“Magic” Versus Tolstoy

“Magic” Versus Tolstoy

I’m sure you’ve seen offerings, in racing and elsewhere, of “magic” methods (and in numerous variety!).

The promoters of these methods generally insinuate that by following whatever “ritual” set of convoluted rules and processes they have collected together, that the practitioners will thereby accrue to themselves power, or profits all out of proportion to what the average person could expect.

They further claim to have a “secret” – some occult and mysterious understanding that can be exposed only to initiates. As well, it often takes many years to climb the ‘levels’ of learning in order arrive at the place of being one of those special ones allowed to “know” the secret.

. . . Unfortunately, it’s almost always a bunch of self-serving mumbo jumbo.

I prefer to approach racing (and most everything else) using the sage advice of Leo Tolstoy – when he said, . . .

“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained . . . by washing away from it all that is not gold

I’ve touched on this ‘philosophy’ in past posts, and as it pertains to racing – I try to use the wisdom contained in that quote as a guideline. 

Rather than only searching for the next ‘new’ good factor or combination of factors – rather than striving for the all-encompassing approach that mixes and crunches a large number of factors . . .  I prefer to ‘narrow down’ the few predictive ones I already have.

While doing some research in the HRG Index past results data base recently (and while I also happened to be re-reading portions of some of my ‘old’ handicapping books), it struck me how few of the long-term data points (factors) actually show a positive expectancy by themselvesYet – some of these statistics are absolutely rock-steady over years and even decades. 

It should be that a stat/factor that has been relatively stable for decades of racing could be used to create a simple and profitable approach – without requiring a half-dozen other factors to be filtered in – and thus making overly complex what should rather be a simple “washing away of all that is not gold” in order to arrive at a ‘truly’ simple handicapping approach.

Of course, there will never be a ‘single-factor’ method that is profitable – only a believer in magic would think that could be true?!  But uncovering unique combinations of the very few factors and data that have shown long-term proven statistical results . . . that is where one should be panning and dredging for the nuggets that just might then point to the mother lode.

More on this in an upcoming post.



Kentucky Derby in just over two weeks! 

We’ll be issuing our annual Derby Report on the Thursday prior to Derby Saturday (which falls on May 3rd this year).

The “Kentucky Derby Report” will be $17 – and include not only the in-depth analysis of each horse and its Derby prep races for the Derby itself, but also for the Kentucky Oaks run on Friday. But for those who have a current (as of Derby week) weekly or monthly subscription to the HRG Index – our 2014 Kentucky Derby Report will be free.

We’ve had some extremely profitable Kentucky Derby Reports over the years – and last year was no exception:

Orb was our second-ranked horse, and one of the three given a “Big Look” recommendation (subject to odds).  Orb went off at 5/1 and was very enticing ‘on top’ at those odds. 

As with each and every Ky Derby Report, we advised, “betting the best overlays” to our betting line given in the Report.  Of the 15 starters other than our “Big Look” horses – 5 were substantial overlays to our betting line.

Keying all three of the Report’s top horses (whose odds were 5/1, 8/1 and 9/1) on top in the exacta to the overlays to the betting line would have been 21 combinations – the exacta hit to one of those overlays, Golden Soul (off at 34/1), and paid $981.60 for a whopping +2337% ROI on the wager!


Best of fortune to you       – Gary




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