Year-end Review

Year-end Review

As a slight deviation on our annual year-end review, the following may be only a reminder to many of you, yet – just maybe a necessary eye-opener for some of you.

Although much of it has been mentioned in our past postings, consider it a sort of holiday gift from a handicapping “Grinch” with some, perhaps, not-so-welcomed points for your consideration . . .


I started out in this game doing what others did: I read the books – applied the methods – and ‘hoped’ for the best.  Years of ups and downs went by – sometimes up – often times down, but overall not progressing profits-wise. I was not able to bank and keep profits.

Later – a huge milestone for me was when I realized the simple truth so many others (in various walks of life) had realized: “To achieve what others can’t – be willing to do what others won’t.”  The old axiom of “going the extra mile” began to take hold, and I got serious – actually and truthfully serious about the game.

So – if a player (and let’s say that player was you) decided to set him/her self apart from the ‘crowd,’ and really put his mind to it . . . what would “serious” require?

  1. Study and research: Sure – but I would say that, after the initial introduction, after reading a few of the handicapping classics – then the player needs to take new paths in their research. They should try new combinations of factors and factor weightings – come up with novel ways to look at the various aspects of the game. There is nothing that prevents any person from creating something fresh that will give an edge, or increase a current edge.

    Do not waste your time doing the gross data gathering of course – that is provided by the big and trusted data services, but do endeavor to massage, manipulate, and combine that data into something uniquely your own.
  2. Record-keeping: Absolutely – it’s the one thing alone that 90% of all players do not do. Yes, maybe 50-60% of players use other people’s record-keeping via services and data sources, but they don’t do much of that for themselves. The insights gained from doing the work yourself are infinitely better and more meaningful to you.
    That ‘doing’ will open up your perception of the game, and allow for many “ah ha” moments that otherwise simply don’t come. After you’ve gained experience handicapping the horses – the recapping and study of your own actual results will allow you to begin handicapping yourself . . . and you will turn an all-important corner.
  3. Work ethics: Yes – you need them – the same as in any other aspect of your life. Where have you been successful? Wherever that was/is – you had to have good work ethics and habits in order to achieve that success. This game is no different, in fact, it very well may be a sterner mistress than experienced in other areas of one’s life. The fact that this is work needs to be accepted first – before any ideas of quick success or “easy money” can sneak into your thinking.
  4. Betting savvy – Sharp handicappers are not rare, but sharp bettors and money managers most definitely are. If your edge is small (and it very likely will be), then you need to know how to get the optimal bottom-line profit from your efforts.
    This is a game of “churning” – there are many opportunities daily to keep your bankroll active, to “re-invest,” to continue rolling over the gains and scaling up the return – IF, that is – you actually do have even a slight edge on the game. Knowing when, where, and how to ‘push’ or ‘pass’ is extremely important.
    However, knowing yourself and
    your own limits is a key part of this. Wagering success tends to come late – after several “fits and starts,” and a few bankrolls lost. It requires using a different part of the brain than the handicapping, and (most difficult of all) it requires the severing of emotions from the equation.


But . . . I’ll step out of my “Grinch” shoes now . . .

Success in this game is there for the taking – not easy, but certainly not impossible, or even all that difficult.

Let me wish you all a successful and prosperous New Year – in all aspects of your life! 


Warm regards     – Gary / Horse Racing Gold



    Very good analysis and summary. You actually get it.

    • Thanks James – My belief is that if a person understands even one thing well in this life – profoundly (and it can be anything) – then that understanding can and will be applied to all other things. In that light, horseracing (or carpentry, or farming, or airplane mechanics, or bread baking, or . . . ) can be an avenue to true balance – to art. Gary

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