2020 – A Year For the Books

2020 – A Year For the Books

How to even begin a review of this last year?! 

Racing, politics, travel, family life, the economy – everything was changed radically in 2020.

All still remains in an unresolved, Covid-clouded limbo. I’ll try to focus on racing in the topics reviewed below . . .

Before I start . . . this will very likely turn into one of my rambles – please excuse.

Racing without fans in the stands (as with all other sports) – doesn’t it seem colder, distant, less appealing?

Even though I personally only attended live racing a few times a year, the glaring fact that I am not allowed do that now (that along with so many other things) – that’s hard to accept.

Sports in general are but a faded version of their former reality. 

Handicapping-wise, it seems to be getting a slight bit easier now.

Can’t put my finger on the reason why exactly;

  • maybe fewer old-time sharpies involved now? 
  • maybe the syndicates have got into a favorite-oriented rut, and valid contenders in the mid-odds range have increased? 
  • maybe stables have fewer opportunities and are trying to spot their charges better and make the most of those chances?

I don’t know – maybe I’m focusing with more intensity.

Knowing that the income of millions of fellow Americans has been shut off, or their businesses destroyed – reading about folks standing in long food give-away lines – seeing the Fed printing and government spewing out money like there is no tomorrow . . .

It definitely makes one more concerned about money matters.

When the powers-that-be confess that, “Yes there is a huge problem” – and then ever-so-generously offer the grand sum of $600 (!) to the new millions of jobless citizens (and this while giving away untold billions in pork-barrel baksheesh to various foreign interests and their lobbyists) . . . well – even those who are fully brain-washed by the main stream media know something is amiss.

And now the Feds will be fingers-in-the-pie in horse racing. The “Horse Racing Integrity and Safety” paragraphs were a small, embedded part of the recently passed and extremely controversial Pandemic Relief Act.  The safety of the horses – the integrity of the sport . . . of course it sounds righteous and good – and is needed it’s agreed, but with government involvement, there always comes graft, broken promises, and red-tape – this is guaranteed. Lets hope for the best there.

There may come a time in the fairly near future when $100 a day of income would make all the difference for many race players (for some, even an extra $50 a day might mean decent food on the table – or not).

Continued lock-downs remain in effect in many states – and very likely more on the horizon as “supposed” second and third waves, and “proclaimed” new strains of the virus come into the picture. Having a home-based source of income could become crucial.

As many other options and sources of income are disappearing – betting the races moves up the ladder of choices.

If one were to approach this game considering the money made as essential (to a life being lived under financial duress) – what would that be like?

For certain it wouldn’t be an entertainment, a hobby, or an exercise in dreaming. . . not if money is tight. Gambling, greed and unreasonable expectations would be out. Fear of loss would need to be contained. The cinch would need to be tightened up.

I’ve been working out a new approach to the game recently – for those that might need it in the future. Its a sort of  – (call it a) “survival” method – aimed at players to whom that $50 to $100 a day on a short-stack bankroll would be meaningful.

It’s not there yet – getting the “gamble” out of the equation is the challenge – that and eliminating most of the work that is normally required of serious handicappers (but that only the rare few are willing or able to give).  Stay tuned for an upcoming post on this subject.


But there are some things left to be thankful for as this holiday season, and this fateful year of 2020 come to an end.

Horse racing is still there at least, and somewhat like it was (but I keep getting this image of thoroughbreds wearing face masks?!).

And though it seems like the world ‘out there’ has little to offer of late – other than lies, warnings, orders, and fear porn . . .

And though we watch the increasing loss of freedoms we previously took for granted . . .

We still have the interior world – and the small exterior space we carve out for our immediate family.

That part is still a warm, safe-haven as of now. Let’s hope the coming New Year brings fortunate things for all. Perhaps even the start of a return to prosperity as a nation, and at-the-least an increasing level of civility towards our fellows.                 

–  Gary / Horse Racing Gold


  1. Hello Gary, I also am waiting for your survival method.

  2. Is the index currently available? Thanks.jim cleary

  3. Good to see you again Gary! Hope all is well. It’s a pretty low bar, but 2021 will be better.

  4. I am curious what you are working on with respect to the “survival” method. Been using a method incorporating the first selection rule of “Show Me the Money” into the “Tote Board Gold” method with a mildly progressive betting method . Using the place pool since show pools are so small these days. Rare for a losing day to occur. I

    I am grinding away!

    Stay safe.

  5. Dave Henry

    Saw a funny cartoon: The surgeon says to his patient, “During your surgery I won’t be wearing a mask. I find that it violates my personal freedom of choice.”

  6. Looking forward to your “survival” method! Happy New Year!

  7. David Valino

    Eloquently spoken Sir Gary.. Happy New Year!

  8. Happy New Year Gary!

    Strange days indeed !!

    Im looking forward to your new ideas…..stay well

  9. I am 87 years old and love horseracing. I can’t wager very often as almost always loose. AND my only income is SS.
    I would be very happy with $50 – $100 a day “anytime”!

  10. Happy New Year Gary and me updated on your new work

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