The following information is the result of many years of horse racing handicapping. It’s still just one man’s opinion about horse racing and should be taken as just one viewpoint. It isn’t gospel and nothing here is cast in stone. Things keep changing and horse racing changes, sometimes horse racing changes for the good and sometimes for the bad, but it is always changing and yet, some things about handicapping horse races remain the same.
Here are a few things that have changed horse racing handicapping…
1. Pari-mutuel wagering. At one time people used to get fixed odds and bet with bookies or perhaps the track. That meant a person could shop for the best odds. Think about that a minute the next time you spend hours handicapping a horse race only to have a horse you’ve chosen go off at such a short price you decide to pass the race.
2. Another change has been speed handicapping. Horse race handicapping was a lot different back in the days before speed handicapping. When speed handicapping with reliable figures first came upon the racing scene, the ones with the figures were cleaning up, but now things have come full circle so a horse with a good figure gets bet down to such low odds you have to wonder why anyone even bothers with speed handicapping anymore. Part of the speed handicapping equation is computers. The information age has provided so much information to horse racing handicappers that it takes a PhD. to digest and use all the information. Is this progress?
3. Simulcasting has brought more racing to more people than ever before. If the local track is soggy, no problem, just find a track in the simulcast schedule and bet that track. And yet, with all the new advances like simulcasting and more information for horse racing handicappers, the handles are shrinking or just holding their own and gamblers are turning to casinos, lotteries and who knows what to satisfy their need for gambling.
Does horse racing handicapping have a future or are we the last of a dying breed? Where are the handicappers of the future?
This is a question that haunts many a track owner and the answer isn’t clear. Gambling like any human activity, especially entertainments and pleasure, are cyclical. Horse Racing Handicapping will probably survive, but it will see hard times and good times. Look at it this way, people have been racing horses and betting on horse racing for centuries and yet, it is still here.
I can tell you from personal experience, some people have it in their blood when they’re born and they can’t avoid it. No matter where they are or what is happening, horse racing will find them. Many of them will become horse racing handicappers.
One of my first memories is of looking up under the bottom rail of the fence at the old Narragansett Park and watching the horses hooves thunder by. My parents and grandfather had taken me to the track. My grandfather was a horseman who’d homesteaded in Montana. I think there was probably an even mixture of human blood, mustang blood and whiskey flowing through his veins. He couldn’t have stayed away from horse racing if you held a gun to his head. There is a photograph of me when I was just a toddler. I am sitting on a pony on my grandfather’s farm while the folks are eating their breakfast outside. I guess there is horse racing and horses in my blood, too. That is how I became a horse racing handicapper and why one way or another I have been handicapping horse races for years.
You would think that someone with so much horsy -i-ness about him would be a whiz at handicapping horse races, but I still have my ups and downs. I have supported myself at it at times and had my winning years, but because it is constantly changing you have to keep learning and be willing to change. Handicapping horse races is seldom easy but if you get good enough at it, it is rewarding. You’re probably saying to yourself, “My goodness, man, get to the tips, share the secret of handicapping with me.”
Here is the biggest secret in horse racing handicapping; there is no secret to handicapping. Knowing that is probably the most important key to being a successful handicapper. There is no golden formula, nothing works all the time at every track. Mr. and Ms. horse racing handicapper here is your goal, find a way to make money handicapping horse races that suits you and your style, the kind of person you are. There are many ways to arrive at the goal of making money off horse races, but each of us is on a quest to find his or her own way. I can’t tell you individually what will work for you.
I can tell you this, whether you become a speed capper, sight capper, tote board watcher, or a combination of all of these or find another way, the systems and information you will find on these pages will bring you a lot closer to your goal of making a profit at the track at horse racing handicapping. All the systems touch on one or more of these aspects. The information in True Handicapping about watching trainers, workouts, and tote board action will put you very close to the elusive 1% who actually show a reasonable profit from their hard work at handicapping horse races.
As for my own way? I use a combination of workouts, speed, trainers, breeding, track bias (models). It all starts with finding a horse that has already done what it takes to win today’s race. It is amazing how may low-priced favorites have never done what it takes to win today’s race. When they fail and a proven horse wins, a great gasp goes up from the crowd. I sometimes hear it on my way to the pay line. If you want to be a good horse racing handicapper, read True handicapping and True Winning. No system you buy will ever make you rich, but you can learn from them and these systems are based on good sound principles that will move your handicapping up a few notches so you are in the upper percentile of handicappers. You can use them to find your way and then join me in the pay line.
The most consistent horse racing systems have to have the basics and a handicapper must understand the basics. I have been around horse racing for 50 years including as an owner. Without the basics the rest is not going to do any good. If you want to learn how a horse owner and insider handicaps just go to ladder handicapping and get the truth.
Bill Peterson is a former horse race owner and professional handicapper. He comes from a horse race handicapping family and as he puts it, “Horse Racing is in my blood.”