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Track Tracts

Predatory Handicapping: Part 3
by Joe Takach

Let�s look at some examples of �predatory� handicapping or situations where we might, and I only say might, be in an opportunistic position to exploit the mutuel pool because its contributors are going down the wrong road.

Keep in mind that we won�t be the only handicappers to see exploitable possibilities. Obviously, if too many handicappers see the same exact thing or identical situation, the lower mutuel price will reflect this common knowledge. And conversely, the more proprietary one�s information, the higher one�s mutuel return if correct.

Do you remember our earlier definition of �predatory�?

To refresh your memory, a �predatory� race or situation is one that you win at a higher percentage than your overall combined win percentage.

Here�s a brief and easy example that all can grasp. It is very basic, so please don�t read or try to put more into it that what you see, at least for now. This illustration is totally �hypothetical� and we�re going to say that we play an equal number of each type of race in any series of 500 bets.

Of course we all play more than 4 different types of races, but just suppose we only played 4 types in equal amounts of 125 each and below are those 4 types along with the final win percentages for each.

Conditioned Allowance routes (other-than-1, 2 or 3) / turf --------------------49%
Maiden Special Weight sprints/ turf----------------------------------------------------28%
7 furlong claiming sprints /3 year olds/ dirt-----------------------------------------26%
6 furlong Graded sprints/ 2 year olds/ dirt-------------------------------------------25%

Our overall win % is 32%, which is far from shabby!

Is there a predatory situation evident?

And if so, in which of the 4 types of races does it occur?

If you said the only �predatory� situation was the Conditioned Allowance routes over the turf, give yourself 4 gold stars and go to the head of the class!

We are in a �predatory� situation, because we won nearly twice as many of those Conditioned Allowances as we did our other categories, even though we played the same amount of races in each of the 4 categories.

I don�t mean to �overkill� this, as by now I�m sure a few of you think that I have. But you�d be absolutely amazed at how many people I�ve attempted to explain this to in the same exact manner as above, that simply didn�t �get� it or couldn�t �get� it.

And �getting it� is the crux of this series!

In the real handicapping world, most of us play 20 or more different types of races.

But by using our �Mickey Mouse� model as a basic guide, you can set up your 20 categories just as easily as our 4. Once in place, you can make the necessary numerical adjustments due to this or that race being run more or less times than another.

When you do this, your personal predatory races will stand out like sore thumbs and you can exploit them!

And note that I said races---plural! Because unless you are a freakish aberration, there will be more than one specific race type over which you rule supreme.

But wait------that ain�t the end of this story!

There are many more predatory situations that have nothing to do with those personal win percentages. (Good Lord, I sound like a 4-in-the-morning TV �infomercial�, don�t I?)

What follows are my favorite �non-personal� predatory situations that have nothing to do with any one specific race type as do my �personal� predatory situations.

Since unearthed, all have produced winners at an extremely high win rate well over 50% and have continued to do so, without fail, year in and year out. Granted, they present themselves infrequently. But when they do, they more than compensate for my extra effort.

As you will soon see, many of my �non-personal� or �non race type� predatory situations have nothing to do with conventional handicapping using traditional methodology that incorporates speed, pace, post position, trip, class etc.

They just seem to pop up whenever they do and are quite ripe for the picking----that is, if I remain �awake� at all times and know exactly what I�m looking at.

Will you be able to incorporate any of them into your own methodology?

Yep, every single one of them!

Are you personally willing to put in the extra time and effort needed to do so?

I have no idea.

That�s for you to answer.

But with any luck, my examples will additionally serve to further stimulate your thinking and enable you to conjure up even more �non-personal� predatory situations that I�m sure are in your repertoire, even though at this very moment you could be totally unaware of them.



Copyright �2003 by Joe Takach.  All rights reserved.  Joe Takach Productions

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