Aim High

Aim High

What’s the worst that could happen? 

Many believe in this approach to life – and to horse racing.  I also did in an earlier time of my own life.  As we look around us today – almost everywhere (except maybe in Big Banking and Big Wall Street) we see lowering returns to our expectations.

Technological innovation remains the hope for a fuller and more fulfilling future, but somehow it has not, and is not living up to its promise. Belts are tightening here at home as well as across the globe. People are very concerned, people are worried . . . some are afraid.

For nearly a century, the “American Dream” was the ‘aim high’ goal for our ancestors, and for the throngs of immigrants that flooded into the country. Some did achieve relative greatness – some always will – no matter the time or place.

However, that Dream of America seems to be fading fast, and is achieved by fewer and fewer. There are over 40 million U.S. citizens now on food stamps, 10’s of thousands have lost, or are in imminent danger of losing their homes because of greed, the so-called “fiscal cliff” rapidly approaches .  .  . and forgive me if you are of a different view, but I think Tuesday’s election results only serve to make the mess even more problematic.

So how does all this relate to betting the ponies?

I’ve always felt that the game of handicapping is – in many ways –  analogous to the game of life. Thirty-four years at this endeavor (horse racing that is – life I’ve been at, let’s just say, somewhat longer!) have ’rounded my sharp edges.’  I have accepted that wide swings in the game are a given – and that from them handicappers can learn the real truth of the situation.  It is a game of ever-present ‘let-downs’ – as I’ve written many times, “losing” is part and parcel of this challenge. Winning – and at times, winning huge – is also part of the game. But one’s goals for their own bottom-line in betting the races cannot be set in relation to either of those extremes.

Ask two important questions of yourself;  “What do I want from this game?” – and – “What do I need from this game?”

The first question is the “aim high” question – the ‘dream’ scenario. For some, that might be, say, “a million dollars” . . . or maybe  – “a million dollars a year” . . . or simply – “I just want to beat the game.”

The second question, in my opinion, is the more important one.

This is the “pragmatic” question – the ‘dose of reality’ scenario. Honestly – what is it that you actually need from the game?  Player A above (the “I want a million dollars” guy) might now answer this as, “I’d like to hit one big carry-over pick 6” . . . the player above who ‘wanted’ a million dollars a year might now truthfully say, “actually 75K a year would be okay” . . . and the third person above might now answer, ” I’d love to just get back some of what I’ve lost over the years and then break even from here on out.”

I’m not saying lofty goals cannot be achieved – both in life, and in horse racing. Almost any high goal is within the realm of possibility – yes. But setting attainable goals for YOU – ones that you actually feel confident (without emotional hoping and dreaming) are do-able . . . this, to my way of thinking, is crucial.

Maybe I’m a bit of a Stoic, but I feel that the disappointment felt when high goals are not achieved, is usually felt too strongly.  And as a result of setting goals too high, the positive value received from attaining lesser goals along the way is diminished and not given its true value because it wasn’t the “highest goal.”

Throw out the whole concept of “higher” and “lower.”  Set your goals for betting the races at a level that you “need” – then steel yourself to the cyclical nature of the challenge, and go achieve that goal – period.

By way of tying this back to the “American Dream” idea at the beginning of the post . . . I’m just saying that I think that dream was waylaid – and stolen by those that got too greedy. 

Success now seems to be measured by amounts – whether of money, fame, or power.  I feel this is a perverse distortion of the meaning of success, and of the purpose of setting goals.

So – it’s okay to go ahead and “aim high” whether it be as a nation, or as an individual – whether in the realm of national economics, or the small game of a single person’s horse betting bottom line. Just be careful not to overshoot and find yourself suspended, and floating towards an inevitable crash.

As always – your comments are welcomed.                                                – Gary



  1. Luke Stone

    “Greed, for lack of a better word is good”…….Gordon Gekko Won’t you join me in the battle royale, and to the victor go the spoils…..happy punting

  2. GARY



  3. Late to the party, but always enjoy the readings Gary.

  4. Gary,
    Politically I have to agree with your post. Our country is in a mess and the fix will be more difficult now. As for “The Important Question”, about what I want or need from horse racing is something I still wrestle with and I think it involves how much effort and time I’m willing to put into it. The Marquee Race Method sounds very intriguing since most methods seem to concentrate on less marquee races. Please send the method.
    Thanks, Riley

  5. I agree with what you said, it is getting harder to make a good profit and I like your goal setting idea’s, to aim high but to keep it reasonable within your bankroll.
    Thanks Gary

  6. I did not wager on the breeders cup races. I have not placed a bet in several years due to my inability to handicap successfully at my advanced age. During the past 60 plus years of wagering on horses, I started out as most by losing, then breaking about even, and then winning. At some point a few years ago I realized that I could no longer handicap successfully and so quit betting. After the initial trial of system betting, I have no faith in their value, but your workout of the cup is enticing and would at least like to look it over to see what I may have missed in my initial opinion of system betting.

  7. – this man called Barack Obama is a Socialst/Marxist, pure and simple, and there are no two-ways about that.


    sadly the sleeping masses have no idea …and his followers would glady drink the kool aid if he says its ok…

    Thanks for the BC Method!!

    I usually dont do that well on the BIG days in racing ….more
    of a claiming/alw type player ….grind it out….hit my daily
    goal and shut it down type player. It works for me …
    discpline and money management ..and KNOWING YOURSELF …
    AWARENESS guys !!! AWARENESS of yourself and your own mind
    are the intanglables and the reason why most players never cross over into consistent profits!

    Again thanks …

  8. Michael Westin

    Hi Gary!
    I thought that this years Breeder’s Cup offered alot of opportunities to get nice priced winners! But with so many shippers: Argentina, England, France and Germany etc, I thought it was much more difficult than in past years! I cant tell you how many times my fourth or fifth ranked horse won at great odds!And days like this should be the ones to make money! On a regular day at my track there are so many short priced winners!It gets harder and harder to make money from this game> In the old days, ten years ago, I would bet everytrack that was simulcast! Today I have had to re-adjust the way I handicap and bet and of course I dont bet as many races! Life everything in life we always have to re-adjust if you want to come out ahead! The Breeders Cup races proved that you still have days that are not chalky and money can be made! But its alot more difficult today as everyone is using computers and the edge from using speed figures diminish!!!!

    • Michael – In complete agreement with the concept that any handicapping factor when used by a large enough population of bettors will diminish the returns . . . as a SINGLE FACTOR. Which is why the realm of discovering new apporaches to the game remains ever open to research and creativity. The many and various factors can be combined and weighted in endless new combinations. – Gary

  9. Very nice post about aiming highm and maintaining focus. As for the political views- tell it as you see it, were still free to say what we think.

  10. Wow, surprised to see so many distressed about the recent election on this website, but I totally agree with you, Gary, as well as many of the others. This government under President Obama in my personal opinion is unbelievably hostile to hard workers and high achievers unfortunately.
    As to horse racing, I think that to be balanced player you must have good goals, but still be rooted in reality. If you are in the horse racing game, you are in the numbers game and numbers never lie. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you are “right”, but how much you took home in your pocket. Take care, nice article!

    • Gina – Thanks for the comment. It should be realized that Obama garnered only in the low 40% range of votes from the population of total eligible (registered) voters in the U.S. – this because so many chose not to vote at all. Compile that with the number of fraudulent votes he ‘somehow’ got – and you have a presidnet who is in fact not liked by a large majority of the adult citizens in the country.
      – Gary

  11. John Sullivan

    Well, now having gone thru the BC 2011, I’d be cautious with this method. Only a single win, at 6/1.

    • John – Appreciate that you are doing your due diligence with the method . . . the thing is (drawing from your previous post) – you are not testing THIS method. You are testing some other method . . . where foreign horses are thrown out, and Bris figs are used, and some figs are arbitrarily doubled – etc etc. You are investigating something no doubt interesting, but it is not this method. – Gary

  12. Also very distressed about the election. Hard to believe that we are living in a country where hard work and achievement is almost villified. Am I really supposed to feel guilty about being successful? Punished for achieving and living well? Worked for everything I now have and will never look for government to bail me out and pay my bills. Government should never be a way of life, shame on any politican who “buys” vote with taxpayer money. Praying we have something left after these next 4 years.

    Anyway, back to handicapping, been a customer of HRG for many years. Owned race horses in the day and always looking for new ideas in what is obviously a very challanging pasttime. Notice I didn’t say “game” or “job”. This isn’t a game. Real money is at stake and it’s that realization that actually helped my whole approach in the past few years. As I grew older it became clear the odds were really stacked against me making a living with this or having it be my full time “job’. I’ve found the balance where I can dream a bit and make some money but continue to respect what is a very difficult and challanging pasttime. Keep it balanced, enjoy other things, always look to learn and I think you can aim a bit while keeping it all in perspective.

    Good luck all !!

    • Joe – But in reference to your business success – “You didn’t build that!” – remember that oft quoted response from our illustrious leader when speaking about those that have built strong businesses from scratch – from their creativity and the sweat of their brows? In my opinion, those who think they voted for the Democratic Party are suffering under a serious illusion – this man called Barack Obama is a Socialst/Marxist, pure and simple, and there are no two-ways about that.

      To your second point – it is good. I call it a “game” out of force of 35 year habit – and sort of tongue-in-cheek. It is anything but a game when you are trying to earn any kind of serious income from it. – Gary

  13. After suffering my worst breeders cup in years I could of used a simpler method on racing’s biggest days. Sometimes you can get a case of information overload in racing today. With the results of this method I wish I had it this year.

    • Phillip – Yes, I think information overload is an everpresent issue – in racing and everywhere else. – Gary

  14. Hi Gary,

    Good article. It reminds me of the old ABC Wide World of Sports program. It always opened with Jim McKay saying “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat…”.

    Certainly this occurs in any game. This occurs in Life. There must be a victor and their must be a loser. Games have Freedoms, Barriers, Goals and Purposes. They also have Opponents. There must be a winner and there must be a loser or there would be no game per definition.

    People love games. The game of life is itself a game made up of many subgames. Each has the basic components (Freedoms, Barriers, Goals and Purposes, Opponents, Winners and Losers) and possibly many others as well. Games keep us interested. They give us something to do. There are probably as many reasons to play a game as there are people to play them.

    Horse racing is a game. Horse betting could be said to be a game within that game. We all have our reasons for betting on a horse. I think that if betting were not part of the game of horse racing there would still be horse racing. Since time immemorial man has pitted one horse against another. Why? Because man loves games. His motto could be, “There must be a game”.

    I, like many horse bettors, have been interested in horse racing most of my life. As a spectator sport it alone is fascinating and beautiful to watch. But when you add all of the other factors which go into handicapping a race it becomes much more than a spectator sport. It becomes that much more interesting and fascinating. It becomes a challenge, and an intellectual pursuit. It becomes an emotional roller coaster ride where one can experience the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

  15. John Sullivan

    I tried out the Marquee Method just now on the latest BC races, both days. As I have only BRIS PPs, I didn’t know if it would work as well as with Beyer figs. Also, there are no figs given for foreign horses, so I decided to just leave them out (the horses, not the races). With one race there was a quandary: 9SA on Saturday 11/03. #12 had only one US start, the last race, and earned a 106 BRIS rating. What to do? I doubled it for 212, which made him the #1 ranked horse. Problem was that the #3 ranked horse (after low odds elims.) won at 17/1. So by leaving out this foreigner, I would have had the win.

    For the 2 days then, following the rules as given, betting 1, 2, or 3 horses as per the guidelines, (except that i just went by flat betting, not true dutching), I had 27 bets, 4 hits, for a gross return of 99.80, or a 85% ROI.

    Now to see if it held up for the 2010/2011 BCs. This may be a terrific method!

    • John – As stated in the method, for the European horses, the Racing Post numbers are used – and adjusted according to the chart given in the method . . . Leaving them out is, of course, unwise. They contributed winners of $24.80, $36.40, and $20.60. Don’t know about Bris, but Trackmaster gave speed ratings for Argentina horses as well – I just treated them as if they were Racing Post numbers – i.e. brought them way back down to Beyer fig levels. You’d need to do your own research (or search the net to see if others have done it already) before comparing Bris figs to Beyer figs. However – For the kind of Marquee races we are talking about here – and since no computer program is needed (i.e. no direct download) – I would think a person could purchase the DRF pp’s on those days if it helped lead to good profits – no? I mean the extra cost is negligible. As far as I can tell – you are not applying the method as given. – Gary

  16. Most horseplayers are actually planners, and therefore losers. Planning only works in stable situations and then for only as long as they are stable.
    Strategy is what is required in a world of change. It’s what enables one to have a different insight every thirty minutes, or realize one doesn’t have one and pass the race.
    Goals are necessary, but it is strategy not planning that may realize them.

  17. Great post way beyond horseracing your comments in regards to the greed and sickness of this mess we are in could not have been said any better. The problem being I believe is there are so many people in charge that have forgotten they are no longer children they are adults (so stop whinning and blaming and cheating the system) and appreciate the fact as bad as things are in this country it could be worst and there are others who have it worst. We are still all Americans it’s time to hold are heads back up and fight like the champions we have always been the people of this country have and will always come back to the level of grace and class that has set the standards worldwide. We must never give up are dreams but to achieve them we must be willing to raise our individual level of heart and self-worth “no more tears” it’s time to put the gloves back on and go to work people “one battle at a time”.

  18. I think I’m a pretty good handicapper and I used to do rather well, but over the last few years, I stopped playing to win and started to play to not lose, i.e. too conservatively. In this years BC Classic, my top five horses were Flat Out, Ft. Larned, Game On Dude, Ron the Greek, and Mucho Macho Man. Had I bet them all in a Superfecta box, I would have wound up with a boatload of cash. Instead, nothing. I need to learn how to play to win again.

  19. I was never into racing until a friend of mine at a previous job asked me to program a race tracking system for him; I did that, left the job, and never heard from him again. That was over 10 years ago and the system is still occasionally tracking. With this available data I play with funny money while attempting to create not a handicapping system, but a betting mythology that works for me and often put it in play with real funds.

    Your post points out my basic goal, “I just want to beat the game.” At this point I realize I will never break the bank, except by accident, and thus far I have never suffered a major lose or needed to replenish my initial bank. Your philosophy, both political and on the racing front, seem to reinforce mine and at times like these it is good not to be isolated in the crowd!

    I very much enjoyed your post and to be honest look forward to receiving your freebie.

  20. Please send the Marque Race Method did ok breeders with your old systems

  21. Setting goals is a good thing. However, charting a course for achieving those goals is important. Being willing to alter that course is also necessary due to unforeseen circumstances. Keep ann open mind but go with your own instincts and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I have learned more from my mistakes than any of my successes. Probably because I’ve made a ton of mistakes.

  22. Hi Gary,

    i enjoyed reading the articles that you posted. As for myself i love betting on high priced horses simply because i could not afford to wager large amount on those hot favourites so as to make a tidy return. so far my results are borderline. Lose one day gain back on another. still struggling to analyse my betting system. hope to have a copy of your dynamite method of hitting high price-horses to reap in some solid return constantly. Sincerely hope to continue betting in horse racing into my old age. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

  23. Appreciate you “giving back” a little. Anxious to see how this new/old method plays out.

  24. Gary – We aim high in our businesses and set goals to generate the most profit. I don’t always play this type of race but would love to have a tool that gives me more insight into possible winners. I would hope this method of selecting winners is as good as many of your other methods offered.

  25. Your coments on the American Dream sums up the coarse the county is taking…….more people depending on goverment to take care of them and not realiaseing that they are losing their freedoms . the post from Joe S pretty much sums it up.
    I wasn’t able to play the Breeders cup races due to other comitments, but was able to watch a coulpe of races on Saturday. I enjoy your site and look forward to trying the method
    Thanks, dan

  26. Thank you for the email letting me know about your site, it looks very informative. I’m one of those who is also afaid about what is going on in our country, all those who voted for Obama looked so happy he got re-elected. But I had a sick feeling in my gut. I hope horse racing survives, all I want to do is be consistent and make a steady income making good wagers. Best of luck to you.

    • Don – I would think racing will survive in some for or other just about as long as the country itself survives. I think history shows that very often things can get grim and stay that way for far longer than most might think they would.

  27. iwish ihad some of those winners

  28. orrett morgan


    Setting’need’ as the goal in any endeavour, can be far less stressful, and more measurable. One can decide how much one needs to make in a given time; and pursue a betting strategy based on one’s handicapping skills.With need as the goal, one would tend to be more prudent and less prone to whimsical bets.

  29. Gary,
    As always your posts are informatine and educational
    THANKS !!

  30. Dave Henry

    A. Not sure if this is a political or horse racing blog. I’m probably in the minority here. I voted for the Green Party candidates. So, don’t blame me for the nonsense perpetrated by the two major Wall Street Parties.

    B. Being within a year or two of retirement, I’ve been searching for potential “supplemental” income. I’m very turned off by all the internet marketing noise, and I keep coming back to what I love — horse racing. As for goals, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to strive for a plan to make a couple thousand a month. And five or ten K would be even better. I realize there are always going to be runouts. But achieving a long term net advantage is my goal.

    C. To that end, I’m examining some key angles in an attempt to create a somewhat systematic approach that I hope will translate into fairly consistent results. My orientation historically has been to go for the huge exotic payoffs, and I’m trying to temper those urges now. I have purchased quite a few computer programs, and generally been very unimpressed. Subsequently, I have my doubts that there’s much out there that can compete with the human brain.

    D. I understand that in parimutuel wagering we’re matching wits with the public. But even more significantly, we’re matching wits with the insiders, the trainers and connections that seek to hide the form of their athletes and their true intentions in order to cash big at our expense. The second major obstacle is the burdensome tax (takeout) imposed on winnings. It’s even more ridiculcous than that of sports wagering in general. All this merits serious consideration.

    E. When it comes to goals, everyone talks about dollars, and so do I. But regardless of the specifics, what really is the goal? For me, it’s to live comfortably and have a little fun doing it. Of course, you can’t do that without the dollars. So, I’ll stick to my plan (still in the formative stage right now) until it becomes illegal, immoral, or unattainable.

    F. Wish me luck.

    • Dave – Thanks much for the long thoughtful reply. Other players will benefit from it I’m sure. – Gary

  31. Hi Gary,

    I arrived at HOU on Sat/3 and didn’t know it was
    BC until I got inside. The parking lot had 3 times
    as many vehicles as normal. Couldn’t get a seat in
    in the Players Lounge, as they sold out 3 weeks in
    advance. Normally I pay $3.

    Took my very first laptop that I bought a month ago
    (11 years old, $70 from a pawn shop). Had to go upstairs,
    because I didn’t want to be surrounded by those OTHER PEOPLE.

    Paid $15 for 3 seats (I’m by myself). Stayed about 5 to 6 hours.
    Made about 8 to 10 wagers, give or take.

    Ate a plate of KILLER nachos.

    Betting maiden races only (hint, hint).

    Good thing I was betting only $5/single QF,
    $2 each for double QF.

    Didn’t win ONE wager.

    I just chalked it up as a day I shouldn’t
    have been there.

    Stuff happens. ESPECIALLY IN HORSE RACING!!!

    I love you all,
    Joe Riley

  32. The goal setting that is most important is knowing when to jump in. How many times do I bet every race on the card, or play overlapping races from diifferent tracks simultaneously. Have you ever caught yourself handicapping a race while another race you played is in progress? Sometimes you don’t even watch the race. Any help to “slow it down” and intelligently pick your spots without succumbing to the opinions of the “experts” would be appreciated.

  33. In the 15 breeders cup races, the top BRIS Prime Power horses won 4 races returning $19.00. The second PP horses won 3 races returning $63.40 for investment of $30. The third PP horses won 2 races returning $49.80. In big races, the second and third choices, are allowed to go at very good prices.

    • K – Sounds like they had a good day. In the little method I’m passing on to you – I mentioned betting all qualifiers inb each race, but the method rules don’t call for that in all races – only when the odds on all three are long enough to allow for it. Actually the thrid ranked horse was only bet in two races of the 13 races that had qualifiers (and 1 of those won). Most winners – 6 of 13 – were in the top rank – with one in the second rank. However – in past years the distribution has been different, so again – conservative play would call for betting as odds allow in each rank without risking that they will always be in the first rank – or the back two ranks. – Gary

  34. David Stewart

    I will admit that after this election, I am a bit depressed. I do not feel that this country cares about those of us who believe that hard work equals success anymore. I would like to narrow down my “all over the place” style of horse betting to a consistent, steady approach that I can use to first supplement my meager income and eventually make a decent living. I am looking for the best approach. …..Now send me my free method!!!

  35. Gary
    I thought I did pretty well on Friday to hit the 4th and 8th races of the BC ($32.80 and $20.40) so I am very interested to see how to get over 160% betting every horse that runs. My High School “slogan” was “Aim for the highest – settle for nothing less.” Well, I’m still aiming high, but like you said it surely is more difficult when you watch moral decay being rewarded in some fashion. Poor message to our kids and grandkids. When I retire I plan on taking each of your methods and trying them for a day or two, then another, etc. They all work, just some better than others on some days and vice-versa. I am not yet brave enough to really lay out real money, I’m still a $2-$5 bettor. But I know that is what it takes. Well, appreciate all of your insight, Gary. Thanks for all of your wisdom and opportunities. Keep up this website, it is great!!! – Take care, I’ll keep watching – Joe M

    • Joe – Thanks for the comment. Sounds like you did pretty well on BC days – I know you’ll be interested in what you find. – Gary

  36. Hey Gary, an eloquent way of saying “Set Goals”. Of course, it’s a special person that will ever have the discipline to do it and see it through to a fruitful end. I find discipline quite elusive. Maybe I’m rebeling.

    • Dean – Agreed. I agree with Ricky’s post about it being easier to take in incremental steps and stair-stepping the goals in manageable steps. Always another race, another race day, month and year. – Gary

  37. For years I skipped the Breeders Cup races. I always picked the ones that should blow the field away and never does. Without a doubt this would give me the edge I was looking for. Can’t wait till next year. Dave

  38. While i agree that setting goals,whether it be with horse racing or life in general,is a good thing unfortunately alot of people do tend to stretch their imagination abit too far.I have never forgotten something told to me many years ago that still rings true today and that is that if you look after the small things well the big things will take care of themselves.It’s like painting a house.If you look at the whole job in total it is easy to be come disillusioned.You never seem to be reaching your goal of finishing but if you break it down into sections,ie:this wall then that wall next you can always see that your goal of finishing is much closer at hand.To me small regular gains are just as good ,if not better,than putting all my eggs in one basket and going all out for the big win.Here in New Zealand we are relatively new to the U.S. racing scene but with our racing hierarchy giving us more and more information and access to it i think it will just get bigger and bigger.

  39. great post i believe horse racing is a recession proof game learning to play the game can be difficult especially when you are new to the sport its good to read your posts as i need all the help i can get

  40. I’m glad you “bribed” people to post comments before handing out your Marguee Method. As a new-comer to the sport, I was lured into the dream of ‘easy money’. I have since learned that money easily won is just as easily lost. It’s refresing to hear the advice of veterans that hard work and discipline are the keys. If only our financial intitutions and governments believed in the same thing.

  41. Win or lose, and most players lose more times than win, I’ve always considered success to be measured in the enjoyment of the game. Why do players continue to play through losing streaks? Yes, to gain back what they lost, of course. But I also think players continue to play through losing streaks because they don’t want to walk away from a game they enjoy, love, have fond memories of, etc. horse racing is so much more different than playing other sports. In horse racing they are many multiple factors, and many multiples of options to play. We all have opinions as to what factor in horse racing is more important than the others. I think we have more to win … Because we get to choose more than which of the two teams will win. We get to try to figure out what the pace in the ace will be, who will be in thread, and why; who will finish stronger, and why. We can blame ourselves more in horse racing than we can in other sports. .

  42. Went to the Breeders Cup this year for the first time and I would highly recommend it to anyone. What a great time…great weather, great horse racing, great food, the pageantry. And I actually was lucky to hit a couple trifectas in the Classic and in the Mile. As always looking for tools to hone my skills though. Thanks!


  44. This “game of ours” is one of the most challenging games/pursuits on the planet. We are always educating ourselves out of a profit due to the efficient market nature of our game. And lets not forget that we are still dealing with animals running around a sandy circle. 🙂 Very good points and exellent article gary.

    • Sam – Thanks, you are obviously a “thinking man’s” race player. – Gary

  45. Hi Gary,
    I’m done with politics. They do not care about the people .They only care about getting elected again. But now they are destroying the country for their own benefit,
    I have several of your methods, They are all fantastic.Now that I’m retired ,I can devote more time to the horses.

    • Mark – I appreciate your frankly stated opinions. I concur – those that have ‘power’ (through force) as their goal – are never beneficial – neither to the world, nor the country, nor the community, nor the family unit. – Gary

  46. glenn davis

    The psychological part of this game is perhaps the hardest to master. It takes an iron will to not change your basic methodology when things turn sour. Murphy’s Law will prove that the race your change is made in will be the race that your methodology would have hit.

    • Glenn – Yep – the old “zigged when I should have zagged” conundrum. That’s why long-term is the only valid way to veiw the game. As long as the “zags” outnumber the “zigs” long term – and appropriate acceptable odds minimums are part of the formula . . . the player should be okay.

  47. jim gersin

    Living in Saratoga for the last 20 years and being @ the track wed-sundays plus the weekend simulcasts @ the racino i think i have experienced most the highs and lows of the game. At one time it was 16 hour days. It is a great game but you have to manage your money and emotions. Think like a technical trader and know that chaos happens and black swans are for real.
    Gary i enjoy you posts and look forward to seeing your sys. Thanjs

    • Jim – Thanks much. Comments “from the trenches” always appreciated. – Gary

  48. Realistic goals that can be realized is the answer to success, not pie in the sky that is unattainable.

    • Jack – Thanks – that is pretty much my entire post summed up as succinctly as possible. – Gary

  49. John Sullivan

    I’d be satisfied to be able to zero in on an approach that would make consistent profits. Then I could up the betting unit a bit to increase the return. The problems I’ve encountered in the past can be narrowed down to these: I do research on a spot play and am satisfied it works. Then I bet it only to see it fail and get discouraged. Or, conversely, it does work, and I get so excited I start betting more than prudence would dictate. From there, the inevitable losing streak hits, and I’m back to where I began, or worse. So in essence, finding that happy medium and not expecting too much would seem to be the key.

    • John – it seems to me that you insights are right on. Since one knows in advance that the losing streaks will come – that “Murphy’s Law” will always come into play, and that discouragement is the mult-headed hydra that is always there waiting to cripple our optimism . . . then the player should act accordingly – taking all that into account, so that his long-term plan is one both conservative and well-founded. – Gary

  50. When I first started playing the horses in 1981 I didn’t have a specific goal in mind!
    Other than the allure of a comfortable and independent lifestyle being a successful player offered!
    I still feel the same today! But not unlike human relationships, many of the romantic notions are gone! Dreams if you will! Which is regretable because looking back, that meant more to me than any amount of monetary gain!
    The most important lesson I have learned is don’t bet a 3/1 horse going off at 5/2!

    • Gary – Thanks for the personal and thoughtful reply – I love your closing line! – Gary

  51. There is a saying: A goal without a plan is nothing more than a wish. I think most horseplayers have goals. The problem is that some of us don’t have a plan (method) that works. We end up buying methods that don’t work, or are too complex to use. We jump from one method to another trying to attain our goals of successful betting, only to end up at square one again. The goal of beating this game can only be attained by using a profitable, easy to use plan (method).

    • Jeff – You’ve pretty much nailed the profile of the average horse player. I think a huge part of it is that most “average” players simply do not have the time, energy, or dicipline to give to the game in order to have a real chance at monetary success. They are expending all of that in other areas of their lives (jobs, businesses, family, etc.), and so the natural result occurs. – Gary

  52. Ulysses Gonzalez

    I know of several poker players that no one has ever heard of that make a good living at that game. The same should be said for horse players. I would be very satisfied to earn 40,000 a year from the races. I don’t need huge pick six payoff, although that would be welcomed. With a home computer one should be able to accomplish this. One or two payoff per day is all one would need and over the course of a year and some patience your bankroll would grow, similar to the stock market.

  53. Good post Gary ….thought provoking. Instead of aiming high we our being force fed this every person deserves a chance stuff …level playing field …etc…NOW this all SOUNDS awesome and “right” some how….but it remains that what it really means is you DESERVE to be GIVEN what you dont have. An election was won by pandering to interest groups and promising the very thing that group “wishes” to have. Aim high and achieve for yourself as an INDIVIDUAL appears to be out of style….now…and maybe forever? There are a lot of “sheep” out there ….taking their “opinions” from the mainstream press and they parrot it right back to you. I dont think many of the masses even realize the signifigance of this election and what is now lost forever. A BLOATED Government is an absolute certainty now with Obama care now going full force and will be entrenched and impossible to remove. Thats the ball game folks.
    Well enough of that ….for this great game of handicapping
    I started out with the utter amazement that people had invented “systems” to try to win races!!! I was a weekend player for many many years …..losing mostly but getting better at it !!! When I realized that their were people out there that actually made a profit playing the horses over the long term I WAS DETERMINED to find out how. It was my constant effort and open minded approach over many many years that finally did the trick. Not a magic system ….although I purchase methods still to this day….but the realization that I had to DO THE THINGS THAT OTHER PLAYERS WERE NOT DOING to make myself a winner ( ie = PROFIT). What I mean is ..
    Record keeping ….every “Transaction…”Bet” recorded for later. A money management system that both matched my bank roll and the types of bets I was making…and I started out on the profitable path just focusing on sprints. Every day I would spend the time reviewing the bets I had made …..good or bad… etc . Long story …but it took over 14 years to turn a real profit….the real focus is on …discipline..BIG..
    money management…and trying to find methods that are time savers. After a while the biggest battle was with time and how much had to be spent to continue to win. Long ago I set weekly and monthly goals and figured out how much I needed to
    “shove thru the windows” to make what I thought was reasonable
    for my efforts. Bottom line …its work…..really …but enjoyable and THAT is why the “magical” system ads that promise easy money for no work at all …..really hold a person back. Just like a Government that “promises” it will
    fix all your ills and “take care of you” …just trust THEM to do the thinking ….ugh
    my 2 cents!

    • Thanks Joe – always good to hear from you. I agree entirely – the “I’m entitled to govenment handouts” attitude of many Americans (perhaps the majority of those who voted for Obama) is sad and – to my way of thinking – completely the opposite of the attitude of those settled this country – those who were successful during the first few hundred years of our country’s history. Unfortunately there is a new ‘mix’ of Americans now, and many of them look first to what they can “get” rather than to what they can earn, or create.- Gary

  54. Wow, if you guys hit that many winners at the BC, this method must work. PLease send me the “No-cost method”

    Thank you!

  55. Great post as usual Gary. Most players of this game have never taken the time to ask themselves these questions, but the grim reality of this game is you have to invest more than most people can ever even imagine to make big money at the track. Add to this fact that our dwindling US pools this becomes yet another hurdle to overcome if you even have a winning method of play. I think the reasonable goal for race trackers is to ask themselves if they still enjoy the game? There is nothing wrong with setting the bar high but don’t spend your life dreaming and wishing it away.

    • Garrett – Thanks. I couldn’t agree more. I was kind of trying to gently indicate that very high profits from race betting are just a wee bit more difficult to attain than might be hoped for by the average player – and particularly by the newbie player. – Gary

  56. Great post as usual Gary. Most players of this game have never taken the time to ask themselves these questions, but the mentioned the grim reality of this game is you have to invest more than most people can ever even imagine to make big money at the track. Add to this fact that our dwindling US pools this becomes yet another hurdle to overcome if you even have a winning method of play. I think the reasonable goal for race trackers is to ask themselves if they still enjoy the game? There is nothing wrong with setting the bar high but don’t spend your life dreaming and wishing it away.

  57. Warren Dodge

    The best informative horse wagering site on the web, bar none

  58. I wish I had this system before the Breeders Cup so waittill next year!!!!!!!!

    • Hello, I wished also that I had these selections over BC week end.
      Not only winners but at some value also.

      • George – Yes, I also wish I’d been more faithful to the method. As I stated, I let myself get a bit carried away with detailed analysis and missed a bit of the forest for the trees. The superfecta in the Classic did me well though, so I wasn’t all that regretful.

    • I was at the Breeder’s Cup and lost a few bucks. Had a great time, but it would have been so nice to have had your Marquee Race Method. I plan on attending next year and will definitely have your method with me.

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