2017, WOW. It’s hard to believe that I started tracking horses over 30 years ago. A lot has changed in horse racing and handi capping in that time. In 1985 I would have to go to the track to place a bet(I have never used a bookie, but I guess their still out there).In 1989 I had to fly to Vancouver to play Hastings, then to Toronto to Woodbine for the Thoroughbreds, and Greenwood for Harness Racing. It was a 12 hour day to accomplish this. Today with all the Off Track Betting Sites and at home Betting Sites, you are there instantly.
In 89 the only source of information to handi-cap a horse race was the Daily Racing Form, or the at the Track Program. Most of the hard core racegoers were tight-lipped on how they would pick a winning horse. The Betting Pools were limited to the At The Track Betters, and since your wagering against the people who are at the track, professional handi-cappers did not want to lessen their odds of their winning horse. Thanks to Off Track Betting, you can be part of betting pools anywhere in the world where there are Horse Races, from Japan, Australia, Great Britain, Mexico, US and Canada, the list goes on and on (but people are still tight-lipped on how to pick winners).
The Daily Racing Form, or as I call it the Racing Bible, is still probably the number one Handi-Capping Tool. But there is more information out there, since at home betting sites also offer information. Not to mention independent sites such as Todays Racing Digest and a host of others, makes picking winners easier and more complicated at the same time. With a wealth of information at your fingertips, it is a job to sift through it and find statistics which suit your handi-capping style. Some people use jockey and trainer, or believe in Pedigree, Speed or Pace, the list is as long as it is varied.
Back in the day, one would NEVER bet on a three-year-old against a five-year-old, even a four-year-old, unless it was an outstanding horse. A horse matures at FIVE. Betting on an adolescent or teenager against an adult was unheard of. Since they started racing the babies (2-year-olds) and increased the frequency of their racing, by the time the horse is a mature horse it is burned out. Bleeding from physical stress and thus the use of Lasix to control such bleeding, I believe, increased the frequency the horse can race. The result is a horse that is physically AND mentally stressed out by the time it reaches six. You will never see a STAKES horse race every 5 to 14 days. These are well-rested horses, usually a month or more between races. I see some horses that seem to be on Lasix for their complete careers. I have always believed, that is not the use of drugs that is bad, it is the ABUSE of drugs. ( a short rant, but is a tip for having a rested horse as part of your equation.)
I look forward to a new year of refining my personal handi-capping method, by continued tracking, and of course betting, on another thousand or so races. ( this year, Fractional Times are in my headlights.)
I always play for FUN, but face it, the fun is WINNING.
Talk to you soon, remember to leave me a comment or question.