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Horse Racing:
From Football To Horses
Ready To Pick The Best Horses
Horses Record
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

Five Aces - A Winning Hand

( Originally Published mid 1950's )

It might not be very healthy to be caught with five aces if you were playing poker under normal rules, but they can come in mighty handy in handicapping horses.

In this third method that we now will outline, "five aces" means that a horse took the lead at the break in his last race and led all the way, although he need not have gained in the stretch.

The only other requirement we ask is that the horse have a money-winning average of $800 per race or more. The figure is purposely set high because we want only the most consistent horses we can find.

One of these horses does not need "Can Do" or diagonals or any other kind of graphs, although of course such added values always are a comfort. And the late action requirement is toned down so far that all a Five-Acer needs is 2 races in the last 30 days or less.

Races eligible for play, however, are the same as those in the "Double Diagonal Repeater" method. As was the case with that system and also the "Late Action" method, the first test was started on Sept. 1, 1952. Here is how the first selection looked:

9/1 Crafty Admiral mile Hcp 4C Av. $10000 128
Races Dist. Class Fin. Str. Weight
8/16 1 3/l6 Hcp 1 1 126
8/2 1 3/16 Hcp 1 1 126

That's all there is to the method-just two lines of figures tell the story. He won and paid $7.40. Incidentally, under none of this book's methods can a horse qualify if he is jumping from an allowance race to a race of higher classification such as a handicap or stake race.

Also, no Five-Ace type mentioned in this chapter can jump from a claiming race to a nonclaimer event.

At some tracks, a race fan will need to adjust this Five-Ace method to meet local conditions.

For instance, at smaller tracks, horses will not average anything like $800 per race in purse money won. At such tracks this requirement would have to be reduced to at least $400 per race, perhaps lower.

In this connection the writer recalls that in starting to experiment with this average money business at the New Orleans track many years ago, a minimum average money winning figure of $200 per race was required for all selections-so approximately twice that figure probably would be a fair requirement for these Five-Acers at such a track.

Also past performance records available at some tracks do not indicate a horse's position at the start of his last race, and also will show only 4 calls to a race. If a racegoer does not have the patience to keep a list of horses that led all the way in their last race, he will have to rely on his memory in such cases-but that should not be very difficult because there are not too many horses of this type.

Getting back to our test run, here's another two-line shortie-after noting that this fellow had run 2 races in the past 19 days, all you need to see is that he has a money winning average of $800 or better and also showed 5 aces in his last race:

9/4 Pocket All 3C Av. $1000
8/26 1 1 1 1

Now we ask you, what kind of a handicapping method could be simpler than that? The horse won and paid $5.60, $3.60 and $3.00 across the board.

You will note that these horses are not required to have gained ground in the stretch in their last race. No rules needed on class or weight, either.

Also note that here, as well as in the "Double Diagonal Repeater" method, workouts are not needed except to qualify on the general rule which states that every horse selected under any method whatsoever must show either a race or a workout within the past 10 days.

Here is a near-perfect horse which qualified under all three of this book's methods:

9/13 Rope Trick 7F $3500 5H Av. $850 115
Races Dist. Class Str. Fin. Weight
9/6 7F $3500 1 1 1 1 1 119
9/2 7F 1 4 1 1 2
8/16 7F 1 2 2 2 4

Note that this fellow, in addition to fulfilling all requirements on each of the three methods of selection, showed 2 perpendicular graphs and had gained at every call in his last race. He never before had raced with a weight as low as 115 pounds. He won easily and paid only even money but called for a bet three times the amount of a normal maximum investment.

This filly, who showed 2 starts in the previous 20 days, paid $7.30 to win even though she had won 3 of her last 4 races:

9/25 Souffle 3F Av.$900
9/13 1 1 1 1 4 1 3

Souffle, incidentally, had been given a workout just 2 days before the race, thus qualifying on the general rule, just mentioned, which requires all horses to have had a race or a workout during the 10 days previous to a race. That one rule will prevent many a losing wager, because if a trainer doesn't exercise his horse at all during that period, he may not even be going to try.

This gelding, with plenty of recent races and workouts, paid only $3.30 to win because he clearly overshadowed his rivals:

9/26 Grover B. 3G Av. $1400
9/19 1 1 1 1 14

That concludes our illustration of Five Ace winners during this first test run in September, 1952. There were other winners but they are listed elsewhere because they also qualified under another method.

This front-running type of horse is recommended particularly for tracks that are less than a mile in circumference. These smaller tracks have sharp turns and a front runner has a big advantage because he not only can save ground on the turns but also can stay out of trouble. One of our co-workers who has visited many of these smaller racing plants has this handicapping advice for fans at such tracks:

Don't worry about class or weight; just play the front runner. If there are more than one, play the gelding. If there are still more than one, play the younger gelding.

Due to the importance of this advice to patrons of small tracks, we will devote some additional space to front runners in Part IV of the book, which deals with best bets. At these smaller tracks, incidentally, four "aces" can be substituted for five. And also instead of using average money won in such cases, you could take on horses that have won 2 or more races in their last 6 starts.

This completes the explanation of our three main methods of selection. In the next part of the book we will take up the procedure used in making a selection that almost qualifies, which is the next best thing to a regular selection.

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