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From Football To Horses
Ready To Pick The Best Horses
Late Action Horses
Average Money Won Per Race
Five Aces - A Winning Hand
Making Adjustments When Handicapping Horses
The Daily Double
Straight Betting At The Racetrack
More Horse Racing Tips
( Originally Published mid 1950's )
In our third main handicapping method, the "Five Ace" system, consistency is considered a most important factor.
That is because these five-acers, unlike the other two types, are allowed to jump to a higher claiming price range where they never won previously. Therefore, we have to put some kind of a brake on them.
However, as was proven in Payday at the Races, the writer's first book on handicapping, it is considered better to base consistency on a high money-winning average than on the percentage of races won.
For example, a horse that has been running in cheap races, mainly at small tracks, may have an impressive win percentage, but his low money-winning average will stamp him as unreliable because the type of opposition which he encountered was mediocre.
This money-winning average is obtained by dividing the number of a horse's starts into the total amount of purse money he has won. If the horse has had 10 or more starts this year, he must be judged on that figure and on that alone.
However, if he has had less than 10 races this year and has not been able to average $800 per start as will be required of most horses in our Five-Ace method, we try to give him a break. We do that by combining his record for the current year with his record for the previous year. For instance, let us say that a horse earned a total of $3,000 in purse money in 4 starts in 1952 to date going into a race up for consideration.
That average of $750 per race won't quite qualify him, but let's say we then notice that in the previous year he earned a total of $10,000 in 6 races. So we combine his records for the two years which gives him a total of won $13,000 in purse money won in 10 starts.
His combined average of $1,300 earned per race now enables him to qualify easily.
Just to make it definite, the rule is:
If a horse has had less than 10 races this year, his average earnings this year alone may be used or they may be combined with his earnings the previous year. But if he has had 10 or more races this year, stick to his average earnings this year.
When it comes to judging a horse's consistency, this money-winning average method is considered superior to the old-fashioned system of winning percentages because of situations like this:
A horse named Hit The Road might have won only 1 race out of 10 while running at big tracks, but still finished in the money often enough to come up with a moneywinning average of $800 per race.
Another horse named Bo-Bum might have won 3 out of 10 starts at minor tracks where purses are small, yet have a money-winning average of only $300 per race.
Just how important this money-winning average business can be at times will be seen clearly when we look at the records of some of the horses in the next chapter.