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Track Tracts

Upside vs. Downside Risk - Part 7:
Answers Continued

by Joe Takach

16---DOWNSIDE---A natural tendency for all of us is to �press� during losing days or losing streaks and to �guard profits� during winning days or winning streaks.

We should be doing the exact opposite!

If you too are guilty of this, you have plenty of company to include yours truly.

While I never �press� during losing streaks and haven�t for many years, to this very day, I�m still guilty of �guarding profits� on winning days or during winning streaks.

For example, if I have 3 bets �on paper� before walking into the track on any given afternoon and win the first two, I begin to question just how long I will stay in �my zone� and just how long my �luck� will hold. What�s more, the less that the margins of victory are with both of my prior two winners, the less likely I am to bet my third horse.

I positively know that this is wrong!

My third bet (assuming that I can�t throw him out for looking bad physically or not warming up properly) has nothing to do with my first 2 selections winning or losing--------------absolutely nothing!

Yet, I still hesitate at times and really wish that I could stop it.

I recently called a friend of mine who happens to be a psychologist and asked him why I did this at times and continue to do it to this very day even though I know that what I�m doing is wrong. He gave me a very long-winded explanation that basically came down to �the need to recover losses� is much greater than the �need to keep on winning� once you�re �fat� for the day or for any given period of time.

I think that says it all and I�ll continue to try to perfect the 2nd half of the equation even if the �norm� is to play it safe.

17---DOWNSIDE---Whenever you �glance� at a public handicapper�s selections in your local newspaper, you could be subconsciously influenced causing you not to bet your own pick or you might even foolishly substitute the public handicapper�s selection for your own.

If you are guilty of this you have plenty of company.

It is one thing to rely on the past performances and any other �proprietary information� that you may purchase to help you to make your handicapping decisions. It is quite another thing believing that a public handicapper knows more than you.

They don�t, unless of course, you don�t do any personal handicapping at all!

18---UPSIDE---This question is akin to #16 but in reverse. Just about every money management �Guru� in existence will tell you that this is financial suicide.

For many recreational players, it is.

For most semi-professionals and full time professionals, doubling wager size in the middle of a hot streak is quite normal. Even tripling or quadrupling wagers is common.

Personally, I have no problem of doubling, tripling, or quadrupling my wager in the middle of a hot streak, not that I do it all the time. It�s just that some hot streaks are �hotter� than others with a higher win percentage. As mentioned above in question 16, I just have periodic trouble sticking to a day�s wagering plan after hitting my first 2 bets of the day no matter how �hot� my hot streak might be!

When �you�re hot, you�re hot� and you should be increasing wager size even if wagering only once a day. Everybody has their own �comfort zone�, so there in nothing �carved in stone� as to how much you should increase your wagers. But you positively should be increasing them during �hot streaks�, even if unable to double, triple or quadruple them.

19---UPSIDE---I�ve always found it more profitable to wager on smaller fields. Yes, you often get the worst of it �mutuelly speaking�, but it is far easier to win.

Why? There are many reasons to include ease in finding the �lone speed�, class standouts, physicality standouts, running bias standouts, trainer-jockey standouts, etc.

What�s more, there is far less �traffic� in the shorter fields and a far less likelihood that you�ll rip up a win ticket because of a bad trip. This is not to say that every horse in a 5 horse field gets a �perfect trip�, but surely more do than those finding themselves in 10, 11, or 12 horse fields!

20---DOWNSIDE---If you�ve lost your first 2 bets of an intended 3-bet day thru no fault of your own, by all means continue to make that 3rd wager for the afternoon. In other words, if you lost those wagers because of your horses breaking poorly, getting bad trips or maybe even getting �stiffed� due to low odds etc., that�s not your bad handicapping causing you to lose, that�s merely bad racing luck and it happens to everybody every day.

However, if you can find no legitimate excuse for losing your first 2 bets of the day with operative word being �legitimate�, stop betting for the day----you are far from your �zone�. You are not reading something correctly that day and most likely will only compound the felony by pressing another bet.

Just remember, there�s another full card tomorrow or next weekend. There is no need to rush.

You�ll be betting for many years to come and have plenty of time to recoup losses without pressing! NC


Copyright �2004 by Joe Takach.  All rights reserved.
Joe can be contacted through his website at

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