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Horse Racing Wagering System:
Business And Pleasure At The Racetrack
Past Performances Of Horses
Getting Rid Of Goats At The Racetrack
Speed Vs. Class In Horse Racing
Fundamentals Of Handicapping Horse Racing
Colt System
Claiming Race System For Horses
$61,00 For $2 In 30 Days At The Races
Pulliing Out Of A Slump At The Racetrack
How To Bet Horses
More Horse Racing Tips

Fundamentals Of Handicapping Horse Racing

( Originally Published mid 1950's )

By "Fundamentals Of Handicapping," we mean what this book-not dyed-in-the-wool, generally unsuccessful handicappers-considers to be the real fundamentals.

This book's systems defy the conventions on many counts-including the hitherto sacred handicapping cows of speed ratings, jockeys, odds and horses jumping a con siderable amount in class. That, collectively, probably is why our systems return a surprisingly large percentage of longshot winners.

In this sense, the word "fundamentals" is used advisedly in the sense that three hard-working, midnightoil-burning, 33rd-degree racing enthusiasts toiled for a quarter of a century in formulating the rules of this book's two systems.

The fact that negative factors generally are stressed over positive ones should not discourage the reader because 25 years of research convinced the writer and his associates that eliminating losers is even more important than trying to pick a winner on positive factors alone. This theory would seem to be borne out by the extremely high percentage of winners returned, in all tests made to date, by using this book's systems.

One of our fundamental rules is to avoid cheap claiming races. Another is to be extremely careful when the track is muddy or heavy. Females, and all horses carrying excessively high weight, also those ridden by nearly all apprentice jockeys, also represent danger spots and are not played unless they are coming off powerful races.

This book takes violent issue with many old-line handicappers and legions of disgruntled losing players who blame their wagering misfortunes on the allegation that "the trainer wasn't trying."

Our claim is that most of these setbacks, in short races, are due not to skullduggery on the part of the trainer, but rather to such handicaps as sluggishness at the start ing gate, a bad (outside) post position, or a large (and therefore overcrowded) field. We will deal with these theories in a later chapter.

The order in which a horse leaves the starting gate is known as the "break." It is important, if today's race is a short one, that a horse broke well in his last race. Other wise, he may be sluggish at the start again today and thus lose valuable ground. That is, in making his bid to pass rivals which got off to a better start, he generally would have to go to the outside, thus losing many lengths.

It also is important, in short races, to avoid (for the same reason) a horse which has an outside post position today UNLESS he is a confirmed fast breaker.

Another of this book's fundamentals is that we generally avoid a horse switching to a SHORTER distance, on the theory that he probably will not be accustomed to the faster pace of the shorter race.

One of the most important rules in this book's claiming race system is that from the stretch to the finish, a horse generally must not have quit in his last race, as will be explained fully in a later chapter.

This book's systems avoid horses which ran their last race at a small (or minor) track, and also those who have been running at such tracks most of the time.

Our final "fundamental" angle is consistency-the gem of the handicapping ocean. 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 mark him unreliable because the opposition which he encountered was mediocre.

Here is an example of this latter type:

Time Bound M6 100 1952 1 0 0 ---
16 4 0 $2,835

You will note that although in the last two years combined this mare won four out of 17 races, a good winning percentage, her money-winning average obtained by dividing 17 races into $2,835 total earnings gives her average earnings of considerably less than $200 per race. She thus would be disqualified on this count immediately.

In contrast, here is a horse which in the last two years had won only one race out of eight, yet had the fairly respectable money-winning average of $410 per race for the two years combined, although it would not have been a play under this book's systems.

Sea Don G4 1952 1 0 0 0 ---
1951 7 1 1 1 $3,300

By now, the reader has been furnished what is considered to be a fairly comprehensive background giving not only our own idea of handicapping fundamentals, but also outlining just what this book is attempting to do.

In analyzing these methods and aims, the reader perforce must keep in mind two things. They are:

1 Some of the methods used may seem to be revolutionary, but that is because old-fashioned methods did not seem to produce enough profits, or even avoid losses. Therefore, much that hitherto was considered standard procedure has been thrown into the ashcan.

2 To be successful in his track operations, the reader must develop the necessary will power to frequently limit his investments to only one horse a day at any one track, if that is what the rules call for.

So just before actually getting down to brass tacks and explaining the first of this book's two systems, let us recapitulate and sum up in a nutshell the observations that have been made up to this time. They are:

1 The first principle of this book's systems is to WIN BEFORE YOU BET. By that, we mean to make mathematically certain (barring unlikely catastrophes) that even if this book's system selections should go into an unprecedented slump, or if you are using our systems in conjunction with your own system, you still must win if you use rules that pick fair-priced horses, instead of stringing along with the mob and playing favorites in most cases.

For instance, the average mutuel return on the winners selected by our two systems during a check of four consecutive weeks (and this was confirmed by other tests not listed in this book) was approximately $16, or 7 to 1.

2 The second step, also a sweeping mass elimination designed to enable us to concentrate our efforts on just a handful of these horses entered, was to eliminate undesirable types of both races and horses, and to make tight restrictions in the case of "doubtful" steeds such as "entire" horses, females, and nags ridden by most apprentice jockeys.

3 The third step was to concentrate on the "winningest" type of horse that we could find.

4 The fourth step was to eliminate almost every horse with any kind of a black mark against him.

5 The fifth step was to sidestep completely the countless curses of speed handicapping. This was done by using class, rather than speed, as a common denominator.

6 The sixth and final step was to devise a consistency requirement that would enable us to avoid horses with records that apparently are commendable at first glance, but which actually are practically worthless because those records were compiled mostly at minor tracks.

These six swift, meat-axe major operations will enable the race-goer to examine the entire card in 20 minutes, instead of burning the midnight oil for hours in using complicated, outmoded methods requiring reams and reams of paper calculations and frequently resulting in triphammer headaches. Instead of lugging around charts, speed tables, track variant records, making additions, subtractions and multiplications, and adjusting comparative speed records of various tracks, etc., all we will need is the racing paper or daily newspaper, and one small card of rules which may be carried in our pocket.

If the reader is a beginner, or perhaps even a casual race-goer, the elementary part of the "turf education" offered by this book now is considered to have been completed. So in the next chapter, we will take up the first of our two systems.

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