Thoroughbred Handicapping:
Learning, earning and loving the track.

NetCapper Store
New Stuff

The Grandstand
Capper Demo
Spot Play Demo
New Features
Track Tracts
TTs Archive
Contact Info
More Books
Capper Email























Track Tracts

Predatory Handicapping: Part 4
by Joe Takach

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 for me.

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 �predatory situation�.

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 betting!

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 making selections.

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 next afternoon.

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 plausible.

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 handicapping�.

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 hurting.

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 digit return!



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

Back to Top