In a recent post (Hot Odds), we talked about narrowing down the odds at which you would be willing to make a wager – as a way to a more profitable bottom line.

Okay – however, this takes patience.

Unfortunately, a lot of players are short on that commodity – and their game suffers for it. 

I’m going to use actual races to show you (meaning anyone who aspires to race betting profits) that simply applying a little patience can make you a very profitable player – interested?

The Horse Racing Gold Index has issued to our subscribers 1,703 races since Dec. 31st of 2015.  Of those races, 1,602 were playable by the guidelines given. We issue 4 days a week, so there were 139 days involved. That would come out to 11.5 races per day.

The HRG Index is a ranked list of horses – as you might also come up with for races you’ve handicapped – i.e. two to four runners you feel have some sort of shot at winning the race.

But – for simplicity sake in this discussion, let’s just consider the top ranked horse.

Below is the tally for betting all top ranked horses – as single horse wagers – and regardless of odds.  By the guidelines of the Index, of course, many of these horses would have been eliminated because of too low of odds – but betting all of them – without odds filtering (except that all races where the top-ranked horse was 1/2 or lower were automatic pass races, and therefore not counted in the 1,602) would have resulted in: 

In: $3,204
Out: $3026.40
ROI: -5.5%

So – a good handicapper, but one who is an indiscriminate “action” bettor chasing all his top-ranked horses might end up losing somewhere between the track take of (let’s call it -17%), and the decent showing above (which was only a -5.5% loss).

BUT . . .

Using the same exact races – while setting minimum and maximum acceptable parameters of 9/2 to 9/1 odds on the top-ranked horse – yielded ‘only’ 314 bettable races with the following results.

In: $628
Out: $760.20
ROI: +21%

That result could have been ‘honed’ further by making one more stipulation: Don’t wager on that top choice at 9/2 to 9/1 when your second choice is going off at less than 2/1.  You’ll miss a few good payers, but the overall figures go to: 240 bettable races / $480 in / $613 out for an ROI of +28%.


Now for the “Patience” part . . .

With 314 betting opportunities in the same 139 racing days – that would have yielded ‘only’ 2.25 win wagers per day. So the process turns the player into one who looks for odds-based spot plays.

And – yes . . . there were some pretty serious losing streaks – there always will be when your average win mutuel is $14.10 and you are wagering single-horse wagers (the hit rate was 17.2%).

So again – patience – with a splash of ice water – and wagering within your means while also allowing for the inevitable losing streaks.

And – there is one more facet to the patience theme . . .

If you want (or need) to make an extra income betting the races – consider these four points:

1. How much is your personal minimum $ acceptable for a meaningful supplementary income?
2. How much are you starting with (i.e. what will a conservative base-bet amount be to start)?
3. How long will it take you to get to your goal?”
4. Do you have the means to buffer this time period – i.e. other funds to use while you build up to the full-time play that gets you to your goal in #1 above?


Just for fun – let’s do a bit of conjecturing – as if for an imaginary, average Joe/Joan horse player.

We’ll use the figures mentioned above.  Those are:
1. $14.10 average mutuel
2. 17.2% hit rate
3. 3 plays per day (it would be fairly easy to h-cap a few more races per day in order to get from 2.25 to 3 – as the HRG Index issues only an average of 11 races per racing day)
4. 21% ROI

Let’s also assume Joe is sensible and realizes he won’t soon be buying a yacht with his winnings . . . but would like to see an extra $1500 to $1800 a month in his bank account.

The first thing he needs to know is:  what length of losing streak will he possibly need to withstand?  This will help establish a starting base-bet amount.

The distasteful fact is that for 95% surety that the BR would not be lost in an extended losing streak – a 16-17 race negative run needs to be considered a possibility. That would equate to a $44 base wager ($750/17).

BUT – that is still too high. A common sense, conservative player would never risk more than 5% of BR on any one single horse wager – that would be $37.

If wagering 5 days a week – you would get approx. 15 plays per week times 4.2 weeks per month = 63 bets per month. At $37 – that would put $2,331 through your account in 1 month.  At the projected 21% ROI – you would have (.21 x 2331) $490 profit.

So – within two months, you would have more than doubled your bankroll.

Assume player Joe has the patience to be conservative, and does not change his base-bet amount until the proof of that two months is in. Now he can confidently adjust his base-bet. Five percent of the new BR of $1730 (original $750 + $980 profit) – gives a new base-bet wager of $86.  At the end of one more month he will have accrued  15 x 4.2 x $86 = $5418 x .21 = $1138 in profit.

The bankroll at the end of 3 months stands at $2868. Do a base-bet adjustment and the new wager is $143. Fourth month tally: 15 x 4.2 x $143 = $9009 = profit of approx. $1892 for that month.

So – Joe’s and Joan’s goal of $1500 to $1800/mo. profit would be reached sometime in the 4th month.

Some points:

  • The process could be speeded up by adjusting base bet more often (bi-weekly, or weekly, or daily).
  • The income could be increased by cautious and conservative addition of exacta wagers – only after win-betting proof and profits have been established (trifectas, superfectas, and mult-race wagers open the potential way up – but also the risk of bankroll loss is far greater, and a much larger starting BR is required).
  • You’d need a nest egg to support yourself during those 4 months (particularly in light of plowing back all profits and not taking anything out of the BR until the goal was reached).
  • If using the HRG Index, you’d also need the monthly fee, or if using your own methods – the expenses for past performance data, etc.
  • “Burnout” can become an issue when doing all the handicapping, and all the race monitoring and wagering yourself (but many love it and a few weeks off once or twice a year will recharge the batteries).


However – as I said, all of the above is mere fun conjecture for most – BECAUSE, for some reason known only to the “racing gods” – the majority of folks just don’t have the little bit of patience that is required to make this scenario a reality. Of course, most aren’t interested at all – race betting is not important to them, or is important only for its entertainment value. 

There are quite a few though that could create a small but substantial extra income for themselves . . .

. . . if only they could muster up the Patience to do so.


As always – comments welcomed.







  1. Hi Gary,

    Loved to re-live your teaches from time-to-time. How about that Travers Stakes!?!? Bob’s horse sure was loaded with some easy to see value (IMHO of course). Oh how nice it would be if all 11/1 winners came to us that easily. Folks Gary is 100% right. If you track your handicapping over time you’ll see “spots” that seem to offer the best ROI.


    • Swanson – Always good to hear from the ‘original’ crew! Yes, Arrogate was an Index choice (along with Gov Malibu), but I couldn’t believe the way he freaked in that race – that was very nearly as good (time-wise) as Secretariat’s Ky Derby run. We’ll have to see what this guy turns into – may make for a really interesting BC Classic?! – Gary

  2. James Smollen

    Enjoyed your patience blog. Is there any type of service yoy offer for the playable selections throughout the day that you talked about. With todays techology it seems that it would be possible.

    • James – Our H-capping service is the HRG Index mentioned in the blog post. It’s been available for going on 14 years now! Info links on the site . . . we’d be happy to welcome you aboard. Best regards – Gary

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