Predatory Handicapping: Part 4
As promised in Part 3,
we�ll now take a look at my favorite �predatory situations�.
Anybody can take advantage of each and every one of them. All will
produce profit for you not just once, but forever just as they have
Does that sound too good to be true?
It might, but there is a �catch� and a big one at that! In order to
fully exploit these �predatory situations�, it will require more
handicapping time on your part.
I probably just lost half of the handicappers reading this writing,
but that�s a good thing because it is those exact handicappers not
willing or able to go the extra mile for profit from whom you will
draw your winnings.
While most handicappers are more industrious than the general public
that buys lottery tickets hoping that they are in the right place at
precisely the right time to beat odds of a million to 1 or better,
face facts, many horse players in today�s game are also very lazy.
Many walk into a racetrack or a satellite facility and purchase no
more than a track program, expecting to walk out with more money
than what they strolled in with. And as you well know if you have
any tenure in our great game, these are the same people who get
their heads handed to them on a regular basis.
The next time you attend the races either on or off track, look
around you at all the players without past performances of any kind.
They are all certifiable losers in the long run. They might get
lucky for a winning afternoon by picking only jockeys, trainers,
numbers or �cutsey names�, but will soon run out of luck and once
again begin losing.
While there is nothing wrong with being �lucky�, depending on luck
as a major part of your personal methodology to get you thru any of
life�s demanding situations to include handicapping horses, is
nothing more than wishful thinking. In fact, this is most likely
doubly true in horseracing where I�m sure you�ve heard the axiom
�there are a 1000 ways to lose a race and only one way to win�.
That noted, we move to my most frequent and most profitable
It is hard to pinpoint exactly how many times this happens for me,
but I can say that once a week would not be overstating anything. In
fact, there have been times in the past that it has happened to me
twice in a single afternoon in races that I had no intention of
It sets up like this and it has nothing to do with speed, pace,
class, post position, jockey, trainer, odds, running surface,
running bias, weight, prior trip or any other conventional way of
Since I�m always in the paddock �looking at� horses, sooner or later
a horse will literally jump out from his crowd in an event that I
had not intended to bet. He�ll look and act like a �ready� Stakes
horse in comparison to the balance of his field that usually has a
hard time getting their heads over their shoulders, let alone look
�ready�! And more often than not, the cheaper the race, the more
he�ll stand out.
I�ll follow this horse as well as the others thru the post parade
and watch all of them warm-up. If I can�t find fault with him and he
gets a solid warm-up and none of his competition looks any better
after their warm-ups than they did in the paddock, I�ll go bet him.
But before I bet him, I won�t look at his past performances seeking
something that I might have missed because I know how thorough I am
to begin with. I didn�t glance over or misread anything in his �backpaper�.
The only thing about this horse that I didn�t know the night before
was his race day �physicality� that wouldn�t be evident until the
There is no need to belabor this first of my predatory situations.
You obviously have to know what a �ready� horse looks like vs. an
�unready� one. And no, you don�t have to necessarily be on track to
unearth these gems. It can be done at any satellite facility. I�ve
done it many times myself when playing imported races, although I�d
be lying to you by saying that it is just as easy at simulcast as it
is on track. It isn�t and never will be, but it is surely very
If you are not comfortable with how to �look� at a horse, don�t
attempt this and I do mean don�t. This type of predatory situation
is not, and I repeat not, for novices to the world of �physicality
However, if you have a reasonable grasp on �physicality�, you too
can take advantage. And by reasonable I mean knowing good color from
bad color, �clearing� or walking correctly vs. shortstepping,
walking wide vs. not walking wide, good tails vs. bad ones, good
ears vs. poor ones, good energy vs. no energy etc.
The reason that this predatory situation works so well on the lower
rungs of horseydom is because so few horses actually look good on
the bottom and display a willingness to run. But when one does and
the balance of his field doesn�t, look out!
Why or how does this happen?
There could be many reasons and here are a few!
It could be nothing more than a horse being 1 race away from a
victory in his last outing and after getting a solid conditioning
workout in that race, merely continues on in his form cycle and
shows up today looking like a �monster�. Maybe he had stomach ulcers
that no longer exist or worms that have been taken care of. Perhaps
there has been a positive shift in his diet or vitamins. Sometimes a
movement to another track changes his mental outlook towards racing.
It is even feasible that a change of shoes stopped his feet from
I could go on and on, but I�m sure you get the point. What causes
the change is irrelevant. Noticing or recognizing how much better a
horse might look than the balance of his respective field gets you a
positive return. What�s more, the overwhelming vast majority of
these horses are not the race favorite. Most will offer you a 4
PART 5----�NON-PHYSICAL� PREDATORY SITUATIONS!
Copyright �2003 by
Joe Takach. All rights reserved.
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