Making More out of Less

Sure, we would all love to make more money betting less money and nobody I know would argue against that. Well maybe you can argue if you bet more when you win, you’d win more, but betting less to win more is a sound principal in this game.

How about when you have less information? How does one approach a race where the information is limited? Races like maiden races, specifically maiden special weight races where you are likely to have a few good horses, many well-meant, and some making their first starts. These races can be challenging but can also lead to nice scores especially in those cases where the “smart money” turns out not to be that smart, or perhaps lucky.

I like races where we have less information. I feel those races favor experienced players, especially ones with good memories. They certainly level the playing field with CAW or computer model high rebate players. Those computer models analyze data, angles, and information. The less of that and the more flat-out experience plays in, the better chance you have of competing with them.

A lot of people follow the money in these races and that often holds up well. I will watch the money, but not necessarily follow it. I like to know betting barns, and barns with legit knowledgeable loose lips. Following the money in those barns makes sense. Following over-bet horses played based on connections and assumptions as opposed to solid knowledge, well I’ll pass.

Several years ago, there was a horse running at Gulfstream Park in what I recall being a $25,000 maiden claimer. The horse was off a lay-off of several months. He had one prior start, at a Maryland track, in a maiden $12,500 race. He was 20-1 on the morning line and figured to be every bit of that or more. It was a large field, he had an unknown rider, and was stepping up off the bench. He went off 7-2 and won easily.

I had horses myself at the time and on the backside the next morning I found out the trainer fired the whole barn. He left himself with no help and had to use some of our barns help to take care of his horses.

Why? The why was obvious if you really looked. This was a betting barn. The trainer was betting. The trainer knew he had one set up, and he expected a price. When the horse went off 7-2, he knew someone in the barn had loose lips. He knew nobody in the barn bet enough to crush the odds, so he knew somebody was talking and touting.

I am not one for information. I like betting my own opinion, and only my opinion. This type of information is hard to come by.

In a maiden race, especially a large field, I’ll watch as many work-outs as I can. Fortunately, the meets I play often have works available. Workout reports can also help but I prefer to see and form my own opinions. The opinion of another bettor has no value to me for many reasons most of which you can guess.

I’ll look at breeding, and most importantly I will look at trainers and their patterns. History repeats. For example, a trainer may have a low first out or even second out percentage. What if you remember hitting a few like that with the barn? Dig deeper for the gold. Maybe the percentage jumps up with a certain rider, or with a certain type of work, or a certain distance or surface switch. Maybe even a long lay-off and move up in class a la the move I referenced earlier. Hidden gems, they are there, and you must look for them.

The last race on Saturday at Gulfstream Park is a maiden claimer going a mile and 70 yards on the synthetic. The tag is $35,000 and races don’t get more grab bag take a stab then this type is. I look at the horse on the rail, Macho Time. No, not because I liked Hector macho Camacho, aka Mach Time may he Rest in Peace. I see a live bomb.

This horse had only one start that doesn’t look like much. He was only 6-1 that day so someone liked what they saw or heard even though the race was at a two-turn distance. We know that is a tough debut to win. He dd not get away sharp, but still made-up ground in what easily could have been a race he needed and an educational one at that. More importantly I recall Kathy Ritvo teaming up with Luca Panici to win like this in the past. That’s the key for me and why macho Time will be on my tickets.

The Pegasus is almost here, and we should have a nice card of racing. Join us at our FREE PEGASUS WORLD CUP SEMINAR! It will be live and interactive and include an audio and video replay if you can’t get to the live version. The Q and A alone is worth it. Get all the DETAILS HERE

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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