Three out of five horse races are unbettable and this doesn't matter whether favorites or long shots win them. The fact is: The best horse doesn't always win and the fastest horse doesn't always win. One of the reasons for this is plain: Races are filled by racing secretaries eager to fill cards, not to produce easily handicapped winners.
Although many unbettable situations can be readily ascertained, many can not. Some situations are plainly ridiculous; others just confusing. I advocate, that you train your eye to see how not to bet as much as when to and how to bet. If you can correctly spot unbettable situations, you will greatly improve your chances of winning.
When I speak of unbettable situations, I do not refer to rainy weather or muddy tracks. Nor do I refer to situations outside of the mechanical character of the race itself. By an unbettable situation, I mean that mechanical element in the race itself, which will cause confusion as to the proper horse to bet on, thus preventing intelligent wagering. The following is a sketch of hazards that I have found which will decrease your chances of picking winners, and which, if not painstakingly avoided, will insure losses and incorrect choices.
An unbettable situation can be created by oneself. One who constantly watches the odds board is looking for trouble. He is looking for a crutch to lean on. He begins to look for a "hint" from someone who knows something, or tries to discover if the public agrees with his selection, so as to be psychologically prepared to rush the mutual windows. I have heard many people say, "This is the horse that looks like a winner, but how can he win at this price?" or, "The smart boys are on the number three horse, how can I go with this one?"
Well, to put it bluntly, there are no smart boys. No one knows any more than you do! Wrong, you say? Stop to think for a minute. There are eight horses in a race, and the owners of at least five of them probably feel that their horse is ready and can win. So who, then, are the smart boys? One of the eight has to win and seven others have to lose, yet the fans think that there is always someone who knows something more than they do - and they are waiting to get the tip! Get off the cloud. Figure it out for yourself - your selection is as good as the racing commissioner's!
It seems to be psychologically easier to bet heavier on an odds-on choice than on a horse, which is three to one. You are consoled by the fact that the public likes him, the public handicappers like him, and you like him. But the horse doesn't know that he is being approbated in this manner! Remember statistics prove that John Q. Public and John Q. Public Handicapper are wrong 66 percent of the time. The favorites win on the average of one out of three races. How does it make sense to follow someone who is wrong two out of the times?
It is far better to develop your own independent handicapping ability and disregard the public, the public handicappers, and the odds boards. I am not suggesting wagering on 20 to one horses, nor am I suggesting playing favorites. Instead, I suggest a happy medium between disregarding the public choice and betting your own choices! If these two happen to coincide, there shouldn't be any need to be unhappy about it.
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