I Got a New Attitude

Kentucky Derby Horse RacingA few weeks ago, I made the decision to start posting free plays on a regular basis, like I used to do when I began my career as a turf writer. Unfortunately, rather than demonstrating how one can beat the races with a solid, systematic approach, I instead proved that Thomas Wolfe was right: you can’t go home again.

I posted sporadically; I posted late; I posted incomplete plays (or plays that were obtained via a precursory glance at my handicapping reports as I worked on other projects). So, in disgust and a sea of red ink, I did what winners do — I quit.

I say this with tongue only partially in cheek. Unlike other endeavors in life, I believe successful wagering does, in fact, require a low tolerance for pain. It does no good to force things.

Sure, we can all remember “that one time” when we were losing all day and hit the superfecta in the last race to walk away a winner, but let’s be honest: most of the time, the opposite is true and we make a bad situation worse.

For several years now, knowing that my time to handicap was limited, I’ve pursued mechanical selection and wagering techniques. I was convinced that this could work by the success of likeminded individuals such as Bill Benter, who inspired me to keep plugging away at my database studies despite numerous dead ends and maddening inconsistency.

Eventually, I made progress and found some methods that produced profits over large sample sizes (especially those utilizing my pace figures).

I want to share the fruits of that labor with my readers… but I have proven conclusively that I cannot do that by manually reproducing the plays that my methods produce and pasting them into a blog (see above). Hence, I’ve decided to simply copy the sheets that I actually use and, then, offer some guidelines. So, here it goes:

  • Because I am always testing different angles and methods and, in fact, have a blend that I trust and a blend that I don’t, I will only play selections with a definite recommendation (typically a win bet). I will also play horses that qualify for my Win Rating and Performance Rating angles — again, I bet them to win.
  • Although various exacta suggestions are listed on my sheets and I have had success following these recommendations, I have no test data on exotic wagers and, thus, don’t have a clue as to whether or not it is profitable in the long term.
  • I do not personally bet on horses at odds of less than 1-2 and would pass any method play going to post at such a skimpy price.

Even though the majority of my systems and angles have a strike rate in excess of 30 percent, they have an annoying habit of performing great and/or poorly at the same time (I have surmised that this is due to the similarities between some of my ratings). So, as always, money management is extremely important.

Anyway, I’ve posted my computer-generated plays for the next few days, along with stats since Feb. 12, when I first started posting the full reports.

FreePlays021616

Statistics (2/12/16 to 2/15/16)

Straight Plays

Number: 16
Winners: 7
Success Rate: 43.8%
$2 Return: $3.05
ROI: +52.50%

Exotic Wagering

Amount Bet: $126
Return: $48.80
ROI: -61.27%

Derek Simon
Derek Simon is the Senior Editor and Handicapper at US Racing.