The “2010 How to Lose Less Summertime Handicapping Tour” continues here with some thoughts about the most common wagering mess going, bad betting.
What’s the use of being able to pick them if you don’t know how to bet them.
Here are two of the most painful things you hear around tracks and simulcast wagering halls. The Beetlebaum-Holy Bull-Ice Box-if-he-can-close-fast-at-a-mile-seventy-he’ll-win-for-fun-at-a-mile-and-a-quarter refrain from tinhorns and the bad wagering lament that goes something like this: I had the horse right here, but played him second in the exactas, and he won.
It’s this simple in theory. If you like a 17-1 shot, and it wins, you have to get paid.
Not collecting on a horse you like is not a bad beat, it’s a bad thought.
Here’s an update, brought to mind by the race at Monmouth, on the deep closers that punish so many horse players. Sometimes with the $10,000 claimers, you might find five going across the track at insane fractions. But the good horses frequently have as riders, people with Rolexes in their heads, not wind-up clocks. When racing against high quality horses, you have to stay in touch before winning. You can’t close enough against slow fractions, call MIT if you don’t believe it.
It’s usually the odds causing many of the good-picking, bad-betting experiences, isn’t it? Those odds are frequently set by the schmucks who lunch at the track. It is an unfortunate quirk of the game that dumbbells can run you off the correct bet.
Being right and not getting paid is like hearing that your ex-wife just married a billionaire.
A reasonable pattern that I get into when tracking bucks in cheap fields is to play a couple of decent-looking, short-priced horses over something that does not appear to the tourists to be quite as good. Here’s a bet I will lose without much complaining: favorites running 1-2 in a claiming race. Here’s my money, pass it along to the fatheads, no hard feelings.
So the other afternoon, I put an 8-5 horse and a 2-1 horse over 17-1 and 20-1 horses.
And here they came, the 2-1 horse up by three over the 17-1 horse.
At the turn for home, the rest of them seemed irrelevant.
The 17-1 horse was number one, and it didn’t stop running as predicted. This is an example of why so many number-one horses win. They fiddle around on the rail until the horses on the lead drift just enough. Inexpensive horses on the lead seem to drift approximately 98 times out of 100.
The 17-1 runner won by seven, eight, nine, somewhere in there, over the 2-1 horse, the rest trailing along later.
The exacta was triple figures.
Even though I thoroughly loved the horses that finished first and second, I collected but a memory.
Trying to pigeonhole a long shot causes cheering like:
So here’s the story, particularly in the boondocks. If it can run second, it can win.
Originally Posted on ESPN
By Jay Cronley