higher levels of profit for 2016 and beyond?

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Odds

Odds

Odds – Odds ! – Odds !!

Did I mention odds?

Okay – I’m going to beat an old drum in this post, but the topic is one that every handicapper needs to get pounded into his/her brain until any hesitation, and all “backsliding” are completely rooted out!

There are two drawbacks (at least) to how our brains (these unbelievably powerful computers we carry around on top of our shoulders) function;
1. We are wired to do what is pleasing, and to avoid what is displeasing
2. We tend to recall short-term results, and lose track of long-term results (i.e. the most clearly remembered events are those that happened most recently).

Though good for our physical survival in general - these tendencies can be death to the survival of our bankroll . . .

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Turf Racing Trick

Turf Racing Trick

Before getting into the meat of the discussion – we’d like to announce that the HRG Index will be issued again starting Thursday, Nov. 12th (details at bottom of post).

Now – answer this question as best you can:
In turf routes, which wins more often;
late speed/energy or early speed/energy?

Most of you will likely have thought for about 1/2 a second before answering “late speed, naturally.”  Others will have thought a bit longer – assuming it was some kind of trick question because the “late” answer seems so obvious.

It’s not a trick question, yet it’s a ‘tricky’ question.  The right answer will give you – perhaps not the proverbial “Key To The Mint” – but at minimum a key to increased profits on the green . . .

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Breeders Cup 2015!

Breeders Cup 2015!

Alright – it’s that time of the year again – one week from today!

I love Breeders Cup days – how about you? Not only do we get top-quality racing, and superb horseflesh on display – but also it’s just so much easier to make juicy profits on theses days.

Day-to-day horse betting can get to be a grind.  At times, races sort of become indistinguishable from one another; small fields, uninspiring runners, low odds favorites parading in like clockwork (but not often enough to make any money betting them long-term), hours of pre-race work only to end up with a paltry profit on the day (often even when the handicapping was right on!) . . .

Then comes the two Breeders Cup days of racing, and the whole stale process takes on a fresh potential.  High paying winners are in the cards – even monster winners – and they will be ‘gettable’ employing the same handicapping factors (if you are a natural contrarian) used in the daily grind.  As example, below is a quick review of the results of the recent years of the Horse Racing Gold Breeders Cup Special Report . . .

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Kelly – or Bust

Kelly – or Bust

(* see HRG Index announcement at bottom)

The infamous Kelly Criterion – you’ve very likely heard of it, and if you’ve tried using it, are also very likely to be so gun-shy of at this point that you may never want to hear of it again!

It’s got the reputation of being the fastest possible way to build a bankroll – or the fastest possible way to lose one.  Like most things that are controversial – the truth of the matter is not with the extremes of opinion, but lies somewhere in between. 

If you are interested in a new take on the subject, and in receiving a free spreadsheet I use personally . . .

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Belief and Disbelief

Belief and Disbelief

There is a hurdle that every unsuccessful handicapper must get over in order to finally become profitable in this game – and it’s a high one – a biggie.

It has nothing to do with your actual handicapping, or the particular method or approach that you use (as long as your method is based on viable factors).

It has to do with your most basic beliefs . . .

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Intangibles 2

Intangibles 2

This post will revisit the idea brought up in the last post – that there are factors in every race that are impossible to predict, and/or difficult to quantify.

Fortunately – there is now a way to get a handle on at least one of these “intangibles.” Some of you won’t have heard of this new tool that is freely available to all handicappers.  Many will have heard of it, but won’t have taken the next step and put it to use in order to increase bottom-line profits – while a very few astute handicappers will already be using their own unique approach with this data.

We’ll go over the basics – give you some pointers and valuable links – provide a general base from which you can continue your own research – And: we will also make a very restricted offer to a few of you. Interested?

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Intangibles

Intangibles

Someone once said that “In most races, the top 2 or 3 finishers all cross the finish line in about the time it takes to slowly blink your eyes.”

We’re talking in generalities here, but think about that . . . after running some portion/s more-or-less of a mile, and after one to two minutes of jockeying for position, after getting bumped or jostled (or not), after getting caught behind, or on the far outside of other horses (or not), after going around or inside or between (or not) – many of the races each day are still decided by noses and necks, or other divisions of a single length!

We try our best to predict the race’s outcome based on the tangible data that we have in the horses’ past performances.  However, I find that many if not most races each day are decided by the intangibles of the race as it unfolds – the data that is impossible to have before the fact becomes the most important factor once the race is underway . . .

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Money Matters

Money Matters

Before getting into the meat of the post – we’d like to announce that we will again this year be issuing our annual (and highly profitable over the last 12 years) Kentucky Derby Report. (Order link at the end of the post – and on our order page)

Betting the big race days – like the Derby and Breeder’s Cup day/s – is a different animal than day-to-day race betting. I’m not a proponent of the “go for the jugular” philosophy when it comes to betting the horses as a way to make an income – mainly because when it fails, it’s my own own jugular that gets sliced!

Rather – as I’ve talked about several times – I like a “middle-way” approach that is conservative at base while also putting me in front of potentially high-paying horses fairly frequently.

I was thinking on these matters the other day while reading a financial blog that I follow.  There was an article there where the famous (or infamous according to your point of view) Tony Robbins had interviewed several of the world’s most successful investors (Ray Dalio, Kyle Bass, Paul Tudor Jones), and he then boiled down their various approaches into four succinct guidelines.

I (as always) related the ideas to horse racing, and here’s what I came up with . . .

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Year-End Review

Year-End Review

I’m going to do my usual year-end ramble (some might call it “rant”) here – and with the usual warning:

. . .  This post will have more or less (mostly less) to do with handicapping and betting the nags, and therefore will be of more or less (again – likely less) interest to most of you ‘hard-core’ racing fiends. And it will be dis-jointed, and without any redeeming value whatsoever!

But with that proviso, and with a “Have a Great Holiday Season” wish to all of you – here goes . . .

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Exacta Skills

Exacta Skills

Building your skills at handicapping and betting the exacta can make a big difference in your bankroll’s health – IF – you learn and apply the factors needed to be consistently successful at it.

By definition – you first need the skills to find the winner (most handicapping methods concentrate on this aspect) – and then (equally as important) the know-how for finding the horse/s that will most likely run second.

In the discussion that follows – we’ll concentrate on the latter: How to identify the horse/s most likely to run second.  Interested?

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Results Breeders Cup 2014

Results Breeders Cup 2014

We’ve had several ask how the HRG Breeders Cup Report did this year, so rather than respond to each individually, I’ll post the “results” below . . .

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Models

Models

Do you keep a Model?  (No, no – I don’t mean in that way!)  I’m referring to a daily accounting of how the tracks you play are running, and how your own pre-race handicapping matches up with the reality of the actual results of those races.

A very revealing truth is that most race players don’t ‘do’ record-keeping – of any kind.

Why not?  Because it’s a boring and somewhat tedious task.  But . . . cashing tickets is neither boring nor tedious!  The question then becomes are you willing to to put up with a bit of tedium to substantially increase your bottom-line profits?

This one fairly simple task can instantly set you above 90% of all race players, and give you insights that will put you in a highly favorable position as you compete for your desired share of the betting pools. Interested?

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Sucked In

Sucked In

How many times have you bet on a low odds horse?  Hundreds of times . . . thousands of times?

The great lure in this game – the subtle and perverse attraction to the low-odds horse – is (by reason of the very nature of a pari-mutuel event) the weakness that dooms most players to a negative expectancy.

Unfortunately (or fortunately according to how you use it), the actuality of this game is that the odds on the toteboard are extremely accurate overall.  Therefore the lower odds horses win more often than the higher odds horses – that’s a simple fact of the game. And since it is a natural tendency to want to win more often, players (even otherwise good players) will often get sucked in to win-betting a good looking horse at low odds.

You cannot do that and make profits in the long-term – regardless of what the naysayers, chalk bettors, and ‘fine-line’ value players might tell you.  Why not?
(find out – and also get info on our new white-paper, the “Weak Favorite Advantage” Report)

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What – Me Worry?

What – Me Worry?

I was having some ‘mad’ thoughts the other day – crazy ruminations on the whole concept of ‘betting odds.’

It occurred to me that there are three possible (and generalized) views of betting the races;
- mainstream (following the crowd)
- contrarian (counter intuitive), and then
- contra-contrarian (?!). 

Now – I’ve already admitted that these were perhaps Alfred E. Neuman type musings, so you’ve been forewarned  . . .

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